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Keyword: jpl

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  • JPL Predicts Mars’ Global Dust Storm To Arrive Within Weeks

    10/06/2016 1:10:36 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 14 replies ^ | 10/06/2016 | Evan Gough
    The storm is expected to envelop the red planet, and reduce the amount of solar energy available to NASA’s rovers, Opportunity and Curiosity. The storm will also make it harder for orbiters to do their work. Dust storms are really the only type of weather that Mars experiences. They’re very common. Usually, they’re only local phenomena, but sometimes they can grow to effect an entire region. In rarer cases, they can envelop the entire globe. ... Predicting these huge dust storms will be of prime importance when humans gain a foothold on Mars. The dust could wreak havoc on sensitive...
  • "Where Did All of Mars' Carbon Go?" --JPL and Caltech

    11/25/2015 7:24:14 PM PST · by lbryce · 19 replies
    Galaxy Today ^ | November 24, 2015 | Staff
    Caltech and JPL scientists suggest the fingerprints of early photochemistry provide a solution to the long-standing mystery. Mars is blanketed by a thin, mostly carbon dioxide atmosphere—one that is far too thin to prevent large amounts of water on the surface of the planet from subliming or evaporating. But many researchers have suggested that the planet was once shrouded in an atmosphere many times thicker than Earth's. For decades that left the question, "Where did all the carbon go?" Now a team of scientists from Caltech and JPL thinks they have a possible answer. The researchers suggest that 3.8 billion...
  • Is Earth Growing a Hairy Dark Matter 'Beard'?

    11/23/2015 4:24:17 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 37 replies ^ | Nov 23, 2015 03:48 PM ET // by | Ian O'Neill
    Gary Prezeau of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., describes the results of his theoretical model that goes some way to explain how streams of dark matter particles may interact with our planet's gravitational field. "A (dark matter) stream can be much larger than the solar system itself, and there are many different streams crisscrossing our galactic neighborhood," said Prézeau in a JPL press release. "When gravity interacts with the cold dark matter gas during galaxy formation, all particles within a stream continue traveling at the same velocity." As these streams begin to interact with a planet, according to...
  • JPL and Its Spacecraft Exploratory Missions

    08/06/2015 7:11:28 AM PDT · by Sean_Anthony · 2 replies
    Canada Free Press ^ | 08/06/15 | Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh
    Once you visit the Space Flight Operations Facility, "I've been to the center of the Universe." On a recent trip to California, I was constantly reminded of what is wrong with California, a state whose economy was so booming decades ago that, had it been a stand-alone state, it would have been the world’s sixth largest economy. Looking at this state now, ravaged by years and years of Marxist policies, open borders, unchecked illegal immigration, anchor babies, multiculturalism, insane diversity rules, sanctuary cities, multi-lingual school system, illegal voting, tax everything and tax again, and environmentalist-driven water use plans including but...
  • Indian and Pacific Oceans Have Been 'Hiding' Global Warming

    07/10/2015 2:24:44 AM PDT · by Up Yours Marxists · 28 replies
    The New Indian Express ^ | July 10, 2015 08:10 UTC | PTI
    WASHINGTON: Extra heat from greenhouse gases has been trapped in the waters of the Pacific and Indian oceans in recent years, which may explain the so-called 'pause' in global warming observed during the past decade, according to a new NASA study. Researchers from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California, found a specific layer of the Indian and Pacific oceans between 100 and 300 metres below the surface has been accumulating more heat than previously recognised. During the 20th century, as greenhouse gas concentrations increased and trapped more heat energy on Earth, global surface temperatures also increased. However, in the 21st...
  • New NASA data show how the world is running out of water

    06/16/2015 12:50:40 PM PDT · by redreno · 83 replies ^ | June 16 at 2:01 PM | By Todd C. Frankel
    Drought-stricken California is not the only place draining underground aquifers in the hunt for fresh water. It’s happening across the world, according to two new studies by U.S. researchers released Tuesday. Twenty-one of the world’s 37 largest aquifers – in locations from India and China to the United States and France -- have passed their sustainability tipping points, meaning more water is being removed than replaced from these vital underground reservoirs. Thirteen of 37 aquifers fell at rates that put them into the most troubled category. “The situation is quite critical,” said Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA’s Jet...
  • Curiosity Has Hit a Martian Mineral Jackpot

