NASA Says No to Probe Crash Theory Test - Roscosmos

NASA has reject to contribute in an experiment designed to show if U.S. radars could have had an impact on Russia’s troubled Phobos-Grunt Mars probe, the deputy head of the country’s space agency, Roscosmos, Anatoly Shylov said on Thursday.

Roscosmos filed an official request to the U.S. side to participate in the investigation, but they refused,” Shylov said.

The official also said that the government commission inquiry into the cause of the probe’s crash had issued a final report with the results of the investigation. It is expected to be published next week.

Among the possible causes of the Phobos-Grunt probe’s crash, investigators said interference from the U.S. radar installed on the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean could have had an impact. Scientists however dismissed the idea, saying that the U.S. radar theory is cover up to hide some people’s mistakes.


2011 Was Ninth Warmest Year On Record

NASA make public a temperature analysis for 2011, which shows that previous year was among the ten (10) warmest years since 1880, when the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York began keeping record of global temperatures.

Nine(9)of the warmest years were recorded in the 21st century; 1998 is the only 20th century entry in the ranking. NASA said that the average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline. The difference between 2011 and 2010, the warmest year on GISS record, was 0.22 degrees F (0.12 C).

"We know the planet is absorbing more energy than it is emitting," said GISS Director James Hansen in a prepared statement. "So we are continuing to see a trend toward higher temperatures. Even with the cooling effects of a strong La Niña influence and low solar activity for the past several years, 2011 was one of the 10 warmest years on record."

The increasing level of greenhouse gases is blamed for the an ongoing temperature increases, which NASA says may vary from year to year, but will continue to climb in the future on average. To learn more information about greenhouse gases, check out online colleges to find biology classes that can teach you more about the types of greenhouse gases. GISS noted that the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere was about 285 parts per million in 1880, about 315 parts per million in 1960 and is above 390 parts per million today. Hansen said he expects record-breaking global average temperature in the next two to three years because of increasing solar activity and the "next El Niño will increase tropical Pacific temperatures".


NASA picks Mont. students' names for moon probes: Ebb, Flow

moon probes
Fourth-graders in Montana have won the NASA grail by naming the previously nameless twin spacecraft orbiting the moon "Ebb" and "Flow."

NASA's rocket scientists were too busy creating the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (yes, GRAIL) probes to give them proper names and had simply called them "A" and "B." So, back in October, a month after the unmanned craft were launched, the space agency launched the naming contest.

More than 11,000 students in nearly 900 classrooms in 45 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico participated. The winning entry came from the 28 students in Nina DiMauro's class at the Emily Dickinson Elementary School in Bozeman, Mont., NASA said.

"They noted the fact that GRAIL is going to be studying gravity on the moon, and that the effect of gravity on the Earth is seen every day in terms of tides," principal investigator Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology told AFP. "So they chose Ebb and Flow because it was the daily example of how the moon's gravity is working on the Earth."

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NASA Rover Takes 'Winter Vacation' to Power Solar Panel

mars rover
NASA has sent its Mars Rover, Opportunity, on its first winter working vacation since the solar-powered vehicle began exploring the red planet’s surface several years ago.

Similar to humans who travel to sunny locations during the winter, the robotic rover will spend the next several months literally soaking up sunlight. The U.S. space agency, NASA, says it positioned Opportunity with its solar panel angled toward the Sun to make sure the rover will have enough power to last for the duration of the long Martian winter.

Mission scientists say it was not necessary for Opportunity to be kept in a Sun-facing position the previous four Martian winters because its landing site just south of the planet's equator gets relatively strong sunlight year-round. They decided to use the maneuver this year because the rover’s solar panels were caked with an unusually thick coating of dust.

NASA says Opportunity is sitting on the slope of a rocky outcrop that lies along the rim of Mars’ 22-kilometer-wide Endeavour Crater. Scientists say they have identified a variety of interesting features for the rover to investigate with its robotic arm while its solar panels store up energy from the Sun. NASA says it does not plan to move the golf cart-sized vehicle more than a meter or two until June or July when Opportunity will resume its current mission exploring Endeavour Crater.

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