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Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

New History: Rosetta’s Spacecraft Successfully Lands On Comet (Video)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 13, 2014


European Space Agency’s Rosetta space probe on Wednesday successfully deployed its robotic lander Philae on the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.2

This is the first time a spacecraft has ever landed on the surface of a comet. The mission was ten years in the making.

EU science chief Anne Glover tweeted that, “I think Europe just boldly went where no one else has gone before.”

Philae touched down on an area of the comet named Agilkia, using harpoons and screws to latch on to the surface.


                                             Here’s a timeline of the spacecraft’s historic mission, courtesy of the AP: Read the rest of this entry »

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Rijan’s Theory to Glorify Nepal with his Scientific Achievements

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 24, 2013

Karki, who is inspired by Newton’s theory, succeeded in securing the Student Achievement Award (SAA) by presenting his theory on operating a railway in the mountains without electricity or any fuel in an energy conference organized in the USA.
The fund has provided him 1‚200 US dollars annually for four years. With a plan to study physics in the future‚ he is now studying at B. Sc. first year in applied physics in a university.

Rijan KarkiNepal’s youth scientist Rijan Karki has done a quite praiseworthy deed by glorifying Nepal at the US space centre, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

Karki, who is inspired by Newton’s theory, succeeded in securing the Student Achievement Award (SAA) by presenting his theory on operating a railway in the mountains without electricity or any fuel in an energy conference organized in the USA.

Karki, who was successful in presenting his talent in the world arena by being active with special interest in the sector of science and technology, has recently received a Rs. 25,101-amount cash prize entitled ‘Sami Youth Encouragement Award- 2069 BS.’

Rijan won the International Student Achievement Award at the age of 16 from the US space centre NASA in 2009. He had presented a working paper at NASA about the laws of gravitation and flabbergasted the participating scientists.

Nurturing a dream of becoming a doctor or engineer while he studied at Class 6, he is on his way to success of becoming a famous youth scientist, and researcher after he was attracted to Newton’s theories.

Karki, who has put several national level awards under his belt, plans to stay in Nepal itself and do something worthwhile in future. Karki, who is engaged in researches of inventions like ‘bouncing car’ and ‘RK’s Simple Machine’ named after himself (which can help push anything weighty and stores energy) , has been arguing that substances like water ,soil and rocks can be used as fuel.

The young Nepali boy, who succeeded in winning the prestigious Student Achievement Award from USA by using simple materials around us scientifically, had only passed Ten Plus 2 level from Nobel Academy, Baneshwor, after school education from the Budhanilkantha of Kathmandu.

Karki is now studying at Kathmandu University (KU) with assistance from a Nepali organization and the Wells Mountain Fund of USA.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tuning In to the Universe

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on February 26, 2013

By Honor Harger

Images of space are ubiquitous in our lives. We have been surrounded by stunning portrayals of our own solar system and beyond for generations. But in popular culture, we have no sense of what space sounds like. And indeed, most people associate space with silence.

The spiral galaxy M106. Photo courtesy of NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), R. Gendler (for the Hubble Heritage Team), and G. Bacon (STScI).

There are, of course, perfectly valid scientific reasons for assuming so. Space is a vacuum. But through radio, we can listen to the Sun’s fizzling solar flares, the roaring waves and spitting fire of Jupiter’s stormy interactions with its moon Io, pulsars’ metronomic beats, or the eerie melodic shimmer of a whistler in the magnetosphere.

Radio waves emitted from celestial bodies can be turned into sound by ordinary radio receivers, which contain amplifiers and speakers that convert electrical signals into sound waves. Using this century-old process, the universe becomes soundful.

This is all possible due to the science of radio astronomy. The study of celestial phenomena at radio wavelengths, radio astronomy came into being after the accidental discovery of cosmic radiation by radio engineer, Karl Jansky in 1933. Whilst optical astronomers use telescopes to look at the visible light emitted by stars, radio astronomers use radio telescopes to detect radio waves.