    04/02/2015 12:08:37 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 33 replies ^ | Ian O'Neill
    Currently studying the “Pahrump Hills” region at the base of Mount Sharp in the center of Gale Crater, this new view snapped by Curiosity on March 18 shows a work site Curiosity’s mission scientists call “Garden City.” This area is interesting as it shows two-tone mineral veins protruding from the surrounding rock. The tough mineral veins were formed in Mars’ ancient wet past and they are sticking out of the rock up to 6 centimeters (2.5 inches) high. This means that the veins formed within the rock and the softer surrounding bedrock has since eroded away. When comparing the geology...
  • JPL Discusses Death Of Renowned Scientist In Van Nuys Plane Crash

    01/10/2015 7:22:59 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 29 replies ^ | January 10, 2015 6:56 PM | Cristy Farjardo
    killed Friday when his small plane went down in Van Nuys are discussing his contributions to JPL and NASA. Alberto Enrique Behar, 47, crashed into the busy intersection of Hayvenhurst Avenue and Vanowen Street in Lake Balboa. He was the sole occupant of the experimental single-engine Lancair plane, which he used to commute from his home in Scottsdale, Ariz., to this job in Pasadena, according to a friend. The friend described Behar as a husband, father of three, and renowned scientist.
  • NASA/JPL's Airship Challenge (A NASA Centennial Challenges Program)

    11/25/2014 12:15:34 PM PST · by Jack Hydrazine · 11 replies
    NASA/JPL ^ | 25NOV2014 | JPL Staff Writer
    Airships aren't just powered balloon-like vehicles that hover above sporting events. Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are floating the idea that airships have potential for important scientific and commercial uses. NASA is considering issuing a challenge for developing stratospheric airships that can break records in terms of duration of flight at high altitudes. The agency has issued a request for information for this contemplated "20-20-20 Airship Challenge." Submissions will be accepted until December 1. "We are seeking to take astronomy and Earth science to new heights by enabling a long-duration, suborbital platform for these kinds of...
  • JPL: Don’t Expect Drought Relief From El Niño

    09/22/2014 7:54:59 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 25 replies ^ | September 22, 2014 4:41 PM
    PASADENA ( — The anticipated blockbuster return of El Niño is looking more like it will be a flop, a climatologist said Monday. Scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory say that unless developing weak-to-modest El Niño conditions strengthen, California will continue to stay bone dry. El Niño describes a weather pattern involving a warming of equatorial waters in the eastern Pacific Ocean, a condition that is associated with increased rainfall on the west coast of North America. El Niño conditions in 1997 and 1998 doubled rainfall up and down California, Patzert said. “Those very strong El Niños happen every 30...
  • Half The World Doesn't Know About The Holocaust

    05/20/2014 5:49:01 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 22 replies
  • Surprise! Earth Passing Asteroid 1998 QE2 Has a Moon

    05/30/2013 2:51:12 PM PDT · by BenLurkin · 27 replies
    UniverseToday ^ | May 30, 2013 | Nancy Atkinson on
    Late yesterday, NASA turned the 230-foot (70-meter) Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California towards Asteroid 1998 QE2 as it was heading towards its closest approach to Earth, and they got a big surprise: the asteroid is a binary system. 1998 QE2 itself is 1.7 miles (2.7 kilometers) in diameter, and the newly found orbiting moon is about 600 meters in diameter. The radar images were taken were taken on May 29, 2013, when the asteroid was about 3.75 million miles (6 million kilometers) from Earth. “Radar really helps to pin down the orbit of an asteroid as well as...
  • Statoil and NASA finalize research agreement (Oil in space?)

