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SpaceX Launch of NASA Cargo to Space Station Set for Friday, Spacewalk Wednesday

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NASA and SpaceX are targeting a 3:25 p.m. EDT launch on Friday, April 18, of SpaceX’s third cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA Television coverage will begin at 2:15 p.m.

The company’s April 14 launch to the orbiting laboratory was scrubbed due to a helium leak in the Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the Dragon spacecraft to the space station.

Dragon is carrying to the space station almost 5,000 pounds of science and research, crew supplies, vehicle hardware and spacewalk tools — all to support the crew and more than 150 scientific investigations planned for Expeditions 39 and 40. If needed, another launch attempt will take place at 3:02 p.m. Saturday, April 19.

NASA Television coverage of Dragon’s arrival at the space station will begin at 5:45 a.m. Sunday, April 20. Expedition 39 Commander Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will use the space station’s robotic arm to capture the spacecraft at approximately 7 a.m. NASA’s Rick Mastracchio will support Wakata during the rendezvous. Read the rest of this entry »

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Astronaut Pee Turned Into Fuel

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Alyssa Denigelis reports: It’s a classic fact that astronaut urine can be processed into drinkable water. Now a new bioreactor could turn the waste filtered from that pee into an energy source as well.

When water supplies run low on a space mission, astronaut urine can be treated to become drinking water. But the waste removed is still, well, waste. University of Puerto Rico scientists Eduardo Nicolau and Carlos R. Cabrera, working in collaboration with the NASA Ames Research Center, came up with a new approach to make use of the waste.

Read the rest of this entry »


Pistol Packing Nurse Saves Man Being Beaten by Gang of Attackers in Detroit

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 reports: On April 2, Deborah Hughes looked out her front window and saw Steve Utash on the ground being brutally beaten by a gang of men–she grabbed her pistol and ran to his aid.

According to the Daily Mail, Utash had stopped to check on a 10-year-old child “he had accidentally hit.”

When Utash got out of the car a gang converged on him and had beat him unconscious “by the time [Hughes] got to his side.”

Read the rest of this entry »


First Instagram from Space

 


Is The Flying Car Finally Here?

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What will personal transportation look like in the future? Maybe like this, if aerospace company Terrafugia succeeds in its efforts to build TF-X.

Introducing TF-X

For CNNTeo Kermeliotis, reports: Ever since the early 1960s when we were glued to the animated sitcom “The Jetsons“, whimsical visions of a futuristic space utopia filled our imaginations leaving people asking themselves: “Where’s my flying car?”

Point taken, but perhaps now, as our childhood dreams move slowly closer to reality, we should also start pondering this: if a flying car was here today, in the real world and not in the realm of science fiction, would we feel comfortable controlling it safely while cruising thousands of feet up in the air? Would we possess the technical skills required to even get it off the ground, let alone land it without a scratch?

Before you dash to the door and sprint to your nearest pilot school to sign up for flight lessons, take a moment to meet Carl Dietrich, the chief executive and co-founder of aerospace company Terrafugia.

Dietrich and his team are working to bring consumers closer to the prospect of a practical flying car, envisioning a vehicle that does not require its operator to be a trained pilot. Thus, Boston -based Terrafugia announced last May it had started working on the concept of TF-X, a four-seat, plug-in hybrid electric car that can do vertical take-offs and landings.

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A rendering of the TF-X concept.

Who makes the calls?

Although not driverless, Dietrich says the TF-X could increase the level of so-called “human directed local autonomy,” a term he describes as a “big fancy phrase” that essentially means that the vehicle’s operator won’t need to have the knowledge or skills of a pilot. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Former President Bill Clinton: I Hope We Unite to Fight Aliens

 


Air and Space Artifacts to Get New Display in D.C.

National Air and Space Museum (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)

National Air and Space Museum (Photo by Stefan Zaklin/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — Some of the most iconic artifacts of aviation and space history will be getting an updated display for the 21st century, with the Apollo moon landing as the centerpiece.

“We’re trying to figure out what the museum needs to do to stay in touch. We want to inspire people of all ages to want to know more and to do more.”

