Space & Planetary Science: October 2007 Archives

Cosmology@Home

Home Computers to Help Researchers Better Undestand Universe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

"Want to help unravel the mysteries of the universe? A new distributed computing project designed by a University of Illinois researcher allows people around the world to participate in cutting-edge cosmology research by donating their unused computing cycles. The project is called Cosmology@Home, and is similar to SETI@Home, a popular program that searches radio telescope data for evidence of extraterrestrial transmissions."

DPS: NASA Night: Sweetness and light, Planetary Society

"... Well, things have changed, a lot. A majority of the people leading NASA Headquarters and its various divisions have been replaced in the last year, and all four of the people on stage for NASA night at DPS 2007 were new to Headquarters, but not new to the science community. They quickly had the gathered scientists eating out of the palm of their collective hand."

Editor's note: On Tuesday night NASA Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Alan Stern announced that NASA plans to form a NASA Lunar Science Institute (NLSI) patterned on the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI).

Speaking tonight at the Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Orlando, Stern said that the initial selection would be done of 4 to 5 lead teams at a cost of $1-2 million each.

As is the case with the NAI, the NSLI would be managed by NASA Ames Research Center.

Hearing: Near-Earth Objects - Status of the Survey Program and Review of NASA's Report to Congress

Editor's note: According to the House Science and Technology Committee this hearing has been postponed. Congress cancelled all business for this Thursday due to the funeral for Rep. Jo Ann Davis. When Congress is not in session, the Committee cannot hold a hearing. The new date is 8 November.

NASA's Clean Rooms Aren't

In NASAs Sterile Areas, Plenty of Robust Bacteria, NY Times

"Researchers have found a surprising diversity of hardy bacteria in a seemingly unlikely place the so-called sterile clean rooms where NASA assembles its spacecraft and prepares them for launching. The findings are significant, the researchers report, because they can help reduce the chances of stowaway microbes contaminating planets and other bodies visited by the spacecraft and confounding efforts to discover new life elsewhere."

NASA Scientist Available for Interviews About New Jupiter Findings, NASA ARC

"A NASA scientist will be available to reporters Tuesday, Oct. 9, to discuss Jupiter findings to be published Friday, Oct. 12, in the journal Science.

What NASA's Pluto-bound New Horizons spacecraft found when it flew by Jupiter on Feb. 28, 2007, stunned scientists who now are releasing more information in nine journal articles in Science."

Saving Arecibo

HR 3737: To provide for National Science Foundation and National Aeronautics and Space Administration utilization of the Arecibo Observatory

"(3) Arecibo Observatory's planetary radar has unique abilities worldwide for research on our solar system, including near-Earth asteroids. Besides their scientific importance, near-Earth asteroids may be both a significant hazard to Earth and a potential source of future resources."

Hearing: Near-Earth Objects - Status of the Survey Program and Review of NASA's Report to Congress

Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee Meeting

NSF Dear Colleague on the Senior Review: Arecibo

Is Space Solar Power Back?

New Alliance for Space Solar Power to Be Announced, NSS

"On October 10, 2007, leading space advocacy organizations and Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin will announce the formation of a new alliance to advance a common goal: Ensuring that the benefits of renewable clean energy from space solar power are understood and supported by business, governments and the general public."

Russia Hitches A Ride

NASA Spacecraft to Carry Russian Science Instruments

"NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos have agreed to fly two Russian scientific instruments on NASA spacecraft that will conduct unprecedented robotic missions to the moon and Mars."


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