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Topic: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NASA reports International Space Station to harvest Zinnia Planets on Valentine’s Day

 

Written by Linda Herridge
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationKennedy Space Center, FL – Zinnia plants from the Veggie ground control experiment at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida were harvested February 11th in the same way that crew member Scott Kelly will harvest the zinnias growing in the Veggie system aboard the International Space Station on February 14th—Valentine’s Day.

Flowering plants will help scientists learn more about growing crops for deep-space missions and NASA’s journey to Mars.

The ground plants didn’t experience some of the same stressors as those grown simultaneously on the ISS — like unexpected fungus growth.

Zinnia plants from the Veggie ground control system are being harvested in the Flight Equipment Development Laboratory in the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. From left, are John Carver, an integration engineer with Jacobs on the Test and Operations Support Contract, and Chuck Spern, a project engineer with Vencore on the Engineering Services Contract.(NASA/Bill White)

Zinnia plants from the Veggie ground control system are being harvested in the Flight Equipment Development Laboratory in the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. From left, are John Carver, an integration engineer with Jacobs on the Test and Operations Support Contract, and Chuck Spern, a project engineer with Vencore on the Engineering Services Contract.(NASA/Bill White)

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NASA reports new studies looks at the “Love” between Particles

 

Written by Elizabeth Landau
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Here’s a love story at the smallest scales imaginable: particles of light. It is possible to have particles that are so intimately linked that a change to one affects the other, even when they are separated at a distance.

This idea, called “entanglement,” is part of the branch of physics called quantum mechanics, a description of the way the world works at the level of atoms and particles that are even smaller. Quantum mechanics says that at these very tiny scales, some properties of particles are based entirely on probability. In other words, nothing is certain until it happens.

This cartoon helps explain the idea of "entangled particles." Alice and Bob represent photon detectors, which NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology developed. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This cartoon helps explain the idea of “entangled particles.” Alice and Bob represent photon detectors, which NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology developed. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Satellite data reveals Earth’s land masses are absorbing Water and slowing Sea Level rise

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – New measurements from a NASA satellite have allowed researchers to identify and quantify, for the first time, how climate-driven increases of liquid water storage on land have affected the rate of sea level rise.

A new study by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and the University of California, Irvine, shows that while ice sheets and glaciers continue to melt, changes in weather and climate over the past decade have caused Earth’s continents to soak up and store an extra 3.2 trillion tons of water in soils, lakes and underground aquifers, temporarily slowing the rate of sea level rise by about 20 percent.

Earth's land masses have stored increasing amounts of water in the last decade, slowing the pace of sea level rise. (U.S. National Park Service)

Earth’s land masses have stored increasing amounts of water in the last decade, slowing the pace of sea level rise. (U.S. National Park Service)

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NASA prepares Orion Crew Module for Uncrewed Flight Test

 

Written by Linda Herridge
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationKennedy Space Center, FL – The Orion crew module pressure vessel has arrived at Kennedy Space Center in Florida and is now secured in an upgraded version of a test stand called the “birdcage” inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout (O&C) Building high bay. Orion will eventually take NASA on a journey to Mars, but first, the spacecraft is being prepared for a mission past the moon during Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1).

The pressure vessel is the crew module’s underlying structure. Processing at Kennedy began February 3rd to prepare it for launch atop the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket from Kennedy’s Launch Pad 39B in 2018.

Inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building high bay at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, members of the news media get an up-close look at the Orion crew module pressure vessel on Feb. 3. Testing and assembly has begun, which will lead to Exploration Mission-1 in 2018. EM-1 will be an uncrewed flight test in which the spacecraft will launch atop NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. (NASA/Bill White)

Inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building high bay at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, members of the news media get an up-close look at the Orion crew module pressure vessel on Feb. 3. Testing and assembly has begun, which will lead to Exploration Mission-1 in 2018. EM-1 will be an uncrewed flight test in which the spacecraft will launch atop NASA’s Space Launch System rocket. (NASA/Bill White)

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NASA Satellite data used to create maps to predict future Climate Change

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – New, detailed maps of the world’s natural landscapes created using NASA satellite data could help scientists better predict the impacts of future climate change.

The maps of forests, grasslands and other productive ecosystems provide the most complete picture yet of how carbon from the atmosphere is reused and recycled by Earth’s natural ecosystems.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom; NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California; and Wageningen University, Netherlands, used a computer model to analyze a decade of satellite and field study data from 2001 to 2010.

