The Hubble Space telescope has been one of the most monumental human achievements and will celebrate its silver jubilee (25th anniversary) this week. Over these years, Hubble (thanks to some helpful repairs and upgrades) has provided us with an astounding amount of data and never previously discovered knowledge about our universe. Here’s wishing Hubble the very best on this momentous anniversary and looking forward to many more years of wonderful new images and discoveries about our Universe.
European Space Agency’s Rosetta mission to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko with the spacecraft and its Philae robotic lander has been a great success. It continues to provide us with new scientific data about the small comet and our solar system. Starting at about the 1:11 mark, this report by EuroNews delves into some more detail about the scientific discoveries that the Rosetta mission is enabling. As the Rosetta space probe circles the comet, it is looking for signs of its Philae lander and waiting for it to ‘wake up’ so that even more can be learned about 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
This is a Theodore von Kármán Lecture Series talk, held last November at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. It addressed some of the key aspects to NASA’s “Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission” as it looks to take human space travel to a new level by breaking out of the recent low Earth orbit missions. This talk was given by a long time veteran of the Jet Propulsion Lab, Brian Muirhead who is currently the Chief Engineer at JPL. Discussion included what is involved in planning a mission to the asteroid belt, possible target asteroids to capture, how to bring the asteroid back to orbit around the Moon for study, space craft design, propulsion, planetary defense techniques, robotic technologies required for such endeavours, and much more.
A joint initiative between NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and US Air Force resulted in the recent, successful launch of NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite. DSCOVR went into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. DSCOVR will help NOAA provide more accurate space weather forecasts, warnings and alerts by being able to better monitor solar wind observations.
NASA’s various research activities and experiments in space include the study of biological organisms. This is an example of a rodent based study being conducted on the International Space Station (ISS) and designed to examine biology of rats in the space environment. Learnings from this type of biological study could help make changes needed to improve human space travel and stays. Such scientific research can also help greatly improve human health, here on Earth. This study was being done at NASA’s Ames Research Center, with Dr. Ruth Globus (Ph.D.) as the project scientist.