Items tagged with NASA

The scientists and engineers of SpaceX love to smash records. Their list of “firsts” is impressive and includes the first ever propulsive landing for an orbital rocket. Now, not only did SpaceX land three rocket boosters yesterday after their Falcon Heavy launch, but they have also received a NASA contract for an asteroid redirect mission. Footage of the landing the Falcon Heavy side boosters SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket was launched yesterday from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida shortly after 6pm EST. This was the first time SpaceX landed all three of the Falcon Heavy rocket boosters. The two side boosters landed simultaneously and the center core booster... Read more...
At this point, we tend to take it for granted that SpaceX will stick its landings. However, the company's latest landing is one for the books. SpaceX's unmanned Crew Dragon capsule landed off the coast Florida after a trip to the International Space Station. This was the first time in fifty years that an astronaut capsule landed in the Atlantic Ocean and SpaceX’s first orbital test mission. The Crew Dragon capsule successfully detached from the International Space Station (ISS) at 2:30 am EST. It burned its thrusters several times before its final descent. The capsule deployed several parachutes before successfully landing 200 miles off of the coast of Florida at 8:45am EST. SpaceX’s... Read more...
SpaceX has hit a milestone for its Crew Dragon capsule, with an unmanned version of the capsule blasting off to meet up with the International Space Station (ISS). If testing goes well, the goal is to enable the U.S. to send its astronauts into orbit for the first time since the Space Shuttle fleet was retired. SpaceX sent the Crew Dragon capsule into orbit mounted atop one of its own Falcon 9 rockets. No humans were aboard the Crew Dragon capsule for this test launch; the only passenger was a test dummy called Ripley, a reference to the classic sci-fi/horror film Aliens. The launch went off without a hitch and the rocket separated from the capsule about 11 minutes after liftoff. The capsule... Read more...
Restoration projects that focus on old computers that have long since been replaced by newer equipment always pique our interest, but this one is different. Mike Stewart, a "space engineer extraordinaire and living Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) encyclopedia," is spearheading an effort to bring back to life arguably one of the most important computer systems ever built in US history. That's not hyperbole, folks. As fellow restorer Carl Claunch explains in a running log on his blog, this a block II AGC, the kind that was used on all manned flights into space during its era. It played a critical role in the NASA Apollo program, helping to navigate space flights to the moon. With the exception of... Read more...
Jeff Bezos surpassed Bill Gates to become the richest man in the world last year with an estimated net worth of over $90 billion; his net worth is now said to be around $130 billion. Bezos has more cooking than Amazon alone and one of his cooler ventures is Blue Origin, a lesser known private space venture than SpaceX. Bezos has stated that Blue Origin will work with the ESA and NASA to create a settlement on the moon. The billionaire has stated that he will do whatever needs to be done to make the lunar base a reality. Bezos made the statement last week at an International Airspace Development Conference. The main goal of Blue Origin is to make access to space cheaper starting with the... Read more...
If you are a frequent visitor to HotHardware, then you know that we have a soft spot for Amiga systems. So, our ears naturally perked up when we received word of an old Amiga 2500 system that has found its way to eBay. But this isn't just your everyday, run-of-the-mill Amiga system; this particular system previously resided at NASA. According to the eBay listing, the system was used in NASA's telemetry labs and is decked out with a NASA asset and inventory tags from 2005. The Amiga 2500 was equipped with two custom boards that helped it to analyze telemetry data for various NASA-related equipment in space: an Amiga 2000 serial interface and an Amiga 2000 remote DMA output controller. Both boards... Read more...
Many computer hardware vendors have tossed around the expression "a supercomputer in your home!", and every time it's used, it's really incorrect - unless we're talking about comparing current tech to the supercomputers of olde. Well, if anyone ever said, "a supercomputer in space!", they can soon congratulate themselves, thanks to a joint partnership between HP Enterprise and SpaceX. On Monday, August 14th, at 12:31 EST, a SpaceX CRS-12 mission will take off from Cape Canaveral and send a Dragon resupply capsule to the International Space Station (ISS) to drop off some usual supplies - laptops, freeze-dried ice cream, and oh, a supercomputer. In fact, it's one of HP's aptly-named Apollo 40 supercomputers.... Read more...
