The Saturn V was a NASA rocket used between 1966 and 1973. It is the only launch vehicle that has been able to transport humans beyond low Earth orbit, making it responsible for bringing 24 different astronauts to the Moon.
I love these sort of infographics because they give you a sense of the design and engineering that went into these colossal machines. This illustration comes from a Stephen Biesty Incredible Cross-Sections book. Looking through these books is giving me a strong rush of nostalgia for the countless hours spent in my youth pouring over all of these intricate details.
NASA recently released a new prototype spacesuit for future Martian exploration. The Z-2 design can effectively “dock” with a Mars rover or with some sort of habitation placed on the surface. A little like this:
A major advantage of this sort of design is that you can keep the Martian dirt on the outside and never track it through an airlock.
Of course, this design will likely go through many more iterations in the next two decades leading up to launch. If you want to get involved, NASA is looking for new astronauts! The job application opens in December, 2015. You need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in Science, Engineering, or Math with a few years of experience in those fields. Best of luck!
Rube Goldberg machines are all about taking as many steps as possible to do something really simple. In this clip from the Japanese educational television program, PythagoraSwitch, a small red ball called Biisuke travels through a Rube Goldberg machine to rescue his yellow and green-colored brothers from the ball prison. It’s a pretty neat idea to turn the classic RG machine into an epic quest.
You can find more small machines on the program’s YouTube page.
Fire & Ice… The red hue comes from the iron oxide which is plentiful in this area of the Namib dessert of Namibia. BUT, the colors are not quite realistic. This is one of the European Space Agency satellite photos that have been recolored as part of an art/science collaborative exhibition called Spaceship Earth.
Here the location via Google maps if you are curious: link.
And here a few more of my favorite images from taken from ESA satellite:
The European Blue Brain Project to simulate the rat brain has finally bore its first fruit. Researchers spent over 20 years of biological experimentation and 10 years of computational science work to get to this point. The project has been hotly contested across the science world. Last year, more than one hundred neuroscientists threatened to boycott the project unless significant changes were made. More than 1 billion euro was funneled into the project by the European Commission, and many scientists wondered if anything useful would be created.
But alas, the first findings were published October 8 in the journal Cell, in an article entitled, “Reconstruction and Simulation of Neocortical Microcircuitry.”
“[We] find a spectrum of network states with a sharp transition from synchronous to asynchronous activity, modulated by physiological mechanisms,” wrote the authors. “The spectrum of network states, dynamically reconfigured around this transition, supports diverse information processing strategies.”
This first simulation is meant to represent a “scaffold” on which many more layers of complexity can be added. I think it’s a good first step and hopefully this work can lead to a deeper understanding of the human brain.
Kipp Teague is a Virginia-based space enthusiast who has been collecting and cataloging NASA content since 1999. The Project Apollo Archive is the result of the almost 2 decade effort which serves as “an online reference source and repository of digital images pertaining to the historic manned lunar landing program.”
It’s a large collection, but I’ll feature some of my favorites from each Apollo Mission here, starting with…