Category Archives: space exploration

Chinese space station plummeting to Earth: impact or breakup imminent

The Chinese space station Tiangong-1 is supposed to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere at about 12:30 a.m. UTC, or about 1.7 hours from this posting.  It’s not clear exactly where it’ll land, or if any pieces will make it to Earth, but the latest prognostication is somewhere off the west coast of South America. It’s been […]

Live NASA stream from the ISS shows spacewalk—with a trigger warning for flat-Earthers!

Reader Paulina from Poland called my attention to this live feed from the International Space Station (ISS), a feed I didn’t know existed.  If you look right now, it appears to show a spacewalk. But it also, as always, shows the curvature of the Earth. But the weird thing about it is this warning at […]

A real-time Earth orbit

I still remember that when John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, did his three circuits in 1962, it took about ninety minutes per orbit. Apparently that’s still the case, and this video, made from photos taken by the International Space Station, shows a complete orbit in real time. It’s 92½ minutes long, […]

SpaceX Heavy Test Flight

Here’s the video of Tuesday’s SpaceX launch, which I was unable to watch live as I was being interviewed (more on that later).  The Falcon Heavy launch was successful in nearly every way (one of the three boosters, supposed to land on a platform at sea, crashed). The synchronized landing of the other two boosters, […]

SpaceX flight rescheduled

The Falcon Heavy Test Flight by SpaceX has been rescheduled for 3:05 pm EST, or 8:05 pm GMT. This will be the last notice I post by itself; check back here for updates. Click on the screenshot below to see it live—if it happens.

Big SpaceX flight today at 1:30 EST

Reader Darrelle called to my attention that there’s a big SpaceX launch today, and it’s live on the internet (link below). His words: I’m not sure if this kind of thing interests you, but today SpaceX will be attempting the first launch of their new Falcon Heavy rocket. This is a big deal! The Falcon Heavy is […]

Cassini reveals Saturn’s kittens

by Matthew Cobb The Cassini probe may have plummeted into Saturn’s gassy depths, becoming part of the planet it had observed so long, but it still keeps giving science. As Rae Paoletta noted on Inverse a couple of days ago, Cassini’s data reveal the presence of kittens in the F ring of Saturn. Sadly these […]

The death of Cassini

The spacecraft Cassini was launched nearly twenty years ago—on October 15, 1997—to study Saturn and its moons. After two decades of faithful service, it took its “suicide plunge” yesterday, incinerating itself in Saturn’s atmosphere. Both NASA and the New York Times (100 pix!) have images from the mission, and here are a few. NASA’s images […]

Jupiter and beyond the infinite

by Matthew Cobb Watch this on full screen with your speakers turned up and your mind-expanding drug of choice to hand. This animation by Seán Doran uses the stunning images recently sent back by the Juno probe. Nobody was expecting the degree of complexity in Jupiter’s multiple storm systems – it really is an extraordinary […]

PB&J in space

Sacrifices have to be made on the International Space Station, and one of them is having to have your PB&J sandwiches on a tortilla. Oy!