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AAA says Nearly 47 Million Americans will set New Independence Day Holiday Travel Record

 

AAA

AAAOrlando, FL – A record-breaking 46.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home this Independence Day holiday, an increase of more than 5 percent compared with last year and the highest number since AAA started tracking 18 years ago.

For the 39.7 million Americans planning a Fourth of July road trip, INRIX, a global transportation analytics company, predicts travel times in the most congested cities in the U.S. could be twice as long than the normal trip, with Tuesday being the busiest day.

INRIX predicts travel times during the holiday week will double compared to normal trips. (AAA)

INRIX predicts travel times during the holiday week will double compared to normal trips. (AAA)

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NASA looks to Partner with U.S. Industry to develop high power Electric Propulsion Spacecraft

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – As part of the agency’s Exploration Campaign, NASA’s Gateway will become the orbital outpost for robotic and human exploration operations in deep space. Built with commercial and international partners, the Gateway will support exploration on and near the Moon, and beyond, including Mars.

NASA released a draft solicitation through a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) June 21st, 2018, for proposals for partnership for the first element of the Gateway. NASA is seeking a high-power, 50-kW solar electric propulsion (SEP) spacecraft to maintain the Gateway’s position as well as move it between lunar orbits as needed.

NASA is seeking a high-power, 50-kW solar electric propulsion (SEP) spacecraft to maintain the Gateway’s position. (NASA)

NASA is seeking a high-power, 50-kW solar electric propulsion (SEP) spacecraft to maintain the Gateway’s position. (NASA)

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NASA’s ECOSTRESS instrument on International Space Station to study Plant Water usage

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Doctors learn a lot about their patients’ health by taking their temperature. An elevated temperature, or fever, can be a sign of illness. The same goes for plants, but their temperatures on a global scale are harder to measure than the temperatures of individual people.

That’s about to change, thanks to a new NASA instrument that soon will be installed on the International Space Station called ECOSTRESS, or ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station. ECOSTRESS will measure the temperature of plants from space. This will enable researchers to determine plant water use and to study how drought conditions affect plant health.

ECOSTRESS will measure the temperature of plants from space. Scientists will be able to use that temperature data to better understand how much water plants need and how they respond to water shortages. (USDA)

ECOSTRESS will measure the temperature of plants from space. Scientists will be able to use that temperature data to better understand how much water plants need and how they respond to water shortages. (USDA)

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NASA researchers construct 3D View of Amazon Forests to study El Niño Drought effects

 

Written by Ellen Gray
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Three-dimensional measurements of the central Brazilian Amazon rainforest have given NASA researchers a detailed window into the high number of branch falls and tree mortality that occur in response to drought conditions.

They found that 65 percent more trees and large branches died due to an El Niño-driven drought in 2015-2016 than compared to an average year. Understanding the effects of prolonged drought gives scientists a better sense of what may happen to carbon stored in tropical forests if these events become more common in the future.

The research team lays out a transect tape along which they measured the amount and location of woody debris on the forest floor, Tapajós National Forest, Brazil. (NASA/Veronika Leitold)

The research team lays out a transect tape along which they measured the amount and location of woody debris on the forest floor, Tapajós National Forest, Brazil. (NASA/Veronika Leitold)

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AAA says Paying at the Pump is Taking Up More of Motorists’ Paychecks

 

AAA

AAAWashington, D.C. – Consumers are spending $69 more a month to fill-up compared to last summer. According to AAA, gasoline expenses are accounting, on average, for seven percent of an American’s 2018 annual income, a one and half percent increase since summer of 2017.

With strong summer consumer gasoline demand expected in the months ahead, AAA says motorists can expect little relief at the pump with the national gas price average ranging between $2.85 – $3.05 through Labor Day.

As vacationers hit the road, they will find a quarter (25 percent) of all gas stations across the country are selling gas for more than $3.00/gallon. (AAA)

As vacationers hit the road, they will find a quarter (25 percent) of all gas stations across the country are selling gas for more than $3.00/gallon. (AAA)

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50 years of Currahee Brotherhood, Together Then, Together Now

 

Written by Staff Sgt. Paige Behringer
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division Public Affairs

U.S. ArmyFort Drum, NY – For 243 years the U.S. Army has been fostering brotherhood among its ranks.

Born of the Army, the “Currahee Brothers” forged lifelong bonds in bloody combat during the Vietnam War, and continue reuniting half a century later.

