Archive for November, 2012

Here There Be No Dragons : Curiosity Finds Mars Radiation Levels Comparable to ISS

Here There Be No Dragons : Curiosity Finds Mars Radiation Levels Comparable to ISS

Early in the age of exploration under sail, mapmakers sometimes colored in the boundaries of the unknown with the cryptic warning, “here there be dragons.”  While the only Dragons seen lately are definitely of the friendly variety,  dire warnings of the risks of radiation on Mars have served as a similar precautionary tale for those who would take the first available flight to the Red Planet. […]

Posted in: Mars
ESO Images Rogue Planet

ESO Images Rogue Planet

The image is strangely compelling;  a lone planet,  drifting endlessly through the dead, cold void of space.   Science fiction writers love them, one such world, Danaan, was the subject of the The Eternity Artifact, by L.E. Modesitt Jr.   In that novel, the planet’s extreme velocity and a trajectory carrying it straight out of the galaxy suggested alien engineering, providing the rationale for a last moment excursion before it passed into […]

Posted in: Space Science
Tesla Wins Prestigious Motor Trend Car of the Year Award

Tesla Wins Prestigious Motor Trend Car of the Year Award

Following a frustrating fall in which failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney repeatedly and inaccurately lumped Tesla Motors in with bankrupt solar panel manufacturer Solyndra, Elon Musk’s  groundbreaking Model S has been given one of the most coveted awards in the automotive industry, Motor Trends’s Car of the Year Award. This marks the first time the […]

Posted in: SpaceX
Two Views of the Grasshopper

Two Views of the Grasshopper

These two shots give a good sense of the scale of the SpaceX VTVL Grasshopper test vehicle. The first was taken from the top of the McGregor development facility’s 280 ‘ water tower,  and tweeted by Elon Musk.  The second, close up-shot was posted on the company’s Google Plus page, and gives a good look at the very robust construction […]

Ariane V Launch Today (Again)

Ariane V Launch Today (Again)

  Update: After being scrubbed Friday due to high upper level winds, the Ariane V is looking for better conditions today for a second launch attempt. Previous post: The European Ariane V launch vehicle is scheduled for liftoff from French Guiana during a launch window beginning at 3:05 PM CST.  The dual manifested mission will boost two […]

Small Launch Vehicle Updates

Small Launch Vehicle Updates

Korea has announced that the upcoming launch of its Nar0-3 rocket will be further delayed while it awaits the arrival of a new fuel coupler from Russia. The Korean Space Agency (KARI) had hoped to reschedule the launch of the two stage rocket to sometime around November 17, but has yet to receive a firm delivery date on the replacement component, leading to a […]

A Status Quo in Space?

A Status Quo in Space?

In the wake of President Barack Obama’s re-election, analysts in the space community seem to have reached the unsurprising consensus that the result will be a maintenance of the status quo regarding NASA and the nation’s space policy.  With the U.S. House and Senate remaining divided between Republicans and Democrats respectively, the threat of sequestration still looms, but it seems almost […]

NASA’s Spot the Station Service

NASA’s Spot the Station Service

NASA is often accused of doing a less than stellar job of informing the public of what it is actually doing.  If seeing really is believing, then a recently released spotting program is a step in the right direction.   With the advent of cold clear nights which make fall and winter the best seasons for nighttime sky watching, […]

Posted in: NASA, Space Stations
SpaceX Grasshopper Makes Another Jump

SpaceX Grasshopper Makes Another Jump

The SpaceX Grasshopper makes another small leap in the pursuit of first stage reusability in this video tweeted by Elon Musk on Saturday, November 3.  While there are a number of efforts to develop reusable launch vehicles underway, most, like Blue Origin,  are taking an incremental, scaled approach to the issue starting with subscale, suborbital systems and working their way up.  […]

CASIS Awards 3 Grants for Protein Crystallization Research Aboard ISS

CASIS Awards 3 Grants for Protein Crystallization Research Aboard ISS

Scientists from the The University of Alabama-Birmingham, Cal-Tech and iXpressGenes Inc. have all been granted awards for research focusing on protein crystallization aboard the International Space Station by CASIS, the Center for Advancement of Science in Space.   The American portion of ISS was designated a U.S. National Laboratory in 2005,  and in 2011, CASIS was chosen as the […]

Posted in: CASIS, Space Science
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