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Posts Tagged "NASA"

Food Matters

Astronaut nutrition: staying healthy for a year in space

NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, Expedition 36 flight engineer, gets some nutrients aboard the International Space Station. Photo courtesy of NASA.

When NASA astronaut Scott Kelly leaves the earth for his International Space Station mission in 2015, he won’t walk the aisles of a grocery store for a year.  To ensure he and other long-term astronauts stay healthy, NASA must make certain they have the proper food in tow. I caught up with NASA nutritionist Scott [...]

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Guest Blog

Next Generation: We Want a Spaceship, Not a Freight Truck

space shuttle Atlantis on launch pad evening of July 7

CAPE CANAVERAL — I took this picture last night, and I don’t like it very much. Let’s set aside discussions of artistic merit and admit that it’s a pretty dreary view of the last functioning space shuttle perched on its launch pad. Especially when NASA promised a glorious sunset. I’m a 20-something science journalist now [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Mars, Ancient Water, Deep Hydrogen, and Life

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Two billion year-old water pockets and a revised deep hydrogen content are good news for Earth’s vast subsurface biosphere, and could offer clues to life on Mars and much further beyond. Excitement over the Curiosity rover’s recently reported detection of a ‘spike’ in localized atmospheric methane – persisting over a couple of months – is [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Alien Yet Familiar: Following Curiosity Across Mars

(Mastcam image, Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

822 Martian days after landing, NASA’s Curiosity rover, carrying the Mars Science Laboratory, continues on its extraordinary journey across landscapes that are both utterly alien, and remarkably familiar. Here’s a small update. On November 18th 2014 the rover was in the center of this region (within the Pahrump Hills), continuing across the base area of [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Failure Is Always An Option

One of the lucky ones...Saturn V launch (NASA)

Do not try this at home. A Russian Proton-M launch goes wrong – and it can happen to anyone (wait for the shock wave). A rocket is a controlled bomb. The fully fueled Saturn V ‘moon rocket’ held an explosive force of about half a kiloton of TNT, enough to do some serious damage if [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Interview: The New Moon

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Think you know about the Moon? I did, but then I started reading ‘The New Moon: Water, Exploration, and Future Habitation‘ (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and realized that my knowledge amounted to a teensy scrap of lunar dust. For the past few years my colleague Prof. Arlin Crotts has been assembling an astonishingly detailed look [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Two New Arrivals Send Back Pictures Of Mars

Images of Mars in 3 ultraviolet bands(Courtesy Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics /University of Colorado and NASA)

The skies of Mars just got a little more crowded. On September 21st, 2014 NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) fired its engines for some 33 minutes in order to swing into a safe orbit. And a few days later, early on Sept 24th, India’s Space Research Organization (ISRO) made history by joining [...]

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Life, Unbounded

New Horizons Mission Catches Pluto And Charon Waltzing

Pluto and Charon in their orbits, taken July 2014 (Credit: NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI)

After a ten year journey, NASA’s New Horizons mission is still 420 million kilometers from the Pluto system – but that’s close enough to begin to see the orbital dance of an icy world and its major moon. This far out from the Sun it’s easier for planetary objects to hold onto satellites, so even [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Summer Shorts: A Record 25 Miles on Mars

A recent traverse map of Opportunity's adventures so far (yellow line) (Credit: L. Crumpler, NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/NMMNHS)

It’s summer in the northern hemisphere of a small, damp, planet orbiting a middle-aged star in a spiral galaxy of matter enjoying a brief heyday before colliding with another galaxy in some 4 billion orbits of the same small, damp, planet. Time for some brief stories. In any other circumstances it would be hard to [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Space: A New Hope or an Old Dream?

(Credit: NASA)

The release of a long-awaited National Academy of Sciences report on the state and future of the US space program has triggered wide-reaching commentary on what it means to be space-faring. For hundreds of billions of dollars spent over the next 20 years, the report suggests, NASA could get humans (reasonably safely) to Mars. Along [...]

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Life, Unbounded

Watch the Earth From Space, Live!

ISS from STS118 Shuttle (NASA)

Live streaming video by Ustream It doesn’t get much better than this (well, of course being in space might be better, albeit colder). The above is streaming video, live from the International Space Station and the High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment that was lofted to orbit by a SpaceX Dragon craft just days ago. [...]

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Life, Unbounded

So You Want To Be An Exozookeeper?

