Fun fact: most of the early space suits were manufactured by ILC Dover, also known as Playtex, the same company that made women’s undergarments. More wall-worthy goodies from the San Diego Air & Space Museum on Flickr. How well can you head-bang in space?
Always a wealth of incredible images (many of them high-res) on the NASA Commons Flickr page.
Further viewing: NASA Commons Pt. 1
NASA has a great collection of historical photographs detailing their exploits over the years. Break out your Epsons and clean up your source imagery folder, these are all high-res and downloadable. Your tax dollars at work.
NASA Commons Image Archive
An original Graphics Standards Manual from 1976 when NASA transitioned to the “worm logo” (more info). Love the car graphics, was waiting for something on The Shuttle but then realized it was just a concept when this manual was written. Maybe it’s just an American thing, but is this not the most iconic logo ever?
Via Tim George
A great PDF of Hasselblad’s the guidebook for the NASA Photography Training Program can be had here. The guide focuses on the operation of the 500 EL/M, which was the official NASA camera.
Related viewing: NASA Hasselblad Auction photos
Hasselblad Nasa Photography Guide via Make
This “brand new”, supposedly made for NASA, Hasselblad MKWE can be yours for around $34K if you win this auction. It apparently comes as new in the original packaging. I love the concept of new-old stock; something about the idea of a product sitting undisturbed for decades in the original packaging is pretty cool. I have seen some classic synthesizers still sealed in the original box come up here and there on ebay, I even once saw a Rhodes piano, in the box, still unassembled. But none of those really compares to this beauty. The hardest part about getting this would be deciding whether to even use it or to preserve it in some sort of airtight viewing cube.
Auction via Sam Valenti
Apparently this photo went viral a few months back, but I’ve just stumbled upon it and had to share it. There’s something about it that is truly mesmerizing. She’s certainly not hard on the eyes, but when you consider the NASA era it’s from, the photo takes on an especially inspiring and poignant tone.
Anna holds the title of “first mother in space.” She joined NASA as an astronaut candidate in 1978, and a little over a year prior to the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, Anna flew aboard Discovery on it’s second flight on November 8, 1984. The photo was taken for a Life Magazine story.
After the Challenger explosion she did not fly again, but she continues to work to this day at NASA as a station CAPCOM (Capsule Communicator) on the Orion Project.
Over twenty years in the making and set for a 2018 launch, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the single most advanced space telescope ever constructed. Successor to NASA’s beloved Hubble Space Telescope, JWST has been purpose-built for studying the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to give astronomers an ability of seeing past clouds of dust and gas and further back to the beginning of the Universe than we ever have. How far? According to NASA the JWST will see the Universe’s very first star formations taking place only 100 to 250 million years after the Big Bang. Such distant and precise observations promise to unleash a torrent of new discoveries and unlock fundamental quandaries about the origin of the cosmos and life in the Universe.
A few interesting facts:
• JWST’s primary mirror is a 6.5 meter diameter gold coated beryllium reflector that is too large for contemporary launch vehicles, so the mirror is being composed of 18 hexagonal segments (as seen above), which will all unfold after the telescope is launched. Why Hexagons? It’s beyond my comprehension, but supposedly this has something to do with hexagons having a perimeter less than that of a square over a given area, which translates to a gained efficiency for steering the mirror segments and focusing the telescope.
• The telescope will maintain an L2 orbit, meaning that it will orbit in earth’s shadow and around the sun, not the earth. The idea here is to eliminate all possible heat / light sources, such as Earth’s heat-shimmer, and keep the telescope as cold as possible. How cold? Extremely. Cold. The JWST’s mid-infrared instrument (MIRI) will operate at a set temperature of 7 Kelvins, or -266° C / -447° F, through the use of a helium refrigerator, or cryocooler system (source).
• Although JWST’s primary goal is to study the first galaxies or stars that formed after the Big Bang, the telescope is also capable of measuring the physical and chemical properties of planetary systems within our Milky Way and will investigate the potential for life in those planetary systems.
• When launched, some scientists suggest the telescope will represent a greater technological achievement than landing on the moon.
Posted by: Owen Perry