On July 15th, 1975, despite their nations’ rivalry both politically and in space exploration, Soviet and American mission commanders Alexey Leonov and Tom Stafford exchanged the first international handshake in space, while their respective Soyuz and Apollo spacecrafts were docked together for a period of two days. (via)

On July 15th, 1975, despite their nations’ rivalry both politically and in space exploration, Soviet and American mission commanders Alexey Leonov and Tom Stafford exchanged the first international handshake in space, while their respective Soyuz and Apollo spacecrafts were docked together for a period of two days. (via)

History of Space Exploration
After the Soviet Union launched their first space station, the Salyut I, in April of 1971, the United States retaliating by launching their first experimental space station, Skylab, on May 14th, 1973. It’s use was short-lived, as less than a year later, in February of 1974, it is abandoned, remaining in Earth’s orbit until it crashes into western Australia in July of 1979.

History of Space Exploration

After the Soviet Union launched their first space station, the Salyut I, in April of 1971, the United States retaliating by launching their first experimental space station, Skylab, on May 14th, 1973. It’s use was short-lived, as less than a year later, in February of 1974, it is abandoned, remaining in Earth’s orbit until it crashes into western Australia in July of 1979.

History of Space Exploration
On March 2nd, 1972, Pioneer 10 is launched on its unmanned journey to travel through the asteroid belt and make direct observations of Jupiter, passing the gas planet in December 1973. Pioneer 10 was both the first craft to successfully maneuver through the asteroid belt and, by most definitions, leave the solar system. However, in January of 2003, it ceased to send further communications, while 7.6 billion miles from Earth.

History of Space Exploration

On March 2nd, 1972, Pioneer 10 is launched on its unmanned journey to travel through the asteroid belt and make direct observations of Jupiter, passing the gas planet in December 1973. Pioneer 10 was both the first craft to successfully maneuver through the asteroid belt and, by most definitions, leave the solar system. However, in January of 2003, it ceased to send further communications, while 7.6 billion miles from Earth.

We Are the Explorers

As submitted by lonecenturion:

We Are the Explorers (video) 

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History of Space Exploration

On April 11, 1970,  James A. Lovell, John L “Jack” Swigert and Fred W Haise, are launched on another voyage to the moon, upon the Apollo 13. However, just two days into the mission, a fault in the electrical system produces an explosion in an oxygen tank, leading to a loss of electrical power and failure of both oxygen tanks. Upon re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere and splashing into the ocean, the crew resourcefully uses the lunar module as something of a lifeboat.

History of Space Exploration

On July 16, 1969, NASA launched the Apollo 11, making Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin the first humans to walk on the moon on July 20th, thereby fulfilling JFK’s goal of reaching the moon by the end of the 60s.

Taken by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, the uniquely warped shape of Centaurus A, according to NASA, shows “evidence for a past collision and merger with another galaxy. The resulting shockwaves cause hydrogen gas clouds to compress, triggering a firestorm of new star formation. These are visible in the red patches in this Hubble close-up.” 

Taken by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, the uniquely warped shape of Centaurus A, according to NASA, shows “evidence for a past collision and merger with another galaxy. The resulting shockwaves cause hydrogen gas clouds to compress, triggering a firestorm of new star formation. These are visible in the red patches in this Hubble close-up.” 

Maria Mitchell (1818 – 1889)

Young Maria Mitchell learned to observe the stars from her father, who used stellar observations to check the accuracy of chronometers for Nantucket, Massachusetts, whalers and taught his children to use a sextant and reflecting telescope. When Mitchell was 12, she helped her father record the time of an eclipse. And at 17, she had already begun her own school for girls, teaching them science and math. But Mitchell rocketed to the forefront of American astronomy in 1847 when she spotted a blurry streak—a comet—through her telescope. She was honored around the world, earning a medal from the king of Denmark, and became the first woman to be elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1857 Mitchell traveled to Europe, where she visited observatories and met with intellectuals. Mitchell became the first female astronomy professor in the United States, when she was hired by Vassar College in 1865. There she continued her observations, particularly those of the Sun, traveling up to 2,000 miles to witness an eclipse.

Maria Mitchell (1818 – 1889)

Young Maria Mitchell learned to observe the stars from her father, who used stellar observations to check the accuracy of chronometers for Nantucket, Massachusetts, whalers and taught his children to use a sextant and reflecting telescope. When Mitchell was 12, she helped her father record the time of an eclipse. And at 17, she had already begun her own school for girls, teaching them science and math. But Mitchell rocketed to the forefront of American astronomy in 1847 when she spotted a blurry streak—a comet—through her telescope. She was honored around the world, earning a medal from the king of Denmark, and became the first woman to be elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1857 Mitchell traveled to Europe, where she visited observatories and met with intellectuals. Mitchell became the first female astronomy professor in the United States, when she was hired by Vassar College in 1865. There she continued her observations, particularly those of the Sun, traveling up to 2,000 miles to witness an eclipse.

