The Mary Sue


Things We Saw Today: A Cthulhu Engagement Ring Perfect For A R’lyeh Wedding

Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!

In addition to creating a bunch of awesome TARDIS and lightsaber-themed jewelry, DTEK Designs created this beautiful custom engagement ring for a couple of Cthulhu lovers. It will probably not kill them. Probably. (via Fashionably Geek)

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Monday Cute: Little Girl’s Reaction to Rocket Liftoff Proves This Is How You Get Kids Into Science

Oh my goodness.

Getting kids into science is a lot easier than people make it out to be, because science is freaking amazing. Just look at this cute kid react to a "rocket ship" taking off for outer space and tell me she's not going to work for NASA some day. She can barely even handle her excitement. (To be fair, I'm 30 years old and this is still pretty much how I react to rockets taking off.)

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Virgin Galactic Broke The Sound Barrier and the Footage is Pretty Stunning [Video]

Did anyone else just hear the Star Trek song start playing in their head? No? Just me?

Wanna know what it's like to sit on the back of a rocket ship and watch as it breaks the sound barrier? Because for their recent test of SpaceShipTwo's reentry systems, Virgin Galactic stuck a camera onto the tail of the rocket and recorded its ascent into orbit. This is one of those videos you need to watch in 1080p -- trust us, it's worth the load time.

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Check Out Another Successful Rocket Test From SpaceX Because Rockets Are Awesome [Video]

This puts my 6th grade soda bottle experiment to shame.

On August 13th, SpaceX performed, filmed, and uploaded another test of their Falcon 9 test rig (which they call the Grasshopper). This time the rocket flew to a 250m altitude with a 100m lateral maneuver before returning to the center of the pad. And oh. Man. You guys, it's SO COOL. I'm going to watch it eight more times.

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Throw Money At This! You Can Help Kickstart Interplanetary Engines For Tiny Satellites

Who needs a long, drawn out grants process when you've got a whole Internet full of folks with a couple bucks to throw in the kitty for space exploration?

Researchers at the University of Michigan want your help to power the next generation of space flight. They're not counting on sending shuttles anywhere, though -- their plan for tiny, plasma-driven thrusters that could propel micro-satellites into interplanetary space as early as 2015. To hit that ambitious goal, though, they're not counting on the traditional grants process -- which can be quite protracted -- and instead taking their funding needs to the people via Kickstarter. 

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Failure to Launch: Russian Rocket Crashes Moments After Liftoff

Three satellites on board destroyed, toxic fuel released over Kazakhstan

A space-bound rocket carrying three navigational satellites crashed back to the ground only seconds after its launch from Russia's space launch facility near Baikonur, Kazakhstan on Tuesday. No casualties or immediate dangers have been reported in the destruction of the unmanned Proton rocket, but the accident, one more in a series of mishaps, could spell trouble for Russia's space program and damage relations between Russia and Kazakhstan, where Russia leases the site of its rocket launches.

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Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo Completes First Rocket-Powered Test Flight [Video]

Your dream vacation to space --come on, you totally have one of those, right? -- may be a little closer to reality after today's test flight of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo. This morning, the company completed a successful rocket powered test flight of the new ship it hopes to start sending tourists into orbit in later this year.

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Iran Put A Monkey In Space, And Apparently Got It Back Safely, Too

Reuters is reporting that the aerospace arm of Iran's defense ministry has successfully launched a monkey into space and retrieved it alive, thereby pushing Iran's young space program leaps and bounds forward, all the way into the 1950s. We would say welcome to the party, Iran, but frankly, the idea of you having rockets really just makes everyone uncomfortable, so... come in if you have to, I guess?

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North Korean Rocket Launch Fails, Falls Into Yellow Sea

In the run up to the launch of North Korea's Unha-3 rocket and the satellite it carried, there was a surprising amount of candor from the isolated nation's government. The public and foreign press were invited to view the rocket on the launchpad, and some journalists even toured the control room that would organize the launch. It would all prove in vain as minutes after today's lift off, the rocket's second stage failed to ignite and the spacecraft crashed into the Yellow Sea.

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Videos from Copenhagen Suborbitals’ Inaugural Flight

Last week, Copenhagen Suborbitals achieved a major milestone in their quest to be a grass-roots, independent space company. Their Heat 1X rocket took off from the floating Sputnik platform in the Baltic Sea, and splashed down a few minutes later after reaching 2.8 kilometers. Just getting the rocket off the ground is a big step for the company, but the launch was not without issue. Firstly, mission planners hoped to get some 13 kilometers higher than they did. Also, as you can see in the videos, there were some issues with the Tycho Brahe capsule's parachutes. These are not insubstantial problems, and Copenhagen Suborbitals clearly has a lot of work ahead of them. But as they've shown in the past, this group of scrappy and devoted Danes can work fast, and have proved they can overcome huge obstacles. Though this flight was unmanned, a dummy with a camera did ride aboard the Tycho Brahe. Read on after the break to see what a trip with Coppenhagen Suborbitals would be like.

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As Space Shuttles Retire, Russian Space Agency Raises U.S. Launch Fees

With the Space Shuttles retiring from service and no replacement in sight, NASA will be relying on flights from the Russian Space Agency to get astronauts and equipment to the International Space Station. However, the price of those trips just went up about $7 million beginning in 2014. Originally priced at around $56 million per astronaut, the price now sits at nearly $63 million. NASA officials are being quoted as saying the increase is due to inflation, and it has not stopped them for signing a new $753 million contract extension for a dozen astronauts to fly on the Soyuz spacecraft from 2014 to 2016. Six flights are still locked in at the original $56 million. Though Soyuz rockets are the most frequently used and most reliable launch vehicles, the increase in cost underlines the importance of quickly maturing a privately operated, home-grown space industry. Some vehicles, like the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft, are developing quickly with help from the federal government. Though such private space enterprises are called a vital priority by NASA administrators, Russia will be the only venue for flights until they can prove themselves. (via Winnipeg Free Press, CFNews 13, image via Wikipedia)

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Excellent Post-Holiday Activity: Turn Your Tree Into a Rocket [Video]

"No, I don't think astronauts have been given an adequate chance to celebrate Christmas in the past. This is really a tribute to them." - Rocketry Enthusiasts I think we can all agree that after the emotional, physical, and psychological exertion of spending the holiday season eating, decorating, shopping, and defending yourself to your own family, a fitting release would be to attach rocket launchers to your Christmas tree and send it flying into the air, preferably into an open field. Launch begins around 1:15, though it's definitely worth hearing the setup. (via Laughing Squid)

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How Big Are Different Types of Rockets?

Very cool illustrated guide to the most-used rocket systems in the world as of 1995 via a book called Rockets of the World. Check it out in ridiculously high resolution if you dare. (Jalopnik via Telstar Logistics | Rockets of the World)

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When Fashion Meets Rockets: The Geekiest Spring Collection Ever

Stereotypically, one doesn't think of "geeks" as being the most fashionable of groups, but this new video from Rodarte, promoting their Spring 2010 collection, blows that misconception out of the water. With a wondrous mix of space ships, viscerally organic title credits, a soundtrack by No Age, and some haute couture, 2010: A Space Odyssey is one of the most stunning videos we have seen in a while.

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