NASA Study: Global Warming Alarmists Wrong

Nasa Global Warming
NASA has released a new study that may prove global-warming alarmists have been wrong all along.

Data from NASA's Terra satellite covering the period 2000 through 2011 shows that when the earth's climate heats up, the atmosphere appears to be better able to channel the heat to outer space.

The satellite data call into question the computer models favored by global warming believers and may put to rest controversy over the discrepancy between the computer models and actual meteorological readings.

Co-author of the study, Dr. Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama's Earth System Science Center, said in a press release, "The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show. There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans."

In an Op-Ed in Forbes, senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute James M. Taylor, said, "In short, the central premise of alarmist global warming theory is that carbon dioxide emissions should be directly and indirectly trapping a certain amount of heat in the earth's atmosphere and preventing it from escaping into space.

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Juno's Jupiter mission may yield clues to Earth's origins

Jupiter Mission
Even for scientists versed in the grand scale of astronomy, it's never been easy to grasp the scope of Jupiter.

After all, you could fit every piece of the solar system other than the sun inside Jupiter — all the other planets, moons and asteroids — with plenty of room to spare. Jupiter has cannibalized 20 moons over the years and still has at least 63, one bigger than Mercury. Jupiter's "spot" is actually a hurricane, which has lasted for hundreds of years and is more than twice the diameter of Earth.

But Jupiter isn't just a forbidding ball of gas. Somewhere in there are the clues, scientists believe, to the origin of the solar system — and Earth. Starting the morning of Aug. 5, NASA will enter the launch period for the spacecraft Juno, which will begin an unprecedented exploration of Jupiter's profound secrets.

"We are after the recipe for planet-making. To get the list of ingredients — this is the place," said Scott Bolton, the mission's principal investigator and the director of space science at San Antonio's Southwest Research Institute.

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NASA Sets Launch Coverage Events for Mission to Jupiter

NASA's Juno spacecraft is set to launch toward Jupiter aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket on Aug. 5. The launch window extends from 11:34 a.m. to 12:33 p.m. EDT (8:34 to 9:33 a.m. PDT), and the launch period extends through Aug. 26.

The spacecraft is expected to arrive at Jupiter in 2016, on a mission to investigate the gas giant's origins, structure, atmosphere and magnetosphere. Juno's color camera will provide close-up images of Jupiter, including the first detailed views of the planets' poles.

NASA will host a prelaunch news conference in the News Center at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Wednesday, Aug. 3, at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT). Conference participants are:

- Colleen Hartman, assistant associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate NASA Headquarters, Washington

- Omar Baez, NASA launch director at Kennedy Space Center

- Vernon Thorp, program manager, NASA Missions United Launch Alliance, Denver

- Jan Chodas, Juno project manager Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

- Tim Gasparini, Juno program manager Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver

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NASA's New Mission: Boost the Muslim World's Self-Esteem

Nasa Mission
Now that the space shuttle program has been retired, NASA can start focusing on its primary mission: reaching out to the Muslim world.

In 1961, John F. Kennedy promised that America would be the first country to land a man on the moon. It was an exciting time for the space program and many amazing accomplishments were achieved, including the fulfillment of Kennedy’s promise, the moon landing of 1969.

It is quite sad to see how NASA has suffered in the last four decades. Instead of excitement about the space program, there is a sense that it is coming to an end with the retirement of the space shuttle.

Who could have predicted that NASA would no longer explore space, the final frontier? Despite all of the technology breakthroughs in the last four decades, our country is currently incapable of replicating what was done in 1969, sending an astronaut to the Moon.

NASA is a perfect example of a government bureaucracy that became inefficient and top-heavy with management, and lost sight of its most important objectives. Back in the 1960s, with the advent of the Apollo program, NASA was an adept and nimble agency, able to meet Kennedy’s ambitious challenge.

Today, we have a President who is not asking the agency to shoot for the stars. Instead, Barack Obama has other goals for NASA, such as studying the so-called problem of manmade global warming.

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Biggest Ever Water Reservoir in History Found in Space

Astronomers have reported the discovery of a huge water vapor cloud floating around a black hole in space. The cloud is so big that scientists estimate it holds 140 trillion times the mass of water in the Earth's oceans, and is approximately 10 billion light years away.

The find is the largest discovery of water anywhere in history, and has been found in a distant “quasar.”

The Carnegie Institution, one of the groups behind the findings, has said, “Since astronomers expected water vapor to be present even in the early universe, the discovery of water is not itself a surprise.”

The statement added: “Quasars contain massive black holes that steadily consuming a surrounding disk of gas and dust; as it eats, the quasar spews out amounts of energy.”

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NASA vs. China

Nasa vs china
If it’s Friday, that means it’s time to vote for the week’s greatest innovator. We narrow the week’s news down to two contenders as part of what we hope will be a long-running series. So take a moment to vote in our entirely nonscientific poll, or weigh in with your thoughts in the comments.

Last week’s match-up was between movie delivery and streaming service Netflix and music streaming service Spotify. According to our 100 percent nonscientific user poll, Spotify is the clear winner. But the polls stay open, so feel free to keep voting.

This week, it’s NASA vs. China. If you need a refresher as to why these two should be in contention, we have some background for you on how they moved the needle this week:

China: If you haven’t heard, fake Apple stores are popping up around China. The stores look almost identical to the certified Apple stores in the United States — stores that attract long lines of customers waiting for the latest Apple hardware or, as was the case this week, software.

The stores, however, have a few flaws. As a blogger who lives in China and goes by the name “BirdAbroad” wrote on Wednesday:

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Pluto moon discovery hints at future surprises for NASA probe

The discovery of a new moon around Pluto hints that a NASA spacecraft streaking toward the dwarf planet could uncover more surprises when it finally gets there.

The tiny new moon — announced July 20 and called P4 for now — brings the number of known Pluto satellites to four. And the find, made with the Hubble Space Telescope, suggests that NASA's New Horizons probe could make some big discoveries, too, when it makes a close flyby of Pluto in 2015, researchers said.

"The discovery of P4 just reinforces what we knew before: This is going to be completely new territory," said Hal Weaver, New Horizons project scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. "We can't wait."

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NASA Atlantis Shuttles Receives Red, White And Blue Homecoming

To celebrate the end of the NASA 30-year-old space shuttle program, the Empire State Building lit up in red, white and blue as Atlantis was prepared for a predawn Florida landing. The last active shuttle orbiter, set to land at Kennedy Space Center at 5:56 a.m. EDT Thursday, could also land at 7:32 a.m., Flight Director Tony Ceccacci said. If neither time works, it could land Friday, he said. Excellent weather was forecast for Thursday's scheduled landing, Ceccacci said Wednesday. AccuWeather said it would be mostly clear and 78 degrees Fahrenheit at 6 a.m., with 5 mph winds from the southwest. Sunrise would be at 6:38 a.m. The four-person Atlantis crew - the smallest of any shuttle mission since the sixth shuttle flight in April 1983 - began deorbit preparations early Thursday, closing the payload bay doors that Wednesday launched the final shuttle payload - an 8-pound, 5- by 5- by 10-inch experimental solar-cell satellite called PicoSat. The satellite - the 180th payload launched by shuttles - will relay solar-cell data back for analysis and possible use on future space hardware, reports. About an hour before landing, Atlantis was to be rotated tail-first into the direction of travel to prepare for another firing of the orbital maneuvering system engines - a 3-minute firing called a deorbit burn to slow the shuttle enough to begin its descent. Atlantis, which launched July 8, left the giant International Space Station Tuesday after restocking it with a year's worth of supplies. The crew of Cmdr. Chris Ferguson, pilot Doug Hurley and mission specialists Sandy Magnus and Rex Walheim also delivered cargo to the station in the large, pressurized multipurpose logistics module Raffaello, named by its maker, the Italian Space Agency, after the Renaissance painter and architect Raffaello Sanzio - better known as Raphael - who with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, formed the traditional trinity of great masters of that time.

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Space Shuttle Astronauts Prepare for One Last Trip Home

There's just one more day in orbit left for the four astronauts on space shuttle Atlantis, the last men and women ever to fly on a NASA shuttle.

Commander Chris Ferguson and his crew have worked steadily and successfully through the bulk of their 13-day mission. The astronauts departed the International Space Station yesterday (July 19), after delivering a huge load of backup hardware and supplies. [Photos: Shuttle Bids Farewell to Space Station]

Now Atlantis is packed to the brim with trash and other items to be brought back to Earth, and the astronauts are making their final preparations for a planned predawn landing on Thursday (July 21).

"The crew is doing great," LeRoy Cain, chair of Atlantis' mission management team, said in a briefing on Tuesday (July 19). "They’ve performed an outstanding mission. We're focused now on getting Atlantis and the crew back."

