How Ants Inspired a New Way to Measure Snow With Space Lasers

How Ants Inspired a New Way to Measure Snow With Space Lasers

“We can measure that distance of each individual photon traveling inside the snow,” says Hu, a researcher at NASA’s Langley Research Center.Just as an ant wanders around its underground colony, a photon shot from a space laser takes a random route through the snow.

A Powerful ISS Instrument Will Hunt for Minerals in Dusty Lands

A Powerful ISS Instrument Will Hunt for Minerals in Dusty Lands

“Nobody wants to go to the middle of the desert to figure out what soils are.” So Mahowald has been collaborating with NASA on the Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation mission, or EMIT, which launches to the International Space Station next month.

A New Super-High Satellite Will Eye Weather on Earth—and in Space

A New Super-High Satellite Will Eye Weather on Earth—and in Space

Basically, any kind of good or bad weather, any kind of hazardous environmental condition, the cameras on GOES-T will see them,” says Pamela Sullivan, director of the GOES-R program at the the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, which together with NASA designed and built the new satellite.

The World Was Cooler in 2021 Than 2020. That’s Not Good News

The World Was Cooler in 2021 Than 2020. That’s Not Good News

Today NASA and NOAA dropped their annual analysis of global temperatures: Last year was tied with 2018 as the sixth-hottest ever, but cooler than 2020.The 2021 temperature drop “may be possibly due to a resumption of activity that produces aerosols in the atmosphere,” Schmidt said.

Earth’s Oceanography Helps Demystify Jupiter’s Flowing Cyclones

Earth’s Oceanography Helps Demystify Jupiter’s Flowing Cyclones

Lia Siegelman had just been studying the swirling waters of the Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica, when she happened to come across a poster image of cyclones around Jupiter’s north pole, taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft .

Jupiter's Great Red Spot Extends Deep into the Gas Giant

Jupiter's Great Red Spot Extends Deep into the Gas Giant

Taking advantage of the sensitive instruments aboard NASA’s Juno space probe, the first spacecraft to orbit Jupiter in two decades, astronomers used gravity and microwave measurements to reveal that the Great Red Spot goes down deeper and has a more complex structure than previously thought.

NASA Is Preparing for the Ravages of Climate Change

NASA Is Preparing for the Ravages of Climate Change

The agency’s newly released report highlights five areas of focus, including planning for climate risks as new missions move forward, adapting infrastructure as much as possible, and ensuring access to space, which could be disrupted if, say, a flooded road delayed the delivery of rocket fuel to a launchpad.

NASA's NIAC Program Gives a Sneak Peek at the Future of Space Travel

NASA's NIAC Program Gives a Sneak Peek at the Future of Space Travel

To aid creative reuse of lunar resources, Greig and her colleagues propose a technology called ablative arc mining, which would slurp up water ice and the kinds of metals that could be used as building materials.

How to Watch the SpaceX Inspiration4 Launch

How to Watch the SpaceX Inspiration4 Launch

On the Florida coast, at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, the SpaceX team is readying the historic Inspiration4 mission for liftoff.The Inspiration4 crew have a five-hour launch window that opens at 8:02 pm Eastern on Wednesday night.

NASA's Perseverance Rover Drills a Mars Rock on Its Second Attempt

NASA's Perseverance Rover Drills a Mars Rock on Its Second Attempt

As the Perseverance rover drilled into a rock on Wednesday to collect a sample from Jezero Crater on Mars, Justin Simon, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, felt both nervous and excited.

Sneaky New Bacteria on the ISS Could Build a Future on Mars

Sneaky New Bacteria on the ISS Could Build a Future on Mars

In mid-March, NASA researchers announced that they’d found an unknown life-form hiding aboard the International Space Station.As part of an ongoing research project into the microbial life of the ISS, astronauts onboard in 2015 and 2016 swabbed down various parts of the station and sent home the wipes they used.

NASA Gets a Quick Peek at a Mysterious Layer of the Sun

NASA Gets a Quick Peek at a Mysterious Layer of the Sun

The sun’s magnetic fields are massive, but within its inner layers, their forces are channeled and controlled by the pressure of the superheated plasma, convecting its heat outward like a boiling pot of tomato soup.

The SolarWinds Body Count Now Includes NASA and the FAA

The SolarWinds Body Count Now Includes NASA and the FAA

Last week, TechCrunch found that Amber Group, the contractor that developed the platform, had an exposed Amazon Web Services cloud server that contained more than 70,000 negative Covid-19 test results and more than 425,000 immigration documents from travelers entering Jamaica.📩 The latest on tech, science, and more: Get our newsletters !How to remember a disaster without being shattered by it A trippy visualization charts the internet's growth since 1997 TV characters don’t have text history.

The Mars Landing Was the Best Thing on TV This Week

The Mars Landing Was the Best Thing on TV This Week

NASA Lands the Perseverance Rover on Mars.The Atlas V rocket transporting NASA’s latest Mars rover launched from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center in July and has spent the past six months en route to the Red Planet.

