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Topic: Pacific Ocean

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, NOAA data shows Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the highest in History

 

Written by Dwayne Brown
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Earth’s 2015 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Globally-averaged temperatures in 2015 shattered the previous mark set in 2014 by 0.23 degrees Fahrenheit (0.13 Celsius). Only once before, in 1998, has the new record been greater than the old record by this much.

2015 was the warmest year since modern record-keeping began in 1880, according to a new analysis by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The record-breaking year continues a long-term warming trend — 15 of the 16 warmest years on record have now occurred since 2001. (Scientific Visualization Studio/Goddard Space Flight Center)

2015 was the warmest year since modern record-keeping began in 1880, according to a new analysis by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The record-breaking year continues a long-term warming trend — 15 of the 16 warmest years on record have now occurred since 2001. (Scientific Visualization Studio/Goddard Space Flight Center)

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NASA reports a strong, growing El Niño head to United States

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The current strong El Niño brewing in the Pacific Ocean shows no signs of waning, as seen in the latest satellite image from the U.S./European Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2 mission.

El Niño 2015 has already created weather chaos around the world. Over the next few months, forecasters expect the United States to feel its impacts as well.

The latest Jason-2 image bears a striking resemblance to one from December 1997, by Jason-2’s predecessor, the NASA/Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) Topex/Poseidon mission, during the last large El Niño event. Both reflect the classic pattern of a fully developed El Niño. The images can be viewed at:
http://sealevel.jpl.nasa.gov/elnino2015/index.html

The latest satellite image of Pacific sea surface heights from Jason-2 (left) differs slightly from one 18 years ago from Topex/Poseidon (right). In Dec. 1997, sea surface height was more intense and peaked in November. This year the area of high sea levels is less intense but considerably broader. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The latest satellite image of Pacific sea surface heights from Jason-2 (left) differs slightly from one 18 years ago from Topex/Poseidon (right). In Dec. 1997, sea surface height was more intense and peaked in November. This year the area of high sea levels is less intense but considerably broader. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA studies how 2015 El Niño effects the World’s Climate

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – People the world over are feeling, or will soon feel, the effects of the strongest El Niño event since 1997-98, currently unfolding in the eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. New NASA satellite observations are beginning to show scientists its impact on the distribution of rain, tropospheric ozone and wildfires around the globe.

New results presented Tuesday, December 15th, at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco show that atmospheric rivers, significant sources of rainfall, tend to intensify during El Niño events, and this year’s strong El Niño likely will bring more precipitation to California and some relief for the drought.

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NASA prepares Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket for first test flight

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA is hard at work building the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the ground systems needed to send astronauts into deep space. The agency is developing the core capabilities needed to enable the journey to Mars.

Orion’s first flight atop the SLS will not have humans aboard, but it paves the way for future missions with astronauts. Ultimately, it will help NASA prepare for missions to the Red Planet. During this flight, currently designated Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), the spacecraft will travel thousands of miles beyond the moon over the course of about a three-week mission.

NASA¹s Space Launch System rocket will launch with Orion atop it from Launch Complex 39B at NASA¹s modernized spaceport at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA)

NASA¹s Space Launch System rocket will launch with Orion atop it from Launch Complex 39B at NASA¹s modernized spaceport at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA)

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NASA satellite images reveal this year’s El Niño could be a monster one like in 1997

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – El Niño: An unusually warm pool of water off the west coast of South America, usually arriving around Christmas time, linked with complex, large-scale interactions between the atmosphere and ocean in the Pacific.

If you live anywhere El Niño has important impacts, you’ve heard forecasters say this year’s event looks just like the monster El Niño of 1997-98. NASA satellite images of the Pacific Ocean in November 1997 and November 2015 show almost identical, large pools of warm water in the eastern equatorial Pacific.

