Cassini’s Grand Finale

The fantastic adventure of the Cassini mission is coming to an end.

Space.com: Epic Cassini Saturn mission begins Grand Finale this month

NASA: Cassini mission web site | Grand Finale Toolkit

NASA: Cassini mission prepares for Grand Finale | Ring-Grazing Orbits | Mission resources

Google’s doodle for April 26 is dedicated to the Cassini probe.

Wikipedia: Cassini-Huygens

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The First Words on the Moon

You think you know the first words spoken on the moon? Watch this video. Is this important? Not sure, but I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to post interesting facts about the greatest adventure in the history of mankind. Now it sounds more interesting, right? The original transcripts of the radio communication between Earth and the Moon is available at NASA. The video is from Scott Manley’s Youtube channel and I recommend you to check it out if you’re the slightest interested in space or computer games related to space.

NASA: Apollo 11 onboard audio

NASA: Apollo 11 mission transcripts (PDF)

Scott Manley @ Youtube

Wikipedia: Apollo 11

Help NASA to build a better robot

NASA wants your help. Develop software for a virtual Robonaut 5 (R5) Valkyrie to solve problems on Mars. You can win a million dollars.

NASA: Spacebot

Pre-register: spaceroboticschallenge.com

PC Mag: Build a space robot for NASA

Two universities are already working on Valkyrie:

Northeastern University: NASA Space Robotics Challenge

NASA does a lot of research, not just in robotics, and now it will be made public. Their research is now available at PubSpace.

The Vikings landed on Mars 40 years ago!

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Viking Lander on Mars! Sending an orbiter and a lander to Mars was a great achievement and NASA did it twice. It wasn’t without trouble but both the orbiters and the landers were successful! Today we take landers on Mars, and even rovers, for granted. Viking landed in a time when other missions failed. Russian Mars 3 beat Viking to Mars but only lasted a few seconds. The Viking program is one of NASA’s greatest and sparked mine and many others interest in space exploration!

NASA: Viking Mission Page | Viking at 40 Events | Livestream | NSSDC

Space.com: Viking at 40Viking on Mars, 40 years later |  Viking 1 in pictures | Robotic Red Planet Missions

Sky & Telescope: 40th Anniversary of Viking’s Red Planet rendezvous

Lockheed Martin: Viking Lander celebrates 40 years of success

Viking Mars Missons Education and Preservation Project | Tumblr

The Planetary Society: Map of all Mars landing sites

NASA’s Design and Test Summary

Tom Dahl’s collection of photos and diagrams

Wikipedia: Viking Program | Voyager Mars Program | Mars 3