Celebrate Earth Day 2021 with NASA

For Earth Day 2021 (April 22), NASA highlights science and technology that is helping us live more sustainably on our home planet and adapt to natural and human-caused changes. Here’s how to participate.

To celebrate Earth Day 2021 (Thursday, April 22), NASA is hosting a virtual Earth Day event – from Wednesday, April 21, through Saturday, April 24 – focused on how to live more sustainably on our home planet, and exploring the connections between Earth’s atmosphere, water cycle, forests, fields, cities, ice caps, and climate. The program – called #ConnectedByEarth – will feature live presentations by NASA scientists, conversations with astronauts and scientists working in space, videos, interactive science content, a kid-friendly fun zone, a scavenger hunt, hundreds of downloadable resources, and more. Some content will also be available in Spanish.

Registration is free and open to the public. Register to participate here.

Read the full article here.

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Succeeds in Historic First Flight

Monday, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first aircraft in history to make a powered, controlled flight on another planet. The Ingenuity team at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California confirmed the flight succeeded after receiving data from the helicopter via NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover at 6:46 a.m. EDT (3:46 a.m. PDT).


“Ingenuity is the latest in a long and storied tradition of NASA projects achieving a space exploration goal once thought impossible,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk. “The X-15 was a pathfinder for the space shuttle. Mars Pathfinder and its Sojourner rover did the same for three generations of Mars rovers. We don’t know exactly where Ingenuity will lead us, but today’s results indicate the sky – at least on Mars – may not be the limit.”


Read the full article here.

60 years of human spaceflight brings in tech changes and emphasis on diversity


By Elizabeth Howell

If spaceflight used to be viewed as a race between the Soviet Union and the United States, the language today tilts toward imperfect diversity.

Yuri Gagarin’s Vostok-1 mission roared into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in what’s now Kazakhstan 60 years ago today (April 12) in 1961, ushering in a brief-yet-intense competition between the Soviets and the Americans for space supremacy that today we call the “space race.” Simply put, during an incredible decade of innovation, government-funded well-chiseled astronauts rode early rockets to Earth orbit and — for a select few — to the moon’s surface.

But framing the “space race” in those terms ignores a more nuanced reality. For example, U.S. President John F. Kennedy did call for Soviet collaboration on lunar missions before his assassination in 1963. An independent group of female test pilots who came to be known as the Mercury 13 unsuccessfully attempted to infiltrate NASA’s astronaut corps in the same decade, while female cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova made it to space in 1963.

Read the full article here.

Article from: Space.com

Image Credit: NASA

Mars helicopter Ingenuity unlocks its rotor blades to prepare for 1st flight on Red Planet

The Mars helicopter Ingenuity has unlocked its two rotor blades as preparations continue for the vehicle’s first flight, due to occur no earlier than Sunday (April 11).

Ingenuity arrived on Mars Feb. 18 along with NASA’s Perseverance rover, having made the long trek out to the Red Planet tucked inside the rover’s belly. As of April 4, the little chopper has parted ways with Perseverance, preparing to take to the skies during a month-long test campaign. If Ingenuity’s Sunday sortie is successful, it will be the first powered, guided flight on another planet.

Read the full article here.

NASA ‘Modern Figure’ Tells Arcadia Middle Schoolers Anyone Can Pursue STEM Career

By Stefanie Jackson – Arcadia Middle School students met NASA “modern figure” Christyl Johnson, deputy director for technology and research investments for Goddard Space Flight Center, at a virtual event March 24.

The movie “Hidden Figures” was released in 2016, about three African American women who were NASA mathematicians in the 1950s and 1960s and helped the U.S. win the space race.

Following the film’s debut, Johnson was named a NASA modern figure, someone “paving the way for the next generation of scientists and engineers, especially those young girls and boys that look like me,” said Johnson, who is African American.

Read the full article here.



NC Space Symposium to Host Astronaut Zena Cardman

Registration is open for the 2021 NC Space Symposium on April 16 that will feature a keynote address from NASA astronaut Zena Cardman. Hosted by NC Space Grant, the event will run from 1 to 5 p.m. in a virtual format. Registration is free, but seats are limited.

“Our symposium celebrates current students, alumni and partners who offer insight for career pathways,” notes Susan White, NC Space Grant’s executive director.

Cardman is among the alumni for the program. While an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she was a Space Grant scholar, with funding support for research and internships. Cardman was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class.


Read the full article here.

Montana State, NASA research tech to launch for the moon

A computer system developed by Montana State University researchers that has been in the works for more than a decade has taken its next step toward a NASA moon launch.

Known as the RadPC, the technology is designed to withstand increased radiation in outer space and may replace more expensive and cumbersome computers used now by NASA scientists. MSU researchers recently learned the technology is scheduled for launch on a lunar rover, most likely aboard a SpaceX rocket, in summer 2023.

The mission may be an intensive test of the technology to see if it can survive a trip to the moon and the conditions once it arrives, according to Brock LaMeres, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. LaMeres has led the research into a radiation-tolerant computer for the past 10 years.

Read the full article here.

International Women’s Day: 5 Females from Then and Now With Significant Contributions to Science

Women are underrepresented in almost every industry and underappreciated, which is the same case within the scientific field even though numerous female scientists have made significant contributions to the different branches of science.

In celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2021, Science Times presents some of the most notable female scientists throughout history, whether from the past century or today.


Read the full article highlighting trailblazing women in science.


NASA’s Real ‘Hidden Figures’

n the 1960s, Mercury astronauts Alan ShepardGus GrissomJohn Glenn and others absorbed the accolades of being the first men in space. Behind the scenes, they were supported by hundreds of unheralded NASA workers, including “human computers” who did the calculations for their orbital trajectories. “Hidden Figures,” a 2016 book by Margot Lee Shetterly and a movie based on the book, celebrates the contributions of some of those workers.

Beginning in 1935, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), a precursor of NASA, hired hundreds of women as computers. The job title described someone who performed mathematical equations and calculations by hand, according to a NASA history. The computers worked at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Virginia.


Read the full article from Space.com, authored by Dr. Elizabeth Howell, here.


Image Credit: NASA

Astronaut, NC State grad Christina Koch named to Time 100 Most Influential List

Astronaut Christina Koch, who graduated from North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham and NC State, was named to the Time 100 Most Influential People list.

“Let’s face it — Christina didn’t need us to succeed. So we just feel lucky to be part of that,” said Dr. Stephen Reynolds, a professor of physics who served as Koch’s academic advisor at NC State.

Koch made history by taking part in the first all-female spacewalk and setting a record for longest single spaceflight by a woman.

Read the full article here.


Image Credit: NASA