Virtual worlds are shaping up as possible venues for online meetings--and astrobiology graduate students are leading the way in exploring their potential.
Jagged looking shadows stretch away from vertical structures of ring material created by the moon Daphnis in this image taken as Saturn approaches its August 2009 equinox.
The Opportunity rover has eyed an odd-shaped, dark rock, about 0.6 meters (2 feet) across on the surface of Mars, which may be a meteorite.
Establishing a key link between the solar cycle and global climate, research led by scientists at the National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).
Some in the space community watch with anticipation the hopefully inexorable approach of the transition to the re-usable launch vehicle era. At the same time, many others are either oblivious to that era's approach or are actively resisting it.
The indefatigable spacecraft is devoting most of its time to thrusting with its ion propulsion system, applying a gentle but persistent pressure to its trajectory around the Sun.
NASA will hold a media briefing on Thursday, Aug. 6, at 2 p.m. EDT, to discuss early science results of the Kepler mission. Kepler is the first spacecraft with the ability to find Earth-size planets orbiting stars like our sun in a zone where liquid water
It's been five years since MESSENGER was launched atop a Delta II rocket on August 3, 2004, and they have been busy years
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration and The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company have developed an airless tire to transport large, long-range vehicles across the surface of the moon.
eSpace: The Center for Space Entrepreneurship, a non-profit business incubator for aerospace companies, today announced that it has added new members to its board of directors and a new member to its team of government liaisons.
The Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee will hold public meetings Aug. 5 and 12. The meetings are open to the public and news media representatives. No registration is required, but seating is limited to the locations' capacity.
Every year, literally hundreds of scientists head south to Antarctica to drill for ice cores, to study the physiology of penguins and seals, and to carry out a variety of other research that has implications from climate change to the origins of the unive
The Cassini spacecraft looks down on the north pole of Titan, showing night and day in the northern hemisphere of Saturn's largest moon.
Transiting exoplanets from the CoRoT space mission VIII. CoRoT-7b: the first Super-Earth with measured radius[Tuesday, August 4, 2009]
We conclude that, as far as we have been exhaustive, we have discovered a planetary companion, named CoRoT-7b, for which we derive a period of 0.853 59 +/- 3 10-5 day and a radius of Rp = 1.68 +/- 0.09 REarth.
NASA astronaut and U.S. Army Col. Tim Kopra has become the first International Space Station crew member to use the social media tool Twitter to discuss living and working in orbit.
Eighteen students are spending the summer at NASA, working alongside space life scientists and space medicine researchers as part of the National Space Biomedical Research Institute's Summer Internship Program.
Establishing a key link between the solar cycle and global climate, new research led by the NCAR shows that maximum solar activity and its aftermath have impacts on Earth that resemble La Nina and El Nino events in the tropical Pacific Ocean.
In all, a tremendous amount is happening, and Dale and I are gratified at the resolve the team has shown to move forward while the nation's leadership reviews the future of US human spaceflight. 'Thank you' seems wholly inadequate.
NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate is developing the concepts and technologies that will be needed to travel to and from the moon and sustain a human presence there.
NASA is accepting proposals from teams of undergraduate and graduate students for the inaugural Lunabotics Mining Competition. The event will be held at the Astronaut Hall of Fame near NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla., May 25-28, 2010.
The X PRIZE Foundation, Google Inc., LEGO Systems, National Instruments, and Wired's GeekDad will announce "MoonBots: A Google Lunar X PRIZE LEGO(R) MINDSTORMS(R) Challenge" today at National Instruments NIWeek 2009.
The Next Step in Space Coalition, a group of businesses, organizations, and people working to ensure the future of US human spaceflight, announced today that its membership has grown to include a diverse set of businesses and organizations.
NASA and the Department of Energy have completed tests on several fission surface power components within the last few weeks. The agencies are researching technologies that could enable possible use of nuclear power on the surface of the moon and Mars.
On August 25, 2009 from 1:00 p.m. until 2:30 p.m., Ames Research Center will conduct a ceremonial groundbreaking and dedication event for what we expect will become the highest performing building in the federal government.
On Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009, the LCROSS spacecraft successfully completed its first Earth-look calibration of its science payload. An additional Earth-look and a moon-look are scheduled for the remainder of the cruise phase of the mission.
ESO has just released a stunning new image of a field of stars towards the constellation of Carina. This striking view is ablaze with a flurry of stars of all colours and brightnesses, some of which are seen against a backdrop of clouds of dust and gas.
AMASE has established Svalbard as a test bed for life-detection technology to fly on future NASA and ESA 'Search for Life' missions to Mars (i.e., Mars Science Laboratory, EXOMars).
