theatlantic
theatlantic:

The History of the Space Shuttle

From its first launch 30 years ago to its final launch scheduled for next Friday, NASA’s Space Shuttle program has seen moments of dizzying inspiration and of crushing disappointment. When next week’s launch is complete, the program will have sent up 135 missions, ferrying more than 350 humans and thousands of tons of material and equipment into low Earth orbit. Fourteen astronauts have lost their lives along the way — the missions have always been risky, the engineering complex, the hazards extreme. As we near the end of the program, I’d like to look back at the past few decades of shuttle development and missions as we await the next steps toward human space flight.
Above: Space Shuttle Columbia lifts off from Kennedy Space Center, on April 12, 1981. Commander John Young and pilot Robert Crippen were onboard STS-1, the first orbital flight of the Space Shuttle program. (Reuters/NASA/KSC)

See more excellent photos at In Focus

theatlantic:

The History of the Space Shuttle

From its first launch 30 years ago to its final launch scheduled for next Friday, NASA’s Space Shuttle program has seen moments of dizzying inspiration and of crushing disappointment. When next week’s launch is complete, the program will have sent up 135 missions, ferrying more than 350 humans and thousands of tons of material and equipment into low Earth orbit. Fourteen astronauts have lost their lives along the way — the missions have always been risky, the engineering complex, the hazards extreme. As we near the end of the program, I’d like to look back at the past few decades of shuttle development and missions as we await the next steps toward human space flight.

Above: Space Shuttle Columbia lifts off from Kennedy Space Center, on April 12, 1981. Commander John Young and pilot Robert Crippen were onboard STS-1, the first orbital flight of the Space Shuttle program. (Reuters/NASA/KSC)

See more excellent photos at In Focus

carriertone

carriertone:

One of my favorite feeds in my news reader is CICLOPS, the Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations. It’s an endless stream of black and white photos of — and the occasional paper about — Saturn, its 62 moons and other satellites. For someone who loves space, its exploration and the possibilities it offers, this almost-daily deposit of images is some serious fuel for the imagination.

The above video is a stunning presentation of some of those photos. It compiles hundreds of images from the Cassini Mission and sets them in motion alongside a track off of Nine Inch Nails’ album, Ghosts¹. The video’s creator, Chris Abbas, describes his project the best when he says,

I truly enjoy outer space. It’s absolutely amazing that we now have the ability to send instruments out into the void of the universe to observe all sorts of interesting things. Asteroids! Moons! Planets! Dark matter! This is the perfect opportunity for a Carl Sagan quote:

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

1: Ghosts, described by its creator, is “a soundtrack for daydreams.”

The Sophisticates: Episode 7

This week’s segments:

  • Sense of Freedom Vs. Geographic Location (1:01)
  • The Self-Imposed Double Standard of Guys Dancing with Guys (11:57)
  • The Push to Cut Back on Space Travel (20:40)

Leave comments/retorts/suggestions by clicking the header, e-mailing sophisticatespodcast@gmail.com or following @sophisticast on Twitter!

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What do you think about this weeks topics?