Category Archives: Space Age

2012 Humans in Space International Youth Art Competition Deadline Extended to November 15th

The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) invites youth worldwide ages 10–18 to share their visions of the future of space exploration by submitting visual, literary, musical, and video artwork to the 2012 Humans in Space Youth Art Competition. Due to worldwide request, the deadline for entries has been extended to November 15.

The competition partners (the German Aerospace Center, NASA, and USRA) challenge youth to communicate their vision of the future while incorporating this year’s theme: “How will humans use science and technology to explore space, and what mysteries will they uncover?” Competition judges will include program managers, scientists, artists, teachers, astronauts, musicians, and engineers from all over the world.

Winning artwork will be woven into multimedia displays and performances, providing opportunities for people of all ages to experience and be inspired by the creativity our next generation of explorers. Key venues for the 2012 winners will include the 19th Humans in Space Symposium of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) in Cologne, Germany, in July 2013, and multiple events associated with NASA’s 50th Anniversary of Solar System Exploration celebration.

Information about background science, artwork guidelines, and how to enter the competition is available at

Submissions are electronic and are due November 15, 2012, 11:59 p.m. CDT (23:59 GMT -5).

A complete submission for youth artists will have:

o An entry form that includes:
o Submission and contact information
o Artist’s statement of originality (400 words or less)
o Artwork (rules for different genres provided on website)
o A waiver signed by a parent or guardian (or by the artist, if he/she is at least 18 years old).

Adults will have a chance to participate as well by volunteering as judges; more information is available under the “Call for Judges” tab on the website.

The competition is designed to enhance youth interest, knowledge, and engagement in space science and technology and to encourage young participants worldwide to use that knowledge creatively. Through the multimedia displays and performances of the artwork, viewers also become inspired about the future of space exploration.

For more information, visit the website:

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50 years after Telstar: How Space Age spawned communication age – Cosmic Log

50 years after Telstar: How Space Age spawned communication age - Cosmic Log

Telstar 1, launched 50 years ago on July 10, 1962, was the world’s first commercial communications satellite.

50 years after Telstar: How Space Age spawned communication age – Cosmic Log.

50 years ago, on July 10, 1962, NASA launched the very first commercial satellite – Telstar 1.  The satellite relayed a trans-Atlantic TV signal on July 12, 1962, marking the beginning of the global communications network we all rely on today!

While Sputnik 1 (launched by the Soviet Union October 4, 1957) was technically the first communication satellite in orbit, its communication functions were very limited – transmitting radio signals identifying speed and location data.

So as you watch your favorite TV show or talk with your friends on your cell phone, thank NASA, AT & T, and Bell Laboratories!

NASA – ISS Successfully Captures SpaceX Dragon Capsule

SpaceX Dragon Capsule

SpaceX Dragon capsule successfully berthed with ISS

Today at 12:02 PM EDT, members of the ISS crew successfully bolted the SpaceX Dragon capsule to the Harmony module, marking the first commercial vehicle to ever berth with the ISS! Tomorrow, crew members will open the hatch and begin to offload supplies from the capsule.

Congratulations SpaceX!

Learn more about the mission and view the latest streaming news briefs at NASA’s website:  NASA – SpaceX Launch.

100 Year Starship Study Public Symposium – Sept 30 – Oct 2, 2011

NASA’s Ames Research Center in California and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency will host a public symposium for the 100 Year Starship Study. The symposium will take place Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 2011, in Orlando, Fla. Registration to attend the symposium is free and open to the public.

The 100 Year Starship Study aims to stimulate students, academia, industry, researchers and the public to consider possibilities and issues surrounding long-duration, long-distance spaceflight.

This endeavor will require an understanding of questions such as: how do organizations evolve and maintain focus and momentum for 100 years or more; what models have supported long term technology.

The 100 YSS public symposium will feature presentations of papers and panel discussion in seven relevant tracks related to interstellar travel:

— Time-Distance Solutions — Propulsion, time/space manipulation and/or dilation, near speed of light navigation, faster than light navigation, observations and sensing at near speed of light or faster than light
Track Chair: Dr. Jim Benford

— Habitats and Environmental Science — To have gravity or not, space and radiation effects, environmental toxins, energy collection and use, agriculture, self-supporting environments, optimal habitat sizing
Track Chair: Dr. Chris McKay |

— Biology and Space Medicine — Physiology in space, psychology in space, human life suspension (e.g., cryogenic), medical facilities and capabilities in space, on-scene (end of journey) spawning from genetic material
Track Chair: Dr. Neal Pellis

— Education, Social, Economic and Legal Considerations — Education as a mission, who goes, who stays, to profit or not, economies in space, communications back to Earth, political ramifications, round-trip legacy investments — assets left behind
Track Chair: Dr. Mae Jemison

— Destinations — Criteria for destination selection, what do you take, how many destinations and missions, probes versus journeys of faith
Track Chair: Dr. Jill Tarter

— Philosophical and Religious Considerations — Why go to the stars, moral and ethical issues, implications of finding hospitable worlds, implications of finding life elsewhere, implications of being left behind
Track Chair: Mr. Stewart Brand

— Communication of the Vision — Storytelling as a means of inspiration, linkage between incentives, payback and investment, use of movies, television and books to popularize long-term research, long-term journeys
Track Chair: Dr. Harry Kloor

In addition, the symposium will feature a science fiction authors’ panel discussion, special social events and an exhibit hall.

