Tags Space

Maybe It’s Time To Actually Digitize That NASA Viking Data

We can’t believe it’s been 40 years since NASA’s Viking mission became the first to successfully land a spacecraft on Mars. It took us only slightly less time to get the Curiosity Rover up there so we could get a closer look at our planet.

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Carli Velocci

July 24th

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Maybe It’s Time To Actually Digitize That NASA Viking Data

We can’t believe it’s been 40 years since NASA’s Viking mission became the first to successfully land a spacecraft on Mars. It took us only slightly less time to get the Curiosity Rover up there so we could get a closer look at our planet.

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Carli Velocci

July 24th

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Running at 150,000 RPM, this tiny motor could help satellites keep on course

femtosat-6 The future is small in space: picture Cubesats the size of toasters and Femtosats an inch across crowding the skies. A newly invented motor that’s both tiny and powerful goes hand in hand with that vision, providing compact spacecraft with the ability to adjust their position without using a drop of fuel. First, though, a little engineering lesson. Here comes the science! It’s… Read More

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Devin Coldewey

July 22nd

Gadgets

NASA’s Curiosity rover can now pick which bits of Mars to scan on its own

NASA's Martian rovers. From left to right, Spirit/Opportunity, Sojourner, Curiosity / Image courtesy of NASA Curiosity may be an older dog (the rover landed on Mars in 2012), but it’s still picking up new tricks. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently revealed (via Verge) that the robot can now pick its own targets when choosing rocks to scan with its laser spectrometer, a task formerly reserved for remote operation by scientists back here on Earth. JPL created the software that now… Read More

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Darrell Etherington

July 22nd

Gadgets

40 years after the first landing on Mars, this NASA scientist looks to resurrect Viking 1’s analog data

viking_bio_mfilmreader.jpg It’s been four decades since the Viking 1 lander touched down on Martian soil, the first lasting human presence on the surface of the Red Planet. It beamed its unprecedented data back to NASA, where it was stored on the hot new format of the day: microfilm. Now one scientist wants to bring these analog records into the digital world — for posterity and for science. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

July 21st

Gadgets

Crashing Into the Sun Is Way Harder Than You Think

Turns out, all those movies about spaceships going just a liiiiittle bit off course and crashing into the sun were filthy, filthy lies. The good people over at Minute Physics explain why most of us couldn’t crash into the sun if we tried.

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Angela Chen

July 20th

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SpaceX Just Landed a Rocket At Cape Canaveral

While many eyes are on the rocket Kim just launched at Taylor , SpaceX was busy sending a payload up to ISS and and trying out another experimental landing of a rocket.

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Alex Cranz

July 18th

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NASA shows off the design for its Mars 2020 rover

mars-2020-rover-cad-diagram-pia20759-full The rover NASA plans to send to Mars in 2020 is taking shape, and today its near-final design was revealed, along with details on several of its cool new instruments. The computer-generated image of all the rover’s components is too cool to be missed. Read More

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Devin Coldewey

July 15th

Gadgets

Juno probe’s tiny sensors to perform big science around Jupiter

nasa_chips_juno One of the striking things about the Juno probe, I remarked to one of its creators, is its simple and streamlined design — compared to other spacecraft, at least. The engineers had a hell of a time packing everything in there, but it helps when critical sensors have shrunk in size from “breadbox” to “soup cracker.” Read More

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Devin Coldewey

July 12th

Gadgets

NASA’s newly upgraded Pleiades supercomputer delves into the mysteries of star formation

klein_pleiades_simulation NASA scientists are bringing one of the most powerful computers in the world — just recently given a tune-up — to bear on the question “Where do stars come from?” So next time your toddler asks you that, you’ll be able to say something smart, like “hyper-dense elongated stellar filaments, child.” Read More

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Devin Coldewey

July 6th

Gadgets
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July 2016
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