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Tag: NASA

Nasa carbon space observatory 'watches Earth breathe'

Nasa carbon space observatory 'watches Earth breathe'

Science
Media playback is unsupported on your deviceA Nasa satellite has provided remarkable new insights on how CO2 is moved through the Earth's atmosphere. The Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO) tracked the behaviour of the gas in 2015/2016 - a period when the planet experienced a major El Niño event. This climate phenomenon boosts the amount of CO2 in the air. The US space agency's OCO satellite was able to show how that increase was controlled by the response of tropical forests to heat and drought. The forests' ability to draw down carbon dioxide, some of it produced by human activity, was severely curtailed. The science has significant implications because the kind of conditions associated with El Niños are expected to become much more common under global warming. "If future climate is more l
Watch live: NASA streams second of three October spacewalks from ISS

Watch live: NASA streams second of three October spacewalks from ISS

Science
Oct. 9 (UPI) -- NASA TV is streaming the second of three October spacewalks on Tuesday morning. Coverage begins at 6:30 a.m. EDT, but the spacewalk won't commence until 8:05 a.m.Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA, who led last week's spacewalk -- the first of three -- will once again be joined by Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei, also of NASA.For Bresnik, who will also lead the third spacewalk on Oct. 18, Tuesday's mission will be his fourth spacewalk. For Vande Hei, the spacewalk will be his second.Last week, the duo used their six hours outside the space station to replace one of the two Latching End Effectors on Canadarm2, the space station's robotic arm. One of the effector's mechanical latches stalled last month."They also accomplished a couple of get-ahead tasks, including r...
NASA pushes back launch date for James Webb Space Telescope, again

NASA pushes back launch date for James Webb Space Telescope, again

Science
Sept. 29 (UPI) -- NASA's new target window for the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope is between March and June 2019. The world's most powerful space telescope was previously scheduled to launch in October 2018."The change in launch timing is not indicative of hardware or technical performance concerns," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency's D.C. headquarters, announced in a news release this week. "Rather, the integration of the various spacecraft elements is taking longer than expected."An international agreement with the European Space Agency required NASA to analyze the telescope's launch preparedness one year prior to the launch date. The assessment forced officials to reconsider their plans, and ultimately inspired NASA...
The legacy of doomed NASA spacecraft Cassini

The legacy of doomed NASA spacecraft Cassini

Technology
Greg Heffer, News ReporterNearly two decades after blasting off into space, NASA's Cassini spacecraft is set to end its long journey in a fiery suicide plunge.At around 12.55pm UK time on Friday, communication with the £2.5bn project will end when the spacecraft deliberately drives itself into Saturn.After seven years spent travelling to the ringed planet, Cassini has been investigating Saturn and its moons since 2004.Video:ESA animation shows Saturn probe's demiseWhat did it do?Between its launch from Cape Canaveral on 15 October 1997 until the completion of its journey to Saturn, Cassini performed two fly-bys of Venus before returning for a fly-by of Earth to pick up speed.It then travelled through the asteroid belt before teaming up with fellow spacecraft Galileo as it inspected Jupiter
NASA maps summer melt of Greenland Ice Sheet

NASA maps summer melt of Greenland Ice Sheet

Science
Sept. 8 (UPI) -- NASA's Operation IceBridge has been mapping summer ice melt of the Greenland Ice Sheet since Aug. 25 using a B200T King Air aircraft.The flights will go through Sept. 21, with repeat paths to be flown in the spring to monitor seasonal changes in the elevation of the ice sheet."We started to mount these summer campaigns on a regular basis two years ago," Joe MacGregor, IceBridge's deputy project scientist and a glaciologist with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a press release. "If the flights go as expected, the result will be a high-quality survey of some of the fastest melting areas in Greenland and across as much of the island as possible."For the campaign, Operation IceBridge is flying a B200T King Air from Dynamic Aviation carrying th...