Outer Space & Universe
Outer Space & Universe
Space, also known as outer space, is the near-vacuum between celestial bodies. It is where everything (all of the planets, stars, galaxies and other objects) is found.
On Earth, space begins at the Kármán line (100 km above sea level). This is where Earth's atmosphere is said to stop and outer space begins. This is not a firm boundary but is a convention used by scientists and diplomats.
Items in space are free to move back and forth; up and down; and left and right. These three dimensions are what make 3D space. Items also move forward through time, which is sometimes called the fourth dimension.
The majority of space contains very little matter and so most of it is a vacuum. Scientists do not know how big space is but we do know that space is extremely big, and is always expanding.
According to the big bang theory, all matter and energy in the Universe was compressed into a very small space. Then it exploded and started expanding. Space is still growing in size today; this means the distance from one galaxy to distant galaxies is getting longer.
Gravity is the force that keeps the Moon in orbit around the Earth and the planets in orbit around the Sun. Gravity can stretch and bend space similar to how a heavy ball placed on a stretched sheet of rubber will cause the rubber to stretch. The scientist who discovered that space can bend is named Albert Einstein. How gravity bends space is part of his theory of general relativity.
Astronauts, Cosmonauts, Taikonauts and Spationauts
An astronaut is any person who is trained by NASA to travel and perform tasks in space. Although the space traveler may not necessarily be a United States citizen, each astronaut does go through a rigorous training regiment by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Other space travelers go by other names then astronaut depending on their country of origin.
In the United States, astronaut is derived from the Greek words ástron (star) and nautis (sailor). While, in Russia, a space traveler goes by the name космонавт (English: cosmonaut), which is derived from the Greek words kosmos (universe) and nautis (sailor). Westerners call a space traveler from China a taikonaut, based on the 1998 writings of Chiew Lee Yik and Chen Lan where the term tàikōng (great emptiness), Chinese for “space”. In China, the term yuháng yuán (universe navigator) is used for space traveler.
Only the United States of America (United States), Russia (earlier, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), and the People’s Republic of China (China) have sent manned spacecraft into space. Other countries have assisted these countries by sending their own space travelers on space missions. For instance, a French space traveler is called a spationaut (from the French word spationaute), which is derived from the Latin spatium (space) and Greek nautis (sailor). (plural in Greek nautes = sailors)
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A pair of 17-year-olds from Canada, Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad, attached a styrofoam box with a Lego man, 4 cameras and a GPS equipped phone to a weather balloon. It nearly 80,000 feet before the balloon popped.
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Chad Blakley (lightsoverlapland.com) captured stunning imagery of the Northern Lights on February 18th, 2013. Powerful Auroras have filled the skies above Abisko National Park for 13 straight nights. This time-lapse shows the auroras on Day 13.
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Photographer Chad Blakley (http://lightoverlapland.com) and video editor Tom Malkowicz (http://vimeo.com/channels/thomas) have outdone themselves in a compilation of Northern Lights from 2012 and 2013. Some of the sequences were reproduced to deliver a ne
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Far away from light pollution and high up in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Yosemite National Park's stunning views of the night sky and majestic natural wonders attract astronomers, photographers and city dwellers from around the country.
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This glorious series of images was captured by the Space Station's Expedition 29 crew on September 17, 2011 while cruising over the Indian Ocean near Australia and south of Madagascar.
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The hurricane that is threatening the east coast of the United States was seen by the crew aboard the International Space Station. Meteorologists are worried this storm and a winter storm coming from the west will form a devastating "Frankenstorm".
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Aurora photographer Chad Blakley (www.lightsoverlapland.com) shot this time lapse of an aurora shimmering through the clouds over Abisko National Park in Sweden on the night of January 13th.
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This mind-bending look at our day and night sky -- including some auroras -- was cut together by Randy Halverson (Dakotalapse.com). The score was composed by Bear McCreary (Battlestar Galactica, The Walking Dead, Eureka, etc.).
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Felix Baumgartner hopes to become the first human to break the speed of sound in a freefall. He intends to jump out of a balloon hoisted capsule at 120,000 feet. On July 25th, he completed his final test jump from 96,640 feet.
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Photographer John Eklund captured over 260,000 images to create this stunning video of the majestic landscapes in and magnificent skies above the pacific northwest of the United States.
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A prototype for future planetary landers, this vertical takeoff and landing craft flew 160 feet higher (467ft) than its last flight; also forward 637 feet, testing NASA's Automated Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT).
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Virgin Galactic successfully tested its vehicle again on January 10th, 2014 and reached 71,000 feet (21,641 meters) and a top speed of Mach 1.4. They are still on track to start commercial service later this year.
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The Dragon test article successfully splashed down in the Pacific Ocean in December. The parachute deployment system was evaluated as part of their Commercial Crew Integrated Capability agreement with NASA.
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The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) network work in conjunction with ground stations to delivers non stop coverage to Earth satellites and the ISS.
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Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser spacecraft has come a long way. This video shows how the ship was put together, the pilots trained, and the ship tested over the past few years in preparation for a test launch in 2016 and human pilot flights in 2017.
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The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-L) launched aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center on Jan. 23rd, 2013. It will join and upgrade NASA's network of satellites that makes non-stop communication with satellites and the ISS.
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NASA' s Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX) will take measurements in the Pacific Ocean's tropical tropopause (layer of atmosphere, 55,000-65,000 Feet above sea level). It'll provide data on changes in moisture and chemical composition.
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More power than can be achieved by solar panels is necessary to run the Mars Science Laboratory aka "Curiosity". Heat from the decay of plutonium dioxide will generate 110 watts of electrical power to charge the rover's batteries. To View More Videos Abou
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See private spaceship builder Jeff Bezos's vertical rocket take a short hop during a 2011 test flight by his company Blue Origin. To View More SPACE VIDEO - Go to: http://www.space.com/video/
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NASA's Curiosity rover is a 1-ton robot that will make an unprecedented Mars landing on Aug. 5, 2012. See how the risky maneuver will keep rover team members in suspense for 7 fateful minutes.