archive-edu.com » EDU » U » USRA.EDU

Total: 1151

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • NASA Mission Wants Amateur Astronomers to Target Asteroids
    material from an asteroid Amateur astronomers will help better characterize the population of NEOs including their position motion rotation and changes in the intensity of light they emit Professional astronomers will use this information to refine theoretical models of asteroids improving their understanding about asteroids similar to the one OSIRIS REx will encounter in 2019 designated 1999 RQ36 OSIRIS REx will map the asteroid s global properties measure nongravitational forces and provide observations that can be compared with data obtained by telescope observations from Earth In 2023 OSIRIS REx will return back to Earth at least 2 11 ounces 60 grams of surface material from the asteroid Target Asteroids data will be useful for comparisons with actual mission data The project team plans to expand participants in 2014 to students and teachers Although few amateur astronomers have the capability to observe 1999 RQ36 itself they do have the capability to observe other targets said Jason Dworkin OSIRIS REx project scientist at NASA s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland Previous observations indicate 1999 RQ36 is made of primitive materials OSIRIS REx will supply a wealth of information about the asteroid s composition and structure Data also will provide new insights into the nature of the early solar system and its evolution orbits of NEOs and their impact risks and the building blocks that led to life on Earth Amateur astronomers long have provided NEO tracking observations in support of NASA s NEO Observation Program A better understanding of NEOs is a critically important precursor in the selection and targeting of future asteroid missions For well over 10 years amateurs have been important contributors in the refinement of orbits for newly discovered near Earth objects said Edward Beshore deputy principal investigator for the OSIRIS REx mission at the University of

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/OSIRIS_REx/041912/ (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive


  • “Mount Sharp” on Mars Links Geology’s Past and Future
    his more than 50 years at Caltech Bob Sharp was the central figure in its programs in the geological and planetary sciences One of his major contributions was the building of a program in planetary sciences firmly rooted in the principles and approaches of the geological sciences Moreover through his own work on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory s early missions to Mars and the work of others that he influenced he also had a major influence on planetary science and exploration at JPL Recognition of this remarkable scientist and leader by the naming of Mount Sharp is highly fitting and I hope it will serve to perpetuate his legacy The Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft was launched November 26 2011 bound for landing beside Mount Sharp inside Gale Crater on the evening of August 5 PST early August 6 EST and Universal Time The mission will use Curiosity to investigate whether the area has ever offered environmental conditions favorable for fostering microbial life including chemical ingredients for life and energy for life Mount Sharp rises about 3 miles 5 kilometers above the landing target on the crater floor higher than Mount Rainier above Seattle although broader and closer It is not simply a rebound peak from the asteroid impact that excavated Gale Crater A rebound peak may be at its core but the mountain displays hundreds of flat lying geological layers that may be read as chapters in a more complex history billions of years old Twice as tall as the sequence of colorful bands exposed in Arizona s Grand Canyon the stack of layers in Mount Sharp results from changing environments in which layers are deposited younger on top of older eon after eon and then partially eroded away Several craters on Mars contain mounds or mesas that may have

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/mars/MtSharp/ (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Organics Probably Formed Easily in Early Solar System
    behaved differently they all experienced the conditions needed for organics to form over a simulated million year period Whenever you make a new planetary system these kinds of things should go on said Scott Sandford a space science researcher at NASA Ames This potential to make organics and then dump them on the surfaces of any planet you make is probably a universal process Although organic compounds are commonly found in meteorites and cometary samples their origins presented a mystery Ciesla and Sandford describe how the compounds possibly evolved in the March 29 edition of Science Express However how important a role these compounds may have played in giving rise to the origin of life remains poorly understood Sandford has devoted many years of laboratory research to the chemical processes that occur when high energy ultraviolet radiation bombards simple ices like those seen in space We ve found that a surprisingly rich mixture of organics is made Sandford said These include molecules of biological interest including amino acids nucleobases and amphiphiles the building blocks of proteins RNA and DNA and cellular membranes respectively Irradiated ices should have produced these same sorts of molecules during the formation of the solar system he said But a question remained Could icy grains traveling through the outer edges of the solar nebula in temperatures as low as 405 F less than 30 K become exposed to UV radiation from surrounding stars Ciesla s computer simulations reproduced the turbulent environment expected in the solar nebula This washing machine action mixed the particles throughout the nebula and sometimes lofted them to high altitudes within the cloud where they could become irradiated Taking what we think we know about the dynamics of the outer solar nebula it s really hard for these ice particles not to spend

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/organics/ (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
    IMPORTANT DATES Participant Survey NASA Presentations Conference Images Livestream On March 19 23 2012 the 43rd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference will be held at The Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center in The Woodlands Texas This conference brings together international specialists in petrology geochemistry geophysics geology and astronomy to present the latest results of research in planetary science The five day conference will be organized by topical symposia and problem oriented sessions The year 2012 will mark completion of the first 50 years of nuclear powered spaceflight which began with launch of the Transit 4A satellite in June 1961 In honor of this occasion we are pleased to announce that the 43rd LPSC will be held in conjunction with the Nuclear and Emerging Technologies for Space NETS topical meeting which will take place March 21 23 2012 Nuclear power has been an enabling technology for the most ambitious planetary missions in history Holding the meetings together with a joint plenary session on Wednesday will allow the planetary science community to learn more about the latest developments in nuclear power and propulsion and see how new technologies could help their exploration efforts in the future Sponsors National Aeronautics and

