Discovery back up.

Al last one of the shuttles returns to what is mostly another full mission. Lets hope they finish putting together that massive space jigsaw, the ISS, before the shuttle gets perminately grounded…

And good luck to Thomas Reiter, Esa’s first Astronaut staying long term at the ISS.

ISS = International space station

45 years out of Earth

Its 45 years to the day that Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin became the first human to leave the Earth and fly in space.

Some nice information here

Flag: Space, history

Zoom to Mars.

This is rather cool. It’s by those clever people at google.

Its another map but this time of Mars. You can scroll around and zoom in. Take in the martian sites like Olympus Mons or Valles Marineris.

#Flag: Mars, link, space, science

Find the stuff star's are made of..

The stardust nasa mission has just returned to Earth after seven years in space and being bombarded by a comet. Its has on board material stolen from that comet, and should help to understand the origins of our solar system.

It was a successfully touchdown, the parachute opened and as far as is known, the material is on board waiting to be analyzed…

…and the good news is you can help to find it! Berkeley university has created a program that acts like a virtual microscope. You’ll be able to zoom in on the material to try to work out if its actually material that has come from the stars! But first you’ve got to pass a test! The website is here and you can register for the test by giving your email here – I’ve already signed up of course – Good luck!

#flag: science, space, links

I on board

A new rocket engine has been created – more efficient then any other engine. Its called the DS4G Ion thruster and its created by an Australian team for the ESA.

Once it gets scaled up it could even push people all the way to Mars! Now, that’s a trip I would love to take.

Have a look at the engine here and you can find out how they work here, but if you’d rather not look at this, basically an Ion drive works by pushing ions out of one end of a space craft to force the space craft to move in the opposite direction. Simple…

#flag: Space, engine, science, links

Star fly-by

Just found an interesting website. Its about a large telescope, 2.7 metre mirror, being flown around in a Jumbo Jet.

Apparently, it will be able to view things in more detail than larger telescopes on the ground can manage.

Though, I have no idea how they keep the telescope still while flying faster than 500 miles an hour…

#Flag: Science, link, telescope