Results tagged “NASA” from kwc blog

The Eye of Helix watches us

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spitzer.helix%20nebula.jpg

The Spitzer Space Telescope caught this awesome image of comets colliding in the Helix Nebula (the red is the comet dust). It would fit well with BSG mythology.

via SpaceWriter Ramblings

Shuttles from the Space Station and Hubble

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I never really thought about orbit angles and such, but apparently its really important if you're sending objects up to service objects in space. The Hubble Telescope is at a very different orbit angle from the International Space Station, which means that it would be very difficult for a shuttle to get assistance from the space station in the event of an emergency. I just assumed in a Space Camp sort of way that, once you're in space, you just bang on some thruster buttons until it all works out. The New York Times has more.

Speaking of shuttles and the International Space Station, here's a shot of a space shuttle launch as seen by the ISS (via Mr. Sun/Warren Ellis):

And here's an aurora borealis shot from the ISS as well (via space.com):

New York Times Article on Hubble + ISS

More photos from Warren Ellis

Sad

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Congress Trims Money for Science Agency

At least our pop culture will remain intact:

While cutting the budget of the science foundation, Congress found money for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in Birmingham, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, bathhouses in Hot Springs, Ark., and hundreds of similar projects.

AAAI Photos: Personal Rover

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Although the conference floor was rather sparse with booths, there were two booths that caught my attention: NASA and a Maze of Carnage. The NASA booth had a small playpen with one of their personal rovers that I thought was pretty neat. Its head has a tilting camera that can be programmed to take panoramic photos. Granted, the resulting photo is stitched together horribly, but you forgive the robot for its cuteness.

08-12-04.aaai2004-1.jpg

Talk: AI and the New Exploration Vision

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Dan Clancy, NASA

I enjoyed this talk -- it was a survey of NASA's current AI-based missions, including current and future Mars missions (Sojourner/Spirit/Opportunity). metamanda would have liked at least one point the talk made, which was that NASA is working on a personal rover robot to create/inspire kids, and in particular, girls. They have found in their exhibits that robots are more engaging to girls than boys, who enjoy the embodied interaction, so they see in it an opportunity to bridge a gender gap as well as inspire a future generation in NASA's vision. It was interesting how the Personal Exploration Rover pictures really did look like baby versions of the Spirit/Opportunity rovers, i.e. there was a certain amount of anthropomorphism to the vehicle, and it appeared child-like that could help engender a care-taker relationship between a kid and the robot.

Read on for notes.

The links overfloweth

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ultimate iPodAs if to answer my post on link dearth, the harvest is now bountiful. I should save some of these for 99, but oh well:

HULK Blog SMASH!: which shall entertain me now that the anthropomorphic mars rovers have run their course. 1

Ultimate iPod (well, not really): pqbon and I were discussing the simplicity of the iPod last night. As if to fly in the face of everything we discussed, someone mocked up what the iPod would look like with everyone's absurd feature request. 2

NYTimes on Giant Robot: mmmm, fried mochi on a George Foreman grill. Definitely will have to try that one out. 3

A reason to add Belgium to my visited countries map: Belgian Centre of Comic Strip Art: Yerba Buena had a good comics exhibit awhile back, but an entire museum would be even cooler 4

tranSticks: finally, a Sony product I can say positive things about :). If done right, I think wireless tech like this can fix usability and security issues that we see with technologies like Bluetooth, while making the overall setup so much easier to understand. The color-coded sticks allow the person to actually see the setup and interact with it physically without worrying about PINs/passwords, device names, menus, etc...

Whee! Backyard coaster 2/5

1 via kottke 2 via engadget 3 via metamanda 4 via fwak 5 via boingboing

Analysis Mars Spirit crash

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After some speculation from various circles, this article reveals what actually happened to the Spirit rover when it went dead for several days.
EE Times - The trouble with Rover is revealed

Cool Mars Animation Video

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This is a really cool animation of the Mars Rover from launch on earth to its mission on Mars. The level of technical detail appears to be high to me: they studied old Mars sunset images to get the correct blue cast, and you see a lot of the rover elements in high detail. I didn't realize how many rocket stages there were to launch the thing, and it's really cool to see the rocket get smaller, and smaller, and smaller.

One other note: the "American Beauty" music coupled with the camera on the rover make it seemly oddly anthropomorphic, and there are also the Johnny 5 resemblences.
Maas Digital MER Animation (medium) (via Kottke)

Columbia final report

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Report on Loss of Shuttle Focuses on NASA Blunders. The report blames NASA culture as much as the piece of foam for the shuttle's loss.

More cool space photos on the way

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sirtfNASA's latest telescope is on it's way. This one seems to be cool (a) because it's infrared and will see very distant, cold objects, and (b) it will actually be doing a solar orbit instead of staying stationed above Earth.
CNN.com - NASA launches last of the 'Great Observatories' - Aug. 25, 2003 (NASA Press Release)

Marvin the Martian Going to Mars

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marvin patch

press release

(Found this on boingboing)