Soon the rest of humanity will get to watch what astronauts see when they look out of the windows of the International Space Station.
“There’s something that astronauts have that’s described as the overview effect,” says Wade Larson, co-founder of Urthecast. “They often get very philosophical, and even emotional, when they describe this effect when they step out of the Earth’s gravitational pull, and looking back and seeing what the planet looks like. It’s a sense of connectedness and you know, the big picture in the sense of ecological fragility.” Read more.
Some days, if not most, you probably start the day by checking the weather forecast. Maybe you need to take an umbrella to go shopping. Maybe you want to see what to pack for that critical business trip overseas. Maybe you’re hoping for a massive snowstorm because that school project isn’t done. Yet.
But some day in the future — and probably the near future — you are also going to want to check what the weather will be like in space.
Turns out that eating right and proper exercise are good for you. (Don’t you hate it when the doctor is right?) And if that’s not reason enough to eat your veggies, staying fit might be necessary to survive a two-to-three-year trip to Mars and back. Read more.
Canada is getting high marks on Mars. (Natch. Expected nothing less.)
The Canadian-made Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer — one of the key instruments on the marvelous Mars Curiosity rover — recently passed its first test drive by Team APXS scientists at the University of Guelph, Ontario.
Spacecraft have been dropping out of the sky these days — that is, versions of NASA’s Orion crew spacecraft. Some of them have been dropped over desert, others over water, but all have seemingly passed the durability tests that will be ramping up over the next few months as project engineers aim for a full test flight in 2014. Read more.
Fourteen years ago, in November 1998, I stood on a low mound overlooking the bleak Kazakhstan steppe. It was early morning. The ground was covered in a light dusting of snow and a bitter wind tore across the cracked concrete, flattening the surrounding scrappy clumps of grass.
A stream of garbled Russian crackled from a loudspeaker mounted on an army truck. The speech was overwhelmed by static and the angry muttering of a technician attempting a hasty repair. Neither of us looked particularly happy to be there. At least I was being paid – in Yeltsin’s Russia, the chances were he hadn’t received a salary for several weeks. Nevertheless, we were both about to witness a significant moment in space history. Read more.