Items tagged with space

Following a day of delays that temporarily grounded the project, NASA this morning launched its Orion spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, Florida this morning. This is a test run for the crewless spacecraft, which lifted off the ground without issue and is now "flying comfortably through space," according to NASA's blog. Orion is now orbiting above Earth at a low altitude before the United Launch Alliance's Delta IV Heavy rocket sends the spacecraft higher into space. If all goes to plan, Orion will fly 3,600 miles high before returning to Earth -- it's scheduled to splash down into the Pacific Ocean at around 11:29 AM EST. Liftoff didn't come easy. Orion was originally scheduled to conduct its first... Read more...
NASA is working hard to launch its [currently] unmanned Orion spacecraft this morning, though multiple issues have kept it grounded so far. It was initially supposed to blast off at 7:05 AM ET before being put on hold because a boat came too close, followed by another delay due to a gust of wind, and most recently because a fill and drain valve on the rocket did not function correctly. If NASA isn't able to launch Orion by 9:44 AM ET, it will have to wait until another day. That scenario becomes increasingly likely with each passing moment, especially since mission managers made the decision to cycle the fill and drain valves on Orion's three core boosters to see if that solves the problem. Nevertheless,... Read more...
Without any formal government regulation, Bitcoin prices have been surging and falling, and surging and falling. It's a roller coaster ride that only the bold can stomach, but those who are willing to invest in something like a new digital currency already have some wild stories to tell. Earlier this month, a university in Cyprus announced that tuition could be paid in Bitcoins, and a number of online e-tailers are accepting the currency as well. A currency really only takes shape once it's accepted "everywhere," or close to everywhere. But here's something that few currencies can say: Bitcoins are now accepted in space. Virgin Galactic, which is just years away from taking civilians to space,... Read more...
Google and NASA have a lot in common, really. Both companies have made marks for themselves by defying logic, and in some ways, making the (seemingly) impossible... possible. Of course, Google has done most of its work on Planet Earth, while NASA has a thing for the outer reaches of space, but that's not stopping the two from working together. Google has just produced and published a video outlining the Quantum Artificial Intelligence Lab -- a facility built for the advancement of quantum computing. The lab is in its earliest days at the moment, but the potential here is huge. The video does a solid job of explaining quantum computing and its benefits over traditional physical computing and then... Read more...
At 83-years-old, Buzz Aldrin, one of the first men ever to set foot on the moon (second behind only Neil Armstrong), hasn't lost a step, nor has his passion for space exploration wavered in the years since that day in 1969. Just the opposite, the retired United States Air Force pilot and famous astronaut thinks its high time mankind pulls up its britches and sets out to colonize Mars. Ask him why he thinks we should send astronauts to the red planet, as BBC News reporter Theo Leggett did, and he'll tell you, "Why did the pilgrims on the Mayflower set out to open up the New World? Because it's in human nature to explore, to find a location to begin a settlement. And it is in reach." All valid... Read more...
As it turns out, the U.S. is a democracy. And while many may feel that their voices are rarely heard, the age of the Internet has given an even stronger echo to those with access to a keyboard and mouse. The White House has deemed that any online petition aimed at the U.S. government will be recognized and responded to, so long as over 25,000 online signers take part. One of this year's biggest, weirdest, and most hilarious petitions is one that demands the American government begin construction of a "Death Star" by the year 2016. Yes, we're serious, and no, we aren't making this up. It all feels like something out of a comedy, or perhaps even a parody, but it's real. And amazingly, the petition... Read more...
While space and intergalactic travel may not be our typical beat, there's no denying the impact of Neil Armstrong on the world of technology. The fact is, technology is one of the main drivers of all space operations, and without an incredible amount of the stuff, no spaceship would have ever left our atmosphere. Unfortunately, Mr. Armstrong passed away this week, leaving behind a legacy that will never fade. The man has already made history books, and that's most certainly where he will remain. Neil is best known as being the first man to ever walk on the moon, and his passing at the page of 82 is certainly a tough one to swallow in the wake of the incredible success of Mars Rover Curiosity.... Read more...