Back in 2001, my artistic group, r a d i o q u a l i a, created Radio Astronomy to allow listeners to encounter different celestial frequencies, hearing planets, stars, nebulae, and the constant hiss of cosmic noise. The intention was to unearth the sonic character of objects in our universe, and in the process, perhaps make these phenomena more tangible and comprehensible. Radio enabled us to hear something which was physically present, but imperceptible to our senses, which as radio artists, appealed to us. Read the rest of this entry »

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UFO Sightings At International Space Station On The Rise (And You Can Help Find Them) (VIDEO)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 14, 2013

By Lee Speigel

As 2012 ended and 2013 began, numerous UFOs were reported around the country — nothing earthshattering there — but what about alleged unidentified objects seen in space near the International Space Station (or ISS), a couple of hundred miles above Earth?

Videos have cropped up on YouTube showing images taken by NASA cameras of objects of different shapes, some moving very slowly, others rapidly hurtling through space.

What, exactly, are we looking at here? Alien spacecraft dropping by for a visit with the ISS? Reflections from ISS windows? Meteors? Or various types of orbiting or fast moving spacecraft-generated debris?

On Christmas Day, YouTube poster Streetcap1 recorded video of a silvery object, moving slowly near the curvature of Earth. At :46 into the following video, the object can be seen in faraway perspective.

[youtube= Read the rest of this entry »

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Reaching for the stars or false dawn? Russia says next-gen spacecraft design ready

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 27, 2012

russianspacewebcom-user-zak-image.nRussia’s halting attempts to build a next generation spacecraft have received a boost after a leading constructor announced that it has completed the design of a new prototype. But seasoned space watchers await specifics before popping their corks.

“We have finished the design of the new spaceship. We took into consideration that the new craft has to be able to travel not only to the International Space Station (ISS), but also to the moon,” said Vitaly Lopota, the chief of RSC Energia, the Russian space industry’s primary spacecraft builder.

The proposed spacecraft is commonly known as PPTS (or Prospective Piloted Transport System) and RSC Energia won the tender to build it in 2009. Initially, 2015 was named as the date of the first test flight, but that was then shifted to 2018. Now, Lopota has brought the test date forward again.

“We are currently working on the first full-size model. The first test flights should take place in 2017,” he announced during a press conference in Moscow.

Currently, Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, uses a modernized Soyuz spacecraft, a basic design that flew its first mission in 1967, to deliver cosmonauts to the ISS.

On paper, PPTS sounds like a significant upgrade, although all design information is preliminary and has not been finalized by the designers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Claim: NASA Predicts Total Blackout in Dec. 2012

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 17, 2012


Description: Viral message
Circulating since: July 2012
Status: False (see details below)

Text example #1:
As posted on Facebook, Aug. 4, 2012:

NASA predicts total blackout on 23-25 Dec 2012 during alignment of Universe.

US scientists predict Universe change, total blackout of planet for 3 days from Dec 23 2012.

It is not the end of the world, it is an alignment of the Universe, where the Sun and the earth will align for the first time. The earth will shift from the current third dimension to zero dimension, then shift to the forth dimension. During this transition, the entire Universe will face a big change, and we will see a entire brand new world.

The 3 days blackout is predicted to happen on Dec 23, 24, 25….during this time, staying calm is most important, hug each other, pray pray pray, sleep for 3 nights…and those who survive will face a brand new world….for those not prepared, many will die because of fear. Be happy, enjoy every moment now. Don’t worry, pray to God everyday. There is a lot of talk about what will happen in 2012, but many people don’t believe it, and don’t want to talk about it for fear of creating fear and panic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mars Rock: Curiosity Rover To Examine Pyramid-Shaped Boulder, NASA Says

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 24, 2012

The Huffington Post  |  By  Share on Google+

Mars Rock

Curiosity’s robotic arm is set to get its first workout. It’s been tasked with examining a football-sized rock whose odd pyramidal shape caught the eyes of NASA scientists–and fueled the imagination of earthlings everywhere who are perhaps a tad too eager for the rover to find evidence of intelligent life on the Red Planet. Read the rest of this entry »

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What’s Next for NASA? 10 Wild, Newly Funded Projects

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 14, 2012

NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program

NASA / JPL-Caltech


What’s next for NASA now that Curiosity has touched down on Mars? For a sneak peek into what the space agency has in store, take a look at the 28 proposals for the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program, which gives out awards of $100,000 and $500,000 for concepts that have the potential to “transform future aerospace missions.” Here are 10 of the most fantastic projects that NASA hopes will be inspiring people long after Curiosity has finished exploring Mars.

