Hyperion the Sponge Moon

A couple of days ago, the still-active Cassini spacecraft orbiting around Saturn performed a flyby of the small Moon Hyperion, taking high resolution photos of the surface, and showing the sponge-like surface of the moon in a different light. Hyperion is a moderate 250 kilometers wide, yet it doesn’t tug very hard on Cassini.  Performing measurements of its surface gravity, Cassini has shown that the moon is mostly empty space, similar to a pumice stone on Earth.  The odd shapes of the craters are thought to be a result of this.  When an impactor hits Hyperion, it blows the material...

Motivation Monday: The Rocky Road

When the circumstances of life are great, it makes sense to try and keep them that way.  After we work so hard to get our life on the right track, we can become fearful of any subtle changes that derail our progress.  But positive action and progression toward a goal do not follow a straight pathway.  It doesn’t matter whether your goal is about work, fitness, hobbies, relationships, or finances.  There will be periods of time where you feel like you are making progress and periods where the progress is subtle or unmeasurable, and you want to give up. The...

One Year Mission on the ISS Begins!

When Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield was in space, on the International Space Station (ISS), he stayed there for six months, the standard length of stay for an astronaut.  On the ISS, three of the six-person crew are replaced every three months.  After returning to Earth, Hadfield could barely walk.  He had lost bone density and muscle mass, his immune system weakened, cardiovascular functions slowed, and he produced less red blood cells.  The lack of gravity is bad for humans,  The longest a human being has ever been in space was Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov, who was in space for a staggering...