Hopefully by now, even if you do not generally follow “space news,” you are aware that humanity achieved something truly incredible on Wednesday, November 12, at 17:03 CET (Central European Time) / 11:03am EST — we landed a small robotic spacecraft on a comet! After 10 years in transit from Earth, the European Space Agency‘s Philae lander was successfully released from its mothership, the Rosetta orbiter, and descended to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The dishwasher-sized lander is now the only object ever to perform a controlled landing on a comet. [Read more…]
Five years ago today, I flew to Florida to witness my first space launch, the liftoff of Space Shuttle Atlantis on mission STS-129. Aboard the Shuttle were NASA astronauts Charlie Hobaugh (“Scorch”), Butch Wilmore, Leland Melvin (@Astro_Flow), Randy Bresnik, Michael Foreman (@foreman_mike), and Robert Satcher (@Astro_Bones). The trip, made possible by NASA’s tweetup program (which began in January 2009 and continues today under the name NASA Social), fulfilled my lifelong dream of witnessing a Shuttle launch with my own eyes. The experience also reignited my love of space exploration and human spaceflight, and made me want to actively nurture that interest in others. I will be forever grateful to NASA and the NASA Social program for the opportunities they have given me. [Read more…]
The XPRIZE‘s mission is to make the impossible possible, as it did starting with the US$10,000,000 Ansari XPRIZE for private spaceflight awarded to Scaled Composites for SpaceShipOne in 2004. Since then, XPRIZE has continued to spur innovation in areas such as ultra-fuel efficient cars, oil-cleanup technology, as well as ways to return to the Moon, address ocean acidification, and revolutionize healthcare.
XPRIZE believes in tackling some of the world’s grandest challenges, and they have launched their newest XPRIZE challenge — [Read more…]