STBYM Live: Prime Directives & Planetary Contamination

The Prime Directive serves as the Federation’s philosophical backbone, no matter how often our favorite Trek heroes bend and break its values in order to save the day. How does this policy match up with current space exploration procedures, colonial Earth history and our most dangerous terrestrial ideas? Robert, Joe and Christian explore in this special LIVE Stuff to Blow Your Mind presentation from Star Trek: Mission New York.

OSIRIS-REx: NASA's Journey to the Netherworld

In the year 2018, NASA's OSIRIS-REx will rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu, a 1,614-foot near Earth object that might just collide with our world at some point in the 22nd century. OSIRIS-REx will explore this carbonaceous wanderer, but it will also bring a portion of it back home. Join Robert and Christian as they discuss the mission and chat with space scientists Dr. Amy. A Simon about OSIRIS-REx .

'Night Gallery' Painting or NASA Image?

British-born, New Yorker photographer Steve Pyke has made it his mission to document historically important individuals through portraiture and still-life photography. Having previously worked with World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors, he recently turned his attention to profiling the iconic individuals who helped define the 20th century through manned lunar exploration.

Is Mormonism Ideal for Space Exploration?

previously blogged about Jewish, Christian and Islamic ritual in orbit and how we've had to rethink traditionally terrestrial rituals and observances. It seems that bearded prophets out of antiquity didn't even consider the possibility of space stations. But Mormonism is a slightly different matter as Joseph Smith founded the first Latter Day Saints church less than 200 years ago. Despite the religion's frontier roots, Mormon cosmology takes other planets and even the possibility of intelligent extraterrestrial life into account.

Is there room for God on a space mission?

Science continues to alter the shape of religious belief, so how does devotion to a god change in orbit? Would long-distance space travel require the use of on-ship burial plots for Jewish or Muslim astronauts? And what happens if the Christian rapture or some comparable end-of-days event were to occur while you're in space? Certainly, these are far from pressing theological or scientific concerns, but the topic of religious belief in space continues to pop up. Here are some quick examples in Judaism, Christianity and Islam:

Space Music: SETI Artist in Residence and an Orbital Flautist

We have some cool bits of Space Music to roundup this week. First, we've already covered NASA's first and last artist in residence (AIR), but what about SETI? The ET-seeking non-profit just signed on multimedia artist Charles Lindsay for a three year stint as its first AIR, during which he'll grow the program and "encourage cross disciplinary artistic expression in order to explore and illuminate the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe."

Space Music: Discovery Wakes up to Shatner, Big Head Todd

Remember NASA's "Space Rock" contest? Well, 2.4 million people cast their online ballots to vote for some orbital wake-up music. Sadly, they were limited to a list of 40 previously played wake-up songs that included such tracks as "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down. Hey, I guess the sight of an orbital sunrise can make just about anything sound good.

Space Music: NASA Wants Your Wake-up Songs

Ah, the NASA wake-up song! It's been a tradition since the crew of 1965's Gemini VI-A woke up to "Hello, Dolly," and it's slated to carry on through the final space shuttle missions when astronauts wake up to whatever space fans vote for. Yes, visit NASA's Space Rock Web site, and you can upload your own musical composition for consideration or vote for one of 40 previously played wake-up songs -- including the likes of Simon & Garfunkle's "Homeward Bound," Frank Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon" and ... er ... "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down. Look, no one ever said space was going to be easy.