Category: nasa

[Updated!] First Product from NASA Fanboy: Ast…

[Updated!] First Product from NASA Fanboy: Astro art prints!:

Updated: I’ve struck a better deal for the printing process and am thrilled to offer a drastically reduced price on this 24"x36" print! I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time, and am thrilled to finally introduce the first canvas print from Keep Looking Up. I’m working with some incredible craftsmen to create this limited edition run of 24"x36" canvas prints of the iconic Earthrise image from the Apollo 8 mission. I’m looking forward to offering more images in the future and having a full site dedicated to the prints. Check it out, and Keep Looking Up!

Studying Sediments in Space

An International
Space Station
investigation called BCAT-CS studies dynamic forces between
sediment particles that cluster together.

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For the study, scientists sent mixtures of quartz and clay particles to the space
station and subjected them to various levels of simulated gravity.

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Conducting the experiment in microgravity makes it possible to separate out different forces that act on sediments and look at the function of
each.

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Sediment systems of quartz and clay occur many places on Earth, including rivers,
lakes, and oceans, and affect many
activities,
from deep-sea hydrocarbon drilling to carbon sequestration.

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Understanding how
sediments behave
has a range of applications on Earth, including predicting and mitigating erosion, improving water
treatment, modeling the carbon cycle,
sequestering contaminants and more accurately finding deep sea oil
reservoirs.

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It also may provide insight for future studies of the
geology of new and unexplored planets.

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Follow @ISS_RESEARCH to
learn more.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

Discover NASA Technology in Your Life

Have you ever wondered how space exploration impacts you?
“Spinoffs” are products and services developed from NASA technology or improved
through NASA partnerships. These innovations—first created to help explore space
and study Earth—are responsible for billions of dollars in both revenue and
saved costs, tens of thousands of jobs created, and for changing the world
around us.

Our NASA
Home & City
interactive web platform allows you to explore some
of the spinoff technologies you can find in your everyday life, demonstrating
the wider benefits of America’s investments in its space program.

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Here are the seven most unexpected items you can find in your homes
and cities which were “spun off” from technologies to enable the study and
exploration of space.

1.
Wireless
Headsets

“That’s one small step for man, one
giant leap for mankind.”

On July 20, 1969, millions were glued to their television sets when NASA
astronaut Neil Armstrong offered these famous words via live broadcast, upon
becoming the first man to ever step foot on the Moon. This historic
transmission was delivered from Armstrong’s headset to the headsets of Mission
Control personnel at NASA, and then on to the world.

Improved by the technology that
carried Neil Armstrong’s words, more compact and comfortable headsets were
developed for airline pilots in the 1960s and ‘70s. Today those advancements
continue to evolve in all forms of communications and telephone equipment. Mobile
headsets
provide greater efficiency and flexibility for everyone
from professionals to video gamers.

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2. Water Quality
Monitoring

On the International Space Station
very little goes to waste. This includes water, which is recovered from every
possible source, cleaned and recycled.

Following our development of a
simplified bacteria test for water quality on the space station, one engineer
created a foundation to distribute test kits suitable for use in rural
communities around the world. Water contamination is still a major problem in
many places, and the test helps local communities and governments obtain and
share water quality data using a smartphone app.

3. Skin Cream

We know that on Earth, gravity is a constant. For astronauts in
orbit, however, it’s a different story—and according to a
scientist at NASA’s Johnson Space Center
, studying what happens to
bodies in microgravity “can lead to significant new discoveries in human
biology for the benefit of humankind.”

As our researchers experimented with
replicating microgravity conditions in the lab, they invented a bioreactor that
could help simulate conditions that human cells experience in a space-like
environment. This allowed them to perform tissue-growth experiments on the
ground and in space, and eventually, to consider the question of how to protect
human cells from the toxic effects of long-duration space missions.

Now, thanks to this NASA-patented
bioreactor, one company uses agents from human cells that produce collagen to
enrich its skin cream
products. Lab tests have shown the rejuvenating cream to increase skin moisture
content by 76 percent and reduce darkness and wrinkles by more than 50 percent.

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4. Acoustic
Guitars

From its start, NASA has innovated in all
branches of aeronautics, which has led to numerous advances in helicopters,
including ways to limit vibrations as they fly and advanced composites to build
tougher, safer vehicles. 

An industrious helicopter manufacturer that
built up its expertise with NASA contracts later used the same special
vibration analysis equipment to enhance the sound of acoustic
guitars
. The company also built the body out of a fiberglass
composite used for rotor blades. The resulting instruments are stronger and
less expensive to produce than those of traditional rosewood and produce a
rich, full sound.

