space stories

 
How's this sound: giant solar arrays in orbit around the Earth, harvesting undiluted and virtually endless power from the sun and then beaming it straight down to the ground with lasers. Badass, right? And according to a three year, ten nation, peer reviewed study by the International Academy of Astronautics, we could make it happen within ten years.
 
We may not have a space shuttle anymore, but NASA still needs astronauts to pull shifts on the ISS and prep for missions to passing asteroids and (eventually) Mars. NASA has put out a call for applicants for the astronaut class of 2013. Think you have the right stuff? We'll see about that, nugget.
 
It's a bad time to be a water bear, especially a water bear with a non-refundable round-trip ticket from Earth orbit to Mars' moon Phobos. Russian's Phobos-Grunt probe is having engine trouble, and unless engineers are able to work a minor miracle, the whole thing will be coming back down in a matter of weeks.
 
We're not really sure whether there is currently, or has ever been, life on Mars. Russia is taking a proactive approach to that whole situation and sending a spacecraft 140 million miles or so to visit the red planet with a cargo of microbial sightseers.
 
We're very lucky that the Earth just so happens to have exactly one g worth of gravity. If it had more, we'd be exhausted all of the time, and if it had less, we'd have to get used to an entirely different style of movement. NASA's new ARGOS reduced gravity simulator is designed to simulate reduced gravity, to help astronauts learn how to moonwalk.
 
The six-man crew of volunteer astronauts who joined the Mars500 mission to isolate themselves in a bus-sized simulator for 520 days to simulate a journey to Mars are returning back to "Earth." Technically, they never left Earth, so they're just opening the door to their bunker for the first time in over nearly a year and a half.

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