JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, Houston--Guy Laliberté, a former street entertainer who founded the enormously successful Cirque du Soleil, says he doesn't plan any fire eating or stilt walking aboard the International Space Station when he visits this fall.
But he might try to teach his crewmates a few card tricks if he can figure out how to do it in weightlessness.
"Take out the fire part!" he laughed during a news conference Thursday at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. "I think this is out of the question by far. The stilts, I don't know … Read more
PASADENA, Calif.--While some suggest that space exploration is a luxury we can't afford in tough times, it's not surprising that Charles Elachi doesn't see it that way.
"Our economy is fundamentally dependent on innovation," said Elachi, who heads NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "This is not the time to go back and sit under our shell."
Elachi, speaking at the Fortune Brainstorm: Tech conference, said some of the technology used in space has led to things like GPS and better ways of detecting cancer.
To offer a visual aid to his argument, … Read more
JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, Houston--NASA managers terminated a spacewalk Wednesday when carbon dioxide levels in astronaut Chris Cassidy's spacesuit began climbing due to a malfunction in its CO2 removal system. NASA managers said later the CO2 levels never exceeded normal limits for crews inside the space station or the shuttle and that calling off the spacewalk early was simply a precaution.
"A spacesuit is a very small spacecraft and there's really not very much margin for error," said space station Flight Director Holly Ridings.
She said Cassidy, a former Navy SEAL making his first spacewalk, experienced no … Read more
Open-source software has been making inroads into U.S. federal agencies for years, most notably in January when the U.S. Department of Defense set up an internal forge to host open-source software for use by the government.
Now NASA, not to be outdone, has created its own open-source software repository, with a diverse array of software available "as an essential response to the needs of NASA missions."
NASA indicates several purposes for making its software open source:To increase NASA software quality via community peer review. To accelerate software development via community contributions. To maximize the awareness … Read more
During a Twitter/YouTube question-and-answer session aboard the International Space Station on Tuesday, members of the shuttle Endeavour's crew fielded a variety of enquiries about life in orbit, including one that shed new light on the rigors of spacewalking.
"Hi, I'm Dawn from Indianapolis, Indiana, and my question is if you're in a spacesuit, especially out on an EVA and you have to sneeze, how do you deal with that? Especially if it splatters," one viewer asked in a video message uplinked to the astronauts. "Second part, if your nose itches while you're … Read more
New NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, a respected former shuttle commander and retired Marine Corps major general, said Tuesday he's confident an ongoing presidential review of NASA's manned space program will not result in changes that would lengthen the projected five-year gap between the end of shuttle operations and the debut of a new rocket system to replace it.
While he would not say what sort of rocket system he favors--NASA's current Ares program or some alternative--Bolden said review Chairman Norman Augustine understands the critical need to replace the shuttle as soon as possible to minimize reliance on … Read more
An unseen comet or possibly an icy asteroid apparently crashed into Jupiter's atmosphere near the giant planet's south pole sometime during the last few days, creating a "gargantuan" blemish easily visible from Earth.
The presumed impact, discovered by Australian amateur astronomer Anthony Wesley July 19 and confirmed by NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility at Mauna Kea, Hawaii, came almost 15 years to the day after multiple fragments of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 crashed into Jupiter in 1994.
"We're not sure how large this fragment could have been," Leigh Fletcher, a researcher at the Jet … Read more
The first man on the moon took a moment Monday, on the 40th anniversary of his "giant leap," to remember the Apollo program and the engineering triumph that won the Cold War space race and opened the door to the manned exploration of the solar system.
Speaking at an Apollo celebration at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, Neil Armstrong enjoyed a standing ovation before sharing his view of the achievement that carried him to the moon, concluding with a simple, heartfelt "Apollo was a good thing to do."
"Thank you so much,&… Read more
JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, Houston--Astronauts David Wolf and Thomas Marshburn carried out a successful six-hour, 53-minute spacewalk Monday, moving critical spare parts to the International Space Station as a hedge against failures after the shuttle is retired next year.
Crewmates inside, meanwhile, repaired the toilet in the U.S. lab module after a malfunction Sunday.
The spacewalk got under way at 10:27 a.m. CDT and ended at 5:20 p.m. It was the 127th excursion devoted to station assembly and maintenance since construction began in 1998, the eighth so far this year and the second of five planned … Read more