Monthly Archives: May 2012

  • The rumors of NASA’s death were greatly exaggerated

    For the last two years, one of the most common questions I’ve gotten from people that know I worked at NASA as a postdoc has been something along these lines:

    How does it feel to work at NASA when it’s being killed?

    I would calmly explain to them that NASA wasn’t dying, and that the only thing coming to a close was the shuttle program. I would then explain that this didn’t really touch the science side of NASA at all, and it didn’t even mean the end of human spaceflight. Instead, it just meant that human spaceflight at NASA was just

  • Someone from our community needs to win this.

    Let’s be honest. A lot of us do what we do (astrobiology/planetary sciences) because we’re nerds. We grew up tinkering with chemistry kits, poking things in the mud, hacking our video game consoles, and generally consuming anything having to do with aliens. And today, we still do the same thing… except now we get paid for it. (Many get paid meagerly, sure, but it still pays.) And someone is about to try to make you famous for it. (I promise this is NOT another FameLab pitch.) Check it out…

    Are you a super fan of STAR WARS, STAR TREK,

  • From the ocean depths an ancient being rose…

    No, not “Nessie.” But in my mind, something more exiting. Sometimes, the very first sentence of an the abstract hooks you… or at least hooks me. Check it out (emphasis mine):

    Microbial communities can subsist at depth in marine sediments without fresh supply of organic matter for millions of years. At threshold sedimentation rates of 1 millimeter per 1000 years, the low rates of microbial community metabolism in the North Pacific Gyre allow sediments to remain oxygenated tens of meters below the sea floor. We found that the oxygen respiration rates dropped from 10 micromoles of O2 liter−1 year−1near the sediment-water interface to 0.001 micromoles

  • The Next Full Moon is the Flower Moon

    For those that don’t remember this ~monthly feature, I get an email in the inbox once every four weeks from Gordon Johnston. For those that don’t know Gordon, is the Program Executive (think NASA HQ’s head engineer) for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and for OSIRIS-REx. He also happens to be a pleasant office-neighbor (he “lives” on the other side of the one wall my cubicle has). Anyways, Gordon knows his moon. And he sends an email every lunar cycle with viewing opportunities and historical information for the next four weeks of space-gazing. I pass it on to you in full with his permisison.


  • End to a hiatus…

    Hey everyone! AbSciCon 2012 took a lot out of the staff at Rest assured we’re back in the saddle and will start posting again soon…. perhaps with some new faces around.

    Sorry for the break in posting. But we’re back!