NASA and Bigelow Aerospace are partnering to deliver an attachable inflatable room for the International Space Station. When expanded, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) measures 13 feet, but for the delivery to the space station by SpaceX, it can be compressed into a 7-foot tube. According to NASA, the BEAM should arrive at the space station in 2015 for a two-year technology demonstration of expandable space habitat technology.
Entries in Space (19)
NASA's "Eyes on the Earth" interactive virtual reality visualization now delivers even-sharper images and data from satellites to home computers.
New features include a simplified interface, event timelines, an image gallery and more up-to-date data on global sea level height and surface temperatures.
See the location of all of NASA's 15 currently operating Earth-observing satellite missions in real time and observe the Earth from their views. They monitor sea level height, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, global temperatures and extent of sea ice in the Arctic, to name a few.
There's also "Eyes on the Solar System," a 3-D platform that allows visitors explore space from their computer. They can ride along on an asteroid, fly with NASA's Voyager 2 spacecraft abd see the entire solar system moving in real time.
The United States may soon be surpassed as the world's leader in space. China announced last week that it intends to place a manned spacecraft on the Moon as just part of its efforts to explore deep space.
According to the whitepaper, the lunar mission would be step one in the country's three-step deep space development plan. Eventually, China hopes to place satellites in orbit around the Moon and return lunar samples to Earth. Their main goal, however, is to build a "foundation for human spaceflight" moving forward.
Chinese officials haven't released a timetable for these goals, but The Guardian reports that the Moon mission could happen as early as 2025 -- more than 50 years after the United States first achieved the feat. Meanwhile, NASA's own plans for the coming decades leave some worried that China will soon leave the agency behind in space.
As NASA faces weakened public support and slashed budgets, maintaining the space crown seems a daunting task. What do you think the agency should focus on in 2012 and beyond?
I bet you've never seen the annual Geminid meteor shower like this before. The awe-inspiring video was created by filmmaker and photographer Henry Jun Wah Lee, who clearly has an eye for beauty.
Lee camped out under the stars in Joshua Tree National Park for three nights during last year's meteor shower to create the video.