In this side-by-side visualization, Pacific Ocean sea surface height anomalies during the 1997-98 El Niño (left) are compared with 2015 Pacific conditions (right). The 1997 data are from the NASA/CNES Topex/Poseidon mission; the current data are from the NASA/CNES/NOAA/EUMETSAT Jason-2 mission. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In this side-by-side visualization, Pacific Ocean sea surface height anomalies during the 1997-98 El Niño (left) are compared with 2015 Pacific conditions (right). The 1997 data are from the NASA/CNES Topex/Poseidon mission; the current data are from the NASA/CNES/NOAA/EUMETSAT Jason-2 mission. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement satellite observes Typhoon Atsani building

 

Written by Harold F. Pierce
SSAI/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – Typhoon Atsani was an intensifying tropical storm moving over the open waters of the Pacific Ocean on August 16th, 2015 when the GPM core observatory satellite flew overhead.

The Global Precipitation Measurement or GPM mission core satellite passed over Atsani at 06:01am UTC (2:01am EDT). GPM is managed by both NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

NASA-JAXA's GPM satellite saw rainfall south of the storm's center of circulation was falling at a rate of over 90 mm (3.5 inches) per hour and cloud tops to heights of 16.8 km (10.4 miles). (SSAI/NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce)

NASA-JAXA’s GPM satellite saw rainfall south of the storm’s center of circulation was falling at a rate of over 90 mm (3.5 inches) per hour and cloud tops to heights of 16.8 km (10.4 miles). (SSAI/NASA/JAXA, Hal Pierce)

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NASA study reveals Oceans Temperature Rise Slowed

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new NASA study of ocean temperature measurements shows that in recent years, extra heat from greenhouse gases has been trapped in the waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans. Researchers say this shifting pattern of ocean heat accounts for the slowdown in the global surface temperature trend observed during the past decade.

Researchers Veronica Nieves, Josh Willis and Bill Patzert of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, found a specific layer of the Indian and Pacific oceans between 300 and 1,000 feet (100 and 300 meters) below the surface has been accumulating more heat than previously recognized.

An Argo float, foreground. The new study included direct measurements of ocean temperatures from the global array of 3,500 Argo floats and other ocean sensors. (Argo program, Germany/Ifremer)

An Argo float, foreground. The new study included direct measurements of ocean temperatures from the global array of 3,500 Argo floats and other ocean sensors. (Argo program, Germany/Ifremer)

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NASA uses AVIRIS-NG instrument to map California Oil Pipeline Spill Beach Tar

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – When an on-land pipeline ruptured north of Santa Barbara, California, on May 19th — spilling 105,000 barrels of crude oil onto Refugio State Beach and about 21,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean in the north Santa Barbara Channel — it created an environmental nightmare for local beaches and wildlife.

In support of the response to the Refugio Incident, as it is known, NASA deployed a De Havilland Twin Otter aircraft carrying a unique airborne instrument developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, to study the spill and test the ability of imaging spectroscopy to map tar on area beaches. The work is advancing our nation’s ability to respond to future oil spills.

AVIRIS-NG red-green-blue (visible) aerial image of the Refugio Incident oil spill, showing oil on the water and on nearby Santa Barbara Channel beaches. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

AVIRIS-NG red-green-blue (visible) aerial image of the Refugio Incident oil spill, showing oil on the water and on nearby Santa Barbara Channel beaches. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) completes second test flight with flying colors

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Engineers are poring over the data following the second experimental landing technology test of NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project. The saucer-shaped LDSD craft splashed down at 11:49am HST (2:49 PDT/5:49pm EDT) Monday in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

During this flight, the project team tested two decelerator technologies that could enable larger payloads to land safely on the surface of Mars, and allow access to more of the planet’s surface by assisting landings at higher-altitude sites.

The balloon-aided liftoff kicked off the second test flight of the LDSD system. (NASA JPL-Caltech)

The balloon-aided liftoff kicked off the second test flight of the LDSD system. (NASA JPL-Caltech)

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