Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Increasing the Awesome

How much awesome can you get for less than half a penny on the dollar? See for yourself, and be sure to share with your family and friends.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

50 Years of Human Spaceflight

Here's a really cool infographic from illustrating the first 50 years of human spaceflight, from Vostok to SpaceShipOne.

See the spaceships that have launched astronauts and cosmonauts into space in the first 50 years of human spaceflight. Source All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

First Orbit - Yuri Gagarin Makes History

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first manned spaceflight. Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin completed one orbit of the Earth in his Vostok 1 spacecraft on April 12, 1961. A new film entitled First Orbit, just released today on YouTube, is a real time recreation of Gagarin's historic flight. The film combines new video shot on board the International Space Station with historic film and audio from Gagarin's mission to recreate the experience of that first pioneering flight. So sit back and experience the view that Yuri Gagarin had 50 years ago today:

Monday, April 11, 2011

NASA and BSA Introduce Robotics Merit Badge

Have you heard about the Boy Scouts' new Robotics merit badge, introduced today by NASA and the BSA?
When people think of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), they envision activities like camping, knot-tying, and canoeing, but soon, they’ll need to add robot-building to that list. Scouts in 2011, through the introduction of the Robotics merit badge, now have the opportunity to design, build, and demonstrate a robot of their own creation.
Exciting stuff! Check out the full story at NASA Science here. By the way, that's one of the Mars Exploration Rovers on the badge.

And don't forget about the Space Exploration merit badge, too!

Friday, April 08, 2011

How the First Human Spaceflight Worked

Next Tuesday, April 12, will mark the 50th anniversary of the first human spaceflight. On that date in 1961, Soviet Air Force pilot Yuri Gagarin completed one orbit of the Earth in his Vostok-1 spacecraft. Here is an excellent infographic from that shows how the mission worked:

See how the first human spaceflight actually occurred when the Soviet Union launched cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin on Vostok 1 on April 12, 1961 in this infographic. Source All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

It would be almost a month later that Alan B. Shepard, Jr., would become the first American astronaut in space with a suborbital flight aboard the Mercury spacecraft Freedom 7. John H. Glenn, Jr., became the first American astronaut to orbit the Earth on February 20, 1962, completing three orbits in his Friendship 7 spacecraft.

Friday, April 01, 2011

SEDS Letter on Future of Human Spaceflight

The Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) sent a letter to Congress and the White House yesterday signed by over 250 students from across the United States. The letter begins:
This year, as we celebrate both the fiftieth anniversary of human spaceflight and the accomplishments of the retiring Space Shuttle fleet, the exploration of space remains as critical as ever. Over the past year, many groups have offered their opinions on the best way for the US government to foster space exploration. However, one critical perspective has been missing from this conversation: that of the next generation. We, the signatories of this letter — 280 students from universities and colleges across the nation — are writing you today to ensure that our voice is heard in this ongoing discussion.

We are the ones who will be most affected by the decisions you make today. We are undergraduate and graduate students working hard to prepare ourselves for fulfilling careers as leaders and productive members of the civil, military, and commercial aerospace industries. We are the astronauts, engineers, scientists, and entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

We urge you to consider the following recommendations as you make the key decisions that will chart out the future of our nation’s space program:
The letter goes on to support the partnership between NASA and the emerging commercial human spaceflight sector to enable public access to space and exploration of the solar system.

University students who have not already signed the letter are invited to do so here.