Recycling the Empties

During a shuttle launch, the two white solid rocket boosters (SRB’s) attached to the main orange tank detach first* and fall back to Earth, landing in the Atlantic. These are retrieved by NASA ships and ferried back to be refurbished and refilled for the next mission…a process that requires the efforts of many experienced professionals,…

Dock of the Day

At 2:14pm EST today the space shuttle Discovery successfully docked with the International Space Station, 220 miles above Australia. This will be the last time Discovery will visit the space station, indeed the last time it will fly at all in its long and illustrious career. The image above was pulled from live video feed…

Discovery: Lighting Up the Night

Looking quite regal on Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39A, Discovery gets lit up by powerful xenon lamps in this animation made from live video feed images taken on the night before her final launch. As of this writing the shuttle liftoff is on schedule for 4:50pm EST on Thursday, February 24. The images above were…

This Week in Space

The space shuttle Discovery prepares for launch and new discoveries from NASA’s Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer‚Ķkamikaze comets, another exoplanet spotted, a closer look at the moons Rhea, Pallene and Phobos, lost spacecraft, an interview with retired astronaut Bernard Harris and lots more in this edition of This Week in Space with Miles O’Brien. Enjoy! Provided…

Water On The Moon!

The conclusive results are in….the LCROSS mission has successfully found water on the lunar surface! Although the plume from the satellite’s upper-stage rocket impact into Cabeus crater at the moon’s south pole was not immediately visible, there was still enough ejected material to be analyzed by LCROSS’ instruments. After reviewing the data over the past…

Ring King

¬† The bright band in this image is a cross-section of a massive new ring discovered around Saturn, a cold, diffuse and incredibly thick band of material orbiting the planet 3.7 million miles out…..much farther out than any of the other rings and farther away even than most of Saturn’s moons. The ring is so…