nasa

Time Lapse of Space Shuttle Discovery – From Hanger to Launch

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Time Lapse of Space Shuttle Discovery – From Hanger to Launch

Taking a space shuttle out from it’s hanger and onto a launch pad does not seem like a quick and easy task at all, but watching this video below makes it look like a piece of toy that is easy to assemble and play with. (And what geek wouldn’t want to play with this toy?) It will only take you about 4 minutes to watch said video of what takes over 100 hours for NASA’s crew to do.

This video was taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IIs and used no CG what so ever.  No use of I.L.M. CG or Michael Bay direction was needed for this great short film of awesomeness.

[Smithsonian]

LEGO to honor the soon to be discontinued Space Shuttle

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The NASA Space Shuttle is flying its final missions this year. (Yes, I know. I’m sad too.) In honor of the Space Shuttle, LEGO has designed a new LEGO Space Shuttle model.  Now you too can own a piece of NASA history using LEGO bricks. Just make sure that after you build it, you keep it far far away from relatives under the age of 14. If not, you’ll soon see pieces magically disappear or in random places around the house.

This is what happened to my old LEGO Space Shuttle with launchpad.

The left photo above is the set I used to own, before my relatives destroyed it. The photo on the right is the new set that I will own and no one but I will touch it!  You can get your own for $100. Not sure yet on when it will be released. More photos and a LEGO Designer video past the break.

10213 Shuttle Adventure, Ages 16+, 1,204 pieces.  US $99.99, CA $129.99, UK £ 79.99, DE 89.99 €
Blast off on an outer space mission!

Standing 17.5″ (44cm) tall and 10″ (25.5cm) from wing tip to wing tip, this detailed and realistic space shuttle is ready to count down and blast off on its next exciting mission into space! You can take off from the launch pad, separate the detachable fuel tank and booster rockets, and deploy the satellite with unfolding antenna and solar cell panels. Shuttle model features realistic engines, retractable landing gear, an opening cockpit with seats for 2 astronauts, opening cargo compartment with a crane that can hold the satellite and a ground maintenance vehicle. Includes 3 minifigures: 1 male and 1 female astronaut, as well as 1 service crew member.

  • Includes 3 minifigures: 1 male and 1 female astronaut as well as 1 service crew member!
  • Features realistic engines, retractable landing gear, opening cockpit with seats for 2 astronauts and even a ground maintenance vehicle!
  • Take off from the launch pad!
  • Separate the detachable fuel tank and booster rockets!
  • Deploy the satellite with unfolding antenna and solar cell panels!
  • Open the cargo compartment to reveal the crane that can hold the satellite!
  • Shuttle Adventure stands 17.5″ (44cm) tall and measures 10″ (25.5cm) from wing tip to wing tip!

Read On

ESA Space Telescopes Are Go for May 14 Blast-Off

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ESA Space Telescopes Are Go for May 14 Blast-Off
Herschel and Planck

Herschel and Planck

Europe’s entry into the space telescope market, Herschel and Planck (catchy names don’t you think?) is set to be blasted into the the dark void on Thursday 14th  May. The Ariane 5 rocket carrying the precious cargo was given the green light by Kourou spaceport in French Guiana after some doubt as to it’s condition. The two telescopes are being sent to the second Lagrange point (L2) , a one of five gravitional ‘sweet spots’ worked out in the 18/19th century, which is approximately 1.5 million km from Earth on the opposite side to the Sun, where the telescopes can maintain a realtively stable position in the ‘dark spot’ with few orbital corrections due to the unique gravitational properties of the position.

Herschel, the bigger of the two brothers, at 7.5m in height is designed to monitor far-infrared and sub-millimetre waves allowing astronomers to investigate how stars and galaxies form and their evolution. Planck, the smaller but no less important sibling, will conduct a survey the Cosmic Microwave Background which is a “fossil light” that flows through the entire Universe and is detectible at radio wavelengths allowing investigation into how the cosmos came into being and what created its current form. The L2 position allows the extremely sensitive and complex electrics and mechanics in the two telescopes to avoid the temperature swings experienced in close orbit to Earth created by the emergence into and out of shadow. Both telescopes require a temperature as close to absolute zero (0K, -273C) as possible for efficiency due to the properties of the detectors used to analyse the exotic wavelengths.

Hit the read link for more on the ESA venture to discover the history of the Universe and how celestial bodies are formed and evolve.

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Anatomy of a Black Hole

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blackholeI’m always intregued by our investigations into space and time filled with wonder and things that we can barely comprehend never the less understand. One of the most curious and awesome phenomena in the universe has to be the Black Hole. Their existence is something of an enigma and the theory behind them is quite complex. The more we know about them the more questions become uncovered. Are they a gateway to another dimension or galaxy, a worm hole if you will? Can space and time really cease to exist as we know it at their center? What would happen if you were trapped in the gravitational pull of one of these monsters and are they only a totally destructive force? Well for those of you who are curious about these things (you’re a geek why wouldn’t you be?) here’s something I Stumbledupon the other day, a brief and informative walk through of the Anatomy of a Black Hole. Well what are you waiting for then, head on over and you might learn something for today?

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NASA is Selling a Space Shuttle

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For the low low LOW price of $42 million, you too can have your very own authentic NASA Space Shuttle.  Why are they selling this? If you haven’t heard, NASA is ending their Space Shuttle program and going back to rockets.  Remember those rockets from the Apollo days? Yea, NASA is designing better rockets like those now.  The deadline to buy this great piece of machinery is March. So break out that check book or credit card.

[via CNN]