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Tag: space exploration

It’s my birthday, and I’ll blog if I want to

Yes, today marks the completion of 1/20th of my first millennium. Or half a century. Personally I prefer the first formulation. And, yes, today is also the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. My tenth birthday present, and what a terrific present it was. I remember watching the coverage on our little black …

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A Canadian satellite proves small is beautiful

[podcast][/podcast] Space satellites, typically, are big, expensive beasts, which is one reason we all cringe when one fails to achieve orbit, as happened on February 24 with NASA’s $280 million Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO). Complex satellites like the OCO, which was intended to monitor atmospheric carbon dioxide, are of course absolutely necessary for some tasks. …

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The 1960s moon in high-def

Download larger version. A little over 40 years ago, to help it select potential landing sites for its Apollo lunar missions, NASA sent five unmanned spacecraft over two years to orbit the moon and photograph pretty much every inch of its surface. The images sent back were amazing, especially one of the Earth rising over …

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Happy belated Sputnik Day!

Yesterday was the 50th anniversary of the launch of the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. Alan Boyle at Cosmic Log has a long post packed with links about the possibilities for the next 50 years in space.

Robot and human surgeons compare micro-gravity operating skills

Good news for future space travelers: the world’s first demonstration of robotic surgery in a simulated micro-gravity environment takes place this week, in a collaborative effort between SRI International and the University of Cincinnati. On four parabolic flights September 25 to 28 aboard a NASA C-9 aircraft (nicknamed the “Weightless Wonder“), a human surgeon will …

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Google’s new X-prize: land a robot rover on the moon

There’s a new X-Prize. This one is funded by Google, so you know the money is good. It’s for $30 million. And the goal? To land a robot on the moon. Specifically, to land “a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon that is capable of completing several mission objectives, including roaming the lunar surface …

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A trip to Mars in a week?

That’s the tantalizing possibility of something called the Photonic Laser Thruster, which was first demonstrated back in February. I don’t understand the science well enough to tell if it’s a load of hooey or not, but wow, I hope not. Because that kind of propulsion system might finally give us the solar system of Golden …

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Faster-than-light communication a la Star Trek?

Maybe. Can’t be used for faster-than-light space travel, alas. On the other hand, the fact it involves “braneworld” scenarios makes me feel good about having my fictional FTL drive in my upcoming novel Marseguro operate in “branespace.” Speaking of which, I’ll probably post the opening chapter or two of Marseguro online in December or January, …

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Favorite space photos

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik, the first artificial satellite, New Scientist has assembled a stunning slideshow of the favorite space-related photos of a group of scientists, astronauts, artists and space entrepreneurs.

Science fiction writers heading to Mars!

Well, sort of. Actually, it’s their words that are heading to Mars, as part of a DVD compiled by The Planetary Society and launched with the Phoenix lander, due to touch down next May.

Apollo photo archive coming online!

This is exciting:Nearly 40 years after man first walked on the moon, the complete lunar photographic record from the Apollo project will be accessible to both researchers and the general public on the Internet. A new digital archive – created through a collaboration between Arizona State University and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston – …

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A sleek, skin-tight spacesuit?

This could do wonders for space tourism (although the focus is on exploration). Not to mention science fiction movies. Called the BioSuit, and under development at MIT, it’s… “…a revolutionary departure from the traditional model. Instead of using gas pressurization, which exerts a force on the astronaut’s body to protect it from the vacuum of …

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