On December 24, 1968, the Apollo 8 crew orbited the moon and discovered Earth. Astronauts James Lovell, command module pilot, William Anders, lunar module pilot, and Frank Borman, commander, were the first people to leave our planet to orbit another rocky body in space, and in this NASA video, we can travel with them to witness the moment they captured this iconic photo of home: Earthrise.
The 45th anniversary video uses data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft with audio recordings, data, and photographs from the orbiting lunar excursion module (LEM) to recreate this exhilarating and unanticipated moment of teamwork.
In the archives: more from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and oodles of amazing videos about Earth.
via sagan sense.
This Feb 2013 promo video for the Kibo Robot Project really builds the excitement for having a 13.4 inch tall robot astronaut in space… just in case that didn’t already sound exciting. (Turn on the translated captions!)
On August 9, 2013, an Astro Boy-inspired, talking robot named Kirobo — a mix of Kibo, "hope" in Japanese, and robot — will arrive at the International Space Station on a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) supply ship.
Kirobo will work directly with JAXA engineer, astronaut, and human Koichi Wakata, who will take command of the ISS in November. The robot’s presence will also explore “how machines can lend emotional support to people isolated over long periods.” Among other functions, it is built with voice-, face-, and emotion- recognition technologies.
From PC Mag:
Of course, it’s not as easy as it sounds for a robot to become an astronaut. Researchers had to subject Kirobo to a number of different tests to determine whether the robot would be suitable for its weightless mission, including thermal analysis testing, electromagnetic compatibility testing, and a test to determine whether the general background noise on board the Internal Space Station might otherwise interfere with the robot’s voice-recognition capabilities.
Tested and approved, Kirobo left Earth on a rocket that took off from Tanegashima Space Center on August 3rd.
There are more robot videos and astronaut videos in the archives.