researchers

Dairy DNA

Milk, it does a body good, and we want to make sure it stays that way. In order to help protect the safety of this ingredient found in so many foods, IBM and Cornell University are working on a way to monitor raw milk straight from the source. By sequencing the DNA and RNA of milk and its surrounding microbes, they hope to be able to instantly detect food safety hazards so they don’t have a chance to make it into your glass or onto your plate.

Learn more ->

Coffee in Space: Keeping Crew Members Grounded in Flight

Happy National Coffee Day, coffee lovers! 

On Earth, a double shot mocha latte with soymilk, low-fat whip and a caramel drizzle is just about as complicated as a cup of coffee gets. Aboard the International Space Station, however, even just a simple cup of black coffee presents obstacles for crew members.

Understanding how fluids behave in microgravity is crucial to bringing the joys of the coffee bean to the orbiting laboratory. Astronaut Don Pettit crafted a DIY space cup using a folded piece of overhead transparency film. Surface tension keeps the scalding liquid inside the cup, and the shape wicks the liquid up the sides of the device into the drinker’s mouth.

The Capillary Beverage investigation explored the process of drinking from specially designed containers that use fluid dynamics to mimic the effect of gravity. While fun, this study could provide information useful to engineers who design fuel tanks for commercial satellites!

The capillary beverage cup allows astronauts to drink much like they would on Earth. Rather than drinking from a shiny bag and straw, the cup allows the crew member to enjoy the aroma of the beverage they’re consuming.

On Earth, liquid is held in the cup by gravity. In microgravity, surface tension keeps the liquid stable in the container.

The ISSpresso machine brought the comforts of freshly-brewed coffees and teas to the space station. European astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti enjoyed the first cup of espresso brewed using the ISSpresso machine during Expedition 43.

Now, during Expedition 53, European astronaut Paolo Nespoli enjoys the same comforts. 

Astronaut Kjell Lindgren celebrated National Coffee Day during Expedition 45 by brewing the first cup of hand brewed coffee in space.

We have a latte going on over on our Snapchat account, so give us a follow to stay up to date! Also be sure to follow @ISS_Research on Twitter for your daily dose of space station science.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

shoutout to @equilateral-asshat for showing me this post and giving me the laugh of a lifetime

Accurate first impressions of Kpop groups
  • <p> <b>Super Junior:</b> "so many members??? so many sub-groups/units??? suju is literally every other kpop groups' dads. been in the game for so long and still run kpop. Trendsetters. Legendary. all of them are MCs. Why aren't they running SM by themselves???"<p/><b>BigBang:</b> "badass!! cars!!! sad?? emo??? party!!!! every group looks up to them and admires them.....your fave's faves. weird dancing(?) but they're always lit. it's always a bigbang concert whenever they perform. why is that one guy so tall? that one guy is popular in Japan!!! the difference between Jiyong & G-dragon is scary."<p/><b>SHINee:</b> "it feels like everyone has solo projects and they probably get together only for Christmas or to get turnt up. are they Japanese?? i think those 2 short guys are dating idk. wtf why is he called tofu....why is he called bling bling.......WTF IS A DIBIDIBIDIBI-"<p/><b>Infinite:</b> "wow they dance so in sync w/ each other. probably heard their catchy af songs before really diving into the fandom. created the scorpion dance, how epic. they just seem so real?? like they're brothers??? is that one a girl or a boy??<p/><b>VIXX:</b> "so tall. so violent. so shippable w/ everyone. pretty sure they have a confirmed gay sub-unit?? their maknae likes to bully them. jellyfish doesn't deserve them. so.....they're vampires, voodoo dolls, 8 year old kids, video game characters, Greek gods....what can't this group do????"<p/><b>BTOB:</b> "everyone knows about their reputation, they're wild af. hella tiny compared to normal human beings. i was blinded when looking @ that guy's smile he's an angel sent from heaven. their songs either make you wanna cry into your pillow or join a high school musical is2g."<p/><b>EXO:</b> "they seem kinda scary/intimidating bc SM won't let them fangirl. everyone's an exo fangirl and fanboy on the inside. iM crEEPin iN Ur HeARt BAbE. they literally glow on stage??? are they still wolves???? do they still have superpowers??? who is Chinese and who is Korean??? i thought there were 12....."<p/><b>B.A.P:</b> "so are they best absolute perfect or are they called rice? weird aliens/rabbits is a concept i never knew i needed. they sued their company together but there's always one guy who kills them all? why??? everyone who talks about b.a.p wants to skydive i'm so confused. so is that hot guy w/ the deep ass voice actually their grandfather??"<p/><b>Got7:</b> "so many different races in 1 group i'm living. bruh their dorms must be so wild, how are they raising a dog??? rapline is kinda weak........they could still get it tho. all of them have such vibrant personalities MUST. RESIST. STANNING. their second name is dab7? i don't know them."<p/><b>Seventeen:</b> "ok joke's on us, we all thought we couldn't remember exo's names but shitballs, seventeen exists. wow they seem so fun to be around, i want to be their friend. their leader must have approximately 8.9 breakdowns everyday. how are they always so happy??? they're legit stranded on an island ffs. dino is 100% their real baby."<p/><b>Monsta X:</b> "so THAT'S the member that everyone loves bc he's such a meme. do they always remix their songs when performing??? they're so lit???? i'm still confused as to why this group doesn't have a first win. came to check them out bc of got7 and wasn't disappointed."<p/><b>Day6:</b> "lmao that famous guy from twitter is in a kpop group???? why does it feel like JYP is just letting them run around the company and do whatever they want at this point....does JYP even know they exist?? their songs make you wanna hit up your nonexistent ex *jams sadly*. who's bob???"<p/><b>iKon:</b> "they shouldn't be the next bigbang or the next anything, they're low-key doing amazing already. bad first impressions always turn into good ones when yall take the time to know them. they literally have their own anthem??? what's a visual i only know ikon."<p/><b>NCT:</b> "there SM goes again, tempting us w/ new groups but depriving us of comebacks. how is taeyong supposed to hold the fort down when he has 40 kids he hasn't even met yet?? they're exo's biggest fanboys, everyone needs to stan them asap. if they didn't look and sound so good, i'd sue SM for dressing them like they're homeless. the dreamies are so spoiled by the hyungs and their company. MY CHILDREN????"<p/></p>
Cassini Mission: What’s Next?

