Exploration

  • Beaming Up a Software Doctor
    The Mars rovers were launched without a complete software unit. As the red planet loomed ever closer, the control code was beamed up. This model of not just transfering new mission protocols, but actually letting the protocols carry some 'self-healing' may play an increasing role
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  • Splitting Cargo and Crew
    The next generation shuttle, designed to support eventual lunar stops on the way to Mars, may benefit from a NASA concept to separate crew and cargo in future missions. Before a crew is sent, the cargo will be waiting for them.
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  • Wrapping Up the Genesis Site
    Genesis engineers and scientists have wrapped the crash site of the solar-wind collecting probe, with hopes of recovering mission objectives.
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  • Shape-Shifting Borg Gets Its Groove On
    A concept for adaptive robotics has been demonstrated for what specialists call "lattice robots"--mechanical connectors that tie together many moving parts to shift their shape in response to changes in their environment.
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  • House of the Future
    A house that uses technology designed for space could become the basis of the new German Antarctic station, Neumayer-III. The new station has to meet stringent laws set up to protect the Antarctic environment, which is where the use of space technology comes in.
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  • Sounding Off to Deep Space
    To explore deeper into our solar system, maximum efficiencies may one day be extracted from sound waves. Los Alamos scientists have engine plans drawn up for making a big bang to push a pistonless drive forward.
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  • Contemplating the Cracked Capsule
    The shattered Genesis capsule has been moved to a clean room, and scientists are tentatively probing the interior, checking for damage. Although they say the samples can be recovered, the clean up will be a long and difficult process.
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  • Genesis Suffers A Crash Landing
    The Genesis sample capsule crash-landed today after its parachutes failed to deploy. A recovery crew is in the field now, hoping to recover materials from the shattered capsule.
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  • Rebuilding the Biggest Building
    One of the world's largest buildings sustained damage over the weekend as hurricane Frances pounded a natural scar on the face of a manmade wonder. Florida's Space Coast has witnessed many launches designed specifically to study and predict the damaging effects of hurricanes--one of the
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  • Footprints on the Moon
    The Moon offers a unique preserved laboratory free from the weathering that ages the record of how life arose on Earth. Studying radiation and polar craters may be targets for the next human or robotic missions.
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  • Citizen of the Solar System
    NASA's David Morrison won the 2004 Carl Sagan medal from the Division for Planetary Sciences. He talked with Astrobiology Magazine about the risks and rewards of extending science beyond our biosphere.
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  • It’s a Bird, It’s a Planet
    When the space station passes across the Sun or moon, the scene offers an interesting demonstration of how planet hunter's look for new candidates by measuring the periodic dimming of a parent star.
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  • Towards Biological Machines?
    By encouraging ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules to self-assemble into 3-D shapes resembling spirals, triangles, rods and hairpins, scientists have found what could be a method of constructing lattices on which to build complex microscopic machines.
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  • Spooky Spaceflight
    Once derided by Einstein as "spooky action at a distance", quantum entanglement could hold out the promise of a novel means of space propulsion, perhaps even making interstellar travel feasible.
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  • Countdown Meets Perfect Storm
    The early Monday morning launch of the first orbital mission to Mercury encountered a difficult weather pattern that scrubbed what operators call an 'instantaneous' launch window. Although the mission will extend to seven years until 2011, only twelve seconds are available to time
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