The original idea for UrtheCast was simple: place a couple of webcams on the International Space Station and stream the images over the internet.
That was the plan before UrtheCast’s Russian partner, RSC Energia, offered to install the cameras on a moveable platform attached to the space station’s Zvezda service module. UrtheCast executives then decided to replace one of the still cameras with a video camera Read more.
It’s no surprise that many were skeptical when James Cameron and his counterparts at Planetary Resources, Inc. announced plans to mine precious metals and other materials from near-Earth asteroids. After all, the whole concept seems like something out of a James Cameron movie. And, as if Planetary Resources weren’t mind-boggling enough, Cameron and co. have also announced that they plan to extract water from the asteroids. Read more.
At a little past 3:40 a.m. EST on March 22nd, rocket engines roared to life and history was made once again at the famed launchpad of the Cape Canaveral Airforce Station. For the first time a spacecraft, the Dragon, built by private company SpaceX, was launched on a journey to the International Space Station (ISS). Read more.
Change can be a wonderful thing, especially when that change involves growth. The UrtheCast team has been fortunate enough to welcome plenty of expansion over the past year — especially over the past few months — as our team membership has expanded to nine full-time team members (with a few more hires currently in the works).
Since 2012 began, we’ve amassed some rockstar developers in San Francisco, a resident rocket scientist, and an all-star business development and operations team. To fit all these new teammates in, we’re undergoing some upgrades. Over the next little while, we’ll be taking the blog behind the scenes of UrtheCast to get a better look at how we’re getting off the ground.
To get us started, let’s take a look at our San Francisco team getting acquainted with their brand new digs: Read more.
Even if you’re too young to know where the catchphrase came from, you’ve at least overheard it during a jokester’s misplaced zing. As many of us know, it was the phrase known to be uttered by Star Trek‘s Captain Kirk as he commanded his chief engineer, Montgomery ‘Scotty’ Scott, to transport him to the Starship Enterprise from some alien planet.
It seems fitting then, that there wasn’t just cargo, air, and entrepreneurial dreams aboard SpaceX’s Falcon 9 Rocket this past Tuesday. As it turns out, James Doohan – who played Scotty on Star Trek – went along for the ride with 307 others. Only, they weren’t alive.
If the success of 2005′s March of the Penguins is any indication, a lot of people love penguins. And now there’s great news for the penguin lovers of the world.
By using satellite imagery, zoological researchers have discovered that the Antarctic Emperor Penguin population is in much better shape than originally thought. What they’ve concluded is that the Emperor Penguin population is actually twice the size of previous estimates. Read more.
“Yeah, right,” is a phrase Elon Musk probably heard more than a handful of times before his private space company, SpaceX, took to the skies. And he’s probably not the only one in the commercial space biz to be on the receiving end of murmuring disbelief.
But where would we be if every entrepreneurial spirit balked at the phrase “yeah, right”? Certainly not sending humans into space, or planning manned missions to mars. That’s for certain.
When Hurricane Irene began bearing down on the mid-Atlantic United States late last August, thousands of coastal residents heeded warnings and headed west, filling hotels and motels along Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley to capacity. Read more.
As any Star Trek fan can attest, traveling to faraway planets has long been a central theme in science fiction. But if distant planets inspire us and allow us to imagine other civilizations, the reality of actually visiting a faraway planet is decidedly more daunting. With a surface temperature at 420 degrees Celsius, Venus, for example, wouldn’t exactly be a fun place to explore for a day.
If humans do ever manage to travel to other planets, we’ve found what might be a nice place to make our first stop. In 2011, NASA made news by announcing that the Kepler Space Telescope had found the first planet, Kepler 22b, that could possibly sustain life. Dubbed a “Goldilocks planet” because it’s not too hot and not too cold for life, Kepler 22b is just the right distance from the star it orbits to maintain liquid water on its surface. The planet’s estimated surface temperature of 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) makes it possible that it’s a lot more like Southern California than, say, the barren landscape of Mars.
In other words, if we could only get there, humans may have found a possible haven in Kepler 22b — that is, if things don’t end up so well here on Earth. Read more.