August 2009 Top Story Archives



AbGradCon 2009: A Glimpse into Mixed-Reality Meetings of the Future

AbGradCon 2009: A Glimpse into Mixed-Reality Meetings of the Future

[Saturday, August 1, 2009]

Virtual worlds are shaping up as possible venues for online meetings--and astrobiology graduate students are leading the way in exploring their potential.




NASA Cassini Image: Sawtooth Shadows On Saturn's Rings

NASA Cassini Image: Sawtooth Shadows On Saturn's Rings

[Saturday, August 1, 2009]

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.




Possible Meteorite Imaged by Opportunity Rover on Mars

Possible Meteorite Imaged by Opportunity Rover on Mars

[Saturday, August 1, 2009]

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.




Solar cycle linked to global climate - Drives events similar to El Nino, La Nina

Solar cycle linked to global climate - Drives events similar to El Nino, La Nina

[Sunday, August 2, 2009]

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).




The Space-Industrial Complex In Transition

The Space-Industrial Complex In Transition

[Sunday, August 2, 2009]

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.




NASA Dawn Status Report 31 July 2009

NASA Dawn Status Report 31 July 2009

[Sunday, August 2, 2009]

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 Announces Briefing About Kepler's Early Science Results

NASA Announces Briefing About Kepler's Early Science Results

[Monday, August 3, 2009]

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




MESSENGER Mission Passes Five-Year Mark

MESSENGER Mission Passes Five-Year Mark

[Monday, August 3, 2009]

It's been five years since MESSENGER was launched atop a Delta II rocket on August 3, 2004, and they have been busy years




Team Develops Energy Efficient Tire That Won't Go Flat

Team Develops Energy Efficient Tire That Won't Go Flat

[Monday, August 3, 2009]

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 Emerges as Mentor for Space Entrepreneurs

eSpace Emerges as Mentor for Space Entrepreneurs

[Monday, August 3, 2009]

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.




Human Space Flight Review Committee Announces Meeting Agendas

Human Space Flight Review Committee Announces Meeting Agendas

[Monday, August 3, 2009]

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.




MacGyvers of Polar Science - Research Associates Ensure Experiments Keep Running Year-round

MacGyvers of Polar Science - Research Associates Ensure Experiments Keep Running Year-round

[Monday, August 3, 2009]

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




NASA Cassini Image: Colorful Northern Crescent

NASA Cassini Image: Colorful Northern Crescent

[Monday, August 3, 2009]

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

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 Sends First Tweets From Space Station

NASA Astronaut Sends First Tweets From Space Station

[Tuesday, August 4, 2009]

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 launch into space research internship

Eighteen students launch into space research internship

[Tuesday, August 4, 2009]

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.




Solar Cycle Linked to Global Climate, Drives Events Similar to El Nino, La Nina

Solar Cycle Linked to Global Climate, Drives Events Similar to El Nino, La Nina

[Tuesday, August 4, 2009]

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.




NASA Internal memo: 8/1 Cx Update - Around the Program

NASA Internal memo: 8/1 Cx Update - Around the Program

[Tuesday, August 4, 2009]

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 Launches Analog Web Site

NASA's Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Launches Analog Web Site

[Tuesday, August 4, 2009]

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 Announces Lunar Exploration Competition for Students

NASA Announces Lunar Exploration Competition for Students

[Tuesday, August 4, 2009]

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.




Moonbots Challenges Parent-Child Teams To Conduct Google Lunar X Prize Missions With Lego Robots

Moonbots Challenges Parent-Child Teams To Conduct Google Lunar X Prize Missions With Lego Robots

[Tuesday, August 4, 2009]

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.




New Members Join Next Step in Space Coalition

New Members Join Next Step in Space Coalition

[Tuesday, August 4, 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 DOE Make Progress on Surface Nuclear Fission Power Technology

NASA and DOE Make Progress on Surface Nuclear Fission Power Technology

[Tuesday, August 4, 2009]

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.




NASA Sustainability Base Groundbreaking and Dedication Ceremony

NASA Sustainability Base Groundbreaking and Dedication Ceremony

[Tuesday, August 4, 2009]

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.




