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NASA « The NASA Lady
Browsing articles in "NASA"

A Final Farewell to Space Shuttle Endeavor OV-105

May 29, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   Latest Buzz, NASA  //  No Comments

As NASA approaches the end of the Space Shuttle program, Endeavor is preparing for her return to Earth on Wednesday June 1st.  Discovery is in the VAB (Vehicle Assembly Building) undergoing decommissioning and preparing to be shipped to her new museum home.  Endeavor will follow as will Atlantis after her final flight in July.  There is so much to say about the space shuttle program and so many stories to continue to share for the years to come as we will remember  space shuttle missions and her crews like have the Mercury and Apollo missions.

Take a moment to reflect at the awe of a space shuttle launch and all the hard work that goes into getting the orbiters ready for and launched into space through the eyes of OV-105, Space Shuttle Endeavor.

 

 

Godspeed to the safe return of the Endeavor crew.  Enjoy!

 

 

STEM Girls Rock!

May 26, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   Latest Buzz, NASA, The Launch Pad  //  No Comments

On Tuesday May 24, I had the special honor of being part of Oakton Community College’s first STEM event for girls and their parents. We have long lists of evidence and reasons why girls do not choose to enter STEM career fields or become interested in and passionate about science, math, technology and most recently, engineering. While the event was designed for parents to provide them with ideas, strategies, and tools to help them inspire their daughters towards STEM, there were many young ladies present too with lots of questions for those of us who served in a lightening round table of questions and answers. It was definitely exciting and fun and it is always wonderful to share my passion of STEM with girls as well as their parents.

This video was shown during the event and it definitely does show how STEM girls rock!

Thanks to Gloria Liu and all the staff at Oakton Community College for organizing a fabulous event. Here are a few tips on inspiring girls to rock STEM:

1. Hook them early on some cool aspect of STEM. For me it was a microscope kit in 5th grade.
2. Encourage their participation in science fairs and other STEM competitions and challenges.
3. Buy them LEGO’s. Research shows that building with LEGO’s increases spatial skills.
4. Be positive and encouraging.
5. Introduce girls to fun STEM events and programs and encourage them to participate in after school,
summer, and enrichment STEM activities, events, competitions, and programs.
6. Mentor, mentor, mentor. Locate mentoring programs for girls interested in STEM.
7. Become involved and bring your ideas on involving and including girls in STEM to your school and community.

We can all make a difference one girl at a time!

Godspeed Endeavor!

May 16, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   Latest Buzz, NASA, The Launch Pad  //  No Comments

Space Shuttle Endeavor

Space Shuttle Endeavor Launches into Space

Space Shuttle Endeavor took to the skies at 8:56 am ET this morning on her 25th and final flight.
If you missed the launch watch it here as every time we send humans into space it is an awe inspiring moment.

Commanded by Mark Kelly, husband of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), and carrying a total of 6 crew members including one European Space Agency astronaut, Italian Andrew Feustal, Endeavor is also carrying a quite unique and possibly groundbreaking instrument as part of the payload. The the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a $2 billion particle accelerator is Endeavour’s main payload and will search for cosmic rays that might help astrophysicists, scientists, and a few friends of mine that study dark matter, come closer to understanding not only what our Universe is made of but its origins as well.

Now, not to the top the scientific nature of the AMS and its importance to the study of our Universe, but there is another payload, one that is very near and dear to my heart, that is also worth mentioning aboard STS-134. LEGO’s! The LEGO Bricks payload is a series of toy Lego kits that are assembled on orbit and used to demonstrate scientific concepts. Some of these models include satellites, a space shuttle orbiter, and a scale model of the International Space Station (ISS). NASA launched the LEGO partnership with events at Kennedy Space Center during the launch of STS-133. Working with those little bricks in space will definitely keep the shuttle crew occupied!

LEGO kits in space!

Model of space vehicles made at KSC NASA/LEGO Event Courtesy NASA

Follow Endeavor’s 16 day mission on NASA TV and UStream and catch the excitement from lucky STS-134 Tweetup participants on Twitter hashtag #NASATweetup.

