Here is the latest NASA report on activities related to the Int. Space Station:
And here is a video update on the research being done on the ISS:
Here is the latest NASA report on activities related to the Int. Space Station:
And here is a video update on the research being done on the ISS:
The Cosmic Lifestyle Corp, founded by long-time space advocate Samuel Coniglio and others, has opened a crowd-funding campaign for the Zero Gravity Cocktail Project on Kickstarter, which aims to design and manufacture a stylish container to hold a drink in weightlessness:
Award Winning Robotics Engineer Launches Cocktail Glass for Space
What happens when you combine an an award-winning mixologist, Hollywood prop fabricator and movie magic maker, and a space tourism designer with an award winning robotics engineer? Creative genius at it’s best.
Nick Donaldson, Chief Creative Officer and cofounder of Cosmic Lifestyle Corporation, is the secret sauce behind the Zero Gravity Cocktail Glass Project currently on Kickstarter. Launched March 3, the eclectic and impressive team is designing for the future of space travel and tourism.
“Designing and engineering the elements needed for items going to space is more interestingly challenging than one might think. Many conversations and experiments over the course of several years have happened to achieve the glass design we have. As we continue experimenting with the physics and design attributes, we are excited to see what will happen next,” Nick says.
“This is only the beginning of a new era where astronauts will have more comfortable surroundings available with solutions like ours. Cosmic Lifestyle Corporation seeks to be a leader in these opportunities.”
In an attempt to bridge the gap between the space tourism vision and mainstream reality, the team at Cosmic Lifestyle Corporation created a fun, usable object to show that space tourism is not an abstract concept, but a stepping stone for improving the way people live, work, and play beyond planet Earth. This project is supported by the Space Tourism Society and Space Frontier Foundation. Space Frontier Foundation is offering a free membership to those who donate $25 or more to the Kickstarter campaign.
Support the Kickstarter!
Cosmic Lifestyle Corporation has launched their Zero Gravity Cocktail Glass Project Kickstarter campaign March 3. Funds will go towards drop testing, patent filing and a parabolic flight to test different liquids. Help them reach their fundraising goal, by donating at www.kickstarter.com/projects/spacemansam/zero-gravity-cocktail-project
The creative team behind the invention consists of celebrity bartender and mixologist, Russell Davis, who was rated #1 Bartender in the U.S. in 2012, was “Nightclub & Bar Magazine’s” Bartender of the Year in 2012, and starred in SpikeTV’s “Bar Rescue” TV series; Samuel Coniglio, the cofounder of Cosmic Lifestyle Corporation, is a futurist, an artist & experience designer and space tourism expert. Brent Heyning, also a cofounder, is a former “Mr. Wizard” Hollywood prop & set designer and fabricator, who now serves as the Principal and Chief Designer of Toyshoppe Systems; Nick Donaldson, a toy designer and robot engineer, has been designing and building robots for 15 years, from advanced research robots to successful toys and medal winning competition robots.
The Cosmic Lifestyle Corporation is a boutique concept, design, and branding company that develops stylish products for offworld use while connecting Earth brands to space.
For more information about the Zero Gravity Cocktail Project, visit: www.cosmiclifestyle.com.
Buzz Aldrin says at WhoSay, “My game – Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager is finally available on iPad!”
From game software house and publisher Slitherine Ltd:
“Exploration is wired into our brains. If we can see the horizon, we want to know what’s beyond.” (Buzz Aldrin – US astronaut, member of Apollo 11 mission)
Since the PC release last October, engineers from developer Polar Motion have not been sitting on their hands. A MAC version, community contest, and several updates have transformed the fragile spaceship into a powerful rocket able to reach the stars. But exploration is the driving force of the team and they’ve just set up a booster that will let them land on a brand new platform: the iPad. Utilizing all of the knowledge developed during these months, this adaptation includes the very latest 1.4.0 update – released last week – for a safe and comfortable first space walk on tablet.