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2012/ (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • 2012 LPI Summer Intern Program in Planetary Science
    Science The LPI s highly competitive intern program offers undergraduates the opportunity to experience cutting edge research in lunar and planetary science working one on one with scientists at the LPI and the NASA Johnson Space Center on a project of current interest in planetary science This year s program will run from June 4 through August 10 The students below were selected from an applicant pool of more than 288 students and we welcome them to the Institute as they begin what promises to be a very rewarding summer For more information about the program visit the summer intern webpage Student Joshua Blumenkopf Yeshiva College Advisors John Shebalin JSC Student Katelyn Lehman Texas Christian University Advisor Walter Kiefer and Georgiana Kramer LPI Student Mitali Chandnani Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee Advisor David Kring and Georgiana Kramer LPI Student Nicole Marin Arizona State University Advisor Kevin Righter and Lisa Danielson JSC Student Rebecca Johnston Brigham Young University Advisors Oliver White and Trudi Hoogenboom LPI Student Molly Richardson Rice University Advisors Julianne Moses LPI Student Melissa Judson SUNY Buffalo Advisors Virgil Buck Sharpton LPI Student Matthew Smith East Tennessee State University Advisor Paul Spudis LPI Student Jessica Kalynn University of British

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/interns2012/ (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • LPI Announces Career Development Award Winners
    annual meeting which has gained the reputation of being the premiere gathering place for lunar and planetary scientists The meeting provides an invaluable opportunity for students not only to present their own research but also to hear and see firsthand the latest breaking results from other researchers in their field Opportunities are also provided for students to meet and network with an international group of distinguished researchers Congratulations to the 2012 recipients Rebecca Bast Westfälische Wilhelms Universität Münster Germany Stephen Seddio Washington University in St Louis Robert Beauford University of Arkansas Bhairavi Shankar University of Western Ontario Canada Elmar Buhl Albert Ludwigs Universität Freiburg Germany Priyanka Sharma University of Arizona Michael Chaffin University of Colorado at Boulder Matthew R Smith University of Washington Carolyn Crow University of California Los Angeles Veerle Jasmin Sterken MPIK Staubgruppe Germany Dirk Elbeshausen Forshung Museum für Naturkunde Germany Kun Wang Washington University in St Louis Amy L Fagan University of Notre Dame Nathan Robert Williams Arizona State University Roger R Fu Massachusetts Institute of Technology Kelsey Young Arizona State University Emmanuel Jacquet Laboratoire de Minéralogie et Cosmochimiedu Muséum France Gang Yu Harvard University Matthew E Sanborn Arizona State University Michael R Zanetti Washington University in St Louis The LPI maintains a highly focused education effort chartered to engage excite and educate the public about lunar and planetary science and invests in the development of future generations of scientists The LPI Career Development Award has been provided from the generous endowments that the LPI has received over the past year from those in the community who are equally committed to the education of students in lunar and planetary science The LPI is managed by the Universities Space Research Association USRA which operates programs and institutes focused on research and education in space related science and engineering

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/cda_award/022212/ (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Mars-Bound NASA Rover Carries Coin for Camera Checkup
    from a meter or so away she might use a rock hammer If it is a close up as the MAHLI can take she might pull something small out of her pocket Like a penny Edgett bought the special penny that s onboard Curiosity with funds from his own pocket It is a 1909 VDB cent from the first year Lincoln pennies were minted the centennial of Abraham Lincoln s birth with the VDB initials of the coin s designer Victor David Brenner on the reverse The penny is on the MAHLI calibration target as a tip of the hat to geologists informal practice of placing a coin or other object of known scale in their photographs A more formal practice is to use an object with scale marked in millimeters centimeters or meters Edgett said Of course this penny can t be moved around and placed in MAHLI images it stays affixed to the rover The middle of the target offers a marked scale of black bars in a range of labeled sizes While the scale will not appear in photos MAHLI takes of martian rocks knowing the distance from the camera to a rock target will allow scientists to correlate calibration images to each investigation image Another part of MAHLI s calibration target displays six patches of pigmented silicone as aids for interpreting color and brightness in images Five of them red green blue 40 gray and 60 gray are spares from targets on NASA Mars rovers Spirit and Opportunity The sixth with a fluorescent pigment that glows red when exposed to ultraviolet light allows checking of an ultraviolet light source on MAHLI The fluorescent material was donated to the MAHLI team by Spectra Systems Inc of Providence Rhode Island A stair stepped area at the bottom of

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/mars_rover/022212/ (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • NASA Spacecraft Reveals Recent Geological Activity on the Moon
    We think the Moon is in a general state of global contraction because of cooling of a still hot interior said Thomas Watters of the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies at the Smithsonian s National Air and Space Museum in Washington and lead author of a paper on this research appearing in the March issue of the journal Nature Geoscience The graben tell us forces acting to shrink the Moon were overcome in places by forces acting to pull it apart This means the contractional forces shrinking the Moon cannot be large or the small graben might never form The weak contraction suggests that the Moon unlike the terrestrial planets did not completely melt in the very early stages of its evolution Rather observations support an alternative view that only the Moon s exterior initially melted forming an ocean of molten rock In August 2010 the team used LROC images to identify physical signs of contraction on the lunar surface in the form of lobe shaped cliffs known as lobate scarps The scarps are evidence the Moon shrank globally in the geologically recent past and might still be shrinking today The team saw these scarps widely distributed across the Moon and concluded it was shrinking as the interior slowly cooled Based on the size of the scarps it is estimated that the distance between the Moon s center and its surface shrank by approximately 300 feet The graben were an unexpected discovery and the images provide contradictory evidence that the regions of the lunar crust are also being pulled apart This pulling apart tells us the Moon is still active said Richard Vondrak LRO Project Scientist at NASA s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland LRO gives us a detailed look at that process As the LRO mission

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/LRO/ (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive



  •