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NASA spacecraft is orbiting massive asteroid

NASA's Dawn spacecraft was captured into orbit around the massive asteroid Vesta after a 1.7 billion-mile journey and is preparing to begin a study of a surface that may date to the earliest era of the solar system, the space agency said Monday.

The entry into orbit occurred while the spacecraft's antenna was pointed away from Earth, so mission controllers had to wait for Dawn to re-establish contact to confirm its success.

The capture was estimated to have occurred at 10 p.m. PDT Friday, when Dawn was 9,900 miles from Vesta and 117 million miles from Earth in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, according to a statement from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

"We are beginning the study of arguably the oldest extant primordial surface in the solar system," the mission's principal investigator, Christopher Russell from the University of California, Los Angeles, said in the statement.

NASA said that after the orbital capture, Dawn sent an initial close-up image taken for navigation purposes. Before the Dawn mission, images of Vesta were obtained by ground- and space-based telescopes but did not show much surface detail.

Vesta, 330 miles in diameter, is the second-most massive object in the asteroid belt and is believed to be the source of many meteorites that fall to Earth.

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Shuttle crew repacking cargo module for Earth return

Work to move supplies and equipment into the International Space Station and to reload a shuttle cargo module with trash, packing material and no-longer-needed gear is about 78 percent complete as the Atlantis astronauts move into the home stretch of NASA's final shuttle mission.

The four-member crew was awakened at 11:29 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) Friday by Beyonce Knowles' "Run the World (Girls)" beamed up from mission control.

"Good morning Atlantis," the Houston native said in a recorded message to the crew. "This is Beyonce. Sandy, Chris, Doug and Rex, you inspire all of us to dare to live our dreams, to know that we're smart enough and strong enough to achieve them. This song is especially for my girl Sandy (Magnus) and all the women who've taken us to space with them, and the girls who are our future explorers."

"And good morning, Houston, and a big thanks to Beyonce for taking some time out of her schedule to record us a greeting," Magnus replied. "We're ready for another day here on Atlantis and hopefully, with the team at NASA, we can keep our inspirational work up for the young people of America."

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Company chases NASA's dream

Nasa Dream
NASA likes the idea of a mini-shuttle spaceship so much that they're paying Sierra Nevada Corp. $100 million to start developing it. The result is a case of deja vu all over again: Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser space plane is based on a design NASA considered more than 20 years ago.

Sierra Nevada is updating the HL-20 lifting-body design for the 21st century, using carbon composite construction techniques and state-of-the-art avionics. If NASA likes what it sees and provides further funding, the Dream Chaser could be ferrying astronauts to the International Space Station as early as 2015. Three other companies — SpaceX, the Boeing Co. and Blue Origin — are also receiving development money from NASA as part of the agency's commercial crew development program.

Sierra Nevada is the only company of the four that is working on a winged vehicle like the shuttle, and it plans to capitalize on the parallels. Just last week, Sierra Nevada Space Systems' chairman, Mark Sirangelo, signed an agreement with NASA to use facilities at Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the development and launch of the Dream Chaser.

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Astronauts needed as shuttle era ends


The astronauts of Atlantis continued on their final mission of the space shuttle era Wednesday, working with the International Space Station crew to unpack supplies and perform a little plumbing on an aging toilet.

Although the shuttle era is ending, would-be astronauts shouldn't lose heart. NASA seems to be thinking about recruiting more space explorers, who would be based here at the Johnson Space Center. "Houston has asked to recruit more astronauts," NASA chief Charles Bolden said Tuesday at a Congressional hearing.

With the retirement announcement of astronaut Mark Kelly, husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., the active astronaut corps stands at 61, "the number it was prior to the first flight of the space shuttle 30 years ago," said NASA's Janet Kavandi, director of flight crew operations. "We are presently investigating the need to make a new selection" of astronauts, she said.

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GALLERY NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope

hubble image
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope crossed another milestone in its space odyssey of exploration and discovery last week. On Monday, July 4, the Earth-orbiting observatory logged its one millionth science observation during a search for water in an exoplanet’s atmosphere 1,000 light-years away.

“For 21 years Hubble has been the premier space science observatory, astounding us with deeply beautiful imagery and enabling ground-breaking science across a wide spectrum of astronomical disciplines,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. He piloted the space shuttle mission that carried Hubble to orbit. “The fact that Hubble met this milestone while studying a faraway planet is a remarkable reminder of its strength and legacy.”