    11/22/2013 8:14:48 PM PST · by Eurotwit · 10 replies
    Yahoo finance ^ | Fri, Nov 22, 2013, | Yahoo finance
    HOUSTON, Nov. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Statoil and NASA have formed an agreement to explore a wide range of technologies to assist Statoil in the search for oil and gas exploration and production efforts, which are increasingly moving into frontier regions. The contract with NASA is effectuated at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at Pasadena, California, which is managed by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Statoil has a solid track record of being an innovative energy company and are always looking for safer, more cost effective and smarter solutions. Collaborating with world leading institutions, working across disciplines, has led to...
  • Curiosity Rover Views Phobos Passing in Front of Deimos (Video)

    08/17/2013 12:47:00 PM PDT · by lbryce · 15 replies
    Science Daily ^ | Auggust 16, 2013 | Staff
    Direct Link To VideoYouTube:Curiosity Rover Views Phobos Passing in Front of DeimosThis sped-up movie from the Curiosity rover shows Phobos (the larger of Mars’ two moons) passing in front of smaller Deimos. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Malin Space Science Systems/Texas A&M Univ. Pasadena, California — The larger of the two moons of Mars, Phobos, passes directly in front of the other, Deimos, in a new series of sky-watching images from NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity. Large craters on Phobos are clearly visible in these images from the surface of Mars. No previous images from missions on the surface caught one moon eclipsing the other....
  • JPL to save $400,000 by canceling this year's open house

    04/30/2013 5:21:44 PM PDT · by kingu · 10 replies
    LA Times ^ | April 23, 2013, 1:11 p.m. | BY TIFFANY KELLY AND JASON WELLS
    Bracing for “significant impacts” to funding for public outreach programs next year, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory decided to cancel its hugely popular open house in June. The cost savings? Roughly $400,000 for the two-day event. The figure is a comparatively slim sum for an agency that deals with budgets into the billions, but comes as NASA faces pressure to cut costs where it can amid the across-the-board federal spending reductions known as sequestration. It was that downward pressure that JPL cited when it announced last week that the open house scheduled for June 8 and 9 would be canceled to...
  • Curiosity Wins National Air and Space Museum Trophy

    04/25/2013 8:52:50 PM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 4 replies
    NASA ^ | Thursday, April 25, 2013 | Smithsonian Air & Space
    The team in charge of successfully landing NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., received the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's highest group honor at a dinner in Washington on Wednesday night, April 24. The 2013 Trophy for Current Achievement honors outstanding achievements in the fields of aerospace science and technology. The Mars Science Laboratory Project built and operates the rover Curiosity, which has been investigating past and current environments in Gale Crater on the Red Planet since its dramatic sky-crane landing in August 2012. The rover has 10 science instruments to investigate whether...
  • Titanic Volcano Eruption Seen On IO

    11/14/2002 3:34:00 PM PST · by blam · 12 replies · 299+ views
    New Scientist ^ | 11-14-2002 | Will Knight
    Titanic volcanic eruption seen on Io 14:50 14 November 02 Successive views show the dramatic eruption on Io (Image: Franck Marchis/UC Berkeley) A titanic volcanic eruption has been spotted on the surface of Jupiter's volatile moon Io using a telescope back on Earth. Astronomers believe it to be the most powerful eruption ever witnessed in the entire Solar System. The volcano spewed lava kilometres into the sky during its most explosive period, say the researchers. The consequent lava flow is thought to have spread many hundreds of square kilometres across the surface of Io. "It is clear that this eruption...
  • NASA JPL Twitter Account Hijacked, Anti-Romney Messages Posted

    10/19/2012 10:47:28 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 6 replies
    Softpedia ^ | October 19th, 2012, 09:33 GMT | By Eduard Kovacs BLOG
    A hacker or an “angry” employee has overtaken the official NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Twitter account to re-tweet rants against US Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. “@NASAJPL Why are you re-tweeing anti-Romney Tweets?” a Twitter user wrote in response. Shortly after, the culprit started to delete the tweets, but at that point, Twitter was already buzzing because NASA was apparently getting very involved in politics. “Items retweeted this evening were not intended nor approved for this account. They do not in any way represent the views of NASAJPL,” NASA JPL representatives wrote after regaining the account. They haven’t revealed if...
  • First full HD video of Curiosity descent.

    08/23/2012 1:36:34 PM PDT · by servo1969 · 16 replies ^ | 8-23-2012 | JPL/NASA
  • “Curiosity" Safely on Mars!

