Volume 12 –August 24, 2009
The MAXI on Kibo
Last Month, a new telescope, the MAXI, was attached to the Japanese Experiment Module Kibo on board of International Space Station. The MAXI, Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image, is an externally mounted experiment which consists of highly sensitive X-ray slit cameras. Every 96 hours as ISS orbits Earth, this new telescope monitors the entire sky for X-ray variability on time scales from a day to a few months.
The information gathered by MAXI is promptly distributed through the internet by Japnese Aerospace Exploration Agency.
Scientists will begin calibrating the new telescope's instruments in August and it is expected to be functional in November. For more information, please visit:
NASA scientists have discovered glycine, a fundamental building block of life, in samples of comet Wild 2 returned by NASA's Stardust spacecraft.
"Glycine is an amino acid used by living organisms to make proteins.... Our discovery supports the theory that some of life's ingredients formed in space and were delivered to Earth long ago by meteorite and comet impacts." said Dr. Jamie Elsila, the lead author of a paper on this research.
"The discovery of glycine in a comet supports the idea that the fundamental building blocks of life are prevalent in space, and strengthens the argument that life in the universe may be common rather than rare," said Dr. Carl Pilcher, Director of NASA Astrobilogy Institute which co-funded the research.
The new research has used isotopic analysis to rule out the possiblity of terrestrial contamination. To learn more about the Stardust mission and this discovery please visit:
2010 IEEE Presidents' "Change the World" Competition
Are you a student with an idea that could benefit humanity and revolutionize the way we live?
The 2010 IEEE Presidents’ “Change the World” Competition is open to college and university students who demonstrate excellence in the development, design and implementation of technology that can solve a life challenge for the benefit of humanity.
The competition’s goal is to recognize and reward individual students or teams of students who identify a real-world problem and apply engineering, science, computing and leadership skills to solve it. The contest offers students the perfect opportunity to have their ingenuity and enthusiasm for engineering and technology recognized by prestigious IEEE members around the globe.
The submission of entries will begin in September. To learn more please visit: http://www.ieee.org/web/membership/changetheworld.html
2009-2010 Spirit of Innovation Awards
The Conrad Foundation is gearing up for another extraordinary year of enriching science education and entrepreneurship. They are launching new competition categories in aerospace exploration, renewable energy, space nutrition, and green schools. You will see a completely redesigned website. Their online forums, “Ask an Expert” program, video webinars, and resource toolboxes will provide new resources for participating students and educators.
Also this year, there are new partner organizations that have stepped into critical roles with the Spirit of Innovation program including the National Science Teacher’s Association, Sigma Xi, and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
The open registration will start on August 24th. For more information please visit: