Use of digital holographic microscopy, using lasers to record 3-D images, may be our best bet for spotting extraterrestrial microbes. The technique is being advocated by Caltech’s Jay Nadeau and colleagues as a way to sample and identify living microbes in the outer solar system. The work has been published this month in the journal […]

  Worth a watch, with or without popcorn! On the heels of Moon Day OMEGA has produced a short documentary called “Starmen,” featuring one of the first men on the moon, Buzz Aldrin, and George Clooney. In the film, Clooney gets the chance to watch the original Apollo 11 footage with his boyhood hero — […]

Book Review: Calculated Risk – The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom by George Leopold, Purdue University Press, 416 pages (Hardcover); U.S. $29.95. Today, back on July 21, 1961, Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom piloted a suborbital mission of Project Mercury, boosted by a Mercury-Redstone 4 rocket that was topped by an escape tower and […]

    Apollo 11’s Moon landing on July 20, 1969 took place 48 years ago. That history-making first human touchdown on the lunar landscape was celebrated at the Kennedy Space Center last Saturday during an evening gala held under a massive Apollo Saturn V booster. While a reflection on decades past, the event proved to […]

  In a historical retro-fire, it was 48 years ago today that the first human landing on the Moon took place – the seminal space voyage of Apollo 11 that saw Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk across the lunar landscape. That signature event was saluted last weekend at the Kennedy Space Center – a […]

  The New Shepard rocket and crew capsule is on tap on make a “touchdown” at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA) 65th annual fly-in convention at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. On display the week of July 24-30, Blue Origin’s exhibit will feature a 1:1 mockup of New Shepard’s astronaut crew capsule, roomy enough […]

  Reliable commands to NASA’s Curiosity rover has now ended. The robot on the Red Planet has disappeared behind the Sun for about three weeks. This made planning “feel as if the Sun were setting on our normally active rover activities,” explains Michelle Minitti, a planetary geologist for Framework in Silver Spring, Maryland. Napping on […]

A synthetic nose – the e-Nose – has been developed to sniff out environmental conditions that foster elevated microbial growth of bacteria and fungi. These organisms attack the materials on the International Space Station (ISS). The device successfully sniffed microbial contamination in the Russian ISS sector from December 2012 to May 2013 by analyzing substances […]

  Now in Sol 1756, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover will cease operations this weekend. The team will check on the rover on August 4 and re-start full operations on August 7. “In the meantime, Curiosity might just get lonely,” reports Roger Wiens, a geochemist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. He is Principal […]

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) has reissued a notification by China on the future uncontrolled re-entry of the country’s Tiangong-1 space lab. On March 16, 2016, the Tiangong-1 ceased functioning and to date the spacecraft has maintained its structural integrity. The space lab’s operational orbit is under constant and close surveillance […]

Griffith Observatory Event