    08/05/2012 10:40:16 PM PDT · by BwanaNdege · 95 replies
    Odyssey has safely landed on Mars and is transmitting photos.
  • Mars Rover Curiosity Lands successfully!! LIVE THREAD

    08/05/2012 11:04:03 AM PDT · by hattend · 631 replies
    Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) ^ | 5 Aug 2012 | JPL
    Landing at 10:30PM Pacific...yes, this is early so all the aviation, space, astronomy and science pingers can "get 'er done".
  • Chinese hackers took over NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, Inspector General reveals

    03/01/2012 3:05:47 PM PST · by Doogle · 23 replies · 4+ views
    FOX ^ | 03/01/12 | FOXNEWS
    Chinese hackers gained control over NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in November, which could have allowed them delete sensitive files, add user accounts to mission-critical systems, upload hacking tools, and more -- all at a central repository of U.S. space technology, according to a report released Wednesday afternoon by the Office of the Inspector General. That report revealed scant details of an ongoing investigation into the incident against the Pasadena, Calif., lab, noting only that cyberattacks against the JPL involved Chinese-based Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Paul K. Martin, NASA’s inspector general, put his conclusions bluntly. “The attackers had full functional...
  • Interstellar Voyage Continues With New Project Manager

    11/04/2010 1:20:46 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 12 replies
    Space ^ | 10/30/2010 | Staff Writers
    As NASA's two Voyager spacecraft hurtle towards the edge of our solar system, a new project manager will shepherd the spacecraft into this unexplored territory: Suzanne Dodd, whose first job at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., involved sequencing science and engineering commands for Voyager 1 and 2 in 1984. "I'm thrilled to re-join a pioneering mission that set up adventures for so many other spacecraft to follow," Dodd said. "There will be more firsts to come as we gather unique data once the spacecraft reach interstellar space. There isn't a single mission currently on the books that will...
  • Voyager 2 At 12,000 Days

    06/28/2010 11:11:23 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 42 replies
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory ^ | 6/28/2010 | Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    NASA's plucky Voyager 2 spacecraft has hit a long-haul operations milestone - operating continuously for 12,000 days. For nearly 33 years, the venerable spacecraft has been returning data about the giant outer planets, and the characteristics and interaction of solar wind between and beyond the planets. Among its many findings, Voyager 2 discovered Neptune's Great Dark Spot and its 450-meter-per-second (1,000-mph) winds. The two Voyager spacecraft have been the longest continuously operating spacecraft in deep space. Voyager 2 launched on August 20, 1977, when Jimmy Carter was president. Voyager 1 launched about two weeks later on Sept. 5. The two...
  • Performance Art, Rock Music Reach Engineering Nirvana in OK Go Video

    06/03/2010 6:35:18 AM PDT · by steveo · 7 replies · 215+ views
    Nasa Wiki ^ | 6-01-10 | Michael Carlowicz
    What do NASA techies do with their spare time? They make rock-n-roll videos. Not the big-hair, booty-shaking, smoke-and-fire kind. They help make rock videos that would make their daytime colleagues proud or jealous, or both. The rock band OK Go prides itself on creative visual expressions of their music, and they wanted an extra dose of gee-whiz fun for their new song "This Too Shall Pass." In the winter of 2010, the group enlisted the help of Syyn Labs -- a self-described "group of creative engineers who twist together art and technology." The Syyn Labs fraternity included (or ensnared) four...
  • Engineers Diagnosing Voyager 2 Data System

    05/18/2010 11:34:34 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 32 replies · 1,148+ views
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory ^ | 5/19/2010 | JPL
    One flip of a bit in the memory of an onboard computer appears to have caused the change in the science data pattern returning from Voyager 2, engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said Monday, May 17. A value in a single memory location was changed from a 0 to a 1. On May 12, engineers received a full memory readout from the flight data system computer, which formats the data to send back to Earth. They isolated the one bit in the memory that had changed, and they recreated the effect on a computer at JPL. They found the...
  • Cheerleaders punished for urine prank

