sic itur ad astra

some of us are looking towards the stars

42 notes &

The Cassini spacecraft captures a rare family photo of three of Saturn’s moons that couldn’t be more different from each other! As the largest of the three, Tethys (image center) is round and has a variety of terrains across its surface. Meanwhile, Hyperion (to the upper-left of Tethys) is the “wild one” with a chaotic spin and Prometheus (lower-left) is a tiny moon that busies itself sculpting the F ring.
To learn more about the surface of Tethys (660 miles, or 1,062 kilometers across), see  PIA17164. More on the chaotic spin of Hyperion (168 miles, or 270 kilometers across) can be found at  PIA07683. And discover more about the role of Prometheus (53 miles, or 86 kilometers across) in shaping the F ring in  PIA12786.
This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 1 degree above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 14, 2014.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.2 million miles (1.9 million kilometers) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 22 degrees. Image scale is 7 miles (11 kilometers) per pixel.
The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

The Cassini spacecraft captures a rare family photo of three of Saturn’s moons that couldn’t be more different from each other! As the largest of the three, Tethys (image center) is round and has a variety of terrains across its surface. Meanwhile, Hyperion (to the upper-left of Tethys) is the “wild one” with a chaotic spin and Prometheus (lower-left) is a tiny moon that busies itself sculpting the F ring.

To learn more about the surface of Tethys (660 miles, or 1,062 kilometers across), see PIA17164. More on the chaotic spin of Hyperion (168 miles, or 270 kilometers across) can be found at PIA07683. And discover more about the role of Prometheus (53 miles, or 86 kilometers across) in shaping the F ring in PIA12786.

This view looks toward the sunlit side of the rings from about 1 degree above the ringplane. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on July 14, 2014.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 1.2 million miles (1.9 million kilometers) from Tethys and at a Sun-Tethys-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 22 degrees. Image scale is 7 miles (11 kilometers) per pixel.

The Cassini-Huygens mission is a cooperative project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, D.C. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo.

Filed under cassini saturn moon tethys hyperion Prometheus probe space deep space

91 notes &

Kids today labor under the stereotype that they are preoccupied with video and online gaming, mired in digital routines to the exclusion of real-world exploration and imagination. A recent study by Kid Bunch and Touchstone Research, Inc. however, shows that today’s youngsters still dream of exploring the great beyond and learning about space exploration – both at school, and through fun and educational digital apps. An infographic prepared by Kid Bunch, juxtaposing the views of 7 – 10 year olds with those of their parents, indicates that most kids think there could be aliens in space, a third of parents believe that Mars will be colonized during their child’s lifetime, and a majority of families agree that the Apollo 11 mission that first brought mankind to the moon really happened. The study reveals that only a quarter of kids feel they’ve learned a lot about space exploration in school. Realizing the importance of science in their kids’ lives and the potential for “stealth learning”—using technology to engage and involve kids while they learn , 80% of parents agreed that there needs to be more quality educational material for kids on mobile devices. Coinciding with this need, the study found that 2/3 of kids and parents would download a mobile app that combined digital gaming with learning about space science and the Apollo 11 mission. While 90% of kids believe STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) learning subjects to be very important for children today, learning-while-gaming apps just might be the middle ground that kids and parents are looking for.

Kids today labor under the stereotype that they are preoccupied with video and online gaming, mired in digital routines to the exclusion of real-world exploration and imagination. A recent study by Kid Bunch and Touchstone Research, Inc. however, shows that today’s youngsters still dream of exploring the great beyond and learning about space exploration – both at school, and through fun and educational digital apps.


An infographic prepared by Kid Bunch, juxtaposing the views of 7 – 10 year olds with those of their parents, indicates that most kids think there could be aliens in space, a third of parents believe that Mars will be colonized during their child’s lifetime, and a majority of families agree that the Apollo 11 mission that first brought mankind to the moon really happened.


The study reveals that only a quarter of kids feel they’ve learned a lot about space exploration in school. Realizing the importance of science in their kids’ lives and the potential for “stealth learning”—using technology to engage and involve kids while they learn , 80% of parents agreed that there needs to be more quality educational material for kids on mobile devices.


Coinciding with this need, the study found that 2/3 of kids and parents would download a mobile app that combined digital gaming with learning about space science and the Apollo 11 mission. While 90% of kids believe STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering, Math) learning subjects to be very important for children today, learning-while-gaming apps just might be the middle ground that kids and parents are looking for.

