NASA Taps Student Teams to Simulate Human Exploration of Other Worlds

NASA is debuting a new engineering design challenge to engage students worldwide in the next phase of human space exploration. The NASA Human Exploration Rover Challenge is a more complex follow-on to the successful NASA Great Moonbuggy Race.

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NASA Enhances ‘Space Station Live’ and Launches New Weekly Web Series

Starting in December, NASA will show the public the International Space Station in new ways that will highlight all the scientific research, cutting-edge technology testing and even the wonder of living and working in space.

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Black Holes Have Simple Feeding Habits

At the center of spiral galaxy M81 is a supermassive black hole about 70 million times more massive than our sun. A study using data from Chandra and ground-based telescopes, combined with detailed theoretical models, shows that the supermassive black hole in M81 feeds just like stellar mass black holes, with masses of only about ten times that of the sun. This discovery supports Einstein's relativity theory that states black holes of all sizes have similar properties. Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Wisconsin/D.Pooley & CfA/A.Zezas; Optical: NASA/ESA/CfA/A.Zezas; UV: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CfA/J.Huchra et al.; IR: NASA/JPL-Caltech/CfA

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Aorounga Crater, Chad

This image from Japan’s ALOS satellite shows the Aorounga Crater in northern Chad.

The crater is just south of the Tibesti Mountains, a range of inactive – with some potentially active – volcanoes in the central Sahara desert.

Measuring about 12 km across, the crater was created by a meteorite impact about 340 million years ago.

Clearly visible is the dark, central peak, caused by material splashing up after the impact, similar to how water bounces back up when a stone is thrown in. This peak is surrounded by a low, sand-filled ring, which is surrounded by another ring of rock from when the material was thrown outwards. A distinctive low, sand-filled trough circles the others – the outer edges of the initial impact.

The linear rock ridges that run diagonally across this image are ‘yardangs’ and are formed by wind erosion. Here, we can clearly see how the wind blows from northeast to southwest. Sand dunes form in the wind-cut valleys between the rock ridges of the yardangs.

Japan’s Advanced Land Observation Satellite captured this image on 3 November 2010. ALOS was supported as a Third Party Mission, which means that ESA used its multimission ground systems to acquire, process, distribute and archive data from the satellite to its user community.

This image is featured on the Earth from Space video programme.

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