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".
  • LPI Expands Lunar Sample Atlas
    about the type of sample e g rock soil the lithology e g basalt norite and a description of the sample This expansion was made possible through the efforts of a collaborative team including Rice University student Rob Hoffmann who produced an immense number of new thin section views Access to the lunar samples was provided by the staff of the Lunar Curatorial Facility at the NASA Johnson Space Center

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


  • Desert RATS Begin Field Studies
    first time members of the public voted to help NASA decide which location to visit The winning location which received a positive vote from 67 of voters from 88 countries around the world appears to be a place where multiple overlapping lava flows can be examined This year s tests will take place August 31 through September 15 NASA hardware that will be demonstrated includes Space Exploration Vehicles a pair of rovers that astronauts will live in for seven days at a time Habitat Demonstration Unit Pressurized Excursion Module a simulated habitat where the rovers can dock to allow the crew room to perform experiments or deal with medical issues Tri ATHLETEs Terrain Hex Legged Extra Terrestrial Explorer two heavy lift rover platforms that allow the habitat or other large items to go where the action is Portable communications terminals Centaur 2 a possible four wheeled transportation method for NASA Robonaut 2 Portable Utility Pallets PUPs mobile charging stations for equipment A suite of new geology sample collection tools including a self contained GeoLab glove box for conducting in field analysis of various collected rock samples In addition a variety of independent supporting technology elements including navigation systems to help guide spacewalkers and both solar and wind powered equipment will be demonstrated and tested During this mission there will be four crew members living in the two rovers Their traverse routes will include driving up and down steep slopes and over rough terrain at various speeds The crew will also demonstrate docking and undocking with the PUPs and the habitat Other objectives for the rovers include demonstrating the differences in productivity for crew members and their ground support that come with the different communication methods and evaluating different operational concepts for the trips the rovers make The ATHLETE System which

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

  • Rich Planetary System Discovered
    away in the southern constellation of Hydrus the Male Water Snake HARPS is an instrument with unrivaled measurement stability and great precision and is the world s most successful exoplanet hunter Thanks to the 190 individual HARPS measurements the astronomers detected the tiny back and forth motions of the star caused by the complex gravitational attractions from five or more planets The five strongest signals correspond to planets with Neptune like masses between 13 and 25 Earth masses which orbit the star with periods ranging from about 6 to 600 days These planets are located between 0 06 and 1 4 times the Earth Sun distance from their central star We also have good reasons to believe that two other planets are present says Lovis One would be a Saturn like planet with a minimum mass of 65 Earth masses orbiting in 2200 days The other would be the least massive exoplanet ever discovered with a mass of about 1 4 times that of the Earth It is very close to its host star at just 2 of the Earth Sun distance One year on this planet would last only 1 18 Earth days This object causes a wobble of its star of only about 3 km hour slower than walking speed and this motion is very hard to measure says team member Damien Ségransan If confirmed this object would be another example of a hot rocky planet similar to Corot 7b The newly discovered system of planets around HD 10180 is unique in several respects First with at least five Neptune like planets lying within a distance equivalent to the orbit of Mars this system is more populated than our solar system in its inner region and has many more massive planets there Furthermore the system probably has no

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/esa/HD10180/ (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Barringer Fund Awardees Announced
    year for support of field research at known or suspected impact sites worldwide The 2010 awardees are Marc Biren University of New Brunswick Canada Marisa Palucis University of California Berkeley United States Sebastian Sturm Westfälisches Wilhelms Universität Münster Germany Marcos Alberto Rodrigues Vasconcelos University of Campinas Brazil The Fund was established as a memorial to recognize the contributions of Brandon Moreau Paul and Richard Barringer to the field of meteoritics

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/awards/barringer2010/ (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Blowing in the Wind: Cassini Helps with Dune Whodunit
    to move significant amounts of sand A related perspective article about Tokano s work by Cassini radar scientist Ralph Lorenz the lead author on a 2009 paper mapping the dunes appeared in a recent issue of the journal Science It was hard to believe that there would be permanent west to east winds as suggested by the dune appearance said Tokano of the University of Cologne Germany The dramatic monsoon type wind reversal around equinox turns out to be the key The dunes track across the vast sand seas of Titan only in latitudes within 30 of the equator They are about a kilometer half a mile wide and tens to hundreds of kilometers miles long They can rise more than 100 meters 300 feet high The sands that make up the dunes appear to be made of organic hydrocarbon particles The dunes ridges generally run west to east as wind here generally sheds sand along lines parallel to the equator Scientists predicted winds in the low latitudes around Titan s equator would blow east to west because at higher latitudes the average wind blows west to east The wind forces should balance out based on basic principles of rotating atmospheres Tokano reanalyzed a computer based global circulation model for Titan he put together in 2008 That model like others for Titan was adapted from ones developed for Earth and Mars Tokano added in new data on Titan topography and shape based on Cassini radar and gravity data In his new analysis Tokano also looked more closely at variations in the wind at different points in time rather than the averages Equinox periods jumped out Equinoxes occur twice a Titan year which is about 29 Earth years During equinox the Sun shines directly over the equator and heat from the

