April 2, 2014 |
As NASA plans to send astronauts to an asteroid or even to Mars in the coming decades -- missions that could last well beyond 30 days -- they're grappling with an ethical dilemma. How do they handle decisions on long-distance space exploration when it could expose astronauts to high or unknown health hazards? To help develop an ethical framework for venturing into this unknown territory, the space agency asked the Institute of Medicine to convene a panel of experts to offer some helpful guidelines.
February 26, 2014 |
Last summer astronaut Luca Parmitano came perilously close to drowning in space after more than a liter of water leaked into his helmet. Today NASA officials said they are still trying to figure out what went wrong. The near-drowning occurred July 16 about one hour into Parmitano's second spacewalk. Forty-four minutes into the walk, the Italian astronaut noticed the back of his head was wet. Ten minutes later he reported the amount of water was increasing. By the time mission control decided to abort the mission 23 minutes later, large droplets of water were starting to cover Parmitano's eyes, nose and ears as he made his way toward the air lock.
October 15, 2013 |
A quirky habit of German insomniacs and "chill-out" music fans has come to world attention thanks to the U.S. government shutdown. "Space Night," a nearly 20-year-old late-night broadcast by Bavarian Television, provides a music-sharing platform against a backdrop of NASA's video feed from the International Space Station. But the 15-day-old U.S. government shutdown has idled the NASA archivists responsible for relaying the imagery beyond Mission Control, cutting off fresh backdrops to mix with the music for "Space Night" broadcasts that were to have launched a new season Nov. 1. NASA archivists were put on unpaid leave at the start of October, when 700,000 government workers whose jobs weren't deemed essential to defense and security were furloughed until the contentious U.S. Congress passes a budget for the new fiscal year.
December 6, 2012 |
Years of trying to do too many things with too little money have put NASA at risk of ceding leadership in space exploration to other nations, according to a new report that calls on the space agency to make wrenching decisions about its long-term strategy and future scope. As other countries - including some potential adversaries - are investing heavily in space, federal funding for NASA is essentially flat and under constant threat of being cut. Without a clear vision, that fiscal uncertainty makes it all the more difficult for the agency to make progress on ambitious goals like sending astronauts to an asteroid or Mars while executing big-ticket science missions, such as the $8.8-billion James Webb Space Telescope, says the analysis released Wednesday by the National Research Council.
July 8, 1986 |
NASA reached outside its own organization today and appointed an industry expert as the head of a new safety office to guard against a repetition of the Challenger disaster. George A. Rodney, director of mission success at the Martin-Marietta Orlando Aerospace Co. in Florida, will have charge of all safety, reliability and quality assurance functions in NASA activities.
May 2, 2013 |
NASA wants to send haikus to Mars, and you - yes, you! - might be just the poet for the job. The space agency plans to launch a spacecraft to study the upper layers of the Red Planet's atmosphere in November. But before the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission (known as MAVEN) blasts off, NASA is asking the public to submit their names for a DVD that will be loaded onto the Martian satellite. If you missed your chance at getting your name engraved on microchips on the Mars rover Curiosity (along with the names of 1.2 million other people)
April 21, 2014 |
This Earth Day NASA is asking citizens of the Earth to step outside and photograph themselves wherever on the planet they happen to be. The space agency's celebration of the Earth and the people who live on it is called, appropriately, #globalselfie. To participate all you need is a digital camera and a sign indicating which spot on our planet you happen to be standing on. (Not feeling creative? NASA has a sign you can print out on its website. It reads, "Hi NASA! I'm on Earth Right Now @_______)
August 6, 2013 |
Charles used to work at NASA and wants to stay in touch with the space program via NASA TV, the cable channel paid for by tax dollars and provided free to telecom companies. Turns out, though, that his AT&T U-verse package doesn't include NASA TV. To receive the channel, he was told, he'd have to pay for a more expensive programming package. More videos from Ask Laz Charles' question: Why should NASA TV be considered a premium channel considering that taxpayers have already paid for it?
June 9, 2012 |
Bake sales at high schools to raise money for trips to Washington, D.C., football uniforms, art supplies and the like are commonplace in these tough budgetary times. But a bake sale for NASA planetary science? On Saturday, scientists from Caltech and UCLA will be out in force at La Canada High School, with chocolate chip cookies and brownies on hand, as part of a nationwide Planetary Bake Sale that is intended to raise awareness of proposed cuts to the NASA science budget.
September 12, 2013 |
Having trouble getting excited about NASA's planned mission to redirect an asteroid? Maybe William Gerstenmaier can help. "Turn off your logical side and turn on your touchy-feely side, the one you almost never use," Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Directorate, told attendees of an aeronautics and astronautics conference Wednesday in San Diego. "Then jump up and down and do some break-dancing. We're going to grab a space rock and we're going to move it!"