For all of the hate people love to pile on Facebook (myself included at times), some of the things the company is doing that don't involve leveraging photos of your friends' babies, well-plated lunches, or re-imagined Disney princesses to target ads are pretty great. They've been working on helping out developing areas by providing Internet access for a while, but it's a lot closer to reality under a new initiative.Read More
Space meteorologists are very excited.
NASA is launching their Deep Space Climate Observatory Satellite (or DSCOVR, because, of course) this evening from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral. DSCOVR is heading to space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 (which is a reusable rocket, so that's pretty cool). The NASA livestream starts here at 5pmE, and the launch is set for 6:05pmE. NASA says that because this is a sunset launch, it'll be great for viewing.Read More
This isn't very sexy at all.
If you, like us, have been gleefully following the story of the fornicating gecko-filled satellite that briefly lost contact with Earth a few months ago, then we've got bad news for you: According to Roskosmos space agency, all the geckos on the satellite have gone to that big lizard orgy in the sky.Read More
Today, we are canceling the apocalypse!
Here is John Oliver with the definitive update on humanity's recapture of the randy reptile receptacle.Read More
Teeny-tiny Gecko voices: "You can't take the skies from us!"
Last week we brought to your attention the most important thing to happen to journalism since Johannes Gutenberg cobbled together the printing press: Russia sent a quintet of geckos into space to study the effects of zero-gravity on lizard boinking (ooooh yeah), the reptilian Romeos mutinied (that's the story I'm going with) and satellite Foton-M4 and its copulating cargo went rogue.Read More
Don't go getting any bright ideas, astronauts.
Last Saturday Russia's Institute of Medico-Biological Problems launched a Foton-M4 satellite filled with five geckos into orbit so that the people of earth would know how reptile booty is impacted by zero-gravity. Unfortunately, the cold-blooded casanovas had a different plan: due to a technical glitch (or possible mutiny) the orbiting orgy has gone rogue.Read More
With great space power comes great space responsibilities.
Yesterday NASA announced that for the first time ever the rights to a spacecraft have been signed over to a group of private citizens scientists. In the coming months, 35 year old satellite ISEE-3 will be re-contacted and, if possible, pulled out of its retirement orbit for non-agency missions.Read More
We do so love being right.
To the Internet's credit, no one seemed all that concerned about the European Space Agency's falling satellite over the weekend, despite Fox News running a headline that it might land in your backyard and telling you who to sue. It burned up harmlessly in the atmosphere as expected—the satellite, not Fox News. Sorry.Read More
Yes, we're aware that asking the Internet not to overreact is like asking the satellite not to fall.
The European Space Agency is expecting the Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer to fall out of orbit this weekend after hanging out up there since 2009. We are expecting people to freak out and worry that one ton of science is going to fall on their heads. Spoiler: it's not, and we've got the math to prove it.Read More
We sent a satellite to take pictures of interesting things in space and then took pictures of it.
NASA's Juno mission used the Earth's gravity and orbit earlier this month to fling a solar powered satellite all the way out to Jupiter. While it's out there, it should be able to teach us some pretty great things about the solar system, but its Earth flyby was pretty cool to see all by itself.Read More
Well, that didn't last long. In what we have to assume is karmic payback for lying about unicorns, the satellite that North Korea launched into orbit last week is already dead, says a Harvard astronomer. North Korea is calling the launch a big victory for leader Kim Jong Un and their space program, but it seems like they haven't been as successful as they initially thought. Reports say that the object is tumbling and that so far, no signals have been detected coming from the washing machine-sized satellite -- which upon further review, may well turn out to actually just be a washing machine. Too bad, guys. Better luck next time.Read More
Last week we showed you a new series of NASA satellite photographs of the Earth at night. They were gorgeous, but what if you wanted to see what a specific place on Earth looked like at night? Now you can! It looks like Google went and overlaid the satellite images on top of their map service, and now it's searchable. Type in your address and see what your region of the world looks like at night.Read More
In their ongoing effort to keep the public informed about the 6.5 ton spacecraft falling to Earth today, NASA announced via their Twitter stream that the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) probably won't be touching down in North America. Earlier today it was reported that the spacecraft would miss North America entirely, though NASA is now saying that a change in orientation and unexpected deceleration means that it's still a possibility, albeit a slim one. Where the spacecraft will touch down is still an open question, though NASA is tracking the vehicle and providing frequent updates. In a series of recent tweets, the space agency dispelled some of the concerns about the falling satellite. First off, they reiterated that the odds of being struck by a piece of debris are one in several trillion. Second, NASA stated that any debris that lands is unlikely to be on fire, as objects entering the atmosphere generally stop heating 20 miles up and cool for the rest of their fall. In fact, by the time debris reaches the ground, they could be moving as slow as 30 mph. NASA also asks that if you do find a chunk of space debris that you leave it be, and contact local authorities. With those reassurances and useful science factoids now in place, we can all sit back and wait for the UARS to make its spectacular return to Earth -- expected late tonight or early tomorrow. Updated with new information from NASA at 11:00AM. (via @NASA, UARS tracking)Read More
Chris Abbas professes to being a bit of a space nut, and his appreciation for extraterrestrial exploration is evident in this video about NASA's Cassini mission to Saturn. Comprised of images and video from the orbiter, Abbas created this hauntingly beautiful short film which certainly instills a sense of wonder. Watch, gentle reader, and be amazed.Read More