Although Hubble is best known for its stunning imagery of the cosmos, the millionth observation is a spectroscopic measurement, where light is divided into its component colors. These color patterns can reveal the chemical composition of cosmic sources.

To celebrate Hubble’s remarkable achievement Irish Weather Online has compiled some of the most spectacular images captured by the space telescope since May 2009.

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Single Spacewalk Left for NASA's Shuttle Era

Nasa Spacewalk
It's the last spacewalk of the shuttle era. But it will be conducted by a pair of space station residents.

Astronauts Michael Fossum and Ronald Garan Jr. will venture out Tuesday to retrieve a broken ammonia pump outside the International Space Station. They will stow the pump aboard the docked shuttle Atlantis, so it can be returned to Earth for evaluation. The two will also install a robotic refueling experiment on the 245-mile (394-kilometer) -high outpost.

Only four astronauts are flying aboard Atlantis. It's the smallest crew in decades -- too small, in fact, to have had time to train for this spacewalk. That's why the job was handed over to the space station crew.

The 13-day flight by Atlantis is the last for NASA's 30-year shuttle program.

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NASA Depends on Freedom and Liberty

When most people think of the ships in NASA's fleet, they think of the space shuttles that pierce the sky as they carry astronauts toward space. But NASA has two seagoing ships, Liberty Star and Freedom Star, which also stand ready on shuttle launch day. Their crews' mission is heading to sea to retrieve the two solid rocket boosters that power the shuttle's ascent.

"A typical crew that we carry is 24 people. We've got ten crew, ten diver specialists, and retrieval operations personnel," says Freedom Star Captain Mike Nicholas, a 24-year booster retrieval veteran who works for United Space Alliance. "We depart the port 24 hours in advance. It takes us roughly 12 to 15 hours to get offshore to our SRB impact area.

Then we'll stand by, and do surveillance work to keep other vessels out of the area so that when the launch goes, we have a window that the boosters can come in safely without any traffic being around."

The crews, divers and ships are prepared long before the solid boosters ignite at the launch pad.

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What We Could Lose if the James Webb Telescope Is Killed

NASA's James Webb telescope, the successor to the Hubble, is on the chopping block. With the U.S. Congress arguing over fiscal matters, one of the things that may get cut is NASA's budget, with the expensive James Webb telescope potentially getting the ax. If that happens, a generation of scientific discoveries about the nature of the universe may need to be put on hold.

Right now the future of the Webb telescope, scheduled to launch in 2018, is uncertain. Congress is looking to cut costs, and NASA's budget could be cut by as much as $1.6 billion (or about nine percent of its overall budget). Such a big cut would certainly be the death knell for the Webb telescope, which has so far cost $3 billion but whose final price is expected to hit the $6.8-billion mark.

"The cost overruns are driven by a couple things," says Rick Howard, the program director of the James Webb Space Telescope at NASA. "We've had ten or so technologies that needed to work in order to have this kind of telescope—mirrors actuators, the sunshade. We've made great progress, but it's taken longer and it's been harder than we thought. We've hand to invent new adhesives for carbon fiber because what we thought was the right chemical equation didn't work at all. Another source was inadequate early funding of reserves."

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NASA still hiring heroes for Astronaut Corps, just not as many as before

McNair Middle science teacher Guytri Still tells her students to aim high, study hard and one day they can be an astronaut like their school's namesake and the "heroes" they see rocket into space just miles from their Rockledge campus.

But after Atlantis' final launch scheduled for Friday, Still is afraid it will become much more complicated to follow in the footsteps of Challenger astronaut Ronald McNair since Americans will be relying, at least for the foreseeable future, on the Russian space program for trips to orbit.

"We tell kids, 'When you grow up you can be an astronaut,' " Still said. "What do we tell them now?"

The message from Peggy Whitson, head of the Astronaut Corps: Keep telling them that. There will still be a need for daring, smart space professionals.

"The biggest misconception with the shuttle program coming to an end: We're not going to be flying astronauts," Whitson said. "We are. I still want young people to dream to be astronauts. There will be jobs out there."

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Technology from space shuttle program a big hit on Earth

Many people mistakenly think they were born out of NASA’s space shuttle program. Truth is, none of them was invented for NASA shuttle missions, and all were commercially available products that were adapted for space travel use. Their use in orbit, however, probably contributed to their popularity.

So with the approach of the final shuttle launch, what types of technological advancements has NASA brought us?

