Besides its awe-striking size, thousands of completed science experiments, and a list of impressive inhabitants, the International Space Station (ISS) is a project unlike any other in terms of sheer scale — a beacon for what can be accomplished when the world cooperates in space exploration.
Are we gushing yet?
As the “most politically complex space exploration program ever undertaken,” the ISS is even more ‘international’ in nature than the 5-space-agency cooperative might suggest, involving 15 of the world’s most wealthy nations. (Space exploration, of course, comes with a hefty price tag.) Read more.
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.
Lassoing an asteroid and dragging it back toward the moon — at first blush, the idea sounds a little insane. For a number of reasons.
On the heels of the SpaceX Dragon becoming the first commercially launched cargo ship from the U.S., and the amazing success of the Mars Curiosity rover landing, comes the next great space adventure: lassoing an asteroid.
As cool as unmanned aircraft are, the idea of small drones taking freely to our skies can make many shift in their seats. But the integration of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) into our airspace doesn’t necessarily need to be a scary thing. With enough regulations in place to maximize safety and minimize fear, there’s much to gain from these unmanned fliers. Read more.
Imagine having asteroid warnings issued every day of the week. Aside from the resulting mass panic, it’s not such a stretch — NASA estimates that thousands of meteors hit Earth’s atmosphere relatively unnoticed every day.
Meteors are comets or pieces of asteroid that break free and burn up in the atmosphere. If one hits the Earth, it’s called a meteorite. (Or just “Yikes!” depending on the size.)
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.