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NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter recovering from Protective Status

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter, which has been in service at Mars since October 2001, put itself into safe mode — a protective standby status — on December 26th, while remaining in communication with Earth.

The Odyssey project team has diagnosed the cause — an uncertainty aboard the spacecraft about its orientation with regard to Earth and the sun — and is restoring the orbiter to full operations.

Artist's concept of NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist’s concept of NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Juno Spacecraft takes photo of massive storms on Jupiter

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – This image, taken by the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft, highlights the seventh of eight features forming a ‘string of pearls on Jupiter — massive counterclockwise rotating storms that appear as white ovals in the gas giant’s southern hemisphere.

Since 1986, these white ovals have varied in number from six to nine. There are currently eight white ovals visible.

This image, taken by the JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft, highlights the seventh of Jupiter's eight 'string of pearls' -- massive counterclockwise rotating storms that appear as white ovals in the gas giant's southern hemisphere. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS)

This image, taken by the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft, highlights the seventh of Jupiter’s eight ‘string of pearls’ — massive counterclockwise rotating storms that appear as white ovals in the gas giant’s southern hemisphere. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS)

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NASA’s Journey to Mars builds ground work for missions beyond our Solar System

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Humanity’s great leap into the space between the stars has, in a sense, already begun. NASA’s Voyager 1 probe broke through the sun’s magnetic bubble to touch the interstellar wind. Voyager 2 isn’t far behind. New Horizons shot past Pluto on its way to encounters with more distant dwarf worlds, the rubble at the solar system’s edge.

Closer to home, we’re working on techniques to help us cross greater distances. Astronauts feast on romaine lettuce grown aboard the International Space Station, perhaps a preview of future banquets en route to Mars, or to deep space.

A selfie taken by Curiosity the Mars rover in the Murray Buttes area. NASA’s Journey to Mars, a plan aimed at building on robotic missions to send humans to the red planet, could be helping lay the groundwork. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

A selfie taken by Curiosity the Mars rover in the Murray Buttes area. NASA’s Journey to Mars, a plan aimed at building on robotic missions to send humans to the red planet, could be helping lay the groundwork. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA’s Global Land Ice Velocity Extraction project provides near real time view of Glacier movement

 

Written by Kate Ramsayer
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – Glaciers and ice sheets move in unique and sometimes surprising patterns, as evidenced by a new capability that uses satellite images to map the speed of flowing ice in Greenland, Antarctica and mountain ranges around the world.

With imagery and data from Landsat 8, a joint mission of NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey, scientists are providing a near-real-time view of every large glacier and ice sheet on Earth.

The NASA-funded Global Land Ice Velocity Extraction project, called GoLIVE, is a collaboration between scientists from the University of Colorado, the University of Alaska, and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The texture on the surface of flowing ice, such as Heimdal Glacier in southern Greenland, allows Landsat 8 to map nearly all the flowing ice in the world. (NASA/John Sonntag)

The texture on the surface of flowing ice, such as Heimdal Glacier in southern Greenland, allows Landsat 8 to map nearly all the flowing ice in the world. (NASA/John Sonntag)

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NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland mission survey produces new data, maps of Greenland’s Glaciers

 

Written by Carol Rasmussen
NASA Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission has released preliminary data on the heights of Greenland coastal glaciers from its first airborne campaign in March 2016.

The new data show the dramatic increase in coverage that the mission provides to scientists and other interested users. Finalized data on glacier surface heights, accurate within three feet (one meter) or less vertically, will be available by February 1st, 2017.

The Oceans Melting Greenland campaign has released new, more accurate maps of Greenland's coastal glaciers. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Oceans Melting Greenland campaign has released new, more accurate maps of Greenland’s coastal glaciers. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter observes thawing Carbon Dioxide creating Channels on Mars

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Erosion-carved troughs that grow and branch during multiple Martian years may be infant versions of larger features known as Martian “spiders,” which are radially patterned channels found only in the south polar region of Mars.

Researchers using NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) report the first detection of cumulative growth, from one Martian spring to another, of channels resulting from the same thawing-carbon-dioxide process believed to form the spider-like features.

This sequence of three HiRISE images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the growth of a branching network of troughs carved by thawing carbon dioxide over the span of three Martian years. This process may also form larger radially patterned channel features known as Martian "spiders." (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

This sequence of three HiRISE images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the growth of a branching network of troughs carved by thawing carbon dioxide over the span of three Martian years. This process may also form larger radially patterned channel features known as Martian “spiders.” (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona)

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New NASA Tracking Technology Could Help Track Firefighters inside Buildings

 

Written by Andrew Good
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – In 1999, six career firefighters lost their lives responding to a five-alarm fire. They were part of a group of 73 dispatched to a smoke-filled warehouse in Worcester, Massachusetts. Lost inside the building’s tight corners, they were unable to find an exit before running out of oxygen.

Avoiding a tragedy like that has been a technical challenge for decades. In the outdoors, firefighters can use GPS to track one another, and radios to stay in communication. But when they move into a steel and concrete building, these technologies suddenly become unreliable.

A test of a new tracking technology, which can be followed on a computer map. JPL may have solved a longstanding technology problem for firefighters: how do you track them inside of buildings, which often block radio signals? (Paul Wedig/DHS-Science and Technology Directorate.)

A test of a new tracking technology, which can be followed on a computer map. JPL may have solved a longstanding technology problem for firefighters: how do you track them inside of buildings, which often block radio signals? (Paul Wedig/DHS-Science and Technology Directorate.)

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NASA’s CYGNSS Microsatellites to give unprecedented measurements of Tropical Storms, Hurricanes

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA confirmed Friday morning that all eight spacecraft of its latest Earth science mission are in good shape. The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) will provide scientists with advanced technology to see inside tropical storms and hurricanes as never before.

CYGNSS launched into orbit at 5:37am PST (8:37am EST) Thursday aboard an Orbital ATK air-launched Pegasus XL launch vehicle. The rocket was dropped and launched from Orbital’s Stargazer L-1011 aircraft, which took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, over the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of central Florida.

Artist's concept of one of the eight NASA Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System satellites deployed in space above a hurricane. (NASA)

Artist’s concept of one of the eight NASA Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System satellites deployed in space above a hurricane. (NASA)

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NASA’s Dawn spacecraft reveals new areas where Ice may hide on Ceres

 

Written by Elizabeth Landau
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – At first glance, Ceres, the largest body in the main asteroid belt, may not look icy. Images from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft have revealed a dark, heavily cratered world whose brightest area is made of highly reflective salts — not ice.

But newly published studies from Dawn scientists show two distinct lines of evidence for ice at or near the surface of the dwarf planet. Researchers are presenting these findings at the 2016 American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco.

This graphic shows a theoretical path of a water molecule on Ceres. Some water molecules fall into cold, dark craters called "cold traps," where very little of the ice turns into vapor, even over the course of a billion years. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

This graphic shows a theoretical path of a water molecule on Ceres. Some water molecules fall into cold, dark craters called “cold traps,” where very little of the ice turns into vapor, even over the course of a billion years. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

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NASA’s Juno Spacecraft has successful Flyby of Jupiter

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Juno mission completed a close flyby of Jupiter on Sunday, December 11th, its latest science orbit of the mission.

Seven instruments and the spacecraft’s JunoCam were operating during the flyby to collect data that is now being returned to Earth. Juno is currently in a 53-day orbit, and its next close flyby of Jupiter will occur on February 2nd, 2017.

On Sunday, December 11th, at 9:04am PST (12:04pm EST, 17:04 UTC) NASA’s Juno spacecraft will make its third flyby over Jupiter’s mysterious cloud tops.

This artist's rendering shows NASA's Juno spacecraft making one of its close passes over Jupiter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s rendering shows NASA’s Juno spacecraft making one of its close passes over Jupiter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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