Notes about space

August 4, 2011 permalink

Lego Minifigs Rocketed to Jupiter

NASA has teamed up with LEGO to blast the above three custom minifigs to Jupiter via an Atlas V rocket! There’s so much about this idea that excites the little kid in me. The three aluminum individuals going along for the ride are the goddess Juno (namesake of this NASA Jupiter probe project), bearing an outsized magnifying glass; Jupiter himself, with lightning bolts; and Galileo, with telescope and globe, who isn’t a god but made followers of one kind of angry back in the day when he started noticing and thinking about the moons circling the distant planet.

If these weren’t cast in metal, I’d like to think all three would be wearing the classic LEGO Space logo suit.

December 28, 2010 permalink

Cryovolcano on Titan

Volcanoes spewing ice and slush instead of lava on Titan! From NASA: Cassini Spots Potential Ice Volcano on Saturn Moon

Scientists have been debating for years whether ice volcanoes, also called cryovolcanoes, exist on ice-rich moons, and if they do, what their characteristics are. The working definition assumes some kind of subterranean geological activity warms the cold environment enough to melt part of the satellite’s interior and sends slushy ice or other materials through an opening in the surface.

I suddenly have a hankering to play Metroid…

June 23, 2009 permalink

The Final Footage from the JAXA KAGUYA / Selene moon probe

The final footage from the Japanese JAXA KAGUYA/Selene moon probe’s telemetry camera before it crashed to the surface (as planned). There’s something poignant about these last bits of video – after the years of engineering, planning, and information-gathering, it’s got to be hard not to personify the things. See also my favorite science/UI video of all time: final telemetry from the NASA Huygens probe.

June 10, 2009 permalink

NASA Apollo 11 Haynes Owners’ Manual

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, Haynes (maker of popular do-it-yourself auto repair manuals) has published an “owner’s manual” for the various craft involved in the Apollo 11 mission. Includes information on the Saturn V rocket, the Command/Service module (the part that astronaut Michael Collins was stuck in while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin got to go play on the moon), and the Lunar module. If you want to get me something retroactively for my 10th birthday, I think this would be it. (Via El Reg)