At the beginning of this week, NASA announced its initiative to help private missions land on the Moon, and now it looks like the first privately built space shuttle will begin testing in 2016. The first tests will be unmanned to test the craft’s worthiness before a human crew is put on board.
The Dream Chaser space plane, buit by Sierra Nevada Corp., is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Nov. 1, 2016, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, the company announced Thursday (Jan. 23).
China’s brand new lunar rover, named Jade Rabbit was supposed to easily last three months, if not more, but it’s only been a month and it looks like the Rabbit is dead after encountering catastrophic problems.
The Moon exploration vehicle ran into problems due to the moon’s “complicated lunar surface environment”, Xinhua news agency said, citing science officials. The rover landed in December as part of China’s Chang’e-3 mission - the first “soft” landing on the Moon since 1976. It was expected to operate for around three months.
Taking one more giant leap towards legitimacy, Virgin Galactic announced last week that they will be accepting bitcoins as payment for a flight into outer space. Take a trip of the future with the currency of the future. Ahead of its first trips next year, Virgin Galactic has already had one “future astronaut” from Hawaii book a Bitcoin-funded ticket and hopes that its affluent clientele will follow suit.
Russian astronauts have managed to infect the ISS with the Stuxnet virus. Skynet can’t be far behind.
See what happens when America and Russia are friends and are hanging out in space together? The Russians and their shitty software have apparently managed to accidentally infect the International Space Station with the Stuxnet virus. Oh, and before that, they got it all up in a nuclear power plant as well. Dammit Russia, stop using all that shitty torrented software.
India has made a huge leap this past week when it launched a rocket to Mars, to do what NASA has done— orbit the red planet and collect massive amounts of data. But whereas the same type of mission would cost billions and billions, India pulled it off for just $73 million, which is peanuts in terms of interplanetary space travel. While most of the technology developed to make it cheap for India was developed by NASA, India’s super cheap Mars still could provide the US and other spacegoing nations a model for more frequent, cheaper travel.
All creatures on Earth have developed tiny biological mechanisms particular to life on this planet. For jellyfish, they’ve got tiny crystals in their body that sense gravity to tell them which way is up. Without an “up” in space, these structures don’t develop and when these space-bred jellyfish get back to Earth, they have problems navigating through the water.
In order to understand how astronauts returning to Earth from a long space voyage would adjust, NASA is willing to fork out $18,000 to anyone who wants to stay in bed for 70 days straight. Sounds like an easy gig, but we’re talking about staying in bed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for 70 days. Just laying there, tilted up at a 6 degree angle for nearly 2 and a half months. You don’t get to leave to use the bathroom or eat or anything. Sure, there are worse jobs, but overall it sounds like a good way to go insane. Is there beer? And frequent sex? No? Fuuuuck.
NASA has collected a tremendous amount of data from its rovers on Mars, but rovers that work on Mars wouldn’t work on Venus. Venus is a whole different creature, full of thick, noxious air and boiling pools of sulphur and shit. So in order to explore, NASA is wanting to build a rover called “Zephyr” that would kinda sailboard just above the surface.
Barbie has had dozens and dozens of careers over the decades. She must be really good at bullshitting on resumes, because she often will go from waitress to brain surgeon to kindergarten teacher to race car driver. In her latest career move, Barbie is going to Mars. Fortunately for everyone, Barbie wouldn’t last a minute in that space suit.
Japanese astronaut will be bringing a small talking robot into space. Don’t let it operate the pod bay doors.
When astronaut Koichi Wakada heads up to the International Space Station in August, he’ll have with him a little friend— a 13 inch tall robot named Kirobo. The robot will be able to carry on conversations with the astronauts on board to a certain extent. Or it, may gain self-awareness, realize the hopelessness of its predicament and murder everyone on board. Flip a coin.