Satellite Radar sees Costal Pollution

A NASA-funded study of marine pollution in Southern California concluded space-based synthetic aperture radar can be a vital observational tool for assessing and monitoring ocean hazards in urbanized coastal regions.

“Clean beaches and coastal waters are integral to Southern California’s economy and lifestyle,” said Dr. Paul DiGiacomo, an oceanographer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, Calif. He is lead author of the study recently published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin. “Using Southern California as a model system, we’ve shown existing high-resolution space-based radar systems can be used to effectively detect and assess marine pollution hazards. This is an invaluable tool for water quality managers to better protect public health and coastal resources,” he said.
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Hams aboard the ISS

Expedition 11 will put two hams aboard the ISS:

The licensing in February of US Astronaut John Phillips, KE5DRY, will put two radio amateurs aboard the International Space Station (ISS) this spring.

Heading the Expedition 11 crew will be space veteran and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev, U5MIR, who will be doing his second tour of duty aboard the ISS. Phillips’ licensing eliminates complications for Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) school group contacts. The FCC granted Phillips’ new Technician ticket February 2.
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The old saying, “birds of a feather, flock together,” can be applied to two small uninhabited aerial vehicles (UAVs) flown in a NASA research experiment. The experiment uses principles derived from studies of fish and bird motions to simultaneously guide the vehicles around obstacles.

NASA recently completed flight tests over a “virtual” forest fire to evaluate new flight-control software to give UAVs the ability to autonomously react to obstacles, as they fly pre-programmed missions.
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Canada will transform the future of space-based data delivery and lead scientific research about space weather with the launch of its first multi-purpose satellite mission: CASSIOPE. The satellite will include the scientific payload ePOP, which will be used to study space phenomena in the upper atmosphere, where the solar wind interacts with the Earth’s magnetic field.


The second redesigned Space Shuttle External Tank (ET) is in place at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. It is designated for use on the Shuttle Atlantis Return to Flight mission (STS-121).

The ET incorporates several safety improvements, including an improved bipod fitting that connects the tank to the orbiter. In addition, the tank has temperature sensors and accelerometers, used to measure vibration and to collect data about its performance.
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The module that will deliver food, clothing, spare parts and research equipment to the International Space Station is being prepared for the Space Shuttle Return to Flight mission.

The Italian-built Multi-Purpose Logistics Module, Raffaello, is filled with cargo at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC), Fla. It will fly on the Shuttle Discovery (STS-114) mission targeted for launch in May.

Raffaello will carry 12 large containers, (racks) to the International Space Station (ISS). Included in the cargo is the Human Research Facility (HRF-2), which will expand the ISS capability to support human life sciences research. A similar facility, HRF-1, has conducted research since it was installed into the Destiny module in May 2001. The research includes using an ultrasound unit measuring bone loss and a gas analyzer system.
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A group of Texas high school students emphasized science in posing their questions via ham radio to International Space Station Expedition 10 Commander Leroy Chiao, KE5BRW. The March 8 contact between Rains High School in Emory and NA1SS was arranged by the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) program. One student quizzed Chiao on how he adjusted to Newton’s Third Law of Motion aboard the space station.

“Well, yes, Newton’s Third Law definitely comes into play in space, and it becomes very obvious that if you push on something, you’re going to react in the opposite direction,” Chiao observed. “That’s something you get used to very quickly, and you quickly learn that all you need is a fingertip to push yourself to the other side of the module.”
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A NASA flight research project, designed to test a derivative of the Wright Brothers’ concept of wing-warping to control aircraft turns, indicates the concept works, even at supersonic speeds.

This high-tech version of century-old technology may have an impact on aircraft design. It may make airplanes more maneuverable at high speeds, enable them to carry heavier payloads or use fuel more efficiently.
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CSA feature articles for March

In this month’s Space Story, the aurora borealis reveals some of its secrets to the Portable Auroral Imager. Trond S. Trondsen, of the University of Calgary, designed the instrument. He shows how scientists will be able to study the smallest and fastest moving features of the aurora.

The history feature tells the story of the Falcon 20, a special aircraft in the service of science that has been used by CSA since 1993. In 2004, the CSA performed 10 experiments in weightlessness aboard the twin-jet airplane.

Dr. Peter Suedfeld, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, is the subject of this month’s interview. Before making the leap to space psychology, he studied the behaviour of subjects such as polar scientists and expedition crew.

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