December 24, 2012 |
Outside of a science fiction movie, it's a little strange to see a rocket fire up its engines, blast off, and then hover in the air. But that's exactly what Hawthorne rocket maker SpaceX pulled off with its 10-story Grasshopper test vehicle. In a 29-second flight, the rocket burst into the sky, rose 131 feet, hovered and landed safely on the pad using thrust vector and throttle control. To cushion its fall back to the launchpad, the Grasshopper has steel landing legs with hydraulic dampers, and a steel support structure.
December 21, 2012 |
NASA's purpose and vision might be a mystery to some, but the agency's top official says there's a quick primer on the space agency's mission and accomplishments. And it's done Gangnam style. “I find, as I travel around, not very many people know what we do today,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said Wednesday to a National Research Council committee that is reviewing the agency's human spaceflight program. Luckily, he added, there's a solution. Created by interns at Johnson Space Center, “NASA Johnson Style” spoofs South Korean pop star Psy's viral hit, “Gangnam Style,” while waxing lyrical about the Houston center that's home to NASA's astronaut program.
November 27, 2012 |
If space truly is the final frontier, does that make Elon Musk a real-life Capt. Kirk? Musk, the founder of SpaceX -- which has a $1.6-billion contract with NASA to ferry cargo to the International Space Station using its private Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule -- last week laid out an even bolder vision : a colony of 80,000 people on Mars. The price of a ticket? About $500,000 a colonist. (And no, this deal doesn't include a bridge in Brooklyn. The guy's already done the math.
November 26, 2012 |
NASA and Russia's space agency are pushing ahead with plans for a yearlong stay in space, choosing the two men who will undertake the mission. Scott Kelly, a NASA veteran with more than 180 days in space, and Russia's Mikhail Kornienko are scheduled to launch in spring 2015 to spend a year aboard the International Space Station, according to a NASA news release. A main goal of the expedition is to determine the effects of such a long stay on the human body. "The one-year increment will expand the bounds of how we live and work in space," William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for human exploration and operations at NASA headquarters in Washington, said in the release.
November 5, 2012 |
You get sales alerts, Twitter alerts, sports alerts and Facebook alerts. Now you can also get an alert when the International Space Station is visible overhead thanks to NASA's new Web app Spot the Station. The International Space Station's orbit 200 miles above Earth makes it visible to more than 90% of the Earth's population, NASA said. The trick is knowing when to look for it. NASA's Johnson Space Center already calculates the sighting information several times a week for more than 4,600 locations worldwide.
October 11, 2012
"Made in Jersey," the new CBS series starring Janet Montgomery as a scrappy, street-smart New Jersey attorney working in a Manhattan law firm, is apparently the first casualty of the fall TV season. The series, which has drawn low ratings since its Sept. 28 premiere, has been pulled from the Friday lineup after just two airings. A network spokesman confirmed Wednesday that the show, which was created by former Los Angeles Times reporter Dana Calvo, had been yanked but gave no further details on when or if it would return to the schedule.
October 10, 2012 |
British classical soprano Sarah Brightman plans to head for the stars, becoming the latest tourist to visit the International Space Station. Brightman, 52, announced her planned trip during a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday, the same day the cargo-loaded SpaceX mission made history by connecting with the space station. Brightman said she wants to be the first professional musician to sing from space during her 16 spins around the Earth, according to a statement from Russian-based Space Adventures Ltd. She's to be aboard the space station for 10 days, though no flight schedule has been set yet. The UNESCO artist for peace ambassador said in the statement: "I hope that I can encourage others to take inspiration from my journey both to chase down their own dreams and to help fulfill the important UNESCO mandate to promote peace and sustainable development on Earth and from space.
October 10, 2012 |
Sarah Brightman, the original Christine in "The Phantom of the Opera," is training to become a space tourist and is planning to travel to the International Space Station in 2015. The British singer made the announcement Wednesday at a news conference in Moscow. Brightman said that she has begun training with the Russians to prepare for her 10-day voyage. The singer will travel to the station on a Soyuz spacecraft. At the news conference, which has been posted to YouTube as well as the singer's official website, Brightman plugged her "Dreamchaser" world tour, which is expected to end in 2013.
October 8, 2012 |
The much-watched launch of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket had one little setback that was overlooked by many in the excitement of the moment. It lost an engine during ascent. Engine 1, one of nine engines on the rocket that was carrying the Dragon spacecraft into space, "lost pressure," SpaceX said. So it was shut down. Rumor had it that the engine exploded -- news outlets pointed to video , saying it showed an explosion and debris. SpaceX said that "panels designed to relieve pressure within the engine bay" were what was jettisoned. PHOTOS: Awesome images from space SpaceX, which notably is a private company that has contracted with NASA to carry cargo to the International Space Station, had its spin on the situation.
October 8, 2012 |
Among the important cargo onboard the SpaceX Dragon capsule is material to create Silly Putty as well as ice cream. And it's not that freeze-dried "astronaut" kind. The ice cream is tagging along on the space flight that launched Sunday night from Cape Canaveral, Fla. The capsule is expected to reach the International Space Station on Wednesday. The ice cream is encased in a GLACIER refrigerator, which is an ultra-cold freezer that stores samples at temperatures as low as minus 301 degrees Fahrenheit.