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Curiosity Update #7: The System Was Down

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Wednesday, 06 March 2013
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Since NASA first reported Curiosity's successful landing on Mars at the beginning of August news about the rover.jpgrover has been appropriately non-stop. Curiosity is one of NASA’s landmark babies and every little thing it does is remarkable.

Each month we will update you with a quick round-up of Curiosity’s activities on the Red Planet.

The biggest news from Mars is that Curiosity was suffering from technological difficulties that forced NASA to suspend the literally ground-breaking work the rover was doing on the Red Planet. The rover was analyzing portions of a sample of rock powder collected from the inisde of a Martian rock with its internal laboratory instruments.

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Asteroids: Now Available With Tails!

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 21 February 2013
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Last week Russia received a wake-up call from space at 9:30 am (local time) when a meteorite exploded asteroid-with-tail-artists-rendering-SINCand rained what are now black-market fragments of space rock across the countryside

While the impacted Russian communities scrambled to maintain order, begin cleaning up the damage, and treat the injured the rest of the world (except for Germany) watched dashcam videos stunned at the enormity and power of the meteorite.

In the not immediately stunned category were most of the people with the dashcams who as Jon Stewart surmised earlier this week are so accustomed to seeing oddities en route to their destinations they apparently didn’t think much of the meteorite.

A more likely scenario is that they didn’t have enough time to react. NASA estimated from entry into our atmosphere to explosion the entire event took 32.5 seconds. I’m sure there are people on this planet who take longer to sneeze.

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Asteroid Will Flyby Next Week; Won't Impact Earth

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 07 February 2013
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Faster than a speeding bullet, so powerful it would “pancake and explode” like the Tunguska event in Yeomans 2-how-asteroids-are-monitored-a-flow-chart1908, but not able to leap tall buildings in a single bound because asteroids don’t have legs! It’s 2012 DA14!

2012 DA14 (DA14) is a small near-earth object. The asteroid is 150-feet in diameter or half a football field in length and it will pass close to our fine planet on February 15th-the day after Valentine’s Day. The most important thing you need to know about DA14 is that it will not impact Earth nor will it pass through our planet’s shadow.

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Curiosity Update #6: Drill, baby, Drill!

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Wednesday, 06 February 2013
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Since NASA first reported Curiosity's successful landing on Mars at the beginning of August news about therover.jpg rover has been appropriately non-stop. Curiosity is one of NASA’s landmark babies and every little thing it does is remarkable.

Each month we will update you with a quick round-up of Curiosity’s activities on the Red Planet.

On January 15th the first drill target was designated. The target is a rock that has been named “John Klein" in honor of former Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) deputy project manager John W. Klein who died in 2011.

The flat rock with pale veins is sitting in a depression in Yellowknife Bay.  After inspecting the veins with the ChemCam instrument the data indicated high levels of calcium, sulfur and hydrogen. ChemCam team member Nicolas Mangold of the Laboratoire de Planetologie et Geodynamique de Nantes in France thinks the veins are made of hydrated calcium sulfate like bassanite or gypsum.

“Drilling into a rock to collect a sample will be this mission's most challenging activity since the landing. It has never been done on Mars," said MSL project manager Richard Cook at JPL, "The drill hardware interacts energetically with Martian material we don't control. We won't be surprised if some steps in the process don't go exactly as planned the first time through."

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Martian Crater Could Have Been A Lake

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Monday, 21 January 2013
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Yesterday “the strongest evidence yet that the red planet may have supported life” was published onlineMRO-NASA-layered-rock-mclaughlin-crater-Mars over at Nature Geoscience.

Shut down Curiosity! It’s all over! Except not really because the key words here are “evidence” and “may have.” The authors of the paper and NASA scientists sound like they aren't interested in throwing in the towel on Mars and still want to uncover all of its secrets.

Curiosity has yet to comment on the paper called “Groundwater activity on Mars and implications for a deep biosphere” that contained data supplied by its cousin the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter or MRO.  Curiosity’s latest tweet was on Friday when it boasted that a life-sized model of itself referred to as “Ms. Curiosity” would be rolling in today’s inaugural parade. The rover, still playing in the dirt, seems largely unconcerned about the paper.

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Kepler Mission Gives NASA Over 400 New Candidates

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Monday, 07 January 2013
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Today NASA announced that the Kepler mission (NASA Discovery Mission #10), named for Johannes kepler-mission spacecraft-art-renderKepler, a math teacher, astronomer and a big fan of Copernicus, has discovered over 400 new planet candidates.

Four of these potential new planets are less than twice the size of Earth and orbit in their sun's "habitable zone" or the region in the planetary system where liquid water might exist on the surface of a planet.

"There is no better way to kickoff the start of the Kepler extended mission than to discover more possible outposts on the frontier of potentially life bearing worlds," said Christopher Burke,  a Kepler scientist and the lead analyst based at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, California. For a succinct explanation as to what the SETI Institute does please watch this video brought to you by the finest minstrels the Internet has to offer.

