Posts tagged space
Posts tagged space
Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano on a recent spacewalk:
At that moment, as I turn ‘upside-down’, two things happen: the Sun sets, and my ability to see – already compromised by the water – completely vanishes, making my eyes useless; but worse than that, the water covers my nose – a really awful sensation that I make worse by my vain attempts to move the water by shaking my head. By now, the upper part of the helmet is full of water and I can’t even be sure that the next time I breathe I will fill my lungs with air and not liquid.
Equal parts gripping and frightening.
Astronauts (left to right) Zhang Xiaoguang, Nie Haisheng and Wang Yaping salute after returning to earth in the re-entry capsule of China’s Shenzhou-10 spacecraft at its main landing site in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, June 26, 2013.
I really, really like this photo.
"Space Oddity" recorded in, well, space by Chris Hadfield. Phil Plait has more details but really, DAVID BOWIE RECORDED IN SPACE is the lede here.
Alan Boyle on NBC News’s Cosmic Log blog:
Salvagers backed by billionaire Jeff Bezos have recovered components from the Saturn 5 rocket engines that powered NASA’s Apollo moon missions off the launch pad, more than four decades after they hurtled down to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.
"We’ve seen an underwater wonderland — an incredible sculpture garden of twisted F-1 engines that tells the story of a fiery and violent end, one that serves testament to the Apollo program," Bezos said Wednesday.
The pieces are going to be restored and donated to aerospace museums.
A few days ago, millionaire and world’s first space tourist Dennis Tito announced plans to send two people into space to fly around Mars and return. Ian Sample of The Guardian talked with some scientists about the risks that will be faced in such a trip: increased chance of cancer because of radiation in outer space, rushing to meet a launch deadline in just five years, etc.
"It’s plausible, but it’s an eye-wateringly uncomfortable and risky mission design. What is important here is that this is a philosophical shift in the approach to and acceptance of risk," Dr [Kevin] Fong said.
One of the longest standing open problems in the vast field of science has been the question of what exactly happens to a container of nuts in outer space. Chris Hadfield of the Canadian Space Agency finally has the answer for us all.
Jason Major, Universe Today:
While many factors involving FTL travel are purely theoretical — and may remain in the realm of imagination for a very long time, if not ever — there are some concepts that play well with currently-accepted physics. The Alcubierre warp drive is one of those concepts.
Proposed by Mexican theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994, the drive would propel a ship at superluminal speeds by creating a bubble of negative energy around it, expanding space (and time) behind the ship while compressing space in front of it. In much the same way that a surfer rides a wave, the bubble of space containing the ship and its passengers would be pushed at velocities not limited to the speed of light toward a destination.
Of course, when the ship reaches its destination it has to stop. And that’s when all hell breaks loose.
Click the link to read the horrifying consequences.
Speaking of Lee Billings, here’s another piece from him about Alpha Centauri. This time it’s a long form profile in Seed Magazine of the two teams that have been searching for planets orbiting Alpha Centauri. Really great work, keep your eye on this Billings guy, readers.
I have discovered the purpose of the International Space Station. It exists so that we can do silly things in zero gravity, as shown in this NASA video.
Surface tension is awesome.
Matthew Francis, writing on Ars Technica:
Where exactly are those edges of the Solar System? According to theory, the boundary of the Solar System is marked by a region known as the heliopause, where the solar wind—particles streaming from the Sun—meets the plasma of interstellar space. In this region, beginning about 90 times the distance from Earth to the Sun, models predicted that the solar wind’s particles would be deflected by the interstellar material, much as water is pushed aside by the bow of a ship.
However, new measurements provided by the venerable Voyager 1 probe have failed to find the expected flow, deepening the mystery of the boundary between our Solar System and interstellar space. This adds to an earlier surprise, when Voyager’s instruments measured zero outward velocity in the solar wind, a measurement that has now held constant for over two years. In a Nature paper, Robert B. Decker, Stamatios M. Krimigis, Edmond C. Roelof, and Matthew E. Hill concluded that Voyager 1 is not actually close to the heliopause, despite expectations. The researchers further suggested that the models for interactions between the solar wind and interstellar plasma may require reevaluation.