Space Hub

WATCH: NASA's Orion Test Flight Marks the First Step on the Long Road to Mars


NASA's Orion spacecraft is set to have its first test flight this morning from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. If the test flight proves successful, the next-gen space capsule is expected to one day carry astronauts to the moon, asteroids, and Mars. 

NBC News reports:

The planned 4.5-hour mission — known as Exploration Flight Test 1, or EFT-1 — isn't carrying people. It's an uncrewed flight, meant to check critical systems that can't be fully tested on Earth, including the craft's heat shield and parachutes.

The data gathered from more than 1,200 sensors will be factored into the construction of more flightworthy Orion spaceships, with the aim of flying astronauts for the first time in 2021. If NASA holds to its schedule, the cone-shaped spacecraft would send crews to a near-Earth asteroid by 2025, and to Mars and its moons starting in the 2030s.

"We're now on the way to Mars, and that's what's most important," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden told NBC News in advance of liftoff.

The launch was scheduled a little after 7 am (ET) but has been delayed due to high ground winds.

Watch the launch, AFTER THE JUMP...

UPDATE: NASA has scrubed the launch for today and will try again on Friday morning. More at NPR here

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Is the Colonization of Mars Actually Possible? - VIDEO


The guys over at ASAPScience have a new video all about Mars and the obstacles we'd need to overcome in order to set up a human colony on the red planet - gay club presumably included. 

Check out the fascinating video, AFTER THE JUMP...

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European Space Probe Lands Successfully on Comet: VIDEO


The European Space Agency has successfully landed a probe on a comet for the first time. CNBC reports:

A probe from a comet-chasing spacecraft successfully landed on its target Wednesday in a 10-year mission that could hold answers to the origins of life.

The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, which launched in 1994, released the Philae probe Wednesday, and it landed on Comet Churyumov-Gerasimenko hours later. It's the first time a man-made object had ever touched down on a comet.

The lander will extract and analyze samples from the comet, and scientists hope the data could contain hints about the history of the universe.

Watch videos of the ESA team sharing their historic news, AFTER THE JUMP... 

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WATCH LIVE: European Space Probe To Make Historic Landing on Comet


As we reported yesterday, the European Space Agency (ESA) is today attempting to land for the first time a probe on a comet. The AP reports:

Hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, a speeding European spacecraft released a lander toward the icy, dusty surface of a comet on Wednesday, setting off a seven-hour countdown to an audacious attempt to answer some of the biggest questions about the origin of the universe.

A landing would cap a 6.4 billion-kilometer (4 billion-mile) journey by the European Space Agency's Rosettaspacecraft, launched a decade ago to study the 4-kilometer-wide (2.5-mile-wide) 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenkocomet. If successful, the Philae lander would be the first spacecraft to land on a comet.

The probe is scheduled to land approximately 11:03 AM EST but the livestream of the control room at ESA is already underway.

Make sure to check it out, AFTER THE JUMP... (Warning: auto-play)


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European Space Probe To Make Historic Landing On Comet Tomorrow: VIDEO

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The European Space Agency will (hopefully) make history tomorrow with the perilous, first-ever landing of a man made probe on a comet some 300 million miles from Earth.

In 2005, NASA made first contact with another comet when it slammed its Deep Impact craft into Tempel 1, ejecting material that scientists were able to study. Later that same year, the ESA launched its much more ambitious Rosetta spacecraft on a nearly 10-year trip to rendezvous with a dumbbell shaped comet, 67P/Churyumox-Gerasimenko. The unmanned craft made the news in August when it finally caught up with the comet, joining it in an irregular orbit.

But the real action will start early Wednesday morning when the main craft ejects a landing pod called Philae (pictured above) that will make an intricately plotted, 7-hour descent to the comet's rapidly spinning surface, which should end with touchdown at 11:00 AM EST. If all goes well, the pod will claw into the comet with drills that will keep in place for 3 days of intensive study of the celestial body before its batteries run out.

ESA will be streaming all the tense action from mission control if you want to follow it live as it happens...sorta. The comet is so far away that radio signals take 27 minutes to travel back to Earth. For a more dramatic take on the mission, you can check out Rosetta's very Hollywood-style "trailer," which rivals the outer space action (and pounding score) in Interstellar

You can watch it AFTER THE JUMP...

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A Balloon Took a Camera to Space to Create the Stunning Video for José González’ New Track: WATCH


Most people are familiar with José González because of the famous 2005 SONY Bravia commercial shot in San Francisco with thousands of bouncing balls.

González has a new album forthcoming in February and the first track from it has hit the web along with a video produced by global collective Eyes in Space.

Writes the collective:

Seven billion people on Planet Earth, of which only 536 are lucky enough to have seen Space. Eyes In Space aspire to change this, taking every one on a personal journey to roam the cosmos. The collective’s maiden voyage allows everyone to wander space freely using immersive 360-film to create an endless, all-sensory experience. The galactic journey is accompanied by José González’ newest release. Eyes In Space is a global collective established to mesh artistic experiment with scientific innovation to open new worlds. Space is the collective’s first destination.

Check out the video and the gorgeous track, AFTER THE JUMP...

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