Filed under kids apollo space nasa infographic study stem apollo 11

135 notes &

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image of Florida to Louisiana just before dawn, taken from the International Space Station, and posted it to social media on Friday, Sept. 12. Wiseman, Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst began their first full workweek Monday as a three-person crew aboard the space station, while the three additional flight engineers who will round out the Expedition 41 crew spent the day training for next week’s launch to the orbiting complex.

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman captured this image of Florida to Louisiana just before dawn, taken from the International Space Station, and posted it to social media on Friday, Sept. 12. Wiseman, Commander Max Suraev and Flight Engineer Alexander Gerst began their first full workweek Monday as a three-person crew aboard the space station, while the three additional flight engineers who will round out the Expedition 41 crew spent the day training for next week’s launch to the orbiting complex.

Filed under wiseman nasa iss internationa space station suraev gerst space florida louisiana

35 notes &

A thin sliver of Mimas is illuminated, the long shadows showing off its many craters, indicators of the moon’s violent history.
The most famous evidence of a collision on Mimas (246 miles, or 396 kilometers across) is the crater Herschel that gives Mimas its Death Star-like appearance. See PIA12568 for more on Herschel.
This view looks toward the anti-Saturn hemisphere of Mimas. North on Mimas is up and rotated 40 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 20, 2013.
The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 100,000 miles (200,000 kilometers) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 130 degrees. Image scale is 4,000 feet (1 kilometer) per pixel.

A thin sliver of Mimas is illuminated, the long shadows showing off its many craters, indicators of the moon’s violent history.

The most famous evidence of a collision on Mimas (246 miles, or 396 kilometers across) is the crater Herschel that gives Mimas its Death Star-like appearance. See PIA12568 for more on Herschel.

This view looks toward the anti-Saturn hemisphere of Mimas. North on Mimas is up and rotated 40 degrees to the right. The image was taken in visible light with the Cassini spacecraft narrow-angle camera on May 20, 2013.

The view was acquired at a distance of approximately 100,000 miles (200,000 kilometers) from Mimas and at a Sun-Mimas-spacecraft, or phase, angle of 130 degrees. Image scale is 4,000 feet (1 kilometer) per pixel.

Filed under mimas moon probe nasa space herschel death star Cassini-Huygens Cassini saturn

121 notes &

The largest spacecraft welding tool in the world, the Vertical Assembly Center, officially is open for business at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The 170-foot-tall, 78-foot-wide giant completes a world-class welding toolkit that will be used to build the core stage of America’s next great rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS).

The largest spacecraft welding tool in the world, the Vertical Assembly Center, officially is open for business at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The 170-foot-tall, 78-foot-wide giant completes a world-class welding toolkit that will be used to build the core stage of America’s next great rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS).

Filed under welding tool new orleans sls orion core construction nasa space

28 notes &

Expedition 40 Commander Steve Swanson of NASA rests in a chair outside the Soyuz Capsule just minutes after he and Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), landed in their Soyuz TMA-12M capsule in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev returned to Earth after more than five months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 39 and 40 crews.

Expedition 40 Commander Steve Swanson of NASA rests in a chair outside the Soyuz Capsule just minutes after he and Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), landed in their Soyuz TMA-12M capsule in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014. Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev returned to Earth after more than five months onboard the International Space Station where they served as members of the Expedition 39 and 40 crews.

Filed under swanson touch down nasa space iss internationa space station soyuz Kazakhstan Skvortsov Artemyev

122 notes &

NASA’s first completed Orion crew module sits atop its service module at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew and service module will be transferred together on Wednesday to another facility for fueling, before moving again for the installation of the launch abort system. At that point, the spacecraft will be complete and ready to stack on top of the Delta IV Heavy rocket that will carry it into space on its first flight in December. For that flight, Exploration Flight Test-1, Orion will travel 3,600 miles above the Earth – farther than any spacecraft built to carry people has traveled in more than 40 years – and return home at speeds of 20,000 miles per hour, while enduring temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

NASA’s first completed Orion crew module sits atop its service module at the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The crew and service module will be transferred together on Wednesday to another facility for fueling, before moving again for the installation of the launch abort system. At that point, the spacecraft will be complete and ready to stack on top of the Delta IV Heavy rocket that will carry it into space on its first flight in December. For that flight, Exploration Flight Test-1, Orion will travel 3,600 miles above the Earth – farther than any spacecraft built to carry people has traveled in more than 40 years – and return home at speeds of 20,000 miles per hour, while enduring temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Filed under orion nasa Space Launch Complex 2 eft-1 kennedy kfc Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building test