Category: space

ISS Envy: Breathtaking Views of Earth

October 1st, 2011 Permalink

We envy the International Space Station astronauts with their window on the world offering breathtaking views of the Earth and of the universe as a whole. Outer space may become the next frontier for vacations. If that becomes a reality, and we can book a space hotel with an eye in the sky overlooking Earth . . . wow, talk about a room with a view! Who would not want to go? We love to stargaze the majestic Milky Way, but crews from the ISS can also planet-gaze down at Earth. We also love NASA images and have looked at the space-walkers and photos captured from the ISS during Endeavor’s last-ever space walk. Granted there are many countries with space programs and spacecraft taking awe-inspiring photos of Earth—so these images were not entirely captured by the ISS—but they made us dream of taking a space vacation. When we see any of these out-of-this-world pictures, we get ISS envy because those space station expedition crews get to live with those magnificent views for extended ‘vacations.’ Here’s a very small but wowza collection of 34 breathtaking pictures of Earth, and of spacecraft approaching the ISS, as well as two incredible videos.

View of Aurora from ISS

Normally, we look up at amazing auroras, but the ISS crew is fortunate enough to have and captures auroras like this to give us an entirely different perspective of the phenomena. Photo #1 by NASA

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NASA Nostalgia: 42 Favorite Photos of the Space Shuttle Atlantis

August 8th, 2011 Permalink

It’s been only a short time since the space shuttle Atlantis completed her 135th space flight and concluded her final mission into the space frontier. It’s the end of an era for NASA, the finale of the 30-year Space Shuttle Program. That just seems wrong to us since NASA seems as American as apple pie. Although it’s not the end of NASA, we already miss NASA in its former capacity. We love to stare at images of the shuttle and adore pictures captured far above Earth. This time, all of these photographs are either of Atlantis or taken from Atlantis. Here’s some of our favorite photos in a nostalgic look back at the Space Shuttle Atlantis. We still love you, NASA! [42 Photos]

space shuttle Atlantis is seen on launch pad 39a of the NASA Kennedy Space Center shortly after the rotating service structure was rolled back, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009

The space shuttle Atlantis is seen on launch pad 39a of the NASA Kennedy Space Center shortly after the rotating service structure was rolled back, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2009, Cape Canaveral, FL. Atlantis is scheduled to launch at 2:28p.m. EST, Monday, Nov. 16, 2009. Photo #1 by NASA/Bill Ingalls

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46 Fabulous Photos of Endeavour’s Last Ever Spacewalk

May 27th, 2011 Permalink

Today NASA astronauts completed their final spacewalk, the last ever for Endeavour. During the 16-day mission, Endeavour and its crew completed NASA’s part in the construction of the International Space Station. This was the 36th shuttle mission to the ISS and this was the last spacewalkers that Endeavor will ever carry to space. The crew members for space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-134 mission are Commander Mark Kelly, Pilot Gregory H. Johnson and Mission Specialists Michael Fincke, Greg Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori. Sadly, we cannot count upon NASA’s astronauts to take any more wowza photos for us. This is the 25th and final flight of Endeavour before the shuttle is retired along with the rest of NASA’s orbiter fleet later in 2011. Thank you NASA, Endeavour STS-134 mission astronauts and ISS astronauts for your bravery and amazing photographs. We love these pics! [46 Photos]

27 May 2011 7-hour, 24-minute spacewalk - NASA astronauts Endeavour last spacewalk

May 27th, 2011: the last spacewalk for NASA’s Endeavour astronauts. Here, a fish-eye lens attached to an electronic still camera was used to capture this image of NASA astronaut Michael Fincke (top center) during the mission’s fourth session of extravehicular activity (EVA) as construction and maintenance continued on the International Space Station. Photo #1 by NASA

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Global Art Project Can Be Seen From Space! (21 Pics)

April 18th, 2011 Permalink

350 Earth is the world’s first art exhibit large enough to be seen from space! 350 EARTH is a global project to put art and creativity at the center of the growing movement to stop the climate crisis. 350.org launched the 350 EARTH project in November 2010 in the lead up to the UN Climate Meetings in Cancun, Mexico, coordinating over a dozen major public art pieces large enough to be seen from space. 350.org is building a global movement to solve the climate crisis. We love these pics and this project! [21 Pics]

Solar Scarab -- Cairo, Egypt

“Solar Scarab” by Sarah Rifaat — Cairo, Egypt. In Cairo, Egypt, hundreds of students formed the image of a traditional Scarab beetle, a traditional symbol of rebirth and regeneration that was often depicted on temple walls pushing the ball of the sun across the sky. Using the scarab and the sun in this art piece is both a reminder of the integral part the sun has always played in Egyptian history, and a call for re-examining our modern relationship to this most abundant source of clean energy. Photo #1 by Ahmed Hayman

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Earth’s Bulls-Eye, the Eye of Africa, Landmark for Astronauts (14 PICS)

April 5th, 2011 Permalink

Since the beginning of space missions, the Earth’s bulls-eye caught the interest of astronauts in the otherwise featureless Sahara Desert. Over the years, it has become a landmark for astronauts. At first, the circular pattern was thought to have been a meteorite impact, but now the 31 mile wide bulls-eye, called the Richat Structure, is believed to be uplifted rock, a circular anticline, laid bare by erosion. Some people call this bulls-eye in the Sahara the “Eye of Africa.” [14 pics]

The Richat Structure, a prominent circular feature in the Sahara desert of Mauritania near Ouadane

This prominent circular feature, known as the Richat Structure, in the Sahara desert of Mauritania is often noted by astronauts because it forms a conspicuous 50-kilometer-wide (30-mile-wide) bull’s-eye on the otherwise rather featureless expanse of the desert. Initially mistaken for a possible impact crater, it is now known to be an eroded circular anticline (structural dome) of layered sedimentary rocks. Photo #1 by NASA/JPL/NIMA

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ESO: Stargazing the Majestic Milky Way (35 Pics)

March 10th, 2011 Permalink

When you were a kid, did you ever wish upon a star? Stargazing always seems to help put problems into perspective. Americans usually know more about and love NASA, but the European Southern Observatory (ESO) is cool too. The ESO operates the Paranal Observatory, located in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile at an altitude of 8,645 feet. The largest telescope on Paranal is called the Very Large Telescope (VLT) and it shoots a super cool laser into outer space. These incredible pictures were all taken at the ESO, featuring gazillions of stars in the majestic Milky Way, the VLT, Cerro Armazones, La Silla Observatory, or ALMA antennas. We love these pics! [35 Photos]

ESO Laser Towards Milky Ways Center

ESO: Pointing the Laser towards the Milky Way’s Center is helping researchers better monitor the galactic core, where a central supermassive black hole, surrounded by closely orbiting stars, is swallowing gas and dust. In mid-August 2010 ESO Photo Ambassador Yuri Beletsky snapped this amazing photo at ESO’s Paranal Observatory. Photo #1 by ESO/Y. Beletsky

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24 Amazing Auroras: Aurora Borealis & Aurora Australis

February 17th, 2011 Permalink

We’ve collected 24 stunning auroras; either Auroras Borealis – the northern lights – or Aurora Australis – the southern lights. We love these pics!
[24 Photos]

Aurora Australis Over South Pole Telescope

Aurora Australis blankets the sky overhead of the 10-meter South Pole Telescope at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica. Like its more familiar counterpart, the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights, the Aurora Australis is caused by the solar wind passing through the upper atmosphere. But the Aurora Australis is much less frequently observed because so few people live in Antarctica during the austral winter. Photo #1 by Keith Vanderlinde, National Science Foundation

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