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This Is the Way Cassini Ends

September 15, 2017 In the early morning hours on Friday, Cassini cruised into Saturn’s upper atmosphere at tens of thousands of miles per hour, getting closer to the planet than ever before. The bus-sized orbiter, jostled by the dense atmosphere, fired its thrusters to keep its antenna pointed at Earth and transmitted data...

NASA's New Space Telescope Is in Harvey's Path

August 28, 2017 As tropical storm Harvey continues to drench Houston, turning streets into muddy rivers, NASA workers are keeping watch over a giant $8.6 billion space telescope at the edge of the city. The James Webb Space Telescope is currently sitting inside a massive, sealed cryogenic chamber at the Johnson Space Center,...

from govexec

NASA's New Space Telescope Is in Harvey's Path

August 28, 2017 As tropical storm Harvey continues to drench Houston, turning streets into muddy rivers, NASA workers are keeping watch over a giant $8.6 billion space telescope at the edge of the city. The James Webb Space Telescope is currently sitting inside a massive, sealed cryogenic chamber at the Johnson Space Center,...

Using Twitter to Save a Newborn From a Flood

August 28, 2017 As torrential rain continued and floods swelled in Texas this weekend, thousands of people trapped in Harvey’s path started calling 911 and other emergency lines for help. When they couldn’t get through, some started tweeting. “Please help I’m stranded with my kids I need help fast,” a user wrote to...

Using Twitter to Save a Newborn From a Flood

August 28, 2017 As torrential rain continued and floods swelled in Texas this weekend, thousands of people trapped in Harvey’s path started calling 911 and other emergency lines for help. When they couldn’t get through, some started tweeting. “Please help I’m stranded with my kids I need help fast,” a user wrote to...

Why the Curiosity Rover Stopped Singing 'Happy Birthday' to Itself

August 11, 2017 When the Curiosity rover studies soil on Mars, it does it with a little shimmy. Its robotic arm collects a pinch of soil and drops it into the sample-analysis unit in the robot’s belly. The unit vibrates at different frequencies, shaking the powdery sample so it settles down into small...

The Street View From Space

July 22, 2017 When people aren’t scanning Google Street View for directions to their next mundane destination, they might be using it to tour the bustling markets of Bangkok, float over colorful corals in the Bahamas, or count Adélie penguins in Antarctica. For a few minutes, they can immerse themselves in strange and...

The Mars Robot Making Decisions on Its Own

June 26, 2017 In 2012, the Curiosity rover began its slow trek across the surface of Mars, listening for commands from Earth about where to go, what to photograph, which rocks to inspect. Then last year, something interesting happened: Curiosity started making decisions on its own. In May last year, engineers back at...

from govexec

The Mars Robot Making Decisions on Its Own

June 23, 2017 In 2012, the Curiosity rover began its slow trek across the surface of Mars, listening for commands from Earth about where to go, what to photograph, which rocks to inspect. Then last year, something interesting happened: Curiosity started making decisions on its own. In May last year, engineers back at...

from govexec

Why Are So Many People Applying to Be Astronauts?

June 7, 2017 More American workers than ever seem to want the world’s longest commute. NASA announced Wednesday its newest class of astronauts, five women and seven men, ranging in age from 29 to 42. They were selected from a pool of more than 18,300 applicants. That’s a record for the space agency,...