[The Brooklyn Space Program] is a project I did about 2 years ago with my son Max that took us about 8 months to complete, off and on. Essentially, we built a spacecraft out of a cell phone, hand warmers, some foam insulation, and a Thai food takeout container … Reaching the upper stratosphere at 120,000 feet, this homemade capsule could travel 4x higher than a jet liner; photograph the blackness of space, the curvature of the Earth; and safely land again in an hour and a half.
People ask me all the time how I knew how to pull off this crazy mission without any engineering or science background, and all I can tell them is that I’ve done an awful lot of tinkering in my life … I was kind of the poster child for project-based learning — it was often the only way I could learn something.
Today in cool science news: Sounds from space! Voyager 1 leaves the solar system, sends back an eerie interstellar song
(Photo: An artist’s rendering of the general locations of Voyager 1 and 2. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
Many years ago, NASA’s Voyager 1 left Earth. And now, on a recent star trek, the craft departed our solar system, moved past cosmic purgatory (a real thing), entered interstellar space, and brought home supernatural sounds of the beyond (cue Twilight Zone music).
How did Voyager 1 hear this deep, dark area of space? Via plasma! While traveling through the space between the stars, Voyager 1 recorded vibrations made by the very, very dense plasma of interstellar space, and sent back to Earth the very first recordings of the sound caused by this über-dense ionized gas, which you can hear for yourself in the video below:
To celebrate this grand achievement. 2 TEDx Talks on the wonders of space exploration:
Tour the solar system from home: Jon Nguyen at TEDxSanDiego
Not all of us can board a spacecraft to tour the universe. At TEDxSanDiego, NASA engineer Jon Nguyen demos NASA’s "Eyes on the Solar System" software — a free-to-use program that allows users to navigate our solar system without ever having to leave home. Look out for a Voyager 1 cameo at the 5-minute mark.
A sense of place from space: Joseph P. Allen at TEDxSonomaCountry.
Ever want to know what it’s like to walk around in space? At TEDxSonomaCounty, astronaut Joseph Allen walks you through daily life on the International Space Station: