Topic: Madrid Spain
Pasadena, CA – On October 29th, 2020 mission operators sent a series of commands to NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft for the first time since mid-March. The spacecraft has been flying solo while the 70-meter-wide (230-foot-wide) radio antenna used to talk to it has been offline for repairs and upgrades. Voyager 2 returned a signal confirming it had received the “call” and executed the commands without issue.
The call to Voyager 2 was a test of new hardware recently installed on Deep Space Station 43, the only dish in the world that can send commands to Voyager 2.
Austin Peay State University (APSU)
Clarksville, TN – Smartphone photos are fine for most tourists, but when Austin Peay State University (APSU) student Amir Elraheb first experienced the splendor of Madrid, Spain, he pulled out his watercolors to truly capture the city.
“It’s sort of like a photograph, but when you are painting you have to pay attention to the details of whatever you’re looking at so much harder, so scenes are engrained in my head,” Elraheb, an Austin Peay State University foreign language major, said.
Clarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University recently entered into a formal exchange agreement with the University of Burgos, Spain, ranked as one of the top institutions of its size among Spanish universities.
Located in Burgos, capital city of the province of the same name and located halfway between Madrid and the French Border, the University of Burgos boasts an enrollment of around 10,000 students, with over 30 different undergraduate degree programs and over 20 PhD programs, as well as several master’s and graduate-level courses.
Written by Andrew Good
Pasadena, CA – As NASA’s twin Voyager spacecraft were changing our understanding of the solar system, they also spurred a leap in spacecraft communications.
The mission’s impact is still visible in California’s Mojave Desert. There, at NASA’s Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex, the arcs of antenna dishes peek out over craggy hilltops. Goldstone was the first place where the two Voyagers started to change the landscape. The farther they traveled, the bigger these dishes needed to be so they could send and receive radio waves necessary to track and communicate with the probes.
Written by Elizabeth Landau
Pasadena, CA – The day was officially a bit longer than usual on Tuesday, June 30th, 2015, because an extra second, or “leap” second, was added.
“Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing down a bit, so leap seconds are a way to account for that,” said Daniel MacMillan of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Strictly speaking, a day lasts 86,400 seconds. That is the case, according to the time standard that people use in their daily lives – Coordinated Universal Time, or UTC. UTC is “atomic time” – the duration of one second is based on extremely predictable electromagnetic transitions in atoms of cesium. These transitions are so reliable that the cesium clock is accurate to one second in 1,400,000 years.
Written by David Israel
Pasadena, CA – NASA’s Deep Space Network, the world’s largest and most powerful communications system for “talking to” spacecraft, will reach a milestone on December 24th: the 50th anniversary of its official creation.
Over the past 50 years, antennas of the Deep Space Network (DSN) have communicated with just about every mission that has gone to the moon or beyond. The historic communiqués include “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind”; numerous encounters with the outer planets of our solar system; images taken by rovers exploring Mars; and the data confirming that NASA’s Voyager spacecraft had finally entered interstellar space.
Written by Guy Webster
Vienna, Austria – Mars has lost much of its original atmosphere, but what’s left remains quite active, recent findings from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity indicate. Rover team members reported diverse findings today at the European Geosciences Union 2013 General Assembly, in Vienna.
Evidence has strengthened this month that Mars lost much of its original atmosphere by a process of gas escaping from the top of the atmosphere.
Written by Whitney Clavin
Pasadena, CA – The Herschel space observatory is expected to exhaust its supply of liquid helium coolant in the coming weeks, after spending more than three years studying the cool universe and surpassing the expectations of the international team of scientists involved.
Herschel is a European Space Agency (ESA) mission with important participation from NASA. The telescope was launched on May 14th, 2009. With a main mirror 11.5 feet (3.5 meters) across, it is the largest, most powerful infrared telescope ever flown in space.
NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) helps scientists measure the spin rate of a Black Hole
Written by Whitney Clavin
Pasadena, CA – Two X-ray space observatories, NASA’s Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) and the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton, have teamed up to measure definitively, for the first time, the spin rate of a black hole with a mass 2 million times that of our sun.
The supermassive black hole lies at the dust- and gas-filled heart of a galaxy called NGC 1365, and it is spinning almost as fast as Einstein’s theory of gravity will allow. The findings, which appear in a new study in the journal Nature, resolve a long-standing debate about similar measurements in other black holes and will lead to a better understanding of how black holes and galaxies evolve.
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