This Week at NASA | This Week at NASA: The State of STEM; Images of Ceres; more
During his State of the Union address Jan. 20, President Obama emphasized the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM, to maintaining a strong and competitive American economy. On hand as an invited guest, was NASA astronaut Scott Kelly who is preparing to take part in the first ever one-year mission aboard the International Space Station – to investigate how the human body responds to longer durations in space. The President acknowledged how this and other NASA research and technology efforts is preparing us for deep space travel, while also returning benefits to humanity. Also, 2015 Spinoff publication, Virtual walk on Mars, Dawn images of Ceres and more.
During his State of the Union address Jan. 20, President Obama emphasized the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM, to maintaining a strong and competitive American economy.
“I want Americans to win the race for the kinds of discoveries that unleash new jobs – pushing out into the Solar System not just to visit, but to stay.”
On hand as an invited guest, was NASA astronaut Scott Kelly.
“In two months, to prepare us for those missions, Scott Kelly will begin a year-long stay in space. Good luck, Captain – and make sure to Instagram it.”
The President acknowledged how this and other NASA research and technology efforts are preparing the United States for deep space travel and returning benefits to humanity.
The next day, NASA helped highlight and expand on the STEM messages from the President’s address during the White House’s third annual State of STEM event. During the event, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, White House officials, and middle and high school students discussed research happening on the space station as part of an in-flight event with NASA astronauts. NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan also participated in a panel discussion of women and girls in STEM fields.
Also on Jan. 21, NASA’s Technology Transfer program released the 2015 edition of its annual Spinoff publication. Published every year since 1976, Spinoff highlights NASA initiatives that have resulted in technologies with commercial and societal benefits across the economy. To request free print copies or download digital versions, go to spinoff.nasa.gov.
New software by NASA and Microsoft announced on Jan. 21, called OnSight, will use the company’s HoloLens device to allow scientists to see objects on Mars in 3-D and perform virtual work on the Martian surface. Developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), OnSight, which uses real data from the Mars Curiosity rover, will let researchers examine the rover’s worksite almost as if they were standing on the Red Planet, right beside it. Investigators around the world will be able to meet in a 3-D simulation of the Martian environment and preview the results of their work firsthand.
New images taken by NASA’s Dawn spacecraft as it closes in on the dwarf planet Ceres are almost three times more detailed than calibration images taken in early December. Over the next several weeks, Dawn will deliver increasingly better images, leading up to the spacecraft’s capture into orbit around Ceres on March 6. Dawn’s arrival at Ceres for a 16-month study will mark the first time a spacecraft has ever visited a dwarf planet.
NASA’s Space Communications and Navigation, or SCaN program hosted a workshop recently at NASA headquarters to review and assess emerging space navigation and communications technologies for possible use on future missions, and identify any potential knowledge and/or capability gaps that exist. The SCaN program is part of NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.
The 2014 Zero Robotics Championship recently took place aboard the International Space Station. The competition allows students to program robots aboard the ISS known as SPHERES to solve a challenge in microgravity – with station astronauts helping to conduct the championship. It’s also a unique and valuable opportunity to promote student interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers.
And that’s what’s up this week @NASA(c)2015 NASA | SCVTV