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Archive for May 22, 2012

New NASA App 2.0 Released For iPhone, iPod Touch

May 22, 2012 Leave a comment

NASA released Monday an updated version of the free NASA App for iPhone and iPod touch. The NASA App 2.0 includes several new features and a completely redesigned user interface that improves the way people can explore and experience NASA content on their mobile devices.
A team at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., completely rebuilt the NASA App for iPhone and iPod touch. It now has a fast and intuitive interface for the approximately 4.7 million people who’ve downloaded it so far. Other new features of NASA App 2.0 include weather forecasts in the spacecraft sighting opportunities section; maps, information and links to all of the NASA visitor centers; a section about NASA’s programs, as well as the ability to print, save and access favorite items, and bookmark images. The NASA App 2.0 requires iOS 5.0 or later.
“This is our first major redesign of the NASA App for iPhone since our initial release in 2009,” said Jerry Colen, NASA App project manager at Ames. “We are really excited about this release and think users are going to love the new interface and features.”

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/may/HQ_12-163_NASA_Iphone_App.html

Statement Regarding Launch of Falcon 9 Rocket and Dragon Spacecraft

May 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Following Tuesday’s launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft, John P. Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, issued the following statement:

“Congratulations to the teams at SpaceX and NASA for this morning’s successful launch of the Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Every launch into space is a thrilling event, but this one is especially exciting because it represents the potential of a new era in American spaceflight. Partnering with U.S. companies such as SpaceX to provide cargo and eventually crew service to the International Space Station is a cornerstone of the president’s plan for maintaining America’s leadership in space. This expanded role for the private sector will free up more of NASA’s resources to do what NASA does best — tackle the most demanding technological challenges in space, including those of human space flight beyond low Earth orbit. I could not be more proud of our NASA and SpaceX scientists and engineers, and I look forward to following this and many more missions like it.”
Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/may/HQ_12-164_Holdren_SpaceX_Statement.html

SpaceX Dragon Transports Student Experiments to Space Station

May 22, 2012 Leave a comment

The SpaceX Dragon capsule, which on Tuesday became the first commercially developed and built spacecraft to launch to the International Space Station, is carrying among its cargo a suite of 15 science experiments designed by students.
Known collectively as Aquarius, the experiments will assess the effects of microgravity on physical, chemical and biological systems. The students have been immersed in every facet of research, from definition of the investigation to experiment design, proposal writing and a formal NASA proposal review for selection of flight experiments.
“This unique student activity adds a new dimension to the International Space Station and its role as America’s only orbiting national laboratory,” said Leland Melvin, NASA’s associate administrator for Education. “It also clearly demonstrates that students still can actively participate in NASA microgravity opportunities in the post-shuttle era.”

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/may/HQ_12-160_SpaceX_Student_Experiments.html

Extremely Rare Transit of Venus to Occur on June 5, 2012

May 22, 2012 Leave a comment

A few hours before sunset on June 5th, 2012 residents of the Washington, DC metropolitan area will have a chance to witness one of the rarest celestial phenomena known: a “Transit of Venus”. Such an event occurs when the planet Venus passes almost exactly between the Earth and the Sun, and they are incredibly rare. Since first predicted by the German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler in the 17th Century, only six Transits of Venus have been observed. Weather permitting, this will be the seventh. Transits of Venus occur at regular intervals that repeat over a 243-year period. Intervals between successive transits are 8 years, 105.5 years, 8 years, and 120.5 years. The next Transit of Venus won’t occur until December 11, 2117, and it will not be visible from Washington! Kepler predicted the transit of December 7, 1631 but died before the event occurred. The next transit, on December 4, 1639, was observed by only two individuals, Jeremiah Horrocks and William Crabtree, from England.

 

Link to PDF: http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/tours-events/news-from-the-naval-observatory

NASA, NSBRI Select 29 Proposals To Support Crew Health On Missions

May 22, 2012 Leave a comment

NASA’s Human Research Program (HRP) and the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) of Houston will fund 29 proposals to help investigate questions about astronaut health and performance on future deep space exploration missions.
The selected proposals are from 25 institutions in 11 states and will receive a total of about $26 million over a one- to three-year period.
A major area of emphasis for both HRP and NSBRI has been the recently identified issue of visual impairment in astronauts during and after long-duration spaceflight. In addition, eight of the selected proposals will examine several facets of this poorly understood syndrome.
HRP and NSBRI research provides knowledge and technologies to improve human health and performance during space exploration and develops possible countermeasures for problems experienced during space travel. The organizations’ goals are to help astronauts complete their challenging missions successfully and preserve astronauts’ health throughout their lives.

Full Story: http://www.nasa.gov/home/hqnews/2012/may/HQ_12-062_NASA_NSBRI.html