Lego announces new set themed around the women of NASA

  • Toy manufacturer Lego Group has announced it will be creating a set of Legos based around the women of NASA, Community Specialist Hasan Jensen wrote in a blog post for the company on Tuesday.
  • The idea for the project was originally pitched by Maia Weinstock, who submitted it to Lego through the company’s Lego Ideas program.
  • The set will include five women who contributed to NASA’s mission, including computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, mathematician Katherine Johnson, astronaut Sally Ride, astronomer Nancy Grace Roman and astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to enter space in 1992. Read more (2/28/17 5:53 PM)

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SpaceX is planning to send two private citizens around the moon

  • Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk announced Monday that SpaceX is planning to send two private citizens around the moon in 2018.
  • The two citizens, who have paid a “significant deposit” to participate in the moon mission, will begin training later this year, pending health and fitness tests, according to a statement from SpaceX.
  • “Like the Apollo astronauts before them, these individuals will travel into space carrying the hopes and dreams of all humankind, driven by the universal human spirit of exploration,” the company said.
  • The identities of the two space tourists have yet to be released.
  • According to the statement, the mission will fly the two citizens around the moon in a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft in 2018.
  • The mission will take about a week and the craft will not land on the surface of the moon, according to NPR. Read more (2/28/17 1:49 PM)

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Two NASA spacecraft capture annular eclipse from space.

NASA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory captured the moon’s shadow crossing the Earth February 26. The rare annular solar eclipse was visible in much of the southern hemisphere. An annular eclipse occurs when the moon is farther away from the Earth than in a normal eclipse and does not completely block out the sun during totality.

DSCOVR also captured a total solar eclipse on March 8, 2016. The satellite has a unique vantage point on the Earth-Moon system from its orbit at the L1 LaGrange point one million miles away from Earth.

NASA’s Terra satellite also captured the eclipse. The climate monitoring satellite saw the moon’s shadow in its field of view over southern South America, as seen by the brownish tint to the clouds in the image below. The black area on the left half of the image represents the area outside the spacecraft’s field of view.