While many 18-year-olds are worrying about college, Rifath Shaarook from India spent his time building the world's lightest satellite, from scratch. Weighing a mere 64 grams, the device will now go on a four-hour mission aboard a sub-orbital NASA flight during which it will operate for around 12-minutes in a micro-gravity environment of space. "We did a lot of research on different cube satellites all over the world and found ours was the lightest," said Shaarook about his 3D-printed, carbon fiber small-scale satellite. Continue reading for more pictures and information.
The U.S. military's experimental, unmanned X-37B space plane landed safely on Sunday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, after completing a classified mission that lasted nearly two years. Built by Boeing, it blasted off in May 2015 from nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard an Atlas 5 rocket built by United Launch Alliance. The X-37B conducted unspecified experiments for 718 days while in orbit, making this the fourth and lengthiest mission so far for the secretive program, managed by the Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. According to the Air Force, it's used to "perform risk reduction, experimentation and concept-of-operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies." Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one showing how to escape quicksand.
There's a new kind of space armor designed to protect astronauts and spacecraft, but it's unlike anything you've seen before. NASA's futuristic space chain mail is actually a flexible metallic textile made using a 3D printing process at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Researchers call it "4D printing" because the material was printed with both geometry and functionality combined. It offers reflectivity, passive heat management, foldability, and tensile strength. One side of the fabric reflects light, while the other absorbs it for thermal control. Continue reading for more pictures and information.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft took its final dive into Saturn's rings on April 26th, showing them like we've never seen before. Now, the agency has revealed the first true color images of Saturn's North Pole, created by astroparticle physicist Sophia Nasr. In this region, there's a never-ending hurricane with 300+ mile per hour winds, and previous images showed the area in a reddish hue. These images were created by using three separate photos that Cassini captured using Red, Green, and Blue filters. Click here to view the first image in this week's geek life gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of the most recent awe-inspiring SpaceX Falcon landing.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft came within about 1,900 miles of Saturn's cloud tops, a location where the air pressure is 1 bar, comparable to the atmospheric pressure of Earth at sea level, and within about 200-miles of the innermost visible edge of the rings. "No spacecraft has ever been this close to Saturn before. We could only rely on predictions, based on our experience with Saturn's other rings, of what we thought this gap between the rings and Saturn would be like. I am delighted to report that Cassini shot through the gap just as we planned and has come out the other side in excellent shape," said Cassini Project Manager Earl Maize of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Continue reading for another video, more pictures and information.
A NASA engineer contacted PetaPixel editor Jon H. about a box of photographic films that he discovered in his desk drawer from the Apollo 15 mission in 1971. These original films from the customized Hasselblad EDC (Electronic Data Cameras) medium format cameras used on the lunar surface depict the astronauts, the Falcon LM-10 Lunar Module and Lunar Rover. The astronauts brought several cameras to the lunar surface, but left the actual camera bodies to conserve weight. Continue reading for another video, more pictures and information.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft captured this incredible image of Earth through the rings of Saturn from 870 million miles away, on April 12th, 2017. When you zoom in, the high-resolution photo reveals the Moon as an even smaller dot near Earth. The Cassini spacecraft was launched approximately 20-years-ago, and as its final mission, it will be sent into Saturn's atmosphere. Click here to view the first image in this week's things that look like other things gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of the fastest 300 bowling game ever recorded.
Venus is a terrestrial planet and is sometimes called Earth's "sister planet" because of their similar size, mass, proximity to the Sun, and bulk composition. The atmospheric pressure at the planet's surface is 92 times that of Earth, or roughly the pressure found 3,000-feet underwater on Earth. Venus is by far the hottest planet in the Solar System, with a mean surface temperature of 863° F even though Mercury is closer to the Sun. It's shrouded by an opaque layer of highly reflective clouds of sulfuric acid, preventing its surface from being seen from space in visible light. In 1975 the Soviet Venera 9 and 10 landers transmitted the first images from the surface of Venus, which were in black and white. In 1982 the first colour images of the surface were obtained with the Soviet Venera 13 and 14 landers. Continue reading for more interesting images from around the web.
NASA researchers announced today during a live broadcast the existence of key ingredients for life as we know it on Saturn's icy moon Enceladus. That's right, hydrogen has been detected in the jets of water on its liquid water surface, which suggests the strong possibility that Enceladus's oceans could support microbial life. Click here to view the first image in this week's funny autocorrect texts gallery. Continue reading for a viral video of a skier who traveled through North Korea.
Researchers have just announced that they have discovered a new Earth-like exoplanet, called GJ 1132B, with an atmosphere, and a small, rocky composition like our own. This planet closely orbits a dim red dwarf star, which means that its atmosphere is probably more similar to Venus than Earth, with the average temperature hitting 700° degrees Fahrenheit. They suspect it's also tidally locked, or that gravity causes one side to constantly face its star, while the other is in a state of permanent night. Click here to view the first image in today's viral picture gallery. Continue reading for the five most popular viral videos today, including one exploring the myth that a drop of water on an anvil will make it explode.