Space Hub

The Earth and Moon as Seen by the Passing Juno Spacecraft: WATCH

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NASA's Juno spacecraft, which flew past us back in October, captured this stunning footage of the Earth and Moon as it began its approach.

The spacecraft's flyby was to utilize a gravity assisted speed boost so that it can reach its ultimate target, Jupiter, on July 4, 2016.

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "The Earth and Moon as Seen by the Passing Juno Spacecraft: WATCH" »

NASA's Morpheus Lander and Valkyrie Superhero Robot Step Out in Flashy Sci-Fi Style: VIDEO


NASA's Morpheus lander, which crashed and burned back in August of 2012 and has been outshone by the similar vertical Grasshopper from Elon Musk's space corporation SpaceX, completed its first successful test flight this week at Kennedy Space Center.

According to NASA:

The 54-second test began with the Morpheus lander launching from the ground over a flame trench and ascending approximately 50 feet, then hovering for about 15 seconds. The lander then flew forward and landed on its pad about 23 feet from the launch point.

Project Morpheus integrates NASA's automated landing and hazard avoidance technology (ALHAT) with an engine that runs on liquid oxygen and methane, or "green" propellants, into a fully operational lander that could deliver cargo to asteroids and other planetary surfaces. Morpheus and ALHAT are examples of the partnerships that exist within the agency since seven of the 10 NASA centers have contributed time, energy and resources to both.

Also, NASA's Johnson Space Center unveiled a  6-foot tall, 275-pound humanoid robot.

Writes Gizmodo:

Valkyrie's two cannon-like arms are interchangeable, and its legs are designed to walk over rough, uneven terrain. It's equipped with cameras on its head, body, forearms, knees, and feet, not to mention with additional LIDAR and sonar units. While it operates via remote right now, the ultimate goal is to make Valkyrie as autonomous as possible. It's hard not to see that glowing circle in the center of its chest and not think about Iron Man.

Watch the lander and the robot in action, AFTER THE JUMP...


Continue reading "NASA's Morpheus Lander and Valkyrie Superhero Robot Step Out in Flashy Sci-Fi Style: VIDEO" »

Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1477

ROBBIE WILLIAMS: "Dream a Little Dream".

HOUSE OF CARDS: Is returning on Valentine's Day!

 MENTAL FLOSS: 30 game-changing video games.

EXOPLANETS: How we determine alien atmospheres. Plus, signs of water detected on five alien planets.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.

Comet ISON Declared Dead: VIDEO


While scientists had expressed hope that once-in-a-lifetime Comet ISON had survived after a close pass by the sun on Thanksgiving day, those hopes have faded and a team of scientists dedicated to observing the comet have declared it dead.

They wrote a cute and geeky obituary:

Born in a dusty and turbulent environment, comet ISON spent its early years being jostled and struck by siblings both large and small. Surviving a particularly violent first few million years, ISON retreated to the Oort Cloud, where it maintained a largely reclusive existence for nearly four billion years. But around 3-million B.C., a chance encounter with a passing star coerced ISON into undertaking a pioneering career as a Sungrazer. On September 21, 2012, ISON made itself known to us, and allowed us to catalog the most extraordinary part of its spectacular vocational calling.

Never one to follow convention, ISON lived a dynamic and unpredictable life, alternating between periods of quiet reflection and violent outburst. However, its toughened exterior belied a complex and delicate inner working that only now we are just beginning to understand. In late 2013, Comet ISON demonstrated not only its true beauty but a surprising turn of speed as it reached its career defining moment in the inner solar system. Tragically, on November 28, 2013, ISON's tenacious ambition outweighed its ability, and our shining green candle in the solar wind began to burn out.

Survived by approximately several trillion siblings, Comet ISON leaves behind an unprecedented legacy for astronomers, and the eternal gratitude of an enthralled global audience. In ISON's memory, donations are encouraged to your local astronomy club, observatory or charity that supports STEM and science outreach programs for children.

Watch its full perihelion pass, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Comet ISON Declared Dead: VIDEO" »

'Zombie Comet' ISON Survives Near-Death Travel Around Sun: VIDEO


Sun-gazing spacecraft assumed that the Russian-discovered comet ISON would melt in the sun's intense heat during its perihelion orbit around Thanksgiving Day. But the European Solar and Heliospheric Observatory spacecraft (SOHO) recorded proof of ISON's survival and its subsequent formation of "an extensive fan-shaped dust tail" following its trajectory.

It's an amazing feat, considering that comets are little more than dirty balls of ice hurtling through the cosmos. Many astronomers are still wondering how the baby comet survived and how long it will stay flying in its newly diminished form.

See footage of the surviving comet AFTER THE JUMP…

Continue reading "'Zombie Comet' ISON Survives Near-Death Travel Around Sun: VIDEO" »

Sally Ride's Partner Discusses the Life and Legacy of America's First Female Astronaut: VIDEO

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Last week, we reported that Sally Ride, the first female American astronaut in space who came out in her July 2012 obituary, was awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Freedom. Sally's life partner, Tam O'Shaugnessy, accepted the award on her behalf and gave a brief interview afterwards about Sally's life and her impact on the world.

On accepting Sally's award:

" represent her in such an important forum as a gay woman was really quite an honor. And I also think it sends a huge, wonderful message to the world about our country and equality and kind of the way things should be."

On Sally:

"She was very bright. She did great things. But by and large the way she lived her life was quietly, privately, and just working. She was much more interested in doing than in receiving awards and so on."

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

Continue reading "Sally Ride's Partner Discusses the Life and Legacy of America's First Female Astronaut: VIDEO " »


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