new technological concepts

Celebrating 17 Years of NASA’s ‘Little Earth Satellite That Could’

The satellite was little— the size of a small refrigerator; it was only supposed to last one year and constructed and operated on a shoestring budget — yet it persisted.

After 17 years of operation, more than 1,500 research papers generated and 180,000 images captured, one of NASA’s pathfinder Earth satellites for testing new satellite technologies and concepts comes to an end on March 30, 2017. The Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite will be powered off on that date but will not enter Earth’s atmosphere until 2056. 

“The Earth Observing-1 satellite is like The Little Engine That Could,” said Betsy Middleton, project scientist for the satellite at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. 

To celebrate the mission, we’re highlighting some of EO-1’s notable contributions to scientific research, spaceflight advancements and society. 

Scientists Learn More About Earth in Fine Detail

This animation shifts between an image showing flooding that occurred at the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers on January 12, 2016, captured by ALI and the rivers at normal levels on February 14, 2015 taken by the Operational Land Imager on Landsat 8. Credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory  

EO-1 carried the Advanced Land Imager that improved observations of forest cover, crops, coastal waters and small particles in the air known as aerosols. These improvements allowed researchers to identify smaller features on a local scale such as floods and landslides, which were especially useful for disaster support. 

On the night of Sept. 6, 2014, EO-1’s Hyperion observed the ongoing eruption at Holuhraun, Iceland as shown in the above image. Partially covered by clouds, this scene shows the extent of the lava flows that had been erupting.

EO-1’s other key instrument Hyperion provided an even greater level of detail in measuring the chemical constituents of Earth’s surface— akin to going from a black and white television of the 1940s to the high-definition color televisions of today. Hyperion’s level of sophistication doesn’t just show that plants are present, but can actually differentiate between corn, sorghum and many other species and ecosystems. Scientists and forest managers used these data, for instance, to explore remote terrain or to take stock of smoke and other chemical constituents during volcanic eruptions, and how they change through time.  

Crowdsourced Satellite Images of Disasters   

EO-1 was one of the first satellites to capture the scene after the World Trade Center attacks (pictured above) and the flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. EO-1 also observed the toxic sludge in western Hungary in October 2010 and a large methane leak in southern California in October 2015. All of these scenes, which EO-1 provided quick, high-quality satellite imagery of the event, were covered in major news outlets. All of these scenes were also captured because of user requests. EO-1 had the capability of being user-driven, meaning the public could submit a request to the team for where they wanted the satellite to gather data along its fixed orbits. 

This image shows toxic sludge (red-orange streak) running west from an aluminum oxide plant in western Hungary after a wall broke allowing the sludge to spill from the factory on October 4, 2010. This image was taken by EO-1’s Advanced Land Imager on October 9, 2010. Credit: NASA’s Earth Observatory

 Artificial Intelligence Enables More Efficient Satellite Collaboration

This image of volcanic activity on Antarctica’s Mount Erebus on May 7, 2004 was taken by EO-1’s Advanced Land Imager after sensing thermal emissions from the volcano. The satellite gave itself new orders to take another image several hours later. Credit: Earth Observatory

EO-1 was among the first satellites to be programmed with a form of artificial intelligence software, allowing the satellite to make decisions based on the data it collects. For instance, if a scientist commanded EO-1 to take a picture of an erupting volcano, the software could decide to automatically take a follow-up image the next time it passed overhead. The Autonomous Sciencecraft Experiment software was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and was uploaded to EO-1 three years after it launched. 

