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Sam Jacobs
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At Sandia Labs, we hang out with droids every day.
#MayThe4thBeWithYou #robotics  
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Today is Eat What You Want Day. We want to eat a Firefox Pizza. How about you?
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Three used cell phones enjoyed a second life as satellites on the back of the Antares test rocket last week, as NASA tested their brand new PhoneSat cube satellite program. The three phones—named Alexander, Graham and Bell—were part of an initial test to determine the feasibility of using modified Google-HTC Nexus One Android hardware as the main flight avionics of an inexpensive, but capable satellite. 

To get an idea of how much money can be saved by using existing consumer-grade smartphones as small satellites, we can take a look at the actual numbers from NASA. NASA engineers were able to modify and prepare the smartphones for orbit at a cost of between $3500 and $7000, a vast savings over traditional cube satellites that typically use hardware developed by NASA in-house specifically for their purposes. Instead, by using pre-built smartphones, NASA was able to cut much of the time and cost associated with research and development.

The three phones were fitted into a standard cube satellite encasement, with sides measuring about 4 inches (10.16 centimeters) square. While these cube satellites won't be replacing traditional large satellites anytime soon, satellites such as PhoneSat can be designed for very short, specialized tasks that might only require a small amount of time in orbit. Finally, because of their small size and weight, cube satellites can be easily fitted to a payload rocket without much hassle, allowing for shorter timelines for planning and deployment.

After hitching a ride with Antares, PhoneSat achieved orbit on Sunday April 21st and began sending packets of information to ground stations across the globe. In addition to sending information directly to NASA, PhoneSat transmitted on publicly accessible frequencies allowing for amateur radio operators to collect their own data and send it to NASA. In the end, findings from the cameras, accelerometers and compasses were all transmitted and collected!

As expected, six days after launch engineers stopped receiving data and determined that the inaugural PhoneSat satellite had deorbited and burned up in Earth’s atmosphere. NASA and the PhoneSat team deemed the project a success, so keep your eyes out for additional missions and cool applications of smartphone-based satellites!

Through the efforts of both the public and NASA, images from orbit taken using only the built-in smartphone cameras were pieced together and have now been released at http://phonesat.org/.

Read more about the development of PhoneSat here: http://goo.gl/NGgpG

Take action, and let Congress know that you support increased funding for NASA: http://www.penny4nasa.org/take-action/

#NASA   #Penny4NASA   #Satellites   #Space   #Engineering   #Science   #Smartphones   #Android   #STEM  
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Someone accidentally buys the full version of WinRAR

His finger slipped and typed in all of his credit card information.
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There is at least one fact about Earth's climate that is not in dispute:  Increased levels of greenhouse gases cause the Earth to warm in response.  In addition, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that humans are responsible each year for emitting nearly 6,000,000,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, a common greenhouse gas generated by burning fossil fuels.

According to NASA, "Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position."  The evidence is compelling - rising sea levels, global ocean and land temperature increase, shrinking ice sheets, more extreme events, and increased ocean acidification.

NASA is probably best known for it's incredible human and robotic exploration achievements - landing 12 astronauts on moon and sending unmanned spacecraft to farthest reaches of our solar system.  But did you know that NASA currently has more than a dozen Earth science spacecraft/instruments orbiting our home planet? The agency uses these satellites to research "solar activity, sea level rise, the temperature of the atmosphere and the oceans, the state of the ozone layer, air pollution, and changes in sea ice and land ice."

Global Climate Change is, by definition, a global phenomenon.  For this reason, observations from space provide an unparalleled vantage point to study and understand the entire Earth system.  NASA is uniquely qualified to carry out these observations, but it needs funding to continue doing so.

Let's help NASA continue to monitor the only planet we can call home.  Tell Congress that you support doubling funding for NASA: http://www.penny4nasa.org/take-action/


Read More:

Evidence for Climate Change: http://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
NASA Climate Research: http://climate.nasa.gov/index CO2 Emissions: http://www.eia.gov/oiaf/1605/ggccebro/chapter1.html

#NASA #Penny4NASA #ClimateChange #neildegrassetyson #FossilFuels  
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