High School Students Register for NASA’s INSPIRE Program

May 6, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   Latest Buzz, NASA  //  1 Comment

High School students are invited to apply for NASA’s INSPIRE, Interdisciplinary National Science Project Incorporating Research and Education Experience, a multitier year-round program designed for students in ninth to 12th grade who are interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, education and careers.

Research is a primary component of the NASA’s operations and as we work to engage more young people in preparing for STEM careers to join our nation’s future workforce preparing students to enter post-secondary education with an interest in pursuing NASA research opportunties, we can impact change in increasing the number of STEM graduates as well as the innovators of tomorrow through programs such as INSPIRES.

Students need a 2.5 GPA and with an interest in pursuing a STEM career field in college. The deadline for applications for 2011-2012 is June 30th. Visit the NASA link to find out more information on the program. Click here to apply.

STS-134 Tweetup Streaming Live

Apr 28, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   NASA  //  No Comments

Thanks to @joelglick and his now famous #hatcam, the STS-134 NASA Tweetup is streaming live thanks to @foundonmars. The morning has been fabulous so far with EVA spacesuit demonstrations and cool celebrity appearances by Levar Burton and Seth Green who are actually participating in the Tweetup.

Watch live video from nasatweetup on Justin.tv

Too Cool and totally missing being there.

Voyager: To the Edge of the Heliosphere & Beyond

Apr 26, 2011   //   by pgreyer   //   NASA  //  No Comments

The Voyager spacecraft

Voyager Spacecraft Image Credit: NASA JPL

If you’re in DC this week, NASA has a treat planned for anyone and everyone steeped in NASA mission history. Thursday, April 28 NASA will present The Voyager Spacecraft Humanity’s Farthest Journey from 1-2 pm ET in NASA HQ auditorium. The event is open to the public and will also be broadcast on NASA TV.

You’re invited to hear the 33 year journey of NASA’s twin Voyager spacecraft which have explored space where nothing (including man) has flown before. Both spacecrafts are still going strong and have reached the outer boundaries of the Heliosphere. Voyager 1 and 2 have given us a close look at Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune as well as the outer boundaries of our Solar System that we might not have seen until sometime in the future without their keen eyes.

As Voyager heads beyond our Solar System, a golden record is aboard carrying the sounds, culture, and voices of Earth’s diverse cultures. The recording, a project lead by Carl Sagan, is a snapshot of a diverse planet Earth with messages of welcome and peace in 55 languages.

Voyager Message

Image credit NASA

The plan is when Voyager encounters extraterresterial life in the future, they will have the technology to play the record and discover all the wonderful things about Earth! While we’ve progessed a measurable amount since the recording was made, it still remains a symbol of who we were and what humanity was in 1977.

The record is a time capsule, a metaphor, a ‘message in a bottle’ so to speak. Imagine those of us who monitor space listening for signs of intelligent communication coming from ‘out there in space’ finally getting the call with references back to information on the golden record!

While not a full fledged Trekkie, I love the science and the technological advancements found in Star Trek. As a writer, I do believe that ideas can shape the world and our future as the seed of an idea can be planted and grown through a process of scientific development into future technologies. After all, ideas drive the process of innovation and invention. As a child, I thought by the time I grew up we would have starships, warp drive, renewable energy to power spacecrafts (Dilithium Crystals), space colonies, transporters, and oh so much more.

I still remember the first Star Trek movie where an alien ship named V’Ger attacks the Enterprise and abducts a crew member. As Kirk and his crew dig deeper into the origins of the alien spacecraft, Spock discovers the alien ship is actually Voyager 6, a 20th century space probe that was discovered by an alien race of living machines and based on its recorded message, is sent on a mission to learn all it can and find its creator. Along the way V’Ger gathers so much knowledge that it achieves conciousness. Fascinating. We all know what happens when machines can think for themselves.

While this storyline has since been adopted and made into other movies, Terminator and the Matrix. As their journey continues, we can only imagine where their destiny will take them. Along the way, we’ll continue to follow their path ever hopefuly that one day those extraterristerals will ping us back and say hi.

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