All of the elements that seduced PC players have been implemented in this adaptation. 3 types of campaigns including the Race to the Moon between the US and the USSR, a sandbox mode, historical and what-if space programs, and realistic management tools come together for a nerve-racking and inspiring experience as the head of a space agency. Allocating funds to programs could look simple on paper, but players will have to make sure that there is not a single dollar wasted in their global space supremacy plan.
Risk-takers will set foot on the Moon first. Fool-hardy players though, will see their spaceship exploding before reaching our satellite…
Today iPad owners can also participate in this thrilling yet dangerous adventure. Polar Motion have worked on the controls and the optimization to ensure this platform is perfectly adapted to this space odyssey.
Get more information on Buzz Aldrin’s Space Program Manager from its iTunes page.
The moons in the solar system continue to get more and more interesting. For example, Hubble telescope observations of Jupiter’s largest moon Ganymede indicate that it could have a huge saltwater ocean beneath a deep layer of ice:
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has the best evidence yet for an underground saltwater ocean on Ganymede, Jupiter’s largest moon. The subterranean ocean is thought to have more water than all the water on Earth’s surface.
Identifying liquid water is crucial in the search for habitable worlds beyond Earth and for the search of life as we know it.
In this artist’s concept, the moon Ganymede orbits the giant planet Jupiter. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope observed aurorae on the moon generated by Ganymede’s magnetic fields. A saline ocean under the moon’s icy crust best explains shifting in the auroral belts measured by Hubble. Image Credit: NASA/ESA
“This discovery marks a significant milestone, highlighting what only Hubble can accomplish,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters, Washington. “In its 25 years in orbit, Hubble has made many scientific discoveries in our own solar system. A deep ocean under the icy crust of Ganymede opens up further exciting possibilities for life beyond Earth.”
Ganymede is the largest moon in our solar system and the only moon with its own magnetic field. The magnetic field causes aurorae, which are ribbons of glowing, hot electrified gas, in regions circling the north and south poles of the moon. Because Ganymede is close to Jupiter, it is also embedded in Jupiter’s magnetic field. When Jupiter’s magnetic field changes, the aurorae on Ganymede also change, “rocking” back and forth.
By watching the rocking motion of the two aurorae, scientists were able to determine that a large amount of saltwater exists beneath Ganymede’s crust affecting its magnetic field.
A team of scientists led by Joachim Saur of the University of Cologne in Germany came up with the idea of using Hubble to learn more about the inside of the moon.
“I was always brainstorming how we could use a telescope in other ways,” said Saur. “Is there a way you could use a telescope to look inside a planetary body? Then I thought, the aurorae! Because aurorae are controlled by the magnetic field, if you observe the aurorae in an appropriate way, you learn something about the magnetic field. If you know the magnetic field, then you know something about the moon’s interior.”
If a saltwater ocean were present, Jupiter’s magnetic field would create a secondary magnetic field in the ocean that would counter Jupiter’s field. This “magnetic friction” would suppress the rocking of the aurorae. This ocean fights Jupiter’s magnetic field so strongly that it reduces the rocking of the aurorae to 2 degrees, instead of the 6 degrees, if the ocean was not present.
Scientists estimate the ocean is 60 miles (100 kilometers) thick – 10 times deeper than Earth’s oceans – and is buried under a 95-mile (150-kilometer) crust of mostly ice.
Scientists first suspected an ocean in Ganymede in the 1970s, based on models of the large moon. NASA’s Galileo mission measured Ganymede’s magnetic field in 2002, providing the first evidence supporting those suspicions. The Galileo spacecraft took brief “snapshot” measurements of the magnetic field in 20-minute intervals, but its observations were too brief to distinctly catch the cyclical rocking of the ocean’s secondary magnetic field.
