• Blogs

    November 7, 2014

    Listen to NASA: 4 Best Houston-centric NASA Audio Moments

    If you're looking for a quick audio overview of NASA's history, the space agency just released about 60 short clips that give us enough historic soundbites and out-of-this-world sounds -- "Earth's Song" is particularly beautiful -- to cover more than 50 years of history on Souncloud. However, whil ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 28, 2014

    NASA Rocket Explodes After Launch

    Well, it looks like the astronauts will have to wait a little longer for their snacks and supplies. An unmanned NASA rocket exploded shortly after launching on Tuesday evening. The rocket, an unmanned cargo spacecraft that was slated to dock at the International Space Station, exploded roughly six ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 17, 2014

    SpaceX, Boeing to Launch Humans Under NASA's Watch

    For the first time in American history, commercial spaceflight companies will send astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX and Boeing have been awarded NASA contracts to pursue the technology necessary for sustaining human life in space. Pending certification by NASA, American astrona ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 25, 2014

    NASA (Kind of) Has Asteroid Retrieval Plans

    Nothing will make people less dubious about NASA's plan to lasso an asteroid like a plan. That must be what the folks at NASA are thinking, but more power to them, because they do indeed have something that is beginning to resemble a plan. See, NASA isn't sending astronauts to the moon anytime soo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 16, 2014

    Giant Asteroid Slid By for NASA Photo-op

    Lots of asteroids zoom by the planet over the course of the year (that's why NASA actually tracks and counts all the ones it can find) but one of those asteroids zipped by Earth recently, and this time NASA scientists were ready. Yep, 2014 HQ124 was more ready for its closeup than Norma Desmond at t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 11, 2014

    NASA Sends Angry Birds to an Asteroid

    There are plenty of questions about whether or not NASA will ever send actual astronauts to an asteroid, but in the meantime, NASA has worked with Rovio Entertainment to give Angry Birds a little asteroid exposure. Yep, the duo that brought the world Angry Birds Space got together again to create B ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2014

    So NASA is Finding Odd-Shaped Holes in the Sun, But Don't Panic

    First NASA figured out how to fit a square peg in a round hole (it happened in Apollo 13 and it's totally worth googling to see how they did it, but Hair Balls digresses) now they've spotted a square hole in the sun. Yep folks, those who thought that the sun could only have nice comforting round ho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 5, 2014

    New NASA Spacesuits Have Been Chosen: Buzz Lightyear Would be Proud

    Last month, NASA asked the people to help pick the design of the next spacesuit. The people have spoken and they have decreed that NASA astronauts should look like chrome versions of Buzz Lightyear. In other words, the astronauts are going to look extremely cool. If they manage to get to Mars whil ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 3, 2014

    NASA Broke Up With Russia's Space Agency, Now What?

    The United States has ended things between NASA and Russia's space agency. While the U.S. has yet to issue a Taylor Swiftian pop ballad about the breakup, a memo on the split did get leaked. We can't say we didn't see this coming. Things have been, shall we say, tense between the two countries sinc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2014

    NASA Needs Asteroid Hunters

    Since a trip to Mars is years and a whole lot of scientific development away, NASA is focusing on asteroids. If you've always dreamed of saving the planet from an asteroid, now is your chance. NASA kicks off a program on March 17 where "citizen scientists" will have the chance to come up with algori ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 27, 2014

    NASA Discovers 715 New Planets Outside our Solar System

    Space is still the final frontier, and NASA has announced that the frontier is more vast than we realized. The NASA Kepler mission has discovered 715 planets set up in multiple-planet systems a lot like ours. The discovery more than doubled the number of known worlds in one fell swoop. Launched in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 19, 2014

    NASA is Defending the Planet From Asteroids

    The asteroid that hit Russia came out of the sky just like we all thought it would -- a fireball meteor, a streak of light that landed with the impact of a bomb. We've seen it in the movies for years, but it seems NASA took the asteroid as a sign to really step up their anti-obliteration-of-the-Eart ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 6, 2013

    How Will NASA Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before With Slashed Funding?

