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Drop Zone! Crosshairs on a Comet

Europe’s Rosetta mission to Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is nearing a nail-biting moment – when the Philae lander is to be unleashed for a touchdown on the celestial wanderer. The primary landing site is landing site “J” – a spot that has relatively flat terrain and good solar illumination. There is a detailed timetable for the descent [...]

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Book Review: Why Mars – NASA and the Politics of Space Exploration

Why Mars – NASA and the Politics of Space Exploration by W. Henry Lambright; Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland; $49.95 (hardcover); 2014. Wondering when humans will set boot on Mars? Author W. Henry Lambright has written an absorbing and detailed look at the long trail of robotic Mars exploration program from its origins to [...]

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Windows on Earth – Take a Look!

Windows on Earth is an educational project that features photographs taken by astronauts on the International Space Station. Astronauts take hundreds of photos each day, for science research, education and public outreach. The photos are often dramatic, and help us all appreciate  home planet Earth. Windows on Earth also operates software on the International Space Station,  as [...]

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MIT’s BioSuit: Well Suited for Space

It’s a tight fit – but if you’re sauntering around on Mars that’s a fashion statement. Space designers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are stitching together plans for shrink-wrapping spacesuits. So much so that spacesuits of the future may resemble a streamlined second skin. The MIT BioSuit is a skintight spacesuit that offers [...]

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Glug, Glug, Bubble, Bubble: Diving into Outer Space

It’s called a “science splashdown.” The undersea environment is the closest analogue on Earth to a gravity-weak environment like that of asteroids, the moons of Mars or Mars itself. Therefore, other than being in outer space, going to inner-space is the best place to test relevant exploration concepts. The NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations, known [...]

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