How do you land a car-sized rover on the planet Mars? NASA answered that question with eight years of careful planning and around nine months of space travel culminating in the most advanced rover ever touching down on the Red Planet last night at 10:32 p.m. PDT. Score one of the home team. The one-ton rover called Curiosity will now begin a two-year mission to investigate whether the region ever offered conditions favorable for microbial life, NASA said. But before embarking on that mission, Curiosity had to survive what NASA dubbed "Seven Minutes of Terror," so called because the seven minutes prior to landing involved a combination of complex technologies never before attempted in outer space.... Read more...
Oh, boy. Now we've gone and done it. Yes, we've taken the Internet where it has never gone before, and we guess the only logical "next step" is to plant a wireless router on Mars and let the extraterrestrial that live there start tweeting to us. Believe it or not, the World Wide Web is now completely inaccurate in terms of naming convention. It's more like the Universe Wide Web. This past week, an American astronaut sent the first actual tweet from space, proving that Internet access on the International Space Station was finally live. NASA's own TJ Creamer had been working with flight controllers to establish the connection for the past little while (around a month), and he just now got everything... Read more...
So here's a riveting question: what kind of chilled beverage do you reach for when you've just been canned by your employer for using company PCs to allegedly look for life in other universes? Space beer, of course! A Japanese brewing company has just introduced what is likely to be the wildest beer since the introduction of Kid Rock's Bad Ass Beer, with Sapporo Breweries planning a limited rollout of "Space Barley." You'll be relieved to know that the prank is actually going for a good cause. Rather than using this sudden fascination with the prospect of space exploration as a means to make even more from gullible beer drinkers, the company is planning to send all of the proceeds to an "educational... Read more...
Where's the first place you'd look for maps of Mars?If you didn't say Google Earth, why not? After all, a 3D mapping tool of Mars was added to Google Earth for the 5.0 release. But Google today announced an update to the program that includes historical maps and images, a stream of the latest images from the Red Planet and not one, but TWO guided tours of the fourth rock from the Sun.In the Google Earth toolbar, you can select "Mars," and you then swoop in on the planet, with a 3-D view that includes layers and imagery. You can do all sorts of nifty things, just as if you were looking at, say, Earth - zooming in and out, switching camera views or giving the entire planet a nice rotation by clicking... Read more...
If space truly is the final frontier, then one company just took another small step toward the eventual giant leap toward reaching space. SpaceX, (Space Exploration Technologies Corporation), a privately-held space-transportation company, just conducted a successful test of its Falcon 9 launch vehicle's first-stage rocket booster. This comes less than two months after SpaceX successfully launched its two-stage, Falcon 1 rocket to become "the first privately-developed liquid fuel rocket to achieve Earth orbit." Where Falcon 1 is designed to launch small payloads into low-earth orbit, the Falcon 9 is designed to carry heavier payloads and travel further above the Earth, such as into geostationary... Read more...
When traveling, it can be a bit of a nuisance to boot one’s laptop and wait for it to load the OS and connect to the Internet, just to check a quick email or two before a flight. Soon, we may be able to have this same functionality, but without the wait: Phoenix Technologies and Opera Software have partnered to bring the Opera Browser to the HyperSpace platform as a way of delivering instant-on access to the Internet.Hyperspace is a compact Linux environment that runs independently beside a system's core OS. Like Asus' Express Gate, Hyperspace provides access to instant-on applications. Because it is independent, HyperSpace can run while the OS is booting, running, or shuts down.The result of... Read more...
In a unanimous 5-0 decision, the FCC late Tuesday approved public access to the "white spaces" of the wireless spectrum. "White space" in telecommunications refers to unused frequencies in the radio waves portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, and the FCC's decision followed months of lobbying by Google, Microsoft, and other Wireless Innovation Alliance (WIA) members for the measure and by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) against it. The NAB has stated that using "white space" will cause interference with wireless devices of many types, such as wireless microphones and the like.We  certainly can see that possibility; one need only look at interference between devices we currently... Read more...
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