“For the past few decades, space exploration has largely focused on building incredible (occasionally incredibly expensive) high-end machines. It’s not hard to see why —machines like Curiosity and its rocket-powered hover crane are amazing accomplishments.
There’s another group of people, however, working to build spacecraft that can fit within 5-6 digit budgets rather than requiring yearly outlays from NASA or another national budget. Some of these programs have taken to Kickstarter in the hopes of securing funding —including a group from the University of Michigan that wants to build the Next Small Thing in thruster technology.”
My what a lovely Space Oddity you are. Artist Jenn Mann makes these awesome LED Space Helmets. She made the first one as part of a Major Tom costume for a David-Bowie-themed party. And now she makes them for other aspiring astronauts:
This astronaut helmet has a visor that opens and closes all the way so you can talk to other people or say “brb, going into space.” LEDs are arranged around the inside back of the helmet so it glows from the inside. The back of the helmet is painted solid white.
The visor pivots (they hold the visor to the helmet) are custom-designed and can be printed in one of several different day-glo colors! Currently available are fluorescent yellow, fluorescent green, and fluorescent orange. They’re UV-reactive, so they actually fluoresce when the LEDs are blue. The acrylic helmet is lightweight, but comes with a bit of padding for contact points on your shoulders and the back of your head.
LEDs on the inside light up in 16 different colors. Includes a remote control to change LED color. Comes with a 12V battery pack that lasts for hours and hours (more than 8h in my experience).
The helmets are available on a made-to-order basis via Jenn’s Etsy shop, SimpleAsPi.
Compiled from HD cameras on board the International Space Station: the spectacular night view of Earth from space.
Our planet is pretty damn awesome. Best to full-screen this video and turn your speakers on.
M83 produces more than just amazingly awesome music. Also produces extraordinary black hole outbursts from 15 million light years away.
Black Hole Outburst in Spiral Galaxy M83
Editor’s note: this pretty image is a rotated and cropped version of the original, located here:chandra.harvard.edu/photo/2012/m83/. A nice one from Chandra!
NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has discovered an extraordinary outburst by a black hole in the spiral galaxy M83, located about 15 million light years from Earth.
(photo by NASA/STScI/Middlebury College/F.Winkler et al.)