NASA Lands the Perseverance Rover on Mars

NASA Lands the Perseverance Rover on Mars

The Lockheed engineers had been working on this project for years, and today, Scholz and his team could finally watch it be put to use.

How to Watch NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover Landing

How to Watch NASA's Perseverance Mars Rover Landing

And the experiments get power from a battery that continuously recharges with US-made plutonium fuel .Since July, as Perseverance has been cruising toward Mars, the numerous antennae aboard have been pinging high-frequency signals to engineers back on Earth.

The LA Musician Who Designed a Microphone for Mars

The LA Musician Who Designed a Microphone for Mars

Embedded on the rover is a small microphone that, if all goes well, will record the sounds of the descent and, later, the martian environment itself, something no Mars probe has yet achieved.NASA Just Launched Its New Perseverance Rover to Mars.

NASA Wants to Set a New Radiation Limit for Astronauts

NASA Wants to Set a New Radiation Limit for Astronauts

Under the existing standard, some veteran astronauts might have been excluded from longer-term space missions because they are bumping up against lifetime radiation limits.But NASA doesn’t have much data on the health effects of radiation from space on its astronauts.

The Trump Administration Left Biden With a Rocket Dilemma

The Trump Administration Left Biden With a Rocket Dilemma

At the time, NASA engineers at Marshall told Pence they were confident the SLS rocket would make its debut flight in 2020, setting up a schedule to allow astronauts to return to the moon by 2024.

NASA Is Training an AI to Detect Fresh Craters on Mars

NASA Is Training an AI to Detect Fresh Craters on Mars

The AI discovered dozens of them hiding in image data from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and revealed a promising new way to study planets throughout our solar system.

2020 Was the One of the Hottest Years on Record

2020 Was the One of the Hottest Years on Record

“I don’t think there’s much going to happen that will change that, barring a massive volcano,” says Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which released the atmospheric data along with NOAA.

The Plan to Build a Global Network of Floating Power Stations

The Plan to Build a Global Network of Floating Power Stations

After nearly two decades as an oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Chao had left the space agency to commercialize a seafaring generator that can harness the limitless thermal energy trapped in the world’s oceans.

How NASA Scrambled to Save OSIRIS-REx From Leaky Disaster

How NASA Scrambled to Save OSIRIS-REx From Leaky Disaster

Another possibility, given the surprisingly viscous surface material, is that the regolith’s soft, malleable rocks wedged into the Mylar flap opening and weren’t able to make it all the way into the head, Moreau says.

How NASA Finds the Mass of the Dirt Grabbed From an Asteroid

How NASA Finds the Mass of the Dirt Grabbed From an Asteroid

By looking at the change in rotational rate for the spacecraft, you can determine the amount of extra mass in the collector arm.Let me go over all the important pieces to this physics puzzle.

What Comes After the International Space Station?

What Comes After the International Space Station?

“NASA has been very open about the fact that in order to do exploration beyond low earth orbit, you have to have a platform there to test systems and get experience,” says Michael Suffredini, the cofounder and CEO of Axiom Space, a company that is poised to build the world’s first commercial space station.

Those Orange Bay Area Skies and the Science of Light

Those Orange Bay Area Skies and the Science of Light

I’ve been to polluted cities, but you never get that deep orange, ominous color,” says Sanaz Vahidinia, a physicist at NASA Ames Research Center who studies aerosols and light scattering.

SpaceX Brings Astronauts Home Safely in a Historic First

SpaceX Brings Astronauts Home Safely in a Historic First

Behnken and Hurley spent the next few hours drifting in orbit while NASA and SpaceX monitored weather conditions at the possible landing sites along the Florida coast.SpaceX mission control made the final decision to deorbit just an hour before Behnken and Hurley landed in the ocean.

How to Watch NASA Launch Its New Perseverance Mars Rover

How to Watch NASA Launch Its New Perseverance Mars Rover

The skycrane is outfitted with eight small engines that start firing when the rover is about half a mile up to rapidly slow its fall to just a few miles per hour.“These particular engines are actually a derivative of the original engines developed for Viking landers in the early ’70s, but we've made very significant upgrades,” says Fred Wilson, a propulsion expert at Aerojet Rocketdyne, the company that made the propulsion system for the Perseverance landing system.

NASA’s Mars Rover Will Be Powered by US-Made Plutonium

NASA’s Mars Rover Will Be Powered by US-Made Plutonium

Perseverance is only the second Mars rover to use nuclear power as its main source of electrical energy.Starting with Curiosity, which arrived on the Red Planet in 2012, NASA engineers switched to nuclear power as the rover’s main source of energy.

A Helicopter Ride Over Mars? NASA's About to Give It a Shot

A Helicopter Ride Over Mars? NASA's About to Give It a Shot

“I see it as kind of a Wright brothers moment on another planet,” says Bob Balaram, the chief engineer for the Mars helicopter project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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