The people who go into space and what space means to people on Earth.
Astronauts – in Memoriam
Traveling into space is an astronaut's dream. However it's a dangerous occupation, both in the realization and in the training. A number of astronauts, almost all American or Russian, have paid the ultimate price for their dreams. Where are their memorials?
Carrying the Fire - book review
What was it like to be one-third of the Apollo 11 crew? Michael Collins, the man in the command module that didn´t land on the Moon, tells a fascinating story of astronaut training and space travel. Originally published in 1974, there was a Fortieth Anniversary edition of Carrying the Fire in 2009.
Cats in the Sky
There are three constellations named for dogs, but what about cats in the sky? There is astrocat Felicette who went into space and returned safely to Earth, but also constellations of big cats and a pawprint 50 light years across.
Christmas in the Skies
Christmas is a special day with a magic of its own. A Christmas eclipse is a great treat and centuries ago a long-awaited comet finally showed up on Christmas day. On the other hand, imagine spending the holidays a quarter of a million miles from home, as the crew of Apollo 8 did.
Cosmic - book review
Cosmic isn´t an astronomy text. It´s a delightful novel for young people which includes space travel and a cast of great characters, including Liam who´s too tall for his age. It´s Willy Wonka meets Apollo 13, as the taikonauts get chosen in an unusual draw and end up stranded in space.
Cosmonauts - Birth of the Space Age
The starter's pistol for the space race was fired on October 4, 1957. It was in the form of a small highly-polished sphere that orbited the Earth every 98 minutes. This was the Soviet Union's Sputnik, Earth's first artificial satellite. It shook up the United States, and there was more to come.
Could you survive unprotected in space
Movies show people being expelled unprotected into space - they explode, they freeze instantly, their blood boils. It's not a pretty sight. Would this actually happen? Not really, but I still wouldn't recommend trying it out.
Creepy Crawlies in Space
What was the first Earth creature to go into space? Not a dog, but a fruit fly. Insects and arachnids have been mini-astronauts for over sixty years. They have also inspired the naming of heavenly objects.
Dark Matter - Poems of Space - book review
What do poets see when they look at the heavens? And astronomers? Are the experiences completely different or different sides of the same sense of wonder? This collection of poems, edited by a poet and an astrophysicist, is a treasure trove. There´s something here for everyone.
Exploring the Apollo Landing Sites
NASA sent the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) to the Moon to spy out sites for future manned missions. It doesn't look like they'll be sending anybody to the Moon, but LRO has documented the Apollo landing sites. Astronomy writer and space expert Ian Ridpath takes us to the Moon for a look.
First Orbit - Film Review
On April 12, 1961 Yuri Gagarin saw what no human had ever seen before: the Earth from space. Now "First Orbit" allows you to imagine that you are making the historic voyage. Film shot from the International Space Station creates the views, but you´ll also have Philip Sheppard´s music.
George´s Cosmic Treasure Hunt - book review
George is sad. The family next door are moving away and things will be so dull without them. Or maybe not! Why is the new Martian rover acting so strangely? Has the search for life met an alien threat to Earth? Lucy and Stephen Hawking take George and the reader on a cosmic adventure.
Hubble 3D - film review
For over two decades a special telescope has given us breath-taking views of the cosmos. The Hubble Space Telescope has lasted this long through servicing by space shuttle astronauts, but the final mission is over. This IMAX film is a tribute to the iconic instrument - is there a theater near you?
Icarus at the Edge of Time book review
Icarus flew too close to the Sun with wings of wood and wax. The wax melted and he fell to his death. Brian Greene´s Icarus of the future flies too close to a black hole and finds that he should have paid more attention to Einstein.
In the Shadow of the Moon - film review
What would it be like to leave Earth´s protective embrace and journey to an alien world? Only twenty-four men have ever experienced this - Apollo astronauts. "In the Shadow of the Moon" uses original footage & astronaut interviews to tell the story of one of the defining events of human history.
How much do people know about our next-door neighbor the Moon? For example, does the full moon drive people crazy? Apparently not – unless maybe they’re astronomers trying to observe faint nebulae. Here are ten common moon myths and lunar lapses.
Packing for Mars - book review
If you think being an astronaut is a glamorous occupation, Mary Roach´s book “Packing for Mars” will bring you down to Earth. Playing in free-fall looks like fun, but without gravity, eating, hygiene and dealing with waste are not fun. Here´s the lowdown. Still want to go to Mars?
Space Station 3D - film review
A Select Few Have Been Aboard... Now It´s Your Turn! It´s "Space Station 3D" and in IMAX it may be the closest you ever get to seeing Earth from space. It´s not a new film, but worth seeing if you can.
Spiders in Space
Spiders and their webs are everywhere and not just on Halloween. Sixteen of them have been sent into space. How well did the orb-weavers manage their webs? Did the jumping spiders starve in microgravity? What was the big surprise Gladys had for researchers when she returned to Earth?
Ten Fascinating Facts about Space Exploration
Who was really the first to orbit Earth? What is Snoopy's role in the manned space program? What sent an Australian teenager rushing to San Francisco? Which stars are Dnoces, Navi and Regor? Find out all of this . . . and more!
Thanksgiving in Space
Many good foods are associated with a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner. But what do you suppose would be on the menu for Thanksgiving in space? Would you squeeze turkey paste out of a tube and get gelatin-covered dessert in cubes? Nope. Space food has got much better since the early days.
The New Martians – book review
Fast forward to 2035. The first manned Mars expedition is going home, and things have started to go wrong. The psychological pressures of being a small group spending a few years together in a hostile environment are getting to them. They´re also unaware that they´ve acquired a hitchhiker.
Who Let the Dogs out? Astronomy Homepage | Editor's Picks Articles | Top Ten Articles | Astronomy Site Map
Someone must have left the door open, because the skies are full of dogs. You can see the dogs of Orion and the hunting dogs of the shepherd Bootes in pursuit of the Great Bear. There is also the Running Dog Nebula and the memory of poor Laika, the first cosmonaut, who perished in space.
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