Since 1976, more than 1,700 documented NASA technologies have benefited U.S. industry, improved our quality of life, and created jobs and industries. NASA says the space shuttle program alone has generated more than 100 technology spinoffs — commercially available systems, products or services that owe their existence to NASA-based technologies.

It’s almost impossible to find an area of everyday life that has not been improved by these spinoffs.

Think about it. Whether you drive a car, walk into your home, visit a hospital or just simply indulge in a recreational activity, chances are you’re coming into contact with a product that is the result of technology first developed by NASA.

For instance, homeowners are insulating their homes with the same lightweight, flexible material NASA uses to insulate low-temperature areas on space shuttles.

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. produced a radial tire with a tread life expected to be 10,000 miles greater than conventional radials by using a fibrous material it developed for NASA.

When law enforcement officials needed help improving grainy crime scene video, NASA assisted with high-tech image-processing technology it used to analyze space shuttle launch video.

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The excitement of 'new space'

Like all would-be space entrepreneurs, David Thompson needed a big idea to get his business going.

Having worked on the development of the shuttle, he thought there might be something interesting one could usefully do with the vehicles' giant external fuel tanks.

These behemoths are dumped once the orbiters have made it into space and fall back into the atmosphere to be destroyed.

Thompson's brainwave was to push them into orbit, also.

His vision was for them to be filled with water. Over time, the tanks would then use electrolysis to split the liquid into hydrogen and oxygen - to produce yet more rocket fuel. A "gas station in the sky".

"There were a number of problems with this idea," Thompson recalls with a grin - "the number one being that there weren't that many rockets coming along this road where our gas station would be."

Undeterred, he simply moved on to his next concept.

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After final shuttle, NASA must return to Earth

The last shuttle, Atlantis, sits on Pad 39A, ready for its valedictory flight.

It is the nature of a shuttle to look kind of lonely on the pad, a safe remove from the control room, the hangars, the observation platforms. The pad is not far from the beach, one of the last stretches of Florida coastline unblemished by hotels and condos.

Beach houses were torn down years ago when the federal government showed up with rockets. Old-timers talk of graveyards and an old schoolhouse lurking out there, the remnants of the era before the coming of the spaceport.

The U.S. space program is middle-aged, facing a painful transition. Atlantis will blast off, if all goes as planned, Friday morning for a 12-day mission to the international space station. And then ... what?

Then a lot of uncertainty. The only sure bet is that thousands of people here will be out of a job.

NASA's critics say the human spaceflight program is in a shambles. They see arm-waving and paperwork rather than a carefully defined mission going forward. NASA has lots of plans, but it has no new rocket ready to launch, no specific destination selected, and no means in the near term to get U.S. astronauts into space other than by buying a seat on one of Russia's aging Soyuz spacecraft.

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NASA Research Plane to Make Low Passes Over Area

Pasadena residents will likely see—and hear—a large low-flying aircraft skimming just above the region in the coming weeks.

Don’t be alarmed; it will just be one of two NASA research planes making their scheduled flights through the region as part of an effort to study urban air quality.

The planes will be making passes at the relatively low altitude of 1,000 feet, according to a NASA release.

Officials said the test is also intended to help scientists improve their ability to measure ground-level air pollution from space.

According to a release, about 14 flights are planned. They are scheduled to take place between June 27 and July 31, depending on the weather.

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NASA sues astronaut over Apollo 14 camera


If you were the sixth man on the moon, you might think that, like Hollywood actors on a set, you deserved a souvenir or two.

It seems that, 40 years ago, after Edgar Mitchell performed his moonwalking duties, he took a lunar movie camera home with him, one that he tried to auction in May.

In Reuters' description, Mitchell's lawyer says that he received permission from NASA to take the camera.

The mention of the word "lawyer" might lead you to conclude that there might be a dispute. Indeed, the U.S. government, on behalf of NASA, has reportedly filed papers in court to prevent the auction from happening and to have the camera returned to NASA.

Donald Jacobson, Mitchell's lawyer, told Reuters: "Objects from the lunar trips to the moon were ultimately mounted and then presented to the astronauts as a gift after they had helped NASA on a mission."

However, NASA is saying that as it has no written record of the transfer of ownership, it should have it back.

Indeed, the Palm Beach Post says the government is being remarkably insistent in its filing. It quotes the papers as saying: "Defendant Edgar Mitchell is a former NASA employee who is exercising improper dominion and control over a NASA Data Acquisition Camera."

The camera was expected to fetch somewhere between $60,000 to $80,000, which doesn't seem a vast enough amount for NASA to toss a conniption.

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