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Posts tagged nasa

NASA Injects New Funds Into Search for Origins of Life

Life is all around us, on Earth. But what about elsewhere in the Universe? We know there’s an abundance of life-giving chemicals out there, but what conditions are required to spark life as we know (and don’t know) it? Probably most importantly, if we did find extraterrestrial life, how would we recognize it as such?

In a new round of funding announced on Monday, NASA is allocating $50 million to 7 astrobiology research groups in the US to tackle these questions. Learn more

NASA is working on a new instrument for the International Space Station that will create a 3-D map of the Earth’s forests, in order to measure the role of trees in scrubbing carbon from the atmosphere.

The new instrument will use lidar, a laser system for measuring distance between the space-based instrument and the surface. Called the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) lidar, the system will be put together at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. 

Learn more

A NASA probe recently spotted the dazzling Pan-STARRS comet as it hurtled through space against the backdrop of a distant galaxy. Learn more!

Contact Made With 36-Year-Old ‘Retired’ Satellite

Red tape and a moderate earthquake did not deter a private group from meeting its goal of making contact with a 36-year-old NASA spacecraft that has been slumbering in deep space since 1997. The International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 was launched in 1978 but retired, after distinguished service, in 1997 by NASA. Now private citizens are trying to put the bird back in business with an online campaign to raise enough cash to wake it up.

Now, members are trying to redirect the path of the vintage International Sun-Earth Explorer 3 (ISSE-3) probe before it’s too late. Read more

Curiosity Snaps Selfies, Begins Mars Rock Drill

NASA’s rover Curiosity has begun drilling operations for the third time on Mars. Currently located at a geologically interesting location nicknamed “The Kimberley,” the one-ton rover also took the opportunity to photograph itself and the surrounding landscape in some stunning Martian “selfies.” View the gallery

Falling Into the Guts of a Black Hole

If you happened to be falling into a black hole, the last thing on your mind will likely be how pretty the view is. Read more

tarzan1941:

Various print ads featuring the Space Shuttle.

mmm so pretty.

'Sloshing' Supernova Sheds Light on Star's Death

By tracing radioactive material in the remains of a nearby exploded star, scientists have a new understanding of what happened in the star’s final moments and how similar explosions create the calcium, gold, iron and other elements spread throughout the cosmos. Read more

graviton1066:

(14 Nov. 2013) — Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata, Expedition 38 flight engineer, prepares to exercise in the Tranquility node of the International Space Station, using the advanced Resistive Exercise Device (aRED).

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Koichi Wakata, Expedition 38 flight engineer, gets a workout on the advanced Resistive Exercise Device (aRED) in the Tranquility node of the International Space Station.

AREDを使用した運動を行う若田宇宙飛行士(11月15日)(出典:JAXA/NASA)

Next time when you’re at the gym, complaining about the mess of the dumbbells, spare a thought for the ISS astronauts who NEED to work out to avoid the worst cases of muscle atrophy. 

The “before” and “after” shots of Curiosity’s wheels are pretty striking. Although the rover’s wheels are designed to sustain significant damage without putting the mission at risk, mission managers are assessing a recent acceleration in perforations and rips in the wheels’ aluminum. See more photos

Rough Roving: Curiosity’s Wheel Damage ‘Accelerated’

In May, Discovery News reported the dramatic signs of wear and tear on Mars rover Curiosity’s wheels. The aircraft-grade aluminum material appeared scratched, dented, even punctured. At the time, lead rover driver Matt Heverly said that the damage was to be expected. “The ‘skin’ of the wheel is only 0.75mm thick and we expect dents, dings, and even a few holes due to the wheels interacting with the rocks,” he said via email. Despite the assurances that the holes were just a part of Curiosity’s mission, there seems to be increasing concern for the wheels’ worsening condition after the one-ton robot rolled over some craggy terrain. Read more

Mars Rover Finds Ancient Life-Supporting Lakebed

The site where NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity landed last year contains at least one lake that would have been perfectly suited for colonies of simple, rock-eating microbes found in caves and hydrothermal vents on Earth. Read more

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