– Museum Director J.R. “Jack” Dailey

For the first time since its 1976 opening, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum plans to overhaul its central exhibition showing the milestones of flight. The extensive renovation announced Thursday will be carried out over the next two years with portions of the exhibit closing temporarily over time, said Museum Director J.R. “Jack” Dailey.

Charles Lindbergh’s “Spirit of St. Louis” aircraft from the first trans-Atlantic flight, John Glenn’s Mercury capsule from his first Earth orbit and an Apollo Lunar Module recalling America’s first moon landing will be among the key pieces to be featured. Such artifacts have made the Air and Space Museum the nation’s most-visited museum, drawing 7 million to 8 million visitors each year.

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[PHOTO] Concept Model: Saturn V and Space Shuttle Combo

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Saturn-Shuttle / The concept model for a Saturn V and Space Shuttle combo.

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Discovery, Science to Televise Live Moon Landing

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Discovery and Science Channels are headed to the moon.

The sibling cable networks have signed on to chronicle the Google Lunar XPRIZE competition for privately funded teams to land an unmanned craft on the moon by Dec. 31, 2015.

Lesley Goldberg writes:  The networks will chronicle the historic race with a miniseries event that follows teams from around the world as they race to complete the requirements for the grand prize: landing a craft on the surface of the moon, traveling 500 meters and transmitting live pictures and video back to Earth.

Science and Discovery will follow the entire process — from testing and lift-off to live coverage of the winning lunar landing, estimated to take place in 2015.

“The $30 million Google Lunar XPRIZE offers all the ingredients of fantastic television; stakes, competition, big characters and mind-blowing visuals.

Read the rest of this entry »


Vintage Space Photo: 1966 Apollo Command Module 007

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1966 Apollo Command Module 007

Source: Laurentiu Cristofor

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China Opens 2014 Campaign with Secretive Satellite Launch

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Rui C. Barbosa reports:  The Chinese finally opened their 2014 campaign with the launch of a Shijian-11 class satellite. A Chang Zheng 2C (Long March 2C) rocket lofted a mysterious satellite – understood to be part of the Shijian-11 series of early warning satellites - from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center’s 603 launch pad at the LC43 launch complex at 02:46 UTC.
Chinese Launch:

This is the sixth in a series of satellites that – according to the Chinese media – are only known to be “experimental satellites” developed by the DongFangHong Satellite Company of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp.

As with the previous Shijian-11 satellites, the true mission of Shijian 11-06 was not revealed by the Chinese authorities. However, some observers noted that the Shijian-11 series could be related to a constellation of operational early warning satellites.

‘Shijian’ means ‘Practice’ and this series of satellites have been used in a variety of configurations and missions for scientific research and technological experiments. Read the rest of this entry »


“Black” Aircraft Sighting — The Real Deal?

Bill Sweetman at Aviation Week covers the recent sighting — and photographs — of an unidentified aircraft over north Texas.  You can see the pics here and here.

I’ve been a black aircraft enthusiast all my life (and that goes back to the days when the SR-71 was still “secret”).  Sweetman is one of the best aerospace/defense/mil-tech journalists around, although he’s been accused of being willing to run with a story a little too soon.  I personally feel like he does sometimes report on rumors and informed speculation, but is careful to identify them as such.

At least as far as the available information on this one goes, I feel like this is a solid lead.  The photos do not look photoshopped at all (there is a history of shopped pics among back plane chasers), and the aircraft does fit into a niche that many have wondered about — the US lacks a large, high-altitude, stealthy ISR platform and, as Sweetman points out, sat photos of Groom Lake (Area 51) show way more capability than can be accounted for with known programs.

So I put this one in the “definitely possible, maybe even probable” category.


Vintage Toy Gun of the Day: ‘Space Pilot X Ray’

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Space Pilot X Ray

Gun 
Yoshiya/Taiyo (Japan) 
1970s

fortunecookied

 


Space History Photo of the Day: ‘Big Joe’, 1959

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Atlas launch vehicle carrying the Big Joe capsule, September 9, 1959

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Vintage Sci-Fi Magazine Cover Art of the Day: Fantastic Universe

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Fantastic Universe (March 1955) 
Cover art by Alex Schomburg

via Fortunecookie - Fortunecookied.tumblr.com

[Collectors can find Fantastic Universe, March 1955 (Volume 3 No. 2) and others at Amazon]


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