DIY Space Exploration

The video you are watching comes from a camera attached to a weather balloon that rose into the upper stratosphere and recorded Earth against the blackness of space. This is amazing if you consider its a family that just decided to try it. Anyone could have done this before NASA or the Soviets had the ability to video record been as common as it is today. It is also worth noting that this is fairly similar to the way the Air Force did actually obtain the first ever images of Earth from space.

A Solid Rocket Booster’s Life

If you think you have seen everything there is to see from The Space Shuttle… think again. Unless you are into the drama of suspense… Skip to around 2 minutes and watch the whole thing. It is incredible. Just a camera mounted to a solid rocket booster from launch to splash down. Seriously gorgeous. Things to watch out for is the separation and the other solid rocket burning out in the distance and the parachutes on splash down.

Eric Zelinski Redesigns Man and Space

Eric Zelinski had an unusual inspiration to redesign 4 chapters of a classic educational book; Time Life Science Library's Man and Space. The edition was first printed in 1964 and contained some very basic info-graphics on various space travel themes of the era. Keep in mind that this is pre-Apollo — so some of the items were conceptually unproven, but based upon generally accepted models of that time.

Seen above is “Ways to Go” which presents 3 different ways that NASA was actually considering for getting a man to the surface of the moon and back. Judging from the upstanding rockets seen in diagram #1 and #2, I think #3 is closer to the method that prevailed.

A diagram of the way back home.

A bit of more general information on the local environment around earth.

See also Eric’s submissions to the t-shirt giant Threadless. Many are space themed and his current submission is “Us Divided” which features a cosmic Earth split in two. It is now available for voting, so why not show some support?

Shuttle in Colorful Bands of Atmosphere

Text taken from spaceflight.nasa.gov: Though astronauts and cosmonauts often encounter striking scenes of Earth's limb, this very unique image, part of a series over Earth's colorful horizon, has the added feature of a silhouette of the space shuttle Endeavour. The image was photographed by an Expedition 22 crew member prior to STS-130 rendezvous and docking operations with the International Space Station. Docking occurred at 11:06 p.m. (CST) on Feb. 9, 2010. The orbital outpost was at 46.9 south latitude and 80.5 west longitude, over the South Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern Chile with an altitude of 183 nautical miles when the image was recorded. The orange layer is the troposphere, where all of the weather and clouds which we typically watch and experience are generated and contained. This orange layer gives way to the whitish Stratosphere and then into the Mesosphere. In some frames the black color is part of a window frame rather than the blackness of space.

Rosetta Skims Earth

On its way to a 2014 rendezvous with comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft, with JPL instruments on board, flew past Earth today to pick up energy.

50 Years of Space Exploration Map

This is so nice, but I am furious that I didn’t get to design this. This is Information design at it’s best naturally by National Geographic. You can see 50 years of robotic planetary exploration at a glance. It even includes failed missions represented by darker desaturated lines. As far as I can tell the cream colored lines are US and the red ones are Soviet. Interesting to see how many of those lines go dark around Mars.

Now where does one purchase such a thing? Perhaps this month’s issue of NG? Here is the link to it on their site complete with zoom viewer and them some kind samaritan posted a hires version to flickr.

Earth Ring and the End of Kaguya

The Kaguya moon orbiter has reached the end of its mission and on June 10th the spacecraft executed an uncontrolled impact into the surface of the moon. The impact was captured from ground-based observation (at left) and is the small round flash seen dead-center.

One of the mission’s final masterpeices of hi-def video was capturing an Earth eclipse of the Sun for the first time from the Moon. The image at top shows the details in 8 key frames and the actual video can be seen here on youTube.

Wow. Best Image of Hubble (The Telescope) Ever.

Having successfully repaired/upgraded the Hubble Space Telescope in what was easily the most complicated in-space repair mission in history, the Shuttle and Hubble depart the company of one another.

Taken from NASA image caption: An STS-125 crew member aboard the Space Shuttle Atlantis captured this still image of the Hubble Space Telescope as the two spacecraft begin their relative separation on May 19, after having been linked together for the better part of a week. During the week five spacewalks were performed to complete the final servicing mission for the orbital observatory.

iPhone Skins Featured on feulyourcreativity.com

Not to re-post old material, but our iPhone planetary skins were recently posted to fuelyourcreativity.com for free download. So I thought I would just remind everyone and maybe direct a little traffic love their way. 

Time Lapse Imagery from ISS

While astronaut Don Pettit was living aboard the International Space Station (ISS), he used some of his off-duty time to make time lapse videos of what he was seeing outside of the ISS window. There are a few examples of this work in this video from Science Friday (NPR). It begins with some beautiful aurora followed by a view of the solar panels rotating (they do this every 90 mins) and a simple look at the earth whirling about through a portal window.

See also this experiment involving candy corns.

Obama From Space

Wondering how I could angle today’s marvelous events into a space imagery blog? Wonder no more. Incredible image from GeoEye today. It might sound trite to say how the people almost look like ants… but really. They look like ants!

LDEF Fetish

Long Duration Exposure Facility The LDEF was the Long Duration Exposure Facility (which I actually remember being released by the Shuttle in 1985) is essentially a drum of science experiments that was just to expose various materials and surfaces to the hostile environment of space. Couldn’t resist posting on this post from thenonist.com that displays a bunch of the individual panels of this thing as artwork.

LDEF Panel

Frozen Earth

Iceberg Images by Ajay Goyal Don’t really post too many Terrestrial Earth images here becuase it is kind of cheating, but these iceberg images by Ajay Goyal are really nice and remind us of what an exotic planet our home really is. Imagine if these were images returned from a probe on a distant planet.

Camera + Balloon = Space Photography

Pentax k10d from High Altitude Balloon This image was taken from a Pentax k10d attached to a High Altitude Balloon. It was part of an experiment to test a cosmic radiation detector at Oklahoma State University. See the full flickr set here.