    04/08/2010 1:45:03 PM PDT · by JoeProBono · 52 replies · 1,600+ views
    upi ^ | April 8, 2010
    FORT WORTH,- Officials with a Texas school district said a group of high school cheerleaders was disciplined for giving urine-tainted drinks to teammates. Administrators said at least two girls at Fort Worth's Saginaw High School received in-school suspensions and an unspecified number of their fellow cheerleaders received lesser punishments for serving sodas contaminated with a cheerleader's urine to their teammates during a basketball game late last year, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Thursday. District officials said Principal Ric Canterbury began an investigation after hearing rumors about the incident. They said the girls involved in the prank will be barred from...
  • Did The Chilean Quake Shift Earth's Axis

    03/15/2010 7:58:12 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 54 replies · 1,489+ views
    Terra Daily ^ | 3/12/2010 | Dr. Tony Phillips
    Pictures of widespread devastation leave no doubt: Last month's 8.8 magnitude earthquake in coastal Chile was extremely strong. Indeed, say NASA scientists, it might have shifted the axis of Earth itself. "According to our calculations, the quake moved Earth's figure axis by about 3 inches (8 cm)," says geophysicist Richard Gross of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. If the Earth tilted over 3 inches, you probably think you would have noticed. But that's not how the "figure axis" works. "The figure axis defines not how Earth is tilted, but rather how it is balanced," says Gross. Consider the...
  • Orbital Wins DARPA Contract for Spacecraft Clusters

    12/20/2009 6:13:45 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 5 replies · 662+ views
    Space News ^ | 12/18/2009 | Amy Klamper
    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Dulles, Va.-based Orbital Sciences Corp. a $75 million contract to develop the final design for a radically new space architecture in which traditional, large spacecraft are replaced by clusters of wirelessly connected orbiting modules. Dubbed System F6, short for Future, Fast, Flexible, Fractionated, Free-Flying spacecraft, Orbital’s design was selected among four competing study contracts issued in 2008 and 2009, according to a Dec. 18 company news release. The new contract is valued at $74.6 million over a one-year period. Gregg Burgess, Orbital’s vice president for national security systems in the company’s Advanced...
  • Russia Withholding Plutonium NASA Needs for Deep Space Exploration

    12/11/2009 11:50:12 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 26 replies · 1,200+ views
    Space News ^ | 12/11/2009 | Brian Berger
    Russia has reneged on an agreement to deliver a total of 10 kilograms of plutonium-238 to the United States in 2010 and 2011 and is insisting on a new deal for the costly material vital to NASA’s deep space exploration plans. The move follows the U.S. Congress’ denial of President Barack Obama’s request for $30 million in 2010 to permit the Department of Energy to begin the painstaking process of restarting domestic production of plutonium-238. Bringing U.S. nuclear laboratories back on line to produce the isotope is expected to cost at least $150 million and take six years to seven...
  • NASA publishes article debunking 2012 theories

    11/17/2009 12:57:21 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 32 replies · 2,006+ views
    3 ^ | 11/17/2009 | Dan Satherley
    NASA scientists are sick of being asked if the world is going to end in 2012 – so much in fact, they've published an article on their website explaining just why it's a load of rubbish. The release of Roland Emmerich's blockbuster film 2012, in which John Cusack's character Jackson Curtis has to deal with the end of the world, has only made matters worse. There are several theories as to how the world is supposed to end, most of which focus on a particular date - December 21. The best-known is that relating to the Mayan 'long-count' calendar, which...
  • New JPL mission will provide jobs, discoveries (Mission: study one of Jupiter's moons, Europa)

    02/20/2009 6:23:34 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 6 replies · 483+ views
    San Gabriel Valley Tribune ^ | 2/20/09 | Tania Chatila
    LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE - Plans to move forward with an estimated $3-billion project to send a spacecraft to one of Jupiter's moons is ensuring jobs as much as its ensuring discoveries. Officials at the La Canada Flintridge-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory say a 10-year project resulting in a mission to Europa will offer some stability in a fleeting job market. "Right now we have another exploration goal," JPL spokeswoman Veronica McGregor said. "We do need future missions for our staff to be able to move on, to do more work. So, obviously having a new mission on our plate is fantastic."...
  • Mars Rover's Bizarre Behavior Puzzles NASA

