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NASA Hack Space: April 2010


Cassini and Amateurs Chase Storm on Saturn

"With the help of amateur astronomers, the composite infrared spectrometer instrument aboard NASA's Cassini spacecraft has taken its first look at a massive blizzard in Saturn's atmosphere. The instrument collected the most detailed data to date of temperatures and gas distribution in that planet's storms."

James Cameron lobbies NASA to include 3-D "eyes" on the next-generation Mars rover, Whittier Daily News

"If the next generation rover is able to take high-resolution color movies in 3-D on Mars, it will be thanks to the reigning king of 3-D cinema himself, "Avatar" director James Cameron. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory scaled back its plans in 2007 to mount such a camera atop the rover Curiosity, set to launch in 2011, after that next flagship mission to Mars came in consistently over budget and behind schedule. But Cameron lobbied hard for inclusion of a 3-D camera for the mission, taking his concerns directly to NASA administrator Charles Bolden in a one-on-one meeting in January."

Cameron's Camera, Air & Space

"The camera is looking down at the Mars rover," recalls Mike Ravine, who was in the meeting. "You can see the sample arm off to one side, and we pan up and see Mars in front of us. We're rolling slowly along the surface. We pan back slowly so we see Mars going by, then look back at the tracks of the rover going off to the horizon behind us--in 3-D." As Cameron talked, Ravine looked around at the faces of the gathered NASA officials, "and everybody in the room was nodding, clearly thinking, "Oh, yeah."

According to Intelsat: "As the world's largest commercial fixed satellite services operator, Intelsat typically procures 2 to 3 spacecraft per year and currently has 6 satellites - each designed for an operational life of 15+ years - in various stages of procurement and build. Intelsat's spacecraft have many commercial customers who depend upon the timely delivery of satellite capacity and delaying procurement and/or launches could result in unacceptable contention on existing resources across the global fleet."

The Real Science of Avatar - How James Cameron drew inspiration for the flora and fauna on Pandora from life forms on Earth, Time

"The message of James Cameron's Avatar, which comes out on DVD and Blu-ray April 22 in conjunction with Earth Day, is unapologetically green. "All life on Earth is connected," the director told me, when I interviewed him for my book, The Futurist: The Life and Films of James Cameron. "We have taken from nature without giving back, and the time to pay the piper is coming."

"The Rocket Project: Over the course of the next few months, 8 students assisted, by Tom Atchison and the Rocket Mavericks team will attempt to design, launch and operate a rocket using new Sony® VAIO notebooks." More information

Keith Cowing standing in front of the newly cleaned second stage.

Keith Cowing standing inside the partially cleaned first stage.

Click on images to enlarge

Equipment tag inside the forward end of the Titan 1's second stage close to where the warhead was once attached.

Matt Reyes standing inside the forward portion of the second stage at the point where Titan 1's warhead was once attached. Behind him is the Second Stage Fuel (RP-1) tank.

More photos below

Challenger Center and Green Trail Energy Bring Power to Washington

"This week in Washington, DC thousands of people will descend on the National Mall to see a variety of clean energy ideas as part of Earth Day. One of the pieces of technology on display is co-sponsored by the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. Formally known as the GSW-7000 this device is a self-contained trailer that is capable of generating up to 4.4 kilowatts of power from the sun and 2.4 kilowatts of power from wind energy."

Join the Lunar and Planetary Institute on April 21, 2010, for a live video webcast with Delia Santiago. She will discuss an exciting new citizen scientist program called MoonZoo. The rest of the conversation is up to you!

Santiago is the digital science strategist for the NASA Lunar Science Institute based at NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. She works with interactive media and science collaboration tools to engage both the public and researchers inside and outside of NASA. Prior to joining the NLSI, Santiago worked at NASA's Ames Research Center with both the NASA CoLab program and the Life Science Payloads.

The MyMoon webcast begins at 8 p.m. EDT. Connect to the webcast at: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/mymoon/?p=p_santiago.cfm.

MyMoon (http://mymoon.lpi.usra.edu) is supported by funding from NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

Google map link. Our Titan 1 was based at Larson AFB when it was an operational ICBM.