Leland Melvin is a unicorn of a human being. He's been drafted to the NFL, flown in the final frontier (twice), and now, written a book called Chasing Space. On the internet, the former NASA astronaut is best known for this unforgettable photo with his two dogs, Jake and Scout, who grace the cover of his new memoir. Gizmodo sat down with Melvin to talk about diversity in STEAM fields, education and, of course, Good Dogs in Space.
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Good news! Three space telescopes, including Hubble, have combined their celestial powers to spot a moon orbiting a dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt — the region beyond Neptune where Pluto and countless other icy bodies live. According to NASA, the dwarf planet's moon has a lot to teach scientists about how moons formed in the early solar system — but sadly, it has no name. Its planet's name, on the other hand, is garbage — 2007 OR10 and its satellite friend desperately need some rebranding.
Video: On March 24, ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet was joined by NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough on a spacewalk outside the International Space Station. The outing was fairly routine, but this footage captured by Pesquet gives all of us stuck here on Earth an amazing first-person look of what it's like to be an astronaut looking down on our planet.
In 59 years, NASA has flown more than 50 women into space. That might seem like a reasonable number, but when you consider the space agency has flown hundreds of men over the same time period, it's a tad unsettling. If we ever want to actually colonise a planet like Mars, we're going to have bring hundreds of women, or thousands.
What's the first thing you think about when you think of NASA's space shuttle program? Sally Ride? Spinning in microgravity? The Challenger explosion? That episode of The Simpsons? You might not think about the US military and intelligence community launching spy satellites, but you should. NASA's shuttles were designed specifically to carry US spy satellites to orbit. And we got our hands on a newly declassified document about the top secret plans.
Welcome back to Toy Aisle, our weekly round-up of all the coolest new toys. This week we have a truly spectacular Princess Leia figure, a double dose of Wonder with new Wonder Woman toys, some out-of-this-world cards, and a tiny version of the legendary Dragonzord from Power Rangers. Hide your wallets!
Good morning, Cassini! Yesterday, at about 5:00PM AEST, NASA's Deep Space Network Goldstone Complex in California's acquired the orbiter's signal for the first time since it began its series of Grand Finale dives. The photos it took from the space between Saturn and its rings, which have just been released, are nothing short of breathtaking. It's classic Cassini, making the previously impossible look easy.
The Pluto-shaped void in our hearts has yet to be filled by Planet 9, copious amounts of Ben & Jerry's, or anything. Ever since the winter of 2015, when NASA's New Horizons performed a six-month-long reconnaissance flyby study of Pluto and its moons, fans of the dwarf planet have wondered if or when we'd ever go back. According to New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern, he and some other planetary scientists are already drawing up the blueprint for a return trip — and this time, it'd be much more than just a flyby.
Like a dandelion reaching up to the sky on a warm spring day, the James Webb Telescope peers upwards in this stunning new photo released today by NASA. Still under construction, the powerful space-bound telescope will soon be shipped across the country for the next phase of its development.
Last month, astronaut Peggy Whitson performed her eighth spacewalk outside the ISS, setting the record for most spacewalks by a woman. On Monday at 3:27PM AEST, she made history yet again by breaking astronaut Jeff Williams' record for cumulative time in space by an American astronaut, which was 534 days, two hours and 48 minutes.
As journalists, it's our obligation — nay, our duty — to ask the hard questions. So when presented with the opportunity to ask a living former astronaut and American hero Mike Massimino about his two trips to the final frontier to fix the Hubble Space Telescope, without any real impetus or news peg, we knew what to do. We bombarded him with the dumbest questions we could think of.
After NASA's announcement last week, Enceladus is the icy moon on everyone's mind — not that are are many others (sorry, Europa). According to the agency, molecular hydrogen has been found in Enceladus' subterranean ocean, which bolsters the idea that the icy moon could host extraterrestrial microbes. Despite Enceladus' frigid exterior, this ocean is thought to be extremely warm at the bottom — roughly 90C. So if you're an astrobiologist or tinfoil hat believer like me, this is very exciting because, well, aliens. Obviously.
Watching a rocket launch is the most wholesome and exciting activity besides going on a roller coaster or eating large quantities of cheese. Today, at around 1:11AM AEST, NASA, in coordination with United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Orbital ATK, will take things to the next level — the agency will be broadcasting the first-ever 360 degree live stream of a rocket launch.
Naps are empirically great. Sadly, our gig economy world frowns upon R&R; as an adult, it isn't socially acceptable to curl up and take a nap at work, no matter how tired or hungover or burdened with ennui you are. Instead, we reward children, who do little besides breathe and create turmoil, with the gift of "nap time". Thankfully, a hard-working someone — or, rather something — out there is finally getting a well-deserved snooze.
Earth has been the Airbnb for some questionable guests over the years, but none have been more deplorable than humans. Our bad habits are screwing up the planet big time, causing arctic glaciers to melt and sea levels to rise 20cm over the last century alone. At this point, getting adopted by some alien overlords might not be such a bad idea — even NASA seems to be on board.