The new observations were done in ultraviolet light and could only be accomplished with a space telescope high above the Earth’s atmosphere, which blocks most ultraviolet light.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is celebrating 25 years of groundbreaking science on April 24. It has transformed our understanding of our solar system and beyond, and helped us find our place among the stars. To join the conversation about 25 years of Hubble discoveries, use the hashtag #Hubble25.
Hubble is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., in Washington.
Three Int. Space Station crew members returned to earth in a Soyuz capsule on Wednesday. The vehicle was out of communications earlier than the standard procedure, raising the tension level more than usual. Otherwise, the return and landing went well and produced a couple of extraordinary photos: Space Station Crew Returns to Earth, Lands Safely in Kazakhstan – NASA
Here’s a video of the return and landing:
The latest cool astronomical report from the European Southern Observatory (ESO):
This dramatic landscape in the southern constellation of Ara (The Altar) is a treasure trove of celestial objects. Star clusters, emission nebulae and active star-forming regions are just some of the riches observed in this region lying some 4000 light-years from Earth. This beautiful new image is the most detailed view of this part of the sky so far, and was taken using the VLT Survey Telescope at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in Chile.
At the centre of the image is the open star cluster NGC 6193, containing around thirty bright stars and forming the heart of the Ara OB1 association. The two brightest stars are very hot giant stars. Together, they provide the main source of illumination for the nearby emission nebula, the Rim Nebula, or NGC 6188, which is visible to the right of the cluster.
A stellar association is a large grouping of loosely bound stars that have not yet completely drifted away from their initial formation site. OB associations consist largely of very young blue–white stars, which are about 100 000 times brighter than the Sun and between 10 and 50 times more massive.
The Rim Nebula is the prominent wall of dark and bright clouds marking the boundary between an active star-forming region within the molecular cloud, known as RCW 108, and the rest of the association . The area around RCW 108 is made up of mostly hydrogen — the primary ingredient in star formation. Such areas are also known as H II regions.
The ultraviolet radiation and intense stellar wind from the stars of NGC 6193 seem to be driving the next generation of star formation in the surrounding clouds of gas and dust. As cloud fragments collapse they heat up and eventually form new stars.
As the cloud creates new stars, it is simultaneously being eroded by the winds and radiation emitted by previous stars, and by violent supernova explosions. In this way, such star-forming H II regions tend to have a lifespan of just a few million years. Star formation is a very inefficient process, with only around 10% of the available material contributing to the process — the rest is blown off into space.
The Rim Nebula also shows signs of being in the early phase of “pillar formation”, meaning that in the future it could end up looking similar to other well-known star-forming regions, such as the Eagle Nebula (Messier 16, containing the famous Pillars of Creation) and the Cone Nebula (part of NGC 2264).
This single spectacular image was actually created from more than 500 individual pictures taken through four different colour filters with the VLT Survey Telescope. The total exposure time was more than 56 hours. It is the most detailed view of this region yet achieved.
Some miscellaneous science/science-fiction film related links:
* Ground Into Sky: The Topology of Interstellar – The Avery Review – One of the winners of the Raw Science Film Fest awards was Caltech cosmologist Kip Thorne who help develop the story for the film Interstellar. In this post architect Fred Scharmen writes about a recurring theme in the movie of the large rotating in-space habitat in which the ground rises up in the distance to become the sky overhead.
* Bryan Singer Tackling Sci-Fi Classic ‘The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress’ for Fox (Exclusive) – The Hollywood Reporter – One of the great classics of science fiction might finally be made into a movie.
* So, the new ‘Tomorrowland’ Trailer. It’s very… Bob Heinlein. – Moe Lane – From the latest trailer, it appears that Disney’s upcoming movie Tomorrowland has some bits with a classic science fiction look to them:
Here’s an update on the General Fusion company in Canada, which I’ve posted about occasionally here, on their quest to develop a unique approach to achieving practical nuclear fusion power at a relatively low cost: Tech firm aims to ‘save the world’ with nuclear reactor – The Globe and Mail.
