Facts about the ISS

International Space Station Size & Mass Module Length: 167.3 feet (51 meters) Truss Length: 357.5 feet (109 meters) Solar Array Length: 239.4 feet (73 meters) Mass: 924,739 pounds (419,455 kilograms) Habitable Volume: 13,696 cubic feet (388 cubic meters) Pressurized Volume: 32,333 cubic feet (916 cubic meters) Power Generation: 8 solar arrays = 84 kilowatts Lines […]

Questions from Readers 1.2

Question: What is a Quasar? The word “quasar” refers to a “quasi-stellar radio source.” The first quasars were discovered in the 1960s when astronomers measured their very strong radio emissions. Later, scientists discovered that quasars are actually radio-quiet, with very little radio emission. However, quasars are some of the brightest and most distant objects we […]

Questions from Readers 1.1

Question: Why do Stars Twinkle? Stars twinkle because their light must pass through pockets of Earth’s atmosphere that vary in temperature and density, and it’s all very turbulent. On rough nights, a star appears to shift position constantly as its light is refracted this way and that. One could liken it to watching a coin appear to […]

Congratulations Felix & the RedBull Stratos Team!

Awesomeness! Felix has done it … the world’s highest freefall record is his. Mint! What a rush! I have total respect to all involved, what an exciting achievement. It’s my hope this is just the beginning of Corporate Sponsored Science, and that future projects will benefit from the undoubted excitement the RedBull Stratos project has […]

Suomi NPP

Suomi NPP is NASA’s next Earth-observing research satellite. It is the first of a new generation of satellites that will observe many facets of our changing Earth. The first thing that strikes you about the images is of course the depth and clarity of the detail. It is fantastic. Next is the sheer beauty of […]