This is astronaut Chris Hadfield demonstrating what happens when you wring a washcloth out in space. It’s completely different (read: cooler) than what happens here on boring old earth. Also, who the hell uses washcloths anymore — this is 2011, folks. “2013.” Right. This is 2013, folks. Shower scrunchies. Washcloths are only good for flossing your roommate’s between your buttcheeks.
Hit the jump for the video, but skip to 1:45 for the washcloth squeezing fun to begin.Related Posts:
This is a video (after the jump — that’s just an animated gif above for all you grandparents out there) of astronaut Chris Hadfield showing us earthlings what it looks like to cry in space. It’s weird. Besides, why would anybody cry in space anyways — YOU’RE IN F***ING SPACE. There’s absolutely no reason to cry if you’re in space. I don’t care if my spaceship is hurtling towards the sun and there’s no way to stop it — I’m gonna meet my maker with the biggest shit-eating grin on my face. *dies* Wait — why do you have horns?
Hit the jump for the video.Related Posts:
“Space,” a great man once said, “is the place.” Over the centuries, the cosmos have inspired mankind’s imagination and innovation, in pursuit of that final frontier. The past few decades, however, have seen a fading of such romantic pursuits, a phenomenon no better illustrated than with the end of NASA’s shuttle program. So, where does that put us in 2013? This month, we travel the country in pursuit of an answer, speaking to some of the top minds in the public and private space games.
We kick things off with a profile of LiftPort, a commercial space endeavor operating out of a small garage in rural Washington State that has been funding its dreams of space elevators through crowdfunded Kickstarter campaigns. Next, we head out to Cape Canaveral in Florida, where Swamp Works has set up shop in an old Apollo training facility. NASA scientists will tell us about some of the organization’s far-out plans for getting to Mars and back and 3D printing structures on lunar and planetary surfaces once we arrive.
NASA’s Tom Rivellini joins us to discuss “seven minutes of terror,” and what it takes to land a rover on the surface of Mars. We’ll also pay a visit to NASA’s Ames facility to discuss why space travel is still important to life on Earth. And while out in the San Francisco Bay Area, we swing by the SETI institute to find out how the organization is actively looking for extraterrestrial life in the universe, including a discussion with SETI founder and developer of the Drake Equation, Frank Drake.
Next up, things get a bit animated with Packing for Mars author Mary Roach, who will discuss the grosser side of manned space travel, while professional prognosticator (and sometimes rock musician) John Roderick kicks off his new reoccurring segment by explaining how space exploration helps him get out of bed in the morning.
We also take a closer look at how the commercial space sector is pushing exploration forward with Google Lunar X Prize senior director, Alexandra Hall, a lunar rover team at Carnegie Mellon, the Space Angels Network VC firm and Laser Motive, which is working on powering crafts through lasers. Then we’ll cap things off by speaking to two former movie costume makers who have launched their own commercial space suit companies. Excited? Take one small step with us after the break.
The first ever musical recording in space (that we know of anyway) was performed just a few days ago on the International Space Station by Col. Chris Hadfield, commander of the International Space Station. The song, which is already climbing up Reddit’s r/Music page, is an original Christmas Carol called Jewel in the Night.
Based on the commander’s Facebook and Twitter pages, he and his crew are celebrating Christmas in every way possible while they’re away from their families. They even have a Christmas tree on the ceiling, thanks to what the commander calls “the beauty of a weightless Christmas.”
Col. Hadfield is married, with three adult children, one of whom sent us his Christmas Carol.
The song is interesting, as it depicts Christmas from a birds’ eye perspective, from space. The International Space Station crew is spending Christmas as far away from Earth as possible, and while I try to stick with the classics, no situation is more suited to an original melody.
Here’s the SoundCloud file:
It’s crazy to think that someday, probably soon, when space travel has become a consumer industry, that this could be the Christmas Carol of outer space.
I mean, we made it through the Mayan Apocalypse (and the Black Friday Apocalypse), so in my book we’re good to go for at least a few more centuries.
In other words, get used to Jewel in the Night. One day, it too will be a classic with Oh Holy Night and Jingle Bells.
So bright, Jewel in the night. There in my window below. So bright, dark as the night. With all of our cities aglow.
It’s long been our way To honor this day And offer good will to man.
