Thursday, June 23, 2011

STS-134: The Final Launch of Endeavour

This has to be one of the best NASA videos I have ever seen. Watch as Space Shuttle Endeavour is prepped and launched on its final mission to the International Space Station. If you watch carefully, you will get a glimpse of some of the technology and analysis that goes into a launch, from prepping the spacecraft in the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to analyzing the launch video for possible debris impacts on the shuttle's thermal protection system (TPS).

As Commander Mark Kelly says before launch:
"It is in the DNA of our great country to reach for the stars and explore. We must not stop."
It will be your generation that ultimately decides our nation's future in space... whether we linger here on the beach or set sail upon the vast ocean of space. If this video inspires you, I would encourage you to learn more by earning your Space Exploration merit badge.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Inside the SpaceX Dragon Capsule

Here's a cool new infographic from showing how SpaceX's Dragon capsule works. In December 2010, the Dragon became the first spacecraft ever placed in orbit and recovered by a private company. The first operational missions of the Dragon will be flown for NASA to deliver cargo to the International Space Station, but the spacecraft is designed to carry up to seven people or a combination of personnel and cargo to low Earth orbit (LEO).

See inside SpaceX's private Dragon space capsule and Falcon 9 rockets in this infographic. Source All about our solar system, outer space and exploration

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Robotic Lunar Lander Takes Flight

On Monday, June 13, a prototype for the Robotic Lunar Lander Development Project lifted itself off the ground and flew up to 7 feet for 27 seconds. This marked the first free closed-loop flight of the project, which is managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Applause broke out in the control room as the lander gently sat back down. Just one cool application of robotics technology!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Historic Images: Shuttle Docked at ISS

Never before have images been taken from another spacecraft of a space shuttle berthed at the International Space Station (ISS). But on May 23rd, Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli (@astro_paolo on Twitter) had the opportunity to take these historic shots of shuttle Endeavour docked at the orbiting outpost. The images, including HD video, were shot from a Russian Soyuz capsule as it maneuvered around the ISS. These views are the culmination of 36 space shuttle missions to build the space station over the past 12 years. NASA wanted to capture these images before retiring the shuttle fleet after one final flight in July.