Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Joseph Kittinger - First Man In Space

U.S. Air Force Colonel and Navy Seal, Joseph Kittinger is surely one of the most overlooked figures in the early history of space exploration. Born July 27, 1928, Kittinger was a career military officer and Command Pilot and happens to be the first man ever to go into space.

On August 16, 1960, a full eight months before the first manned space flight, Colonel Kittinger soared in a gondola, suspended from a balloon to an astonishing altitude of 103,000 feet and into history. The image below was taken as he jumped from his gondola and plummeted to earth.

After the historic flight and jump, Kittinger later said "I let my vision run from the barren blackness of the heavens down through the indigo to the gently curving horizon far below. I tried to relax. I glanced up once more and the disc of the sun was sharp and brilliant against the ebony ­backdrop of deep space.

"Even shaded by my helmet’s tinted faceplate, my eyes burnt. Nothing was familiar up there. Nothing seemed real. What I was about to do struck some as gutsy, but to others it was flat-out crazy."

After soaring up for over 1 1/2 hours, Kittinger ended his flight by jumping from the gondola and fell for 4 minutes and 36 seconds before pulling the rip cord on his parachute. He reached a speed of 614 miles per hours before his parachute opened at a height of 18,000 feet.

He set records for:

Highest Balloon Ascent
Highest Parachute Jump
Longest Drogue-Fall (Freefall)
Fastest Human Being Through The Atmosphere

Kittinger explains exactly what it was like hovering 19 miles above our planet and jumping into space.

"Only a handful of human beings have ever experienced what I felt, seeing this magnificent planet set against the utter black backdrop of outer space. I realized that man will never conquer space — he will learn to live with it, but never conquer it.

"I’m sure that every one of the NASA astronauts who saw such sights in the years to come felt the same way. You can’t prepare yourself for it. Looking up, the sky is absolutely black. Void of anything. I missed my family terribly in that moment. I seemed a long way from ­everything I cherished.

"I grabbed the sides of the doors, inched the toes of my boots over the edge and glanced up at the black heavens and said: “Lord, take care of me now.”

"And then I jumped. Thirteen minutes and 45 seconds later, I had stopped moving. I was back on Earth. I was alive. We’d done it. Mission accomplished. It was a terrific feeling."

After that, Captain Kittinger participated in Project Stargazer (Dec 13-14, 1963) Where he and astronomer William C. White soared in an open gondola suspended from a helium balloon. Together and this time, armed with an array of scientific equipment, the two climbed to an altitude of 83,000 feet and spent over 18 hours making astronomical observations.

Friday, November 5, 2010

11 Superb Space Shuttle Photos

Check out this short but sweet collection of HD images of the Space Shuttle!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hauntingly Beautiful Hubble Images

Once we believed outer space was a black and empty void, littered with isolated galaxies. Now we find that notion couldn't be further from the truth!

Through the images captured by the Hubble Telescope, we discovered that our universe is both dynamically active and very much alive!

Also included on this page is a great write up about the James Webb Telescope, which not only will replace Hubble, but capture images that will eclipse those captured by the Three Great Observatories combined!

NASA and NSF-Funded Research Finds First Potentially Habitable Exoplanet

A team of planet hunters from the University of California (UC) Santa Cruz, and the Carnegie Institution of Washington has announced the discovery of a planet with three times the mass of Earth orbiting a nearby star at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star's "habitable zone."

This discovery was the result of more than a decade of observations using the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii, one of the world's largest optical telescope.............

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Amazing Video of Apollo 11 Launch

Check out this amazing video of the Apollo 11 launched, filmed at an incredible 500 frames per second. It was then slowed down for this video, which includes a technical narrative of what you are watching!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

First Space Hotel Will Launch In 2012

The first ever space hotel will be launched in 2012, say architects - and will cost £2.7million for a three-night stay.

The eye-watering price will include an eight-week training course on a tropical island, before launching to The Galactic Suite Space Resort.

During their stay, guests would see the sun rise 15 times a day and travel around the world every 80 minutes. They would wear Velcro suits so they can crawl around their pod rooms by sticking themselves to the walls like Spiderman.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

This Insane Photo Destroyed a Camera Lens

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Scientists Unveil Plan Designed To Cut Cost Of Space Travel

Gravitational corridors could help spacecraft ply the solar system like ships borne on ocean currents, it has been disclosed by scientists investigating space travel. Click on the image to read about this

Scientists in the United States are trying to map the twisting ''tubes'' so they can be used to cut the cost of journeys in space.

