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Increasing the awesome June 8, 2011

Posted by Marie in ISS, NASA, Photography, Space shuttle.
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Paolo Nespoli lived and worked on the International Space Station from December 2010 until May 2011.  On his departure from the ISS, he took this awesome video of the station, including the docked Space Shuttle Endeavour, on its final mission.

Most definitely increasing the awesome.

Crab Nebula March 23, 2011

Posted by Marie in NASA, Nebula, Neutron star, Wonders of the Universe.
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I was watching the third episode of Wonders of the Universe on BBC 2 on Sunday evening, and adored the images of the Crab Nebula, and of the neutron star rotating at its centre.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Hester, A. Loll (ASU)

The Crab Nebula is the result of a supernova (a star exploding), which was seen on Earth in the year 1054.  It is around 10 light-years across.  In its centre is a pulsar: a neutron star as massive as the Sun but only the size of a small town.  The Crab Pulsar rotates about 30 times each second, and if you’re interested in what that actually sounds like, well here it is.

The television programme also contained images of the pulsar itself – although these are not exactly the same images as used in the programme, this video shows it just as well.  The blue images are in X-ray light, taken by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the red images are in optical light from the Hubble Space Telescope (credit: NASA/HST/CXC/SAO).

Cassini approaches Saturn March 15, 2011

Posted by Marie in APOD, Cassini, NASA, Saturn.
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Every day, NASA shares a different image of the universe in what it calls Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD).  And every now and again, the picture is actually a video.

Today’s is particularly spectacular.  As the Cassini spacecraft approached Saturn, it took thousands of images along the way.  Recently, some of these images have been digitally tweaked, cropped, and compiled into this video.

Credit & Copyright:

Cassini Imaging TeamISSJPLESANASAS. Van Vuuren et al.

For more details, visit the APOD page for today.

Wake up, Discovery, time to boldly go … March 7, 2011

Posted by Marie in ISS, NASA, Space shuttle.
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This morning, as the space shuttle Discovery prepared to leave the International Space Station and return to Earth for the last time ever, a very special wakeup call was provided to the crew.

*like* 🙂

[Video from NASA]

Space Shuttle Discovery’s last launch February 26, 2011

Posted by Marie in ISS, NASA, Space shuttle.
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Discovery launches.

Image credit: NASA/Jeff Marino Feb. 24, 2011

On Thursday evening (UK time), the space shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the last time before being retired from NASA’s fleet.

It was a bit of a nail-biter, because the Range Safety Officer polled a ‘no-go’ during countdown due to a computer fault.  The issue was rectified with just two seconds to spare! – had this not happened, the launch would have been postponed – again.

But Discovery did, indeed, take off, and it’s worth viewing the video footage as it’s quite spectacular.

The shuttle is taking six crew members, a robonaut (R2),  some spare parts, and a ‘module’  to the International Space Station, which will be like a new room or an extension to the ISS.  (Wonder who chooses the wallpaper?)

Crew member Nicole Stott (@Astro_Nicole) and Robonaut (@AstroRobonaut) will be tweeting from the ISS with their updates.

A few lucky air travellers actually had an unexpected but fantastic view of the launch from the window of their flight from Florida, and shared it on YouTube.  Be amazed!

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