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NASA releases Television Coverage for August 21st Total Solar Eclipse

 

Written by Dwayne Brown
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – On Monday, August 21st, 2017,  all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the Sun, and NASA Television will carry it live from coast to coast from unique vantage points on the ground and from aircraft and spacecraft, including the International Space Station. Coverage will be featured during the live four-hour broadcast Eclipse Across America: Through the Eyes of NASA.

Programming begins at 11:00am CDT (noon EDT) with a preview show hosted from Charleston, South Carolina. The main show begins at 12:00pm CDT (1:00pm EDT) and will cover the path of totality the eclipse will take across the United States, from Oregon to South Carolina.

This illustration depicts a rare alignment of the Sun and Moon casting a shadow on Earth. (NASA)

This illustration depicts a rare alignment of the Sun and Moon casting a shadow on Earth. (NASA)

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft to start last five orbits around Saturn

 

Written by Felicia Chou
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft will enter new territory in its final mission phase, the Grand Finale, as it prepares to embark on a set of ultra-close passes through Saturn’s upper atmosphere with its final five orbits around the planet.

Cassini will make the first of these five passes over Saturn at 9:22pm PDT Sunday, August 13th (12:22am EDT Monday, August 14th). The spacecraft’s point of closest approach to Saturn during these passes will be between about 1,010 and 1,060 miles (1,630 and 1,710 kilometers) above Saturn’s cloud tops.

This artist's rendering shows Cassini as the spacecraft makes one of its final five dives through Saturn's upper atmosphere in August and September 2017. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s rendering shows Cassini as the spacecraft makes one of its final five dives through Saturn’s upper atmosphere in August and September 2017. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover landed on Mars Five Years ago

 

Written by Laurie Cantillo / Dwayne Brown
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover, which landed near Mount Sharp five years ago this week, is examining clues on that mountain about long-ago lakes on Mars.

On August 5th, 2012, the mission team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, exalted at radio confirmation and first images from Curiosity after the rover’s touchdown using a new “sky crane” landing method.

This self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 177th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Feb. 3, 2013), plus three exposures taken during Sol 270 (May 10, 2013) to update the appearance of part of the ground beside the rover. (NASA)

This self-portrait of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity combines dozens of exposures taken by the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 177th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity’s work on Mars (Feb. 3, 2013), plus three exposures taken during Sol 270 (May 10, 2013) to update the appearance of part of the ground beside the rover. (NASA)

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General Motors recalls over 2 million Vehicles due to Defective Ignition Switch

 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - NHTSAWashington, D.C. – General Motors has notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it is recalling vehicles because a defective ignition switch can affect the safe operation of airbag systems.

If the key is not in the run position, the air bags may not deploy if the vehicle is involved in a crash, increasing the risk of injury.

2011 Chevrolet HHR is one of the models being recalled.

2011 Chevrolet HHR is one of the models being recalled.

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NASA Planetary Protection Excites Space Fans of All Ages

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The recent announcement for a position that NASA has had since the 1960s – Planetary Protection Officer – has generated a lot of excitement in the public, as well as comparisons to many sci-fi movie heroes.

It also caught the attention of one self-proclaimed “Guardian of the Galaxy” — an inspired fourth grader from New Jersey who reached out to NASA in a letter to express his interest in serving as the agency’s Planetary Protection Officer. Nine-year-old Jack Davis is, in return, receiving a letter from NASA’s Planetary Science Director Jim Green. 

Letters exchanged between NASA and space enthusiast Jack Davis, a fourth-grade student in New Jersey. (NASA)

Letters exchanged between NASA and space enthusiast Jack Davis, a fourth-grade student in New Jersey. (NASA)

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Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan joins Mayors delegation in Washington D.C.

 

City leaders urge Senators to seek real solutions

City of Clarksville - Clarksville, TNClarksville, TN – Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan was part of a select delegation of U.S Conference of Mayors leaders who visited Washington this week to discuss a way forward on key national topics with local implications, including healthcare, infrastructure and tax reform.

