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How Worms Survived NASA's Columbia Shuttle Disaster
Jul 19, 2024
When the Columbia space shuttle disintegrated upon re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts on board, NASA scientists expected that the 80 science experiments aboard the shuttle were destroyed as well. But in the days after the tragic Columbia shuttle disaster on Feb. 1, 2003, scientists began realizing that wasn't the case. Various salvageable experiments were recovered from the wreckage, including a live group of 1 millimeter-long roundworms, or nematodes, known as Caenorhabditis elegans. No one expected that...
If Space Shuttle is Doomed, Do You Tell Crew?
Jul 19, 2024
In this Feb. 1, 2003 file photo, debris from the space shuttle Columbia streaks across the sky over Tyler, Texas. (AP Photo/Scott Lieberman) WASHINGTON -- A NASA top official wrestled with what he thought was a hypothetical question: What should you tell the astronauts of a doomed space shuttle Columbia? When the NASA official raised the question in 2003 just days before the accident that claimed seven astronauts' lives, managers thought - wrongly - that Columbia's heat shield was fine....
What is the Moon Made of?
Jul 19, 2024
This photo of craters at the moon's north pole was taken By Japan's Kaguya lunar orbiter on Oct. 31, 2007. (CREDIT: JAXA) The moon is the easiest body in the solar system to observe with the naked eye. People have wondered about the dark and light spots on the surface throughout history. What caused these strange features? People have also questioned what makes up our nearest neighbor. The surface of the moon Children's fairytales tell us that the moon is...
More Awesome Photos from ISS Astronaut
Jul 19, 2024
New York New York City, posted on April 23, 2013. Cmdr. Chris Hadfield tweets: Incredibly clear, before the trees have filled with leaves. (Chris Hadfield/NASA) He may be 230 miles above Earth, but Commander Chris Hadfield, an astronaut aboard the International Space Station, is thirsty to show the world what life is like in space. Since the Canadian astronaut arrived on the ISS December 19, he's been tweeting awesome photos of Earth, uploading 'how to videos' from the ISS, and...
Supernova Alert! Astronomers Spot Warning Outburst
Jul 19, 2024
The image shows a simulation of a collision between two shells of matter ejected by a massive star in two subsequent pulsational pair-instability supernova eruptions, only years apart, just before the star dies. Image released Feb. 7, 2013. (Ke-Jung Chen/School of Physics and Astronomy, Univ. Minnesota) Forecasting when stars will die in giant explosions may one day be possible by looking for the warning outbursts they release beforehand, researchers say. Supernovas are the most powerful stellar explosions in the universe,...
NASA Cannot Monitor Most Potentially Devastating Asteroids
Jul 19, 2024
This image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech shows a simulation of asteroid 2012 DA14 approaching from the south as it passes through the Earth-moon system on Feb. 15, 2013. The 150-foot object will pass within 17,000 miles of the Earth. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech) Although the 150-foot (45 meter) rock will zoom harmlessly by our planet on its record near approach this week, it is just one of up to a million "near-Earth objects" which astronomers believe could one day pose a serious threat....
Search for Alien Life Brings Scientists Back to Earth
Jul 19, 2024
University of Wisconsin-Madison Geoscientist Clark Johnson holds what he says is a 3.5 billion year old rock in Madison, Wis., on Jan. 22. Johnson is leading a team of scientists and others studying Earth rocks that are billions of years old looking for crucial information to understand how life might have arisen elsewhere in the universe and guide the search for life on Mars one day. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger) MADISON, Wis. — Scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are helping...
Asteroid '13: If Earth Was the Size of a Basketball...
Jul 19, 2024
People have a hard time comprehending the size of things we don't encounter in everyday life. These days someone is more likely to compare the size of something to an iPad than to a breadbox, but we still can't often grasp the magnitude of the distance from the Earth to the Sun or the radius of a hydrogen atom. It often helps to put things into a scale that we can better understand. For example, the asteroid 2012 DA14 will...
Skyfall: Meteorites Strike Earth Every Few Months
Jul 19, 2024
BERLIN -- A meteor exploded in the sky above Russia on Friday, causing a shockwave that blew out windows injuring hundreds of people and sending fragments falling to the ground in the Ural Mountains. Here's a look at those objects in the sky: What's the difference between a meteor and a meteorite? Meteors are pieces of space rock, usually from larger comets or asteroids, which enter the Earth's atmosphere. Many are burned up by the heat of the atmosphere, but...
Asteroid Buzzes, Misses Earth -- Unlike Meteor
Jul 19, 2024
This image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech shows a simulation of asteroid 2012 DA14 approaching from the south as it passes through the Earth-moon system on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. (AP Photo/NASA/JPL-Caltech) CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- The world is safe - at least from one asteroid. A 150-foot cosmic rock hurtled safely past Earth on Friday. Note: Tune into The Channel Channel tonight at 9pm for an encore of Deadliest Space Weather - Meteors. (MORE: Hundreds Hurt after Meteor Hits Earth) It...
What If... The Asteroid Hit Earth?
Jul 19, 2024
Note: As NASA predicted, the '2012 DA14' asteroid buzzed by earth Friday, narrowly missing the planet. But in the spirit of curiosity, SPACE.com's Marian Kramer uncovers what would have happened if DA14 had taken a more perilous path. There is absolutely no chance that asteroid 2012 DA14 will hit Earth when it makes its closest approach on Friday, Feb. 15, but many other asteroids like it have made a crash landing on the planet in the past. Although the 150-foot...
Meteorite Crashes into Russia (PHOTOS)
Jul 19, 2024
Highway from Kazakhstan to Chelyabinsk, Russia A dashboard camera, on a highway from Kostanai, Kazakhstan, to Chelyabinsk region, Russia on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 shows a meteorite contrail. A meteor streaked across the sky of Russia’s Ural Mountains, causing sharp explosions and injuring dozens of people. (AP Photo/Nasha Gazeta, www.ng.kz) On Friday, Feb. 15, 2013, a meteor streaked across the Russian sky and crashed into the ground. Hundreds were injured, mostly by broken glass, according to reports. Police dash cameras...
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