Category Archives: Space Exploration

Why it’s only science that can answer all the big questions

Science has proved itself to be a reliable way to approach all kinds of questions about the physical world. As a scientist, I am led to wonder whether its ability to provide understanding is unlimited. Can it in fact answer all the great questions, the ‘big questions of being’, that occur to us?

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Lunar Landmarks meets Debussy’s “Moonlight” in this Amazing NASA Video

NASA has published an amazing video titled “Moonlight (Clair de Lune)”, which attempts to capture the mood of the French composer Claude Debussy’s (22 August 1862 – 25 March 1918) best-known composition, Clair de Lune (moonlight in French).

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A cosmonaut’s view, just after launching a tiny satellite into the orbit

On August 15, 2018, two Russian cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station performed one of the longest spacewalks in the history of space exploration. During the spacewalk lasting 7 hours and 46 minutes, Expedition 56 Flight Engineers Sergey Prokopyev and Oleg Artemyev manually launched four small technology satellites and installed a German-led animal-tracking project named Icarus onto the Russian segment of the space station. Two of the satellites were only the size of tissue boxes.

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The First US Spacewalk (June 3, 1965)

On June 3, 1965, NASA astronaut Edward Higgins White II (November 14, 1930 – January 27, 1967) made history and executed the United States’ first spacewalk during the Gemini 4 mission. The first US spacewalk lasted 23 minutes, beginning over the Pacific Ocean and ending over the Gulf of Mexico.

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NASA Has Published Statistics About the World’s Sandy Beaches

NASA has published some interesting statistics about the world’s sandy beaches on Earth Observatory webpage. According to the images taken by Landsat satellites Notes 1 (Landsat 5 and Landsat 8 Notes 2, 3), about 31 percent of the world’s coastlines are sandy. Africa has the highest proportion of sandy beaches (66 percent) and Europe has the lowest (22 percent).

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NASA Has Released Apollo 11 Mission Audio

NASA has just published Two Years’ Worth of Apollo 11 Mission Audio (the first manned moon landing mission) on their website “Explore Apollo“. That’s more than 19,000 hours of audio.

So now anyone can hear the endless hours of conversations between the Apollo 11 astronauts and Houston. Some recordings are really exciting, for example, the audio of the lunar module landing. When the lunar module enters the lunar orbit some interesting, tensed and nail-biting technical challenges are encountered and are solved.

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The coldest place in the Universe is now on the ISS

As soon as NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) began producing ultra-cold atoms, the International Space Station (ISS) became the coldest place in the known universe. The formation of a Bose-Einstein condensate, a fifth state of matter occurred in NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) at a temperature of 130 nanoKelvin, or less than 10 billionth of a degree above Absolute Zero. Absolute zero, or zero Kelvin, is equal to minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 273 Celsius. Previously, the record-cold was achieved in Prof. Wolfgang Ketterle’s laboratory at M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology): half-a-billionth of a degree above absolute zero.

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Did NASA Spent Millions of Dollars to Develop a Space Pen, While The Soviet Cosmonauts using Pencils?

Here’s the story: during the 1960s as NASA was sending the first astronauts to space, they realized that pens don’t work in zero gravity (or actually microgravity), so they spent years and many millions of taxpayer dollars to develop a “space pen”, which means a pen that can write in the microgravity. Meanwhile, the Soviet cosmonauts simply used pencils.

As Curious Droid pointed out in the video below, “the moral of the story to many is that NASA was a wasteful government organization that would be giving your hard-earned tax dollars to some greedy contractors charging sky-high prices for seemingly trivial objects whereas the enemy (the Soviet Union) was common sense and practical.”

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Why can’t we Remake the Rocketdyne F-1 Engine, which took humans to the Moon?

The mighty Saturn V, the rocket that took humans to the moon, remains the tallest, heaviest, and most powerful rocket ever brought to operational status (as of 2018). It was used by NASA between 1967 and 1973. It was powered by five Rocketdyne F-1 engines. With a thrust of 1,746,000 lbf (7,770 kN) in vacuum (1,522,000 lbf / 6,770 kN at sea level), the F-1 remains the most powerful single combustion chamber liquid-propellant rocket engine ever developed.

Today, private companies like SpaceX, Blue Origin, and space agencies like NASA trying to build powerful rockets in order to reach Moon and Mars. But, we’ve already built a rocket which took us to the moon, why don’t we simply remake it (and the engines)? In the video below, Youtube user Curious Droid answers this question.

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