NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s 7% mutation in space.

This sounds… odd.

A new study from NASA has found that astronaut Scott Kelly’s genes are no longer identical to those of his identical twin after spending a year in space.

Preliminary results from NASA’s Twins Study found that seven percent of Kelly’s genes no longer match those of his twin, Mark. Scott Kelly spent one year aboard the International Space Station during the study, while his brother remained on Earth.

Continue reading NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s 7% mutation in space.




Folks on the East Coast: possible man-made aurora tonight!

[UPDATE: Annnnd they scrubbed.  Too much cloud cover.]

OK, technically, it’s just clouds.  Still, could be interesting.  It’s also a reasonably clear night here, so maybe we’ll even see something.

The launch of a Terrier-Improved Malemute sounding rocket to test a new ampoule ejection system for supporting studies of the ionosphere and aurora is scheduled for June 12 between 9:04 and 9:19 p.m. EDT from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

The launch was postponed during an attempt June 11 due to boats in the launch range hazard area.

The multi-canister ampoule ejection system flying on this mission will allow scientists to gather information over a much larger area than previously able.

Ustream of the event here.




NASA fiddling around with 3-D printed ‘chain mail.’

‘Chain mail’ in quotes because, appearances to the contrary, the stuff isn’t designed for boarding actions. Or battlesuits.  It’s instead a multi-purpose fabric:

The space fabrics have four essential functions: reflectivity, passive heat management, foldability and tensile strength. One side of the fabric reflects light, while the other absorbs it, acting as a means of thermal control. It can fold in many different ways and adapt to shapes while still being able to sustain the force of pulling on it.

Continue reading NASA fiddling around with 3-D printed ‘chain mail.’




I’d put this NASA TRAPPIST-1e poster up on my wall…

…except that I’m running out of walls:

You may get another version of this here.  Also: NASA gives this stuff out freely – as it should, of course – so if you just wait a bit somebody will be selling prints of this pretty shortly. And usually pretty reasonably, because of all the other people selling prints of this.




NASA announces spiders. From Mars.

I simply can’t imagine why they’d come up with that particular name.

No, wait, I can: Continue reading NASA announces spiders. From Mars.




So… we’re abandoning the International Space Station?

Looks like that might happen.  Only ‘temporarily,’ of course.

Astronauts may need to temporarily withdraw from the International Space Station before the end of this year if Russia is unable to resume manned flights of its Soyuz rocket after a failed cargo launch last week, according to the NASA official in charge of the outpost.

Mind you, ‘temporarily’ in bureaucrat-speak means ‘a unit of time ranging from the sound of the beep [beep!] to five minutes before the end of time…’

Via Glenn Reynolds.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Hey, do you know what 787 billion dollars could have bought us in 2009?  A functional manned space program!  Then we and the ISS wouldn’t be dependent on the Russians’ ability to launch rockets that don’t blow up!  No, wait, forgot: Texas, Alabama, and Florida won’t be voting Democratic in the next Presidential election.  Never mind…