"Many people resolved to lose weight this year, but seven university students had a different goal - to be "weightless." The students served as both investigators and test subjects in an experiment to examine how a person's sense of direction is impacted by the lack of gravity and whether a simple device can improve the ability to navigate. The student activity, supported by funds from National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) and Excalibur Almaz, was conducted through NASA's Reduced Gravity Student Flight Program."
Education: January 2009 Archives
"Today was supposed to have been our third live webcast to Challenger Learning Centers across the U.S. However, just as we were testing the satellite link, it died. After some hours of trying to figure out what went wrong, I decided to switch my team's attention to our other main task while on Devon Island. In addition to doing our webcasts, the other main task we had was the building of a memorial inukshuk to the crew of Space Shuttle Challenger."
The big "Y", Miles O'Brien
"Today, I am lucky to be a member of the Board of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. It is an organization that does much to engage and inspire kids - and keep the dreams and hoped of that lost crew alive. The organization does great things - but it needs our help. I encourage you to support it."
Editor's note: we were most pleased to be able to vote Miles onto the Board of Directors of the Challenger Center for Space Science Education last week.
Editor's note: According to NASA sources, the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) recently requested that NASA send an astronaut to represent the agency at the annual African American Pioneers in Aviation and Space event in Washington DC on 14 February. This event is part of Black History month. The agency usually sends someone and the NASM pays all travel costs. This year, the Astronaut Office declined the request from NASA HQ. To be certain, Code CB travel budgets are always tight and astronauts are always in demand.
Curiously, on 21 January 2009, the day after the inauguration and departure of Mike Griffin, an astronaut travelled to Washington, DC and reportedly visited the school where Rebecca Griffin's child attends classes as well as the school that a child of NASA CFO Ronald Spoehel attends. The cost of this astronaut trip was paid for out of a budget controlled by the Administrator's office.
Any school visit by an astronaut is of great value and can serve as a life-altering event. But given that these two schools were seemingly hand-selected due to 9th floor family priorities, and this other event will now go uncovered, one has to wonder what the priorities are for education and public outreach at NASA.
"NASA and the Challenger Center for Space Science Education have selected the winner of the Antarctic habitat naming contest. The name "Resolution" took top honors in the "Name that Habitat" competition. The winning name was submitted by 9th grade students at Holy Cross High School in Delran, N.J. and was under the command of Captain James Cook. Holy Cross students said the new habitat represents an advance in technology, much as Cook's ship did. The students also pointed out that the word "resolution" aptly describes America's intent to explore space."
"Disney Pixar's animated film Wall-E took home a golden globe Sunday evening for best animated film. Director Andrew Stanton was on hand to accept the award. Stanton thanked Pixar Animations which produced the film, and Walt Disney, which distributed the film. Specifically, he said the entire message and communication between humans and obscure robots "couldn't have been made anywhere else."
"NASA and Disney have signed a Space Act Agreement for a series of educational and public outreach activities related to Disney-Pixar's new movie, WALL-E, opening in theaters nationwide on June 27, 2008."
WALL-E, Box Office Mojo
"Domestic Total Gross: $223,808,164"
Editor's note: If NASA was really paying attention to what people are interested in - with the thought of how to engage their interest in space exploration - they'd have WALL-E in the Inaugrual Parade. Oh wait - WALL-E is just a make believe rover - in many ways, just like JSC's rover. Yet I will bet more people watching the parade would know WALL-E's name ...
Name NASA's Next Mars Rover, NASA JPL
NASA WALL-E Video Below
"NASA has a Facebook page designed for students in grades 9-12 and higher education. The page is updated daily, excluding weekends and holidays. It features information for students regarding competitions, feature articles, podcasts, videos and more.
Information is also posted to update students on opportunities that have an upcoming deadline, when the space shuttle is preparing for a launch or a landing, and other significant NASA events."