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.



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.



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: (more…)


NASA’s Space Tourism posters.

As I just noted on Twitter: you need some of these for your wall.

Educational and pretty; I’m shocked that a governmental insti… ah, never mind.


Rocket[*] blows up on pad.

I had a somewhat more intemperate, rather politicized, working title, but my wife gently pointed out that I was not being fair.

[*My wife further gently pointed out that this was not necessarily a NASA rocket.]

Written by in: Not-politics | Tags:

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…


This isn’t heartwarming.

Much as I hate to disagree with Ace, it is heartbreaking.

Thirty years ago, the first space shuttle launched into the stratosphere. Chris Bray and his father Kenneth watched — and took a picture. Then last Friday, the shuttle Atlantis took its final trip. Again, the Bray men were there. And again, the two snapped a photo to capture the moment.

Mostly because it reminds me of a rather galling line often attributed to Jerry Pournelle: “I always knew I’d live to see the first man walk on the Moon. I never dreamed I’d see the last.” Not quite the same lyrics, but damned if the tune isn’t the same.

But, hey: the Russians can still give us rides to orbit, right?

Moe Lane

PS: Those Democratic party SOBs in Washington won’t trust us to pick out our own light bulbs: what makes you think that they’ll let us have our own private manned space program?  The only real question is which government agency they’ll use to stamp it out: Labor’s the obvious choice, but don’t forget either the EPA or BATFE, now that it’s got ‘Explosives’ attached at the end.  Bureaucrats love turf expansion, don’t you know.


The newest Mars… anomaly… pic.

Coming soon to a government conspiracy thread near you:

It’s supposedly on Mars… well, I think that it’s just pixel noise in Google Earth: Mars, or whatever the technical term is. I just use the Magic Thinky Box; I don’t pretend to be a toolmaker.  On the other hand, Google Earth looks interesting, so there’s that.  Anyway, I figure that it’s not real, and that NASA can either release high-resolution photos of the area that won’t show it (thus proving that there’s a cover-up going on), or not have any high-resolution photos of the area (thus proving that there’s a cover-up going on).   Note that there’s no actual way for NASA to prove that there’s not a cover-up going on; there never is.

Moe Lane

PS: If it was real NASA would have broadcast this to every corner of the world, coupled with an unsubtle request for some money, please*.  Because we didn’t put it there – people are aware that getting payloads to orbit is not exactly a subtle exercise at our current level of technology, yes? – and even a government bureaucracy can recognize a hand-wrapped PR gift from God when it sees one.
*’Some’ being defined as ‘quite a lot of money, really.’

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