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Space the Final Frontier

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

Space the Final Frontier

Some Lucky Jerk Gets to Go to Space With Leonardo DiCaprio

Hey there, travel buddy! (Photo: Flickr, Craig Grobler)

Somebody check on the president of the Leonardo DiCaprio fan club, because we’ve got some bad news. E! reports that someone–it’s not clear who–has paid $1.5 million for a ticket to outer space sitting next to Mr. DiCaprio.

Can you imagine a better chance to finally make your move than a turbulent ride through the upper atmosphere, followed by at awe-inspiring gander at the curve of the Earth? Read More

Space the Final Frontier

Ready Your Audition Tape for Mars One, the Colonization Scheme That’s Also a Reality TV Show

Nope.

All dressed up in your spacesuit, with nowhere to go? Perhaps it’s time to put your self-promotional skills to work. Space.com reports that Mars One, the Dutch group hoping to fund a permanent human colony on the red planet by turning the whole dog-and-pony show into reality TV, will begin accepting applications by July.

Space.com says: Read More

Space the Final Frontier

‘Vulcan’ Voted Most Popular Name for Pluto’s Moons After a Twitter Campaign By Captain Kirk

But seriously that episode where Kirk and Spock fight on Vulcan is pretty good. (Photo: ussawesome.tumblr.com)

A couple of weeks ago, the SETI Institute asked the Internet to help name two tiny moons of Pluto. Well, the voting has now closed, and while no one hijacked the polls in favor of “Alderaan,” it was a name near and dear to science fiction nerds that took the top spot: Vulcan (a write-in) pulled 174,062 votes out of 450,324 total. Read More