Movie review: ‘Gravity’ a breathtaking, harrowing ride

By Ashley Bergner
Box Office Buzz

GRAVITY

When I was a kid, my dream was to become an astronaut. I’m pretty sure I checked out just about every book on space my local library had to offer, and at night I would stare up at the sky and imagine what it would be like to fly among the stars.

Needless to say, that dream didn’t quite pan out — which is probably a good thing, considering my fear of heights, flying and enclosed spaces. ;) But I never quite lost that fascination for space, which was why I was intrigued by the previews for Alfonso Cuarón’s new film “Gravity.” The movie captures the wonder, mystery and terror of the endless reaches of space; it’s both the harrowing trial of an astronaut marooned in space and an intimate story of humanity’s determination to survive, even when there’s almost no hope. Continue reading

SPACE JUMP!

Felix Baumgartner just seconds before the jump.

The Red Bull Stratos Space Jump aired live on The Discovery Channel and across the internet today. The ESO Network congratulates Felix Baumgartner on his history making leap.

 

NASA’s $300 million plan to send 6 probes hunting Martians by 2018

Martian Chroinicles By Matthew Jackson, Source: Blastr.com

A few months ago, we heard that NASA’s determined to launch some kind of new Mars mission by 2018 regardless of budget cuts. Now a proposed plan for just such a mission has been revealed, and it’s one of the most ambitious searches for Martian life yet.

The Biological Oxidant and Life Detection (BOLD) Mission calls for six 130-pound pyramid-shaped “penetrator” probes to impact the surface of Mars at six different points, embedding themselves at least four inches into the Martian soil to search for life beneath the Red Planet’s irradiated surface. If approved, BOLD will be the first Mars mission dedicated to solely to a life search since NASA’s Viking landers in 1975, and proponents argue that this time there’s a much greater chance of conclusive results. Continue reading

Asteroid Mining Venture Backed by Google Execs, James Cameron Unveiled

Planetary Resources Will Explore the Solar System for Astoriod MiningBy Mike Wall , SPACE.com Senior Writer Space.com | SPACE.com, Source: Yahoo.com / Space.com

A newly unveiled company with some high-profile backers — including filmmaker James Cameron and Google co-founder Larry Page — has announced plans to mine near-Earth asteroids for resources such as precious metals and water.

Planetary Resources, Inc. intends to sell these materials, generating a healthy profit for itself. But it also aims to advance humanity’s exploration and exploitation of space, with resource extraction serving as an anchor industry that helps our species spread throughout the solar system. Continue reading

Scientists say there are killer dinosaurs in space waiting to eat us

Space Dinosaurs are waiting to eat usBy Marc Bernardin, Source: Blastr.com

Manned missions into the cosmos were always going to be a dicey affair, given the multitudes of things we don’t know (and the fact that NASA’s funding is a fraction of what it should be). But if there are actually hyper-intelligent dinosaurs waiting for us, maybe we should just stay home.

The theory is, the amino acids that formed the building blocks of life came to Earth on an asteroid some 4 billion years ago. And given that those acids came from somewhere else, they also exist somewhere else. Continue reading

There may be 100,000 nomadic planets for every star in our galaxy

Wandering Planets are more comon then we thinkBy Evan Ackerman, Source: Dvice.com

Our galaxy is home to about three hundred billion stars. That’s a lot of stars. New research suggests that for every one of those stars, there may be a hundred thousand homeless planets wandering the galaxy. If you’re counting, that’s like 30,000,000,000,000,000 planets, and some of them may be home to life.

All those zeros add up to thirty quadrillion planetary mass objects. Quadrillion. If each one of those planets kicked in three dollars, we’d be able to build a Death Star, with enough cash left over to trick it out with some rims and a sweet sound system. On the face of it, this seems crazy: all of these planets are just floating around out there, without any star systems to call home. And since planets don’t emit light of their own, how is it possible to spot one of them, let alone estimate that out galaxy is full of quadrillions? Continue reading

Could a bigger X-37B be the next space shuttle?

Are we looking at the next Space Shuttle?By Evan Ackerman, source: Dvice.com

That mysterious robotic spaceship that the U.S. Air Force sent into orbit for seven straight months last year may get a bit of an upgrade. Boeing is toying with the idea of expanding the X-37B into the X-37C, which could carry up to six astronauts into space and back. We could be looking at the next generation of space shuttle.

Nobody’s really sure what the X-37B is for. All we know is that the Air Force sent it up into space, twice, and it stayed there for a long time (months), changing orbits and doing mysterious (and highly classified) things. Evidently it did what it was supposed to do, and did it well enough that the Air Force asked Boeing to build it a second one.

For its part, Boeing is looking even farther ahead, and they’ve drafted designs for an X-37C, which would be just like the X-37B, only about twice the size. This would make it large enough to carry a six person crew capsule in the cargo bay, or in a slightly different configuration, give it a space shuttle-style cockpit and crew area. Continue reading

Origin of Dinosaur-Killing Asteroid Remains a Mystery

Asteroid mystery might be coming to lightBy Whitney Clavin & Trent J. Perrotto, Source: NASA.gov

Observations from NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission indicate the family of asteroids some believed was responsible for the demise of the dinosaurs is not likely the culprit, keeping open the case on one of Earth’s greatest mysteries.

While scientists are confident a large asteroid crashed into Earth approximately 65 million years ago, leading to the extinction of dinosaurs and some other life forms on our planet, they do not know exactly where the asteroid came from or how it made its way to Earth. A 2007 study using visible-light data from ground-based telescopes first suggested the remnant of a huge asteroid, known as Baptistina, as a possible suspect. Continue reading

Dino-filled UK sci-fi series Primeval gets a Canadian spin-off, eh?

Primeval Coming to the New WorldBy Nathalie Caron, Source: Blastr.com

Awesome news, everyone! While we’re impatiently waiting for season 5 of Primeval to air over here in North America, news of a spin-off of the UK sci-fi series has just emerged.

Titled Primeval: New World (Torchwood: Miracle Day was originally sub-titled The New World, BTW) will be a Canadian production from our friends over at SPACE, and it will be set in the same anomalies-filled universe we all know and love. Continue reading