Results tagged “NASA”

Expedition 36 Launch Countdown

An aircraft shaped wind vane is seen with the Soyuz rocket at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad today in Kazakhstan. NASA ISS Expedition 36/37 Soyuz TMA-09M launch coverage on SpaceRef starts at 3:30 p.m. ET for a scheduled 4:31 p.m. ET launch.

Curiosity Drills Second Rock Target

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has used the drill on its robotic arm to collect a powdered sample from the interior of a rock called "Cumberland."

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) photographed this striking view of Pavlof Volcano on May 18, 2013. The oblique perspective from the ISS reveals the three dimensional structure of the ash plume, which is often obscured by the top-down view of most remote sensing satellites.

SDO Observes Mid-level Solar Flare

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured this image of a solar flare on the right side of the sun on May 22, 2013. This image shows light in the 131 Angstrom wavelength, a wavelength that shows material heated to intense temperatures during a flare and that is typically colorized in teal.

A panel of international judges from NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and other partner organizations has selected five "best in class" solutions as winners of the 2013 International Space Apps Challenge. The challenge, in which participants developed software, hardware, data visualization, and mobile or Web applications that contribute to space exploration missions and help improve life on Earth, took place at 83 locations around the world April 20-21.

While Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt visited Earth's Moon for three days in December 1972, they drove their mission's Lunar Roving Vehicle 19.3 nautical miles (22.21 statute miles or 35.74 kilometers). That was the farthest total distance for any NASA vehicle driving on a world other than Earth until the other day.

An Interview with Don Pettit

Kerry Ellis: Astronaut Don Pettit began his career with NASA seventeen years ago and has since flown on three spaceflight missions. Logging more than 370 days in space and over 13 spacewalk hours, he lived aboard the International Space Station for five and a half months during Expedition 6, was a member of the STS-126 crew, and again lived aboard station for six and a half months as part of the Expedition 30/31 crew.

This NRA will solicit multiple studies, each of which will investigate an architecture, mission, or system concept with the potential to enable a great leap in space or aeronautics. NIAC is part of the Space Technology Mission Directorate. Aerospace architecture, mission, or system concepts proposed for NIAC Phase II studies must be exciting, unexplored, far-term, and credible. Proposals for narrow technology or subsystem development, or incremental or near-term advancement, are explicitly out of scope for this program. Finally, while NIAC encourages daring vision and accepts the accompanying risk, proposals must be technically credible and plausibly implementable.

Kerry Ellis: Future human space exploration will mean getting beyond low-Earth orbit--and returning safely. Several projects across NASA are working on the challenges that goal presents, among them propulsion alternatives and guidance, navigation, and control. Three years ago, Project Morpheus and the Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology project, or ALHAT, began collaborating on advances in these areas.

George Hale: Success in science often relies as much on planning, communication, and constant improvement as it does on gathering data, writing papers, and giving lectures. This is especially true for large scientific missions like NASA's Operation IceBridge.

Don Cohen: In an article on the NuSTAR launch delay in the fall 2012 issue of ASK, I wrote, "NuSTAR, the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, contains the first focusing telescopes designed to look at high-energy X-ray radiation." Soon after that issue was sent out, complaints began to arrive: What about the balloon missions with focusing X-ray telescopes that preceded it?

Technologies under development for the proposed Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (NCPS) will require an un-crewed demonstration mission before they can be flight qualified over distances and time frames representative of a crewed Mars mission. In this paper, we describe a Massively Clustered CubeSats platform, possibly comprising hundreds of CubeSats, as the main payload of the NCPS demo mission.

A team of scientists has won a berth on a tiny satellite to explore one of NASA's most important frontiers in climate studies: the imbalance in Earth's energy budget and the extent to which fast-changing phenomena, like clouds, contribute to that imbalance.

Scientists have created the first global topographic map of Saturn's moon Titan, giving researchers a valuable tool for learning more about one of the most Earth-like and interesting worlds in the solar system. The map was just published as part of a paper in the journal Icarus.

Nanosatellites now have their own mass transit to catch rides to space and perform experiments in microgravity. A new NASA-designed and developed satellite deployer, dubbed the Nano Launch Adapter System (NLAS), is scheduled to demonstrate the capability to launch a flock of satellites into space later this year.

Counting Space Rock Impacts on Mars

Scientists using images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have estimated that the planet is bombarded by more than 200 small asteroids or bits of comets per year forming craters at least 12.8 feet (3.9 meters) across.

The director, a writer and some actors in the film "Star Trek Into Darkness" will join NASA as it hosts a Google+ Hangout from noon to 12:45 p.m. EDT, May 16, about how work aboard the International Space Station is turning science fiction into reality.

Three members of the International Space Station Expedition 35 crew undocked from the orbiting laboratory and returned safely to Earth Monday, May 13, wrapping up a mission lasting almost five months. The departure marks the beginning of Expedition 36.

First X-Class Solar Flares of 2013

On May 13, 2013, the sun emitted an X2.8-class flare, peaking at 12:05 p.m. EDT. This is the the strongest X-class flare of 2013 so far, surpassing in strength the X1.7-class flare that occurred 14 hours earlier. It is the 16th X-class flare of the current solar cycle and the third-largest flare of that cycle. The second-strongest was an X5.4 event on March 7, 2012. The strongest was an X6.9 on Aug. 9, 2011.

NASA held a briefing Friday after to discuss an extra-vehicular activity (EVA), or spacewalk, the astronauts will perform tomorrow morning to try and fix the ammonia leak discovered yesterday.

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