TagNational Aeronautics and Space Administration

Zero-G makes all but 4 sex-positions impossible

US and Russian astronauts have had sex in space for separate research programmes on how human beings might survive years in orbit, according to a book published yesterday.

Pierre Kohler, a respected French scientific writer, says in The Final Mission: Mir, The Human Adventure that the subject is taboo both at Nasa and at mission control in Moscow, but that cosmic couplings have taken place.

[…]

Only four positions were found possible without “mechanical assistance”. The other six needed a special elastic belt and inflatable tunnel, like an open-ended sleeping bag.

Mr Kohler says: “One of the principal findings was that the classic so-called missionary position, which is so easy on earth when gravity pushes one downwards, is simply not possible.”

Full Story: Guardian.

(via Robot Wisdom)

Mysterious Clouds Creeping Out of the Arctic

A new NASA satellite has recorded the first detailed images from space of a mysterious type of cloud called ‘night-shining’ or ‘noctilucent.”

The clouds are on the move, brightening and creeping out of polar regions, and researchers don’t know why.

Full Story: Live Science.

(Thanks Danny Chaoflux).

Erik Davis on Yuri’s Night party at NASA Ames Research Center

Like the a bespectacled kid brother of Earthdance, Yuri’s Night has taken off. This year there were well over 100 events around the globe, from Beijing to Prague to Lagos, and though some of them were probably little more than astrogeeks playing Moby records, the Yuri’s Night held in Mountain View, something more unusual happened.

The event took place at the NASA Ames Research Center, which is where they do stuff like build space-faring robots and study microbes on extra-solar planets. The Center is an imposing, vaguely Ballardian environment: enormous hangers, wind tunnels, empty runways and defeated institutional buildings lying on the edge of the Bay. But on the evening of Friday the 13th, the center opened its doors to raw food vendors, Black Rock sculptors, feral half-nude hoopers, and the nasty electronic breakbeats of the Glitch Mob. In other words, Burning Man spilled onto the nerd turf of the military-industrial complex.

Also on hand were robot designers, private astronauts, shills handing out Google schwag, and a handful of rumpled NASA scientists behind demo booths talking to people wearing purple cowboy hats and furry brassieres about earthquake prediction devices and cutting-edge global visualization tools.

Full Story: Techgnosis.

High Tech Sleuths Get New Tool

Technology inspired by a NASA space probe will soon be helping detectives solve gun crimes and murder cases far faster. A simple handheld device that instantly confirms whether a suspect has recently fired a gun means lab delays will not allow suspects time to get away.

New Scientist: Space probe kit will fight terrestrial crime

(via Die Puny Humans).

Russia and NASA both launch space tourism programs

Both NASA and Russia are working on space tourism programs. Yay!

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