This image of Nassau Bahamas was taken by EO-1’s Advanced Land Imager on Oct 8, 2016, shortly after Hurricane Matthew hit. European, Japanese, Canadian, and Italian Space Agency members of the international coalition Committee on Earth Observation Satellites used their respective satellites to take images over the Caribbean islands and the U.S. Southeast coastline during Hurricane Matthew. Images were used to make flood maps in response to requests from disaster management agencies in Haiti, Dominican Republic, St. Martin, Bahamas, and the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The artificial intelligence software also allows a group of satellites and ground sensors to communicate and coordinate with one another with no manual prompting. Called a “sensor web”, if a satellite viewed an interesting scene, it could alert other satellites on the network to collect data during their passes over the same area. Together, they more quickly observe and downlink data from the scene than waiting for human orders. NASA’s SensorWeb software reduces the wait time for data from weeks to days or hours, which is especially helpful for emergency responders. 

Laying the Foundation for ‘Formation Flying’

This animation shows the Rodeo-Chediski fire on July 7, 2002, that were taken one minute apart by Landsat 7 (burned areas in red) and EO-1 (burned areas in purple). This precision formation flying allowed EO-1 to directly compare the data and performance from its land imager and the Landsat 7 ETM+. EO-1’s most important technology goal was to test ALI for future Landsat satellites, which was accomplished on Landsat 8. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

EO-1 was a pioneer in precision “formation flying” that kept it orbiting Earth exactly one minute behind the Landsat 7 satellite, already in orbit. Before EO-1, no satellite had flown that close to another satellite in the same orbit. EO-1 used formation flying to do a side-by-side comparison of its onboard ALI with Landsat 7’s operational imager to compare the products from the two imagers. Today, many satellites that measure different characteristics of Earth, including the five satellites in NASA’s A Train, are positioned within seconds to minutes of one another to make observations on the surface near-simultaneously.

For more information on EO-1’s major accomplishments, visit:

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This Week @ NASA--April 14, 2017

Cassini and the Hubble Space Telescope, two of our long-running missions, are providing new details about the ocean-bearing moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Hubble’s monitoring of plume activity on Europa and Cassini’s long-term investigation of Enceladus are laying the groundwork for our Europa Clipper mission, slated for launch in the 2020s. Also, Shane Kimbrough returns home after 171 days aboard the Space Station, celebrating the first Space Shuttle mission and more!

Ocean Worlds

Our two long-running missions, Cassini and the Hubble Space Telescope,  are providing new details about “ocean worlds,” specifically the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. 

The details – discussed during our April 13 science briefing – included the announcement by the Cassini mission team that a key ingredient for life has been found in the ocean on Saturn’s moon Enceladus. 

Meanwhile, in 2016 Hubble spotted a likely plume erupting from Jupiter’s moon Europa at the same location as one in 2014, reenforcing the notion of liquid water erupting from the moon.

These observations are laying the groundwork for our Europa Clipper mission, planned for launch in the 2020s.

Welcome Home, Shane!

Shane Kimbrough and his Russian colleagues returned home safely after spending 173 days in space during his mission to the International Space Station.

Meet the Next Crew to Launch to the Station

Meanwhile, astronaut Peggy Whitson assumed command of the orbital platform and she and her crew await the next occupants of the station, which is slated to launch April 20.

Student Launch Initiative

We’ve announced the preliminary winner of the 2017 Student Launch Initiative that took place near our Marshall Space Fight Center, The final selection will be announced in May. The students showcased advanced aerospace and engineering skills by launching their respective model rockets to an altitude of one mile, deploying an automated parachute and safely landing them for re-use.

Langley’s New Lab

On April 11, a ground-breaking ceremony took place at our Langley Research Center for the new Systems Measurement Laboratory. The 175,000 square-foot facility will be a world class lab for the research and development of new measurement concepts, technologies and systems that will enable the to meet its missions in space explorations, science and aeronautics.

Yuri’s Night

Space fans celebrated Yuri’s Night on April 12 at the Air and Space Museum and around the world. On April 12, 1961, cosmonaut Yuri Gagrin became the first person to orbit the Earth.

Celebrating the First Space Shuttle Launch

On April 12, 1981, John Young and Bob Crippin launched aboard Space Shuttle Columbia on STS-1 a two-day mission, the first of the Shuttle Program’s 30-year history.

