A Bion-M1 capsule launches aboard a Soyuz rocket
DLR photo via Wikimedia
Less than half of the rodents, lizards, fish, and other small animals that were lofted skyward last month made it back alive, but nonetheless Russian researchers are calling their so-called "Space Ark" mission - the longest-duration space mission ever dedicated purely to biological study - a success. After spending a month in space, the Russian Bion-M landed slightly off-target but safely in a Russian field yesterday.
IceCube Collaboration/National Science Foundation
It looks like the IceCube Observatory neutrino detector at the South Pole has found what it was looking for just two years after opening.
Opportunity rolling along the western rim of Endeavour Crater
Curiosity may be everyone's favorite Mars robot these days, but it has a long way to rove if it's going to catch up to the Mars rover Opportunity. Last week, Opportunity traversed 263 feet of Martian frontier near Endeavour Crater, bringing its total trip odometer up to 22.22 miles - the longest distance ever traveled by a NASA vehicle on the surface of a planet not named Earth.
Orion's Fiery Ribbon
ESO/Digitized Sky Survey 2
Inside the European Southern Observatory's Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX) telescope in Chile, there's a submillimetre-wavelength camera perfectly tuned to peer through the clouds of interstellar dust and gas that obscure our view of what's going on elsewhere in the universe. Fortunately for us, the camera is also good at picking up the faint glow given off by those very same grains of dust, at wavelengths too long for human eyes to see. The result: images like this one a "fiery ribbon" (that's how astronomers are describing it) stretching across a segment of the Orion Nebula some 1,350 light-years away.
Hadfield, Sitting in a Tin Can Far Above The World
International Space Station Expedition 35 Commander Chris Hadfield has taught us so much about space. He's shown us how to make sandwiches in zero gravity (with tortillas, because bread crumbs - like potato chip crumbles - can clog the instruments) and why there's no crying in space travel. And now, with his departure from the ISS imminent, he's shown us that covers can still be cool by releasing a video of himself performing David Bowie's "Space Cowboy" aboard the ISS.
Physicist Stephen Hawking, speaking at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, said if humans don't migrate from the planet Earth to colonize other planets, they'll face extinction in 1,000 years. So, phew, we're good, guys. We've got like 900-plus years to just sit on this. That's a relief. [RT]