11th Apr 2014
Name the Final Phase of the Cassini Mission
In 2016, Cassini will dive between Saturn and it’s rings! By doing this, Cassini will be able to make detailed maps of Saturn’s gravity and magnetic fields. We will also learn more about the alluring rings.
The Cassini team has decided to let the public help come up with a name for this mission. If you have an idea for a name that describes this exciting mission, you can participate by submitting a name suggestion, or by selecting your favorite from a list. Both options can be done here.
Cassini’s final mission, before journeying into Saturn’s atmosphere, is “inspiring, adventurous and romantic – a fitting end to this thrilling story of discovery" (source). Let’s give it a name that shows just how thrilling this story actually was!
Image from the Cassini mission page (source).

Name the Final Phase of the Cassini Mission

In 2016, Cassini will dive between Saturn and it’s rings! By doing this, Cassini will be able to make detailed maps of Saturn’s gravity and magnetic fields. We will also learn more about the alluring rings.

The Cassini team has decided to let the public help come up with a name for this mission. If you have an idea for a name that describes this exciting mission, you can participate by submitting a name suggestion, or by selecting your favorite from a list. Both options can be done here.

Cassini’s final mission, before journeying into Saturn’s atmosphere, is “inspiring, adventurous and romantic – a fitting end to this thrilling story of discovery" (source). Let’s give it a name that shows just how thrilling this story actually was!

Image from the Cassini mission page (source).

14th Mar 2014
Pi in the Sky

Pi isn’t just a fancy number. It actually powers NASA spacecraft, keeps the Mars rover’s wheels spinning, lets us peer beneath the clouds of Jupiter and gives us new perspectives on Earth. You might say pi is flying all over our skies. Can you solve these stellar math problems that keep NASA spacecraft doing what they do best? Hint: Pi guides the way.

Want to solve some Pi problems to celebrate Pi Day? Well here’s your chance, thanks to NASA Education!

Pi in the Sky

Pi isn’t just a fancy number. It actually powers NASA spacecraft, keeps the Mars rover’s wheels spinning, lets us peer beneath the clouds of Jupiter and gives us new perspectives on Earth. You might say pi is flying all over our skies. Can you solve these stellar math problems that keep NASA spacecraft doing what they do best? Hint: Pi guides the way.

Want to solve some Pi problems to celebrate Pi Day? Well here’s your chance, thanks to NASA Education!

Source: jpl.nasa.gov
11th Mar 2014

kenobi-wan-obi:

Coders, NASA Will Pay You to Help Hunt Down Asteroids

NASA is calling on coders to help in the hunt for potentially dangerous asteroids. Over the next six months, the agency will be offering a total of $35,000 in prizes in a contest series that aims to improve the way telescopes detect, track, and analyze incoming space rocks.

NASA’s Near Earth Object Observation Program already harnesses telescopes around the world to be on the lookout for asteroids the fly past our planet. But the vast volumes of data created can’t be inspected by hand. Computers are helpful, but their algorithms are estimated to be only about 80 to 90 percent reliable and could be missing thousands of objects every year. According to NASA, winning solutions in their contests will “increase the detection sensitivity, minimize the number of false positives, ignore imperfections in the data, and run effectively on all computers.”

The Asteroid Data Hunter contest series, which begins on Mar. 17 and runs through August, is being run with asteroid mining company Planetary Resources. Both it and NASA have a vested interest in finding asteroids — NASA wants to send a human crew to visit one in the next decade and Planetary Resources hopes to exploit their metals and water for profit. Those interested in coding algorithms to help can sign up at the NASA Tournament Lab.

Totally going to try this. Data mine all the asteroids!

4th Mar 2014
The proposed NASA budget for 2015 has been released. In the presentation, available here, NASA breaks down budget highlights for the various research areas. Some outcomes include:
Extending life on the ISS until 2024
Continue work on JWST
The launch of some new missions: SMAP, MMS, SAGE III
One saddening outcome is that the SOFIA observatory could be grounded in 2015 if the proposed funding to keep it up could not be met.
This presentation also includes cost breakdowns for commercial spaceflight and science education.

The proposed NASA budget for 2015 has been released. In the presentation, available here, NASA breaks down budget highlights for the various research areas. Some outcomes include:

  • Extending life on the ISS until 2024
  • Continue work on JWST
  • The launch of some new missions: SMAP, MMS, SAGE III

One saddening outcome is that the SOFIA observatory could be grounded in 2015 if the proposed funding to keep it up could not be met.

