The planet Venus, named for the Roman goddess of Love, certainly wouldn't be a very loving place to live. On the surface, Venus hosts scorching temperatures of more than 800 degrees Fahrenheit, a heat capable of melting lead, as well as an atmospheric pressure 92 times greater than Earth's. That's the same kind of pressure found at nearly 3,000 feet below the ocean's surface.
When Gordon Cooper and Pete Conrad launched aboard Gemini V on August 21, 1965, they were the first astronauts to have mission patches sewn into their suits, a patch depicting a covered wagon. The motto of “8 days or bust,” however, had been nixed by NASA management; they worried it would make a shortened mission look like a failure. But the mission managed the full eight days, but it was probably as fun as traversing the country in a covered wagon. The view, on the other hand, was spectacular.
Lunar Mission One, the team of U.K.-based scientists and engineers hoping to send a robotic probe to drill into the moon, just reached a major milestone in funding. Today, the project's Kickstarter campaign reached its target goal of £600,000 (close to $1 million USD), with more than 30 hours to spare.
'Tis the season to use way more electricity than you normally would. U.S. cities use so much more light at night during December that the difference can be seen by satellite. U.S. suburbs emit 30 percent to 50 percent more light during the winter holidays, while urban areas emit 20 percent to 30 percent more light, a NASA analysis found.
Star Wars is a visual experience, to be sure, filled with glowing lightsabers, strange aliens, and amazing outer space dogfights. But none of that would make quite so much of an impact if it weren't for the sound. Ben Burtt is the man responsible for creating much of the franchise's iconic audio and effects -- everything from the snap-hiss of a lightsaber to the sound of the Millennium Falcon's hyperdrive failing.