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NASA articles

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Mars 2020 mission will test supersonic parachute

Mars 2020 mission will test supersonic parachute
A NASA Mars rover mission set to launch in 2020 will rely on a special parachute to slow the spacecraft down as it enters the Martian atmosphere at over 12,000 mph (5.4 kilometers per second). Preparations for this mission have provided, for the first time, dramatic video of the parachute opening at supersonic speed. The Mars 2020 mission will seek signs of ancient Martian life by investigating evidence in place and by caching drilled samples of Martian rocks for potential future return to Earth.
15th November 2017

Studying invisible magnetic bubbles in outer solar system

Studying invisible magnetic bubbles in outer solar system
Space may seem empty, but it's actually a dynamic place populated with near-invisible matter, and dominated by forces, in particular those created by magnetic fields. Magnetospheres - the magnetic fields around most planets - exist throughout our solar system. They deflect high-energy, charged particles called cosmic rays that are spewed out by the Sun or come from interstellar space. Along with atmospheres, they happen to protect the planets' surfaces from this harmful radiation.
3rd November 2017

NASA scientists search for exoplanet atmospheres

NASA scientists search for exoplanet atmospheres
Some exoplanets shine brighter than others in the search for life beyond the solar system. NASA research proposes a novel approach to sniffing out exoplanet atmospheres. It takes advantage of frequent stellar storms—which hurl huge clouds of stellar material and radiation into space—from cool, young dwarf stars to highlight signs of habitable exoplanets.
3rd November 2017


Coin-sized thermometer to characterise earthbound asteroids

Coin-sized thermometer to characterise earthbound asteroids
  Two NASA teams want to deploy a highly compact, sensitive thermometer that could characterise comets and even assist in the redirection or possible destruction of an asteroid on a collision course with Earth.
30th October 2017

3D printed rocket engine part made with two different alloys

3D printed rocket engine part made with two different alloys
Engineers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, tested NASA's first 3D printed rocket engine prototype part made of two different metal alloys through an innovative advanced manufacturing process. NASA has been making and evaluating durable 3D printed rocket parts made of one metal, but the technique of 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, with more than one metal is more difficult.
25th September 2017

James Webb Space Telescope completes GSEG-1 test

James Webb Space Telescope completes GSEG-1 test
NASA called, and the Webb telescope responded. NASA's James Webb Space Telescope recently completed its Ground Segment Test Number 1 (GSEG-1), for the first time confirming successful end-to-end communication between the telescope and its mission operations center. GSEG-1, which completed on June 20, tested all of the communications systems required to support the telescope's launch, commissioning and normal operations once it is in orbit.
1st August 2017

Solar eclipse could help understand Earth’s energy system

Solar eclipse could help understand Earth’s energy system
It was midafternoon, but it was dark in an area in Boulder, Colorado on Aug. 3, 1998. A thick cloud appeared overhead and dimmed the land below for more than 30 minutes. Well-calibrated radiometers showed that there were very low levels of light reaching the ground, sufficiently low that researchers decided to simulate this interesting event with computer models. Now in 2017, inspired by the event in Boulder, NASA scientists will explore the moon’s eclipse of the sun to learn more about Earth’s energy system.
31st July 2017

Tracking the total solar eclipse from NASA’s WB-57F jets

Tracking the total solar eclipse from NASA’s WB-57F jets
For most viewers, the Aug. 21, 2017, total solar eclipse will last less than two and half minutes. But for one team of NASA-funded scientists, the eclipse will last over seven minutes. Their secret? Following the shadow of the Moon in two retrofitted WB-57F jet planes. Amir Caspi of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, and his team will use two of NASA’s WB-57F research jets to chase the darkness across America on Aug. 21.
31st July 2017

Algorithm helps protect Mars Curiosity's wheels

Algorithm helps protect Mars Curiosity's wheels
  There are no mechanics on Mars, so the next best thing for NASA's Curiosity rover is careful driving. A new algorithm is helping the rover do just that. The software, referred to as traction control, adjusts the speed of Curiosity's wheels depending on the rocks it's climbing.
13th July 2017

How do you get a robot to recognise a surprise?

How do you get a robot to recognise a surprise?
  How do you get a robot to recognise a surprise? That's a question Artificial Intelligence (AI) researchers are pondering, especially as AI begins to change space research. A new article in the journal Science: Robotics offers an overview of how AI has been used to make discoveries on space missions.
13th July 2017

Journey to Mars: pipetting and cell isolation in space

Journey to Mars: pipetting and cell isolation in space
Just like early explorers, NASA Twins Study investigators are venturing into new territory. Conducting human omics research on twin astronauts as part of the One Year Mission that took place aboard the International Space Station is one such venture. As technology evolves so does the research. NASA is evaluating more efficient and innovative research techniques to prepare for the journey to Mars.
12th July 2017

Practical steps for a manned mission to Mars

Practical steps for a manned mission to Mars
NASA hopes to send a manned mission to Mars in the mid-2030s. On a planet where temperatures can fall to -125ºC generating energy presents a key challenge and new techniques are about to be tested. The best equipment needs the people to use it, so resilience experiments are also under way. To tackle the challenge of energy generation, NASA will test two-meter high reactors, developed as part of the ‘Kilopower’ project, in the Nevada desert in September.
7th July 2017

NASA's spacecraft to fly over Jupiter's great red spot

NASA's spacecraft to fly over Jupiter's great red spot
  Only days after celebrating its first anniversary in Jupiter orbit, NASA's Juno spacecraft will fly directly over Jupiter's Great Red Spot, the gas giant's iconic, 10,000m wide (16,000km wide) storm. This will be humanity's first up-close and personal view of the gigantic feature - a storm monitored since 1830 and possibly existing for more than 350 years.
6th July 2017

NASA simulates space radiation on Earth

NASA simulates space radiation on Earth
In each life a little rain must fall, but in space, one of the biggest risks to astronauts’ health is radiation 'rain'. NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP) is simulating space radiation on Earth following upgrades to the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory (NSRL) at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory. These upgrades help researchers on Earth learn more about the effects of ionising space radiation, to help keep astronauts safe on a journey to Mars.
14th June 2017

Window improves the view on orbiting laboratory

Window improves the view on orbiting laboratory
One of the busiest work stations on the International Space Station got a major upgrade recently, and it already has saved dozens of hours on a variety of experiments for crew members aboard the orbiting laboratory. The Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG) is a sealed and enclosed work area installed in the U.S. Destiny lab on the space station, and is about the size of a 70-gallon fish tank.
14th June 2017

Magnetic 3D Cell Culturing handles cultures in the space station

Magnetic 3D Cell Culturing handles cultures in the space station
A wide variety of research relies on growing cells in culture on Earth, but handling these cells is challenging. With better techniques, scientists hope to reduce loss of cells from culture media, create cultures in specific shapes, and improve retrieval of cells for analysis – all of which would improve experiment results. Handling cells in microgravity poses even greater challenges, and with ongoing cell investigations aboard the International Space Station, optimising handling techniques is critical.
12th June 2017

NASA launches first-ever neutron-star mission

NASA launches first-ever neutron-star mission
  Nearly 50 years after British astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell discovered the existence of rapidly spinning neutron stars, NASA will launch the world’s first mission devoted to studying these unusual objects. The agency also will use the same platform to carry out the world’s first demonstration of X-ray navigation in space.
2nd June 2017

Juno Mission reveals a whole new Jupiter

Juno Mission reveals a whole new Jupiter
Early science results from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter portray the largest planet in our solar system as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world, with Earth-sized polar cyclones, plunging storm systems that travel deep into the heart of the gas giant, and a mammoth, lumpy magnetic field that may indicate it was generated closer to the planet’s surface than previously thought.
26th May 2017

Instrument to search for life in outer solar system

Instrument to search for life in outer solar system
An instrument originally developed to search for organic molecules on Mars is being repurposed to potentially hunt for life on a handful of moons in the outer solar system that appear to host oceans, geysers and vents of ice volcanoes. Will Brinckerhoff, a NASA scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, helped build a mass spectrometer for the European Space Agency’s 2020 ExoMars Rover mission.
24th May 2017

Human activity may affect space weather

Human activity may affect space weather
Our Cold War history is now offering scientists a chance to better understand the complex space system that surrounds us. Space weather - which can include changes in Earth's magnetic environment - are usually triggered by the sun's activity, but recently declassified data on high-altitude nuclear explosion tests have provided a look at the mechansisms that set off perturbations in that magnetic system.
18th May 2017


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