The Curiosity rover on Mars isn't the only thing NASA is busy with these days. According to reports, NASA is getting ready to send a pair of cube-shaped nano-satellites weighing just over 2 pounds into space, but just as interesting as the size and weight is the fact that they're powered by Android smartphones. It's part of a nifty project called PhoneSat overseen by the agency's Small Spacecraft Technology program.
Unidentified hackers gave the term “cyberspace” a whole new meaning when they hacked a couple of US satellites a total of four times in 2007 and 2008. This shocking revelation came as part of a report released last week by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. Hit the jump for more.
So, how about that aircraft carrier-sized asteroid that buzzed the earth earlier this week--crazy right? Zipping through the cosmos at approximately 30,000 miles per hour and measuring roughly 1000 feet long, Asteroid 2005 YU55 definitely could have ruined a lot of people’s days if it’d passed 202,000 miles closer--a pittance of a distance by astronomical standards--to us than it did. Are there other space bound rocks out there hellbent on our planet’s destruction? You betcha. Do we know when or how likely it is for them to strike? Nope, but the vigilant space geeks over at Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking do, and their online presence is our Cool Site of the Week.
The Fifth Dimension advised us in its massive chart-topper of 1969 that "This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius." A time when "Peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars." An era that brings about "the mind's true liberation." And, looking back, we can say with some confidence that many minds certainly experienced at least momentary liberation in the wild and experimental days of the late 1960s.
Today, however, there is an all-new age of Aquarius, and it began on June 10, 2011. It was on that day that NASA, in conjunction with Argentina's Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE), launched a Delta II rocket from Southern California's Vandenberg Air Force base.
Can you access protected networks without breaking a sweat? Does just thinking about security exploits get you hot and bothered? Are "spoofing" and "packet sniffing" part of your regular vocabulary? If you answered "Yes" to those questions, and you can prove your hacking prowess at the upcoming DEFCON convention, you may just wind up getting a job offer (and a pension plan) from government agencies like the NSA.
When you think about space exploration you assume our astronauts are on the cutting edge of technology right? Turns out this is only partially true, and modern space explorers have a number of challenges to deal with that have been solved here on earth. During an uncensored question and answer period in Edmonton, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield admitted to a young onlooker that the Internet in space is too slow for gaming, but that he finds plenty of other ways to fill his time.
The last Star Trek TV series was kind of terrible, and they cancelled Firefly before the series had a chance to really come into its own. Sure, Battlestar Galactica was great but now that it’s long over, what’s left to scratch that geeky sci-fi itch of yours? No Ordinary Family? V? Please. No one needs that sort of pain in their lives. What to do? How about taking an in-depth look real adventures of America’s space-based endeavors. Sound good? We thought so too--and that’s why NASA’s impressive online presence has been selected as our Cool Site of the Week.
NASA had every intention of building a 3D camera for the next robotic rover to be sent to Mars. Movie director James Cameron has been helping to upgrade the camera on the Mars Science Laboratory rover, called Curiosity, into a 3D camera before it launches into space later thsi year. Unfortunately, time simply ran short and NASA made the call to scrap the project and ship Curiosity as-is.
The Earth's moon isn't made of cheese after all. We know this because NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been circling the Moon at low altitude since around the middle of 2009, sending high resolution images back to our home planet. More recently, NASA posted a ginormous 24,000-pixel square mosaic of the Moon's nearside as never seen in this kind of photographic detail before. The TIF image is available for download, assuming your PC can handle a 549MB photo.
Someone over at NASA forgot to hit the delete key before getting rid of several computers and hard drives -- never mind giving things a thorough scrubbing by zeroing-filling the drives, which by itself still isn't up to government standards -- leaving sensitive data intact, MSNBC reports.
"Our review found serious breaches in NASA's IT security practices that could lead to the improper release of sensitive information related to the Space Shuttle and other NASA programs," NASA Inspector General Paul Martin said in a statement. "NASA needs to take coordinated and forceful actions to address this problem."
NASA was ridding itself of computer gear as part of a plan to end the Space Shuttle program, but somewhere along the line things went very wrong. An audit revealed that 14 computers from the Kennedy Space Center hadn't been properly scrubbed. Ten of those machines made it to the public, while several hard drives came up missing from Kennedy and the Langley Research Center, a few of which were found in a dumpster.