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NASA’s Mars Opportunity Rover leaves Cape Tribulation heading for Perseverance Valley on Mars

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s senior Mars rover, Opportunity, is departing “Cape Tribulation,” a crater-rim segment it has explored since late 2014, southbound for its next destination, “Perseverance Valley.”

The rover team plans observations in the valley to determine what type of fluid activity carved it billions of years ago: water, wind, or flowing debris lubricated by water.

A color panorama of a ridge called “Rocheport” provides both a parting souvenir of Cape Tribulation and also possible help for understanding the valley ahead. The view was assembled from multiple images taken by Opportunity’s panoramic camera.

A grooved ridge called "Rocheport" on the rim of Mars' Endeavour Crater spans this scene from the Pancam on NASA's Mars rover Opportunity. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.)

A grooved ridge called “Rocheport” on the rim of Mars’ Endeavour Crater spans this scene from the Pancam on NASA’s Mars rover Opportunity. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.)

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NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts symposium will look at Space Exploration Concepts and Proposals

 

Written by Andrew Good
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Each year, NASA funds a handful of futuristic concepts to push forward the boundaries of space exploration. These early-stage proposals are selected with the hope of developing new ideas into realistic proofs-of-concept.

From August 23rd to 25th, the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) symposium will host presentations on 28 proposals, including five from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

Jonathan Sauder's AREE rover had a fully mechanical computer and logic system, allowing it to function in the harsh Venusian landscape. (ESA/J. Whatmore/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Jonathan Sauder’s AREE rover had a fully mechanical computer and logic system, allowing it to function in the harsh Venusian landscape. (ESA/J. Whatmore/NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Juno mission achieves Distance Record for Solar Powered Spacecraft

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter has broken the record to become humanity’s most distant solar-powered emissary. The milestone occurred at 11:00am PT (2:00pm ET, 19:00 UTC) on Wednesday, January 13th, when Juno was about 493 million miles (793 million kilometers) from the sun.

The previous record-holder was the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft, whose orbit peaked out at the 492-million-mile (792-million-kilometer) mark in October 2012, during its approach to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

Launching 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)

Launching 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’s Mars Mission Spinoffs Part 3: Harnessing Power

 

Written by Joshua Buck
Public Affairs Officer, NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – It will be the most powerful rocket ever built. More powerful than the mighty Saturn V that took humans to the moon, the Space Launch System (SLS), NASA’s newest rocket currently under development, will have the capability to send astronauts deeper into space than ever before.

With SLS and the Orion capsule, humans will no longer have to dream of walking on Mars: They finally will do it.

While the Dawn spacecraft is visiting the asteroids Vesta and Ceres, NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, has been developing the next generation of ion thrusters for future missions. NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) Project has developed a 7-kilowatt ion thruster that can provide the capabilities needed in the future. (NASA)

While the Dawn spacecraft is visiting the asteroids Vesta and Ceres, NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, has been developing the next generation of ion thrusters for future missions. NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) Project has developed a 7-kilowatt ion thruster that can provide the capabilities needed in the future. (NASA)

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NASA separates Fact from Fiction about Dust Storms on Mars

 

Written by Kathryn Mersmann
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – For years, science fiction writers from Edgar Rice Burroughs to C. S. Lewis have imagined what it would be like for humans to walk on Mars. As mankind comes closer to taking its first steps on the Red Planet, authors’ depictions of the experience have become more realistic.

Andy Weir’s “The Martian” begins with a massive dust storm that strands fictional astronaut Mark Watney on Mars. In the scene, powerful wind rips an antenna out of a piece of equipment and destroys parts of the astronauts’ camp.

Mars is infamous for intense dust storms, which sometimes kick up enough dust to be seen by telescopes on Earth.

A dust storm on Mars in 2008 temporarily cuts the amount of sunlight reaching the solar array on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, leaving the rover in a vulnerable state. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell)

A dust storm on Mars in 2008 temporarily cuts the amount of sunlight reaching the solar array on NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, leaving the rover in a vulnerable state. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell)

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Austin Peay State University Growth rate brings need for Crosswalks, APSU Physical Plant finds Solar Solution

 

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Most people don’t think in terms of solar power when it comes to campus traffic issues, but APSU Physical Plant Director, Tom Hutchins was thinking solar was a perfect solution to remedy a growing traffic related issue around campus — pedestrian safety.

As the campus has grown, nearly doubling in size during the last decade, and the paths people took from classroom to classroom changed, so did the places where pedestrians cross streets.

New crosswalk sign in front of APSU Foy Center. (Photo by Linnea Rainey - Austin Peay State University)

New crosswalk sign in front of APSU Foy Center. (Photo by Linnea Rainey – Austin Peay State University)

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NASA newest robot GROVER heads to Greenland to explore Ice Sheet

 

Written by Steve Cole
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s newest scientific rover is set for testing May 3rd through June 8th in the highest part of Greenland.

The robot known as GROVER, which stands for both Greenland Rover and Goddard Remotely Operated Vehicle for Exploration and Research, will roam the frigid landscape collecting measurements to help scientists better understand changes in the massive ice sheet.

A prototype of GROVER, minus its solar panels, was tested in January 2012 at a ski resort in Idaho. The laptop in the picture is for testing purposes only and is not mounted on the final prototype. (Credit: Gabriel Trisca, Boise State University)

A prototype of GROVER, minus its solar panels, was tested in January 2012 at a ski resort in Idaho. The laptop in the picture is for testing purposes only and is not mounted on the final prototype. (Credit: Gabriel Trisca, Boise State University)

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NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity ready to complete First Martian Marathon

 

Written by Dauna Coulter
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – With all the fanfare about Mars rover Curiosity landing on the Red Planet in August 2012, it’s easy to forget that there’s already a rover on Mars—an older, smaller cousin set to accomplish a feat unprecedented in the history of Solar System exploration.

Mars rover Opportunity is on track to complete the first extraterrestrial marathon.

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TVA Launches New Renewable Power Initiative, Continues Generation Partners Growth

 

Tennessee Valley AuthorityKnoxville, TN – The Tennessee Valley Authority has added another source to its growing renewable power portfolio with the announcement Friday of a new TVA initiative for mid-size renewable generators.

The TVA Renewable Standard Offer will encourage more renewable development within the region by allowing developers to enter into long-term price contracts with TVA. These new renewable projects may be capable of producing between 201 kilowatts and 20 megawatts of electricity. The Renewable Standard Offer Program was designed to accommodate projects that are too large for TVA’s Generation Partners program, which was developed for residential and small commercial customers that generate 200 kilowatts or less.

A number of states and utility companies purchase renewable power from developers, or excess power produced by customer renewable power systems, using a set price, or “standard offer” to encourage the growth of solar, wind and other forms of electricity that emit no pollution or greenhouse gases. «Read the rest of this article»

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Austin Peay State University cuts the ribbon on the Hemlock Semiconductor Building

 

Austin Peay State UniversityAustin Peay State University held a ribbon cutting for its new Chemical Engineering Technology Facility yesterday. The facility which has been designated the Hemlock Semiconductor Building will train Austin Peay Students to fill the skilled labor needs for the new Polysilicon plant being built in North Clarksville. The ribbon cutting was attended by area dignitaries along with HSC officials, and was open to the general public.

President Tim Hall and Hemlock Semiconductor CEO Rick Doornbros cut the ribbon while surrounded by area dignitaries along with other HSC officials (APSU)

President Tim Hall and Hemlock Semiconductor CEO Rick Doornbros cut the ribbon while surrounded by area dignitaries along with other HSC officials (APSU)

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