Global map of the average amount of time that live biomass carbon and dead organic carbon spend in carbon reservoirs around the world, in years. (A. Anthony Bloom)

Global map of the average amount of time that live biomass carbon and dead organic carbon spend in carbon reservoirs around the world, in years. (A. Anthony Bloom)

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NASA Study reveals Natural Cycles are not enough to explain Global Warming

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A study by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, shows, in detail, the reason why global temperatures remain stable in the long run unless they are pushed by outside forces, such as increased greenhouse gases due to human impacts.

Lead author Patrick Brown, a doctoral student at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, and his JPL colleagues combined global climate models with satellite measurements of changes in the energy approaching and leaving Earth at the top of the atmosphere over the past 15 years.

Earth's atmosphere viewed from the International Space Station. A NASA/Duke University study provides new evidence that natural cycles alone aren't sufficient to explain the global atmospheric warming observed over the last century. (NASA)

Earth’s atmosphere viewed from the International Space Station. A NASA/Duke University study provides new evidence that natural cycles alone aren’t sufficient to explain the global atmospheric warming observed over the last century. (NASA)

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NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Satellite studies Thunderstorms in Southeastern United States

 

Written by Hal Pierce / Rob Gutro
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – Severe weather moved through the southern U.S. on February 2nd and 3rd, and NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM core satellite examined the violent thunderstorms.

On February 3rd, 2016 at 1851 UTC (1:51pm ET/12:51pm CT) the GPM core observatory satellite flew over a line of storms extending from the Gulf coast of Florida through New York state. Tornadoes were spotted in Georgia and South Carolina within this area of violent weather.

On Feb. 3 at 1:51 p.m. EDT GPM found that one powerful thunderstorm in North Carolina was dropping rain at the extreme rate of 112.96 mm (4.4 inches) per hour. (NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce)

On Feb. 3 at 1:51 p.m. EDT GPM found that one powerful thunderstorm in North Carolina was dropping rain at the extreme rate of 112.96 mm (4.4 inches) per hour. (NASA/JAXA/SSAI, Hal Pierce)

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NASA creates animated view of Dwarf Planet Ceres using Dawn Spacecraft images

 

Written by Elizabeth Landau
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A colorful new animation shows a simulated flight over the surface of dwarf planet Ceres, based on images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft.

The movie shows Ceres in enhanced color, which helps to highlight subtle differences in the appearance of surface materials. Scientists believe areas with shades of blue contain younger, fresher material, including flows, pits and cracks.

Simulated view of Dwarf planet Ceres using images from NASA's Dawn spacecraft. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

Simulated view of Dwarf planet Ceres using images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

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NASA’s Juno Spacecraft adjusts course to Jupiter

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s solar-powered Juno spacecraft successfully executed a maneuver to adjust its flight path, February 3rd, 2016. The maneuver refined the spacecraft’s trajectory, helping set the stage for Juno’s arrival at the solar system’s largest planetary inhabitant five months and a day from now.

“This is the first of two trajectory adjustments that fine tune Juno’s orbit around the sun, perfecting our rendezvous with Jupiter on July 4th at 8:18pm PDT [11:18pm EDT],” said Scott Bolton, Juno principal investigator at the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio.

Launched from Earth in 2011, the Juno spacecraft will arrive at Jupiter in 2016 to study the giant planet from an elliptical, polar orbit. Juno will repeatedly dive between the planet and its intense belts of charged particle radiation, coming only 5,000 kilometers (about 3,000 miles) from the cloud tops at closest approach. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Launched from Earth in 2011, the Juno spacecraft will arrive at Jupiter in 2016 to study the giant planet from an elliptical, polar orbit. Juno will repeatedly dive between the planet and its intense belts of charged particle radiation, coming only 5,000 kilometers (about 3,000 miles) from the cloud tops at closest approach. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA to include 13 CubeSats with 2018 launch of unmanned Orion Spacecraft into Deep Space

 

Written by Elizabeth Landau
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The first flight of NASA’s new rocket, the Space Launch System (SLS), will carry 13 low-cost CubeSats to test innovative ideas along with an uncrewed Orion spacecraft in 2018. Six of these CubeSat missions have contributions from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

These small satellite secondary payloads will carry science and technology investigations to help pave the way for future human exploration in deep space, including the Journey to Mars. SLS’ first flight, referred to as Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), provides the rare opportunity for these small experiments to reach deep space destinations, as most launch opportunities for CubeSats are limited to low-Earth orbit.

The Lunar Flashlight, flying as secondary payload on the first flight of NASA's Space Launch System, will examine the moon's surface for ice deposits and identify locations where resources may be extracted. (NASA)

The Lunar Flashlight, flying as secondary payload on the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System, will examine the moon’s surface for ice deposits and identify locations where resources may be extracted. (NASA)

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