A General Fusion promotional video:
Here’s an excellent mini-tutorial by Bill Dunford on why one seldom sees stars in the dark sky background of images of planets, moons, asteroids, etc. made by scientific probes: A Sky Full of Stars -The Planetary Society
He includes lots of examples such as this counter one:
Enceladus among stars
“Extremely unusual circumstances were required to get this shot of Enceladus floating in front of a field of stars. The Cassini spacecraft is flying in space, of course, and regularly captures images of star fields. It also regularly captures images of Enceladus. But Enceladus is so brightly reflective that, under normal circumstances, it is impossible to see both features on Enceladus’ surface and a dense field of stars in the same image. To see Enceladus’ surface, the camera team would select a short exposure setting; to see the stars, they would select a long exposure setting. This photo is possible because Enceladus was actually in Saturn’s shadow when it was taken; the only light reaching its surface (and reflecting from there to Cassini’s camera) is sunlight that has first been reflected off of Saturn or its rings. A long exposure revealed both Enceladus’ surface and the background field of stars.”
The number of sunspots decreased significantly in February as the current peak in the solar cycle winds down: Sunspots crash in February – Behind The Black –
JPA were tasked once again to show that space is for everybody! On National Margarita Day we send blenders, cameras and a particular famous mix to the edge of space.
The team travel to Arizona for this flight. Balloons were flown, margarita were mixed and frozen by the atmosphere itself and amazing video was created.
This brings our flight total to 176.
JPA also continues with its high altitude airship development: Ascender 26 Float Test – JP Aerospace Blog
A reader points to a fireball, most likely a meteor rather than reentry of space hardware debris, bright enough to be seen in the daytime over Perth and elsewhere in southwestern Australia: Possible meteor flashes across sky in Perth and South West – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
The high-altitude balloon near-space adventure company zero2infinity has opened a crowd-funding campaign to sponsor a balloon project to film the upcoming total solar eclipse that will be visible above the arctic circle: bloon: 360 view of a Total Solar Eclipse from Space – Indiegogo
Help us record the first ever spherical video of an
eclipse from the Stratosphere!
This is our last chance to capture the shadow of the Moon
over the northern ice cap before it melts
On the 20th of March 2015, at the North Pole, there will be a total solar eclipse. This is an extraordinary and very rare event, that has never been thoroughly documented and will take thousands of years to happen again. After 6 months of polar night, the Moon will pass between the Earth and the Sun and will darken this infinitely white snow-covered region. Add to that, the very high probability of Northern lights lighting up the sky, and you can imagine what a magical moment this will be.
Unfortunately there is a very high probability of cloud cover at those latitudes, which means the event will not be as impressive seen from the ground. What we are proposing is to fly higher, much higher, with a stratospheric helium balloon, from Svalbard in Norway, the only populated area from which the eclipse will be fully visible. The balloon won’t only fly above the clouds, it will come close to space, and the view will be incredible.
On the day of the eclipse, when the Moon will obscure the Sun, the stars and the planets will become visible and the shadow of the Moon will be seen going over the Earth. We will record this with a spherical camera that will cover a 360º angle. We are the only company in the world ever having flown such a camera in Space. The results are spectacular: www.abaco-digital.es/360plus/zero2infinity.html
Check out what you will enable us to do:
We need your help! Recovery and distribution are crucial aspects, and time is of the essence! Help us here, choose one of our exciting perks and let’s make it happen!
1. Monday, March 9, 2015: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT; 4-5:30 PM CDT): We welcome KERI KUKRAL of the Raw Science Film Festival to the show.
3. Friday, March 13,, 2015; 9:30 -11 AM PDT (12:30-2 PM EDT; 11:30-1 PM CDT): We welcome back MARCIA SMITH to discuss the newly proposed NASA budget and related items. Visit her at www.spacepolicyonline.com.
4. Sunday, March 15,, 2015: 12-1:30 PM PDT (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT): We welcome back ANTHONY YOUNG to discuss his recent Space Review article on spacesuits.
The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.
Bruce Betts of the Planetary Society talks about the potential danger of near earth objects and about donations to the Society’s Shoemaker Near-Earth Object Grant Program, which supports astronomers who search for such objects.
Aaron Webster, Ted von Hippel, and Elliot Robinson at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University have opened a crowd-funding campaign to raise $3500 to support their research into the question of How Old is the Milky Way Galaxy? – Experiment –
We derive the ages and other properties of stars by combining theoretical astrophysics, data from the best telescopes, Bayesian statistical analyses, and advanced computational techniques. We have developed an algorithm that allows us to combine the age information from multiple white dwarf stars to derive the age of our Galaxy.
We request funds to support converting our algorithm to high-performance software code. From this we will both derive the age of the Galaxy as well as make our code publicly available for other research groups.
This video provides more details on their project:
If you would like to help move space policy in a positive direction, consider participating in the March Storm 2015 campaign, March 15 – 19th in Washington, DC.
Charles Miller, a long time space advocacy leader and recently a NASA senior advisor on commercial space, gave the background to the campaing on The Space Show : Charles Miller, Friday, 2-13-15 – Thespaceshow’s Blog
Register Now and Fight for a Citizen’s Space Agenda!
Washington, D.C. – The Space Frontier Foundation is proud to announce the 2015 Citizens’ Space Agenda, which will be the goal of the March Storm, scheduled for March 15-19 in Washington, D.C. With the March Storm event, the Foundation is planning to organize more than 200 congressional meetings for private citizens who travel to our nation’s capital “on their own time and on their own dime.”
The 2015 Citizens’ Space Agenda includes:
Establish “Settlement” as an Official Purpose of our Nation’s Space Enterprise
The Foundation has drafted legislation to amend the original National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 to specify that encouraging and supporting “space settlement” and “development” are part of NASA’s official mission.
Cheap Access To Space (CATS)
Cheap Access To Space (CATS) is the critical, must-have capability to enable opening the space frontier to all people. With CATS, we will grow a trillion-dollar space economy, connect the entire world with affordable broadband internet, enable thousands of people to travel to and from space each year, open up the solar system to human exploration, development, and settlement, and strengthen U.S. national security.
The #1 challenge for CATS today is not technology, but closing the business case. Many American companies have the ability to build fully-reusable spaceplanes with today’s technology. But these companies cannot justify the risky investment based on existing markets and flight rates. The Foundation will advance legislation to authorize a multi-billion-dollar CATS Prize to help close the business case, using an innovative method that does not require up-front funding.
Don’t Over-Regulate Commercial Human Spaceflight
In 2004 Congress enacted the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act to create an “informed consent” regime that limits federal safety regulation for involved parties to demonstrated issues, while fully protecting the general public. This streamlined environment expires on October 1, 2015, and the Foundation will advocate for its long-term extension.
A “No Gap” Transition to Commercial Space Stations
The Foundation will promote a new strategy for accelerating the growth of commercial space stations, both in Earth orbit and beyond. The life of the International Space Station (ISS) has been extended through 2024 and NASA has announced that ISS will be the last government-developed station in low Earth orbit (LEO). NASA will transition to buying commercial station services after ISS is retired. But many questions remain, and may foretell a gap in continuous American presence in Earth orbit after ISS, just as we currently suffer a gap in American human space launch.
In addition, while international cooperation and collaboration is useful and valuable to our civil space program, the Foundation believes it is time for America to eliminate our critical dependence on Vladimir Putin at the ISS. Our continuing dependence on Russia to operate ISS gives Putin foreign policy leverage in an unstable era. We will propose, and advocate for, legislation mandating rapid development of commercially-owned and -operated station modules by 2020, to eliminate our dependence on Russia.