LCROSS Looks Back at Earth

LCROSS Looks Back at Earth

[Tuesday, August 4, 2009]

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.




Double Engine for a Nebula

Double Engine for a Nebula

[Wednesday, August 5, 2009]

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 2009 expedition takes off in the Arctic

AMASE 2009 expedition takes off in the Arctic

[Wednesday, August 5, 2009]

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 Sees The Cosmos Through 'Warm' Infrared Eyes

NASA'S Spitzer Sees The Cosmos Through 'Warm' Infrared Eyes

[Wednesday, August 5, 2009]

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.




Astronomers Find Hyperactive Galaxies in the Early Universe

Astronomers Find Hyperactive Galaxies in the Early Universe

[Wednesday, August 5, 2009]

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 JSC Solicitation: Recovery Act - Commercial Crew Development

NASA JSC Solicitation: Recovery Act - Commercial Crew Development

[Wednesday, August 5, 2009]

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.




AMASE 2009: Day 1: Arrival At Svalbard

AMASE 2009: Day 1: Arrival At Svalbard

[Thursday, August 6, 2009]

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).




LOIRP Releases Recovered Lunar Orbiter V Image of

LOIRP Releases Recovered Lunar Orbiter V Image of "Full Earth"

[Thursday, August 6, 2009]

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

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.




Reconciling Methane Variations on Mars

Reconciling Methane Variations on Mars

[Thursday, August 6, 2009]

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 Kepler Mission Spies Changing Phases in a Distant World

NASA's Kepler Mission Spies Changing Phases in a Distant World

[Thursday, August 6, 2009]

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.




Surface features on Titan form like Earth's, but with a frigid twist

Surface features on Titan form like Earth's, but with a frigid twist

[Thursday, August 6, 2009]

Saturnís 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.




Triple Asteroid System Triples Observers' Interest

Triple Asteroid System Triples Observers' Interest

[Thursday, August 6, 2009]

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.




Establishment of the Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG)

Establishment of the Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group (ExoPAG)

[Thursday, August 6, 2009]

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 ATK to Conduct Full-Scale Motor Test for Ares I Rocket

NASA and ATK to Conduct Full-Scale Motor Test for Ares I Rocket

[Friday, August 7, 2009]

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.




NASA'S Orion Spacecraft Makes Stops During Florida-Texas Trek

NASA'S Orion Spacecraft Makes Stops During Florida-Texas Trek

[Friday, August 7, 2009]

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.




Highest-ever Winter Water Temperatures Recorded Off of Tasmania

Highest-ever Winter Water Temperatures Recorded Off of Tasmania

[Friday, August 7, 2009]

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.




South Pole Traverse on track: Use of Tractors to Transport Cargo, Fuel Back in Vogue

South Pole Traverse on track: Use of Tractors to Transport Cargo, Fuel Back in Vogue

[Sunday, August 9, 2009]

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 Get Serious About Our 40 Year Old Dream

It's Time to Get Serious About Our 40 Year Old Dream

[Sunday, August 9, 2009]

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

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

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.




Extrasolar Planet Collision Sends Vaporized Rock and Hot Lava Flying

Extrasolar Planet Collision Sends Vaporized Rock and Hot Lava Flying

[Monday, August 10, 2009]

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has found evidence of a high-speed collision between two burgeoning planets around a young star.




The violent youth of solar proxies steer course of genesis of life

The violent youth of solar proxies steer course of genesis of life

[Monday, August 10, 2009]

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




First Black Holes Kept to a Strict Diet, Study Shows

First Black Holes Kept to a Strict Diet, Study Shows

[Monday, August 10, 2009]

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.




Traverse Across Antarctica To The South Pole May Employ Robotic Tractors in the Future

Traverse Across Antarctica To The South Pole May Employ Robotic Tractors in the Future

[Monday, August 10, 2009]

CRREL engineers are developing a robotic tractor that would allow one autonomous vehicle to follow one driven by a person.




Meteorite Found On Mars Yields Clues About Planet's Past

Meteorite Found On Mars Yields Clues About Planet's Past

[Monday, August 10, 2009]

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.




