Virginia from Space

Big shout-out to astronaut Ricky Arnold, who snapped this amazing photograph of Virginia a few hours ago. Most of my family, and most of the people I grew up with, are contained within this single frame. Beautiful, heady stuff.     

Latest from Low Earth Orbit

Since I’ve previously used this blog to write about my admiration for astronauts (links), I thought I’d provide an update on some of the people currently inhabiting the International Space Station. First and foremost, a big shout-out to Iowa-born Peggy Whitson, the current ISS commander who has spent more time in space than any other American, male Read More …

Fly Me to the Moon

You may have missed it given all the other headlines of late, but we have an early candidate for science story of the year. Two weeks ago, Elon Musk announced that his company, SpaceX, had been approached by two as-yet unnamed people who want to visit the Moon on one of his rockets and then return Read More …

Down to Earth

As you may have already heard, American astronaut Scott Kelly will soon return to Earth, both literally and figuratively, after spending (almost) an entire year aboard the International Space Station. During his lengthy stay in low-Earth orbit, he conducted hundreds of scientific experiments, and was himself subjected to scientific experimentation on a daily basis. Capt. Kelly, who had already Read More …

Year in Space

Those of you who watched President Obama’s State of the Union address last January may remember the President giving a shout-out to astronaut Scott Kelly, who was preparing to embark on a yearlong mission to the International Space Station. As the President explained at the time, the mission will monitor the effects of extended stays Read More …

First Mission to Pluto

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, the New Horizons spacecraft recently streaked past Pluto and is now transmitting data from its close encounter with the distant dwarf-planet planet back home to Earth. It will take NASA scientists a while to decipher all the data, but the first HD images are already pretty impressive. One Read More …

Updates from Space

Given that we’ve seen an avalanche of historic headlines over the past week or so (examples here, here, here, and here), you might not have heard about a slew of interesting developments in outer space. For example, you may recall that the world was ecstatic when the Philae lander bounced onto the surface of Comet Read More …

The View From Here

Yesterday marked 25 years since the Hubble telescope was launched into orbit. After a famously blurry start, more than a few servicing missions, and at least one totally awesome IMAX movie, the telescope has provided reliably amazing images of the universe for more than two decades. To celebrate the achievement, NASA released this gorgeous photograph Read More …