Tag Archives: NASA

50 Scientific Facts About the Earth

One of the most surprising facts about the Earth is how we easily forget that what an amazing and interesting planet we live on. As Carl Sagan pointed out, “It’s home, it’s us”. It is the only world known planet to support an atmosphere with free oxygen, liquid water on the surface, and, perhaps this is the most important amazing, life. Here are 50 scientific facts about the Earth.

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How NASA Missions Save Lives on Earth

Satellites are blessings to mankind in the true sense. NASA has been continuously striving to launch the satellite for the betterment of the environment and to understand the future aspects. The American space agency not only employs the larger number people themselves but also helps other aerospace companies to employ them.

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Point Nemo – The Spacecraft Graveyard

In the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, there’s a location called “Point Nemo”. It’s not a place that humans live – in fact, there is no land there – not an island, not even a small rock. It is actually the remotest place from any human civilization you can find on Earth. It lies at least 2,688 km (1,670 mi) from the nearest land. It is also called “Oceanic pole of inaccessibility”.Notes 1

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Earth can be a model for detecting vegetation on exoplanets

Back in December 1990, during its flyby of Earth, NASA’s Galileo spacecraft, which studied the planet Jupiter and its moons, as well as several other Solar System bodies, pointed its instruments towards Earth, at the urging of Carl Sagan. And, it has found evidence of life on our planet. This can be a key to detect vegetation on exoplanets – which is a key to a possible intelligent extraterrestrial life.

In a paper published on Nature, researchers wrote “The Galileo spacecraft found evidence of abundant gaseous oxygen, a widely distributed surface pigment with a sharp absorption edge in the red part of the visible spectrum, and atmospheric methane in extreme thermodynamic disequilibrium. Together, these are strongly suggestive of life on Earth.”

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5 Surprising Facts about Mars

For eons, skywatchers have been fascinated by the pale red dot that not only unpredictably moves backward in the night sky but also shines a compelling blood-red. Its color, indeed, is one of the first features we notice about Mars. It seizes our attention, and its compelling ambiguity has evoked a deep visceral reaction from the nomad in ancient savannas to modern astronomers. The ancient astronomer may be satisfied to know that, in fact, Mars is literally blood-red: the same chemical reaction that occurs in the iron in Mars’ soil is the same is the same chemical reaction that occurs in the hemoglobin molecule. Mars, is, quite literally, blood red. Even with our cutting-edge technology and science, Mars still bewitches and amazes us as seen with these five surprising facts about Mars.

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How NASA Reinvented The Wheel

On August 6, 2012, at 05:17 UTC, NASA has successfully landed a Mini-Cooper-sized rover, Curiosity, on Aeolis Palus in Gale Crater on Mars. The 900-kg rover (899 kg, to be exact, which is 1,982 lbs) is equipped with six 50 cm (20 in) diameter wheels in a rocker-bogie suspension. Notes 1 For the first time in the history of the space exploration, the suspension system also served as landing gear for the vehicle, unlike its smaller predecessors.

Curiosity “soft-landed”  (wheels down) on the surface of Mars. But, even it’s called “soft-landing”, the touchdown speed was 0.6739m/s vertical and 0.044m/s horizontal, which could damage the wheels. Plus, while the rover is moving, the wheels should withstand the substantial damage through the rough Martian surface. That’s why the wheels of the Curiosity rover have been one of the biggest technical difficulties encountered on the mission. Notes 2

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What causes the phases of the moon?

Despite we always see the same side of the Moon, it still looks a little different every night. Sometimes we see only a thin crescent, sometimes a half-moon, sometimes a full moon, and other times in-between. Sometimes even the Moon seems to disappear entirely. These “shapes” called lunar phases or phases of the Moon. A lunar phase is the shape of the directly sunlit portion of the Moon as viewed from Earth.

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The Confluence Of Robotics With Space Research And Exploration

Those of us who have grown up watching the iconic space saga Star Wars are quite informed about what robots can accomplish. While that’s only a reel representation, but it definitely points to an abundance of opportunities in the realm of space research.

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Video: NASA Balloon Mission Captures Rare Electric Blue Clouds

An amazing video: a recent NASA long-duration balloon mission observed a thin group of seasonal electric blue clouds which are known as noctilucent clouds or polar mesospheric clouds (PMCs). Forming 50 miles (80 km) above polar regions in summer they are Earth’s uppermost clouds and only visible around twilight. PMCs are composed of ice crystals that glow bright blue or white when reflecting sunlight.

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