Category Archives: Space

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“Riding Light” – Animation by Alphonse Swinehart

February 5th, 2015 | Space

Riding Light Vimeo

“Riding Light” is a new, beautiful animation by Alphonse Swinehart. In the 45-minute journey, you will travel with light on its way from the Sun to Jupiter. I love videos like this because they really help me gain a better appreciation for the scale of our Universe. If you watch light travel from Earth to Mars, for example, you will realize how difficult it will be to successfully complete a manned exploration mission to the red planet. There’s just so much emptiness between the planetary masses…

A word from the creators:

“In our terrestrial view of things, the speed of light seems incredibly fast. But as soon as you view it against the vast distances of the universe, it’s unfortunately very slow. This animation illustrates, in realtime, the journey of a photon of light emitted from the surface of the sun and traveling across a portion of the solar system, from a human perspective.

I’ve taken liberties with certain things like the alignment of planets and asteroids, as well as ignoring the laws of relativity concerning what a photon actually “sees” or how time is experienced at the speed of light, but overall I’ve kept the size and distances of all the objects as accurate as possible. I also decided to end the animation just past Jupiter as I wanted to keep the running length below an hour.

Design & Animation: Alphonse Swinehart / aswinehart.com
Music: Steve Reich “Music for 18 Musicians”
Performed by: Eighth Blackbird / eighthblackbird.org

-RSB

Photography from Todd Baxter

January 29th, 2015 | Space

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Todd Baxter, hailing from Chicago, Illinois, is responsible for these dreamy conceptual photographs. Often featuring children in surreal environments, Todd captures a certain intensity with his images. I think his portraits are especially strong… no smiles or laughter to be found here.

Find more from Todd at his Portfolio Site.

-RSB

Philae Spacecraft Lands on a Comet

November 13th, 2014 | Space
Philae Spacecraft Lands on Comet

The first image taken from the Philae Spacecraft on the surface of the comet

The European Space Agency succeeded in putting a spacecraft on the surface of a comet yesterday! This is a wonderful achievement for mankind! The robotic probe, Philae, reached 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (what a name?!) on the back of the Rosetta satellite on a 10-year, 6.4 billion-km journey. The descent to the surface took approximately 7 hours, and it wasn’t without its fair share of suspense. The 2 harpoons which were meant to stabilize the probe failed to launch, and the spacecraft actually bounced a few times on the surface before reaching its final resting place.

Philae Landing Zone

The main problem with the current position is that the lander is suffering from a lack of sunlight to power all of its tools. Philae is only receiving about 1.5 hours of illumination during every 12-hour rotation of the comet (much less than the agency had hoped for). The Europeans would love to power up Philae’s on-board drill and analyze the comet’s composition, but at the moment, they are worried that the drill’s rotational forces will destablize the probe and send it off into space. Regardless of future plans, this is already a tremendous achievement. Any time you accomplish something that has never happened in the history of humanity, I’d say it was success!

Why did they attempt this mission?

Many scientists believe that comets brought organic molecules to Earth, helping give rise to our oceans and atmosphere, and maybe even the seeds of life. So, learning more about comets’ materials in space could help us discover how life began at home.

A little known fact is that here at RobotSpaceBrain, we actually launched a manned-mission to 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko around the same time, and we are HAPPY TO REPORT, THE MISSION WAS A RESOUNDING SUCCESS! We even stuck the landing:

:) Needless to say, this is one of those really exciting moments in space exploration!

-RSB

GoPro in a Water Bubble in Space

November 6th, 2014 | Space

GoPro in Water in Space Station

I’m pretty sure I would never get tired of playing around in zero gravity. Here’s another video of the astronauts of the International Space Station testing out a crazy idea… underwater video in space.

From NASA: “During Expedition 40 in the summer of 2014, NASA astronauts Steve Swanson and Reid Wiseman — along with European Space Agency astronaut Alexander Gerst — explored the phenomenon of water surface tension in microgravity on the International Space Station. The crew “submerged” a sealed GoPro camera into a floating ball of water the size of a softball and recorded the activity with a 3-D camera.”

I need to get up there…

-RSB

LED Glow Skiers

October 16th, 2014 | Space

LED Glow Skiers 5 LED Glow Skiers 4 LED Glow Skiers 3 LED Glow Skiers 2

You may remember this sweet Snow Surfer video that Jacob Sutton created back in 2012. Well, now it’s the skiers turn to shred the powder in ethereal LED glowing suits.

This is even what I wrote back in 2012:

“The film is haunting.  I like to imagine this is what snowboarding in the future will look like — sculpture in motion.  I hope a skiing video is soon to follow.”

Well, thank you Philips TV and Atomic Skis for making my wish a reality.

From the creators:

“From the depth of the creative visuals to the groundbreaking, never-been-done-before scale of the shoot, Afterglow is being hailed as one of the most cinematically profound ski movies ever made. Deep pillows and Alaskan spines, all filmed at night, with massive lights, custom made LED suits, and a national governments worth of logistics, planning, and civil engineering.”

On October 19th, you can find the full 12 minute video here.

-RSB

“The Missing Scarf” by Eoin Duffy

October 4th, 2014 | Space

The Missing Scarf Eoin Duffy

Watch the video! What a wonderfully animated short by the Irish filmmaker, Eoin Duffy. I’m not surprised “The Missing Scarf” took home top awards in virtually every film festival in the world. It was also shortlisted for the 86th Annual Academy Awards.

The story starts out following a squirrel’s journey to find his missing scarf, but it evolves into something truly astronomical! The animation technique is exquisitely polished. It’s a beautiful way to use motion graphics — each new design was well timed and added to the scene. And not to mention… George Takei is narrating, so this short is really great by all accounts.

To find more from Eoin Duffy or congratulate him on a job well done, here’s his website.

-RSB

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