Exploration

  • Farmer Droids
    The practicality of inexpensive robots opens a host of worldly applications, whether tending a cornfield or testing for bugs. Just as in the film Star Wars, there may be a future role for autonomous robots to tend the farm while farmers blast off for
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  • Hubble Comes to Home Computers
    The Hubble Space Telescope releases imagery data in a file format called FITS, which has previously not be directly accessible in some of the more popular home computer image software. A new plug-in released by the European Space Agency's Hubble team changes a computer to
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  • Light This Candle
    In the early days of the astronaut program, scientists weren't sure if the human body could survive space flight. In Neal Thompson's engaging biography of Alan Shepard, "Light This Candle," he writes of the extreme tests astronauts had to undergo in order to prove
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  • Fantastic Nano-Voyage
    For both scientists and artists in the field of nanotechnology, making tiny airplanes and flower-like designs on scales smaller than the width of a human hair showcases the large promise of thinking small.
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  • I Want My Sci-TV
    Americans love science in their movies and TV shows, yet recent reports indicate we are losing our scientific dominance to the rest of the world. Can science-themed entertainment get Americans off the couch and into the lab?
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  • Moon to Mars: What’s Beyond?
    A blue-ribbon Presidential Commission has released its research findings on how best to get exploration initiatives aligned to a future moon or Mars agenda. Their results highlight the educational potential and the significance of living off the land as humans go where robots have pioneered.
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  • The Tool Guy: Red Whittaker Responds
    Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute has spawned advanced robots for exploration, with Red Whittaker often the one directing them into volcanoes or along the ocean floor. Whittaker responds to the questions from the Presidential Commission considering how best to explore the moon and Mars.
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  • Andrew Cheng: One Giant Leap on an Asteroid
    Dr. Andrew Cheng, 2001 project scientist for the first robotic landing on an asteroid, takes up the question: Should humans try to land on what many consider our nearest and best solar system targets, the asteroids?
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  • The Bigger Picture: Minutes from a meeting about the use of media to promote space exploration
    Testifying before the Presidential blue-ribbon commission plotting trips to the moon and mars offers a chance to evaluate the good, the bad and the ugly--in other words, to take note of the big picture.
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  • Marianne Frey: Round Trip Survivor
    Dr. Marianne Frey considers the spaceflight challenges to human physiology and psychology. Does it take more than just the 'right stuff' for humans to get to Mars?
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  • Ray Bradbury: The Illustrated Spaceman
    In viewing Earth, moon and Mars, few could or would ask to look ahead five hundred years. When presenting his views to the blue-ribbon Presidential Panel, author Ray Bradbury took on the challenge of imagining a moon base and a Mars' civilization.
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  • Punching Through the Night´s Curtain (Q & A, Part II)
    What is the endgame in a quest to understand where in the universe we on Earth might fit in? The question hinges on one's view of what a true space-faring civilization or a multi-planet species might represent.
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  • What Would a Martian Drive? (Q & A Part I)
    Three leading space scientists discuss how best to search for life, given what we know today about Mars, history's lessons about human exploration and whether Mars is another place to plant a flag.
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  • David Morrison: Waystations to Mars
    Do asteroids make good candidates for testing mission profiles before trying to get humans on Mars? Dr. David Morrison considers the role of robots and humans, along with which targets might round out a priority list between the Moon and Mars.
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  • Michael Carr: Bringing Mars Home
    How important would it be to have a martian sample to pass around to the worlds' best laboratories, much the way that researchers share meteors and moon rocks today? According to Dr. Michael Carr, the stepwise goal of returning an interesting rock from Mars will
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