Halloween asteroid 2015 TB145 will fly by Oct. 31 at 12 p.m. CST

Plenty of people are getting spooked by the news giant asteroid 2015 TB145 is set to buzz by Earth on Halloween night, Oct. 31. There’s no reason to worry about the space happenings on the bewitching night, according to NASA, who is keeping an eye on the space rock they’ve dubbed “The Great Pumpkin.” NASA’s […]
Plenty of people are getting spooked by the news giant asteroid 2015 TB145 is set to buzz by Earth on Halloween night, Oct. 31. There’s no reason to worry about the space happenings on the bewitching night, according to NASA, who is keeping an eye on the space rock they’ve dubbed “The Great Pumpkin.” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California said they are tracking 2015 TB145 through several optical observatories as well as by radar. The asteroid will fly by the Earth at a safe distance slightly farther than the moon’s orbit on Oct. 31 at around 12:05 p.m. CST. The asteroid, which was only discovered Oct. 10 by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS-1 system, has a width of about 1,300 feet. Scientists are excited about the asteroid’s Earth close buzz since it’s the closest currently known approach by an object this large until asteroid 1999 AN10 makes its debut in August 2027. That asteroid is about 2,600 feet wide. Size aside, the Halloween space rock poses no danger to the Earth, according to NASA. “The trajectory of 2015 TB145 is well understood,” said Paul Chodas, manager of the Center for Near Earth Object Studies at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.. “At the point of closest approach, it will be no closer than about 300,000 miles — 480,000 kilometers or 1.3 lunar distances. Even though that is relatively close by celestial standards, it is expected to be fairly faint, so night-sky Earth observers would need at least a small telescope to view it.” Scientists said the asteroid should have no “detectable effect” on the moon on anything on Earth, including the  tides or tectonic plates.
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ThumbSats: Itty-Bitty Satellites Could Carry Your Experiments To Space

  IT LOOKS LIKE an alien balloon. Except that it flies at 17,500 mph in near-Earth orbit and can carry a science experiment—potentially your science experiment—for two months before it burns up in the atmosphere. And early next year, 20 of these ThumbSats will beam data back to a network of 50 listening stations all over the world. […]
 
Each mini satellite measures 16 inches and includes a micro camera and GPS. Aerospace engineer Shaun Whitehead is putting a $15,000 price tag on each ThumbSat's launch cost. (Photo : Cristiano Rinaldi)
IT LOOKS LIKE an alien balloon. Except that it flies at 17,500 mph in near-Earth orbit and can carry a science experiment—potentially your science experiment—for two months before it burns up in the atmosphere. And early next year, 20 of these ThumbSats will beam data back to a network of 50 listening stations all over the world. Aerospace engineer Shaun Whitehead came up with the ThumbSat project because he wanted to help regular people send stuff into space. “We get slowed down by old-school ways of thinking,” he says. “I hope that ThumbSat accelerates progress in space, inspires everyone to look up.” His craft are so small that they fit into the nooks and crannies of commercial launchers, hitching a ride with bigger payloads and keeping costs down. The people conducting the first experiments are a diverse group. Engineers at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory hope to use a cluster of connected ThumbSats to study gravitational waves. Three teenage sisters from Tennessee who go by the moniker Chicks in Space want to orbit algae and sea monkey eggs. Artist Stefan G. Bucher will deploy magnetized fluids and shape-memory alloys. Eventually a global network of volunteers, including a Boy Scout group in Wisconsin and a school in the Cook Islands, will monitor all the ThumbSat data. (Without receivers on those remote islands, there’d be a big gap in coverage out in the South Pacific.) Space is the place, and pretty soon anyone will be able to reach it.


