Mariner 2


Totally obsessed with the look of early spacecraft – here the Mariner 2, built in 1962 and the first to travel to another planet, which passed within 21,000 miles of Venus.

Curiosity Rover Animation

This 11-minute animation from NASA shows the Curiosity rover landing on and traversing across Mars.  It is nearly silent, save some realistic but oddly empty foley sound, making the rover seem very much alone.

Comet Harpoon

NASA has developed a harpoon/crossbow/ballista for penetrating the surface of comets.  The bow in this test version are made from truck suspension springs, the string is a 1/2″ steel cable.  The test is launched into a barrel of dirt (which apparently is a good approximation of a comet’s surface), because the crossbow could launch the harpoon a mile into the air.

A close-up of the harpoon with an internal sample collection chamber.

Via (and high-res images): NASA