On Aug. 26, NASA held a media teleconference regarding current predictions on sea level rise, highlighting the risks to coastal populations in low-lying areas, and the inherent problems in creating reliable global models. A panel of experts from NASA's recently-founded Sea Level Change Teamtells us that ocean levels are inexorably on the rise, but gaps in our understanding and ability to survey risk regions mean we don't know just how fast the change will take place.
NASA has been pushing the
safety features on its next-generation Orion spacecraft to the
extreme, as it carried out a dramatic parachute test. During the
test, engineers staged the failure of various components of the
descent system in order to see if it would still function, and save
the lives of a potential crew in a worst case scenario.
As the movies have shown us, space travel is an intimidating prospect, what with the possibilities of running out of air, the rocket engines conking out, or the shipboard computer deciding to bump off the crew. Another danger is fast-flying orbital debris piercing the hull. Scientists may be on their way to a solution to that one, however, in the form of a new self-healing material.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has marked its final close pass of the Saturnian moon Dione by capturing the rocky body in a series of stunning images as it sailed past the satellite on August, 17. Cassini had previously visited the moon five times, but had never before captured the moon in so high a resolution.
What is small enough to fit in an airliner carry-on bin and has the potential to save thousands of lives and millions of dollars worth of property? The answer is the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) – NASA’s next-generation hurricane-observing microsatellites, which are now being assembled at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas.
Buying tickets into space has typically been the reserve of governments and billionaires, but if you want to send your name on an interplanetary jaunt NASA might now be able to accommodate you. The space agency is now accepting submissions from members of the public who'd like their names recorded on a silicon microchip and shuttled to the Red Planet onboard the InSight Mars lander launching next year.
Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are honing the applications of a gecko-like gripping mechanism in the hope of making life a little less chaotic for those working aboard the International Space Station (ISS). The ever-inventive JPL workers have come up with a series of "astronaut anchors" for use both inside and outside the station, and have even equipped a robot with the tech, opening up the possibility of allowing it to safely operate on the exterior of the space station.
A new NASA contest is challenging freelancers to design the interface for a smartwatch app for use by astronauts aboard the ISS. The competition, posted on the Freelancer website, is set to run for one month, and will require applicants to tailor their app for operation on the Samsung Gear 2 for the chance to win a US$1,500 prize.
The International Space Station (ISS) was the scene of an historic lunch this week with the crew members of Expedition 44 dining on the first meal harvested in space. The dish, which consisted on leaves of "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce grown in NASA's "Veggie" zero-gravity greenhouse, is part of the space agency's effort to find ways to feed tomorrow's deep-space travelers.