Commercial Crew and Cargo
On-going competition and operational redundancy is critical to fully utilizing the ISS National Laboratory to enable future Mars exploration. We will advocate for full funding for both Commercial Crew and the ISS Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) programs.
We invite all pro-space American citizens over 18 years of age to register now and joining with us to fight for a Citizen’s Space Agenda! The minimum required attendance is the training on Sunday, March 15th plus at least one day on Capitol Hill.
Some shots of the Gigafactory pilot plant (~20% of full size) under construction
There is no slowdown of the Gigafactory construction underway, as anyone near Reno with eyes can verify. It’s not subtle.
Media reporting solely off random job ads board in Reno that we didn’t even know existed. That is as dumb as it sounds.
Here’s an artist view of how the GigaFactory will look when finished and the roof covered with solar panels:
Update Mar.10.15: Some pictures of the Gigafactory construction taken from a drone: Gigafactory Drone Pics
The latest episode of the weekly TMRO web program includes an interview with “Jared Head, astronomy geek, rocket scientist and STEM educator [who spoke] about why astronomy is as cool as a rocket launch”.
The Team America Rocketry Challenge launches into
qualifying rounds for the 2015 contest
Arlington, Va. – Nearly 4,000 middle and high school students across the country are gearing up for the 2015 Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC), the aerospace and defense industry’s flagship program to inspire young people to explore careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This year, close to 700 teams representing 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are designing and building model rockets as they contest to qualify for the national finals scheduled for Saturday, May 9 in The Plains, VA.
Structured to emulate the aerospace industry’s engineering design process, TARC challenges teams to design and build a model rocket that can travel to a height of 800 feet and back within 46 to 48 seconds. Each rocket will carry one raw egg that must return safely to the ground undamaged. Scores are determined by how close the rockets come to the required height and time; damaged eggs disqualify flights. To encourage ingenuity and creativity, students are challenged with new design and flight requirements each year.
Sponsored by the Aerospace Industries Association, the National Association of Rocketry and 27 industry partners, the contest aims to strengthen U.S. student engagement with STEM. “TARC has evolved from a one-time celebration of flight to an established and globally-recognized STEM education program,” said AIA President and CEO Marion C. Blakey. “We’re confident that the contest will continue to inspire students to advance their studies in science and math, and eventually consider career opportunities in the aerospace and defense industry.”
This year’s contest has attracted a wide variety of American youth including 41 all-girl teams, several teams utilizing 3-D printers to develop rocket components, a marching band and six Boy Scout troops. Teams have until March 30 to launch and submit their qualifying flight scores. The top 100 scoring teams will advance to the National Finals.
Participants compete for scholarships and prizes totaling more than $60,000 and the title of champions of the world’s largest student rocketry competition. The winning team will also travel to the Paris International Air Show in June courtesy of the Raytheon Company to compete in the International Rocketry Challenge. The American team will face off against teams from the United Kingdom and France in hopes of claiming the gold.
For more information about the Team America Rocketry Challenge, please visit www.rocketcontest.org. TARC is made possible by the generous support of our industry sponsors listed below:
Diamond Sponsor: The Raytheon Company
Platinum Sponsors: Lockheed Martin Corporation and Thales USA
Gold Sponsor: Microsemi Corporation
Silver Sponsors: Accenture, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Aurora Flight Sciences, The Boeing Company, Cubic Corporation, Elbit Systems of America , Embraer Aircraft Holding, GE Aviation, Harris Corporation, Honeywell Aerospace, Iron Mountain, Kaman Aerospace, L-3 Communications Corporation, LMI Aerospace, Micro-Coax, Northrop Grumman Corporation, Parker Aerospace, Rockwell Collins, Rolls Royce North America, RTI International Metals, Space Exploration Technologies, United Technologies Corporation, and Woodward, Inc.
Here’s a video from last year’s competition: