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02 Mar 2012 20:16


Tech: NASA skimps on cyber security, China hacks us regularly as a result

  • 3.9% of NASA’s IT budget is allocated to cyber security
  • 13 successful hacking attempts were carried out against NASA last year source
  • » You get what you pay for: Really, guys? Thirteen times in a year? This means NASA gets hacked more often than I pay my phone bill. But maybe that’s to be expected when you spend so little on cyber security. This is all based on testimony from the agency’s inspector general, Paul Martin, and the rest of his testimony is quite terrifying. For example, Martin says that hackers working through Chinese IP addresses were able to gain full system access to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, steal user credentials from over 150 NASA employees, and modify system logs to cover up their tracks. Let’s hope it was just a couple of bored middle schoolers.

05 Dec 2011 23:39


World: Who’s the newest planet on the universe block?

  • It’s our baby brother! Remember the name “Kepler-22b”. Its surface temperature is a balmy 72 degrees; it orbits a star that is very similar to our sun; its year is even close to ours — 290 days. Don’t worry just yet, though, as scientists haven’t fully discovered what makes up its surface. But “the planet would likely be warm enough to host liquid water on its surface.” The scientists on the study are “getting really close, we are really homing in on the true Earth-sized habitable planets.” source

08 Nov 2011 10:52


World: So, humans could be going to Mars soon. That would be a truly giant leap.

  • Over a period of 17 months, everything was strictly regimented. Now they are returning to a life where they must deal with family and professional problems.
  • Mars500 project director Boris Morukov • Talking about the crew of “astronauts” after a 520 day simulated mission to Mars. The mission intended to answer the question: ” can people stay healthy and sane during six months rocketing to the Red Planet?” The participants, from countries like Europe, Russia and China, are expected to have problems adjusting to the “noise and activity of ordinary life.” Still, it seemed to go much better than this experiment in 2000, which ended “in drunken disaster when two participants got into a fistfight and a third tried to forcibly kiss a female crew member.” We would be a little frazzled, too, after hundreds of days of isolation and terrible food. source

31 Oct 2011 23:21


World: Milestone? China could send its first female astronaut into space

  • We suppose a Chinese space station would be a real blast to reside in. China will be sending a spacecraft up soon to collect data regarding a future space station. “Although Shenzhou-8 is unmanned, we equipped the spacecraft with devices recording real images and mechanical parameters during its flight, both of which are vital to future manned missions,” said Wu Ping, a spokesperson for the Chinese space program. If this flight proves successful, China will send up two more missions next year; one of those missions will be manned. There are currently two female astronauts being trained by China, and if one of them is picked, they’ll be the first Chinese woman in space. Is this about time, or does no one really care who China sends into space?  source

20 Oct 2011 23:47


World: Meteor shower: An excuse for folks with binoculars to look less weird.

  • Keep your eyes on the skies, folks. It’s time for another Orionid meteor shower, guys! “From tomorrow up to 30 meteors an hour could be seen as they burn up, which can be best viewed in the northern hemisphere, with the optimum viewing times likely to be at around 1am or 5am.” This happens every October as the Earth passes through what’s been left by Haley’s Comet. source

23 Aug 2011 21:39


Tech: The LA Times’ latest headline scares the crap out of us

  • Despite the relatively benign story, everything about this–the headline, the positioning of the robot’s arms, the fact that the robot has its own Twitter account–has us doubting humankind’s continued reign of dominance on Earth. “I’m semi-autonomous,” Robonaut 2 (or “R2”) tweeted. “I require ground control, but I can also respond to my environment within controlled specifications.” Yeah, well, you say “controlled specifications,” we hear “I, Robot.” source

14 Feb 2011 22:24


Offbeat: NASA: Deep space sex unlikely to yield reproductive gains

  • YES makin’ babies in space is tough, due to radiation source

04 Feb 2011 13:33


U.S.: Gabrielle Giffords’ husband Mark Kelly going back to astronaut job

  • January Astronaut Mark Kelly had to stop his preparations for a space flight after finding out his wife, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, was shot in the head by a really crazy kid.
  • Monday With Giffords in full recovery mode in Houston, Kelly will return to his preparations for leading the space shuttle Columbia into orbit in a couple months.
  • April Kelly will leave for space, his fourth trip. His goal is that his crew “can execute this mission safely — and that it’s successful.” This is a good sign, right? source

04 Nov 2010 20:03


World: NASA all high-fives today after comet makes close encounter

That sound you hear is NASA collectively melting into puddles of joy after successfully getting within 500 miles of Comet Hartley 2. Look, you can see its nucleus. source

12 Aug 2010 10:40


Tech: Apparently, you’ll be able to see a freaking meteor shower tonight

  • It’s August, so it must mean meteor showers! At least that’s what NASA says, which is why they’re hosting a chat later on today to discuss the Perseid meteor shower peaks, which will be hitting today and tomorrow., leading to awesome images like this one. We like space. It’s kind of a big place. source