|*** NOVEMBER 2005 ***|
|NASA AMES LEADS ROBOTIC LUNAR EXPLORATION PROGRAM|
|Today, on the 36th anniversary of Apollo 12, the second manned lunar landing, NASA announced that it has assigned management of its Robotic Lunar Exploration Program to NASA Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley. |
Returning astronauts to the moon will start with robotic missions between 2008 and 2011 to study, map and learn about the lunar surface. These early missions will help determine lunar landing sites and whether resources, such as oxygen, hydrogen and metals, are available for use in NASA's long-term lunar exploration objectives. The assignment marks a rebirth of robotic space flight work at NASA Ames, which has a history of spearheading unmanned space launches.
"The Robotic Lunar Exploration Program is a critical element of NASA's Vision for Space Exploration," said Exploration Systems Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Dr. Scott Horowitz. "Data collected will help determine where we go, and what we find during our first human missions to the lunar surface."
|NASA SCIENTIST HONORED FOR SPACESHIP BIOSENSOR, OTHER INVENTIONS|
|A microscopic sensor that can monitor spaceship water quality and also detect biohazards and even diagnose cancer is part of an extensive portfolio of inventions for which a NASA scientist today will receive an award. |
Jun Li, a research scientist at the Center for Nanotechnology, NASA Ames Research Center, located in California's Silicon Valley, will be honored by Nanotech Briefs magazine representatives during a ceremony in Boston. Nanotechnology is the creation of materials, devices and systems through the control of matter on the nanometer scale. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter.
"We are delighted and proud of this achievement," said Meyya Meyyappan, director of the Center for Nanotechnology at Ames.
|NASA SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY TO BE SHOWCASED IN SEATTLE|
|NASA's innovative high-performance computing technology, cutting-edge simulations, and high-fidelity modeling capabilities will be featured at the International Conference of High Performance Computing, Networking and Storage (SC05) in Seattle's Washington State Convention and Trade Center, Nov. 12-18, 2005. |
This year's conference, themed "Gateway to Discovery," will bring together representatives from scores of technical communities to exchange ideas, share recent successes, and plan for future supercomputing endeavors.
"At SC05, we will feature some major high-fidelity modeling and simulations being done on the national leadership-class system, Columbia. Since the system (a 10,240-processor SGI Altix supercomputer) began production computing in June 2004, it has seen a wide variety of exciting applications including shuttle on-orbit support, hurricane modeling, and next-generation space vehicle design," said Dr. Walter Brooks, chief of the Advanced Supercomputing Division at NASA Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley, where Columbia is located.
|NASA HONORS INNOVATIONS IN AIR TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT|
|As the skies become increasingly crowded, software developed by NASA is helping aircraft fly safer and more efficiently. |
This week, the Multi-center Traffic Management Advisor (McTMA) Development Team at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., received the Increase Capacity and Mobility Award at NASA's Turning Goals into Reality awards ceremony. The team was recognized for developing a decision-support tool that helps reduce air traffic delays in highly congested and complex airspace, such as the northeast corridor of the United States. A complex airspace is one in which multiple facilities with interdependent traffic flows are responsible for routing air traffic to a congested airport.
"McTMA is a significant technical achievement toward NASA's goal of increasing capacity, mobility and enabling more people to travel faster and farther with fewer delays," said Michael Landis, chief of the Airspace Systems Projects Office at NASA Ames.
|NASA INTERNET SOFTWARE ZOOMS TO NEARLY ANYWHERE ON MOON IN 3-D|
|Internet users can now take virtual 3-D trips to nearly anyplace onthe moon, thanks to a NASA program first designed to show aerial views of the Earth. |
The newly expanded NASA 'World Wind' computer program can 'transport' Web users to almost anyplace on the moon, when they zoom in from a global view to closer pictures of our natural satellite taken by the Clementine spacecraft in the 1990s. Computer programmers at NASA Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley originally designed the World Wind program to deliver satellite images and data of Earth to the Internet. Users can see detailed 3-D pictures of the Earth's land surface, including its elevation and climate.
"We have just digested the best of the Clementine images, so we cannow deliver the moon at 66 feet (20 meters) of resolution," said Patrick Hogan, manager of the World Wind Project Office at NASA Ames.
"This is a first. No one has ever explored our moon in the 3-D interactive environment that World Wind creates," noted Hogan.
|RUSSIANS TO PARTNER WITH NASA ASTROBIOLOGY INSTITUTE|
|The Russian Astrobiology Centre will become an affiliate of the NASA Astrobiology Institute |
through its international partners program.
The NASA Astrobiology Institute, headquartered at NASA Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley, is leading the scientific study of life in the universe - its origin, evolution, distribution and future. This multidisciplinary field brings together the physical and biological sciences to address some of the most fundamental
questions of the natural world: How do living systems emerge? How do habitable worlds form and how do they evolve? Does life exist on worlds other than Earth? How could terrestrial life potentially survive and adapt beyond our home planet?
"The new, formal affiliation between the Russian Astrobiology Centre and the astrobiology institute opens up new possibilities for collaborative studies," said NASA Astrobiology Institute Science Director Bruce Runnegar. "For
example, Russian Astrobiology Centre scientists are deeply involved in studies of the microbiology of the Siberian permafrost in places where recent volcanic activity has melted the ice, as may have happened in the past on Mars," he said.
|NASA DISCOVERS LIFE'S BUILDING BLOCKS ARE COMMON IN SPACE|
|A team of NASA exobiology researchers revealed today organic chemicals that play a crucial role in the chemistry of life are common in space. |
"Our work shows a class of compounds that is critical to biochemistry is prevalent throughout the universe," said Douglas Hudgins, an astronomer at NASA Ames Research Center, located in California's Silicon Valley. He is principal author of a study detailing the
team's findings that appears in the Oct. 10 issue of the Astrophysical Journal.
"NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has shown complex organic molecules called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are found in every nook and cranny of our galaxy. While this is important to astronomers, it has been of little interest to astrobiologists, scientists who search for life beyond Earth. Normal PAHs aren't really important to biology," Hudgins said. "However, our work shows
the lion's share of the PAHs in space also carry nitrogen in their structures. That changes everything."