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

  • NASA Spacecraft Camera Yields Most Accurate Mars Map Ever
    Facility in collaboration with NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory have been compiling the map since THEMIS observations began eight years ago The pictures have been smoothed matched blended and cartographically controlled to make a giant mosaic Users can pan around images and zoom into them At full zoom the smallest surface details are 100 meters 330 feet wide While portions of Mars have been mapped at higher resolution this map provides the most accurate view so far of the entire planet The new map is available at the JMARS Maps website Advanced users with large bandwidth powerful computers and software capable of handling images in the gigabyte range can download the full resolution map in sections at the Mars Global Data Sets website We ve tied the images to the cartographic control grid provided by the U S Geological Survey which also modeled the THEMIS camera s optics said Philip Christensen principal investigator for THEMIS and director of the Mars Space Flight Facility This approach lets us remove all instrument distortion so features on the ground are correctly located to within a few pixels and provide the best global map of Mars to date Working with THEMIS images from the new map the public can contribute to Mars exploration by aligning the images to within a pixel s accuracy at NASA s Be a Martian website which was developed in cooperation with Microsoft Corp The Mars Odyssey THEMIS team has assembled a spectacular product that will be the base map for Mars researchers for many years to come said Jeffrey Plaut Odyssey project scientist at JPL The map lays the framework for global studies of properties such as the mineral composition and physical nature of the surface materials Other sites build upon the base map At Mars Image Explorer which

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

  • NASA’s WISE Mission Completes Extensive Sky Survey
    highlights the region s expansive dust cloud through which the Seven Sisters and other stars in the cluster are passing Infrared light also reveals the smaller and cooler stars of the family The WISE all sky survey is helping us sift through the immense and diverse population of celestial objects said Hashima Hasan WISE Program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington It s a great example of the high impact science that s possible from NASA s Explorer Program The first release of WISE data covering about 80 of the sky will be delivered to the astronomical community in May of next year The mission scanned strips of the sky as it orbited around Earth s poles since it launched last December WISE always stays over Earth s day night line As Earth moves around the Sun new slices of sky come into the telescope s field of view It has taken six months or the amount of time for Earth to travel halfway around the Sun for the mission to complete one full scan of the entire sky For the next three months the mission will map half of the sky again This will enhance the telescope s data revealing more hidden asteroids stars and galaxies The mapping will give astronomers a look at what s changed in the sky The mission will end when the instrument s block of solid hydrogen coolant needed to chill its infrared detectors runs out The eyes of WISE have not blinked since launch said William Irace the mission s project manager at NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Both our telescope and spacecraft have performed flawlessly and have imaged every corner of our universe just as we planned So far WISE has observed more than 100 000 asteroids both known and previously unseen

    Original URL path: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/features/wise/071710/ (2016-02-15)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Cassini Sees Moon Building Giant Snowballs in Saturn Ring
    ring material Saturn s thin kinky F ring was discovered by NASA s Pioneer 11 spacecraft in 1979 Prometheus and Pandora the small shepherding moons on either side of the F ring were discovered a year later by NASA s Voyager 1 In the years since the F ring has rarely looked the same twice and scientists have been watching the impish behavior of the two shepherding moons for clues Prometheus the larger and closer to Saturn of the two moons appears to be the primary source of the disturbances At its longest the potato shaped moon is 148 kilometers 92 miles across It cruises around Saturn at a speed slightly greater than the speed of the much smaller F ring particles but in an orbit that is just offset As a result of its faster motion Prometheus laps the F ring particles and stirs up particles in the same segment once in about every 68 days Some of these objects will get ripped apart the next time Prometheus whips around Murray said But some escape Every time they survive an encounter they can grow and become more and more stable Cassini scientists using the ultraviolet imaging spectrograph previously detected thickened blobs near the F ring by noting when starlight was partially blocked These objects may be related to the clumps seen by Murray and colleagues The newly found F ring objects appear dense enough to have what scientists call self gravity That means they can attract more particles to themselves and snowball in size as ring particles bounce around in Prometheus s wake Murray said The objects could be about as dense as Prometheus although only about one fourteenth as dense as Earth What gives the F ring snowballs a particularly good chance of survival is their special location

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