Showing posts with the label NASA

How Sahara Desert helps the Amazon Rainforest stay green [Video]

English: Sahara desert from space. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)The Sahara Desert is known for its dry and arid regions and the sand dunes that can rise up to almost 600 feet! While this largest hot desert (yes, we have cold deserts too... guess where) can easily be made out from satellites in space, there is more that the satellites have been able to visualise than the dryness of the land.

Watch this short video from NASA below and know how the dryness of Sahara actually helps the Amazon Rainforest stay green.


11 Things you never knew Astronauts do in space

Image credit: Gennady Padalka, the Russian astronaut, recently completed the feat of spending a record 804 days in space, more than any other human being. Aboard the International Space Station, Astronaut Padalka is the commander of the International Space Station (ISS) that is closest thing to home that astronauts have in space and orbits the Earth fifteen times everyday. Although, movies like Gravity and Interstellar might have created a grim image of how life is in outer space, here is a list of 11 things you did not know that astronauts do in space.

Watch Star Trek 
For those who are fans of Star Trek movies but locked out in space, you do not have to wait for an entry pass to Earth to catch up on the latest releases. Astronaut Michael Bratt was thankful to Paramount Pictures for letting him watch the latest edition of Star Trek on his laptop that was beamed via Mission Control in Houston. Find it hard to believe, you can even go to NASA website and read it for…

There is water and glass on Mars [Coffee-byte]

Remember our last post about colonizing Mars where we made a list of things we would have to do, before and when humans set foot on Mars. Well, you can strike off Glass from the list since a recent finding says that there is abundant glass on Mars.
After finding water and the beautiful auroras on the Red Planet, NASA'sMars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has now detected presence of glass in impact craters on Mars. Considering the fact that the ride to Mars would probably be a bumpy one, it is unlikely that we would ever take the pains of taking glass to Mars. But the presence of glass on the planet is not happy news for colonizing enthusiasts alone.
Scientists are especially happy that they have found glass in impact craters. The reason for this being this publication from Peter Schultz from Brown University last year, where he and his colleagues were able to demonstrate that glass found in impact craters on Earth contained traces of organic materials and even managed to capture sampl…

Coffee break in space [Coffee byte]

Taking a coffee break is as human as going to the toilet. which is probably why NASA has put together some of the most brilliant scientist to crack the code on how to enjoy a Cup-A-Joe in outer space.

When Rocket Science Fails [Coffee-byte]

Even with all the developments in space technology and successful missions being sent to Mars, there is always a chance for something to go wrong. The Antares Rocket that supposed to carry supplies and science experiments to the International Space Station, exploded six seconds after take off from the Wallops Flight Faclity in Virginia. 
Although no one was injured, the loss of cargo and devastation at the launchpad would run into millions of dollars for NASA. The real estimate of loss will only be known after a complete analysis is done. The rocket, ferrying cargo to the ISS, was developed and operated by Orbital Sciences Corporation, which has already delivered cargo twice to the ISS. NASA has confirmed that there was no critical cargo on the flight and supplies on the ISS will not be affected by the failure of the mission. 
But irrespective of the losses, the failure of the rocket launch teaches us one important thing about space research, that there is a lot more to learn!

How Goldilocks is helping us find Earth-like planets [Coffee-byte]

Illustration of Kepler Spacecraft
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)2014 has been an exciting year for space research. Apart from the India's Mars Orbiter Mission that is now orbiting the Red Planet to find out more about our neighbour, we are just a few days away from Philae's historic attempt to land on a comet and carry out investigations that will probably give us some idea about the origin of Life. While these missions are aimed to help us understand our neighbours in the solar system, however they were formed, what they are made up of, somewhere down the line, we are all looking for signs of life or at least conditions that may support life now or sometime in the future. 
It was with this very aim that the Kepler Mission was launched in March 2009 with a telescope that enables it to spot planets orbiting different stars which might be able to support life. But the Milky Way consists of an estimated 100 billion stars and probably as many planets. So, how we narrow down this number …

Is the Earth's gravity same everywhere?

Earth's gravity measured by NASA's GRACE mission, showing deviations from the theoretical gravity of an idealized smooth Earth. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)When you drop something, it falls downwards towards the ground. Why does it fall down? Why not up? All such questions were answered with a 7 lettered word-GRAVITY. Gravity is an attractive force and is stronger on Earth as compared to our Moon due to larger mass. When you drop an object it falls towards the ground and when it is dropped from a greater height it falls towards the ground with greater speed and impact. The greater impact and speed is attributed to acceleration (the rate of change of speed) which is higher due to gravity.
The force of gravity is inversely proportional to the radius of the Earth, that's what our textbooks said in school. But a recent press release from the European Space Agency, showed that the shape of the Earth is not a perfect sphere but a geoid or ellipsoid, bulging slightly at the equator a…

Earth from the ISS

The International Space Station (ISS) is one of the most collaborative of human projects ever undertaken. It involves spaces agencies of five nations and serves astronauts from 15 different countries.

Here is just a glimpse of our own planet from the ISS.  We know you will like it, but don't forget to share it with others!