Tags: Earth, NASA
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Curiosity Update #5

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Sunday, 06 January 2013
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Since NASA first reported Curiosity's successful landing on Mars at the beginning of August news about the rover.jpgrover has been appropriately non-stop. Curiosity is one of NASA’s landmark babies and every little thing it does is remarkable.

Each month we will update you with a quick round-up of Curiosity’s activities on the Red Planet.

Early last month Curiosity left the outcrop near “Point Lake” to begin its journey to Yellowknife Bay: the destination where the rover will test its rock-powdering drill.

On Monday, December 10th Curiosity was forced to end that day’s drive approximately 30 percent shorter than planned when it noticed a small difference between two calculations of its tilt or how it was situated on the ground. JPL said the rover was not in danger but the calculation discrepancy was enough for the software to stop the drive as a precaution because it would be really embarrassing for NASA if one of their rovers accidentally drove itself off a cliff.

Tags: Mars, NASA, update
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Cosmic Radiation Is Not Good for the Brain

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Tuesday, 01 January 2013
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

My husband and I have been watching Cosmos, it’s a thirteen part television series that originally aired on mars manned art render NASA-Pat Rawlings SAICPBS in 1980 before either of us were born. I’ll sum up the content because there is too much: space, our planet, and various applicable theories. The series is hosted by Carl Sagan, a prolific astronomer and cosmologist. He also helped produce and write the series.

The eighth episode is called “Journeys in Space and Time” and Sagan discusses time travel, light speed, faster-than-light travel, and the fantastical future of spacecraft that could one day take humans to the extremely distant places in our universe and the implications of these activities.

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Saying Goodbye to Ebb and Flow

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Thursday, 13 December 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Today NASA answered the question I posed last week about Ebb and Flow: What is next for the twins and GRAIL ebb flow artists depictthe GRAIL mission now that the prime mission is complete and the extended mission will end at the beginning of next week?

Maria Zuber, the GRAIL principal investigator, emphasized that the mission has achieved everything they could have possibly hoped for, they are happily surprised with the flawless performance, but it’s still curtains for Ebb and Flow.

"It is going to be difficult to say goodbye," said Zuber of MIT, "Our little robotic twins have been exemplary members of the GRAIL family, and planetary science has advanced in a major way because of their contributions."

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Ebb and Flow Provided NASA With That Map They Wanted

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Saturday, 08 December 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Ebb and Flow, NASA’s twin washing-machine sized spacecraft, are making important contributions in anGRAIL scan artists depiction NASA-JPL-Caltech-MIT area study similar to the Curiosity rover: providing information taken from places in our solar system to help us understand how Earth and other rocky planets were formed. Except Curiosity has a laser that it uses to shoot rocks so it gets way more press than Ebb and Flow.

At the beginning of fall NASA announced they were waking the twins up after their summer nap. At the time Ebb and Flow were about to start the science phase of the mission after completing the primary phase earlier than anticipated.  On December 17th, just a few weeks shy of the one year anniversary marking their successful placement in orbit around the moon, the extended science phase will come to an end as well.  

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Curiosity Update #4

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Thursday, 06 December 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Since NASA first reported Curiosity's successful landing on Mars at the beginning of August news about therover.jpg rover has been appropriately non-stop. Curiosity is one of NASA’s landmark babies and every little thing it does is remarkable.

Each month we will update you with a quick round-up of Curiosity’s activities on the Red Planet.

At the end of the last month NASA announced Curiosity had made a discovery that was “one for the history books” but after much media speculation the agency downplayed the discovery they were keeping under their hat.

Tags: Mars, NASA
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Curiosity Update #3

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, 06 November 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Since NASA first reported Curiosity's successful landing on Mars at the beginning of August news about the rover.jpgrover has been appropriately non-stop. Curiosity is one of NASA’s landmark babies and every little thing it does is remarkable.

Each month we will update you with a quick round-up of Curiosity’s activities on the Red Planet.

After extensive testing of Curiosity’s tools (scoop, shake, dump, and repeat in Rocknest) the rover continued to reached out and touch stuff, mostly Martian rocks.

Now had the rover reached out and touched someone we’d be as excited about the implications and data that touching the rocks has given us but we would also be frightened and the two-year prime mission’s goal of finding microbial life may have been achieved earlier than planned as we welcomed our new alien overlords. But let’s get back to that rock.

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Curiosity Update #2

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Saturday, 06 October 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Since NASA first reported Curiosity's successful landing on Mars at the beginning of August news about therover.jpg rover has been appropriately non-stop. Curiosity is one of NASA’s landmark babies and every little thing it does is remarkable.

Each month we will update you with a quick round-up of Curiosity’s activities on the Red Planet.

When we last checked in with Curiosity it was busy being a tourist snapping pictures and working its way to Glenelg. It was flexing its 7-foot long robotic arm and the tools it controls. Curiosity was engaging in un-tourist like but necessary behavior by shooting at rocks with its laser.

