Daily Archives: July 27, 2012

NASA – Mars Orbiter Repositioned to Phone Home Mars Landing

NASA – Mars Orbiter Repositioned to Phone Home Mars Landing. July 24, 2012

PASADENA, Calif. — NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft has successfully adjusted its orbital location to be in a better position to provide prompt confirmation of the August landing of the Curiosity rover.

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory spacecraft carrying Curiosity can send limited information directly to Earth as it enters Mars’ atmosphere. Before the landing, Earth will set below the Martian horizon from the descending spacecraft’s perspective, ending that direct route of communication. Odyssey will help to speed up the indirect communication process.

NASA reported during a July 16 news conference that Odyssey, which originally was planned to provide a near-real-time communication link with Curiosity, had entered safe mode July 11. This situation would have affected communication operations, but not the rover’s landing. Without a repositioning maneuver, Odyssey would have arrived over the landing area about two minutes after Curiosity landed.

A spacecraft thruster burn Tuesday, July 24, lasting about six seconds has nudged Odyssey about six minutes ahead in its orbit. Odyssey is now operating normally, and confirmation of Curiosity’s landing is expected to reach Earth at about 10:31 p.m. PDT on Aug. 5 (early Aug. 6, EDT and Universal Time), as originally planned.

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Mars Rover Curiosity Landing Educator Conference at JPL – August 3-5, 2012

Curiosity Rover

Bring “Curiosity” Into Your Classroom! Educator conference at JPL Aug.3-5, 2012.

Bring “Curiosity” Into Your Classroom!

Join in the historic landing of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity at Gale Crater Aug.3-5, 2012, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Bring the excitement of Mars exploration to your classroom with standards-aligned, STEM-based, hands-on activities and take home image-rich learning materials. Mission team members will share their stories, and you can see mission control, rover test beds and more. Then, view Curiosity’s anticipated landing at 10:31 p.m., Aug. 5.

For more information and to register, go to: http://marsed.asu.edu/curiosity.

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Free Webinars from NASA’s Aerospace Education Services Project – July and August 2012

NEON

NASA Educators Online Network (NEON) is a part of the NASA Aerospace Education Services Project (AESP). The network provides professional development opportunities for K-12 educators to support science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education.

NASA’s Aerospace Education Services Project will provide additional free webinars in July and August of 2012. All webinars can be accessed online. Educators can join aerospace education specialists during the events to learn about activities, lesson plans, educator guides for each topic.  These webinars and the interaction with education specialists are designed to make it easy for you to use NASA materials in your classroom.  Try a free professional development opportunity this month!

Putting NEON to Work for You, Part 2 (Grades K-12)
July 31, 2012, 7 – 8 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Anne Weiss explains how to use the NASA Educators Online Network, or NEON’s, most important feature: the interest groups. Participants will role-play several scenarios to find out how NEON’s various tools can be used to find NASA activities that align to state-specific standards.

Toys in Space (Grades 4-9)
Aug. 1, 2012, 11 a.m. -noon EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will share NASA’s Toys in Space videos and activities. In this program, astronauts took toys from around the world with them into space. Students predict, observe and record how the toys behave without the effects of Earth’s gravity, putting Newton’s Laws of Motion to the test. Participants will receive copies of the astronaut videos for use in the classroom.

Physics Resources for Secondary School (Grades 6-12)
Aug. 1, 2012, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Join aerospace education specialist John Weis as he demonstrates simple activities and resources for teaching physics at middle and high school levels. Topics and resources covered will include Newton’s Laws of Motion, energy, light and gravity. Lesson plans and modification strategies will be discussed.

Exploring Our Earth From Above (Grades 4-12)
Aug. 2, 2012, 10 – 11 a.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will integrate science, technology, engineering, mathematics and geography, or STEM-G, with Earth observations, remote sensing and maps. NASA curriculum products, missions and other resources will be utilized to demonstrate an inquiry-based teaching strategy to better understand Earth and the processes that shape it.

Curiosity: Roving Mars (Grades 2-8)
Aug. 2, 2012, noon – 1 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Rick Varner will share an overview of the Mars Science Laboratory mission and its rover named Curiosity. Scheduled to land on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, Curiosity is twice as big as rovers Spirit or Opportunity and weighs nearly a ton. The work the mission is designed to accomplish is equally large.

Exploring Our Earth From Above (Grades 4-12)
Aug. 9, 2012, 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Steve Culivan will integrate science, technology, engineering, mathematics and geography, or STEM-G, with Earth observations, remote sensing and maps. NASA curriculum products, missions and other resources will be utilized to demonstrate an inquiry-based teaching strategy to better understand Earth and the processes that shape it.

“Flying to Mars… In an Airplane?” (Grades 3-9)
Aug. 16, 2012, 4 – 5 p.m. EDT
Aerospace education specialist Brian Hawkins will present an overview of the Mars Science Laboratory mission with its Curiosity rover and explore the proposed Aerial Regional-Scale Environmental Survey of Mars, or ARES, mission. ARES is also known as the Mars Airplane. Two hands-on activities will be demonstrated during this session.

For more information about these webinars, and to see a full list of webinars taking place through August 2012, visit http://neon.psu.edu/webinars/.

Fish in Space: Space Station Gets an Aquarium

Space Aquarium

The Aquatic Habitat, or AQH, will help astronauts study the effects of microgravity on fish!

Fish in Space: Space Station Gets an Aquarium.

The Japanese Space Agency, or JAXA, will install a new aquatic node on the International Space Station today to study the effects of microgravity on fish and aquatic organisms.  According to Universe Today,

This is not the first time fish have been part of a space mission. Versions of the AQH flew on space shuttle missions STS-47, STS-65, and STS-90. The current system’s design upgrades are based on lessons learned from these missions.

You can read more about the planned experiements and the Medaka fish that will become the astronauts’ new friends at http://www.universetoday.com/96475/fish-in-space-space-station-gets-an-aquarium/

I wonder if they plan to name the fish…

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