Tagged With nasa


You would never buy a hundred million-dollar computer without a repair plan, but that's exactly what NASA does when it sends costly satellites into space. To ensure that its prized eyes-in-the-sky don't become the solar system's most expensive e-waste, the space agency is now building a robot capable of repairing and refuelling satellites in orbit.


Norm Nelson is interested in what makes the oceans tick. As a biological oceanographer at UC Santa Barbara, his research draws connections between sunlight and phytoplankton, the tiny green microbes that power the marine carbon cycle. There are plenty of outstanding questions Nelson wants to pursue — but after 30 productive years, his days as a scientist may be numbered.


Obviously, fire is pretty dangerous. To say fire is pretty dangerous in space, however, is a gross understatement. And that's basically the story of why NASA decided to do some space fire tests, with a range of materials.

Lucky for us (because space fire is ridiculously cool) footage of the tests were released by NASA - and you can watch them here.


Back in the early '60s, hundreds of thousands of people worked together to send NASA astronauts to the moon on the first Apollo missions. Today, Margaret H. Hamilton — the lead for MIT's nascent software engineering division, who wrote software for Apollo 11's guidance and navigation, and also the person who coined the term 'software engineering' — was awarded the United States' highest civilian honour.


I can’t help but be excited about the EmDrive, the experimental space propulsion system that seems to defy the fundamental laws of physics. A peer-reviewed paper has just been released, and, despite many physicists expecting this paper to finally kill the EmDrive puzzle, the opposite has happened: the paper found that the drive does, in fact produce thrust. It’s just that nobody seems to know how. Or why. I asked our tame physicist to help us figure this out.


If you woke up today wishing to fling yourself into a black hole, you may be wondering what's in store for NASA under President-elect Donald Trump. It is difficult to say much with certainty. But overall, the space agency will probably be directed to focus more on deep space activities and crewed spaceflight over the next four years, while its top-notch Earth science programs could suffer serious cuts.