And know, where eever we go, It’s come round to Christmas again.
So far, shines every star. They’re without limit to see. So grand, far away land Beckoning, calling to thee
And let it be shown Where ever we go In all of the wonders above,
With all that we bring There’s no finer thing Than this message, this province of love.
A love for the families That gather below. Love for the stranger That you’ll never know.
For those who aren’t with you Who wander above.
So bright, jewel in the night. There lies the cradle we knew. Home of all that we love And all of our memories, too.
It shall be our way To wander away And take with us all that we know. And never cease this message of peace From Bethlehem so long ago.
It shall be our way, to wander away, And take with us all that we know. And never cease, this message of peace, From Bethlehem so long ago.
Space junk is an undeniable problem when there’s over 500,000 dead satellites, spacecraft pieces and other human-made obstacles that could crash into active orbiting vehicles. DARPA is more than a little overwhelmed in trying to track all those hazards by itself, so it’s recruiting amateur help through its new SpaceView program. The effort will buy time for non-professional astronomers on existing telescopes, or even supply hardware directly, to track the spaceborne debris without the sheer expense of growing an existing surveillance network. While that amounts to using hobbyists purely as volunteers, DARPA notes that the strategy could be a win-win for some when hardware donated for SpaceView could be used for regular astronomy in spare moments. The challenge is getting through the sign-up phase. While SpaceView is taking applications now, it’s initially focusing on options for standard commercial telescopes and hand-picking those who have permanent access to hardware in the right locations — there’s no guarantee a backyard observatory will pass muster. Those who do clear the bar might sleep well knowing that satellites and rockets should be that much safer in the future.
On Friday, Space Shuttle Atlantis made its final voyage, marking the last time an orbiter in America’s shuttle program would be on the move. We were on-hand during the occasion and followed Atlantis as it slowly trekked to its destination, a 90,000 square-foot exhibit building at Kennedy Space Center’s Visitor Complex. To live out the event vicariously, check out the photos below or hit the jump for the video.
Filed under: Science
The space shuttle Endeavour finally bid adieu to its fans in Southern California last weekend, not in the air, but on city streets. The L.A. Times captured this remarkable feat in a time-lapse video, and it’s quite a sight to see the orbiter sailing past suburban houses and fast food drive-thrus. Along its 12-mile crosstown trip from LAX to the California Science Center in Exposition Park, the shuttle atop a special transporter had to maneuver past trees, utility poles and of course hundreds of enthralled residents. This came weeks after it made its farewell tour over the California coast perched on a Boeing 747. Take a peek at the Endeavour’s final fascinating journey at the source.
Filed under: Transportation
Talk about building up the tension! Yep, our favorite Austrian daredevil is back out on the New Mexico desert, hoping the weather will hold, and he can finally fall into the record books. Don’t forget, you can catch up on Felix Baumgartner’s long journey to Roswell in our project overview, but if you’re just here for the jump, no problem, as you can watch right here too. Currently conditions are looking like they might just go in Baumgartner’s favor, despite some initial concerns about wind levels. But, as we found out earlier in the week, anything can change in an instant. Hold on to your hat (and your breakfast), and hop past the break to watch the events unfold live.
Weather may have delayed Felix Baumgartner’s record-breaking “space dive” by another (no doubt torturous) 24 hours, but all going well, the wait is almost over. In just over an hour, proceedings will kick off, and you can watch them live, right here. The latest reports indicated that conditions remain favorable, with the team sending a weather balloon up into the stratosphere earlier this morning. The fun begins at 8:30am eastern, but all you need to do is grab a coffee then head past the break for the live feed.
If you thought that year out around Europe was an eye opener, how about 12 months on the International Space Station? That’s what’s in store for two unnamed astronauts. Currently, the maximum stay on the ISS is six months, but in 2015, one Russian, and one American will work their way through the whole calendar, in a trip that could help pave the way for deep space travel. Plenty of data has already been collected about the effect microgravity has on the body, but less is known of the longer-term implications. NASA is already considering sending manned expeditions to near-Earth asteroids and Mars in the coming decades — but the results from this excursion could prove invaluable. The names of the chosen two haven’t been revealed, and the Soyuz capsule‘s (currently unaccounted for) third-seat has also sparked talk of another person possibly coming along for the ride. Time to re-plan that gap year?