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope is starting a second career and taking its first shots of the cosmos since warming up. The infrared telescope ran out of coolant May 15, 2009, more than five-and-one-half-years after launch.
Looking almost 11 billion years into the past, astronomers have measured the motions of stars for the first time in a very distant galaxy and clocked speeds upwards of one million miles per hour, about twice the speed of our Sun through the Milky Way.
NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program is applying Recovery Act funds to stimulate efforts within the private sector to develop and demonstrate human spaceflight capabilities.
Juan D. Rodriguez (AMASE team): This is my first post to the blog about AMASE 2009. I am writing it from the Spitzbergen Guest house, a nice little accommodation place located in Nybyen at the SE end of Longyearbyen (Svalbard).
This image of Earth was taken on 8 August 1967 at 09:05:11 GMT by the Lunar Orbiter V spacecraft in orbit around the Moon at an altitude of 5,872.85 km. This image has been described as being the first image ever taken of a "full Earth" from space.
AstroMesh Deployable Reflector From Northrop Grumman Will Help NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Map Soil Moisture Globally[Thursday, August 6, 2009]
A deployable satellite reflector and boom assembly from Northrop Grumman will help NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory map soil moisture and the freezing and thawing cycles globally with unprecedented accuracy, resolution and coverage.
Since the discovery of its presence in the Martian atmosphere, methane has remained an intriguing atmospheric component which source (either of biotic or abiotic origin) is not yet fully understood.
NASA's new exoplanet-hunting Kepler space telescope has detected the atmosphere of a known giant gas planet, demonstrating the telescope's extraordinary scientific capabilities. The discovery will be published Friday, Aug. 7, in the journal Science.
Saturn’s haze-enshrouded moon Titan turns out to have much in common with Earth in the way that weather and geology shape its terrain, according to two pieces of research to be presented at the XXVII General Assembly of the IAU.
Radar imaging at NASA's Goldstone Solar System Radar on June 12 and 14, 2009, revealed that near-Earth asteroid 1994 CC is a triple system.
The Astrophysics Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate is pleased to announce the establishment an Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group, or ExoPAG.
NASA and Alliant Techsystems Inc. [ATK] will conduct the first full-scale, full-duration test of the new first-stage solid rocket motor for the Ares I rocket at 1 p.m. MDT, on Tuesday, Aug. 25.
A full scale mockup of NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle soon will be moved from Florida to Texas to continue its testing. During the trip, the capsule will make several stops for public viewing.
Tasmania's east coast is recording its highest-ever winter water temperatures of more than 13oC - up to 1.5oC above normal - due to a strengthening of an ocean current originating north of Australia.
The thousand-mile haul between the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) research stations at McMurdo and South Pole is already a reality.
It's time to find out if humans can permanently live and work in space, according to an article written by Mark Sykes and published today in the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, Arizona's morning newspaper.
Commercial Spaceflight Federation Creates Scientific Advisory Panel - Focused on Suborbital Research Applications[Monday, August 10, 2009]
The CSF announces the creation of the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group, composed of experienced scientists, researchers, and educators dedicated to furthering the research and education potential of suborbital reusable launch vehicles.
LOIRP Releases Enhanced Restored Version of Lunar Orbiter "Image of the Century" Plus Additional Subframes of Crater Copernicus[Monday, August 10, 2009]
The performance of our hardware and software image processing methods has been significantly enhanced to remove some of the banding artifacts that are derived from imperfections in the spacecraft image scanning hardware.
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found evidence of a high-speed collision between two burgeoning planets around a young star.
How rare life is in the Universe is one of the key questions in the natural sciences today. By pulling in multidisciplinary expertise from biology, geology, physics and astronomy, astrobiologists are addressing different facets of this very profound quest
A new supercomputer simulation designed to track the fate of the universe's first black holes finds that, counter to expectations, they couldn't efficiently gorge themselves on nearby gas.
CRREL engineers are developing a robotic tractor that would allow one autonomous vehicle to follow one driven by a person.
NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity is investigating a metallic meteorite the size of a large watermelon that is providing researchers more details about the Red Planet's environmental history.
The NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) was formed in 1998 to provide an independent source of advanced aeronautical and space concepts that could dramatically impact how NASA develops and conducts its missions.
Southwest Research Institute organizes first NASTAR Suborbital Space Scientist Training course for future research astronauts[Tuesday, August 11, 2009]
SwRI, working with The National AeroSpace Training and Research (NASTAR) Center, is leading a program that will provide spaceflight physiology training for prospective scientist-astronauts wishing to fly on upcoming suborbital space missions.
