NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio during a spacewalk on STS-118. Credit: NASA
When NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins steps into space for the first time this week, he will wear a spacesuit that previously sprung a water leak and forced Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano back to station in July, NASA officials said Wednesday (Dec. 18).
While at first glance this sounds like an extra bit of drama as Hopkins and Rick Mastracchio make contingency spacewalks Dec. 21, 23 and 25 to kickstart a shut-down cooling loop, NASA officials say the suit is ready to go for another trip outside because astronauts (under NASA’s direction) have made a bunch of changes to the unit.
Read the rest of Leaky Spacesuit Fixed For Christmas Spacewalk Blitz On Station, NASA Says (970 words)
Herbert Marcuse (1898 - 1979) was one of the most prominent members of the Frankfurt School or The Institute for Social Research (Institute fur Sozialforschung) in Frankfurt am Main. The Frankfurt School was formed in 1922 but went into exile in the United States in the early 1930s during the reign of the Third Reich. Although most of his colleagues returned to Germany after the World War Two, Marcuse...
The short answer? No. Not in the way that a popular animated gif insinuates, at least.
If you’re even a casual space fan you may have seen a viral gif animation showing our solar system traveling through space, the motions of the planets tracing corkscrew “vortex” paths around a line-driving Sun. While it’s definitely intriguing to watch (in that mesmerizingly-repetitive gif fashion) and rendered with a talented flair for design, there are two fundamental problems with it. One: it’s not entirely correct, scientifically, and two: its creator’s intention is to illustrate a decidedly un-scientific point of view about the Solar System and the Universe as a whole.
For the long answer, I now offer up the stage to astrophysicist Rhys Taylor, who recently posted an in-depth article describing why the planets do yet move… just not like that.
Read the rest of Is the Solar System Really a Vortex? (2,178 words)
An artist’s conception of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars rover, scheduled to launch in 2018. Credit: ESA
Scientists, start your engines. The next few weeks will see a flurry of proposals come for the European Space Agency’s first rover mission on the Red Planet in 2018.
The ExoMars mission will see a lander and rover touch Mars, and what’s neat about this particular mission is the rover has a drill on board that can burrow as far down as 6 feet (2 meters) — a first on that planet. This means the mission would be well-suited to look for organic molecules, especially in light of the stunning findings Mars Curiosity scientists recently presented about a possibly life-friendly ancient lake on Mars.
Read the rest of Where Will ExoMars Land? Proposals Invited For Future Mars Rover And Lander (136 words)