    01/29/2009 2:43:17 PM PST · by james500 · 95 replies · 3,180+ views
    NASA engineers are scratching their heads over some unexpected behavior from the long-lived Spirit rover, which began its sixth year exploring Mars this month. Spirit failed to report in to engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., last weekend, prompting a series of diagnostic tests this week to hunt the glitch's source. The aging Mars rover did not beam home a record of its weekend activities and, more puzzlingly, apparently failed to even record any of its actions on Sunday, mission managers said. ... By Monday, Spirit's mission controllers decided to tell the rover to find the...
  • Global warming causing more tropical storms: NASA (JPL)

    12/19/2008 1:02:52 PM PST · by NormsRevenge · 31 replies · 930+ views
    AFP on Yahoo ^ | 12/19/08 | AFP
    (AFP) – Global warming is increasing the frequency of extremely high clouds in the Earth's tropics that cause severe storms and rainfall, according to a NASA study released Friday. The space agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) said a study by its scientists "found a strong correlation between the frequency of these clouds and seasonal variations in the average sea surface temperature of the tropical oceans." "For every degree Centigrade (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) increase in average ocean surface temperature, the team observed a 45-percent increase in the frequency of the very high clouds," according to the study, recently published in Geophysical...
  • Water Vapor Confirmed as Major Player in Climate Change

    11/23/2008 5:02:55 AM PST · by billorites · 66 replies · 1,748+ views ^ | November 17, 2008
    Water vapor is known to be Earth’s most abundant greenhouse gas, but the extent of its contribution to global warming has been debated. Using recent NASA satellite data, researchers have estimated more precisely than ever the heat-trapping effect of water in the air, validating the role of the gas as a critical component of climate change. Andrew Dessler and colleagues from Texas A&M University in College Station confirmed that the heat-amplifying effect of water vapor is potent enough to double the climate warming caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. With new observations, the scientists confirmed experimentally...
  • Global Warming Message Morphs as Earth Cools

    08/02/2008 7:58:11 PM PDT · by ricks_place · 48 replies · 271+ views
    ICECAP ^ | 8/1/08 | Joseph D’Aleo
    Rep. Edward Markey, chair of the Global Warming Committee recently told students gathered at the U.S. Capitol that climate change caused Hurricane Katrina. “There now is no question that this harm is being caused by human activity,” said Markey. “It’s warming up the planet and melting the glaciers. There is an underwater heat wave going on that intensifies the storms and creates even greater havoc when those storms reach land. The planet is running a fever.” Markey was not aware the globe and its oceans were cooling. Global temperatures stopped warming in 1998 and since 2002 have been declining. NASA’s...
  • Astronomy Picture of the Day Two-Armed Spiral Milky Way

    06/06/2008 12:25:31 AM PDT · by bd476 · 24 replies · 104+ views
    NASA ^ | June 6, 2008 | R. Hurt (SSC), JPL-Caltech, NASA Survey Credit: GLIMPSE
    Two-Armed Spiral Milky Way Illustration Credit: R. Hurt (SSC), JPL-Caltech, NASA Survey Credit: GLIMPSE Explanation: Gazing out from within the Milky Way, our own galaxy's true structure is difficult to discern. But an ambitious survey effort with the Spitzer Space Telescope now offers convincing evidence that we live in a large galaxy distinguished by two main spiral arms (the Scutum-Centaurus and Perseus arms) emerging from the ends of a large central bar. In fact, from a vantage point that viewed our galaxy face-on, astronomers in distant galaxies would likely see the Milky Way as a two-armed barred spiral similar...
  • NASA's Phoenix Spacecraft Reports Good Health After Mars Landing [Sends First Pictures]

    05/26/2008 4:06:32 AM PDT · by Aristotelian · 54 replies · 1,394+ views
    NASA ^ | 05.25.08
    PASADENA, Calif. -- A NASA spacecraft today sent pictures showing itself in good condition after making the first successful landing in a polar region of Mars. The images from NASA's Mars Phoenix Lander also provided a glimpse of the flat valley floor expected to have water-rich permafrost within reach of the lander's robotic arm. The landing ends a 422-million-mile journey from Earth and begins a three-month mission that will use instruments to taste and sniff the northern polar site's soil and ice. "We see the lack of rocks that we expected, we see the polygons that we saw from space,...
  • Phoenix Mars Landing Live Thread (7:53 PM EST)

    05/25/2008 6:14:29 AM PDT · by KevinDavis · 317 replies · 4,019+ views
    05/25/08 | Kevin Davis
    This will be the official thread for the Phoenix Mars Lander..
  • Phoenix lands on Mars !