The mayors, representing cities across America, emphasized bipartisanship and stressed to lawmakers that policies emerging from Congress should put people first and hopefully will include consultation with mayors and governors.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan and members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors met with Tennessee's U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander on Wedesday in Washington, D.C.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan and members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors met with Tennessee’s U.S. Sens. Bob Corker and Lamar Alexander on Wedesday in Washington, D.C.

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NASA’s Voyager Spacecrafts continue exploration after 40 Years

 

Written by Elizabeth Landau / Jia-Rui Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Humanity’s farthest and longest-lived spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, achieve 40 years of operation and exploration this August and September. Despite their vast distance, they continue to communicate with NASA daily, still probing the final frontier.

Their story has not only impacted generations of current and future scientists and engineers, but also Earth’s culture, including film, art and music. Each spacecraft carries a Golden Record of Earth sounds, pictures and messages. Since the spacecraft could last billions of years, these circular time capsules could one day be the only traces of human civilization.

An artist concept depicting one of the twin Voyager spacecraft. Humanity's farthest and longest-lived spacecraft are celebrating 40 years in August and September 2017. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An artist concept depicting one of the twin Voyager spacecraft. Humanity’s farthest and longest-lived spacecraft are celebrating 40 years in August and September 2017. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Eclipse Balloon Project to simulate life’s ability to survive beyond Earth

 

Written by Andrew Good
NASA’ Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Steps forward in the search for life beyond Earth can be as simple as sending a balloon into the sky. In one of the most unique and extensive eclipse observation campaigns ever attempted, NASA is collaborating with student teams across the U.S. to do just that.

A larger initiative, NASA’s Eclipse Balloon Project, led by Angela Des Jardins of Montana State University, is sending more than 50 high-altitude balloons launched by student teams across the U.S. to livestream aerial footage of the August 21st, 2017, total solar eclipse from the edge of space to NASA’s website.

This picture of Montana was taken from the stratosphere (84,000 feet or 25,000 meters) during one of Montana Space Grant Consortium's high-altitude balloon tests on April 19, 2014. (Montana State University)

This picture of Montana was taken from the stratosphere (84,000 feet or 25,000 meters) during one of Montana Space Grant Consortium’s high-altitude balloon tests on April 19, 2014. (Montana State University)

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NASA to use Asteroid Flyby to test Planetary Defense Network

 

Written by Laurie Cantillo / Dwayne Brown
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA scientists are excited about the upcoming close flyby of a small asteroid and plan to use its upcoming October close approach to Earth as an opportunity not only for science, but to test NASA’s network of observatories and scientists who work with planetary defense.

The target of all this attention is asteroid 2012 TC4 — a small asteroid estimated to be between 30 and 100 feet (10 and 30 meters) in size. On October 12th, TC4 will safely fly past Earth. Even though scientists cannot yet predict exactly how close it will approach, they are certain it will come no closer than 4,200 miles (6,800 kilometers) from the surface of Earth. The asteroid has been out of range of telescopes since 2012.

This animation depicts the safe flyby of asteroid 2012 TC4 as it passes under Earth on Oct. 12, 2017. While scientists cannot yet predict exactly how close it will approach, they are certain it will come no closer than 4,200 miles (6,800 kilometers) from Earth's surface. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This animation depicts the safe flyby of asteroid 2012 TC4 as it passes under Earth on Oct. 12, 2017. While scientists cannot yet predict exactly how close it will approach, they are certain it will come no closer than 4,200 miles (6,800 kilometers) from Earth’s surface. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA study reveals why Clouds sometimes produce a Drizzle

 

Written by Carol Rasmussen
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – A new NASA study shows that updrafts are more important than previously understood in determining what makes clouds produce drizzle instead of full-sized raindrops, overturning a common assumption.

The study offers a pathway for improving accuracy in weather and climate models’ treatments of rainfall — recognized as one of the greater challenges in improving short term weather forecasts and long-term climate projections.

The research by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California; UCLA; and the University of Tokyo found that low-lying clouds over the ocean produce more drizzle droplets than the same type of cloud over land. The results are published online in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society.

Drizzle over land. (Wikimedia Commons contributor GerritR, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Drizzle over land. (Wikimedia Commons contributor GerritR, CC BY-SA 4.0)

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