space

Via: AP
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NASA successfully launched its unmanned Orion spacecraft on Friday, the first step in a new era of deep space exploration which could one day lead to humans on Mars.

This 4.5-hour long test marks the furthest a ship built for humans has gone since the Apollo 17 mission in 1972 - 15 times as far as the International Space Station into deep space.

It will make two orbits around the earth before soaring back down to Earth to test its heat shields and parachutes.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. has dubbed this "Day One of the Mars era," which will be followed by an attempt to capture an asteroid in the 2020s, and the ultimate goal of eventually reaching Mars in the 2030s.

Where this little guy will be waiting for us…

3D printer,science,space
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We aren't quite at Star Trek replicator levels of awesomeness yet, but we're getting there.

This week astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) printed the first 3D object in space.

A private company called Made In Space designed and built the printer for NASA through their Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.

The printed piece is actually a part for the printer itself - a faceplate for the extruder.

So what is the significance of all this?

"This 'First Print' serves to demonstrate the potential of the technology to produce replacement parts on demand if a critical component fails in space," said Jason Dunn, Chief Technical Officer for Made In Space.

And maybe to make a fork and knife to eat all that meat the British keep sending up there.

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We can land a spacecraft on a comet, but a man's shirt has become the big news story here on Earth.

Physicist Matt Taylor was criticized this week for wearing a shirt with semi-naked women and guns on it during a livestreamed post-landing interview about the Rosetta Mission, deemed sexist and innaporpriate by many people, particularly women in science. And critics on Twitter voiced their complaints with #ShirtStorm and #ShirtGate.

But in a Google Hangout Friday with updates on the mission, a teary-eyed Taylor in a very neutral blue hoodie, apologized for the shirt.

"I made a big mistake, and I offended many people," he said. "And I'm very sorry about this."

Meanwhile on said comet, the Philae lander sent back its first image from the comet Thursday, and it has begun drilling in order to reposition itself into the sunlight. But this maneuver could also make Philae do a cartwheel and possibly put an abrupt end to the mission.

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History was made Wednesday when the European Space Agency successfully landed a spacecraft on a comet for the first time ever.

"We are the first to do this - and that [achievement] will stay forever." said Jean Jacques Dordain, Director General of ESA.



The comet, 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, orbits, the sun every 6.45 years. It is 2.1 miles wide by 2.4 miles long.

Rosetta first launched in 2004 to research the comet, and it didn't arrived at its destination until this past August. On Wednesday morning, Philae first separated from the probe to attempt a landing.

Researchers are hoping to learn more about the origins of the solar system and whether or not comets could have brought water and life to Earth. Watch an ESA animated explanation of Rosetta's journey to the comet and it's surface mission below.


The comet has also been emitting a strange "song" into space, which has surprised scientists.
"The scientists think it must be produced in some way by the activity of the comet, as it releases neutral particles into space where they become electrically charged due to a process called ionisation. But the precise physical mechanism behind the oscillations remains a mystery."
But it's obviously aliens trying to communicate with us, right? Hopefully the message isn't "Warning: Do not land on this comet."

Via: @neiltyson
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Note to future filmmakers: If you're going to make a complex movie about space, make sure you run it by Neil deGrasse Tyson first.

The american astrophysicist, cosmologist, host of "Cosmos" took to Twitter on Sunday to share some thoughts on this year's big space movie from Christopher Nolan: "Interstellar." It wasn't intended as a review of the film, but rather - as he emphasises in a Tweet - to highlight the science you can find in the film.

Tyson wrote a similar critique in 2013 following the release of "Gravity," and a scene from Titanic was changed in an updated release of the film after he pointed out the inaccuracies of the stars to James Cameron.

And as you can see, there aren't a whole lot of complaints this time around.

Spoilers ahead if you haven't seen "Interstellar" yet, but if you have seen it, whether it involved worm holes or plot holes, you probably left the theater with a lot of questions.

Here are a few of his thoughts, check his Twitter feed for more.

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This GoPro camera has boldly gone where no GoPro camera has gone before.

Well, they have been nearly everywhere at this point, but this one is definitely hard to beat.

Over the summer, astronauts from NASA and the European Space Agency inserted a sealed GoPro camera into a water bubble to investigate water surface tension in microgravity on the International Space Station.

They also shot the video with a 3D camera, so if you have red-blue stereoscopic 3D vision glasses, you can watch that version here.

solar flare,science,Sundog,space,win
Via: NASA
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OMG. Is it the end of the world? Is everyone we love and care about soon to be incinerated by a massive radioactive blast from the sun? Will my iPhone still work?

This image, take by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory, is actually a mid-level M-class flare, and one of several that have occurred in the same spot over the past few days. They are harmless and can't pass through the atmosphere, according to NASA, but stronger flares have been known to affect GPS and communications on Earth.

There was a streak of more intense X-class flares during the last week of October, which the Space Weather Prediction Center is calling "one for the history books."

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