Results tagged “NASA”

A gauge on the Voyager home page tracks levels of two of the three key signs scientists believe will appear when the spacecraft leave our solar neighborhood and enter interstellar space. When the three signs are verified, scientists will know that one of the Voyagers has hurtled beyond the magnetic bubble the sun blows around itself, which is known as the heliosphere.

NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex today began the two-day process of unwrapping the Atlantis orbiter from the protective shrink wrap that has encased the priceless artifact during construction of the $100 million Space Shuttle AtlantisSM attraction, set to open June 29.

NASA Student Launch Projects Challenge

It was rockets ready, set, soar April 21 at the 2012-13 NASA Student Launch Projects challenge. More than 600 students, representing 56 middle schools, high schools, colleges and universities in 26 states, launched rockets of their own design -- complete with working science or engineering payloads -- at Bragg Farms in Toney, Ala. The students vied to see whose rocket could come closest to the 1-mile altitude goal and safely return its onboard science or engineering payload to Earth. Fifty-four teams took part, though six faced mechanical or technical issues and did not launch. Ten preliminary awards were presented. The grand prize -- $5,000 from ATK Aerospace Group of Magna, Utah -- will be awarded May 17 after final post-flight analysis and review are complete. This is the sixth year ATK has sponsored Student Launch Projects.

Early Mars may have had a warmer and denser atmosphere allowing for the presence of liquid water on the surface. However, climate model studies have not been able to reproduce these conditions even with a CO2 atmosphere of several bars. Recent 3D simulations of the early Mars climate show that mean surface temperatures only slightly below 273K could be reached locally.

NASA's Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) satellite arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Tuesday, April 16, to begin its final preparations for launch, currently scheduled no earlier than May 28.

Engineers at NASA Ames Research Center have begun experimenting with 3D printers for some spacecraft design. CNET's Sumi Das visits one of its newly open workshops -- filled with state of the art equipment.

How to Target an Asteroid

Like many of his colleagues at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., Shyam Bhaskaran is working a lot with asteroids these days. And also like many of his colleagues, the deep space navigator devotes a great deal of time to crafting, and contemplating, computer-generated 3D models of these intriguing nomads of the solar system.

Researchers using the airborne Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) have captured the most detailed mid-infrared images yet of a massive star condensing within a dense cocoon of dust and gas.

Three unusually long-lasting stellar explosions discovered by NASA's Swift satellite represent a previously unrecognized class of gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Two international teams of astronomers studying these events conclude that they likely arose from the catastrophic death of supergiant stars hundreds of times larger than the Sun.

For a second year, NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate is seeking proposals for suborbital technology payloads and spacecraft capability enhancements that could help revolutionize future space missions. Selected technologies will travel to the edge of space and back on U.S. commercial suborbital vehicles and platforms, providing opportunities for testing before they are sent to work in the unforgiving environment of space.

NASA's Office of Education has awarded a cooperative agreement to the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) to support the agency's education internship programs. The award's value is estimated at $3 million and $10 million per year, depending on options. The period of performance will not exceed five years. The agreement covers NASA's Minority University Research and Education Program (MUREP) and the Space Grant Program, which provide internship opportunities to qualified STEM students and educators.

An infrared sensor that could improve NASA's future detecting and tracking of asteroids and comets has passed a critical design test. The test assessed performance of the Near Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) in an environment that mimicked the temperatures and pressures of deep space. NEOCam is the cornerstone instrument for a proposed new space-based asteroid-hunting telescope. Details of the sensor's design and capabilities are published in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Optical Engineering. The sensor could be a vital component to inform plans for the agency's recently announced initiative to develop the first-ever mission to identify, capture and relocate an asteroid closer to Earth for future exploration by astronauts.

On April 4, NASA Planetary Science Division Director Jim Green addressed the Planetary Science Subcommittee about sequestration and rescission. I noted two statements repeatedly made: he did not see planetary research programs maintaining their budgets under rescission, and $75M added by Congress for Europa in FY13 is "the law!"

President Obama's FY2014 budget request for NASA enables the agency to leverage capabilities in the Human Exploration and Operations, Science and Space Technology Mission Directorates to make significant yet affordable advances in our nation's capabilities and achieve the space goals set by the Administration.

An ice cloud taking shape over Titan's south pole is the latest sign that the change of seasons is setting off a cascade of radical changes in the atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon. Made from an unknown ice, this type of cloud has long hung over Titan's north pole, where it is now fading, according to observations made by the composite infrared spectrometer (CIRS) on NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Hardware from a spacecraft that the Soviet Union landed on Mars in 1971 might appear in images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Due to the recent government restrictions on travel, The NASA Lunar Science Institute will broadcast the annual NASA Lunar Science Forum (LSF) as a virtual conference the week of July 15-19, 2013. The conference will be broadcast between the hours of 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. PDT, Monday-Friday, to accommodate a wide spread in time zones.

Mars' Atmosphere Is Still Dynamic

Mars has lost much of its original atmosphere, but what's left remains quite active, recent findings from NASA's Mars rover Curiosity indicate. Rover team members reported diverse findings today at the European Geosciences Union 2013 General Assembly, in Vienna.

NASA has touted the International Space Station as a world class laboratory. Indeed, with the urging of Congress it has been designated as a "national laboratory". But just saying something is so does not make it so.

"Registration is open for teams seeking to compete in the $1.5 million energy storage competition known as the Night Rover Challenge, sponsored by NASA and the Cleantech Open of Palo Alto, Calif. To win, a team must demonstrate a stored energy system that can power a simulated solar-powered exploration vehicle that can operate through multiple cycles of daylight and extended periods of darkness. "The goal of the Night Rover Challenge is to stimulate innovations in energy storage technologies of value in extreme space environments, such as the surface of the moon, or for electric vehicles and renewable energy systems here on Earth," said Michael Gazarik, NASA's associate administrator for Space Technology at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "NASA wants this challenge to generate new ideas that will allow planetary rovers the ability to take on a night shift, and possibly create new energy storage technologies for applications of benefit here on our home planet." More

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