From the moment a child first recognizes his or her reflection, their sense of self awareness is forever changed. So too was humanity’s when we got our first look at the planet from space. It was a life-changing event on a species-wide scale — our microcosm suddenly became extremely macro and we were able to finally see ourselves against the grander backdrop of the universe.
Last Friday May 10th marked the anniversary of the first colour pictures taken of Earth from space. Captured by the Apollo 10 crew, it marked the first time we were able to bring back images of our blue marble, in full colour.
Google (GOOG) Earth provides Web users with basic global satellite imagery periodically updated. “It’s always sunny,” says Scott Larson, “and the car is parked out front.” Soon, Larson says, his startup, UrtheCast, will begin broadcasting high-resolution, near-live global images and video from the cameras it’s planning to affix to the International Space Station.
A Russian rocket flying to the space station in October will drop off about 238 pounds of the Canadian company’s equipment, including the first nondefense high-definition video camera for filming earth from space. UrtheCast’s 4.5-foot-long camera, designed to handle the radiation and extreme temperatures of orbit, will record 90-second videos 150 times a day as the spacecraft circles the planet, Larson says. A second camera will continuously snap still photos. Together, the stills will cover a 47.3-kilometer-wide swath of the planet and generate 2.5 terabytes of data a day, the equivalent of about 270 full-length movies. UrtheCast’s engineers will condense and post the visuals to the company’s website an hour or two later. “With our images, you can see things moving and changing,” Larson says. Read more…
Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) April 05, 2013 ///// Announced today, the hotly anticipated launch date for the world’s first Earth video camera in space has been set for October 16, 2013. Launched within the Progress 53P Space Cargo Ship, aboard a Russian ‘Soyuz’ Rocket, two UrtheCast cameras will launch to the ISS from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, along with a payload of Space Station supplies.
“This is a watershed moment for UrtheCast, paving the way for the rest of our plan as we work to complete a ground station network, the interactive UrtheCast web platform, and rigorous camera testing,” said UrtheCast President and CEO Scott Larson. “Being placed on the Russian Space Agency’s Progress manifest solidifies a decisive step towards UrtheCast’s official platform launch.”
Chances are that you’ve used a GPS device, watched a live television broadcast of a major event on the other side of the world, laughed or cried at the status update of a social media friend, or checked the weather forecast — events all made possible by the almost indispensable satellites that impact many lives across the world.
Yet those satellites are threatened by the now thousands of pieces of satellites and spacecraft that have broken apart in orbit – many times accidentally, some times not – and are speeding through space at several hundred kilometres per second.
This threat gets potentially worse with each new satellite or rocket launch.
On March 13, 2013, Canadian Space Agency (CSA) Astronaut Chris Hadfield became the first Canadian commander of the International Space Station. It was an important day for Canada, for the CSA, and for the 53-year old space veteran who’s been training for this moment since he was 14 years old.
“The ISS is an orbiting research vessel of unprecedented capability, and Canada is in the thick of it,” explained Hadfield in his official statement as commander, “… the 130 experiments currently on the ISS are pushing back the edge of what is possible.”
by Theras Wood If a future civilization were to begin flipping through our history (e)books, how would they interpret our society’s treatment of the Earth? Would they regard us with scorn? Perhaps they’d laud us for our stalwart self-interest.
by Theras Wood Concern for the future of the world is something each generation grapples with, in its own way. For the last six years, Earth Hour has been amplifying those concerned voices by ‘uniting the world to protect the planet.’ Organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Earth Hour encourages businesses and individuals to flick offRead more…
by Theras Wood Perched inside a Piper Archer N43171 plane, Shlomo Rotberg and a friend — with a freshly-minted Private Pilot’s License — headed out for a day of cruising around the New York City skyline.
As celestial visitors go, asteroid 2012 DA-14 will rank among the better guests.
We’ve known it’s been coming for almost a year, and it’s only sticking around for just over a day. It’s pretty big, and there may be some crowding of Earth’s personal space, but it promised not to make a mess. And it has delivered on its projected message.
It was the closest asteroid flyby in our recorded history.
But as close as it was, Asteroid DA-14 didn’t plummet towards Earth today. People didn’t parish in its wake. Economic centres didn’t crumble. Ecosystems weren’t devastated.
Coincidentally, a meteor did burn-up over, and eventually hit, Russia today. And it could have just as easily hit anywhere else on the world — a densely-populated, major economic centre, for instance.
While the two phenomena are not related, what these close encounters have done is reignite discussion around the need for a plan to deal with asteroids and meteors, should one ever become a threat to Earth.