nasa stories

 
The funding to send astronauts to the moon on NASA's new Orion space capsule may have been axed, but it's good for lots of other stuff, from ISS transport flights to deep-space adventures. Lockheed Martin has just unveiled the very first Orion spaceship, along with a fancy new simulation center to test it out in.
 
Every time the space shuttle launches, it ends up in orbit without its solid rocket boosters or external fuel tank. The tank breaks up during reentry and little bits of it land over the Indian Ocean, but the boosters parachute to safety, are picked up by a special ship, and get used over again.
 
Don't get me wrong, the International Space Station is no slouch, but back in the '70s NASA had some pretty grandiose visions for what life in space would be like. We'd be living in massive, rotating spheres, in cities designed to hold 10,000 people and wrapped around the inside of cylinders; we'd have flying vehicles and space suits to drift around in, and even sweeping green vistas with lakes and birds and cattle. It would be our home away from home, and every comfort would be there. Just, you know, in space.
 
Voyager 1 was launched in 1977, which, if you're counting, is more than 33 years ago. During that time, it's flown past Jupiter and Saturn and nearly made it out of our solar system, but it's still feeling frisky enough to perform a series of acrobatic roll maneuvers. Not bad for a spacecraft that was new at the same time as the Atari 2600.
 
Late on Friday, the Journal of Cosmology (a free but peer-reviewed scholarly journal) published a paper on their website by NASA astrobiologist Dr. Richard B. Hoover that showcases a variety of microscopic fossilized structures from inside meteorites that are possibly the remains of extraterrestrial bacteria. Aliens, for real.

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