Space the Final Frontier

House Committee Expressly Forbids NASA Proceeding With Plans for an Asteroid Visit

No asteroids for you! (By NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image by Reto Stöckl [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)

So much for that little excursion: The Wall Street Journal reports that, as expected, the House Science Committee has torpedoed early funding for an admittedly far-fetched plan for a manned mission to an asteroid.

And when they say no, they’re not playing around: “the House panel approved language explicitly prohibiting the agency from proceeding with the proposed asteroid project,” according to the Journal.

Instead the moon remains the pretty girl everyone wants to take to the prom: Read More

Space the Final Frontier

Space, Man: From a New Cosmos to Galaxy-Print Leggings, the Heavens Are Having a Moment

Spotted in Times Square, the site of the Mars Curiosity livestream.

Every week, weather permitting, a crew of starstruck earthlings sets up camp on that agora of Bloomberg New York, the High Line, parking their telescopes just south of the Chelsea Market. “People like looking up,” said David Kauffman, one of the event’s organizers, sporting a blue windbreaker from a Long Island astronomical society at a recent gathering. “I think that’s a natural human thing.”

Even passersby slowed down to investigate.

The Observer watched three college-age women creep up to the telescopes. “That’s so cool,” one gushed as a stargazer explained that, if it weren’t so cloudy, she’d be able to see Jupiter. One of her companions rattled off “My Very Educated Mother” and tried to puzzle out why she couldn’t see Mars, prompting an explanation of planetary orbits.

“You’re here every Tuesday?” asked the ringleader. “Okay, we’ll be back.” Read More

The Final Frontier

Rovers Now Just Drawing Penises All Over Mars

(Photo: Reddit)

The Mars Rovers have been roaming around the red planet collecting important scientific data that could help NASA determine whether or not there are ALIENS. But as any high school student will tell you, sometimes science class gets boring after a while, and you just have to do what your (robotic) heart tells you: draw penises all over stuff. Read More


Booting Up: Twitter Is Probably Working On Two-Step Authentication

WhatApp phone. (Photo: Nokia/BBC)

Twitter is reportedly working two-step authentication. Hopefully that means we don’t have to write “Look who got hacked!” stories anymore. [Wired]

Apple’s profits dipped 18 percent but were buoyed by the strong sales of iPads and iPhones. The company said its next big announcement will come sometime this fall. [CNet]

Move over Facebook Home, there’s a WhatsApp phone…sort of. Nokia implemented a “hard button” on its new phone for direct access to the app of the moment. [TechCrunch]

Reddit screwed up last week as it conducted a witch hunt to search for the suspected Boston bombers. However, there is a proper way to crowd-source a manhunt if Reddit looks at a 2000 NASA experiment called Clickworkers. [New Yorker]

The writers of Mad Men are pitching a show about the early days of the U.S. space program as seen through the eyes of journalists. Don Draper would even look hot in an astronaut suit, so we’re on board. [Wired]

Shapeways, a 3D printing marketplace, received a $30M investment from Andreessen Horowitz and Chris Dixon. []