Each one acts like a gravitational Gulf Stream, created from the complex interplay of attractive forces between planets and moons..............

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Martian Methane Reveals the Red Planet is not a Dead Planet

Mars today is a world of cold and lonely deserts, apparently without life of any kind, at least on the surface. Worse still, it looks like Mars has been cold and dry for billions of years, with an atmosphere so thin, any liquid water on the surface quickly boils away while the sun's ultraviolet radiation scorches the ground.

But there is evidence of a warmer and wetter past..........

MSU Scientists To Design Optics For New Solar Mission

Montana State University scientists are involved in a new space mission to figure out how energy is transferred through the sun's atmosphere.

As a partner on the IRIS team headed by Lockheed Martin, MSU will receive about $3 million to design an optical system for a telescope that could be launched on a NASA rocket in 2012, said solar physicist Charles Kankelborg. If Lockheed Martin agrees, MSU could receive another $2 million for an associated project involving MSU students.

Click the image to read more...........

Monday, August 31, 2009

NASA Heads Out to Sea

August 21, 2009: NASA scientists Maury Estes and Mohammad Al-Hamdan have been seafaring in the Gulf of Mexico, and one of them grew a bit green around the gills. It's not surprising that a space agency scientist might have trouble getting his sea legs, but what was he doing out there in the surf to begin with?

"We were gathering water samples," explains Estes.

That doesn't sound much like rocket science, but consider the following:

At this moment, a fleet of NASA Earth-observing satellites is silently passing overhead, gathering vital information about our planet. Estes and Al-Hamdan are combining that heavenly data with local water samples to help the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, or NEP, check the health of the coast.

Friday, August 28, 2009

NASA's Lunar Impactor Loses Most of Its Fuel

NASA's moon-colliding probe LCROSS lost more than half its propellant late last week after a glitch caused it to repeatedly fire its thrusters to try to orient itself. But the spacecraft is still on track to complete its mission to slam into the moon's south pole in October.

The Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) took off on 18 June and has been orbiting the Earth at about the moon's distance in preparation for a lunar collision on 9 October. NASA hopes the impact will excavate material from one of the moon's permanently shadowed craters, which could be rich in water that could supply future lunar outposts.

Click the image to read the rest of this story as it appears on the NewScientist website.

Mysterious Cosmic 'Dark Flow' Tracked Deeper Into Universe

Distant galaxy clusters mysteriously stream at a million miles per hour along a path roughly centered on the southern constellations Centaurus and Hydra. A new study led by Alexander Kashlinsky at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., tracks this collective motion -- dubbed the "dark flow" -- to twice the distance originally reported.

"This is not something we set out to find, but we cannot make it go away," Kashlinsky said. "Now we see that it persists to much greater distances -- as far as 2.5 billion light-years away." The new study appears in the March 20 issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The clusters appear to be moving along a line extending from our solar system toward Centaurus/Hydra, but the direction of this motion is less certain.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

NASA Lanches New Technology: An Inflatable Heat Shield

A successful NASA flight test has shown that a spacecraft returning to Earth can use an inflatable heat shield to slow and protect itself as it enters the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds. This was the first time anyone has successfully flown an inflatable reentry capsule, according to engineers at NASA's Langley Research Center.

The Inflatable Re-entry Vehicle Experiment, or IRVE, was vacuum-packed into a 15-inch diameter payload "shroud" and launched on a small sounding rocket from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia............

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Solar Eclipses Viewed From Space

Here is what the Earth looks like during a solar eclipse. The shadow of the Moon can be seen darkening part of Earth. This shadow moves across the Earth at nearly 2000 kilometers per hour.

Only observers near the center of the dark circle see a total solar eclipse - others see a partial eclipse where only part of the Sun appears blocked by the Moon.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

NASA Discovers Life's Building Blocks First Delivered to Earth by Meteorites and Comets

The giant molecular clouds that form the stars that fill the night sky are full of organic molecules, including carbon and other organic elements that living things are made of.

It's not at all surprising, then, that NASA scientists have discovered glycine, a fundamental building block of life, in samples of comet Wild 2 returned by NASA's Stardust spacecraft.

"Glycine is an amino acid used by living organisms to make proteins -the workhorse molecules of life- and this is the first time an amino acid has been found in a comet," said Dr. Jamie Elsila of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center...........

