Tag Archives: space

NASA’s New Prototype for Space Travel: The Super Ball Bot (Video)

super ball bot

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

Size in Space: Just How Big is the Biggest Star We Know Of? (Video)

canis majoris

With a diameter of approximately 2.8 million kilometers (about 1.75 million miles), VY Canis Majoris, a red hypergiant star located in the constellation Canis Major, is the largest star we have ever come across. To picture its gargantuan size, imagine a passenger jet flying just above the surface of Canis Majoris at 900km/h (560 mph). At this speed, it would take the aircraft roughly 1100 years to make just one full circle around the star! The video below helps put this size

NASA Just Released An EPIC 5-Year Time-Lapse of the Sun (Video)

sun time lapse

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

Astronomers Witness “Tidal Disruption Event” – A Black Hole Tearing A Star Apart (Video)

tidal disruption

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

Go Inside the Largest Photo Ever Taken: A 1.5 Billion Pixel Panorama of Andromeda (Video)

hubble feat

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

Watch the Explosive Crash Landing of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket Test Last Week (Video)

falcon 9 crash land

Last week, SpaceX attempted to do something that few people had ever even thought of doing before: launching a rocket to deploy a supply ship to the International Space Station, and then landing said rocket on a football field-sized barge in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Everything went according to plan until the very end of the test flight. Shortly after the Falcon was scheduled to land, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made the following tweet: Rocket made it to drone spaceport ship, but

NASA Just Emailed A Wrench To Space

Recently, the commander of the International Space Station, Barry “Butch” Wilmore, was in need of a specific wrench that wasn’t available aboard the ISS. But instead of sending it up on the next cargo ship, NASA simply emailed him 3-D blueprints for the wrench so that he could print the tool himself. The 3-D printing company Made in Space designed the 3-D printer currently on the ISS. Engineers from the company overheard Wilmore mentioning the need for a ratcheting socket wrench on the radio, so they

New Photo of Europa Shows the Ice-Covered Moon’s Surface in Stunning Detail (Video)

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

NASA’s Orion Spaceship Marks A New Dawn for the American Space Program

orion feat

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

Wanderers: An Awe-Inspiring Short Film About Exploring the Universe (Video)

wanderers

A thirst for exploration is hard-wired into the human species. Whether its Ferdinand Magellan becoming the first to sail from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, Jacques Cousteau exploring the mysteries of the underwater world, or Steve Fossett circling the globe in 15 days aboard a hot air balloon, humans have, for generations, pushed the limits of exploration. And in just the last 50 years or so, we have begun to explore a new frontier: outer space. In his recent short film

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