Category Archives: space exploration

A Moonrise (and more) from Astro Sam

We have several bits and bobs for Monday morning. First,  Official Website Astronaut™, Samantha Cristoforetti, has a lovely new tw**t up (she tw**ts in several languages): I have to say that the various space programs have mastered social media—a great way to get public support for their endeavors. They even post YouTube videos from the ISS (see below). […]

Espresso in space: Italian astronaut on the ISS must have proper coffee

What better way to greet the day than this tw**t from astronaut Samantha Christoforetti, who, being Italian, was elated on Wednesday to take delivery of a special space espresso machine ferried to the International Space Station via the Dragon vehicle. “Sam”, as she calls herself, is, as Wikpedia notes, the first Italian woman in space, is festooned with multiple […]

The best salute to Spock

This is a tw**t from astronaut Terry Virts aboard the International Space Station.  What a great tribute to Leonard Nimoy!

How we’d acquaint aliens with our civilization

So here’s your task: you can put 115 images on a spacecraft that, in sum, will acquaint any aliens who see them with the nature of our world and our solar system.  How can you possibly do that? There’s so much to tell about: our different cultures, our music, our architecture, our food, our bodies, […]

Aurora segues into sunrise

Filmed from the International Space Station, this totes amazeballs video shows the aurora borealis merging into a sunrise. The Washington Post gives more details: NASA astronaut Barry “Butch” Wilmore captured this humbling view of East Coast lights as the sun was just beginning to creep above the horizon earlier this week. The faint, blue glow of the […]

Alexander Gerst’s Earth timelapses

by Grania From the European Space Agency’s Youtube channel comes this video showing timelapses of sunrises, auroras, docking sequences and city flyovers. The notes say: Often while conducting scientific experiments or docking spacecraft Alexander would set cameras to automatically take pictures at regular intervals. Combining these images gives the timelapse effect seen in this video. You can find […]

Orion lands safely

I think Orion landed a bit early, for when I went online after an hour and 40 minutes; it had already landed. Apparently it was right on target, and they’re recovering the craft, which you can watch here. It missed its splashdown point by just a mile and a half!


About 7 minutes into the mission, and all is well. A few live screenshots: Leaving the atmosphere: Separation of panels: It’s now going 15,000 miles per hour, around its orbital velocity. It still amazes me that a primate can do this, only 10,000 years after it invented agriculture.

Orion launches at 7:05 a.m. EST (that’s today)

Let’s try again.  As far as I know, the Orion launch—a precursor to more expeditions to Mars—is on, and the launch is in about 19 minutes: at 7:05 EST. WATCH IT! All is well with 15 minutes to go. The NASA livestream can be seen on their site (and it works for me); click on screenshot below to […]

They’re gonna launch the sucker TOMORROW

UPDATE 1: (0754 a.m. EST): Damn! Another hold due to wind gusts.  Keep watching. UPDATE 2: Launch now set at 0826 a.m. EST, in ten minutes. UPDATE 3: Launch put back on hold; a drain in the liquid oxygen tanks has apparently malfunctioned. UPDATE 4: 0832 EST, they’re recycling the valves on the boosters, and […]


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