Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Renewing Partnerships

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson signed a Memorandum of Agreement today to promote and continue collaboration between the two agencies in environmental and Earth sciences and applications. The signing ceremony took place at the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science (MS)² on the campus of Howard University in Washington. Following the ceremony, both administrators met with students to discuss the importance of science and engineering education.

"Our agencies have a remarkable opportunity to tackle a variety of environmental issues together," said Administrator Bolden. "Involving students in Earth science and climate research at an early age will encourage a stronger sense of stewardship toward our home planet."

The agreement renews a broad partnership to promote joint efforts to improve environmental and Earth science research, technology, environmental management, and the application of Earth science data, models and technology in environmental decision-making.

Video of the event can be seen on UStream

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Birth of Stars

This new Hubble photo is but a small portion of one of the largest seen star-birth regions in the galaxy, the Carina Nebula. Towers of cool hydrogen laced with dust rise from the wall of the nebula. Reminiscent of Hubble's classic image of the Eagle Nebula dubbed the 'Pillars of Creation' this image is even more striking in appearance. Captured here are the top of a three-light-year-tall pillar of gas and the dust that is being eaten away by the brilliant light from nearby bright stars. The pillar is also being pushed apart from within, as infant stars buried inside it fire off jets of gas that can be seen streaming from towering peaks like arrows sailing through the air.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cumulonimbus Cloud Over Africa

High above the African continent, tall, dense cumulonimbus clouds, meaning 'column rain' in Latin, are the result of atmospheric instability. The clouds can form alone, in clusters, or along a cold front in a squall line. The high energy of these storms is associated with heavy precipitation, lightning, high wind speeds and tornadoes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Another World

This other worldly landscape is actually Dagze Co, one of many inland lakes in Tibet. In glacial times, the region was considerably wetter, and lakes were correspondingly much larger, as evidenced by the numerous fossil shorelines that circle the lake and attest to the presence of a previously larger, deeper lake. Over millennia changes in climate have resulted in greater aridity of the Tibetan Plateau.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gazing at Earth

The STS-131 crew snapped this image as space shuttle Discovery remained docked with the International Space Station. The Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module can be seen in Discovery’s payload bay. Earth’s horizon and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the scene.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spacewalkers at Work

During the second of three spacewalks STS-131 astronauts Rick Mastracchio (left) and Clayton Anderson continued maintenance activities outside the International Space Station by installing a 1,700-pound ammonia tank on the station's Starboard 1 truss.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Group Portrait

The crews of STS-131 and Expedition 23 gathered for a group portrait in the Kibo laboratory of the International Space Station while space shuttle Discovery was docked at the station. STS-131 crew (in light blue shirts) are commander Alan Poindexter, pilot James P. Dutton Jr., and mission specialists Clayton Anderson, Rick Mastracchio, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Naoko Yamazaki. Expedition 23 crew Commander Oleg Kotov, cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Alexander Skvortsov, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, and NASA astronauts T.J. Creamer and Tracy Caldwell Dyson.

Friday, April 16, 2010

President Obama Visits Kennedy Space Center

President Barack Obama waves hello as he exits of Air Force One along with Senator Bill Nelson after landing at the NASA Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla. on Thursday, April 15, 2010. Obama visited Kennedy to deliver remarks on the bold new course the administration is charting to maintain U.S. leadership in human space flight.

During a speech at the center, President Obama said, "As president, I believe space exploration is not a luxury, not an afterthought, an essential part of the quest."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Working in Tandem - NASA Image

Dwarfed by space shuttle Discovery and with Earth's horizon and the blackness of space providing the backdrop for the scene, NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio (right) and Clayton Anderson worked in Discovery's aft payload bay during the mission's third and final spacewalk. During the six-hour, 24-minute spacewalk, Mastracchio and Anderson hooked up fluid lines of the new 1,700-pound tank, retrieved some micrometeoroid shields from the Quest airlock's exterior, relocated a portable foot restraint and prepared cables on the Zenith 1 truss for a spare Space to Ground Ku-Band antenna, two chores required before space shuttle Atlantis' STS-132/ULF-4 mission in May.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A Day's Work - NASA Image

During the second spacewalk of the STS-131 mission, NASA astronauts Rick Mastracchio and Clayton Anderson (out of frame) unhooked and removed the depleted ammonia tank and installed a 1,700-pound replacement on the station’s Starboard 1 truss. This was the second of three spacewalks in the coolant tank replacement process.