Last week I posted a story about a humorous way in which friends I made during my stay at Everest Base Camp repaid their debts.
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has successfully completed a comprehensive pre-shipment review for NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE satellite.
NASA has assigned the crew for space shuttle mission STS-134 to the International Space Station. The flight will deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, or AMS, to the station.
You know you are in for a good day when the first thing you do after breakfast is get fitted for a pair of crampons.
WASP-17 appears to have been the victim of a game of planetary billiards, flung into its unusual orbit by a close encounter with a ``big brother'' planet.
One single atom of a certain isotope of hafnium found on Earth would prove that a supernova once exploded near our solar system. The problem is how to find such an atom - among billions of others.
The high-resolution camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has returned a dramatic oblique view of the Martian crater that a rover explored for two years.
The United States is currently the only country with an active, government-sponsored effort to detect and track potentially hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs)
Using NASA satellite data, scientists have found that groundwater levels in northern India have been declining by as much as one foot per year over the past decade. Researchers concluded the loss is almost entirely due to human activity.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has been restored to full operations, making intensive science observations of Mars, four days after it unexpectedly switched to its backup computer.
Ground-based telescope captures first visual images of storm clouds over the tropics of Saturn's largest moon[Wednesday, August 12, 2009]
Taking advantage of advanced techniques to correct distortions caused by Earth's atmosphere, astronomers used the NSF-supported Gemini Observatory to capture the first images of clouds over the tropics of Titan, Saturn's largest moon.
For all its similarities to Earth Titan, is generally "a very bland place, weatherwise," says Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology.
A new study from two of NASA's Great Observatories provides fresh insight into how some stars are born, along with a beautiful new image of a stellar nursery in our Galaxy.
In the last days things have moved ahead in AMASE. Very busy days doing science. The Sun never sets and there are always plenty of things to do!
Thanks to a special play of sunlight and shadow as Saturn continues its march towards its August 11 equinox, recent images captured by NASAas Cassini spacecraft are revealing new three-dimensional objects and structures in the planetas otherwise flat ring
The Orion crew module that will be used for the first launch abort system Pad Abort 1 flight test is scheduled to depart NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center Aug. 19 for the White Sands Missile Range, N.M., where the launch abort tests will be performed.
This image, LO-IV-179-H1, taken by Lunar Orbiter IV on May 24, 1967 at 16:19:23.809 GMT, shows a portion of the lunar south polar region. The altitude of the spacecraft when this image was taken was 3,591.83 kilometers.
During what may be the last public meeting, the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, there was a strong consensus for funding a robust commercial human space flight program to provide human space transportation to low Earth orbit (LEO).
Three research institutes from the German federal state Bremen among others have set up an observation ward for the long-term observation of a mud volcano in the Norwegian deep sea.
Australians will have the opportunity to send text-like messages to potential intelligent life beyond Earth thanks to an initiative to be launched today to mark National Science Week
A team of scientists in Australia and the United States, led by Associate Professor Miroslav Filipovic from the University of Western Sydney, have discovered a new class of object which they call "Super Planetary Nebulae."
olar physicists at NASA have confirmed that small, sudden bursts of heat and energy, called nanoflares, cause temperatures in the thin, translucent gas of the sun's atmosphere to reach millions of degrees.
For the first time in more than a quarter-century a new space vehicle stands ready in NASA's Kennedy Space Center Vehicle Assembly Building.
Photo Report: Russia Prepares MRM Research Modules For Their Trip to The International Space Station[Sunday, August 16, 2009]
At S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia the works are in full swing, which are aimed to create two new modules, small research modules MRM-1 and MRM-2, for the International Space Station (ISS).
The image was taken during the afternoon of Opportunity's 1783rd sol (Mars day) on the Red Planet.
A successful NASA flight test Monday demonstrated how a spacecraft returning to Earth can use an inflatable heat shield to slow and protect itself as it enters the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds.
NASA scientists have discovered glycine, a fundamental building block of life, in samples of comet Wild 2 returned by NASA's Stardust spacecraft.
NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has arrived at its last stop on Earth -- Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
University of Utah mathematicians developed a new cloaking method, and it's unlikely to lead to invisibility cloaks like those used by Harry Potter or Romulan spaceships in "Star Trek."
Because the new device, called a "spaser," is the first of its kind to emit visible light, it represents a critical component for possible future technologies based on "nanophotonic" circuitry.
The Augustine panel is telling us something we already knew -- that NASA's exploration program has been starved for funding and the good work being done by NASA's civil servants and contractors risks being undone by shortsighted bean-counting.
Excalibur Almaz Limited today announced plans to open up a new era of private orbital space flight for commercial customers, using updated elements of the "Almaz" space system originally developed by JSC MIC NPO Mashinostroyenia (NPOM) of Russia.
Three future residents of the International Space Station will hold a news conference at 1 p.m. CDT Thursday, Sept. 17, from NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.
This view of a rock called "Block Island," the largest meteorite yet found on Mars, comes from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity.
August 18, 2009: Today marks the 2,000th Martian day, or sol, of what was initially planned as a 90-sol mission on Mars for NASA's Spirit rover.
The Augustine commission, in its last public meeting in Washington delivered a stunning blow to NASA in finding that the program of record, (the current architecture) was not affordable, giving the FY2010 run out of the NASA budget.
When Earth was just cooling down from its fiery creation, the sun was faint - so faint that it should not have been able to keep the oceans of earth from freezing. But fortunately for the creation of life, water was kept liquid on our young planet.
NASA has completed a two-day review of space shuttle Discovery's readiness for flight and selected Aug. 25 as the official launch date for the STS-128 mission to the International Space Station. Liftoff is scheduled for 1:36 a.m. EDT.
Humans might not be walking on Earth today if not for the ancient fusing of two microscopic, single-celled organisms called prokaryotes, NASA-funded research has found.
This week, the Suborbital Applications Researchers Group (SARG), an advisory committee of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, met at the Boulder, Colorado campus of the Southwest Research Institute.
NASA's 2009 class of astronauts reports to Johnson Space Center, Houston Monday. The group of nine begins a two-year journey to join with the current astronaut corps in future exploration missions.
The shuttle's STS-128 mission to the International Space Station is scheduled to lift off at 1:36 a.m. EDT on Tuesday, Aug. 25.
The 2009 Philo T. Farnsworth Award recognizes the agency for engineering excellence and commemorates the 40th anniversary of the technological innovations that made possible the first live TV broadcast from the moon by the Apollo 11 crew.
On September 29, the MESSENGER spacecraft will pass by Mercury for the third time, flying 141.7 miles above the planet's rocky surface.
While the resolution of the Lunar Orbiter image (0.8 meters/pixel) would probably not reveal astronaut tracks in great detail, we're rather certain that it would have seen an object the size of Antares' Descent Stage.
Impoverished fishermen along the coast of tropical African countries like Mozambique and Madagascar may have only a few more years to eke out a profit from one of their nations' biggest agricultural exports.
A significant advance in our understanding of the early evolution of the universe has been achieved by a team of scientists associated with the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration
NASA will broadcast a special message from comedian Stephen Colbert on Monday, Aug. 24, as the space shuttle Discovery prepares to deliver the COLBERT treadmill to the International Space Station.
Old stars are keys to understanding the nature of the first stars and the earliest stages of the formation of the universe.
NASA is challenging undergraduate and graduate student teams to design and build an excavator that could be used on the moon.
Driving a rover on Mars and obtaining useful scientific information is something you don't learn from one day to another. You need a lot of training and you need to be able to work with people that have different scientific backgrounds.
New images released today by ESO delve into the heart of a cosmic cloud, called RCW 38, crowded with budding stars and planetary systems. There, young, titanic stars bombard fledgling suns and planets with powerful winds and blazing light.
An exhibit of stunning photographs of the night sky as viewed over many of the most beautiful natural, historic and cultural landmarks in the world is being shown at 24 shopping centers across the United States from now through November 8.
The AMASE crews were united today thanks to several helicopter lifts from NyAlesund and some willing and able volunteers who established a tent camp on shore to free up enough rooms for all the NyAlesund personnel to move onto the ship.
With the recent visits of Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama to Africa emphasizing economic development, little is mentioned much less known that many African nations are emerging as viable participants in the space technology space race.
A second, lighter-weight test rover has entered the testing setup at JPL where rover team members are assessing strategy for getting Spirit out of soft soil where it is embedded on Mars.
Today, the average person can zoom across Antarctica with Google Earth. It's even possible to download high-definition images of ice and mountaintops thanks to an International Polar Year project that created a map mosaic of the continent.
As tags on household appliances warn, water conducts electricity extremely well. Now, scientists have found that enhanced electrical conductivity in parts of Earth's mantle may signal the presence of water far below our planet's surface.
The South Pole has become the place to be for scientists searching for high-energy neutrinos or to understand the nature of the dark energy that is pushing the universe apart -- some of the grandest mysteries about the universe.
The next rovers that will be sent to Mars will not look only for signs of liquid water. They also will have to accomplish a very complicated task: the search for past (or present) microbial life.
Students at the ISU Space Studies Program 2009 and Singularity University will share their last evening together at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., at their universities' closing ceremonies on Friday, Aug. 28, 2009.
A science team planning to hunker down in Bull Pass in Antarctica's central McMurdo Dry Valleys would today receive a fairly simplistic map that outlines proposed tent sites intended to minimize human impact to the fragile ecosystem.
Upon starting an early morning communications pass on Aug. 22, 2009, the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission operations team discovered the spacecraft had experienced an anomaly.
The mission management team will meet at 3 p.m. EDT today to give the "go- no go" for fueling Discovery. Weather for tanking and launch is currently at 70 percent acceptable for a 1:10 a.m. Wednesday morning launch.
As has been our practice since assuming our duties as NASA administrator and deputy administrator, Lori and I are going to attempt to keep you informed and up to date on issues affecting all of us in the NASA family as best we can.
Before we get into the blogs, you may have noticed that we were unable to post everyday while we were aboard Lance. Loss of internet contact is part of an arctic expedition, and we were not able to get the posts out until now that we are off the ship.
The testing of the liquid hydrogen fill and drain valve in shuttle Discovery's main propulsion system is complete. The valve and its position indicator both operated normally during yesterday's testing. And all leak checks were within specification.
Lakes in Antarctica, concealed under miles of ice, require scientists to come up with creative ways to identify and analyze these hidden features.
The dust-filled disks where new planets may be forming around other stars occasionally take on some difficult-to-understand shapes.
A discovery about the moon made in the 1960s is helping researchers unlock secrets about Earth's ocean today.
The countdown for the launch of space shuttle Discovery's STS-128 mission is under way again. The count resumed at 8:34 a.m. EDT at the T-11 hour point with no issues being reported that could affect launch.
Subtle connections between the 11-year-solar cycle, the stratosphere and the tropical Pacific Ocean work in sync to generate periodic weather patterns that affect much of the globe, according to research results appearing this week in "Science".
One of the 'fun science" activities we have carried out during AMASE 2009 is "iceberg chasing". Naturally this was all for a good scientific reason as we were interested in acquiring sediments trapped in calved icebergs for further characterization.
NASA has selected 16 small business projects to address important research and technology needs. The awards are part of NASA's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs.
The moon Prometheus casts a shadow on Saturn's F ring near a streamer-channel it has created on the ring. The image was taken as the planet approached its August 2009 equinox.
The Conrad Foundation, a non-profit science-education and entrepreneurship advocacy organization, today announced that it has opened registration for the 2010 Spirit of Innovation Awards
With seven astronauts and a host of experiments and equipment on board, space shuttle Discovery completed a flawless ascent into orbit Friday night to begin a two-day chase of the International Space Station.
Discovery turned midnight into noon along the central Florida coast with launch at 10:59 p.m. CDT beginning its 37th mission - a flight to deliver supplies and research facilities to the International Space Station and its six-person crew.
Radio contact with Chandrayaan-I spacecraft was abruptly lost at 0130 Hrs (IST) on August 29, 2009.
The Expedition 20 crew members conducted a variety of maintenance tasks aboard the International Space Station Friday as they concluded a busy work week filled with science and preparations for the arrival of space shuttle Discovery.
ESO has released a new image of the Trifid Nebula, showing just why it is a firm favourite of astronomers, amateur and professional alike.
The amount of electricity generated by the solar panels on Spirit has been declining for the past several Martian days, or sols, as a regional dust storm moved southward and blocked some of the sunshine at Spirit's location.
Newly released images commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the Voyager flyby of Neptune's moon Triton on Aug. 24, 2009.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter put itself into a safe mode Wednesday morning, Aug. 26, for the fourth time this year, while maintaining spacecraft health and communications.
About a decade after its discovery, Cygnus X-1 secured a place in the history of astronomy when a combination of X-ray and optical observations led to the conclusion that it was a black hole, the first such identification.
Using space shuttle Discovery’s reaction control system jets, Commander Rick Sturckow, steered the shuttle to a soft docking with the International Space Station at 8:54 p.m. EDT.
During the SU closing ceremony, the inaugural class of Graduate Studies Program students presented their team projects, representing the culmination of a summer's worth of work and collaboration.
NASA will host a teleconference Tuesday, Sept. 1, at 3 p.m. EDT to discuss the conclusion of the preliminary design review for the Orion crew exploration vehicle.
A few of my crewmates were running on the beach and came across an amazing sight ---- about 50 baby turtles had just hatched and were making their way to the ocean.
The NASA Astronaut Class of 2000 -- the 18th class of NASA astronauts. Our class name is "the Bugz" (the name has several origins: the class before you gets to name you / year 2000 and the millennium bug / bugs actually fly / it's better than maggots)