Posted: May 18th, 2013 | Author: Marcus Dangerfield | Filed under: NASA | Tags: Luna Impact, Meteoroid, Meteoroid Environment Office, NASA | No Comments »
A 45-kilogram/100Lb chunk of random space rock has slammed into the Moon at almost 100,000 kilometres per hour/62,000 miles per hour, creating a bright flash of light as it exploded with a force of 5 tonnes of dynamite, according to NASA.
An automated telescope run by NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office – MEO – captured the images of the March 17 explosion, the biggest seen since NASA began monitoring the Moon for meteoroid impacts 8 years ago.
MEO is the space agencies arm responsible for monitoring meteoroids, helping spacecraft avoid them and engineering craft that can withstand their impact. By measuring the impacts on the moon NASA gains a better understanding not only of the rate of impact, but of the affect impacts have, how to avoid them and how to engineer systems and craft to cope with a space filled with heavy, fast moving objects.
NASA says this latest flash was so bright that anyone looking at the Moon at the moment of impact would have seen it without a telescope :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 19th, 2013 | Author: Marcus Dangerfield | Filed under: Astronomy, NASA | Tags: Kepler, Kepler Orrery, Kepler-10c, Kepler-37 Kepler-48 - 60 Kepler-47 Kepler-36b & 36c Kepler-34b & 35b Kepler-22b Kepler-20b Kepler-18 Kepler-16b Kepler-11 Kepler-10b, NASA, NASA MISSION | No Comments »
Astronomers using a potent NASA space telescope to search for life say they have found planets which are the most Earth-like candidates yet. Two of the five planets orbiting a Sun-like star called Kepler-62 are squarely in the habitable zone – not too hot, not too cold, possibly bearing water – NASA scientists report in the journal Science :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: April 9th, 2013 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: NASA | Tags: Asteroid Capture, Barack Obama, DA14, Mars, NASA, Orion, Senator Bill Nelson, Space Exploration, US Space Program | No Comments »
That last bastion of US ingenuity, NASA will apparently launch a new space mission that intends to grab a small asteroid and tow it into orbit around the moon, as part of a long-range plan towards establishing permanent manned outposts in space.
US Senator Bill Nelson says to get the project off the ground, president Barack Obama will propose around $US100 million for the space agency in his 2014 budget, which he submits to Congress this week.
The proposed plan calls for a robotic-spacecraft to capture an asteroid and tow it back towards Earth, ultimately leaving it in a stable orbit around the moon.
Once there there could be mining activities, research into ways of deflecting an asteroid from striking Earth, and testing to develop technology for a trip to deep space and Mars, Senator Nelson said in his statement :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: March 12th, 2013 | Author: Diana Detaux | Filed under: NASA | Tags: Curiosity, Mars Science Laboratory, MSL, NASA | No Comments »
NASA scientists reckon rock samples from Mars have shown that the dusty red planet would once have been capable of supporting life. Analysis of Mars rocks by the Curiosity Rover uncovered the building blocks of life – hydrogen, carbon and oxygen – and evidence the planet could once have supported organisms, NASA said.
“A fundamental question for this mission is whether Mars could have supported a habitable environment,” Michael Meyer, lead scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program said. “From what we know now, the answer is yes.”
At a televised press conference, the NASA team said this was the first definitive proof a life-supporting environment had existed beyond Earth. Curiosity, a six-wheeled robot with 10 scientific instruments on board, is the most sophisticated vehicle ever sent to another planet.
The sample was drilled from sedimentary bedrock in an area which previous research had shown to be an ancient river system or lake bed. It was found to contain clay minerals, sulfate minerals and other chemicals :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: December 19th, 2012 | Author: Marcus Dangerfield | Filed under: NASA | Tags: Ebb and Flow, GRAIL, Luna Crash Site, MoonKam, NASA, Sally Ride | No Comments »
Two tiny NASA probes have crashed into the Moon after spending months gathering data by orbiting kilometres above the lunar surface, the US space agency said. The site where the probes crashed will be named after astronaut Sally Ride, the first US female in space. The two tiny probes have been dubbed Ebb and Flow :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: November 1st, 2012 | Author: Michael Courtenay | Filed under: NASA | Tags: AMES, CheMin, Curiosity, JPL, JPL-Caltech, Mars, Mars Rover, NASA, Planetary Science Institute, X-Ray | No Comments »
NASA’s superneat Mars rover Curiosity has found soil that bears a striking resemblance to volcanic sand in Hawaii. In the first study of the red planet’s soil, Curiosity determined the grains have crystals similar to basaltic soils found in volcanic regions on Earth.
The rover uses an X-ray imager to reveal the atomic structures of crystals in the Martian soil, the first time the technology – x-ray diffraction – has been used to analyse soil beyond our planet.
“The mineralogy of Mars’s soil has been a source of conjecture until now,” Curiosity scientist David Vaniman said, from the Planetary Science Institute.”This interest isn’t just academic,” he added. “Soils on planets’ surfaces are a reflection of surface exposure processes and history, with information on present and past climates.”
The minerals were identified in the first sample of Martian soil ingested recently by the rover. Curiosity used its Chemistry and Mineralogy instrument – CheMin – to obtain the results, which are filling gaps and adding confidence to earlier estimates of the mineralogical makeup of the dust and fine soil widespread on the Red Planet.
NASA plan to use the information about Mars’s minerals to figure out if the planet most like Earth in the solar system could have supported and preserved microbial life :: Read the full article »»»»
Posted: May 25th, 2012 | Author: M.Aaron Silverman | Filed under: DARPA, NASA, STANDOUT | Tags: 100 Year Starship, 100YSS, DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Gene Roddenberry, NASA, Transfictontrek | No Comments »
That US behemoth, DARPA – Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency aka the Department of Everything – has teamed up with that other US giant, the fiscally challenged NASA to create a program that would see interstellar travel within the next 100 years. The duo have awarded $US500,00 in seed funding to the Dorothy Jemison Foundation to form the aptly named 100 Year Starship - 100YSS – program.
The initiative will call on expert opinion from a wide range of disciplines, engineers, scientists and artists will contribute to a single shared vision, to develop the capability for mankind to achieve interstellar flight within the next 100 years.
A public symposium will be held this year, in Houston, Texas from September 14 to 16. In what will become an annual event. Has the real world finally caught up with the strangely accurate transfictontrek world of Gene Roddenberry? :: Read the full article »»»»