Space

Stunning blue lightning filmed from the International Space Station

Stunning blue lightning filmed from the International Space Station

Researchers at the International Space Station have managed to catch rare blue lightning on camera, giving everyone a look at the phenomenon commonly only spotted by pilots. Such blue flashes aren’t something you’re likely to see from the ground, as they tend to happen above thunderstorms, making them visible to planes above the clouds. In an effort to better study them, the researchers were asked to point a special camera above one such thunderstorm.

Continue Reading

Algae survived 16 months in space outside of the ISS

Algae survived 16 months in space outside of the ISS

Algae can survive exposure in space for a long duration of time, according to the results of a relatively recent experiment aboard (sort of) the International Space Station. The results have been described as ‘astonishing,’ with researchers finding that despite exposure to the vacuum of space, extreme temperature changes, and both UV and cosmic radiation, the algae was able to survive for 16 months on the exterior of the ISS, demonstrating an incredible hardiness.

Continue Reading

SpaceX schedules ISS resupply run for February 18

SpaceX schedules ISS resupply run for February 18

SpaceX has announced that it is planning to make its resupply run to the International Space Station this upcoming February 18, marking the company’s first launch from its LC-39A launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center. The news follows SpaceX’s recent revelation that it plans to have a new launch every two to three weeks, something that’ll kick off next week when the new launch pad is finished.

Continue Reading

Big green fireball caught on video streaking through Midwest sky

Big green fireball caught on video streaking through Midwest sky

A giant fireball streaked across the dark Midwest sky over the United States this past Monday, and was spotted by individuals in multiple states, including Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, and even some as far away as West Virginia. The majority of reports seem to center around Chicago and eastern Wisconsin, though thanks to a couple of dash cams and webcams, everyone gets to have their own look at the event.

Continue Reading

Mars’ wet past has researchers baffled

Mars’ wet past has researchers baffled

Mars was, in its ancient days, a wet place, at least at times. It is believed that lakes existed on the planet, and that water flowed in various places. How that was possible, though, has researchers baffled, at least according to NASA. As it turns out, ancient Mars wasn’t as hot as it is today, and according to current estimations, it seems ancient Mars would have been too cold for the water to be in a liquid state. Even the possibility of warmth from greenhouse gases is problematic.

Continue Reading

Ancient Ceres may have been home to many ice volcanoes

Ancient Ceres may have been home to many ice volcanoes

The dwarf planet Ceres is home to a massive ice volcano said to be about half the height of Mt. Everest, and it sits alone on the otherwise mostly barren landscape. While solitary in its existence today, it may once have had other icy compatriots, at least according to a new bit of research fresh from the American Geophysical Union. These so-called ‘cryovolcanoes’ are thought to have flattened over time, becoming just another icy spot on the planet’s surface.

Continue Reading

US GAO voices concerns about SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket defects

US GAO voices concerns about SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket defects

An incoming report from the US Government Accountability Office could house safety concerns about SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket. The findings from this congressional investigation could threaten to delay SpaceX in its aggressive launch schedule. Those findings could also leave SpaceX's planned manned flights grounded until the uncovered issue is fixed.

Continue Reading

Boeing’s Starliner capsule will use 3D printed components

Boeing’s Starliner capsule will use 3D printed components

Boeing's CST-100 Starliner capsule won't start flying until next year, but when it does, a significant number of its components will be made through 3D printing. Boeing has recruited Oxford Performance Materials to produce around 600 parts for these space taxis, and these parts are offering some major benefits to Boeing without much in the way of negative trade-offs.

Continue Reading

Space travel may change the shape of astronauts’ brains

Space travel may change the shape of astronauts’ brains

A new study coming from the University of Michigan has found that astronauts face changes in the shapes of their brains during spaceflight, a health issue we’ve heard mention of from other studies in past years. Per the study, spaceflight causes an astronaut’s brain to compress and expand, with the ultimate degree of changes depending on how long the astronaut spent in space. Gray matter increased in some cases, but decreased in others.

Continue Reading

Researchers find observational evidence that the universe is a hologram

Researchers find observational evidence that the universe is a hologram

The holographic universe notion is nothing new — it was first suggested back in the 90s — but it just gained a lot of traction thanks to a new research project helmed by researchers from Italy, the UK, and Canada. The group’s study is said to present the first ever observational evidence supporting the idea that our seemingly 3D universe is in fact a really complex (and big) 2D hologram.

Continue Reading

NASA’s twin study finds notable biological changes after a year in space

NASA’s twin study finds notable biological changes after a year in space

NASA is in the midst of a “Twins Study” that looks at the biological effects of long-term space habitation by comparing the physiology of one twin — who spent a year in space — with that of the other twin, who remained on Earth. Though the data is still rolling in, there are preliminary indicators that space does have a big impact on one's biology, and the changes may range from things as 'small' as gut microbiomes to gene expression.

Continue Reading

Boeing Starliner spacesuit makes public debut: minimalist and very blue

Boeing Starliner spacesuit makes public debut: minimalist and very blue

Boeing has taken the wraps off its new Starliner spacesuit for the first time, giving the public its first look at the suit that astronauts will wear on their way to the International Space Station. The spacesuit will be worn by travelers hitching rides to and from low-Earth orbit destinations (like the ISS) via the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. Unlike traditional spacesuits, Boeing's creation is rather minimalist and very blue.

Continue Reading