Kepler's tally of exoplanets (Credit: NASA Ames/SETI/J Rowe)

                  This week has seen the release of the latest set of ‘confirmed’ exoplanets from NASA’s Kepler mission. In total, 715 worlds have been added to the list of what are thought to be genuine Kepler planet detections (previously standing at 246). If you’re confused because you’ve [...]

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Observations

Orion Capsule Finishes “By-the-Book” Test Flight in the Pacific Ocean

Orion splashes down in the Pacific Ocean December 5, 2014.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—After four and a half hours of flying around Earth, the new Orion capsule made a triumphant splashdown in the Pacific Ocean to end its debut mission. The spacecraft, designed to eventually carry people out into the solar system to asteroids, the moon and Mars, made this trial run unmanned, and appeared to [...]

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Observations

Elmo Talks with Scientific American about Tomorrow’s Orion Crew Capsule Launch [Video]

elmo clara

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.—The press site here at Kennedy Space Center is buzzing with media, top NASA brass, and at least one celebrity of the furry sort: Elmo. Through a partnership between NASA and Sesame Street, the cuddly red muppet is here to celebrate Thursday’s launch of the Orion crew capsule, which will make its debut [...]

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Observations

What Interstellar Gets Wrong about Interstellar Travel

A starship travels through a cosmic wormhole

Christopher Nolan’s new film, Interstellar, is a near-future tale of astronauts departing a dying Earth to travel to Saturn, then through a wormhole to another galaxy, all in search of somewhere else humanity could call home. It’s a gorgeous, ambitious work, with outstanding performances from a star-studded cast augmented by high-fidelity visual effects and a [...]

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Observations

Live Chat at Noon Today on Dreams of Other Worlds and NASA’s Next Mars Mission

Robotic exploration of space is fascinating, complex and quite important to our understanding of the universe. To learn more about how scientists and engineers overcome challenges of robotic space exploration for successful data collection, join us for a live chat today (Tuesday, October 29) at noon EDT with Chris Impey, astronomer and author of Dreams of [...]

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Observations

Why It Is Impossible to Pinpoint the 1,000th Exoplanet

Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech

The list of known exoplanets is growing so long, so fast, that it is becoming difficult to properly appreciate the new discoveries. For those of us who grew up when our solar system accounted for the only nine worlds known in the entire universe, how are we to grasp the fact that astronomers now discover [...]

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Observations

Global Water Shortages Grow Worse but Nations Have Few Answers

Image credit: José Manuel Suárez/Flickr

As we have been hearing, global water shortages are poised to exacerbate regional conflict and hobble economic growth. Yet the problem is growing worse, and is threatening to deal devastating blows to health, according to top water officials from the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) who spoke before a [...]

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Observations

Cassini Spacecraft Takes 1 Last Look at Home Today

Photo credit: CICLOPS, JPL, ESA, NASA

For a quarter-hour today, some of us on Earth can look up and know that almost a billion miles away, above the sky, a set of robotic eyes is looking right back. The Cassini spacecraft will be passing into Saturn’s shadow at that time, slewing its cameras to catch the planet’s majestic rings backlit by [...]

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Observations

Next Mars Rover Will Seek Out Signs of Past Life

Artists concept of rover

NASA officials have revealed their vision for what comes after the wildly successful Curiosity rover on Mars. Think of it as Curiosity Plus. Using Curiosity’s design as a starting point, Mars 2020 (as it’s currently known) will be another rover digging around the surface of the red planet. But, this time, rather than just looking [...]

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Observations

NASA Adds a New Space Telescope to Its Fleet of Solar Satellites

iris_launch_crop

Despite being the closest star to Earth, the sun still has its secrets. What drives the powerful eruptions of gas known as coronal mass ejections? How does the sun regulate Earth’s climate? Why are the upper layers of the sun’s atmosphere hotter than those next to the surface? Last week’s successful launch of the IRIS [...]

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Observations

Voyager 1 Returns Surprising Data about an Unexplored Region of Deep Space

Voyager 1

About the Voyager 1 spacecraft, this much is clear: the NASA probe has traveled farther than any other. Voyager 1 is now more than 18.5 billion kilometers from the sun—almost 125 times the distance between Earth and the sun. The spacecraft, one of two Voyagers launched by NASA in 1977, is truly in unexplored territory—so [...]

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Plugged In

Smog shuts down Harbin, China, as seen from space.