They may appear as simply a group of old veterans congregating in a hotel lobby somewhere outside of Washington, D.C., laughing, joking and telling stories. Instead of celebrating a day of birth, this brotherhood assembles to observe a solemn anniversary.

Their name comes from 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, which reactivated in 1967 as a “stand alone” task force to increase American presence in Vietnam.

The “Currahee Brothers” from 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, pose for a group photo during their visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Feb. 19, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Veterans of the battalion visit the memorial annually in remembrance of 8 soldiers lost in an ambush on Feb. 19, 1968. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that battle. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Paige Behringer)

The “Currahee Brothers” from 3rd Battalion, 506th Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, pose for a group photo during their visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Feb. 19, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Veterans of the battalion visit the memorial annually in remembrance of 8 soldiers lost in an ambush on Feb. 19, 1968. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that battle. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Paige Behringer)

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NASA reports Astronomers observe Supermassive Black Hole devour a Star

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – For the first time, astronomers have directly imaged the formation and expansion of a fast-moving jet of material ejected when the powerful gravity of a supermassive black hole ripped apart a star that wandered too close to the massive monster.

The scientists tracked the event with radio and infrared telescopes, including the National Science Foundation’s Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) and NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, in a pair of colliding galaxies called Arp 299.

An artist's concept of a tidal disruption event (TDE) that happens when a star passes fatally close to a supermassive black hole, which reacts by launching a relativistic jet. (Sophia Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF)

An artist’s concept of a tidal disruption event (TDE) that happens when a star passes fatally close to a supermassive black hole, which reacts by launching a relativistic jet. (Sophia Dagnello, NRAO/AUI/NSF)

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NASA studies Thickest Dust Storm ever seen on Mars

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – One of the thickest dust storms ever observed on Mars has been spreading for the past week and a half. The storm has caused NASA’s Opportunity rover to suspend science operations, but also offers a window for four other spacecraft to learn from the swirling dust.

NASA has three orbiters circling the Red Planet, each equipped with special cameras and other atmospheric instruments. Additionally, NASA’s Curiosity rover has begun to see an increase in dust at its location in Gale Crater.

This set of images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a fierce dust storm is kicking up on Mars, with rovers on the surface indicated as icons. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This set of images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a fierce dust storm is kicking up on Mars, with rovers on the surface indicated as icons. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA Flies Large Unmanned Aircraft in Public Airspace Without Chase Plane for First Time

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s remotely-piloted Ikhana aircraft, based at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, successfully flew its first mission in the National Airspace System without a safety chase aircraft on Tuesday. This historic flight moves the United States one step closer to normalizing unmanned aircraft operations in the airspace used by commercial and private pilots.

Flying these large remotely-piloted aircraft over the United States opens the doors to all types of services, from monitoring and fighting forest fires, to providing new emergency search and rescue operations. The technology in this aircraft could, at some point, be scaled down for use in other general aviation aircraft.

NASA’s remotely-piloted Ikhana aircraft, based at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, is flown in preparation for its first mission in public airspace without a safety chase aircraft. (NASA/Carla Thomas)

NASA’s remotely-piloted Ikhana aircraft, based at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, is flown in preparation for its first mission in public airspace without a safety chase aircraft. (NASA/Carla Thomas)

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NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory studies Alpha Centauri system for planets that can support life

 

NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – In humanity’s search for life outside our Solar System, one of the best places scientists have considered is Alpha Centauri, a system containing the three nearest stars beyond our Sun.

A new study that has involved monitoring of Alpha Centauri for more than a decade by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory provides encouraging news about one key aspect of planetary habitability. It indicates that any planets orbiting the two brightest stars in the Alpha Cen system are likely not being pummeled by large amounts of X-ray radiation from their host stars.

A new study involving long-term monitoring of Alpha Centauri by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory indicates that any planets orbiting the two brightest stars are likely not being pummeled by large amounts of X-ray radiation from their host stars. This is important for the viability of life in the nearest star system outside the Solar System. (Optical: Zdenek Bardon; X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Colorado/T. Ayres et al.)

A new study involving long-term monitoring of Alpha Centauri by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory indicates that any planets orbiting the two brightest stars are likely not being pummeled by large amounts of X-ray radiation from their host stars. This is important for the viability of life in the nearest star system outside the Solar System. (Optical: Zdenek Bardon; X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Colorado/T. Ayres et al.)

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