NRC: Fostering Visions for the Future: A Review of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts

NRC: Fostering Visions for the Future: A Review of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts

[Tuesday, August 11, 2009]

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

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.




Partial Payback Of An Everest Debt (Update)

Partial Payback Of An Everest Debt (Update)

[Tuesday, August 11, 2009]

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 to Ship WISE Spacecraft

Ball Aerospace to Ship WISE Spacecraft

[Tuesday, August 11, 2009]

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. has successfully completed a comprehensive pre-shipment review for NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE satellite.




NASA Assigns Crew for STS-134 Shuttle Mission, Change to STS-132

NASA Assigns Crew for STS-134 Shuttle Mission, Change to STS-132

[Tuesday, August 11, 2009]

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.




AMASE Blog 2009: Flying to Bockfjorden

AMASE Blog 2009: Flying to Bockfjorden

[Wednesday, August 12, 2009]

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.




Huge New Planet Tells of Game of Planetary Billiards

Huge New Planet Tells of Game of Planetary Billiards

[Wednesday, August 12, 2009]

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.




New laser technique may help find supernova

New laser technique may help find supernova

[Wednesday, August 12, 2009]

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.




NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Shows Angled View of Victoria Crater

NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Shows Angled View of Victoria Crater

[Wednesday, August 12, 2009]

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.




Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report

Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report

[Wednesday, August 12, 2009]

The United States is currently the only country with an active, government-sponsored effort to detect and track potentially hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs)




Satellites Unlock Secret to Northern India's Vanishing Water

Satellites Unlock Secret to Northern India's Vanishing Water

[Wednesday, August 12, 2009]

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.




Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Restored to Full Operations

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Restored to Full Operations

[Wednesday, August 12, 2009]

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

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.




Caltech Scientists Discover Storms in the Tropics of Titan

Caltech Scientists Discover Storms in the Tropics of Titan

[Wednesday, August 12, 2009]

For all its similarities to Earth Titan, is generally "a very bland place, weatherwise," says Mike Brown of the California Institute of Technology.




Trigger-Happy Star Formation

Trigger-Happy Star Formation

[Wednesday, August 12, 2009]

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.




AMASE blog 2009: SLIce: Searching for Signatures of Life in Ice

AMASE blog 2009: SLIce: Searching for Signatures of Life in Ice

[Wednesday, August 12, 2009]

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!




Revelations in Saturn's Rings Continue as Equinox Approaches

Revelations in Saturn's Rings Continue as Equinox Approaches

[Thursday, August 13, 2009]

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




Orion Abort Flight Test Crew Module Departs Dryden For White Sands

Orion Abort Flight Test Crew Module Departs Dryden For White Sands

[Thursday, August 13, 2009]

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.




A New Look at an Old Image of The Moon's South Pole

A New Look at an Old Image of The Moon's South Pole

[Thursday, August 13, 2009]

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.




Obama Review Panel Endorses Commercial Human Space Flight Options

Obama Review Panel Endorses Commercial Human Space Flight Options

[Friday, August 14, 2009]

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).




Research institutes from Bremen install new Arctic deep-sea observatory

Research institutes from Bremen install new Arctic deep-sea observatory

[Friday, August 14, 2009]

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.




Send an Interstellar SMS During National Science Week

Send an Interstellar SMS During National Science Week

[Friday, August 14, 2009]

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




Super Planetary Nebulae (RAS PN 09/51)

Super Planetary Nebulae (RAS PN 09/51)

[Friday, August 14, 2009]

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."




Tiny Flares Responsible for Outsized Heat of Sun's Atmosphere

Tiny Flares Responsible for Outsized Heat of Sun's Atmosphere

[Friday, August 14, 2009]

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.




NASA Completes Assembly of Ares I-X Test Rocket

NASA Completes Assembly of Ares I-X Test Rocket

[Friday, August 14, 2009]

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

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).




Opportunity Rover As Seen From Mars Orbit

Opportunity Rover As Seen From Mars Orbit

[Sunday, August 16, 2009]

The image was taken during the afternoon of Opportunity's 1783rd sol (Mars day) on the Red Planet.