NIAC 2012 Phase I & Phase II Awards Announcement

The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program is proud to announce its 2012 awards. NIAC has selected eighteen new NIAC Phase I awards, and ten new Phase II awards based on earlier Phase I studies. These proposals have been selected based on the potential of their concepts to transform future aerospace missions, enable new capabilities, or significantly alter and improve current approaches.

Each Phase I study will receive approximately $100,000 for one year, and each Phase II study will receive approximately $500,000 for two years. These studies will advance numerous innovative aerospace concepts, and help NASA achieve future goals.

NASA Press Release

2012 Phase I Fellows Read the rest of this entry »

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NASA ‘Morpheus’ Craft Crashes During Test Flight, Explodes At Kennedy Space Center (VIDEO)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 11, 2012


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NASA seeing red: $2.5 billion Mars rover to dig for proof of life

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 8, 2012

An artist's conception of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover. (AFP Photo / NASA)

An artist’s conception of NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover. (AFP Photo / NASA)

NASA’s make-or-break Mars mission has entered its landing phase on Monday morning. While the Curiosity rover attempts to land using a never-attempted sky crane, engineers back on Earth have no control over the pre-programmed sequence.

The touchdown is scheduled for 5:31 GMT.

NASA engineers will have to wait at least 14 minutes before learning the fate of Curiosity. That is if the Odyssey orbiter circling Mars is at the right spot in the sky to catch the rover’s signal. If not, it could take up to eight hours to get the final answer on the rover’s fate.

The $2.5 billion Mars Science Laboratory “could arguably be the most important event in the history of planetary exploration,” said Doug McCuistion, director of Mars exploration at NASA’s headquarters in Washington, DC.

The trickiest part of the mission, currently on its 8 months since launching in 2011, is the landing. Not only does it involve delivering the NASA’s largest-ever one-ton payload safely to the Martian surface, it will also attempt a new kind of landing sequence involving a guided entry, a supersonic 16-meter parachute, firing eight rocket thrusters during the descent and, finally, the sky crane.

Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Lead Flight Director David Oh speaks to members of the media in the Mission Control room ahead of the landing of the Mars rover Curiosity. (AFP Photo / Robyn Beck)
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Lead Flight Director David Oh speaks to members of the media in the Mission Control room ahead of the landing of the Mars rover Curiosity. (AFP Photo / Robyn Beck)

A crane hovering some seven meters in the sky after touchdown will lower Curiosity to the surface of Mars. The approach was chosen over a traditional lander or inflatable cushioning due to the size of the rover. The sky crane trick avoids risks like tilting the platform, or mechanical damage from the clouds of dust and debris kicked up by rocket engines. But the sky crane technology couldn’t be fully field-tested on Earth, since it was designed for the atmosphere and gravity of Mars. Read the rest of this entry »

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Future covered: NASA developing space-bound submarines and printable spacecraft

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 8, 2012

This composite "family portrait" from NASA's website shows Jupiter with two of its four largest moons: Io, on the top, and Europa (Photo from

This composite “family portrait” from NASA’s website shows Jupiter with two of its four largest moons: Io, on the top, and Europa (Photo from

As Curiosity takes its first steps on the surface of Mars, NASA has already decided what comes next after the rover, namely a submarine to explore Jupiter’s ice-covered moon, Europa, and a robot to land-sail across Venus.

These are among 28 futuristic projects selected by NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) Program. The ambitious projects are split into the categories of Phase I, which has gathered brand new ideas to be developed from scratch, and Phase II, the survivors of 2011’s program.

The 18 winners of Phase I have been awarded $100,000 each to develop their ideas for one year. This category boasts the boldest projects including a Venus-bound craft which would “sail” the planet using electromagnetic fields.

