Clay Dillow
at 12:10 PM December 1 2011
The ISS from Endeavour, Feb. 10, 2010 But where will they put the laundry room?
Space // 

Astronauts and cosmonauts are generally chosen based on a balanced blend of desirable traits: mental acuity and psychological stability (it's isolated up there), physical fitness, physiological durability, willingness to be strapped to a massive controlled explosion and hurled into an environment that is extremely hostile toward life, etc. But it's no secret: Right Stuff or no Right Stuff, astronauts stink. There's simply no good way to stay clean in space.

Clay Dillow
at 09:33 AM November 29 2011
The Milky Way, as Seen from the Cook Islands
IMAGE BY Tunc Tezel
Space // 

Today in pretty space pics: the Milky Way, viewed from the Cook Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean on a clear summer night. Snapped by Turkish skywatcher Tunç Tezel on the second largest Cook Island of Mangaia, the image was chosen as a winner of the UK's National Maritime Museum's Astrophotographer of the Year 2011 contest. And it's the most beautiful thing you're going to see on this back-to-work Monday.

Nick Gilbert
at 10:06 AM November 28 2011
Space // 

Over the weekend, NASA launched the Mars Science Laboratory from Cape Canavarel. It's the first rover to be launched to Mars in eight years, and it's also the biggest rover ever, weighing a heaving tonne in weight, and costing US$2.5 billion

James Bullen
at 01:41 PM November 24 2011
Zenit rocket carrying Fobos-Grunt before launch
IMAGE BY Roscosmos
Space // 

An Australian spacecraft tracking facility has received the first communication from a Russian spacecraft since it failed to move from Earth orbit two weeks ago.

Clay Dillow
at 12:33 PM November 17 2011
The Carina Nebula, Lit Up With Submillimeter Views
IMAGE BY ESO/APEX/T. Preibisch et al.; N. Smith, University of Minnesota/NOAO/AURA/NSF
Space // 

Today in pretty space pics: Behold, the Carina nebula - but not as it looks with the naked eye. Astronomers at the Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX), unsatisfied with the visible light spectrum images taken of this stunning swirl of blue interstellar dust, decided to begin imaging the region in sub-millimetre light invisible to the eye (represented by the the orange in the image above). Aesthetically speaking, it wasn't a bad idea.

Clay Dillow
at 09:00 AM November 15 2011
Phobos-Grunt and Upper Stage A model of the Phobos-Grunt probe with its upper state
IMAGE BY MKonair on Flickr
Space // 

It's now been almost a week since the launch of Russia's Phobos-Grunt spacecraft, and still mission handlers have received no communication from the interplanetary probe which has been stuck in Earth orbit since launching last Tuesday. The head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos says that the mission is not yet lost, but the window is definitely closing. In the early days of December that window will close completely, and if it does the spacecraft - which includes China's first Mars satellite - will likely burn up in Earth's atmosphere in January.

Clay Dillow
at 04:04 AM November 15 2011
Soyuz TMA-22 Blasts Off
Space // 

After a string of space launch disasters that have pushed Roscosmos's morale into the gutter, the Russian space agency today launched three astronauts - two Russians and one American - into orbit aboard a Soyuz-FG rocket.

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