We usually see rocket launches and landings from above. But there’s something about seeing the whole thing happen from the ground-up that’s just so much better.
Certain aspects of the Star Wars universe (FTL travel, force magic) are clearly impossible. But some technologies, like extremely high-powered thrusters and even lightsabers, may one day be feasible.
Every strut counts, as they say. On June 28th, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule stuffed full of supplies for the International Space Station blew up in mid-air, minutes after launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Today, Elon Musk revealed the cause: A single, flimsy strut.
Since we seem to be on the topic of fantastical power sources today, it’s my solemn duty to inform you that respected airplane manufacturer Boeing has aspirations to build a jet engine powered by lasers and nuclear explosions.
On July 14th, the New Horizons spacecraft will make history when it sails past Pluto, formerly known as the ninth planet. Even more incredible is how fast we got there. The spacecraft traveled 3 billion miles in nine and a half years. That’s about a million miles a day for almost ten years. How the heck did we do it?
It was a crowded field on Monday, with commenters weighing in on everything from zombie-cakes to the first families of science fiction to the hidden motivations of flesh-eating plants, but only one comment can be comment of the day and today that comment comes from Rod Brock.
Fuel and oxidizer. Together they make propellant, which can be used to launch a rocket – but for the best results, you need to find the right ratio. Too much of one or the other, and your exhaust velocity begins to drop. Less exhaust velocity means less thrust — and less thrust means you will not go to space today.
Last Wednesday, acclaimed rocket scientist Yvonne Brill died. To honor her, the New York Times' obituary opened by remarking on her "mean beef stroganoff."
It might be the preserve of fantastical action movies, but we've probably all wondered at some point or other if it's actually possible to fly through the air by firing bullets down at the ground.
For personal reasons, I had to miss yesterday's NASA press conference, which gave an update on International Space Station operations following the failure and crash of a Progress resupply vehicle last week. When I returned home and saw the headlines about the briefing from other news sites, I thought, "Wow, everyone…
Once, these rocket ships helped countless schoolchildren to conquer the vast reaches of space. Now, they look like a good way to get tetanus, with their rusty distressed metal. Photographer Lauren Orchowski's new book Rocket Science documents their beautiful decrepitude.
Sure I'll take any excuse to use "polyamorous" and "rocket scientist" in the same headline, but in this case there's a good reason. Over at BoingBoing, David Pescovitz has unearthed an online comic book biography about Jack Parsons, the man who founded the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and shared a wife with L. Ron…
Megapixels, Gigapixels, phooey is what I have to say about that. Researchers at Rice University are developing a single-pixel camera that will compensate for inefficiencies of the current digital cameras. I'm still pretty confused how the damn thing actually works, but it is supposedly similar to that of a pin-hole…