"We're still learning how to use the rover. It's such a complex machine -- the learning curve is steep," said JPL's Joy Crisp, deputy project scientist for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Project early last month.

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There's a Giant Cloud of Hot Gas Out There

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
User is currently offline
on Monday, 24 September 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

This morning NASA announced that an interdisciplinary team of astronomers used a trio of international NASA-CXC-Halo gas milky way centerspace equipment: the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton space observatory, Japan's Suzaku satellite, and NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory to find more data to quantify the giant halo of hot gas that our Milky Way Galaxy is surrounded by.

This new research suggests that the halo (artist's rendering picture at right) extends for hundreds of thousands of light years and is more or less equal to the mass of all the stars in the galaxy.

Tags: NASA
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NASA is Waiting for these Rocks to Talk

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Sunday, 16 September 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

What’s crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle?mars Opp new rocks NASA

Whatever these previously undiscovered little round rocks with the consistency of breakfast cereal that the NASA rover Opportunity (not be confused with Curiosity) discovered on Mars last week.

Opportunity is hanging out on an outcrop called Kirkwood in the Cape York portion of the western rim of the Endeavour Crater as part of a bonus mission. In 2008 Opportunity finished its work and left Victoria Crater for Endeavour- a crater bigger than Victoria- to look for more geological wonders like these new tiny globes.

Tags: Mars, NASA, rocks
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Curiosity Update: The First Month

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Thursday, 06 September 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Since NASA first reported Curiosity's successful landing on Mars at the beginning of August news about therover curiosity on martian soil NASA JPL-Caltech rover has been appropriately non-stop. Curiosity is one of NASA’s landmark babies and every little thing it does is remarkable.

Each month we will update you with a quick round-up of Curiosity’s activities on the Red Planet.

Tags: Mars, NASA, update
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NASA Turns Twins on for Next Phase

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Saturday, 01 September 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

NASA’s twin spacecraft Ebb and Flow, part of the GRAIL mission, could be feeling a bit overlooked amidst GRAIL Grossman NASAthe constant updates about the little laboratory that could: Curiosity.

While Curiosity is currently rolling towards a place on Mars called Glenelg where three types of terrain intersect so it can bust out its drill to begin analysis of the rocks and soil it’s back to school and back to work for Ebb and Flow.

On Thursday, just as NASA planned, the twins -or their instruments rather- the Lunar Gravity Ranging System was powered on at 9:28 a.m. PDT (12:28 p.m. EDT) to begin the science phase of their mission.  The twins were shut down at the beginning of the summer after completing the primary mission earlier than scheduled.

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NASA Astronauts Have Good Bones

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Saturday, 25 August 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Since the first International Space Station expedition (ISS) in 2000 astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the exp 32 spacewalk 8-20 NASAISS have never lacked for things to do while occupying the orbiting football field-sized (including the end zones) research complex.

The 163rd spacewalk was completed on Monday by Expedition 32 members Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Yuri Malenchenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency. The spacewalks are a piece of the high-profile and exciting maintenance process that happens on the ISS. The next walk is scheduled for August 30th.

When crew members aren’t working they are working out in the ISS’s gymnasium as part of the study of the affects of long-duration missions on an astronaut’s health. The other part is sending back blood and urine samples- a not at all exciting or glamorous aspect of the job.

Tags: health, ISS, NASA
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Curiosity Lands on Mars!

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Monday, 06 August 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

In the wee hours of the morning the party at NASA began after Curiosity experienced absolutely zero mission control happy faceproblems and landed safely on Mars. An hour after the landing in the Gale Crater NASA released a statement:

"Today, the wheels of Curiosity have begun to blaze the trail for human footprints on Mars. Curiosity, the most sophisticated rover ever built, is now on the surface of the Red Planet, where it will seek to answer age-old questions about whether life ever existed on Mars -- or if the planet can sustain life in the future," said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. "This is an amazing achievement, made possible by a team of scientists and engineers from around the world and led by the extraordinary men and women of NASA and our Jet Propulsion Laboratory. President Obama has laid out a bold vision for sending humans to Mars in the mid-2030's, and today's landing marks a significant step toward achieving this goal."

Tags: Curiosity, Mars, NASA
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Wheaton and Shatner Talk about Curiosity

Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Tuesday, 31 July 2012
in Mother Nature in Outer Space

Here is some news that would make the brains of the boys from The Big Bang Theory short circuit as theyNASA curiosity rover profile JPL-Caltech contemplate the sheer power and genius of the pairing.

NASA has released a video to educate the public about the Curiosity rover that is narrated by Star Trek actors Wil Wheaton or William Shatner.

The four minute video is titled “Grand Entrance” and shows an animated depiction of entry, descent, and landing of the rover. There are two videos and they are both identical save for the choice of narrator.

Tags: Curiosity, Mars, NASA
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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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