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Endeavor Comes Home

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Science, Transportation,

EndeavorThe Endeavor finally made it back home to NASA’s spaceport Friday. Forced to take a detour when coming home Nov. 30 because of a nasty storm at Kennedy Space Center, it ended up at California’s Edwards Air Force Base where it met up with more bad weather. The space shuttle was finally attached to the top of a modified jumbo jet to make the flight back. The trek cost a whopping $1.8 million. For that amount of money, we think it should have retired in (mostly) sunny California.

Read More | USA Today

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Space Barley Taste Testing Parties

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Science, Transportation,

Space BarleySpace Barley is finally ready for humans. The grain was kept aboard the ISS for 5 months in 2006 and the beer was made from barley that descended from that batch. The Japanese company Sapporo provided the original seeds that eventually produced 100 liters and will be holding tasting parties at their six factories in January. About 60 people will be selected by lottery to attend the event. The project was designed to come up with a new type of barley that can grow in harsh environments on our planet.

Read More | Mainichi News

Track Space Toolbag by Satellite

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Internet, Science, Transportation,

Toolbag Screenshot

People who are into space track asteroids, comet paths, and other astral bodies, but now a site is tracking a tool bag that was literally lost in space. Astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper said the bag got away when she was trying to clean up some grease Tuesday during a spacewalk. NASA puts the price of the bag at $100,00.00. If you would like to catch a glimpse of it check the link below. Supposedly you do not need a telescope to catch the orbiting bag.

Read More | Real Time Satellite Tracking

Venus, Jupiter and Crescent Moon In Alignment Tonight

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Science,

VenusWe were looking around to find you a fitting gift for today, and we found something that our readers can share and it doesn’t cost a cent. Beginning tonight, Venus, Jupiter and the crescent moon will join together. By Monday, they will be about 2º apart (about a finger’s width at arms length.) Check out the southwestern sky at twilight. You won’t even need a telescope or binoculars. Miss it and you will have to wait until Nov. 18, 2052 for the next occurrence, although Venus and the moon will pair up again New Year’s Eve.

(P.S. Happy Turkey Day!)

Read More | USA Today

Mars Lander Phoenix Signs Off

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Science, Transportation,

PhoenixIt would appear that the Phoenix has ceased to exist. NASA last heard from the Mars lander Nov. 2 and suspected that the decreasing sunshine was not sufficient for the solar arrays to charge. In all, the lander operated for about 5 months. The project’s team are still monitoring the craft in hopes of communication but believes that this is it. However, the Phoenix lives on as the analysis of data is studied further. Doug McCuistion, director of the Mars Exploration Program in Washington said, “With the upcoming launch of the Mars Science Laboratory, the Mars Program never sleeps.”

Read More | NASA

Richard Garriott Re-Enters Earth

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Science, Transportation,

Richard GarriottRichard Garriott landed in a Soyuz capsule in Kazastan Friday with 2 cosmonauts after a fun 10 day trip to the ISS. Garriott, who followed in his father Owen’s footsteps, deemed the trip a success. “What a great ride that was,” said Garriott “This is obviously a pinnacle experience.”

The space tourist earned part of the $30 million ticket by testing a watch in microgravity (we wonder if it was a Timex) and conducting an experiment for a biotech company.

Read More | CNN

Great World Wide Star Count

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: Internet, Science,

ConstellationsThe 2008 Great World Wide Star Count begins today. Amateur and pro skywatchers can go outside, check out a constellation, compare it with one of UCAR’s (University Corporation for Atmospheric Reasearch) charts, then report what you see online. Last year the event drew over 6,600 observations on 7 continents, and the project is hoping to double that amount this year. Running until November 3, the count helps scientists map pollution while forcing all of us to be able to identify something besides Orion.

Read More | UCAR

Garriott Heads into The Final Frontier

Richard GarriottGaming magnate Richard Garriott made a successful launch into space and becomes the first 2nd generation astronaut. His father, Owen, watched as his son, U.S. astronaut Michael Fincke and Russian cosmonaut Yury Lonchakov boarded the Russian Soyuz TMA-13 spacecraft and took off. Garriott paid $35 million for the privilege of 10 days of galactic fun aboard the Space Station. His projects include blowing bubbles in space to show its effects when done in zero-gravity. Another is to photograph Earth and compare his pictures with those his father took from Skylab in 1973.

Read More | Times Online

StellarWindow Software - Astronomy on Your Computer

Posted by Sheila Franklin Categories: PC / Laptop, Science, Software, USB,

StellarWindowStargazers will soon have a new device to help them out. StellarWindow works with a USB dongle and has built-in tilt 3-axis accelerator sensor and electric compass. After installation, the dongle finds your location and will point out what you can see. The software has voice recognition if you are looking for a particular planet, constellation, or other astral body. Built by Japanese students who formed Fairy Devices, they are hoping to release StellarWindow this year for ¥26,250 (~$244.00.)

Read More | Fairy Devices (translated)

When Mythbusters, Reality and NASA Mix

Posted by K.C. Morgan Categories: Prime Time, Reality, Cable, Editorial,

MythBuster

Former special effects gurus-turned reality stars, the took on their biggest challenge yet for last night’s episode: the famed moon landing. For decades (specifically since 1969) people have persisted in believing the whole thing was a hoax.

Was it?

According to the episode’s opening dialogue, 20% of Americans to this day (well, perhaps not this day - but let’s say a week ago) persist in believing the well-publicized moon landing was actually faked. Many of what the show calls “conspiracy theorists” point to various evidence and say the entire thing was filmed not on the surface of the moon, but on a Hollywood set.

Some may scoff at this idea, but in a way it’s not farfetched. After all, hasn’t Hollywood faked everything from space invasions to true love? Really, is one little moon landing so hard to re-create?

Click to continue reading When Mythbusters, Reality and NASA Mix


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