NASA Has Its Own Railroad (Cool Weird Awesome 1006)

National Train Day is coming up this weekend, so we'll take a look at a railroad that doesn't get a lot of attention, the one NASA has used to move parts and supplies to and from Kennedy Space Center.

By |2024-05-10T08:18:51-04:00May 10, 2023|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

There’s A Big Metal Ball Just Hanging Out In Earth Orbit, And It’s Super Useful (Cool Weird Awesome 1003)

Today in 1965 the launch of what is the oldest functioning object in Earth orbit, Lincoln Calibration Sphere 1. Though to say it's "functioning" might be overstating things.

By |2024-05-05T12:32:08-04:00May 5, 2023|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

For Self-Help Robots, Looks Matter (Cool Weird Awesome 976)

The University of Cambridge did a study about robotic wellbeing coaches. And it turns out that if we want robots to help us help ourselves… they need to be cute. 

By |2024-03-22T08:48:10-04:00March 22, 2023|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Ellen Ochoa Blazed Trails In Space (And Played The Flute Up There) (Cool Weird Awesome 633)

For National Hispanic Heritage Month, here's the story of the first Hispanic woman in space, Ellen Ochoa, talented and versatile even by astronaut standards. Plus: an art student in China breaks stuff for art's sake, through a very peculiar vending machine.

NASA Likes To Say Good Morning To Its Astronauts With Music (Cool Weird Awesome 419)

If you're an astronaut, way up there in space, chances are you started the day with a song. Why? It's a NASA tradition. Plus: an artist in California has turned "Star Trek" into a widescreen format, so it fits on modern TVs.

By |2020-11-13T08:29:35-05:00November 13, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

After The Moon Landing Came The Astronaut Quarantine (Cool Weird Awesome 356)

Today in 1969 was the first day off for the Apollo 11 astronauts in more than a month. Yes, they'd finished their moon landing weeks earlier, but they had to go into quarantine in case they'd picked up some "moon germs" that could lead to a plague on Earth. (Fortunately, they hadn't.) Plus: there's a new augmented reality tour of a church in Florence, Italy that was deconstructed in 1784. 

Time To Upgrade The International Space Station’s Bathroom (Cool Weird Awesome 321)

Sometimes you go into space to land on the moon, and other times it’s for maintenance purposes. NASA is planning a mission to replace the toilet on the International Space Station.

Running The Mars Rover From Home Is The Coolest Remote Work Ever (Cool Weird Awesome 282)

Like people in other industries who have the means to do so, the scientists who operate the Curiosity Rover are working away from their office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in southern California. Though technically when you run a craft that's on another planet, you're always working remotely. Plus: artist Greg Olijnyk makes intricate sculptures of robots, telescopes, ships and more out of plain old cardboard.

By |2024-04-22T08:54:32-04:00April 22, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , , |

The Mars Lander Can Give Itself A Helping Hand (Cool Weird Awesome 267)

NASA has fixed a problem with its Mars lander, essentially by telling the lander to use a robotic arm to help itself - or, depending on the headlines you read, to whack itself.

By |2024-03-25T19:29:42-04:00March 25, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |
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