This presentation also includes cost breakdowns for commercial spaceflight and science education.

Source: nasa.gov
5th Feb 2014

photojojo:

Way before Chris Hadfield was beaming back mind-blowing videos from space, NASA astronauts were photographing the new frontier in film. 

Breese Little Gallery in London rounded up over 100 rare prints from NASA’s early days, and they’re a sight to behold. 

NASA’s Early Days in Film Photography

via Cool Hunting

1st Dec 2013
WISE Catalog Just Got Wiser

NASA’s WISE mission has released a new and improved atlas and catalog brimming with data on three-quarters of a billion objects detected during two full scans of the sky.
WISE scanned the entire sky in infrared light in 2010, snapping a dozen pictures of every star and galaxy. NASA then decided to fund a second scan of the sky to look for asteroids and comets, in a project called NEOWISE.
But the images from that second sky scan were designed to catch moving asteroids, not stars and galaxies. Now NASA has funded a project called AllWISE to stack up all the WISE images, including those from the second sky scan, thereby doubling exposure times and making new stars and galaxies visible.
Read More.

WISE Catalog Just Got Wiser

NASA’s WISE mission has released a new and improved atlas and catalog brimming with data on three-quarters of a billion objects detected during two full scans of the sky.

WISE scanned the entire sky in infrared light in 2010, snapping a dozen pictures of every star and galaxy. NASA then decided to fund a second scan of the sky to look for asteroids and comets, in a project called NEOWISE.

But the images from that second sky scan were designed to catch moving asteroids, not stars and galaxies. Now NASA has funded a project called AllWISE to stack up all the WISE images, including those from the second sky scan, thereby doubling exposure times and making new stars and galaxies visible.

Read More.

Source: nasa.gov
24th Oct 2013

NASA Laser Communication System Sets Record with Data Transmissions to and from Moon

NASA’s Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) has made history using a pulsed laser beam to transmit data over the 239,000 miles between the moon and Earth at a record-breaking download rate of 622 megabits per second (Mbps).

Read More.

Source: nasa.gov
10th Oct 2013
breakingnews:


Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter dies at age 88NBC News: NASA pioneer astronaut Scott Carpenter died Thursday at the age of 88 due to medical complications from a recent stroke, his family announced.
His death leaves John Glenn as the last remaining member of the Mercury 7.Carpenter had been hospitalized after suffering a stroke last month in Vail, Colo., where he has his home. Word of his death came from a friend in Florida, Mark Widick, via NBC News’ Cape Canaveral correspondent, Jay Barbree.
Photo: NASA file

breakingnews:

Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter dies at age 88

NBC News: NASA pioneer astronaut Scott Carpenter died Thursday at the age of 88 due to medical complications from a recent stroke, his family announced.

His death leaves John Glenn as the last remaining member of the Mercury 7.

Carpenter had been hospitalized after suffering a stroke last month in Vail, Colo., where he has his home. Word of his death came from a friend in Florida, Mark Widick, via NBC News’ Cape Canaveral correspondent, Jay Barbree.

Photo: NASA file

Source: breakingnews
27th Sep 2013
How Engineers Revamped Spitzer to Probe Exoplanets

Now approaching its 10th anniversary, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has evolved into a premier observatory for an endeavor not envisioned in its original design: the study of worlds around other stars, called exoplanets. While the engineers and scientists who built Spitzer did not have this goal in mind, their visionary work made this unexpected capability possible. Thanks to the extraordinary stability of its design and a series of subsequent engineering reworks, the space telescope now has observational powers far beyond its original limits and expectations.
Read More.

How Engineers Revamped Spitzer to Probe Exoplanets

Now approaching its 10th anniversary, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has evolved into a premier observatory for an endeavor not envisioned in its original design: the study of worlds around other stars, called exoplanets. While the engineers and scientists who built Spitzer did not have this goal in mind, their visionary work made this unexpected capability possible. Thanks to the extraordinary stability of its design and a series of subsequent engineering reworks, the space telescope now has observational powers far beyond its original limits and expectations.

Read More.

Source: nasa.gov
24th Sep 2013

NASA Invites Public To Q&A Session With Women Working On Webb Telescope

NASA is inviting the general public to participate in a question and answer session with women working on the agency’s next generation of a space-based telescope as part of a Reddit.com event on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 2 p.m. EDT.

Read More.

Source: nasa.gov