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NASA examines Fluids in Space on International Space Station

 

Written by Jenny Howard
NASA’s Johnson Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – Watching a bubble float effortlessly through the International Space Station may be mesmerizing and beautiful to witness, but that same bubble is also teaching researchers about how fluids behave differently in microgravity than they do on Earth.

The near-weightless conditions aboard the station allow researchers to observe and control a wide variety of fluids in ways that are not possible on Earth, primarily due to surface tension dynamics and the lack of buoyancy and sedimentation within fluids in the low-gravity environment.

NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg watches a water bubble float freely between her and the camera, showing her image refracted in the droplet. (NASA)

NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg watches a water bubble float freely between her and the camera, showing her image refracted in the droplet. (NASA)

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NASA reports Genes in Space-3 identifies Microbes aboard International Space Station

 

Written by Jenny Howard
NASA’s Johnson Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – Being able to identify microbes in real time aboard the International Space Station, without having to send them back to Earth for identification first, would be revolutionary for the world of microbiology and space exploration. The Genes in Space-3 team turned that possibility into a reality this year, when it completed the first-ever sample-to-sequence process entirely aboard the space station.

The ability to identify microbes in space could aid in the ability to diagnose and treat astronaut ailments in real time, as well as assisting in the identification of DNA-based life on other planets. It could also benefit other experiments aboard the orbiting laboratory.

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson performed the Genes in Space-3 investigation aboard the space station using the miniPCR and MinION, developed for previously flown investigations. (NASA)

NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson performed the Genes in Space-3 investigation aboard the space station using the miniPCR and MinION, developed for previously flown investigations. (NASA)

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NASA reports Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft set to Deliver Supplies to International Space Station, Saturday

 

Written by Jenny Howard
International Space Station Program Science Office
NASA’s Johnson Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – Orbital ATK will launch its Cygnus spacecraft into orbit to the International Space Station, targeted for November 11th, 2017, from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Cygnus will launch on an Antares rocket carrying crew supplies, equipment and scientific research to crew members aboard the station.

The spacecraft, named the S.S. Gene Cernan after former NASA astronaut Eugene “Gene” Cernan, who is the last person to have walked on the moon, will deliver scientific investigations including those that will study communication and navigation, microbiology, animal biology and plant biology.

Orbital ATK will launch its Cygnus spacecraft, named the S.S. Gene Cernan, into orbit to bring crew, supplies and equipment to the International Space Station on November 11th. (NASA)

Orbital ATK will launch its Cygnus spacecraft, named the S.S. Gene Cernan, into orbit to bring crew, supplies and equipment to the International Space Station on November 11th. (NASA)

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NASA reports International Space Station’s microgravity environment used to Help Fight Cancer

 

Written by Jenny Howard
International Space Station Program Science Office
NASA’s Johnson Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – On Earth, research into antibody-drug conjugates to treat cancer has been around a while. The research presents a problem, though, because Earth-based laboratories aren’t able to mimic the shape of the cancer cell within the body, which can sometimes produce incorrect findings.

The International Space Station’s unique microgravity environment allows scientists to approach the research from a new, 3-D angle.

International Space Station (ISS). (NASA)

International Space Station (ISS). (NASA)

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