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5. Tiny
[Mobile] Homes

While the International Space Station is the
largest spacecraft ever flown—it’s about the size of a football field—living
and working space for astronauts is still at a premium. NASA created a studio
called the Habitability Design Center to experiment with the interior design of
spacecraft to maximize usable space and make scientific research as efficient
and effective as possible.

An architect who helped NASA design the
interior of the International Space Station launched a company specializing in compact
trailers for camping and exploration
. Suitable for a full hookup
campsite or going completely off-grid, the company’s flagship trailer can
accommodate two adults and two children for sleeping and can be customized with
a range of features including a shower, refrigerator, toilet, and more. And it
all fits into a unit light enough to be towed by a four-cylinder car.

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6. Blue Light
Blocking Ski Goggles

Skiers and snowboarders face extremely bright sunlight, especially
when it’s reflected off the white snow. That can make it hard to see, and not
just because of glare. The blue in sunlight makes it more difficult to discern
colors at the edge of the visible light spectrum, like reds. A NASA-designed
filter
used in snow goggles helps block up to 95 percent of blue
light, making it easier for people on the slopes to see the terrain clearly.

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7. Implants
for the Hearing Impaired

Hearing aids, which make sound louder,
can only do so much for those who were born or have become deaf. Cochlear
implants work
in a completely different way, converting sound into
digital signals that can be processed by the brain.  And the technology
traces back in part to a NASA space shuttle engineer who used skills in
electronics instrumentation and his own experiences with hearing loss to
develop an early version of the life-changing device.

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These
are just a few examples of thousands of NASA Spinoff
and dual-purpose technologies benefiting the world around us. 

Trace space back to you and
visit NASA Home and City today!

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.  

[Updated!] First Product from NASA Fanboy: Ast…

[Updated!] First Product from NASA Fanboy: Astro art prints!:

Updated: I’ve struck a better deal for the printing process and am thrilled to offer a drastically reduced price on this 24"x36" print! I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time, and am thrilled to finally introduce the first canvas print from Keep Looking Up. I’m working with some incredible craftsmen to create this limited edition run of 24"x36" canvas prints of the iconic Earthrise image from the Apollo 8 mission. I’m looking forward to offering more images in the future and having a full site dedicated to the prints. Check it out, and Keep Looking Up!

10 Things: Why Cassini Mattered

One year ago, on Sept. 15, 2017, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft ended
its epic exploration of Saturn with a planned dive into the planet’s
atmosphere–sending back new science to the last second. The spacecraft is
gone, but the science continues. Here are 10 reasons why Cassini mattered…

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1.
Game Changers

Cassini and ESA (European Space Agency)’s Huygens probe expanded our understanding of the
kinds of worlds where life might exist.

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2. A (Little) Like Home

At Saturn’s largest moon,
Titan, Cassini and Huygens showed us one of the most Earth-like worlds we’ve
ever encountered, with weather, climate and geology that provide new ways to
understand our home planet.

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3. A Time Machine (In a Sense)

Cassini gave us a portal to see the physical processes that likely
shaped the development of our solar system, as well as planetary systems around
other stars.

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4. The Long Run

The length of Cassini’s mission enabled us to observe weather and
seasonal changes over nearly half of a Saturn year, improving our understanding
of similar processes at Earth, and potentially those at planets around other
stars.

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5. Big Science in Small Places

Cassini revealed Saturn’s moons to be unique worlds with their own
stories to tell.

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6. Ringscape

Cassini showed us the complexity of Saturn’s rings and the
dramatic processes operating within them.

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7. Pure Exploration

Some of Cassini’s best discoveries were serendipitous. What
Cassini found at Saturn prompted scientists to rethink their understanding of
the solar system.

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8. The Right Tools for the Job

Cassini represented a staggering achievement of human and
technical complexity, finding innovative ways to use the spacecraft and its
instruments, and paving the way for future missions to explore our solar
system.

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9. Jewel of the Solar System

Cassini revealed the beauty of Saturn, its rings and moons,
inspiring our sense of wonder and enriching our sense of place in the cosmos.

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10. Much Still to Teach Us

The data returned by Cassini during its 13 years at Saturn will
continue to be studied for decades, and many new discoveries are undoubtedly
waiting to be revealed. To keep pace with what’s to come, we’ve created a new
home for the mission–and its spectacular images–at https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/cassini.

Make
sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.  

