This is the best thing. The best. Imagine if GLaDOS from Portal had amnesia and went to work for NASA with a pair of...well, idiots, and this is what you might get.
A three-satellite storm-tracking system run by the U.S. government is getting some updates that will support a complete technological refresh.
Raytheon said today that it has booked $185 million in new business for the Joint Polar Satellite System's Common Ground System. The JPSS, a collaborative system between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, is a polar-orbiting environmental system designed to both track storms and other weather events and take and send back to Earth imagery showing changes in the planet's environment over time.
Currently, the contract for the JPSS ground control system is worth $1.… Read more
While solar flares are a common occurrence on the sun, it's not everyday that we get an X-class flare.
However, sun watchers were given a treat this week when the star let off a huge solar flare, according to NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. The flare peaked around 5 p.m. PT on Monday and NASA published a video (see below) of the event on Tuesday.
Solar flares are bursts of radiation propelled off the sun. This latest flare was classified as X4.9, which means it was an incredibly significant burst of light and one of the largest … Read more
You may not make it to Mars yourself, but perhaps your name will.
A space-education project called Uwingu announced Wednesday a project to raise $10 million in grants for space research and education by selling naming rights to half a milion craters on Mars.
How much does your shot at fame cost? Small craters are $5, but bigger ones are more expensive -- one crater I found that's 24 miles in diameter costs $500.
The project offers very wide latitude for names ("Sarah's large hole in the ground"), but you have to submit an explanation, and … Read more
NASA has announced a whole new world of whole new worlds revealed in data from the now crippled planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft. In a press conference on Wednesday, the Kepler team said it has verified the existence of 715 previously unconfirmed planets circling 305 other stars.
This is the biggest single haul of verified planets ever culled from Kepler data, bringing the total number of confirmed planets beyond our solar system to just under 1,700.… Read more
The prevalence of loud action movies shows just how much humans enjoy a good explosion. You won't find many bigger than what happened on the moon in September last year. Footage of an 880-pound asteroid smashing onto the lunar surface was just released, showing a bright flash at the impact site.
The evidence was captured by telescopes as part of a moon-impact monitoring project run by astronomers at the University of Huelva in Spain. A paper about the event was published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.… Read more
When you're the first to try something, you know that it comes with inherent risks.
If that something is flying people into outer space in an entirely new machine, those risks are rather high.
For a while, it seemed that Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic was a breezy, pioneering idea that was as much about entertainment, as about space.
Indeed, renowned Hollywood g-forces like Tom Hanks, Angelina Jolie, and Ashton Kutcher signed up very quickly.
Justin Bieber, too, thought it would be fun to get a little higher.
If you were excited about the possibility of taking a one-way trip to Mars in the next decade and you just happen to be an observant Muslim, you may suddenly be out of luck.
The Khaleej Times of Dubai reports that a fatwa committee has forbidden Muslims from taking a one-way trip to the Red Planet. You may recall that the Mars One project aims to send a group of colonists to Mars as soon as 2024, followed by a second group a few years later.… Read more
You don't have to work for NASA to have a cool desk loaded with buttons, switches, knobs, and flickering lights. To encourage his sons' love for space, Jeff Highsmith built them a one-of-a-kind Mission Control Desk.
"I researched the Apollo Program, as well as NASA's Mission Control Center, and designed my own console roughly based on those," Highsmith wrote in his tutorial. "I say 'roughly' because the actual Mission Control does more monitoring than controlling, and isn't awash in the whiz-bang rocket noises young kids appreciate. I took great liberties and made more of a 'space-themed' play console than an accurate simulator. My goal was simply to provide some extra ideas and sound effects for my two sons to play 'space' together."… Read more
Every second, another star explodes. When it does so, it gives birth to the very metals and minerals out of which the universe is made. This we know. But until this week, the exact process by which the giant balls of fire meet their dramatic death was something of a mystery.
Thanks to Caltech and NASA's Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuStar), that mystery is beginning to unravel.
By using NuStar's orbiting telescopes, scientists determined that the insides of stars actually slosh around a bit before stars burst into the beautiful cosmic mess that we call a supernova. They figured this out by looking at Cassiopeia A (Cas A), a supernova produced when a star with more than eight times the mass of our own sun exploded about 11,000 years ago. Since that time, the remnants from the big blast have fanned out dramatically -- Cas A takes up 10 light years of space in the cosmos, making it visible from Earth. It is believed to have appeared in our skies in roughly 1671.… Read more