Mark your calendars, folks—on Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will bear witness to a solar eclipse. What makes this one unique is that it will be the first total eclipse to go from coast to coast in the US in nearly a century, and the first to pass through the lower 48 states since 1979. As a result, there has been a big demand for solar glasses with special-purpose solar filters that allow you to safely look directly at the sun without wrecking your vision. If you are planning to watch the eclipse as it unfolds, you would be best suited to pick up a pair, though there are some things you should know before you go shopping. Due to the immense demand, third-party vendors on places... Read more...
  Are you currently stuck in a meaningless and boring job? Do you like science fiction movies like Independence Day (the first one, not that crappy second one) and Men in Black? Do you have a hankering to work for NASA? Well, there might be job opening that has your name written all over it. Because… Aliens. NASA has a new job opening for what it calls a “Planetary Protection Officer”, whose duties will be to help protect the Earth from alien infestations. More specifically, the job posting describes, “Planetary protection is concerned with the avoidance of organic-constituent and biological contamination in human and robotic space exploration.” In other words, the Planetary Protection Officer... Read more...
SpaceX just hit another milestone. SpaceX yesterday launched its first recycled Dragon capsule with the Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station (ISS). This was also the eleventh successful Falcon 9 booster landing. The spacecraft was launched June 3rd after a two-day delay due to thunderstorms. SpaceX launched from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. This was the 100th launch from 39A, the launch site of the Apollo moon missions as well as NASA’s last shuttle. The Falcon rocket was brand new, but will be reused. It returned to Kennedy Space Center with a stellar vertical touchdown. SpaceX launched its first recycled booster two months ago and... Read more...
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is working to literally “boldly go where no man has gone before”. NASA is currently assessing the feasibility of adding a crew to the first integrated flight of its Space Launch System (SLS) booster and Orion spacecraft on Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1). The project's ultimate goal is to send human beings into deep space as part of a Mars or Asteroid Redirect Mission. William Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate in Washington, is in charge of the study. He will assess the risks and benefits of such a mission as well as the additional resources and work needed to add a crew... Read more...
Is there life life beyond our solar system? Will humankind be able to survive after our Sun has exploded? It appears that NASA may have a few answers for us. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration just announced that it has discovered seven earth-like exoplanets in a solar system far, far away. The planets were discovered using transit photometry, a radial velocity method that can determine a planet’s mass. Artist's depiction of TRAPPIST-1; Credits: ESO/M. Kornmesser The seven exoplanets revolve around TRAPPIST-1, an ultracool dwarf star located roughly 39 light years away in the Aquarius constellation. The star received its name because it was the first the first star found by... Read more...
After a scuttled attempt on Saturday, SpaceX just successfully launched and landed the Falcon 9 at NASA’s historic Launch Complex 39A. Their current mission is to resupply the International Space Station (ISS). This was SpaceX’s first Florida launch since its rocket explosion last summer. The launch and landing were textbook perfect. The company's Dragon spacecraft was deployed from the rocket right on schedule and will arrive at the ISS on February 22nd around 9am EST. Musk excitedly posted a photo of the Falcon 9’s landing on Instagram with the caption, “Baby came back”. Footage of Falcon 9 launch on February 19th, 2017; Courtesy of NASA SpaceX halted their countdown yesterday with a mere thirteen... Read more...
  If you’re a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, then you’re no doubt familiar with everyone’s favorite know-it-all whipping boy: Ensign Wesley Crusher. Played by venerable child actor Wil Wheaton, Wesley Crusher was at times an annoyance to trekkies, but for the most part redeemed himself over the course of the show’s run. The folks over at NASA also have a soft spot for Wheaton, as they have announced that an asteroid found traveling amongst the constellation Canis Minor has been named in his honor. What was previously known as Asteroid 391257 has been renamed to 391257 Wilwheaton. NASA didn’t just name the asteroid after Wheaton for his sci-fi credentials, but also for his “long track... Read more...
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