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NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft to complete 60,000th trip around Mars

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft will reach a major milestone June 23rd, when it completes its 60,000th orbit since arriving at the Red Planet in 2001.

Named after the bestselling novel “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke, Odyssey began orbiting Mars almost 14 years ago, on October 23rd, 2001. On December 15th, 2010, it became the longest-operating spacecraft ever sent to Mars, and continues to hold that record today.

Odyssey, which discovered widespread water ice just beneath the surface of the Red Planet, is still going strong today, serving as a key communications relay for NASA’s Mars rovers and making continued contributions to planetary science.

Gale Crater, home to NASA's Curiosity Mars rover, shows a new face in this image made using data from the THEMIS camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter. The colors come from an image processing method that identifies mineral differences in surface materials and displays them in false colors. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University)

Gale Crater, home to NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, shows a new face in this image made using data from the THEMIS camera on NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter. The colors come from an image processing method that identifies mineral differences in surface materials and displays them in false colors. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Arizona State University)

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Tennessee State Trooper makes Traffic Stop and Detects possible Human Sex Trafficking

 

Tennessee Highway Patrol - THPNashville, TN – On May 27th, 2015, Tennessee State Trooper Jonathan Scott assigned to THP’s Interdiction Plus Team (IPT), made a traffic stop that lead to the arrest of driver Rafael E. Quiroz-Martinez, 22, of Honduras for Human Sex Trafficking, and the safe recovery of a female victim.

While patrolling I-40 West in Knox County, Trooper Scott stopped a 2007 Honda Fit for window tint violation. As the trooper approached the vehicle, he observed several indicators of possible criminal activity within the vehicle.

During Trooper Scott’s interview of the driver and the vehicle’s 19 year old female passenger, several inconsistencies arose in their statements that caused additional suspicion. «Read the rest of this article»

Sections: News | 1 Comment »
 

NASA reports International Space Station uses OPALS instrument to further laser communications research

 

Written by Elizabeth Landau
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Ever wonder why stars seem to twinkle? This effect is caused by variations in the density of our atmosphere that cause blurring in light coming from space. It’s pretty for stargazing, but a challenge for space-to-ground communications.

A key technology called adaptive optics corrects such distortions. By combining adaptive optics with a laser communications technology aboard the International Space Station, NASA is working toward advances in space communications that could have major benefits for our data transmission needs here on Earth as well.

This artist's rendition shows OPALS operating from the International Space Station. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s rendition shows OPALS operating from the International Space Station. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA to begin study of microgravity’s effects on Bone Cells aboard International Space Station

 

Written by Laura Niles
International Space Station Program Science Office and Public Affairs Office
NASA Johnson Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – Researchers may be “excyted” to learn that osteocyte cultures are headed to the International Space Station this spring for the first time. With their delivery on the next SpaceX commercial resupply services mission this month, the Osteocytes and mechano-transduction (Osteo-4) investigation team will analyze the effects of microgravity on this type of bone cell.

Understanding these effects will be critical as astronauts plan for future missions that require longer exposure to microgravity, such as to deep space or Mars.

A close-up of mouse osteocytes within the bone. (Dr. L Bonewald)

A close-up of mouse osteocytes within the bone. (Dr. L Bonewald)

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Clarksville Montgomery County School System announces Administrative Appointments

 

Clarksville-Montgomery County School System - CMCSSMontgomery County, TN – Assistant principals for Woodlawn Elementary School and Northwest High School have been selected.

Northwest’s new assistant principal is Jessica Peppard, who has served as academic coach for Northwest and Northeast High Schools. She will replace Marlon Heaston, who has been named principal of Kenwood Middle. Christina Irwin has been appointed assistant principal at Woodlawn, replacing Jennifer Silvers who was named principal of the school.

(Top: L to R) Jessica Peppard, Christina Irwin and Mandy Frost.

(Top: L to R) Jessica Peppard, Christina Irwin and Mandy Frost.