    05/25/2008 5:04:44 PM PDT · by libh8er · 93 replies · 290+ views
    NASA ^ | 5.25.08
    05.25.08 Brent Shockley 4:53 pm Touchdown detected!! We're on the surface of Mars and there is celebration in Mission Control!! 4:50 pm Parachute deploy detected! Heat shield deploy detected! Radar ground lock detected! 4:48 pm Odyssey has maintained a signal from Phoenix through the period of peak heating when we might have experienced a loss of communications due to plasma blackout. 4:45 pm Phoenix has now entered the atmosphere. We expect possible plasma blackout in about a minute. Phoenix is less than three minutes to parachute deploy and less than seven minutes to touchdown. 4:39 pm We have now verified...
  • Phoenix Lander Update: No Saturday Night Maneuver for Phoenix (Mars landing tomorrow!)

    05/24/2008 6:59:53 PM PDT · by LibWhacker · 8 replies · 108+ views
    NASA News ^ | 5/24/08
    Mission controllers for NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander decided Saturday afternoon, May 24, to forgo the second-to-last opportunity for adjusting the spacecraft's flight path. Phoenix is so well on course for its Sunday-evening landing on an arctic Martian plain that the team decided it was not necessary to do a trajectory correction 21 hours before landing. However, the team left open the option of a correction maneuver eight hours before landing, if warranted by updated navigational information expected in the intervening hours. Sunday at 4:53 p.m. Pacific Time is the first possible time for confirmation that Phoenix has landed. The landing...
  • Mars spacecraft faces riskiest part of mission (Phoenix Mars Lander)

    05/24/2008 4:04:40 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 34 replies · 213+ views
    AP on Yahoo ^ | 5/24/08 | Alicia Chang - ap
    PASADENA, Calif. - After a nearly 10-month journey, a NASA spacecraft will land softly Sunday on the northern polar region of Mars, if all goes as planned. The Phoenix Mars Lander is set to touch down in a broad, shallow valley in the Martian arctic plains believed to hold a vast supply of underground ice. Phoenix's job during the 90-day mission is to excavate the soil and ice to study whether the site could have supported microbial life. The stakes are especially high: Fewer than half of the world's attempts to land on the Red Planet have succeeded. "I'm getting...

    02/01/2008 10:41:29 AM PST · by Ernest_at_the_Beach · 10 replies · 91+ views
    Cosmiclog ^ | Thursday, January 31, 2008 8:08 AM | Alan Boyle
    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's William Pickering, University of Iowa physicist James Van Allen and rocket scientist Wernher von Braun hold up a model of Explorer 1 at a news conference after hearing the satellite had reached orbit on Jan. 31, 1958. Click on the image to watch a newsreel report on the launch. Carl Raggio still remembers how tense he felt exactly 50 years ago, on the night America entered the Space Age.He and his fellow engineers were playing gin rummy at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. - but their minds weren't fully on the game. They were...
  • Cougar sighting at JPL creates a buzz (CA)

    01/26/2008 9:03:36 AM PST · by jazusamo · 17 replies · 488+ views
    LA Times ^ | January 26, 2008 | Joe Mozingo
    Foothill residents are reminded that the Southland still has a wild side. Experts say the big cats routinely venture into civilization, but most go unnoticed.An engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge was walking across a bridge to work about 8:45 a.m. Jan. 16 when he spotted something moving in the creek below. At first he thought it was a coyote, but as he got closer he could make out the low build, hulking forequarters and tawny fur. Mountain lion. The engineer, Matthew Dickie, moved to grab his camera, and the animal crouched and froze. Other people...
  • Judge backs JPL workers