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ourironbouquetfire  asked:

Can you make a list of Marvel Cinematic Universe films related to cognitive functions?

Originally posted by mvrque

Sure. ;)

Extroverted Sensing (Se): The Iron Man trilogy. Se. So much Se. Action, explosions, fast decisions and visual spectacle. The movies are exciting, they’re thrilling, and they put you at the edge of your seat. The main character, Tony Stark, is a Se-dom, and for fun, he parties hard, surrounds himself with gorgeous women (none of whom he truly loves; the only woman he truly loves is Pepper), drives really fast cars, and spends a lot of the time playing with his toys, even demonstrating the sensually engaging Iron Man suits. This one is inarguable. Tony even has the flaw of alcoholism, and his constant impulsiveness puts him, as well as his loved ones and innocent bystanders, in danger, eventually leading up to his break-up with Pepper, as well as his damaged image in the public eye.

Extroverted Intuition (Ne): The Avengers movies. The director, Joss Whedon, is an ENTP, so it kinda makes sense. However, it is more visible in the second movie than the first movie. Age of Ultron is crammed with WAY too many sub-plots for its own good: Tony’s angst, Cap’s patriotism, Bruce and Nat’s romance, the introduction of Ulysses Klaw, the quick killing of Baron Strucker, the introduction of Wanda and Pietro, Pietro’s death, Hulk struggling with his anger issues, Ultron’s scheme to perfect the world, the birth of Vision, Thor discovering the Infinity stones, Thanos’ cameo, Hawkeye’s family, and the reassembly of the Avengers, with some new members? They all make it hard to tell WHAT EXACTLY was the movie’s goal. There were so many interesting things that could’ve been done with the plot, but Joss threw away many of those plot-lines simply because he lost interest. The first movie shows Ne as well, with the many plot-lines of each of the Avengers, Loki, and the members of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as the death of Agent Phil Coulson, but the plot-lines were all better controlled, leading to a clear idea of what the movie was about (the birth of the Avengers, and the pleasure of comic book fans everywhere), as well as better reception from audiences and critics.

Extroverted Thinking (Te): Captain America: The Winter Soldier. A lot of the movie is filled with espionage: the discovery of a shady organization’s rebirth, talks of how to “improve” the world with some new oversight projects, and the insane amount of planning that Dr. Arnim Zola went through all showcase it very well. It also has many events happen, all of which are meant to progress the plot forward: the introduction of Bucky as the Winter Soldier means new plot-lines for the future. The rebirth of Hydra means exactly the same thing, as does the introduction of Strucker, Wanda and Pietro. The movie also showcases some pretty good planning from the side of Nick Fury; but, most importantly, the scene where Cap reaches out to Bucky allows him to regain his memories, meaning that he will possibly join the Avengers (a team). This all would please comic book fans, but it’s all meant to maximize profit for the later movies yet to come. And, it has a very dark, logical, tough feel to it, where Cap is forced to take swift action at every turn.

Extroverted Feeling (Fe): The Incredible Hulk. The entire movie is about the fact that Bruce wants to repress his inner self (the Hulk), because he’s seen what he can do (hurt his loved ones, as well as many innocent bystanders). Throughout the movie, he tries to find ways to “cure” himself, showing a lack of embracement of self, as well as embracing the views of most people around him as his own (if they see him as a monster, he is one). It talks a great deal about “fitting in”, even showcasing people like General Ross (who doesn’t use Fe) constantly trying to contain him, because he’s “a nuisance” to the public. In the overall themes of the movie, this would be Fe, though Ross is actually using Si (the Hulk is something that shouldn’t even have existed; if he goes out, many unforeseen consequences will take place, and if he hurt his daughter once, it may very well happen again). What causes Bruce to stop running away is that his girlfriend, Betty Ross (also a Fe user), assures him that he isn’t all that bad, and encourages him to use his powers for good, even with the doubts in his mind.