    Once traveling at light speed was the kind of thing you'd only hear about right before or after William Shatner said, "Beam me up, Scotty," but physicist Harold White and a NASA team at the Johnson Space Center are working on making the warp drive a thing that will actually exist. In a similar kind ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 28, 2013

    What's in a Space Station Thanksgiving?

    Way up there in outer space, the International Space Station crew is being deprived of the traditional Thanksgiving we're all enjoying -- you know, that complicated dance of balancing gobbling turkey, stuffing, pie and enough booze before someone you're related to brings up either politics or religi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2013

    Gravity Hits NASA: Shutdown as "Nonessential" NASA Turns 55

    Last week was NASA's 55th birthday. However, the folks over at NASA didn't have a giant cake or some crazy party to celebrate 55 years of the space program. Instead, 97 percent of NASA employees were deemed "nonessential," sent home without pay and told to wait and not work until the government fina ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 29, 2013

    Johnson Space Center STILL Won't Get A Shuttle But We Get A Consolation Prize

    If you've been around Houston for a while, you may have noticed that NASA is kind of our thing. We love being "Space City" almost as much as we hate Dallas. So when we didn't get a space shuttle -- even though Florida, New York, California and Washington D.C. did -- we were kind of miffed. Well, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2013

    Mars Missions And Twin Testing: Just Regular Old NASA Stuff

    Seeing astronauts on Mars in the near future still seems as unlikely as the moon landing must have seemed when President John F. Kennedy first got the program going in the early 1960s. But the folks over at NASA are still dreaming Martian dreams, and conducting weird experiments on twins (Not becaus ... More >>

  • Film

    August 1, 2013

    Europa Report: A Found-Footage Failure of Form

    Ersatz space doc Europa Report only looks realistic.

  • Blogs

    July 23, 2013

    Iowa Senator Fuddy-Duddy Questions NASA Employees Who Dressed Up as Vikings for Photshoot

    "Why so serious?" The Joker There is a reason younger generations have a difficult time relating to older people. Youth tends to act with emotion and do things just because. As people get older, their actions become generally more measured and they are more about routine than spontaneity. It's why ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 19, 2013

    NASA's New Astronauts: Half Women, None Alive for the Moon Landing

    There was a generation of kids who grew up idolizing the astronauts. The men of the Mercury missions, the Apollo crews -- the guys who risked everything, put it all on the line to beat the Russians and launch into outer space. John Glenn, Alan Shepard, Neil Armstrong -- these guys were national he ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 3, 2013

    NASA Video Reveals Telescope Near Miss with Soviet Satellite and How Much Crap There Is In Orbit

    You have to hand it to the folks at NASA. In an effort to educate -- no doubt in part to remind people that, "Hey, people who think science is the devil, it is actually really important -- they produce tons of videos, blog posts and other educational materials that are often times pretty damn fascin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 6, 2013

    Coco Brown: Porn Star Will Blast Into Space, And We Find NASA Mission Names For The Ensuing X-Rated Film

    Coco Brown, a porn actress we've heard of even though she's the star of such films as Bomb Ass Pussy 2 and Sperma Hotel, is headed for space. According to media reports which we have a hard time believing, Brown is paying $100,000 to be taken up by private Dutch company Space XC, home for all your ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 20, 2012

    Nerd Humor: NASA Gets Clever With "Why the World Didn't End" and Gangnam Style Parody Videos

    Nerds have a sense of humor and when those nerds also have cool toys and a desire to get people more interested in their world, they can come up with some pretty damn clever concoctions. In this case, the nerds in question are at our own Johnson Space Center where they have created a couple of video ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 17, 2012

    "NASA" Does LMFAO: Oh, No...