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NASA’s Aqua satellite captured an image of smog that paralyzed the northeastern Chinese city of 10 million.

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Plugged In

China enveloped in smog, as seen from space. Again.

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Heavy smog that paralyzed eastern China is visible from space in this satellite image from NASA.

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Plugged In

A New Light in the Sky – “Kuwait on the Prairie”

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There’s a new light in the night sky – and it’s North Dakota. Over the past 2 years, North Dakota has doubled its oil production to become the #2 producing state in the nation.  And with this oil has come a glut of natural gas – so much gas that the more than 150 oil [...]

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Plugged In

Hello, Pale Blue Dot

Greetings, and welcome to Day 4 of Plugged In! On behalf of myself, Melissa, Scott, and Robynne, welcome to this shiny new blog of ours. There are so many things to discuss, but to get started, I want explain to you what this blog means to me and what I hope to get out of [...]

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Symbiartic

SciArt on the Scene in Nov/Dec. 2013

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Ahhh, fall. Time to look for more indoor activities. And aren’t you lucky? Here’s a list of sciart exhibits that will warm your heart while you warm your toes. EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION CLIMATE CHANGE IN OUR WORLD: Photographs by Gary Braasch October 16, 2013 – July 6, 2014 Museum of Science 1 Science Park Boston, [...]

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Symbiartic

Dress So Chic You Can See It From Space

SlowFactory_mini

Since Bora Zivkovic first asked me to moderate a session back at ScienceOnline 2009, I’ve been hoping to instill the importance of imagery into the wider science communication conversation. And it’s been working, in fits and starts. One of the most enthusiastic advocates for bringing sciart into scicomm is thankfully also the Executive Director of ScienceOnline, [...]

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Symbiartic

Commander Hadfield Shows Us What Science Communication Could Be. Visually.

c_hadfield_mini

Science communication has seldom had a better champion than Canadian astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield who just returned to Earth last night. Astronauts tweeting and talking from space is not a new phenomena, and though interesting scientific experiments abound way up on the ISS, they weren’t what caught the public’s imagination this go round. It was [...]

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Symbiartic

What Did You Miss?

Last month, we posted a wide variety of science-art here at Symbiartic. We thought it’d be nice to post an overview in case you missed or wanted to revisit any. Enjoy!

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Symbiartic

SciArt of the Day: Feeling Small?

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If you live in the upper latitudes and noticed an awesome aurora last week, behold the cause. Just a few days before the aurora, on August 31st, the sun threw a major tantrum and ejected a large amount of matter into space (sun places thumb to nose and wiggles fingers delivering an emphatic “thbtbtbtbtthtbtbtbtht! So [...]

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Symbiartic

SciArt of the Day: On the Brink

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This week, the space probe Voyager 1 turned 35. In the years since its launch, it completed its mission to document Saturn and Jupiter and has continued on to the brink of our solar system. Now, it is poised to reach farther than any man-made object to date, exiting the solar system and entering the [...]

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Symbiartic

Hey, how’d they get those men on Mars?

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When Curiosity landed three weeks ago today, many news stories were quick to point out it is the biggest rover to date. They said it’s car-sized. But what does that mean – are we talking a Hummer or a Mini? And how did its predecessors measure up? While snooping around NASA’s Mars mission sites, I [...]

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Symbiartic

See Where Our Curiosity Gets Us?

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I’m so excited I might burst. The first images from Curiosity’s cameras rained down to Earth in the middle of last night, after a 14 minute journey from the red planet. Here they are, in all their glory. Larger, color images will be available next week. Let the imagination soar!! Other neat tidbits from Curiosity: [...]

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Symbiartic

Sally Ride – Portrait by Christopher Paluso

SallyRide-CPaluso220

This striking portrait of Sally Ride, 1st American woman in space was painted by portrait artist Christopher Paluso for Ride’s 2009 induction into the San Diego Air and Space Museum’s International Hall of Fame. She was the 1st American woman, 1st lesbian in space and at the time, the youngest person in space at the [...]

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Symbiartic

Curiosity’s Storybook Wishes For Mars

Curiosity's storybook wishes for Mars

The Martian rovers Opportunity and Spirit have represented optimism, hope, and even cuteness to millions of people dreaming about discoveries on the red planet. How appropriate then, that the newest rover, Curiosity, should carry a sundial with sentiments and illustrations worthy of classic children’s literature. Curiosity blasted off aboard an Atlas 5 rocket on November [...]

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