Category Archives: Space Exploration

Five space probes leaving the solar system (for now)

As of 2019, only five space probes are leaving the solar system: Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, Voyager 2 and New Horizons. The Voyagers already left the solar system and entered the interstellar space (Voyager 1 on August 25, 2012, and Voyager 2 on November 5, 2018. The others also will leave the heliosphere Notes 1 and reach the interstellar space in a few years.

All of these spacecraft are launched by NASA.

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Speed of Light – See how torturously slow it is

The speed of light is the Universal speed limit – nothing can travel faster than light. In the vacuum (commonly denoted c), its exact value is 299,792,458 meters per second (around 186,000 miles per second). In other words, if you could travel at the speed of light, you could go around the Earth 7.5 times in one second.

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Moon Plants: Another historic first by China’s Lunar Lander

Scientists from the China National Space Administration (CNSA) has confirmed that the seedlings taken to the far side of the moon with Chang’e 4 lunar lander have started sprouting. Or to put it another way: this is the first time something has been grown on an astronomical body outside of the Earth! Now we have “moon plants”!

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Margaret Hamilton – her code got humans on the moon

Margaret Hamilton is not only one of the first software developers, but she also literally created the term “Software Engineering” to describe her work. The code she wrote successfully put humans on the moon for the first time.

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First Flower Grown in Space

A beautiful photo showing the first flower grown in space (a zinnia flower) with our beautiful Earth in the background. Now retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly shared photographs of a blooming zinnia flower in the Veggie plant growth system aboard the International Space Station on his Twitter account back in 2016.

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Watch: How far can Voyager 1 go before we lose contact?

Launched by NASA on September 5, 1977, to study the outer solar system, the Voyager 1 is the furthest human-made object from Earth. As of January 10, 2019, the space probe is more than 13,491,481,615 miles (21,712,434,988 km) away from our home planet. It is also moving away at a speed of 38,026.77 mph (61,198.15 km/h) relative to the Sun. But, thanks to NASA’s Deep Space Network (DSN) Notes 1, we can still communicate with it (also with its sister, Voyager 2). But how far can Voyager 1 go before we lose communication?

The video published by the Primal Space channel below looks at how we communicate with Voyager and when it will eventually stop receiving our signals.

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SpaceX Starhopper, Starship and Super Heavy Booster 3D Models Comparison

Finnish 3D artist Kimi Talvitie has made some really impressive 3D models of SpaceX’s stainless steel Starhopper (the shorter test vehicle of Starship), Starship (previously known as the BFS – Big Fragging Spaceship) and Super Heavy booster (previously known as the BFR – Big Fragging Rocket) and published them on his Twitter account. They are amazing!

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Astronauts demonstrate Newton’s second and third laws of motion

A microgravity environment is a perfect place to demonstrate basic physics, i.e. Newton’s laws of motion. In the videos published by the NASA Johnson channel, astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) just do that.

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