Saturday, September 22nd, 2018
Wednesday, November 8th, 2017
Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016
This is so wonderful! A 3D fly-through of the Apollo 11 command module, right in your browser. It might get your fan whirring, but it’s worth it.
Click through for lots of great details on the interface controls, like which kinds of buttons and switches were chosen for which tasks.
And there’s this lovely note scrawled near the sextant by Michael Collins (the coolest of all the astronauts):
Spacecraft 107, alias Apollo 11, alias ‘Columbia.’ The Best Ship to Come Down the Line. God Bless Her.
Sunday, October 23rd, 2016
A selection from an ongoing photography project—seven years and counting—leading up to the launch of the Orion project.
Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
A brief history of space concept art—Norman Rockwell, Chesney Bonestell, Robert McCall, Pat Rawlings, David Meltzer …all the classics.
Saturday, March 5th, 2016
The voice of MOL
The latest issue of Spaceflight—the magazine of the British Interplanetary Society—dropped through my door, adding to my weekend reading list. This issue contains a “whatever happened to” article about the military personnel who were supposed to crew the never-realised MOL project.
Before Salyut, Skylab, Mir, or the ISS, the Manned Orbital Laboratory was the first proposed space station. It would use a Gemini capsule and a Titan propellant tank.
But this wasn’t to be a scientific endeavour. The plan was to use the MOL as a crewed spy satellite—human eyes in the sky watching the enemy below.
The MOL was cancelled (because uncrewed satellites were getting better at that sort of thing), so that particular orbital panopticon never came to pass.
I remember when I first heard of the MOL and I was looking it up on Wikipedia, that this little nugget of information stood out to me:
The MOL was planned to use a helium-oxygen atmosphere.
That’s right: instead of air (21% oxygen, 79% nitrogen), the spies in the sky would be breathing heliox (21% oxygen, 79% helium). Considering the effect that helium has on the human voice, I can only imagine that the grave nature of the mission would have been somewhat compromised.
Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016
Everything you never knew you wanted to know about the Millennium Falcon, wrapped up in one unsurprisingly insanely detailed essay from Michael.
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
Tuesday, March 24th, 2015
Thursday, February 19th, 2015
A fantastic new site from Ariel and Lisa: a collection of probes that are out in space right now, with oodles of facts for each mission and links through to more resources. SCIENCE!
Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
This is basically porn for me.
Bernal spheres, Stanford tori, and O’Neill cylinders, oh my!
Monday, June 30th, 2014
Tech specs for a spacecraft that doesn’t exist (yet).
Saturday, August 18th, 2012
The Ballardian beauty of a dying Baikonour.
Saturday, March 24th, 2012
I want to go to there!
This is what Photoshop is for. Be sure to watch the slideshow.
Sunday, September 18th, 2011
A gallery of all your standard space stations: the Stanford Torus, the Bernal Sphere and the O’Neill Cylinder.
Sunday, August 21st, 2011
A joint effort by the Tau Zero Foundation and the British Interplanetary Society to research the design of an interstellar spacecraft.
Monday, August 8th, 2011
Now this looks like a fascinating project …and there’s a symposium happening in Florida at the end of September with Jill Tartar, Stewart Brand and more. I want to go to there.
Saturday, August 6th, 2011
So long, Juno. Call me when you get to Jupiter.
Saturday, March 19th, 2011
An astonishing story from the Soviet side of the space race that is equal parts stupidity and sacrifice.
Sunday, January 2nd, 2011
The dream of SSI is of a humanity free of the constraints of the Earth. In expanding outward into space, we can not only help to preserve our present biosphere, we can also seed other independent biospheres elsewhere, ensuring the continued survival of life despite any kind of planetary disaster.