Live-streamed HD video from the International Space Station – with backround music. Watch it on the biggest screen you can find…
6 scientists pretending to be astronauts on Mars just spent 365 days together – isolated from the rest of the world in a tiny habitat. Yesterday they were set free. Lots learned about the psychological effects of a long space flight.
The trip to Mars should take about 6 months but there’s a two year wait until the return trip when the planets are properly aligned. There’s also a one-way trip to Mars planned if you don’t plan on returning to Earth.
On Sept 8 NASA is scheduled to launch the space vehicle OSIRIS-REx. It will spend a year studying the near-earth Asteroid Bennu and return home with samples. These specimens of material from the solar system’s early stages will give clues took the origins of life on Earth (and other planets).
It will also analyze the effects of gravity and heat on the asteroid’s orbit since a collision with Earth is possible in the next century. The impact would equal 200 Hiroshima-size atomic bombs but fortunately the odds of a direct collision are only 1 in 2750.
“…The $800 million OSIRIS-REx project is the first U.S.-led asteroid sample return mission, a 7-year trek to grab a piece of Bennu and bring it back to Earth for study.”