Space-Grown Crystals May Lead to More Efficien…

The International Space
Station
is a perfect environment for
creating protein crystal structures for research.

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In microgravity, protein molecules
form more orderly, high-quality crystals. Studying these structures helps
scientists understand their function and contributes to development of more
effective treatments for diseases.

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Experiments often need more than
one try to generate ideal crystals, though. Researchers may have to return
samples to Earth for analysis and then try again on a later mission on the
space station.

Scientists are testing new methods
of growing crystals that allow crew members to observe imperfections, make
real-time adjustments, and try growing them again right away. This dramatically
reduces the time and cost of conducting experiments aboard the space station
and opens up the orbiting lab to more users. More efficient use of time and
resources can produce research results in less time and lead to development of
better drugs sooner.

Learn more @ISS_Research!

NASA’s New Planet Hunter Reveals a Sky Full of…

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NASA’s newest planet-hunting satellite — the Transiting
Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS for short
— has just released its first science image using all
of its cameras to capture a huge swath of the sky! TESS is NASA’s next step in the
search for planets outside our solar system, called exoplanets.

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This spectacular image, the first released
using all four of TESS’ cameras, shows the satellite’s full field of view. It
captures parts of a dozen constellations, from Capricornus
(the Sea Goat) to Pictor
(the Painter’s Easel) — though it might be hard to find familiar constellations
among all these stars! The image even includes the Large and Small Magellanic
Clouds, our galaxy’s two largest companion galaxies.

The science community calls this image “first
light,” but don’t let that fool you — TESS has been seeing light since it
launched in April. A first light image like this is released to show off the
first science-quality image taken after a mission starts collecting science
data, highlighting a spacecraft’s capabilities.

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TESS has been busy since it launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. First TESS needed to get into position, which required a push from the Moon.

After nearly a month in space, the satellite
passed about 5,000 miles from the Moon, whose gravity gave it the boost it needed to get into a special orbit
that will keep it stable and maximize its view of the sky.

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During those first few weeks, we also got a
sneak peek of the sky through one of TESS’s four cameras. This test image
captured over 200,000 stars in just two seconds! The spacecraft was pointed
toward the constellation Centaurus when it snapped this picture. The bright
star Beta
Centauri
is visible at the lower left edge, and the edge
of the Coalsack
Nebula
is in the right upper corner.

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After settling into orbit, scientists ran a
number of checks on TESS, including testing its ability to collect a set of
stable images over a prolonged period of time. TESS not only proved its ability
to perform this task, it also got a surprise! A comet named C/2018 N1 passed through TESS’s cameras
for about 17 hours in July.

The images show a treasure
trove of cosmic curiosities
. There are some stars whose
brightness changes over time and asteroids visible as small moving white dots.
You can even see an arc of stray light from Mars, which is located outside the
image, moving across the screen.

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Now that TESS has settled into orbit and has
been thoroughly tested, it’s digging into its main mission of finding planets around other stars.
How will it spot something as tiny and faint as a planet trillions of miles
away? The trick is to look at the star!

So far, most
of the exoplanets we’ve found
were detected by looking
for tiny dips in the brightness of their host stars. These dips are caused by
the planet passing between us and its star – an event called a transit. Over
its first two years, TESS will stare at 200,000 of the nearest and brightest stars
in the sky to look for transits to identify stars with planets.

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TESS will be building on the legacy of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, which also used
transits to find exoplanets. TESS’s target stars are about 10 times closer than
Kepler’s, so they’ll tend to be brighter. Because they’re closer and brighter,
TESS’s target stars will be ideal candidates for follow-up studies with current
and future observatories.

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TESS is challenging over 200,000 of our
stellar neighbors to a staring contest! Who knows what new amazing planets
we’ll find?

The
TESS mission is led by MIT
and came together with the help of many
different partners
. You can keep up
with the latest from the TESS mission by following mission updates.

Make
sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com

[Updated!] First Product from NASA Fanboy: Ast…

[Updated!] First Product from NASA Fanboy: Astro art prints!:

Updated: I’ve struck a better deal for the printing process and am thrilled to offer a drastically reduced price on this 24"x36" print! I’ve been wanting to do this for quite some time, and am thrilled to finally introduce the first canvas print from Keep Looking Up. I’m working with some incredible craftsmen to create this limited edition run of 24"x36" canvas prints of the iconic Earthrise image from the Apollo 8 mission. I’m looking forward to offering more images in the future and having a full site dedicated to the prints. Check it out, and Keep Looking Up!

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