Introverted Sensing (Si): Captain America: The First Avenger and Guardians of the Galaxy. The first movie is, at its heart, very classic, which makes sense, considering it took place at the time of the World Wars. It has loads of classical music, parties and whatnot. The main character, Cap, is a Si-dom, and he is very obsessed with patriotism, America, kindness, chivalry, generosity, heroism, bravery, and all the other traits that were championed in the old days. Very controlled action, and tends to play it safe in regards to the plot. It also features many classical views (the Nazi’s being evil, for example), though anyone knows Nazi’s are evil. As for the second movie, it is filled to the brim with pop-culture references, 70′s music, and characters who remind you a lot of sensory archetypes done many times before (the charismatic thief, the detached female assassin, the genocidal maniac, etc.). The main character, Star-Lord, who has inferior Si, keeps his recorder as a reminder of his dead mother, who used to listen to these songs when she was alive. And, in the end, Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot get over their past horrors, and join up to form a team that has a very close bond, stopping all intergalactic criminals who dare to cause harm to innocents.

Introverted Intuition (Ni): The Thor movies. Filled with symbolism, which is given, considering that the movies are based on Norse mythology. The characters are more-or-less archetypes, rather than actual characters (Thor is the impulsive hero who learns to be more responsible, Jane Foster is the one who studies him and changes his heart, Loki is the brooding step-brother of Thor who gives into his ambitions and envy to take the throne and rule, etc.). Many events foreshadow the future: the “death” of Loki foretells his takeover in the next Thor movie as the main antagonist, the cameo of the Collector foretells the importance of the Infinity Stones, etc. The movies are pretty hard to understand, being very abstract, complicated, and vague in their storytelling.

Introverted Thinking (Ti): Ant-Man. The movie is full of abstract concepts, is very intellectual, and is the movie most focused on science. Its main purpose is to make a show of all the cool new concepts (shrinking technology, the quantum realm, heists in a Marvel movie, the Ant-Man and Yellow-Jacket suits, etc.), but it doesn’t do those without several sarcastic quips on the side. The main character, Scott Lang, is a Ti-dom, very well-known in his universe for being able to think his way around any kind of system. The movie explores every single concept in full detail, breaking them down and showcasing all of the concepts’ intricacies. This movie would undoubtedly send smiles to the faces of every science nerd and geek. Also, the comic relief, Luis, is very unique in his sense of humor, showing creative and original thinking.

Introverted Feeling (Fi): Captain America: Civil War. The movie’s main focus is the emotional dynamics of the team, in that the unique emotions they feel towards the increased danger of the Avengers separate them into groups of 6, though each of them have their own reasons for which side they support, and some of them are clearly along just for the ride (Spider-Man and Ant-Man). Tony and T’Challa are both Fi users, and their reasons for supporting government oversight are all very personal (Tony does not want to be seen as a bad guy, whereas T’Challa is out for revenge against the man who killed his father, whom he believes to be Bucky, and supports the government because they are opposed to law-breakers / murderers like Bucky). Tony has emotional angst in the beginning, regarding the last argument he had with his parents, and it explodes with rage when he finds out who killed them (Bucky), and that Cap willingly kept this information from him. The main villain, Baron Helmut Zemo, who also uses Fi, sets out to stage some crimes in order to divide the Avengers from the inside, as revenge for the loss of his family in the Battle of Sokovia. He sympathizes with T’Challa’s loss, because he went through exactly what he did. Team Cap is strongly against the government, and refuses to back down on their beliefs to support the government. Overall, the movie is very dark, gloomy, and full of angst, and will tug on your heart endlessly.

- Nick

A husband and wife team wanted to create an animated short about a new kind of technological concept the husband came up with.

Client: We’ve budgeted $800 for a 30 minute video. We really like the computer graphics they used in Avatar, or Gravity. Can you do that?

They both had PhDs. 


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