Caroline Herschel (1750 – 1848)

Herschel was little more than the household drudge for her parents in Hanover, Germany (she would later describe herself as the “Cinderella of the family”), when her older brother, William, brought her to England in 1772 to run his household in Bath. After she mastered the art of singing—to accompany William, who was the organist for the Octagon Chapel—her brother switched careers and went into astronomy. Caroline followed. In addition to assisting her brother in his observations and in the building of telescopes, Caroline became a brilliant astronomer in her own right, discovering new nebulae and star clusters. She was the first woman to discover a comet (she discovered eight in total) and the first to have her work published by the Royal Society. She was also the first British woman to get paid for her scientific work, when William, who had been named the king’s personal astronomer after his discovery of Uranus in 1781, persuaded his patron to reward his assistant with an annual salary. After William’s death in 1822, Caroline retired to Hanover. There she continued her astronomical work, compiling a catalogue of nebulae—the Herschels’ work had increased the number of known star clusters from 100 to 2,500. She died in 1848 at age 97 after receiving many honors in her field, including a gold medal from the Royal Astronomical Society.

Caroline Herschel (1750 – 1848)

Herschel was little more than the household drudge for her parents in Hanover, Germany (she would later describe herself as the “Cinderella of the family”), when her older brother, William, brought her to England in 1772 to run his household in Bath. After she mastered the art of singing—to accompany William, who was the organist for the Octagon Chapel—her brother switched careers and went into astronomy. Caroline followed. In addition to assisting her brother in his observations and in the building of telescopes, Caroline became a brilliant astronomer in her own right, discovering new nebulae and star clusters. She was the first woman to discover a comet (she discovered eight in total) and the first to have her work published by the Royal Society. She was also the first British woman to get paid for her scientific work, when William, who had been named the king’s personal astronomer after his discovery of Uranus in 1781, persuaded his patron to reward his assistant with an annual salary. After William’s death in 1822, Caroline retired to Hanover. There she continued her astronomical work, compiling a catalogue of nebulae—the Herschels’ work had increased the number of known star clusters from 100 to 2,500. She died in 1848 at age 97 after receiving many honors in her field, including a gold medal from the Royal Astronomical Society.

History of Space Exploration
In December of 1968, the United States sent Apollo 8 on the first manned mission to orbit the moon. On this spacecraft was William Anders, who, on the 24th of December, took this iconic photograph of the Earth partially obscured by the moon’s horizon.

History of Space Exploration

In December of 1968, the United States sent Apollo 8 on the first manned mission to orbit the moon. On this spacecraft was William Anders, who, on the 24th of December, took this iconic photograph of the Earth partially obscured by the moon’s horizon.

An image of Jupiter as taken by the Voyager 1. It was produced by layering three black and white photos with different color filters and recombining them. (via)

An image of Jupiter as taken by the Voyager 1. It was produced by layering three black and white photos with different color filters and recombining them. (via)

jtotheizzoe:

Apollo 17 astronauts singing on the moon.

This is real.

This is why we beat zee Soviets.

(via Boing Boing)

This video just makes me so happy.

What is the Scientific Method?

As submitted by mileswayward:

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the evolution of the Scientific Method, the systematic and analytical approach to scientific thought in a BBC broadcast:

In 1620 the great philosopher and scientist Francis Bacon published the Novum Organum, a work outlining a new system of thought which he believed should inform all enquiry into the laws of nature. Philosophers before him had given their attention to the reasoning that underlies scientific enquiry; but Bacon’s emphasis on observation and experience is often seen today as giving rise to a new phenomenon: the scientific method.

The scientific method, and the logical processes on which it is based, became a topic of intense debate in the seventeenth century, and thinkers including Isaac Newton, Thomas Huxley and Karl Popper all made important contributions. Some of the greatest discoveries of the modern age were informed by their work, although even today the term ‘scientific method’ remains difficult to define.

History of Space Exploration
On January 27, 1967, tragedy struck the space race, as the AS-204 mission (better known by its later name of Apollo 1) suffered a malfunction during a training exercise on the launch pad, causing a fire that ultimately killed all three crew members onboard. The deaths of Virgil Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee prompted NASA to completely redesign its command modules, delaying any further missions. Nearly 21 months later,  Apollo 7 became the next manned mission to completed and launched.

History of Space Exploration

On January 27, 1967, tragedy struck the space race, as the AS-204 mission (better known by its later name of Apollo 1) suffered a malfunction during a training exercise on the launch pad, causing a fire that ultimately killed all three crew members onboard. The deaths of Virgil Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee prompted NASA to completely redesign its command modules, delaying any further missions. Nearly 21 months later,  Apollo 7 became the next manned mission to completed and launched.