As NIAC studies all aspects of space exploration, a certain number of its projects cover hazards of planetary missions, such as the abnormal radiation that spacemen may encounter at an on-ground station. Thus, “Water Walls”, another ambition under NIAC’s Phase I, is a concept where undesirable material like urine or fecal matter is removed from a station’s waste water and processed to act as a radiation shield.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Mars Rover Landing: Curiosity Lands Early Monday Morning (RECAP)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 7, 2012

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has touched down on the surface of the Red Planet, completing a 354-million-mile journey, and marking the beginning of a new era in planetary exploration.

President Obama released the following statement immediately after the landing: Read the rest of this entry »

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NASA Awards Boeing, SpaceX & Sierra Nevada Corp. With Contracts For Space Shuttle Replacements

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 4, 2012

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Nasa Boeing Spacex

If all goes according to plan over the next five years, NASA will no longer have to rely on Russia to get Americans to the International Space Station.

The space agency announced on Friday that it has awarded three companies — Sierra Nevada Corporation, SpaceX, and Boeing — contracts totaling over $1.1 billion “to design and develop the next generation of U.S. human spaceflight capabilities.”

“Today, we are announcing another critical step toward launching our astronauts from U.S. soil on space systems built by American companies,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said, according to press materials from NASA. “We have selected three companies that will help keep us on track to end the outsourcing of human spaceflight and create high-paying jobs in Florida and elsewhere across the country.”

NASA has not had a way to transport astronauts into space since the retirement of the space shuttle last year. The agency pays Russia — at a cost of about $63 million per round trip, according to — to get Americans to and from the International Space Station.

The Boeing Company was awarded $460 million, the largest chunk of the prize. The aerospace and defense company said it will use the money to further develop the CST-100, a spacecraft that will carry astronauts to the ISS.

NASA awarded Space Exploration Technologies, also known as SpaceX, $440 million, which the company will use to further develop its Dragon spacecraft for astronaut transport. Earlier this year, SpaceX became the first private company to successfully dock a vehicle with the International Space Station. Read the rest of this entry »

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Moon Landing Anniversary: Pictures From Historic Apollo 11 Misson (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 23, 2012

Moon Landing

It was 43 years ago on Friday that Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, two members of the Apollo 11 crew, became the first humans to set foot on the moon.

As more than 500 million people watched on television, Commander Armstrong stepped out of the lunar module Eagle andsaid the now iconic words:

“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

The Saturn V rocket carrying the Apollo 11 crew had blasted off from Florida about 109 hours earlier.

The two astronauts spent just over 21 hours on the moon before returning to the orbiting Columbia module to begin their journey back to Earth. They brought with them almost 50 pounds of geological samples, according to the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Pluto Now Has Five Moons, but It’s Still Not a Planet

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 14, 2012

It’s rapidly becoming the little planetoid that could, with more satellites than the inner four planets put together. But that doesn’t mean Pluto’s getting any more love.
Click here to find out more!

This image, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows five moons orbiting the distant, icy dwarf planet Pluto. The green circle marks the newly discovered moon, designated S/2012 (134340) 1, or P5.

If ever a spacecraft had the right to turn around and come home, it’s NASA‘s little New Horizons ship. Launched on Jan. 19, 2006, it was dispatched on a mission no other ship had ever dared attempt — fly out and reconnoiter Pluto, the most distant and mysterious planet in the solar system. Little more than seven months later, however — on Aug. 14, 2006 — word came down from the International Astronomical Union that, oops!, Pluto isn’t a planet after all. It’s a dwarf planet or a minor planet or a planetoid, or, most insultingly, a plutoid. But whatever you want to call it, it had been summarily busted down from one of the sun’s little princelings to a mere pretender — nothing more than a refugee from the Kuiper belt, the band of comets and other rocky, icy debris that circles the solar system. And for this New Horizons was supposed to travel 4.5 billion miles? Talk about bait and switch.

But Pluto’s been getting a lot of love — and a lot of redemption — lately, thanks to observations by the Hubble Space Telescope, which just discovered yet another moon circling the lonely little world. That brings Pluto’s total to five, which — if you’re counting — is four more than Earth has and five more than moonless Mercury and Venus. Read the rest of this entry »

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