Being the child of an astronaut can be tough. Just ask 13-year-old Stephanie, whose father, Terry W. Virts, has been aboard the International Space Station since November. When Hyundai heard about Stephanie, they came up with a creative idea to help her connect with her father in space while also getting some promo for their new Genesis sedans. Using a fleet of 11 cars, Hyundai wrote a giant message of love from Stephanie to her father in the sands of Nevada’s
Tag Archives: NASA
SpaceX just made another nearly successful attempt at landing their Falcon 9 first stage fuel rocket on a floating platform in the ocean. Besides fulfilling billion dollar contracts with NASA, the folks at SpaceX are looking for ways to improve current space industry operations. One strategy to save resources and money is to preserve the fuel rockets by re-landing them softly (instead of just letting them free fall into the ocean from the edge of our atmosphere, as was done in the past).
For years, scientists thought that the freezing temperatures and extremely dry climate on Mars made it impossible for liquid water to exist there. Now, all that has changed. New measurements taken by NASA’s Curiosity rover indicate that there is actually liquid water just below the Martian surface. “The evidence so far is that any water would be in the form of permafrost. It’s the first time we’ve had evidence of liquid water there now,” says Andrew Coates, head of planetary science at
On Friday (Mar. 27), NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko boarded a Russian Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft and blasted off to the International Space Station, beginning a historic yearlong expedition in space. The pair was joined by cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who will stay on the space station for the typical six-month mission. Padalka, who is now on his fifth long-duration flight, will become the new world record holder for most days spent in space after completing this expedition, totaling over 900 days in space.
Engineers from NASA are getting creative with robotics. Their new prototype, the “Super Ball Bot”, is made up of a series of metallic rods and cables. This futuristic design makes the robot extremely flexible and gives it the ability to absorb intense impacts while sustaining little to no damage. The Super Ball Bot is modeled off a concept called tensegrity, which allows the robot to change the level of tension in the wire depending on the circumstances. From Wired.com: “It can expand and compress to
Five years ago, on February 11, 2010, NASA launched the Solar Dyamics Observatory mission. The SDO satellite’s purpose was to observe the sun at a number of different wavelengths, in hopes that this data could help us better understand the inner-workings of our home star. To mark the fifth anniversary of the mission last week, NASA released an amazing time-lapse video compiling some of SDO’s observations of the sun over the past five years. To create the time-lapse, NASA captured a frame every eight hours for
Back in 2009, astronomers at the McDonald Observatory in west Texas were scanning the skies with the ROTSE IIIb telescope when suddenly, a bright flash of light appeared out of deep space. The astronomers, who were working as part of the ROTSE Supernova Verification Project (SNVP), had witnessed similar events before, and initially believed that the bright flash was simply a superluminous supernovae – an event they had seen on a number of previous occasions. But as time passed and the astronomers collected more data on
On January 5, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) released one of the most stunning pictures ever taken: a 1.5 billion pixel image of our neighboring galaxy Andromeda. The image, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, is the largest and sharpest photo ever taken of the galaxy. The photo measures 40,000 light-years across and contains more than 100 million stars. According to the Hubble website, “This is a cropped version of the full image… You would need more than
NASA’s Galileo spacecraft has been orbiting Jupiter since the late 1990’s. Since then, NASA has recorded data, producing stellar imaging of one of Jupiter’s largest moons, Europa. Thanks to many years of observation, astronomers have garnered enough data to depict the Jovian moon (Jovian refers to anything related to Jupiter) in its fullest, most breathtaking form yet! NASA added the photo to its extensive Photo Journal on November 21st. Innovations in optical technology have allowed astronomers to observe Europa in much
In the Fall of 2012, I witnessed the final flyby of the Space Shuttle. After a long and illustrious career, the Space Shuttle was retiring. After that time, many speculated about the future of NASA and space flight as a whole. Would NASA design the next great vessel with which to explore the galaxy? Or would the task of reaching for the stars fall to private companies and interests? The answer, it turns out, is both. Last month, NASA proudly