Astronauts on the International Space Station get thick calluses on the tops of their feet instead of the bottoms, but today students tried out ways to make the final frontier a little friendlier for feet.
Not only did they get a chance to talk with NASA astronaut Jessica Meir about socks in space, over a video link between the space station and Seattle’s Museum of Flight, but they also ran their own experiment as part of an Astro Socks Challenge created by NASA and Microsoft Education.
The challenge, and the Earth-to-space chat, made a teachable moment out of a fact of life for long-duration spacefliers.
“They’re the best,” said Stephen Williams, a visitor from Horsham in southern England who was among the roughly 300 spectators and VIPs who turned out this morning to watch the Red Arrows arrive. “Your Blue Angels … they’re OK.”
Red wasn’t the only color in the Arrows’ quiver: As they made their photo-op rounds over downtown Seattle and Boeing Field, the pilots’ BAE Hawk T1 trainer jets released contrails of red, white and blue — the hues of the Union Jack as well as the Stars and Stripes.
The smaller of Mars’ two moons, Deimos, was named after the Greek god of terror — but the way former NASA flight surgeon Jim Logan sees it, Deimos could be a comfort zone for space settlers.
“The Mars-facing side of Deimos is probably the most valuable real estate in the solar system,” Logan, co-founder of the Space Enterprise Institute, said today at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.
Logan laid out his case for Deimos during a conference on space settlement, presented this week by the Space Studies Institute to highlight the late Princeton physicist Gerard O’Neill’s vision for humanity’s expansion into the solar system.
Now the keepers of the “High Frontier” flame at the California-based Space Studies Institute are revisiting O’Neill’s original vision, with an eye toward updating it for the 21st century.
“The fact is, a lot has changed in the last half-century,” Edward Wright, a senior researcher at the Space Studies Institute, said today at the start of a two-day conference presented by the institute at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.
Want a little space history in your beer? Or soda pop? Or chocolate? Seattle brands are banding together to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, with the Museum of Flight leading the charge.
For instance, take Elysium Brewing Co.’s Space Dust IPA, one of the Seattle brewery’s standards: This summer, Space Dust bottles will be sporting a series of three Apollo 11 labels celebrating the mission’s liftoff, moonwalk and splashdown in July 1969.
If your tastes run more toward the softer side, check out the collectible Apollo 11 labels that’ll be part of Jones Soda’s 50th-anniversary lineup.
“Destination Moon,” the traveling exhibit making its debut at Seattle’s Museum of Flight this month, puts some of the greatest treasures of the Space Race on display. But if you know where to look, you’ll also spot little treasures that shed light on the life of Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong.
The countdown is on for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and that means the appointment books for space luminaries and their fans are filling up like the propellant tanks on a Saturn V rocket.
Seattle’s Museum of Flight is one of the epicenters for the festivities, thanks to its status as the next stopover for the Smithsonian Institution’s traveling “Destination Moon” exhibit. Due to a remodeling project at the National Air and Space Museum, some of the choicest Apollo artifacts are going on the road. The Museum of Flight will be hosting the exhibit starting next month and running all the way through the July 20 anniversary into the Labor Day weekend.
Just this week, curators worked in a sealed-off section of the museum to get the helmet and the gloves worn by Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin ready for the exhibit. A magnifying glass was positioned near the cuff of a glove to give museumgoers a close look at the checklist of tasks Aldrin was given for his moonwalk. The checklist reminded him about an important chore: taking a picture of a bootprint.
For decades, rocket scientist Robert Zubrin has been a voice crying in the Martian wilderness. But now the president of the Mars Society is pleading the case for a cause that’s much closer than the Red Planet: low-cost lunar exploration and settlement.
If Zubrin gets his way, such outposts could be built on the moon and on Mars as well, on time scales far sooner and at costs far lower than NASA projects.
The problem is, Zubrin doesn’t always get his way. Since the 1990s, he’s advocated for a mission architecture known as Mars Direct that would first send uncrewed rockets to Mars and follow up with later crewed missions. Each mission would make use of on-site materials to produce the fuel for the return trips.
The Mars Direct plan didn’t get much traction, and Zubrin says that’s NASA’s fault. “The manned space science program has been adrift in this period,” he said during a Friday night presentation at the University of Washington.
Now NASA is turning its attention to missions to the moon — but Zubrin is worried that, once again, NASA is taking the wrong approach.
“That’s one of the great things about kids,” Bezos said on May 20. “There are always questions.”
Scores of elementary-school and middle-school students came from the Seattle area as well as from Deer Park, a city just north of Spokane on the other side of the state, to cram into the museum’s “Apollo” exhibit and meet America’s second-richest person (after Bill Gates).