While most of us enjoy the high-speed information freeway through some sort of broadband, fiber, 3G or 4G connection, the same can't be said for the astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
When you live in zero gravity, the differences between walls, ceilings, and floors is irrelevant, because unlike on Earth, every surface can be fully utilized. But when you try to recreate that scenario in an environment bound by gravity, you're bound to run into a few problems.
Earlier this afternoon, an asteroid came reeeeeal close to hitting Earth. How close? It was well within the orbits of our GPS satellites. Yeah, that close.
A company called UrtheCast is going to bolt a pair of high definition video cameras with big zoom lenses onto the International Space Station. These cameras will send down live video of Earth 24/7, with a resolution comparable to Google Earth. In other words, you'll be able to see yourself waving. From space.
Italian Astronaut Paolo Nespoli traveled to the International Space Station last December and spent 159 days working as an Expedition 26/27 flight engineer. While there, he took some incredible photographs. Check 'em out below.
The 1,700 pound sensor that makes up the wide-angle eye of the VLT Survey Telescope (aka VST) is exactly like the sensor in your digital camera. Except, you know, bigger. A lot bigger. We're talking an array of 32 individual CCD sensors that together take 268 megapixels worth of images of outer space. Meet OmegaCam.
Whether or not they get their electricity from solar panels, satellites still need fuel to keep themselves from eventually crashing back to Earth in an apocalyptic fireball that might, but probably won't, land right on your head. The only way to extend their lifespan is with in-flight refueling, and a new gas station on the ISS might make that possible.
On June 14, 1967 the Mariner 5 spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral, FL. Originally constructed as a backup, it was repurposed for a Venus flyby after Mariner 4 successfully completed its mission. Four months after takeoff, Mariner 5 got about 2,500 miles from Venus and came closer to the Sun than any previous probe.
The insignia on the side of Russia's Beriev A-60 shows a lightning bolt blasting what looks a lot like the Hubble Space Telescope. That's made more suspicious by the plane's megawatt laser turret hidden in the back that only points upward. Hubble doesn't seem like it would be much of a threat to anyone, but you do the math.
When Endeavour returned to Earth on June 1st, it marked the last flight for the spacecraft and the second to last flight of the entire Space Shuttle program. These 23 pictures were taken during the past few weeks as Endeavour carried out her last mission, and the image you're looking at above is especially wild.