    It's Friday afternoon, and you could either use a good laugh or else you just don't care anymore. Either way, do we have something for you. Riding high on the wave of good PR and general swag of the unmanned spacecraft Curiosity's successful landing and ongoing exploration of Mars (yes, fucking Mar ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 6, 2012

    Two Choice Idiocies in the 2012 Texas GOP Platform

    The 2012 Texas Republican Platform has been released, and reading briefly through it there is an interesting mixture of solid conservative thought, some common sense points, and at least two of what appears to be a complete and utter disconnect from even manufactured reality. As Houston Press's resi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 7, 2012

    Amazing New Close-Up Look at Apollo 11's Lunar Landing Site

    For a bigger version, click and then click again. NASA released a picture today from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera as it passed just 15 miles over the landing site of Apollo 11. The pictures clearly show the bottom part of the Lunar Module that served as the launching pad for the Eagle.

  • Calendar

    February 16, 2012
  • Blogs

    October 27, 2011

    Annise Parker Strongly Urges (Probably in Vain) NASA to Get Going on Its Next Manned Mission

    Light this candle.​Mayor Annise Parker joined today with the mayor of Huntsville, Alabama -- do we really need to tell you his name is Tommy Battle? No, really, it is -- to inform NASA and all politicians who vote on it that they better get going on NASA's new project. The two "have formally ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 4, 2011

    NASA Taking Astronaut Applications: A Job With A Bright Future

    This could be you​Tired of your dead-end job? Get into a profession that's guaranteed to be well-funded for the foreseeable future and beyond: manned space travel!! NASA is once again opening up the application process for astronaut jobs, even though, you know, there are no more shuttle missi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 22, 2011

    NASA Ringtones: "Houston, We've Had a Problem" and Others

    The telephone is ringing...​NASA geeks rejoice: The agency has made some of their audio greatest hits available for use as ringtones. var so = new SWFObject("{rlD=Tlzq4o=&autoPlay=no","theSWF", "91", "32", "8", "#FFFFFF"); so.write ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2011

    Comment of the Day: NASA & Star Wars

    ​We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 16, 2011

    "Tatooine" Discovery: Five Other Times NASA Has Drafted Off Star Wars' Heat

    NASA: If only there was a movie about a two-sun planet....​NASA officials hyped a press conference yesterday about a new discovery via the way they know best: Trot out the Star Wars references. People connected with the movie and SFX gurus Industrial Light & Magic were on the panel to discuss ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 14, 2011

    In Just Six Years NASA Will Fly This Manned Rocket...If You Believe Them

    NASANASA's first manned rocket in a long time​Put it down in stone -- in just six years, and for just $18 billion, the rocket pictured in the artist's rendering above will be flying astronauts. NASA says so, so it must be true. The agency announced today the design for the manned rocket that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 6, 2011

    Great New Photos of the Apollo 17 Landing Site

    NASA released this morning some neat new images from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter of the landing site of Apollo 17. The enhanced photos give the best look yet of the astronauts' footprint tracks through the dust and the parts of the Lunar Module that were left on the surface.

  • Blogs

    July 27, 2011

    NASA's Birthday: Eight Very Odd Planes From Its Past

    NASA celebrates its 53rd birthday this week, but it will be a subdued occasion as the space shuttle era ends, top talent leaves and the agency seems adrift. In its heyday the agency didn't worry about no damn budgets, and as a result it had a hand in developing some very strange planes. Among them ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 25, 2011

    An Amateur Lands The Space Shuttle

    Boyd MeierKym in the sim​Be sure to check out our pics from the Atlantis astronauts' homecoming at Johnson Space Center. You often hear the expression "a once in a lifetime experience," and while this may or may not always be true, for those lucky enough to participate in a NASA Tweet-up, not ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 21, 2011

    Great Picture of Atlantis Turnin' & Burnin' for Home

    NASA​NASA says this picture is "unprecedented," and who are we to doubt them? Taken from the International Space Station, the shot shows Atlantis beginning its descent through the earth's atmosphere, as things heat up and everyone says prayers to the heat-shield god.