It’s Friday, Sept. 15 and our Cassini mission has officially come to a spectacular end. The final signal from the spacecraft was received here on Earth at 7:55 a.m. EDT after a fateful plunge into Saturn’s atmosphere.

After losing contact with Earth, the spacecraft burned up like a meteor, becoming part of the planet itself.

Although bittersweet, Cassini’s triumphant end is the culmination of a nearly 20-year mission that overflowed with discoveries.

But, what happens now?

Mission Team and Data

Now that the spacecraft is gone, most of the team’s engineers are migrating to other planetary missions, where they will continue to contribute to the work we’re doing to explore our solar system and beyond.

Mission scientists will keep working for the coming years to ensure that we fully understand all of the data acquired during the mission’s Grand Finale. They will carefully calibrate and study all of this data so that it can be entered into the Planetary Data System. From there, it will be accessible to future scientists for years to come.

Even beyond that, the science data will continue to be worked on for decades, possibly more, depending on the research grants that are acquired.

Other team members, some who have spent most of their career working on the Cassini mission, will use this as an opportunity to retire.

Future Missions

In revealing that Enceladus has essentially all the ingredients needed for life, the mission energized a pivot to the exploration of “ocean worlds” that has been sweeping planetary science over the past couple of decades.

Jupiter’s moon Europa has been a prime target for future exploration, and many lessons during Cassini’s mission are being applied in planning our Europa Clipper mission, planned for launch in the 2020s.

The mission will orbit the giant planet, Jupiter, using gravitational assists from large moons to maneuver the spacecraft into repeated close encounters, much as Cassini has used the gravity of Titan to continually shape the spacecraft’s course.

In addition, many engineers and scientists from Cassini are serving on the new Europa Clipper mission and helping to shape its science investigations. For example, several members of the Cassini Ion and Neutral Mass Spectrometer team are developing an extremely sensitive, next-generation version of their instrument for flight on Europa Clipper. What Cassini has learned about flying through the plume of material spraying from Enceladus will be invaluable to Europa Clipper, should plume activity be confirmed on Europa.

In the decades following Cassini, scientists hope to return to the Saturn system to follow up on the mission’s many discoveries. Mission concepts under consideration include robotic explorers to drift on the methane seas of Titan and fly through the Enceladus plume to collect and analyze samples for signs of biology.

Atmospheric probes to all four of the outer planets have long been a priority for the science community, and the most recent recommendations from a group of planetary scientists shows interest in sending such a mission to Saturn. By directly sampling Saturn’s upper atmosphere during its last orbits and final plunge, Cassini is laying the groundwork for an potential Saturn atmospheric probe.

A variety of potential mission concepts are discussed in a recently completed study — including orbiters, flybys and probes that would dive into Uranus’ atmosphere to study its composition. Future missions to the ice giants might explore those worlds using an approach similar to Cassini’s mission.

Learn more about the Cassini mission and its Grand Finale HERE.

Follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

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Working on some very fun stuff lately but nothing to post for now, so here’s a thing that I doodled in school when I wanted a break : A Power Puff Girls redesign - kinda gave up on it for now cause I can’t find some final designs I actually like, but I still had much fun with it so here is a presentable version of my mess

I love staring at my bookshelves. Not because of the aesthetic, but because there’s so many stories, worlds, characters, and places that are full of love, heartbreak, and real emotions and at any moment I can take the dive into any one and immerse myself in the words.

13 Reasons to Have an Out-of-This-World Friday (the 13th)

1. Not all of humanity is bound to the ground

Since 2000, the International Space Station has been continuously occupied by humans. There, crew members live and work while conducting important research that benefits life on Earth and will even help us eventually travel to deep space destinations, like Mars.

2. We’re working to develop quieter supersonic aircraft that would allow you to travel from New York to Los Angeles in 2 hours

We are working hard to make flight greener, safer and quieter – all while developing aircraft that travel faster, and building an aviation system that operates more efficiently. Seventy years after Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 aircraft, we’re continuing that supersonic X-plane legacy by working to create a quieter supersonic jet with an aim toward passenger flight.

3. The spacecraft, rockets and systems developed to send astronauts to low-Earth orbit as part of our Commercial Crew Program is also helping us get to Mars

Changes to the human body during long-duration spaceflight are significant challenges to solve ahead of a mission to Mars and back. The space station allows us to perform long duration missions without leaving Earth’s orbit.

Although they are orbiting Earth, space station astronauts spend months at a time in near-zero gravity, which allows scientists to study several physiological changes and test potential solutions. The more time they spend in space, the more helpful the station crew members can be to those on Earth assembling the plans to go to Mars.

4. We’re launching a spacecraft in 2018 that will go “touch the Sun”

In the summer of 2018, we’re launching Parker Solar Probe, a spacecraft that will get closer to the Sun than any other in human history. Parker Solar Probe will fly directly through the Sun’s atmosphere, called the corona. Getting better measurements of this region is key to understanding our Sun. 

For instance, the Sun releases a constant outflow of solar material, called the solar wind. We think the corona is where this solar wind is accelerated out into the solar system, and Parker Solar Probe’s measurements should help us pinpoint how that happens.  

5. You can digitally fly along with spacecraft…that are actually in space…in real-time!

NASA’s Eyes are immersive, 3D simulations of real events, spacecraft locations and trajectories. Through this interactive app, you can experience Earth and our solar system, the universe and the spacecraft exploring them. Want to watch as our Juno spacecraft makes its next orbit around Juno? You can! Or relive all of the Voyager mission highlights in real-time? You can do that too! Download the free app HERE to start exploring.

6. When you feel far away from home, you can think of the New Horizons spacecraft as it heads toward the Kuiper Belt, and the Voyager spacecraft are beyond the influence of our sun…billions of miles away

Our New Horizons spacecraft completed its Pluto flyby in July 2015 and has continued on its way toward the Kuiper Belt. The spacecraft continues to send back important data as it travels toward deeper space at more than 32,000 miles per hour, and is ~3.2 billion miles from Earth.

In addition to New Horizons, our twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft are exploring where nothing from Earth has flown before. Continuing on their more-than-37-year journey since their 1977 launches, they are each much farther away from Earth and the sun than Pluto. In August 2012, Voyager 1 made the historic entry into interstellar space, the region between the stars, filled with material ejected by the death of nearby stars millions of years ago.

7. There are humans brave enough to not only travel in space, but venture outside space station to perform important repairs and updates during spacewalks

Just this month (October 2017) we’ve already had two spacewalks on the International Space Station…with another scheduled on Oct. 20. 

Spacewalks are important events where crew members repair, maintain and upgrade parts of the International Space Station. These activities can also be referred to as EVAs – Extravehicular Activities. Not only do spacewalks require an enormous amount of work to prepare for, but they are physically demanding on the astronauts. They are working in the vacuum of space in only their spacewalking suit. 

8. Smart people are up all night working in control rooms all over NASA to ensure that data keeps flowing from our satellites and spacecraft

Our satellites and spacecraft help scientists study Earth and space. Missions looking toward Earth provide information about clouds, oceans, land and ice. They also measure gases in the atmosphere, such as ozone and carbon dioxide and the amount of energy that Earth absorbs and emits. And satellites monitor wildfires, volcanoes and their smoke.

9. A lot of NASA-developed tech has been transferred for use to the public

Our Technology Transfer Program highlights technologies that were originally designed for our mission needs, but have since been introduced to the public market. HERE are a few spinoff technologies that you might not know about.

10. We have a spacecraft currently traveling  to an asteroid to collect a sample and bring it back to Earth

OSIRIS-REx is our first-ever mission that will travel to an asteroid and bring a sample of it back to Earth. Currently, the spacecraft is on its way to asteroid Bennu where it will survey and map the object before it “high-fives” the asteroid with its robotic arm to collect a sample, which it will send to Earth.

