Profile: NASA

National Aeronautics & Space Admin.

NASA's vision: To reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind.
To do that, thousands of people have been working around the world -- and off of it -- for more than 50 years, trying to answer some basic questions. What's out there in space? How do we get there? What will we find? What can we learn there, or learn just by trying to get there, that will make life better here on Earth?
President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1958, partially in response to the Soviet Union's launch of the first artificial satellite the previous year. NASA grew out of the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), which had been researching flight technology for more than 40 years.

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NoteStreams By NASA

NASA Maps a Star's 'Death Spiral' into a Black Hole

Some 290 million years ago, a star much like the sun wandered too close to the central black hole of its galaxy. Intense tides tore the star apart, which produced an eruption of optical, ultraviolet and X-ray light that first reached Earth in 2014.
Now, a team of scientists using observations from NASA's Swift satellite have mapped out how and where these different wavelengths were produced in the event, named ASASSN-14li, as the shattered star's debris circled the black hole.
NASA

Category: Science

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The Incredible Shrinking Mercury is Active After All

A shrinking planet sounds like something out of bad movie. But this is real - this is science.
NASA

Category: Science

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What Satellites Show About Arctic Climate Change

It is not news that Earth has been warming rapidly over the last 100 years as greenhouse gases accumulate in the atmosphere. But not all warming has been happening equally rapidly everywhere. Temperatures in the Arctic, for example, are rising much faster than the rest of the planet.

Category: Science

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Women at NASA: Cynthia Schmidt

I’ve had a passion for environmental issues since I was young. When I graduated from college I thought I wanted to go the policy route so became an Urban Planner, but then I was lucky enough to attend the International School for Geo Information Science and Earth Observation in the Netherlands for 2 years and discovered that I really loved looking at Earth from space. When I returned from the Netherlands I got a job at NASA Ames Research Center in the Earth Science Division and decided that’s what I wanted to do.

Category: Science

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Women at NASA: Erika Podest

I grew up in Panama, a country with exuberant nature. As a child I often spent my weekends enjoying the outdoors and from a young age I was intrigued by the perfection of nature and its purpose. This curiosity, appreciation, and respect for nature has carried in me and driven my desire to become a scientist focused on Earth Science.

Category: Science

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Entertaining the "What If’s?"

I have always been one of those people who asked “What if?” and “Why?” Sometimes that gets me into trouble or frustrates my colleagues, but it also helps me define and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Getting a glimpse of NASA’s innovation space is why I am excited to support NASA’s Innovation & Digital Services Team over the next several months. I am looking forward to putting a toe back into a world that has fascinated for almost as long as I can remember.

Category: Science

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Tropical Fires Fuel Elevated Ozone Levels

A diverse team of atmospheric chemists, meteorologists and modelers, including scientists from NASA, has traced the origins of mysterious pockets of high ozone concentrations and low water vapor in the air above the western Pacific Ocean near Guam to fires burning in Southeast Asia and in Africa, half a world away.

Category: Nature

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Are You Curious About NASA's Mission To Mars?

The arguments for and against have already been hashed out and are so well documented that anyone with access to the Internet can read up on the topic for days.
But! What if... you got the chance to go inside one of the space-pod "houses" NASA is designing for astronauts to maybe live on the surface of a planet that isn't Earth? Would you be just a little curious? You bet!

Category: Science

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Luminous Galaxy Is Ripping Itself Apart

In a far-off galaxy, 12.4 billion light-years from Earth, a ravenous black hole is devouring galactic grub. Its feeding frenzy produces so much energy, it stirs up gas across its entire galaxy.

Category: Science

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Future Grains

When global food prices spiked dramatically in late 2007 and into 2008, the costs of many basic dietary staples doubled or even tripled around the world, sparking protests and riots. Panicked governments stopped exporting food, aggravating the crisis. Almost as troubling: the crisis had taken the world by surprise.

Category: Science

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Another Major Glacier Comes Undone

It's big. It's cold. And it's melting into the world’s ocean. It's Zachariae Isstrom, the latest in a string of Greenland glaciers to undergo rapid change in our warming world. A new NASA-funded study published today in the journal Science finds that Zachariae Isstrom broke loose from a glaciologically stable position in 2012 and entered a phase of accelerated retreat.

Category: Nature

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Delta Orionis in Orion's Belt

One of the most recognizable constellations in the sky is Orion, the Hunter. Among Orion’s best-known features is the “belt,” consisting of three bright stars in a line, each of which can be seen without a telescope.

Category: Science

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How NASA Helped 'The 33' Chilean Miners

In 2010, all eyes were on 33 miners trapped for more than two months under the stone walls of a Chilean copper mine as the world watched and hoped for their safe rescue. Men and women from all over the world provided aid as the Chilean government sought assistance from other organizations for how to help the trapped miners.
Among them was a team from NASA who provided insight from the agency’s long experience protecting humans in the hostile environment of space. The International Space Station is a blueprint for global cooperation to address challenging endeavors. NASA's initial support for “The 33” included recommendations on medical care, nutrition, and psychological support. The support was broadened to include recommendations on the design of a Chilean vehicle used to extract the miners. Consultations continued between members of the NASA team and Chilean government officials until the miners were rescued, October 13, 2010.

Category: Science

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NASA Confirms Evidence of Liquid Water on Mars

New findings from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) provide the strongest evidence yet that liquid water flows intermittently on present-day Mars. Using an imaging spectrometer on MRO, researchers detected signatures of hydrated minerals on slopes where mysterious streaks are seen on the Red Planet. These darkish streaks appear to ebb and flow over time. They darken and appear to flow down steep slopes during warm seasons, and then fade in cooler seasons. They appear in several locations on Mars when temperatures are above minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 23 Celsius), and disappear at colder times.

Category: Science

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9 Real Technologies (NASA) in 'The Martian'

Mars has held a central place in human imagination and culture for millennia. Ancients marveled at its red color and the brightness that waxed and waned in cycles over the years. Early observations through telescopes led some to speculate that the planet was covered with canals that its inhabitants used for transportation and commerce. In “The War of the Worlds”, the writer H.G. Wells posited a Martian culture that would attempt to conquer Earth. In 1938, Orson Welles panicked listeners who thought they were listening to a news broadcast rather than his radio adaptation of Wells’s novel.

Category: Science

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Space Farming Yields a Crop of Benefits for Earth

The six astronauts currently living on the International Space Station (ISS) have become the first people to eat food grown in space. The fresh red romaine lettuce that accompanied the crew’s usual freeze-dried fare, however, is far from the first crop grown on a space station. For decades, NASA and other agencies have experimented with plants in space, but the results were always sent to Earth for examination, rather than eaten. A number of technologies NASA has explored for these space-farming experiments also have returned to Earth over the years and found their way onto the market.

Category: Science

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Jupiter’s Great Red Spot: A Swirling Mystery

The largest and most powerful hurricanes ever recorded on Earth spanned over 1,000 miles across with winds gusting up to around 200 mph. That’s wide enough to stretch across nearly all U.S. states east of Texas. But even that kind of storm is dwarfed by the Great Red Spot, a gigantic storm in Jupiter. There, gigantic means twice as wide as Earth.

Category: Science

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Celebrating 50 Years Of Spacesuits

NASA has a long history with spacesuits that started with pressure suits needed for pilots in high-altitude aircraft.
Early attempts at pressure suits stemmed from the recognition that piston engine aircraft using turbochargers were able to fly at altitudes that now posed new dangers for pilots.
Over time, there have been two types of suits, partial pressure and full pressure; both accomplished keeping pilots alive at high altitudes.

Category: Science

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So You Want To Be An Astronaut?

Filling out paperwork (www.nasa.gov) and sending it to NASA is pretty easy…as a matter of fact, it might even be fun! Passing the rest of the tests and interviews that lie ahead may be a bit more daunting, but the “thrill of the chase” to become an astronaut is exciting and challenging nonetheless!

Category: Science

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A Month In The Life Of An Astronaut

November started with the graduation of the ASCAN (Astronaut Candidate) class of 2009. After two years of training, it was a nice way to close that chapter of our journey. Graduation isn't the end of training - far from it. Instead of “a day in the life of…,” I thought it might be even more useful to describe one month of my life as an astronaut in training.

Category: Science

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Celebrating Planet Earth

While this agency is perhaps most known for explorations beyond Earth, for decades, NASA has been dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of one of the most complex objects in the universe — planet Earth. Because of NASA’s commitment to Earth science, we have developed an understanding of our home planet that is unmatched in human history. But there is still so much more to learn. Scores of NASA satellites are expanding our knowledge and in the process helping save lives through improved response to natural disasters, and helping us better cope with environmental, health, and energy challenges that know no borders.

Category: Science

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Art, Science, and Human Spaceflight

Emerging efforts and studies demonstrate that art plays a critical role in enhancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, an important NASA and U.S. goal of great importance, given that current U.S. youth lag far behind other industrialized countries in math and science skills. Partnering science with art also encourages the development of creative and critical thinking, problem solving, and communication skills. These abilities are becoming increasingly necessary to ensure high performance in a rapidly changing global society. Thus, educational approaches combining space science topics with art could provide an effective method to inspire youth to seek education and careers in STEM-requiring fields, and to approach them innovatively and creatively.

Category: Science

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