First Saturn V Rocket


     Meet SA-500D, the first Saturn V rocket. Wernher von Braun designed her as the dynamic test article for the program. She was assembled stage by stage inside the Dynamic Test Stand at NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center, then subjected to lateral, longitudinal, and torsional vibrations equal of that of launch for a total of 450 hours.

The first time I visited SA-500D in 1999, she was outside on the US Space and Rocket Center property. Her paint was faded and worn, having sat there since 1969. In 2005, full restoration began, and she was moved inside her new facility, the Davidson Center for Space Exploration in Huntsville, Alabama. I’m happy to report that as of Sunday, July 27, 2014, she looks great. Viewing the newly restored rocket is magnitudes more impactful. The difference is incredible.

Saturn Gif’s


You guys like Saturn, right? Here’s a whole gallery of Saturn GIFs, from rings to moons, captured by the Cassini spacecraft. They’re part modern art and part science.

Next to the Voyager twins, I think Cassini might be the best satellite NASA ever launched. Certainly takes the best pictures. Tumblr’s own staceythinx  has an iPad app called Cassini HD that features even more photos, plus color, plus science.

(GIFs by framesandflames)

In Space


In space, no one can hear you sneeze.

Though astronauts have been flying above the Earth for more than half a century, researchers are still working to understand the medical toll that space takes on travelers’ bodies and minds. Astronauts must deal with a highly stressful environment, as well as weakening bones and muscles and the ever-present dangers of radiation. If people are ever to venture far from our home planet, such obstacles will need to be overcome.

Humans are adapted to living with the constant pull of the Earth’s gravity. Astronauts may seem carefree while floating around in the weightless environment aboard rockets and space stations. But like teenagers, their bodies experience all sorts of awkward changes. Some of the long-term problems, such as bone loss and radiation exposure, seem to put the kibosh on plans for regular interplanetary travel, at least for now. But medical researchers at places like the National Space Biomedical Research Institute are looking for ways to counteract and cure these ailments.

In this gallery, Wired takes a look at some of the curious, bizarre, and potentially dangerous ways that space affects the human body and mind.

Voyager 1: The Little Spacecraft That Could


Voyager 1: The Little Spacecraft That Could

Voyager 1, the spacecraft that launched on a tour of the solar on Sept. 5, 1977, is getting ready to enter interplanetary space.

The spacecraft’s journey started in 1966 when Gary Flandro, then a graduate student working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, discovered that the planets were about to align. Not just for him, but for the whole solar system.

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Image: Artist’s rendering of Voyager 2 in the outer regions of the heliosphere, the magnetic bubble around the solar system generated by the solar wind. Credit: NASA



Happy birthday, you beautiful little machine

To celebrate the 22nd anniversary of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope this month, episode 54 of the Hubblecast gives a slideshow of some of the best images from over two decades in orbit, set to specially commissioned music.

“Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.” – Edwin Hubble