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Topic: International Space Station

NASA tests Free-Flying SPHERES in hopes they can perform Housekeeping jobs for Astronauts

 

Written by Maria Alberty
NASA’s Ames Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMoffett Field, CA – Inspired by science fiction, three bowling ball-size free-flying Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) have been flying inside the International Space Station since 2006.

These satellites provide a test bed for development and research, each having its own power, propulsion, computer, navigation equipment, and physical and electrical connections for hardware and sensors for various experiments.

Three satellites fly in formation as part of the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) investigation. This image was taken during Expedition 14 in the Destiny laboratory module. (NASA)

Three satellites fly in formation as part of the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) investigation. This image was taken during Expedition 14 in the Destiny laboratory module. (NASA)

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NASA’s prepares for Next Giant Leap, Mars and Beyond

 

NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The first humans who will step foot on Mars are walking the Earth today. It was 45 years ago that Neil Armstrong took the small step onto the surface of the moon that changed the course of history. The years that followed saw a Space Age of scientific, technological and human research, on which we have built the modern era.

We stand on a new horizon, poised to take the next giant leap—deeper into the solar system. The Apollo missions blazed a path for human exploration to the moon and today we are extending that path to near-Earth asteroids, Mars and beyond.

Artist's concept image of a boot print on the moon and on Mars. (NASA)

Artist’s concept image of a boot print on the moon and on Mars. (NASA)

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NASA to send Fruit Fly Lab to International Space Station

 

Written by Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Fruit flies are bug eyed and spindly, they love rotten bananas, and, following orders from their pin-sized brains, they can lay hundreds of eggs every day.

We have a lot in common.

Genetically speaking, people and fruit flies are surprisingly alike, explains biologist Sharmila Bhattacharya of NASA’s Ames Research Center. “About 77% of known human disease genes have a recognizable match in the genetic code of fruit flies, and 50% of fly protein sequences have mammalian analogues.”

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NASA’s QuikScat satellite to be used to calibrate it’s successor RapidScat

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – June 19th marked the 15th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s QuikScat, a satellite sent for a three-year mission in 1999 that continues collecting data. Built in less than 12 months, QuikScat has watched ocean wind patterns for 15 years and improved weather forecasting worldwide. Despite a partial instrument failure in 2009, it provides calibration data to international partners.

On this anniversary, the mission’s team is calibrating ISS-RapidScat, the successor that will maintain QuikScat’s unbroken data record. After its launch in a few months, RapidScat will watch ocean winds from the International Space Station (ISS) for a two-year mission.

Using data from NASA's QuikScat, weather forecasters were able to predict hazardous weather events over oceans 6 to 12 hours earlier than before these data were available. Orange areas show where winds are blowing the hardest and blue shows relatively light winds. (NASA)

Using data from NASA’s QuikScat, weather forecasters were able to predict hazardous weather events over oceans 6 to 12 hours earlier than before these data were available. Orange areas show where winds are blowing the hardest and blue shows relatively light winds. (NASA)

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NASA uses Laser to beam “Hello World” video to Earth from International Space Station

 

Written by Stephanie L. Smith
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA successfully beamed a high-definition video 260 miles from the International Space Station to Earth Thursday using a new laser communications instrument.

Transmission of “Hello, World!” as a video message was the first 175-megabit communication for the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS), a technology demonstration that allows NASA to test methods for communication with future spacecraft using higher bandwidth than radio waves.

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NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) investigates technologies for Human, Robotic missions to Mars

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) is paving the way for future Mars exploration. The directorate is currently investing in and developing bold, disruptive technology required for future deep-space missions.

This critical work leads a concerted effort throughout the agency, including at the program level and across multiple centers, as well as with partners in American industry.

During its first free flight test at night, Morpheus (a Human Exploration and Operations MD project) tests NASA's ALHAT and an engine that runs on liquid oxygen and methane, which are green propellants. These capabilities could be used in the future to deliver cargo to planetary surfaces.

During its first free flight test at night, Morpheus (a Human Exploration and Operations MD project) tests NASA’s ALHAT and an engine that runs on liquid oxygen and methane, which are green propellants. These capabilities could be used in the future to deliver cargo to planetary surfaces.

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NASA increases it’s Hurricane Research efforts

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – During this year’s Atlantic hurricane season, NASA is redoubling its efforts to probe the inner workings of hurricanes and tropical storms with two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft flying over storms and two new space-based missions.

NASA’s airborne Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel, or HS3 mission, will revisit the Atlantic Ocean for the fourth year in a row. HS3 is a collaborative effort that brings together several NASA centers with federal and university partners to investigate the processes that underlie hurricane formation and intensity change in the Atlantic Ocean basin.

Amanda, the first named storm of the 2014 hurricane season in the Americas, is seen off the west coast of Mexico in an image acquired on May 25 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite. At the time of the image, Amanda was a category 4 hurricane. Amanda's winds peaked at 155 miles (250 kilometers) per hour, making it the strongest May hurricane on record in the eastern Pacific. (NASA/MODIS)

Amanda, the first named storm of the 2014 hurricane season in the Americas, is seen off the west coast of Mexico in an image acquired on May 25 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. At the time of the image, Amanda was a category 4 hurricane. Amanda’s winds peaked at 155 miles (250 kilometers) per hour, making it the strongest May hurricane on record in the eastern Pacific. (NASA/MODIS)

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NASA reports International Space Station to grow Lettuce in Space

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – It’s spring, and all around the northern hemisphere gardeners are planting seeds, tilling soil, and watering crops. Imagine a gardener’s surprise, however, if water from the hose, instead of hitting the soil and sinking in, floated up to the sky. Or if the soil itself rose up from the ground and fled the garden.

That’s exactly the kind of dilemma astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) have faced for years. Without gravity, how do you make your garden grow?

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NASA says International Space Station experiment “Spiders in Space” inspires Children, Spider Man Fans

 

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

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – While spiders were busy spinning webs in space, researchers on Earth weaved their knowledge of this activity into educational materials to inspire and motivate students.

Now, this free, Web-based guide is being re-released through Scholastic and Sony Pictures as curriculum for educators to leap on the excitement surrounding the release of the film, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

For those who may have missed it, this guide’s inspiration came from real science using spiders in space.

And although the spiders were exposed to microgravity and radiation in space, they did not morph into mutants; rather, they adapted quite well and provided a biology lesson learned around the world.

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SpaceX-3 Dragon spacecraft launched from NASA’s Cape Canaveral to deliver Science Cargo to International Space Station

 

Written by Steven Siceloff
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationKennedy Space Center, FL – A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft full of NASA cargo, experiments and equipment blazed into orbit Friday, April 18th, aboard the company’s Falcon 9 rocket. The astronauts aboard the International Space Station will unload the supplies after the Dragon arrives at the orbiting research laboratory.

The manifest for the uncrewed Dragon includes almost 5,000 pounds of material including a spacewalking suit for astronauts plus related hardware and supplies for more than 150 science investigations to be conducted by the space station crews.

The SpaceX-3 mission soars into the clouds over Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Dragon resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station. Liftoff was during an instantaneous window at 3:25pm EDT. (NASA/Dan Casper)

The SpaceX-3 mission soars into the clouds over Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the Dragon resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station. Liftoff was during an instantaneous window at 3:25pm EDT. (NASA/Dan Casper)

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