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NASA reports Crowdsourced Smartphone Data could give advance notice for People in Earthquake Zones

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Smartphones and other personal electronic devices could, in regions where they are in widespread use, function as early warning systems for large earthquakes, according to newly reported research.

This technology could serve regions of the world that cannot afford higher quality, but more expensive, conventional earthquake early warning systems, or could contribute to those systems.

The study, led by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), found that the sensors in smartphones and similar devices could be used to build earthquake warning systems.

Cell phones can detect ground motion and warn others before strong shaking arrives. ("Everyone Check Your Phones - NYC" by Jim Pennucci, used under CC BY.)

Cell phones can detect ground motion and warn others before strong shaking arrives. (“Everyone Check Your Phones – NYC” by Jim Pennucci, used under CC BY.)

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Tennessee Titans President and CEO Tommy Smith retires

 

Smith Cites Demands of Serving as Chief of Two Large Companies as Reason

Tennessee TitansNashville, TN – Tennessee Titans President and CEO Tommy Smith today announced he is retiring from that role, after deciding that serving in that demanding position while serving as president and chairman of publicly traded Adams Resources and Energy, Inc., was not in the best interest of either organization.

“I have given this decision very careful thought, and while I dearly love the Titans and am proud of my active role with the franchise over many decades, I can’t serve two big roles as effectively as I had hoped. My family, my long-term personal health and the ability to make sound daily decisions for two fine companies all came into play.” «Read the rest of this article»

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NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover takes powder sample from rock at Telegraph Peak

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’ Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover used its drill on Tuesday, February 24th to collect sample powder from inside a rock target called “Telegraph Peak.” The target sits in the upper portion of “Pahrump Hills,” an outcrop the mission has been investigating for five months.

The Pahrump Hills campaign previously drilled at two other sites. The outcrop is an exposure of bedrock that forms the basal layer of Mount Sharp. Curiosity’s extended mission, which began last year after a two-year prime mission, is examining layers of this mountain that are expected to hold records of how ancient wet environments on Mars evolved into drier environments.

This hole, with a diameter slightly smaller than a U.S. dime, was drilled by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover into a rock target called "Telegraph Peak." (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This hole, with a diameter slightly smaller than a U.S. dime, was drilled by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover into a rock target called “Telegraph Peak.” (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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Five AAU National Basketball Championships in Four Years Means Millions of Dollars For Clarksville – Montgomery County Community

 

Visit Clarksville TennesseeClarksville, TN – Over the next four years, Clarksville-Montgomery County will host five high economic impact AAU Basketball Championships bringing in a total of $8.9 million of revenue. The 2015 event will be held this upcoming July 10th-15th.

The community will welcome the 2015-2018 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) 10U Boy’s Basketball National Championships as well as the 2016 AAU 6th Grade Girl’s National Championships. In total, over 15,000 visitors will pass through to be a part of, or watch, the games. The 2017-2018 boy’s tournaments were recently awarded to the team at Visit Clarksville after a rigorous bid process. «Read the rest of this article»

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NASA’s Deep Space Network antenna image shows Asteroid passing Earth today had it’s own Moon

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Scientists working with NASA’s 230-foot-wide (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California, have released the first radar images of asteroid 2004 BL86. The images show the asteroid, which made its closest approach today (January 26th, 2015) at 8:19am PST (10:19am CST) at a distance of about 745,000 miles (1.2 million kilometers, or 3.1 times the distance from Earth to the moon), has its own small moon.

The 20 individual images used in the movie were generated from data collected at Goldstone on January 26th, 2015. They show the primary body is approximately 1,100 feet (325 meters) across and has a small moon approximately 230 feet (70 meters) across.

This GIF shows asteroid 2004 BL86, which safely flew past Earth on Jan. 26, 2015. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This GIF shows asteroid 2004 BL86, which safely flew past Earth on Jan. 26, 2015. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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