Category Archives: Space

Revisiting the Moon

For the first time since 1976, an artificial vehicle has landed on on the Moon. In this case it’s China’s Chang’e-3 mission, carrying a six-wheeled rover called Yutu (“Jade Rabbit”). Emily Lakdawalla at the Planetary Society blog has made some … Continue reading

Posted in Space | 23 Comments

Space Launches Over Time

Technology Review has temporarily made their archives openly available, and one of their recent features is this fascinating plot of the number of space launches over time. (Via FlowingData.) This is a cropped and shrunk version; see the original article … Continue reading

Posted in Space | 16 Comments

Water on Mars

Here’s a pretty picture from JPL, based on data from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Click to see a larger version. (Note that the image is highly doctored, in the best NASA tradition; not just false-color, but they’ve “reprojected” so that … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Space | 12 Comments

NASA Astrophysics: It Really Is This Bad

Shorter House of Representatives: NASA shouldn’t do astrophysics anymore. Via the Tracker, an article by Eric Hand in Nature News that puts the fiasco in helpful graphical form. Misleading graphic alert! The vertical scale starts at $0.5 billion, not at … Continue reading

Posted in Science and Politics, Space | 56 Comments

Falcon 9, Flight 1

SpaceX, a private company that is developing the capability to launch both manned and unmanned missions into space, today successfully launched their Falcon 9 launch vehicle into orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida. This is the rocket that is designed … Continue reading

Posted in Space, Technology | 11 Comments

Hawking: Beware the Alien Menace!

Okay, that’s a bit alarmist. But Stephen Hawking has generated a bit of buzz by pointing out that contact with an advanced alien civilization might not turn out well for us backward humans. In fact, we should just try to … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Space | 56 Comments

Planck First Light

If you haven’t heard that Planck has seen first light, you haven’t been reading the right cosmology blogs: see Andrew Jaffe, Peter Coles, and Planck’s own Twitter feed. Planck is of course the European Space Agency’s microwave background satellite experiment, … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Space | 19 Comments

Our Neighborhood

A very cool picture of our Solar Neighborhood. See this and a bunch more at The Neighborhood. The collection isn’t complete; it focuses on relatively bright stars and those associated with known exoplanets. A slightly more realistic representation would have … Continue reading

Posted in Space | 13 Comments

SpaceX Launches a Satellite

For a long time, the government has been responsible for space travel in the United States. That’s about to change. Government is the appropriate agent for certain forms of collective action: roads, public schools, national defense. It’s also good for … Continue reading

Posted in Space, Technology, Travel | 23 Comments