For more information about the 100 Year Starship Study and the public symposium, please visit the website at:

If you have questions about the study or the public symposium, please email your inquiries to

Celebrate 50 Years of Spaceflight! – Yuri’s Night April 12, 2011

50 years ago, on April 12th, 1961 Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin launched into space in Vostok 1. 20 years later, on April 12, 1981, the very first space shuttle Columbia launch occurred in the United States. To celebrate these space milestones, a yearly celebration, dubbed Yuri’s Night, was founded in 2001. Each year, on April 12th, we gather to honor the people and events that have propelled humans into space. This year, a global webcast is planned and you can expect to see videos and photos from celebrations worldwide.

Head to the Yuri’s Night official website to learn more about the celebration, access event resources, and find events near you!
Or submit your own party to the list and join in the fun!

2011-2012 Fellowship in Aerospace History – Deadline March 1, 2011

NASA and the American Historical Association will fund one fellow, for one academic year, to undertake a research project related to aerospace history. Applicants must possess a doctoral degree in history or in a closely related field, or they must be enrolled in a doctoral program and have completed all course work. A stipend of up to $20,000 will be awarded.

Applications and letters of recommendation must be postmarked by March 1, 2011.

For more information about the fellowship and to download the application form, visit


Call for Proposals 1961/1981: Key Moments in Human Spaceflight – Due October 15, 2010

Call for Proposals 1961/1981: Key Moments in Human Spaceflight

Apollo 17 EVA

Apollo 17 EVA

The NASA History Division and the National Air and Space Museum’s Division of Space History invite proposals for presentations to be held at its joint symposium, “1961/1981: Key Moments in Human Spaceflight,” at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., on 26-27 April 2011. This symposium reflects on 50 years of human spaceflight using these two key dates in time as an entrée for broader investigation and insight. The symposium coincides with four significant anniversaries in the history of human spaceflight: Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s inaugural human orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961; the U.S.’s first human spaceflight with American astronaut Alan Shepard on 5 May 1961; the announcement on 25 May 1961 of the U.S. decision to go to the Moon by the end of the decade; and the Space Shuttle’s first flight into orbit on 12 April 1981. All four events resulted from a unique set of ideas, circumstances, and geopolitics which established a trajectory for future human operations in space. Although there will be a few invited speakers, most presentations will result from responses to the call for papers.

Accordingly, scholars from all disciplines, fields, and subject areas are invited to propose individual papers on aspects of the 1961/1981 theme. We especially invite graduate students and scholars newly entering the study of the history of spaceflight. The symposium will focus on new analytical insights and fresh scholarly analyses from a variety of social science and humanistic perspectives. Individual presentations will be scheduled for 20 minutes each and grouped by the conference organizers into thematically coherent panels that leave ample time for audience discussion.

Key questions of special interest to the symposium’s organizers include the following:

  • What were the political, economic, social, and cultural factors that help explain the situation concerning human spaceflight in 1961? In 1981?
  • What did it mean to be an astronaut or a cosmonaut in 1961, in 1981, and how has this changed over time from social, cultural, transnational, and institutional perspectives?
  • What geopolitical factors have affected the manner in which various nations have approached the issue of human spaceflight?
  • What does it mean for nations to be part of an elite “club” of human spacefarers?
  • What goals in human spaceflight existed at various moments in the history of the space age? Have these changed over time and why?
  • How might transnational historical themes, rather than nationalist perspectives, be deployed to understand these moments in time?
  • What cultural influences (such as fiction, advertising, literature, art, music, labor movements, and globalism) help to explain these experiences?
  • What technological developments drove the seizing of the two moments in 1961 and 1981to take human spaceflight in directions not achievable before?
  • How have national approaches been different from each other in terms of their treatment of launch vehicles, human factors in space, selection and training of astronauts, cultural treatment of astronauts, and the like?
  • What are the social, cultural, and political ramifications of these 1961/1981 moments in time and the place of fifty years of human spaceflight?
  • What is the legacy of human spaceflight?
  • What new insights might we explore about the different approaches that the U.S., the U.S.S.R./Russia, and China have taken to human spaceflight?
  • What have we learned about national space agencies versus transnational consortia such as the European Space Agency versus private sector investment in human spaceflight capabilities?

Proposals may address any area of human spaceflight history related to the 1961/1981 theme. Proposals should be relatively brief (1-2 page abstracts would be fine) and should include a c.v. Proposals are due by 15 October 2010, with a decision made about selection for presentation by 31 December 2010.

Please send proposals to: Roger D. Launius ( and/or Steve Garber (

Visit the NASA History Division for details regarding this and many other opportunities:

Full Length Documentary About the Apollo Missions, For All Mankind, Available Free Online

For All Mankind - a film by Al ReinertFor All Mankind, directed by Al Reinert, documents the NASA Apollo missions using original NASA footage.  The film, including NASA communication recordings and astronaut interviews, offers an in depth and first-hand look at the Apollo program and people as it evolved.  Now, thanks to Hulu, this fantastic documentary is available to watch free online!

Visit the Hulu website to watch the film:

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