Mapping out Earth’s place in the universe among ‘Council of Giants’

We live in a galaxy known as the Milky Way – a vast conglomeration of 300 billion stars, planets whizzing around them, and clouds of gas and dust floating in between. Though it has long been known that the Milky Way and its orbiting companion Andromeda are the dominant members of a small group of galaxies, the Local Group, which is about 3 million light years across, much less was known about our immediate neighbourhood in the universe. Now, a new paper by York University Physics & Astronomy Professor Marshall McCall, published today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal … Continue reading Mapping out Earth’s place in the universe among ‘Council of Giants’

How NASA Sold Us The Moon

When President John F. Kennedy first roused the nation with his 1962 challenge to send astronauts to the Moon and back, most Americans took it on faith that it was a worthwhile quest. But they likely didn’t fully appreciate that in the decade that followed, NASA would also marshal all its marketing and public relations know-how to ensure that the court of public opinion would continue to give the space agency’s lunar efforts a hearty thumbs-up. You note that Apollo was the most important marketing and PR case study in history. How so? Scott: Imagine convincing the American public to … Continue reading How NASA Sold Us The Moon

NASA unveils 6-foot ‘superhero robot’ Valkyrie

Designed to compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge, this “female” robot could be the precursor to robo-astronauts that will help colonize Mars. Valkyrie has 44 axes of movement and interchangeable arms. (Credit: IEEE Spectrum ) What if NASA’s Robonaut grew legs and indulged in steroids? The result might be close to what NASA has unveiled: Valkyrie is a humanoid machine billed as a “superhero robot.” Developed at the Johnson Space Center, Valkyrie is a 6.2-foot, 275-pound hulk designed to compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC). It will go toe to toe with the Terminator-like Atlas robot from Boston Dynamics … Continue reading NASA unveils 6-foot ‘superhero robot’ Valkyrie

Russia To Open A Hotel In Space by 2016

By Awaissoft The rich and famous look for the most exotic places to spend their vacations. Orbital Technologies, a Russian company, has announced plans to make one of the most exotic hotel ever. Their idea to create a space hotel for commercial use is both metaphorically and literally out of this world. The hotel, officially called Commercial Space Station, will be able to accommodate seven guests in four cabins. It will orbit the earth at a height of 350 kilometers above the earth’s surface. Guests will be able to relax in zero-gravity and can pass the time by watching TV, … Continue reading Russia To Open A Hotel In Space by 2016

Russian Robonaut to Travel to Space Station Within Two Years

At a space industry conference last week, Russian officials announced that their version of Robonaut, the SAR-400, is currently undergoing testing at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre Research Institute, and will be making its way to the International Space Station (ISS) within just a few years. In many ways, the SAR-400 is a lot like the NASA/GM Robonaut 2 that we’ve come to know and love. It’s not intended to be autonomous (yet), but is instead teleoperated from the ground. Users put on gloves that directly control the robot’s arms and hands, while also providing real-time force feedback. On Earth, it … Continue reading Russian Robonaut to Travel to Space Station Within Two Years