If everything goes according to plan, on Sept. 24, 2023, the capsule containing the asteroid sample will make a soft landing in the Utah desert.

11. There are Earth-sized planets outside our solar system that may be habitable

To date, we have confirmed 3,000+ exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system that orbit a Sun-like star. Of these 3,000, some are in the habitable zone – where the temperature is just right for liquid water to exist on the surface.  

Recently, our Spitzer Space Telescope revealed the first known system of SEVEN Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these plants are firmly in the habitable zone, and could have liquid water on the surface, which is key to life as we know it.

12. Earth looks like art from space

In 1960, the United States put its first Earth-observing environmental satellite into orbit around the planet. Over the decades, these satellites have provided invaluable information, and the vantage point of space has provided new perspectives on Earth.

The beauty of Earth is clear, and the artistry ranges from the surreal to the sublime.

13. We’re building a telescope that will be able to see the first stars ever formed in the universe

Wouldn’t it be neat to see a period of the universe’s history that we’ve never seen before? That’s exactly what the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be able to do…plus more!

Specifically, Webb will see the first objects that formed as the universe cooled down after the Big Bang. We don’t know exactly when the universe made the first stars and galaxies – or how for that matter. That is what we are building Webb to help answer.

Happy Friday the 13th! We hope it’s out-of-this-world!

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

hey overwatch authors... PSA

super quick clarification because I see it SO much and it’s just a tiny pet peeve of mine. .

>>>>     Prosthetic is an adjective.

it’s kinda obscure I get that,,, but prosthetic is an adjective. it’s used with a noun. Not alone.

So like this:

  • he has a prosthetic arm
  • she took off her prosthetic legs

Not: 

  • he has a prosthetic.
  • she took off her prosthetics.

If you want to use it like that then use the noun form. Prosthesis” with the plural “prostheses”

So like this:

  • he has a prosthesis
  • she took off her prostheses

Summary: 

Prosthetic is an adjective. Do not use it alone.

Prosthesis/Prostheses is a noun. You can use it alone.

*breathes heavily* sorry if this came off as really aggressive I don’t mean it that way. it’s just something that annoys me as a person who loves grammar and syntax. I feel like it’s not commonly known so don’t feel bad at all but this is a psa!!

carry on with your marvelous writing!

The Daredevil Spacecraft That Will Touch the Sun

In the summer of 2018, we’re launching Parker Solar Probe, a spacecraft that will get closer to the Sun than any other in human history.

Parker Solar Probe will fly directly through the Sun’s atmosphere, called the corona. Getting better measurements of this region is key to understanding our Sun. For instance, the Sun releases a constant outflow of solar material, called the solar wind. We think the corona is where this solar wind is accelerated out into the solar system, and Parker Solar Probe’s measurements should help us pinpoint how that happens.  

The solar wind, along with other changing conditions on the Sun and in space, can affect Earth and are collectively known as space weather. Space weather can trigger auroras, create problems with satellites, cause power outages (in extreme cases), and disrupt our communications signals. That’s because space weather interacts with Earth’s upper atmosphere, where signals like radio and GPS travel from place to place.

Parker Solar Probe is named after pioneering physicist Gene Parker. In the 1950s, Parker proposed a number of concepts about how stars — including our Sun — give off energy. He called this cascade of energy the solar wind. Parker also theorized an explanation for the superheated solar atmosphere, the corona, which is hotter than the surface of the Sun itself.

Getting the answers to our questions about the solar wind and the Sun’s energetic particles is only possible by sending a probe right into the furnace of the Sun’s corona, where the spacecraft can reach 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Parker Solar Probe and its four suites of instruments – studying magnetic and electric fields, energetic particles, and the solar wind – will be protected from the Sun’s enormous heat by a 4.5-inch-thick carbon-composite heat shield.

Over the course of its seven-year mission, Parker Solar Probe will make two dozen close approaches to the Sun, continuously breaking its own records and sending back unprecedented science data.

Getting close to the Sun is harder than you might think, since the inertia of a spacecraft launched from Earth will naturally carry it in repeated orbits on roughly the same path. To nudge the orbit closer to the Sun on successive trips, Parker Solar Probe will use Venus’ gravity.

This is a technique called a gravity assist, and it’s been used by Voyager, Cassini, and OSIRIS-REx, among other missions. Though most missions use gravity assists to speed up, Parker Solar Probe is using Venus’ gravity to slow down. This will let the spacecraft fall deeper into the Sun’s gravity and get closer to our star than any other spacecraft in human history.

Get a behind-the-scenes view of the Parker Solar Probe under construction in a clean room on the NASA Sun Science Facebook page.

Keep up with all the latest on Parker Solar Probe at nasa.gov/solarprobe or on Twitter @NASASun.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.