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NASA’s Robotic Future: Autonomous Robots with Fancy Cameras

Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering. Are you interested in the developments in those industries?  If yes, keep on reading! Computers are getting smarter. We already have IBM Watson destroying its human competition in quiz shows, but what about the natural sense of curiosity that comes […]
Applied Technology Institute (ATI Courses) offers a variety of courses on Space, Satellite & Aerospace Engineering. Are you interested in the developments in those industries?  If yes, keep on reading! Computers are getting smarter. We already have IBM Watson destroying its human competition in quiz shows, but what about the natural sense of curiosity that comes with scientific inquiry? The engineers and scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory are working on building robots that will “know what’s desirable to observe.” That comes by way of computer scientist and geologist Kiri Wagstaff of NASA JPL. As advanced as the Mars Curiosity rover may be, its complete agenda is still being set each day by a group of humans here on Earth. The future of exploration on other planets will be very different. As Wagstaff puts it, the robot will be able to “graduate from being a remote instrument to actually being a field assistant.” A big part of that transition comes by way of developments like their TextureCam. Here is a 3D camera system that allows the exploration robots to make an educated guess as to what should be worth investigating further. This is based on looking for novel colors or textures, compared to previous images. If it’s new, it’s probably worth looking at and this line of thinking seems to be working based on early tests in earthly deserts. By allowing the on-board computers to make their own decisions, NASA can be far more efficient; normally, the two-way communication to a probe on Mars can take up to 40 minutes and they’re often restricted to one transmission a day due to bandwidth constraints. Instead of waiting for the humans to tell it what to do, the next-gen Mars rover can decided on its own. Of course, we’d still be here to correct its course if needed, because human curiosity cannot (yet) be fully replicated by a machine. Source : Wired  

NASA’s Ultimate Space Wi-Fi (LCRD) passes Mission Concept Review with flying colors!

What is LCRD?  It is Laser Communications Relay technology, which NASA aims to fly on a test mission within four years and will be used in near-earth and deep-space human and robotic missions.   Space laser communications technology has the potential to provide 10 to 100 times higher data rates than traditional radio frequency systems for the […]
What is LCRD?  It is Laser Communications Relay technology, which NASA aims to fly on a test mission within four years and will be used in near-earth and deep-space human and robotic missions.   Space laser communications technology has the potential to provide 10 to 100 times higher data rates than traditional radio frequency systems for the same mass and power.  In short, laser communications could boost space data transmission rates from the speeds of dial-up to broadband. The technology is directly applicable to the next generation of NASA’s space communications network. After the demonstration, the developed space and ground assets will be qualified for use by near-Earth and deep space missions requiring high bandwidth and a small ground station reception area. When launched, NASA’s technology demonstration payload will be positioned above the equator, a prime location for line-of-sight to other orbiting satellites and ground stations. Positioning LCRD aboard the commercial communication satellite platform is a cost effective approach to place LCRD in orbit. The Loral satellite will provide the right location, space availability, and power systems needed to conduct the space laser communications tests. If you are interested in this topic, ATI offers Satellite Laser Communications course that will be presented on February 5-7, 2012 in Columbia, MD. You can submit your registration here.
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Is US The Hottest Place On Earth? Yes, it is!

More precisely it definitely was in the month of July 2011 according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). On average the temperatures were 20 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal. This led to the deaths of dozens of citizen. NASA AIRS (Atmoshperic Infrared Shounder) movies below show the heat wave evolution. Click on an individual image […]
More precisely it definitely was in the month of July 2011 according to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). On average the temperatures were 20 degrees Fahrenheit higher than normal. This led to the deaths of dozens of citizen. NASA AIRS (Atmoshperic Infrared Shounder) movies below show the heat wave evolution. Click on an individual image for the movie
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Surface Air Temp Daytime Surface Skin Temp Daytime Surface Air Temp Nighttime Surface Skin Temp Nighttime
The movies demonstrate surface air temperature and surface skin temperature, during both daytime and nighttime conditions. What is surface air temperature? It is something we experience whenever we go outside. High surface air temperature makes even shady places feel hot. What is Surface skin temperature? It is  is what we feel when we touch the ground. What is the difference between the daytime and nighttime temperature? During daytime, the surface skin temperature is generally much warmer than surface air temperature because dark surfaces are so effective at absorbing sunlight. The surface air and skin temperatures are related by something invisible but actually quite familiar: infrared — or heat — radiation. Our skin is very sensitive to infrared radiation, making a sun-heated wall feel warm even from a few feet away after sunset. Air absorbs very little sunlight, but easily absorbs infrared radiation emitted by the warm surface. It’s the sun-warmed surface — not sunlight — that heats the air during daytime. What are your survival techniques for this hot summer?  Please comment below…  


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