Pasadena, CA – After nearly 2 1/2 years in orbit, a shoebox-size weather satellite phoned home one last time before plunging into Earth’s atmosphere and burning up on December 24th, 2020. RainCube (Radar in a CubeSat) was a technology demonstration meant to show that shrinking a weather radar into a low-cost, miniature satellite called a CubeSat could provide science-quality data.
RainCube was deployed on July 13th, 2018, from the International Space Station and had a primary mission of three months.
Clarksville, TN – On a sunny but chilly January afternoon, Austin Peay State University (APSU) physics students sent a high-altitude balloon 93,000 feet into the stratosphere.
The balloon carried an important student experiment, but the payload also included two special guests: two containers that contained Cascade hops.
Pasadena, CA – NASA says that once the state-of-the-art Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite launches in November, it will collect the most accurate data yet on sea level – a key indicator of how Earth’s warming climate is affecting the oceans, weather and coastlines.
But first, engineers need to ensure that the spacecraft can survive the rigors of launch and of operating in the harsh environment of space. That’s where meticulous testing comes in.
At the end of May, engineers finished putting the spacecraft – which is being built in Germany – through a battery of tests that began in November 2019.
Pasadena, CA – A historic moment, when a female astronaut first sets foot on the Moon in 2024 will represent a step toward another NASA first: eventually putting humans on Mars. NASA’s latest robotic mission to the Red Planet, Mars 2020, aims to help future astronauts brave that inhospitable landscape.
When a female astronaut first sets foot on the Moon in 2024, the historic moment will represent a step toward another NASA first: eventually putting humans on Mars. NASA’s latest robotic mission to the Red Planet, Mars 2020, aims to help future astronauts brave that inhospitable landscape.
NASA Langley Research Center
Hampton, VA – Chill out. That’s the current message from the Sun to Earth’s upper atmosphere says NASA.
To be more precise, as the Sun settles into a cyclical, natural lull in activity, the upper atmosphere, or thermosphere — far above our own climate system — is responding in kind by cooling and contracting.
Could that have implications for folks down here on the surface? Absolutely not. Unless, that is, you’re someone with a vested interest in tracking an orbiting satellite or space debris.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, CA – Scientists with NASA/Caltech’s Advanced Rapid Imaging and Analysis project (ARIA) used new satellite data to produce a map of ground deformation on the resort island of Lombok, Indonesia, following a deadly 6.9-magnitude earthquake on August 5th, 2018.
The false-color map shows the amount of permanent surface movement that occurred, almost entirely due to the quake, over a 6-day period between satellite images taken on July 30th and August 5th.
Written by Maria-José Viñas
Washington, D.C. – Sea ice in the Arctic grew to its annual maximum extent last week, and joined 2015, 2016 and 2017 as the four lowest maximum extents on record, according to scientists at the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA.
On March 17th, the Arctic sea ice cover peaked at 5.59 million square miles (14.48 million square kilometers), making it the second lowest maximum on record, at about 23,200 square miles (60,000 square kilometers) larger than the record low maximum reached on March 7th, 2017.
Written by Kasha Patel
Greenbelt, MD – For the first time, scientists can look at landslide threats anywhere around the world in near real-time, thanks to satellite data and a new model developed by NASA.
The model, developed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, estimates potential landslide activity triggered by rainfall. Rainfall is the most widespread trigger of landslides around the world. If conditions beneath Earth’s surface are already unstable, heavy rains act as the last straw that causes mud, rocks or debris — or all combined — to move rapidly down mountains and hillsides.
Written by Lina Tran
Greenbelt, MD – The more solar observatories, the merrier: Scientists have developed new models to see how shocks associated with coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, propagate from the Sun — an effort made possible only by combining data from three NASA satellites to produce a much more robust mapping of a CME than any one could do alone.
Much the way ships form bow waves as they move through water, CMEs set off interplanetary shocks when they erupt from the Sun at extreme speeds, propelling a wave of high-energy particles. These particles can spark space weather events around Earth, endangering spacecraft and astronauts.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, CA – NASA’s satellite instruments are often the first to detect wildfires burning in remote regions, and the locations of new fires are sent directly to land managers worldwide within hours of the satellite overpass.
Together, NASA instruments, including a number built and managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, detect actively burning fires, track the transport of smoke from fires, provide information for fire management, and map the extent of changes to ecosystems, based on the extent and severity of burn scars.
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