NASA

Soyuz rocket successfully launches 1 American, 2 Russians towards the ISS

Soyuz rocket successfully launches 1 American, 2 Russians towards the ISS

39 photos

Two days from now, the International Space Station (ISS) will gain three new tenants, Kevin Ford of the U.S. and Russia’s Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin. The trio took off early this morning aboard the Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for their five month stay in low-earth orbit. After docking, the new crew will immediately be put to work conducting a spacewalk for repairs and preparing SpaceX’s Dragon capsule for its descent back to Earth.

More →

Space Shuttle Endeavour rolls slowly towards its new home

Space Shuttle Endeavour rolls slowly towards its new home

37 photos

The Space Shuttle Endeavour began its final journey at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to its permanent home, in the early morning hours October 12, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Over the next two days, the 170,000-pound (77,272 kg) shuttle will travel at no more than 2 mph (3.2 km per hour) along a 12-mile (19km) route from LAX to it’s final home at the California Science Center. NASA’s Space Shuttle Program ended in 2011 after 30 years and 135 missions.

More →

SpaceX successfully launches first International Space Station re-supply mission

SpaceX successfully launches first International Space Station re-supply mission

20 photos

Last night, SpaceX launched more than 1,000 pounds of supplies bound for the International Space Station on the first of 12 missions in its 1.6 billion USD contract with NASA. The Dragon capsule, propelled by a Falcone9 rocket, will join up with the station in three days bringing clothing, equipment and more science experiments.

UPDATE: Ars Technica is now reporting that one of the nine rockets on the Falcon 9 may have exploded before reaching orbit. Follow that story HERE.

More →

Catching up with NASA rovers Curiosity and Opportunity and their search for water on Mars

Catching up with NASA rovers Curiosity and Opportunity and their search for water on Mars

31 photos

After news earlier this week of the Curiosity rover petting and naming its new pet rock, Jake Matijevic, NASA released images today indicating that long ago, water probably flowed on the Martian surface.

Other notable images recently sent back from Mars include one from Curiosity’s older, but smaller rover sibling, Opportunity, that photographed small spherical objects, nicknamed “blueberries,” with it’s Microscopic Imager providing important evidence about long-ago wet environmental conditions.

More →

Curiosity rover makes tracks on Mars in successful test drive

66 photos

Since NASA’s Curiosity landed on Mars on August 5, 2012, public excitement and speculation about what the rover will encounter continues to mount. To feed the appetite of the masses, we’ll continue to update our Curiosity gallery with NASA’s latest photos of the red planet, including panorama, composite and computer-generated images.

The next phase of the $2.5 billion mission, and by far the most daunting for Curiosity, will be reaching Mount Sharp. At a height of 3.4 miles, the highest peak of Mount Sharp is taller than Mt. Whitney in California. On its way, the rover will encounter dark dunes, degraded impact craters and other geologic features on the Martian surface of the planet. For updates follow @MarsCuriosity on Twitter.
More →

Space Shuttle Discovery’s retirement party

Space Shuttle Discovery’s retirement party

21 photos

This week Discovery* took its last flight, piggybacking a modified 747 from Kennedy Space Center to Washington D.C., where it will replace Enterprise as part of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

NASA’s space shuttle Discovery took its maiden flight on August 30, 1984, when it carried three communications satellites for deployment. It has since completed a record-breaking 39 missions, spent 365 days in space and orbited the Earth 5,830 times. Early notable missions have included the deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope, the Ulysses spacecraft to explore the sun’s polar regions in 1990 and launching the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite in 1991. Discovery’s last launch took place on February 24, 2011.

For many, outer space continues to be awe-inspiring, and so to commemorate the retirement of the Discovery, here is a look at the historic shuttle over the years.

More →