Saturn V Cutaway by Stephen Biesty

November 24th, 2015 | Space

Saturn V cutaway

(Click to enlarge)

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.

-RSB

New Martian Spacesuit Revealed

November 11th, 2015 | Space

New Martian Spacesuit

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:

New Martian Spacesuit 2 docking

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!

-RSB

Biisuke Ball’s Big Adventure

October 28th, 2015 | Robot

Biisuke Ball's Big Adventure

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.

-RSB

[via Colossal]

Namib Dessert via the ESA Satellite

October 12th, 2015 | Space

Namib Dessert ESA Satellite

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:

ESA photo 2

Ganges’ Delta

ESA photo 3

Peruvian Landscape

ESA photo 4

Agricultural crops in Aragon and Catalonia

-RSB

Blue Brain Project Simulates 30,000 Neurons of Rat Brain

October 9th, 2015 | Brain

FIGURE 13_Spontaneous activity v3

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.

-RSB

Project Apollo Archive

October 5th, 2015 | Space

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 9

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…

Apollo 7

(Color) Earth Orbit; NASA photographs; unprocessed 1800 dpi Hasselblad film scans by Johnson Space Center, circa 2005

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 7
Apollo 7 Hasselblad image from film magazine 3/M – Earth Orbit

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 7 photo
Apollo 7 Hasselblad image from film magazine 4/N – Earth Orbit


Apollo 8

(B&W) Lunar Orbit, Trans-Earth Coast; NASA photographs; unprocessed 1800 dpi Hasselblad film scans by Johnson Space Center, circa 2005

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 8

Apollo 8 Hasselblad image from film magazine 13/E – Lunar Orbit, Trans-Earth Coast

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 8 - 2

Apollo 8 Hasselblad image from film magazine 13/E – Lunar Orbit, Trans-Earth Coast


Apollo 9

(Color) Earth Orbit, EVA; NASA photographs; unprocessed 1800 dpi Hasselblad film scans by Johnson Space Center, circa 2005

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 9 - 2

Apollo 9 Hasselblad image from film magazine 19/A – Earth Orbit; EVA

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 9 - 3

Apollo 9 Hasselblad image from film magazine 20/E – Earth orbit, EVA

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 9 - 4

Apollo 9 Hasselblad image from film magazine 21/B – Earth orbit, LM test flight


Apollo 10

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 10

Apollo 10 Hasselblad image from film magazine 35/U – Lunar Orbit, Trans-Earth Coast


 

Apollo 11

(Color) Trans-Lunar Coast; NASA photographs; unprocessed 1800 dpi Hasselblad film scans by Johnson Space Center, circa 2005

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 11

Apollo 11 Hasselblad image from film magazine 36/N – Trans-Lunar


Apollo 12

(Color) EVA-1; NASA photographs; unprocessed 1800 dpi Hasselblad film scans by Johnson Space Center, circa 2005

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 12

Apollo 12 Hasselblad image from film magazine 46/Y – EVA-1

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 12 - 2

Apollo 12 Hasselblad image from film magazine 47/V – EVA-1

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 12 - 3

Apollo 12 Hasselblad image from film magazine 49/Z – EVA-2


Apollo 13

(B&W) Lunar Module undocking prior to re-entry; NASA photographs; unprocessed 1800 dpi Hasselblad film scans by Johnson Space Center, circa 2005

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 13

Apollo 13 Hasselblad image from film magazine 59/R – Transfer from LM to CM; LM undocking prior to reentry


Apollo 14

(B&W) Post-Landing; NASA photographs; unprocessed 1800 dpi Hasselblad film scans by Johnson Space Center, circa 2005

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 14

(B&W) Post-Landing; NASA photographs; unprocessed 1800 dpi Hasselblad film scans by Johnson Space Center, circa 2005

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 14 - 2

(Processed) Apollo 14 Hasselblad image from film magazine 72/L – LM extraction, Lunar orbit


Apollo 15

(B&W) EVA-2; NASA photographs; unprocessed 1800 dpi Hasselblad film scans by Johnson Space Center, circa 2005

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 15

Apollo 15 Hasselblad image from film magazine 90/PP – EVA-2


Apollo 16

(B&W) EVA-3; NASA photographs; unprocessed 1800 dpi Hasselblad film scans by Johnson Space Center, circa 2005

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 16

Apollo 16 Hasselblad image from film magazine 106/K – EVA-3


Apollo 17

(Color) EVA-1 & 3; NASA photographs; unprocessed 1800 dpi Hasselblad film scans by Johnson Space Center, circa 2005

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 17 - 1

Apollo 17 Hasselblad image from film magazine 134/B – EVA-1 & 3

Project Apollo Archive - Apollo 17 - 2

Apollo 17 Hasselblad image from film magazine 134/B – EVA-1 & 3


Anyway, there are many more that you can find on the Project Apollo Archive here.

Have fun!

-RSB

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