NASA ultra-black nano-coating to be applied to 3-D new solar coronagraph

An emerging super-black nanotechnology that is to be tested for the first time this fall on the International Space Station will be applied to a complex, 3-D component critical for suppressing stray light in a new, smaller, less-expensive solar coronagraph designed to ultimately fly on the orbiting outpost or as a hosted payload on a commercial satellite. —> Read More Here

Galactic wheel of life shines in infrared

It might look like a spoked wheel or even a “Chakram” weapon wielded by warriors like “Xena,” from the fictional TV show, but this ringed galaxy is actually a vast place of stellar life. A newly released image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope shows the galaxy NGC 1291. Though the galaxy is quite old, roughly 12 billion years, it is marked by an unusual ring where newborn stars are igniting. —> Read More Here

Google Exec hands Silicon Valley the Stratospheric Jump Record

Google's Vice President of Search, Alan Eustace, has just smashed the altitude record for stratospheric skydiving. His liftoff was from Roswell, New Mexico is where the record was first set in 1960 by USAF Colonel Joseph Kittinger. Paragon Video link. (Credit: Paragon Space Development Corporation)

Google’s Vice President of Search, Alan Eustace, has just smashed the altitude record for stratospheric skydiving. His liftoff was from Roswell, New Mexico, where the record was first set in 1961 by USAF Colonel Joseph Kittinger. Paragon Video link. (Credit: Paragon Space Development Corporation)

Just a little over two years since Felix Baumgartner broke USAF Colonel Joseph Kittinger’s stratospheric jump record, Alan Eustace from Google has independently smashed the high altitude skydiving record again. This brings home to Silicon Valley a record that might stand for a while. Eustace took a minimalist approach to the jump. His setup involved a helium filled balloon and just him hanging from the balloon in a spacesuit. Pure and simple, this permitted his system to reach 135,890 feet above the Earth, over 41 kilometers altitude, exceeding Baumgartner’s record by 7000 feet.

The simple design of his balloon launch might remind one of a bungy jump. How can anyone break that record? Can someone rise to a higher altitude? So what is next for the Google high flyers? Will Baumgartner take this as a challenge to retake the record?

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