  • Blogs

    July 20, 2011

    Intergalactic: A Playlist For The Space Shuttle's Last Flight Home

    NASA/Hair BallsNo more cool pictures like this for a long time :(​If you're an astronaut, you recently might have awoken you from a sound night's rest on the space shuttle to the sounds of U2, Beyonce, Electric Light Orchestra, Aaron Copeland, or even some old Coldplay. On those more unlucky d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 19, 2011

    Atlantis Wake-Up Music So Far: Ranking The Good, The Bad & The Ugly On The Last Shuttle Trip

    What's with all the damn Coldplay?​NASA, always on the lookout for good publicity, has made a cottage industry out of the wake-up music it uses to rouse crews orbiting the earth. They recruit artists to record messages that are played after the song, because the first thing you want to hear ... More >>

  • News

    July 14, 2011

    The Shuttle's Souvenir Load

    20,000 flags and 10,000 patches aboard

  • Blogs

    July 7, 2011

    Shuttle Atlantis' Souvenir Load: 22,000 Flags, 10,000 Patches, A Very Small Painting And More

    Atlantis: Last chance for souvenirs​If you're making the last-ever trip on the space shuttle, you want to make it count. And if the list put together by is any indication, this last flight is taking along enough souvenirs to outfit a small army. Almost all the items are put ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 7, 2011

    Yeah, The Shuttle's Probably Not Lifting Off Tomorrow

    ​KTRK tweeted this picture, taken from a monitor turned to NASA TV. NASA says the lightning came within a third of a mile of the launch pad. is keeping a running account of preparations, and it notes the lightning strike "was VERY powerful at nearly 70,000 amps (realize you ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 15, 2011

    Cover Story: Air Hockey Reigns Supreme (With Video)

    As the space shuttle program winds down, people will be reflecting on all the contributions to society NASA has made. Among them: Air hockey. The game was developed by NASA contractors, and it remains huge, especially in the Houston area. Our cover story this week, "Hover Boards," examines the ph ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 9, 2011

    Okay, The Mysterious Face On the Space Station Is Freaking Us Out

    NASAJust upper-right of the center? That's a MAN, baby​Yesterday we posted some great new video from NASA of the shuttle Endeavour docked to the International Space Station, seven minutes of mostly silent footage that screamed out for a soundtrack. We synched up David Bowie's "Width of a Circ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 8, 2011

    NASA Streams ZZ Top's Brand-New "Flyin' High"

    ​NASA is now streaming "Flyin' High," that brand-new ZZ Top song bound for the International Space Station Rocks Off told you about yesterday, on its Web site. Now all us Earthlings can listen too.

  • Blogs

    June 8, 2011

    Latest Space Station Video: Someone Provide A Soundtrack, Please

    NASA released a nice photo yesterday of the shuttle Endeavour docked to the space station; today they've released the video. It's seven minutes or so of the shuttle attached to the station as they hurtle through space. It's also silent, and so it needs a soundtrack. Classical? Something by Yes or ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 2, 2011

    Comment of the Day: A New Motto For NASA

    ​We have some great commenters here on Hair Balls, and it's time we paid some damn attention to them. So we'll be highlighting a Comment of the Day each morning, from the previous day's work. Maybe two comments, even. This will all be determined by a highly rigorous scientific formula involv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 31, 2011

    Today's Cool NASA Photo: Star Trek Never Looked As Good As This

    NASA​Looking like something out of Hollywood, this new picture by a member of the current Endeavour mission shows the International Space Station as if it was a space sailing ship, headed for the golden glow of the horizon.

  • Blogs

    May 26, 2011

    Shuttle Endeavour in Hi-Def: Its Final Liftoff

    NASA has released hi-def video of the shuttle Endeavour's final liftoff, from cameras mounted at various points on the outside of the vehicle. Your tax dollars at work! Enjoy.

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2011

    Space Tourists Can't Sue: And Take a Look at Their Insurance Policy

    Using any of these will void the policy.​With NASA getting out of the shuttle business, the next big thing is expected to be space tourism. It can be a dangerous thing, but luckily there is the Texas Legislature to make sure, as they always do, that no one can sue a company for pretty much an ... More >>

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