NASA Launches New Technology: An Inflatable Heat Shield

NASA Launches New Technology: An Inflatable Heat Shield

[Monday, August 17, 2009]

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 Researchers Make First Discovery of Life's Building Block In Comet

NASA Researchers Make First Discovery of Life's Building Block In Comet

[Monday, August 17, 2009]

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 WISE Mission Arrives at Launch Site

NASA's WISE Mission Arrives at Launch Site

[Monday, August 17, 2009]

NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, has arrived at its last stop on Earth -- Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.




A New Cloaking Method

A New Cloaking Method

[Monday, August 17, 2009]

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."




New Nanolaser Key to Future Optical Computers and Technologies

New Nanolaser Key to Future Optical Computers and Technologies

[Monday, August 17, 2009]

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.




U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Statement on Threats to NASA's Budget

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Statement on Threats to NASA's Budget

[Monday, August 17, 2009]

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 to Pioneer Private Orbital Manned Space Flight In cooperation with NPOM of Russia

Excalibur Almaz to Pioneer Private Orbital Manned Space Flight In cooperation with NPOM of Russia

[Tuesday, August 18, 2009]

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.




NASA Sets Briefing with Members of Future Space Station Crews

NASA Sets Briefing with Members of Future Space Station Crews

[Tuesday, August 18, 2009]

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.




'Block Island' Meteorite on Mars, Sol 1961 (False Color)

'Block Island' Meteorite on Mars, Sol 1961 (False Color)

[Tuesday, August 18, 2009]

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.




Mars Rover Spirit Hits 2,000 Sols

Mars Rover Spirit Hits 2,000 Sols

[Tuesday, August 18, 2009]

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.




Beyond Augustine

Beyond Augustine

[Tuesday, August 18, 2009]

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.




The Greenhouse Gas That Saved The World

The Greenhouse Gas That Saved The World

[Tuesday, August 18, 2009]

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 Gives 'Go' for Space Shuttle Discovery Launch on Aug. 25

NASA Gives 'Go' for Space Shuttle Discovery Launch on Aug. 25

[Wednesday, August 19, 2009]

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.




NASA Research Reveals Major Insight Into Evolution Of Life On Earth

NASA Research Reveals Major Insight Into Evolution Of Life On Earth

[Wednesday, August 19, 2009]

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.




First Meeting of Suborbital Researchers Group Focuses on Innovative Research & Education Missions

First Meeting of Suborbital Researchers Group Focuses on Innovative Research & Education Missions

[Thursday, August 20, 2009]

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 Class of 2009 Astronaut Candidates Report for Training

NASA's Class of 2009 Astronaut Candidates Report for Training

[Thursday, August 20, 2009]

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.




NASA Announces Shuttle Prelaunch Events and Countdown Details

NASA Announces Shuttle Prelaunch Events and Countdown Details

[Thursday, August 20, 2009]

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.




NASA Television Receives Philo T. Farnsworth Primetime Emmy Award

NASA Television Receives Philo T. Farnsworth Primetime Emmy Award

[Thursday, August 20, 2009]

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.




Upcoming Mercury Encounter Presents New Opportunities for Magnetometer

Upcoming Mercury Encounter Presents New Opportunities for Magnetometer

[Thursday, August 20, 2009]

On September 29, the MESSENGER spacecraft will pass by Mercury for the third time, flying 141.7 miles above the planet's rocky surface.




LOIRP and LRO Confirm That Humans Walked on the Moon

LOIRP and LRO Confirm That Humans Walked on the Moon

[Thursday, August 20, 2009]

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.




NASA researcher nets first measure of Africa's coastal forests

NASA researcher nets first measure of Africa's coastal forests

[Thursday, August 20, 2009]

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.




Major Advance Made In Understanding The Birth and Early Evolution of the Universe

Major Advance Made In Understanding The Birth and Early Evolution of the Universe

[Thursday, August 20, 2009]

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 To Air Stephen Colbert Message On Eve Of Shuttle Launch

NASA To Air Stephen Colbert Message On Eve Of Shuttle Launch

[Friday, August 21, 2009]

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.




