FYI: This is What the International Space Station Looks Like

We hear about it from time to time, but what do we really know about the International Space Station?  For those to whom it is still just a name, behold…

This is what it looks like…

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This is how big it is…

These are the pieces it is made of…

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This is what is meant by international…

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And this is how awesome it is to be around..

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Questions?  NASA and Wikipedia would love to tell you more.

Now Playing: Great Galactic Ghoul and the Human Errors

Of humanity’s 40 attempts to explore Mars to date, the success rate has been a disappointing 50%, which has prompted some to wonder if there is a space monster out there with a taste for probes.

Decide for yourself with the Mars Exploration Family Portrait below and learn more about our track record, including the time the Mars Climate Orbiter (#31) made it all the way to Mars only to burn up in its atmosphere due to a mix-up between imperial and metric units.

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[Chart by Astrosaurus]

Enterprise to Build the Enterprise

In the movie Star Trek: First Contact, a character asks Captain Picard how much it cost to build the Enterprise, and he replies, “The economics of the future are somewhat different. You see, money doesn’t exist in the 24th century. The acquisition of wealth is no longer the driving force in our lives. We work to better ourselves, and the rest of humanity.” What do you think about that? – From Wired interview with Paul Krugman

What’s the goal of

Exactly what you might hope…

From the BTE site:

We have the technological reach to build the first generation of the spaceship known as the USS Enterprise – so let’s do it.

Now that’s the spirit.  And based on early projections, it’s only going to cost about a trillion dollars, which at $50 billion a year is pretty much peanuts, particularly considering the scale of the project.

But this is not the first time someone has made such a chart.

Back in 1992, developers were pushing to build a smaller version of the USS Enterprise as a tourist attraction in downtown Las Vegas, but the plan fell through when the studio got cold feet.

This time, however, the studio isn’t involved and the idea is to build it in space, not Nevada, for the purpose of boldly and literally going where no person has gone before.

This first generation Enterprise can have 1g artificial gravity and ample living space. It can be as comfortable to live in as being on earth. A thousand people can be on board at once – either as crew members or as adventurous visitors. While the ship will not travel at warp speed, it can travel at a constant acceleration such that the ship can easily get to key points of interest in our solar system.

What’s the plan?

9 years for research, 11 years for development and then Mars is ours in 90 days. What do you think about that indeed.

While Krugman was not optimistic about the immediately-distant future, why wait three centuries to do something we could technically achieve in our lifetime?  We can create jobs and free up some parking spots all in one go.

What else do you need to know?  How can you help?  You’ll find it all at

[Thanks, Pete!, Vegas images from the Goddard Group via BoingBoing]

Living Outside of the Box

io9 put it best when they said, “Drop whatever you’re doing and watch this.”

That’s not a movie, it’s reality.  In this case, the reality of a Solid Rocket Booster launching the Space Shuttle.  But what about our reality?  Why are the Solid Rocket Boosters having all the fun?  Ask your representative that.  Or even better, yourself.

Reality: It’s far more interesting than anyone is letting on.

Search for Restuarants: within 380 Million Light Years

Turns out you really haven’t been anywhere.  Below is an infrared view of your local universe of galaxies and dark matter out to 380 million light years.  …  Yeah, that isn’t even everything.  The observable universe was thought to go 14 billion light years out (equaling the age of the universe), is now considered to go 46 billion (age + 32 billion light years of universal expansion)  and one estimate of what we can’t see puts the universe’s total diameter at 150 billion

Now consider how much you are paying for your apartment.  Square feet?  Let’s get off this rock!

[Image from Center for Astrophysics via New Scientist via Hacker News]