Posts Tagged ‘International Space Station’

SpaceX Launch: Private Spacecraft Puts Star Trek’s Scotty’s Ashes Into Space | Technology | Sky News

US company SpaceX has become the first commercial organisation to send its own spacecraft toward the International Space Station with the launch of the cargo-bearing Dragon capsule.

On board the flight are the ashes of actor James Doohan, who played engineer Scotty in Star Trek. He died in 2005.

His remains, along with Mercury astronaut Gordon Cooper and more than 300 other hardcore space fans, are to be dispatched into the final frontier.The remains are held in a container with lipstick-tube-sized canisters and, if all goes as planned, the container should spend the next year or so circling Earth as an orbital space memorial before it is pulled back into the atmosphere and incinerated.

The test flight – which should include a fly-by and berthing with the station in the coming days – aims to show that private industry can restore US access to the ISS after Nasa retired its space shuttle fleet last year.

No humans are travelling on the Dragon, but six astronauts are already at the $100bn £63bn space lab to help the capsule latch on, to unload supplies and then restock the capsule with cargo to take back to Earth.

The mission was delayed on Saturday because of a faulty engine valve in the rocket’s main engine – that was repaired on the same day.

California-based SpaceX, owned by billionaire Internet entrepreneur Elon Musk, is the first of several US competitors to try sending spacecraft to the ISS with the goal of restoring US access to space for human travellers by 2015.

Until now, only the space agencies of Russia, Japan and Europe have been able to send supply ships to the ISS.

The three-decade US shuttle programme, which ferried astronauts and cargo to the research outpost, ended for good in 2011, leaving Russia as the sole taxi to the ISS until private industry comes up with a replacement.

via SpaceX Launch: Private Spacecraft Puts Star Trek’s Scotty’s Ashes Into Space | Technology | Sky News.

Strange Random Space Quote:

Space isn’t remote at all. It’s only an hour’s drive away if your car could go straight upwards. – Sir Fred Hoyle


Wanna Travel to Outer Space? It’ll Cost You | Fox Business

April 21, 2012 1 comment

To Boldly Go on Vacation

Summer is about to come into view, and along with it, the hordes of luggage-laden minivans heading for the great American vacation. There will be plane flights and train rides, Mount Rushmore visits and Grand Canyon views. It might not be long, though, before we’re all considering a type of trip that Clark W. Griswold would never have attempted: a voyage straight up into space to marvel at the Earth from afar and gaze at the stars like never before.

Space tourism is expected to “take off” in the next decade, with the Federal Aviation Administration predicting it to blossom into a billion-dollar industry in that time.

It’s not all that difficult to imagine, given the technological progression and increasing accessibility since man’s first “timid penetration beyond the confines of the atmosphere,” as cosmonautic patriarch Konstantin Tsiolkovsky forebode a century ago.

The Jetsons‘ concept of every average George and Jane scooting around in private saucers was probably inevitable from the launch of the first satellite, Sputnik, in 1957. What followed were decades of space-based machismo between Russia and the United States, one incredible moon landing and a bevy of science fiction that almost made space tourism passe. Almost.

Friends in High Places

That all changed in 2001 when Dennis Tito decided he wanted to play Neil Armstrong for a few days — tagging along on a trip to the International Space Station. Creator of the Wilshire aggregate market index, Tito shelled out $20 million for the privilege of becoming the first space tourist, spending nearly eight days in space — to the reported chagrin of the actual astronauts involved in the mission who felt he needed more training.

Tito was also the first space tourist client of Space Adventures, which currently is the only company to have sold spaceflights to individuals that have been realized.

via Wanna Travel to Outer Space? It’ll Cost You | Fox Business.

Strange Random Outer Space Quote:

“After one look at this planet any visitor from outer space would say ”I want to see the manager.”” – William S. Burroughs

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‘Mystery City’ Revealed By ISS Time-Lapse Video Turns Out To Be Enormous Oil Field

November 16, 2011 1 comment
Aurora Australis (NASA, International Space St...

Image by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via Flickr

Internet forums exploded after an astonishing time-lapse video of the Earth taken from the International Space Station revealed more that was first thought – a mystery city that ‘shouldn’t have existed’.

The dramatic video displays the Earth illuminated by the green glow of the Aurora Borealis, and cities represented as bright spots of electric lights.

Taken by the crew of the ISS between August and October 2011, the clip was an immediate online hit.

But one of the thousands of people who saw the video noticed what appeared to be a mystery city, located near Edmonton in Canada, that did not appear on any map.

The strange collection of lights in North Dakota, USA, appeared to be equivalent in size to cities as large as Calgary and Minneapolis, but seemed impossible to identify.

via ‘Mystery City’ Revealed By ISS Time-Lapse Video Turns Out To Be Enormous Oil Field.

The “City” in question comes into view at about the 34-second mark.

Strange Random Space Quote:

Sirius, the brightest star in the heavens…. My grandfather would say we’re part of something incredibly wonderful – more marvelous than we imagine. My grandfather would say we ought to go out and look at it once in a while so we don’t lose our place in it — Robert Fulghum

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Rich Guys Have No Luck in Space – Deal Journal – WSJ

September 4, 2011 Leave a comment
Image representing Jeff Bezos as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

If you want to be the richest guy in the universe, apparently you need to shoot a rocket into orbit just to make sure there are no Martians with more money than you.

Some of the terrestrial world’s wealthiest men, including Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and founder Jeff Bezos have backed newfangled private spacecraft. Sometimes these efforts end about as well as the crew’s trip in “2001.” A sample:

Jeff Bezos, rich guy

As our colleague Andy Pasztor just brought you, an unnamed spaceship funded by the billionaire Amazon founder suffered a major failure during a recent test flight. Bezos’s privately funded Blue Origin was awarded NASA money earmarked for new efforts to support manned spaceflights.

via Rich Guys Have No Luck in Space – Deal Journal – WSJ.

Strange Random Space Quote:

“That intelligent creatures exist in outerspace is proven by the fact that they have not contacted us.” – Loesje (Dutch Fictional character “Active and International girl”, b.1983)

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Astronomy Picture of the Day – 15.11.2010

November 15, 2010 2 comments

International Space Station
I can see my house from here! Another great shot from the Astronomy Picture of the Day Website. And the debate is on as to what part of the Earth she is looking at …

Explanation: There’s no place like home. Peering out of the windows of the International Space Station (ISS), astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson takes in the planet on which we were all born, and to which she would soon return. About 350 kilometers up, the ISS is high enough so that the Earth’s horizon appears clearly curved. Astronaut Dyson’s windows show some of Earth’s complex clouds, in white, and life giving atmosphere and oceans, in blue. The space station orbits the Earth about once every 90 minutes. It is not difficult for people living below to look back toward the ISS. The ISS can frequently be seen as a bright point of light drifting overhead just after sunset. Telescopes can even resolve the overall structure of the space station. The above image was taken in late September from the ISS’s Cupola window bay. Dr. Dyson is a lead vocalist in the band Max Q.

Strange Random Space Quote:

The distance between the earth and her satellite is a mere trifle, and undeserving of serious consideration. I am convinced that before twenty years are over one-half of our earth will have paid a visit to the moon – Jules Verne, From Earth to the Moon, 1890.

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