A Ninth-Magnitude Messenger From The Early Universe

A Ninth-Magnitude Messenger From The Early Universe

[Friday, August 21, 2009]

Old stars are keys to understanding the nature of the first stars and the earliest stages of the formation of the universe.




Registration Open for NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition

Registration Open for NASA Lunabotics Mining Competition

[Friday, August 21, 2009]

NASA is challenging undergraduate and graduate student teams to design and build an excavator that could be used on the moon.




AMASE blog 2009: Science Operation Work Group: How To Do Science With a Rover on Mars

AMASE blog 2009: Science Operation Work Group: How To Do Science With a Rover on Mars

[Saturday, August 22, 2009]

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.




A Look Into The Hellish Cradles of Suns and Solar Systems

A Look Into The Hellish Cradles of Suns and Solar Systems

[Saturday, August 22, 2009]

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.




IYA2009: Shoppers Across the U.S. to Experience

IYA2009: Shoppers Across the U.S. to Experience "The World at Night"

[Saturday, August 22, 2009]

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.




AMASE 2009: Journal Entries by Adrienne Kish 13-17 August 2009

AMASE 2009: Journal Entries by Adrienne Kish 13-17 August 2009

[Saturday, August 22, 2009]

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.




Africa Joins the Space Race

Africa Joins the Space Race

[Saturday, August 22, 2009]

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.




NASA Mars Spirit Rover Update: Second Test Rover Added to Driving Experiments

NASA Mars Spirit Rover Update: Second Test Rover Added to Driving Experiments

[Saturday, August 22, 2009]

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.




Mapping Antarctica - Latest satellite imagery brings continent into high-res focus

Mapping Antarctica - Latest satellite imagery brings continent into high-res focus

[Saturday, August 22, 2009]

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.




Scientists Create First Three-dimensional Global Map of Electrical Conductivity in Earth's Mantle

Scientists Create First Three-dimensional Global Map of Electrical Conductivity in Earth's Mantle

[Monday, August 24, 2009]

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.




Vantage Point - Camera at South Pole to determine if its night sky is ideal for new telescope

Vantage Point - Camera at South Pole to determine if its night sky is ideal for new telescope

[Monday, August 24, 2009]

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.




AMASE 2009: Testing Fovers for Future Mars Exploration: the Goddess Athena Drives in Svalbard

AMASE 2009: Testing Fovers for Future Mars Exploration: the Goddess Athena Drives in Svalbard

[Monday, August 24, 2009]

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.




NASA Ames Bids Farewell to International University Students

NASA Ames Bids Farewell to International University Students

[Monday, August 24, 2009]

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.




Drawing the line - New maps will help with environmental protection of Antarctica

Drawing the line - New maps will help with environmental protection of Antarctica

[Tuesday, August 25, 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.




LCROSS Spacecraft Anomaly

LCROSS Spacecraft Anomaly

[Tuesday, August 25, 2009]

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.




Poor Weather Delayed Tuesday's Launch Attempt

Poor Weather Delayed Tuesday's Launch Attempt

[Tuesday, August 25, 2009]

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.




NASA Internal Memo: Message From the Administrator - Aug. 26, 2009 Update

NASA Internal Memo: Message From the Administrator - Aug. 26, 2009 Update

[Wednesday, August 26, 2009]

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.




AMASE 2009: Journal Entries by Adrienne Kish 17-25 August 2009

AMASE 2009: Journal Entries by Adrienne Kish 17-25 August 2009

[Wednesday, August 26, 2009]

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.




STS-128 Update: Mission Managers to Meet Today at Noon

STS-128 Update: Mission Managers to Meet Today at Noon

[Thursday, August 27, 2009]

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.




Map Characterizes Active Lakes Below Antarctic Ice

Map Characterizes Active Lakes Below Antarctic Ice

[Thursday, August 27, 2009]

Lakes in Antarctica, concealed under miles of ice, require scientists to come up with creative ways to identify and analyze these hidden features.