NASA's Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV)

If you want to do productive exploration anywhere in space, you'll need a suitable vehicle. NASA is now testing concepts for a new generation of vehicles, building on lessons learned from the Apollo missions as well as the unmanned rovers on Mars. The Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV) concept is designed to be flexible depending on the destination; the pressurized cabin can be used both for in-space missions and for surface exploration of planetary bodies, including near-Earth objects, the moon and Mars.......

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Featured Image on the NASA site

Taken August 4, 2009, this image shows the dangers that threaten missions before their launches even begin. Click on the image for a larger view along with write up and gallery containing additional images.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Remembering Apollo 11

July 16, 1969 launch of Apollo 11, with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. aboard. The entire trip lasted only 8 days, the time spent on the surface was less than one day, the entire time spent walking on the moon, a mere 2 1/2 hours - but they were surely historic hours. Scientific experiments were deployed (at least one still in use today), samples were collected, and photographs were taken to document the entire journey.

Collected here are 40 images from that journey four decades ago, when, in the words of astronaut Buzz Aldrin: "In this one moment, the world came together in peace for all mankind".

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Amazing Pictures of The Space Station and Earth

Check out this stunning collection of images from the Space Station! Get a rare glimpse of the Space Station itself and even of a hurricane forming on Earth.

A total of 12 images, but what makes this collection stand out are the wonderful images of the astronauts and exterior shots of the Space Station in large format for great visual detail!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Memorial for Laika

Laika is the first acknowledged living creature to have orbited space. A good-natured mongrel stray of calm disposition from the streets of Moscow...

According to a NASA document, Laika was actually placed in the satellite on October 31, 1957, three days prior to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome (located NorthEast of the Aral Sea).

Friday, June 26, 2009

Recent Scenes From The ISS

The images on the page are much bigger than this post, so they would make awesome wallpapers as well, great collection!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ocean hidden inside Saturn's moon

Astronomers have found the strongest evidence yet for an ocean beneath the icy shell of Saturn's Enceladus, suggesting it could join the exclusive club of watery moons in our solar system.

Image: Saturn moon

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Scientist

This photograph was taken from on board the International Space Station as it passed above Sarychev Peak on Matua Island.

Monday, June 22, 2009

NASA - Image of The Day Gallery

Eskimo Nebula

From the page.............

In 1787, astronomer William Herschel discovered the Eskimo Nebula, which from the ground resembles a person's head surrounded by a parka hood. In 2000, the Hubble Space Telescope imaged the nebula that displays gas clouds so complex they are not fully understood. The Eskimo Nebula is clearly a planetary nebula, and the gas seen above composed the outer layers of a sun-like star only 10,000 years ago. The inner filaments visible above are being ejected by strong wind of particles from the central star. The outer disk contains unusual light-year long orange filaments.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Space Exploration Alliance logo

The Space Exploration Alliance is an unprecedented partnership of premier non-profit space organizations with a combined membership of more than 700,000.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

NASA - Exploration Systems Mission Directorate

"At the core of NASA's future space exploration is a return to the moon, where we will build a sustainable long term human presence.
As the space shuttle approaches retirement and the International Space Station nears completion, NASA is building the next fleet of vehicles to bring astronauts back to the moon, and possibly to Mars and beyond" Read More

200,000 Year Old Statue Found On The Moon

Moon Statue

I wonder about this one, but here goes......

"A noted scientist has just produced proof that the lunar surface was inhabited by intelligent life: a 10-inch angel sculpture embedded in a moon rock.

Geologist Dr. Morris Charles revealed last week that NASA lab workers chipped the angel from one of the rocks brought to Earth by Apollo 11 astronauts 40 years ago, in 1969. Dr. Charles was a NASA scientist himself for 23 years but left the agency in 1987. He still maintains close ties to many of his former colleagues." Read More

The Official Hubble Site

The Official Hubble site!

Spectacular color pictures of stars, planets, galaxies, nebulae and more. Get wallpaper for your computer, print your own Hubble images or watch videos. Click Here

The Official Nasa Site

Here you can find updates, Hubble Telescope images, information about past, present and future space mission and even see live feeds from space! Click Here

SpaceX Corporation

Get it from the horse's mouth......As winner of NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services competition, SpaceX is positioned to supply an American solution to astronaut transportation. Click the link above to learn how you can show support for NASA Exploration and COTS Capability D....See More

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