Fabrication of the pathfinding version of NASA’s Orion crew capsule slated for its inaugural unmanned test flight in December is entering its final stages at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) launch site in Florida. Engineers and technicians have completed the installat Heat Protecting Back Shell Tiles Installed on NASA’s Orion EFT-1 Spacecraft Set for Dec. 2014 Launch
After a thorough review of cost and engineering issues, NASA managers formally approved the development of the agency’s mammoth heavy lift rocket – the Space Launch System or SLS – which will be the world’s most powerful rocket ever built and is intended to take astronauts farther beyond Earth into deep space than ever before possible – to Asteroids and Mars. US Heavy Lift Mars Rocket Passes Key Review and NASA Sets 2018 Maiden Launch Date
Never seen Neptune? Now is a good time to try, as the outermost ice giant world reaches opposition this weekend at 14:00 Universal Time (UT) or 10:00 AM EDT on Friday, August 29th. This means that the distant world lies “opposite” to the Sun as seen from our Earthly perspective and rises to the east as the Sun sets to the west, riding high in the sky across the local meridian near midnight. Observing Neptune: A Guide to the 2014 Opposition Season
What a gorgeous view of the dusty cloud of the Milky Way arch hovering over clouds low on the horizon here on Earth! Fellow NASA Solar System Ambassador Greg Redfern took this image of our galactic center in the constellation Sagittarius. “If you have dark skies look to the south to see this grand spectacle,” Greg said via email. “It stretches across the entire sky.” Astrophoto: Clouds Above, Clouds Below
In the ‘new race to space’ to restore our capability to launch Americans to orbit from American soil with an American-built commercial ‘space taxi’ as rapidly and efficiently as possible, Boeing has moved to the front of the pack with their CST-100 spaceship by completing all their assigned NASA milestones on time and on budget in the current phase of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP). Boeing Completes All CST-100 Commercial Crew CCiCAP Milestones on Time and on Budget for NASA – Ahead of Competitors
The ‘Top 5’ landing site candidates have been chosen for the Rosetta’s orbiters piggybacked Philae lander for humankind’s first attempt to land on a comet. See graphics above and below. 5 Landing Site Candidates Selected for Rosetta’s Historic Philae Comet Lander
This year, the noctilucent cloud season has been especially eventful, and this new timelapse from Swedish astrophotographer Göran Strand shows these “night-shining” clouds covering the entire sky over the course of 2 hours. Timelapse: Watch Noctilucent Clouds Cover the Entire Sky
Reid Wiseman, NASA astronaut and part-time master of Vine videos, has done it again. This time he’s showing off a flame experiment on the International Space Station called the Flame Extinguishment Experiment-2 (FLEX-2). Watch A ‘Jellyfish Of Fire’ Created On The International Space Station
Here’s a beautiful new timelapse from the extremely talented astrophotographer, Thierry Legault. He recently traveled to Java Island in Indonesia to the Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park and shot imagery and footage of two active volcanoes, both during the day and at night. The views are absolutely stunning. Timelapse: Indonesian Volcanoes at Day and Night by Thierry Legault
What’s the chance of that thump you just heard in your house being a meteorite hitting your roof? That was the case for one family in Novoto, California during a fireball event that took place in the north bay area near San Francisco on October 17, 2012. Researchers have now released new results from analysis of the meteor that fell to Earth, revealing that the “Novoto meteorite” was part of numerous collisions over a span of 4 billion years. One That Fell to Earth: Researchers Reveal 2012 Novoto Meteorite Took a Beating