Warped Debris Discs Around Stars Are Blowin' in the Wind

Warped Debris Discs Around Stars Are Blowin' in the Wind

[Friday, August 28, 2009]

The dust-filled disks where new planets may be forming around other stars occasionally take on some difficult-to-understand shapes.




Gravity Map Offers Insight Into The Oceans and Climate

Gravity Map Offers Insight Into The Oceans and Climate

[Friday, August 28, 2009]

A discovery about the moon made in the 1960s is helping researchers unlock secrets about Earth's ocean today.




STS-128 Countdown Resumes

STS-128 Countdown Resumes

[Friday, August 28, 2009]

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.




Connections among Solar Cycle, Stratosphere and Ocean Discovered

Connections among Solar Cycle, Stratosphere and Ocean Discovered

[Friday, August 28, 2009]

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".




AMASE blog 2009: Iceberg Chasing

AMASE blog 2009: Iceberg Chasing

[Friday, August 28, 2009]

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 Selects 16 Small Business Research and Technology Projects

NASA Selects 16 Small Business Research and Technology Projects

[Friday, August 28, 2009]

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.




NASA Cassini Image: Roche Division Shadow Caster

NASA Cassini Image: Roche Division Shadow Caster

[Friday, August 28, 2009]

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 Opens Registration for the 2010 Spirit of Innovation Awards

The Conrad Foundation Opens Registration for the 2010 Spirit of Innovation Awards

[Friday, August 28, 2009]

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




Space Shuttle Discovery is in Orbit and is Chasing the Space Station

Space Shuttle Discovery is in Orbit and is Chasing the Space Station

[Saturday, August 29, 2009]

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.




NASA STS-128 MCC Status Report #01†11:30 p.m. CDT Friday, Aug. 28, 2009

NASA STS-128 MCC Status Report #01†11:30 p.m. CDT Friday, Aug. 28, 2009

[Saturday, August 29, 2009]

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.




Chandrayaan-I Spacecraft Loses Radio Contact

Chandrayaan-I Spacecraft Loses Radio Contact

[Saturday, August 29, 2009]

Radio contact with Chandrayaan-I spacecraft was abruptly lost at 0130 Hrs (IST) on August 29, 2009.




Expedition 20 Awaits Arrival of Discovery, New Crew Member

Expedition 20 Awaits Arrival of Discovery, New Crew Member

[Saturday, 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.




Trifid Triple Treat

Trifid Triple Treat

[Sunday, August 30, 2009]

ESO has released a new image of the Trifid Nebula, showing just why it is a firm favourite of astronomers, amateur and professional alike.




Dust Storm Passing Over Spirit

Dust Storm Passing Over Spirit

[Sunday, August 30, 2009]

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.




Flashback to Neptune's Moon Triton

Flashback to Neptune's Moon Triton

[Sunday, August 30, 2009]

Newly released images commemorate the 20-year anniversary of the Voyager flyby of Neptune's moon Triton on Aug. 24, 2009.




Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Status Report 26 August 2009

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Status Report 26 August 2009

[Sunday, August 30, 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.




Cygnus X-1: Still a 'Star' After All Those Years

Cygnus X-1: Still a 'Star' After All Those Years

[Sunday, August 30, 2009]

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.




Discovery Arrives at International Space Station

Discovery Arrives at International Space Station

[Sunday, August 30, 2009]

Using space shuttle Discoveryís 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.




University Programs, Students Soar to New Heights at NASA Ames

University Programs, Students Soar to New Heights at NASA Ames

[Monday, August 31, 2009]

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 To Brief Media About Completion of Orion Vehicle Design Review

NASA To Brief Media About Completion of Orion Vehicle Design Review

[Monday, August 31, 2009]

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.




Astronaut Nicole Stott's Blog: The Little Things

Astronaut Nicole Stott's Blog: The Little Things

[Monday, August 31, 2009]

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.




Astronaut Nicole Stott's Blog: The Bugz -- It Takes All Kinds

Astronaut Nicole Stott's Blog: The Bugz -- It Takes All Kinds

[Monday, August 31, 2009]

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)