    01/13/2008 1:01:46 PM PST · by Haddit · 30 replies · 75+ views
    Los Angeles Times ^ | January 13, 2008 | From the Associated Press
    A federal judge blocked the government from conducting background checks of low-risk employees at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory after an appeals court said the investigations threatened the constitutional rights of workers. U.S. District Judge Otis Wright issued the injunction Friday after the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed his earlier ruling and issued a sharp rebuke to the judge. The higher court said the 28 scientists and engineers who refused to submit to the background checks faced "a stark choice -- either violation of their constitutional rights or loss of their jobs." The workers sued the federal government, claiming...
  • Judges extend block on background checks [California story]

    10/13/2007 10:20:17 AM PDT · by Buddy B · 4 replies · 103+ views - Ontario, CA ^ | 10/13/2007 | Elise Kleeman, Staff Writer
    Judges extend block on background checks By Elise Kleeman, Staff Writer LA CAÑADA FLINTRIDGE - A panel of three federal judges has extended its temporary injunction blocking NASA from requiring background checks of all JPL employees. Without an injunction, JPL employees who did not complete the necessary paperwork would have been "voluntarily terminated" Oct. 27.
  • NASA spacecraft finds possible Mars caves

    09/22/2007 8:13:28 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 17 replies · 102+ views
    Reuters on Yahoo ^ | 9/22/07 | Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An orbiting spacecraft has found evidence of what look like seven caves on the slopes of a Martian volcano, the space agency NASA said on Friday. The Mars Odyssey spacecraft has sent back images of very dark, nearly circular features that appear to be openings to underground spaces. "They are cooler than the surrounding surface in the day and warmer at night," said Glen Cushing of the U.S. Geological Survey's Astrogeology Team and Northern Arizona University. "Their thermal behavior is not as steady as large caves on Earth that often maintain a fairly constant temperature, but it...
  • NASA Pundits Launch Debate Over Space Flight

    09/22/2007 5:38:37 PM PDT · by anymouse · 17 replies · 271+ views
    CNET ^ | September 20, 2007 | Stefanie Olsen
    At the 50th anniversary space conference here Thursday, a fight over the future role of NASA's space program inadvertently took off. If it were up to Burt Rutan, the aerospace engineer known for building a suborbital rocket plane that won the Ansari X Prize, NASA wouldn't be developing a spacecraft to put another man on the moon by 2020. That government mission has already been accomplished, and a repeat performance is "silly," Rutan said during a panel held at California Institute of Technology, CalTech, which runs NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. "Taxpayer-funded NASA should only fund research and not development," Rutan...
  • NASA Orbiter Finds Possible Cave Skylights on Mars

    09/21/2007 9:39:43 PM PDT · by steve86 · 45 replies · 512+ views
    JPL.NASA.GOV News Releases ^ | September 21, 2007
    PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Odyssey spacecraft has discovered entrances to seven possible caves on the slopes of a Martian volcano. The find is fueling interest in potential underground habitats and sparking searches for caverns elsewhere on the Red Planet. Very dark, nearly circular features ranging in diameter from about 100 to 250 meters (328 to 820 feet) puzzled researchers who found them in images taken by NASA's Mars Odyssey and Mars Global Surveyor orbiters. Using Mars Odyssey's infrared camera to check the daytime and nighttime temperatures of the circles, scientists concluded that they could be windows into underground spaces....
  • Homer J. Stewart, early rocketeer, dies in California at 91

    06/11/2007 1:40:09 PM PDT · by NormsRevenge · 10 replies · 556+ views
    Homer J. Stewart, an early pioneer of rocket research who helped develop the first successful U.S. satellite, Explorer I, has died. He was 91. Stewart, an emeritus professor of aeronautics at the California Institute of Technology, died May 26 at his home in Altadena, the school said in a statement. Stewart came to Caltech in 1936, but in the late 1950s took a leave of absence to advise on the preparation of Explorer I. Following the launch of the Soviet satellite Sputnik I in October 1957, there was a frenzied effort by the United States to launch a satellite of...