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Search for Our Origins
Many scientists today believe that comets crashed into Earth in its formative period and spewed organic molecules that were crucial to the growth of life. Rosetta -named after the Rosetta Stone- is a spacecraft on a ten-year mission to catch the comet "67P/Curyumov-Gerasimenko" (C-G) and to answer some of our questions about comets. Rosetta will be the first spacecraft to soft-land a robot, Philae lander -named after Philae Obelisk-, on a comet.
Rosetta was launched in the year 2004 and is scheduled to reach the comet in 2014. The spacecraft has already succeeded in asteroid flyby missions on its way to the comet. In July 2011 Rosetta was put into deep-space hibernation for the duration of the most distant and the coldest part of its journey, traveling about 800 million kilometers from the sun. Its internal clock has been set for 10:00 GMT on 20 January 2014 to start the hibernation exit sequence. The spacecraft is expected to rendezvous with Comet C-G in May 2014 and finally in November 2014, Philae is scheduled to land on the comet.
To see amazing photos captured by Rosetta, please view:
To watch a video of the dock, please visit:
To learn more about the mission, please visit:
To see an animation of Rosetta journey please view:
On October 18, 2013, NASA's Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration (LLCD) made history, transmitting data from lunar orbit to Earth at a rate of 622 Mbps which is more than 6 times faster than previous radio systems flown to the moon. LLCD is being flown aboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer satellite known as LADEE, currently orbiting the moon. LADEE is a 100-day robotic mission with the primary goal to investigate the tenuous and exotic atmosphere that exists around the moon.
LLCD not only demonstrated a record-breaking download rate but also an error-free data upload rate of 20 Mbps. This breakthrough technology has a laser-based space terminal that is half the weight of a comparable radio-based terminal while using 25 percent less power.
"LLCD is the first step on our roadmap toward building the next generation of space communication capability," said Badri Younes, NASA's deputy associate administrator for space communications and navigation in Washington. "We are encouraged by the results of the demonstration to this point, and we are confident we are on the right path to introduce this new capability into operational service soon."
To see a video, read the entire article and learn more, please visit:
To learn more about LADEE, please visit:
Unfortunately, we have all been exposed to news of unthinkable tragedies at schools. Thankfully, they are rare, but sadly, they have happened. Authorities work and think of ways to keep our children and their teachers safe in face of danger. However, this time, it's the students who has taken upon themselves to create new solutions.
A team of high school students in Washington, DC has worked and invented a new locking system for classroom doors. Due to fire safety regulations, classroom doors can't be locked from the inside. As many of us know from schools lockdown drills, teachers and students would practice getting to their hiding places in a drill with the doors closed but not locked. In this case, ten highschoolers from Benjamin Banneker Academic High School led by their math teacher, John Mahoney, has invented a reliable, user-friendly and affordable device that can be placed quickly to prevent classroom doors from opening. They have named their invention Dead Stop and it consists of a PVC pipe, and a steel pin. Dead Stop works by preventing the door hinge from widening. Their device would cost less than $5, and could be installed under 30 seconds, and is easy to remove from inside, as well.
The students have received a Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam grant to support their project and are planning to have several prototypes ready by February for testing. They are expected to showcase their improved prototype in June during EurekaFest in MIT.
To learn more, please visit:
My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer: a book by Anousheh Ansari and Homer Hickam.
In her memoir, Anousheh recalls her long path to success and to achieving her dream. To learn more about the book, please visit: http://www.anoushehansari.com/book/
To find a book signing, please check the upcoming appearances section of this newsletter.
To obtain a copy please visit: