This newly retrieved medium resolution image, frame 3142_M, was taken by Lunar Orbiter 3 on 20 February 1967 at 15:11 GMT. I came across this at MoonViews.com:
NASA scientists were sure to minimize any chances of a collision with Santa on Christmas night, and successfully launched its newest telescope from the National Science Foundation’s Long Duration Balloon (LDB) facility in Antarctica? The über sensitive telescope called BLAST, short for the Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope, measures submillimeter light waves from stellar nurseries in our Milky Way and will do so for the next 12 to 14 days…
Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineers Chris Hadfield and Tom Marshburn of the International Space Station’s Expedition 34 crew send down their best wishes for a happy new year.
Clearly they had trouble deciding where to put the Christmas Tree this year. How many spots do you think they tried before they settled on this.
NASA sure is flush with Christmas spirit this year. First we get the awkwardly awesome nerd spoof of Gangnan Style, and now we get a couple of free, super sexy e-books!
Both are iOS offerings, so you’ll need to use your favourite Apple device. The Retina display is put to good use in these gems. Check ’em out!
Hubble Space Telescope Discoveries
… takes the reader on a tour of Hubble’s most significant science successes, combined with some of the telescope’s technology and history. For more than two decades, Hubble has had a front-row seat for cosmic events: comets bombarding Jupiter, the explosive death of stars, the birth of new solar systems and more. It helped reveal the age of the universe and stunned scientists with the discovery of the still-mysterious dark energy. The book details Hubble’s work in cosmology, planetary science and galactic science. Interactive elements include a gallery of images taken by Hubble’s different instruments, an interactive showing how astronomers measure distance in space, and a short movie on the discovery of planet Fomalhaut b.
James Webb Space Telescope: Science Guide</strong
…readers will learn how the Webb telescope will reveal in much more detail mysteries of the universe that the Hubble is not able to see. With a mirror almost seven times the area of the Hubble Space Telescope's, and an orbit far beyond Earth's moon, Hubble's successor will utilize infrared light to see the first galaxies being born in the very distant universe, penetrate clouds of dust to reveal newly forming stars and solar systems, and analyze planets around other stars for traces of potentially life-giving water. The Webb book explains the innovative technology and design making the Webb a reality. Among the interactive elements are images that transform as they're seen in different wavelengths of light, a simulation of the formation of the "cosmic web" in the early universe, a 3-D fly-by interactive, and an animation of the Webb telescope unfolding in space as it nears its orbit.
It’s been a while since I posted anything about the geeky little martian ambassador of science known as Curiosity. To be honest, the rover has totally slipped my mind as of late. No longer! Here’s an eerie recent shot that NASA released, of the Martian surface.
Looking Back at Entry Into ‘Yellowknife Bay’
The NASA Mars rover Curiosity used its left Navigation Camera to record this view of the step down into a shallow depression called “Yellowknife Bay.” It took the image on the 125th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Dec. 12, 2012), just after finishing that sol’s drive. The Sol 125 drive entered Yellowknife Bay and covered about 86 feet (26.1 meters). The descent into the basin crossed a step about 2 feet (half a meter) high, visible in the upper half of this image.
Smashing twin probe satellites into the moon at extreme speeds is sexy as hell… It’s not surprising that the tail end of NASA’s GAIL mission, in which the twin research probes Ebb and Flow were smashed into the lunar surface, is what is getting most if the project’s public attention.
It’s going to be a while before we start see the data acquired from the impacts trickle out from NASA, but keep in mind that the kamikaze robots were doing a lot more than working up the nerve to crash during their year in the lunar orbit. Ebb and Flow’s primary objective was to survey and map the moon’s gravity field with unprecedented detail and scope. The best part though, is that the data from this portion of the mission is available now.
The colourful images below we’re released by NASA today and paint a pretty spectacular picture of the entire Lunar Gravity Field:
These two images show variations in the Moon’s gravity field as observed by NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) during its primary mapping mission from March to May 2012. The top image shows a portion of the far side of the Moon (right) and a portion of the nearside (left). At bottom is a Mercator projection of the complete lunar surface – the far side is at center and the nearside at far left as well as far right. Precise microwave measurements between the washing machine sized spacecraft, named Ebb and Flow, were used to map the lunar gravity with high precision and high spatial resolution. Measurements are three to five orders of magnitude improved over previous data. Here, red corresponds to mass excesses (mountains, for example) and blue corresponds to mass deficiencies (lowlands). The spherical red splotch on the top photo, just left of center, is seen at left center on the Mercator view, and the bull’s-eye-like object at upper right of the top photo is at upper left-center on the bottom image (a little above and to the right of the red splotch). Note that there’s more small-scale detail on the far side of the Moon compared to the near side since the far side has considerably more small impact craters. Data from Ebb and Flow will help to provide a better understanding of how Earth and other terrestrial planets in the solar system formed and evolved.
In the 60’s the Apollo moon missions and the Saturn V rocket were very much the face of NASA. In the 80’s and 90’s, the Shuttle program and the ISS took this honour. So what will be the symbol of space exploration in the early 21st century?.. Kamikaze Satellites and deliberate high speed collisions with heavenly bodies. Yup, NASA has really taken a shine to smashing things lately. The most recent example of this being the GRAIL moon mission which ended on Monday when the twin probes Ebb and Flow smashed in to the surface.
Both landed in the dark, but scientists hope that the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter will be able to fly over the spot in the coming days and weeks and snap images of the landing site. Examining the impact craters with its suite of instruments could help scientists learn something about the rock just beneath the moon’s surface.
Ebb and Flow were not just sent to the moon to smash into it though. They were launched in September 2011 to study every bump and pothole in the moon’s gravitational field. Having exceeded what was expected of the little washing-machine sized explorers were able get within a mile and a half of some lunar landmarks.
The unprecedented up-close survey revealed a host of findings. The researchers found that the moon’s crust is even thinner than originally thought, and that there are deep fractures in the crust, showing that it may have taken a greater beating from asteroids and comets than planetary scientists had believed. Those results were reported this month in the journal Science
For more check out this article here.
The last free NASA App were looking at this week is the gorgeous Visualization Explorer. The NASA Visualization Explorer, the coolest way to get stories about advanced space-based research delivered right to your iPad. A direct connection to NASA’s extraordinary fleet of research spacecraft, this app presents cutting edge research stories in an engaging and exciting format. See the Earth as you’ve never seen it before; travel to places otherwise unavailable to even the most intrepid explorers!
Grab it here!
This time around we’re looking at NASA’s free app Ascent.
Ascent is a compilation of film and video representing the best of the best ground based Shuttle motion imagery from the STS-114, STS-117, and STS-124 missions. Rendered in the highest definition possible, this production is a tribute to the dozens of men and women of the shuttle imaging team and the 30 years of achievement of the Space Shuttle Program. Get it here.