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Rosetta Spacecraft Has Successful Rendezvous with Comet: VIDEO

Comet

The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, having spent a decade in space, made its rendezvous earlier today with an astronomical object nicknamed the 'rubber duck' comet for its strange shape.

The Guardian reports:

The spacecraft will now track comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko for a year, following it through its closest approach to the sun to monitor how the extra heating affects the icy surface.

Nothing about this mission is ordinary, and these are no ordinary orbits. The weirdly shaped comet, which some have likened to the shape of a rubber duck, does not produce enough gravity to fully hold the spacecraft. Instead, the flight team will “drive” the spacecraft in triangular-shaped orbits, gradually lowering the altitude from today’s 100km to around 30km.

One of the most audacious space missions in decades, it is designed to reveal secrets about the origin of the solar system, the origin of our home planet and even the origin of life.

Watch a Euronews report on the rendezvous, AFTER THE JUMP...

DuckThe ESA released a statement on the successful rendezvous:

Today saw the last of a series of ten rendezvous manoeuvres that began in May to adjust Rosetta’s speed and trajectory gradually to match those of the comet. If any of these manoeuvres had failed, the mission would have been lost, and the spacecraft would simply have flown by the comet.

“Today’s achievement is a result of a huge international endeavour spanning several decades,” says Alvaro Giménez, ESA’s Director of Science and Robotic Exploration.

“We have come an extraordinarily long way since the mission concept was first discussed in the late 1970s and approved in 1993, and now we are ready to open a treasure chest of scientific discovery that is destined to rewrite the textbooks on comets for even more decades to come.”

Continue reading "Rosetta Spacecraft Has Successful Rendezvous with Comet: VIDEO" »


Man and McConaughey Will Find a Way in the New 'Interstellar' Trailer: VIDEO

Interstellar

Christopher Nolan's deep-space epic Interstellar has released a new trailer online, and it looks to be a jaw-dropping experience as a group of astronauts travel through a newly-discovered wormhole in an attempt to find a way to save the human race as the earth is dying.

Fun fact: the spaceship used in the movie is based on the Alcubierre Drive, a speculative idea that would warp space-time and allow a ship to achieve faster-than-light travel without actually traveling faster than the speed of light, which just so happens to be something that NASA is actually tinkering with

Until the real thing comes along, you can be satisfied with the trailer AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Man and McConaughey Will Find a Way in the New 'Interstellar' Trailer: VIDEO" »


Stephen Colbert Geeks Out With Elon Musk: VIDEO

Musk

Inventor, entrepreneur, space enthusiast and all-around object of nerd lust Elon Musk sat down with Stephen Colbert to discuss his Grasshopper Rocket, his car company Tesla, SpaceX (which has been sending payloads to the international space station (ISS) and plans to one day send humans to ISS in a sort of space taxi) and the possibility of sending a manned mission to Mars.

Asked by Colbert if he was planning to send people to Mars, Musk replied that he aspires to. Despite being what he calls a “fixer-upper of a planet”, Musk explained he sees two main reasons to send people to Mars. First, 

“If humanity is on more than one planet, if we’re a multi-planet species…then civilization as we know it, humanity as we know it, the light of consciousness is likely to propagate to the future much further than if we’re a single planet species.”

And second, 

“It would be the greatest adventure ever. It would be really exciting and inspiring.”

Get your geek on, AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "Stephen Colbert Geeks Out With Elon Musk: VIDEO" »


News: Russia, Aurora Borealis, Gay Pride In The Muslim World, Gay Marriage

RoadRussia's anti-gay law one year out: "Only a few people were fined throughout the year and this might not seem to be much of a problem," Lokshina said. "But the fines are not what this law is about. This law is not only contrary to Russia's international obligations but has also contributed to anti-gay violence and to creating a hostile environment for LGBT people in the country. It has contributed to stigmatizing LGBT individuals as unnatural, perverse and as acceptable targets."

Space RoadAmazing vine of aurora borealis from space

RoadMisterbnb: an Airbnb for gay men

RoadInstagram removes pictures of gay newlyweds kissing then restores it, apologizing for the error. 

Road'Community' makes move to Yahoo! for sixth season.

RoadIstanbul, Turkey saw strong turnout at its LGBT Pride celebration over the weekend, making it perhaps the biggest such event in a predominantly Muslim country. 

RoadRobin Williams enters rehab to help maintain sobriety.

RoadMeanwhile, Shia LaBeouf reportedly has entered rehab for other reasons

RoadKevin Kline plays Errol Flynn in 'The Last of Robin Hood.'

RoadMichael Egan, who brought suit against Bryan Singer and three Hollywood execs alleging sexual abuse, dropped his suit against Broadway producer Gary Goddard.  

RoadCreate your own gay marriage ruling

RoadDaniel Radcliffe and golden retriever make cute couple

RoadWhitney Houston's daughter Bobbi Kristina lashes out at Angela Bassett for not casting her to play her mother in Lifetime biopic that marks Bassett's directorial debut. 

Glas RoadBradley Cooper and Michael Fassbender hang out at Glastonbury Music Festival.

RoadTaschen publishes (work unfriendly) book "My Buddy" chronicling close, often homo-erotic relations between soldiers in World War II.

RoadJoan Rivers officiates surprise gay wedding at book signing

RoadJustin Bieber up to his shirtless selfie antics again.

RoadSwedish soccer coach Pia Sundhage talks about being out in sports: "If I’m gay is of no interest because I’m a coach and my private life doesn’t matter," she says. "If people ask me about it, I answer 'Yes I’m gay' and that’s how it is. I’ve never come across any trouble for it as a coach in the United States or anywhere. It was tough when I was twenty-years-old in Sweden, but even then I didn’t care. This is me. Take it or leave it."


NASA Unveils Incredible Star Trek-style Warp Drive Space Ship: PHOTOS

NASA

This week, NASA engineer Harold White and digital artist Mark Rademaker unveiled the IXS Enterprise - a years-in-the-making CGI design concept for a potential warp drive space ship of the future. Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto sadly not included. 

The Washington Post reports:

“We wanted to have a decent image of a theory conforming Warp ship to motivate young people to pursue a STEM career,” Rademaker said in an e-mail interview. “It does have some Sci-Fi features that might never transfer to a possible final design, unless we really want to.”

A warp ship such as the IXS Enterprise could allow travel to interstellar space in a matter of weeks rather than, say, centuries. And the science behind why it might be possible is truly mind-boggling.

An over-simplified explanation is that the concept seeks to exploit a “loophole” in Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity that allows travel faster than the speed of light by expanding space-time behind the object and contracting space-time front of it.

When asked the question on all our minds – “When can I get one of these?” White said that proving that the math behind the model is the first and most important step in the process. 

For now, we'll just have to make do with the awesome photos of the design, which you can check out AFTER THE JUMP...

[photos via Flickr]

Continue reading "NASA Unveils Incredible Star Trek-style Warp Drive Space Ship: PHOTOS" »


Hubble Telescope Takes Most Colorful Photo Ever of The Evolving Universe

Hubble photograph

And it's full of stars; the picture above is just a segment of the whole thing. The photo, called the Hubble Ultra Deep Field 2014 image, is a composite of exposures taken by the Hubble Telescope from 2003 to 2012.

The scope of the photograph is simply gargantuan in scale. It captures over 10,000 galaxies, some of which are billions of light years away, extends back to within a few hundred millions of years of the big bang, and is presently regarded as "among the most colorful deep space images ever captured by the 24-year-old telescope."

Plus it makes for a great iPad parallax wallpaper.


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