NASA Challenges Developers With The Climate Resilience Data Challenge

Some cool stuff from NASA, an opportunity for developers who really want to help with a great cause!  NASA in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is offering more than $35,000 in prizes to citizen scientists for ideas that make use of climate data to address vulnerabilities faced by the United States in coping with climate change. 

nasa climate challenge [Read more…]

Antares Rocket Explodes on Lift Off – suffers a catastrophic anomaly!

A tragic and sudden end to the Antares Rocket for NASA today as the launch went sideways, so to speak, and the rocket exploded shortly after launch.

This from the CBC…  The 14-storey rocket, built and launched by Orbital Sciences Corp (@OrbitalSciences), bolted off its seaside launch pad at the Wallops Flight Facility at 6:22 p.m. ET carrying a Cygnus cargo ship for the International Space Station. It exploded seconds later. It “suffered a catastrophic anomaly” shortly after lift off, according to a NASA statement.

Tuesday’s planned flight was to be the third of eight under the company’s $1.9 billion US contract with NASA. Outfitted with a new, more powerful upper-stage engine, the Antares rocket launched on Tuesday carried a Cygnus spacecraft packed with more than 2,200 kilograms of supplies, science experiments and equipment, a 15 per cent increase over previous missions.

The Moment NASA astronauts Captured Earthrise – Dec. 24, 1968

The Moment NASA astronauts Captured Earthrise –  Dec. 24, 1968 – the photo that almost never was!   A look at the capturing of Earthrise by NASA, the iconic photograph of the Earth as you’ve never seen it before – amazing to think that this photograph almost never was captured as the astronauts scrambled to drop color film in the camera!

WOW… a true team effort too!

Landsat 8, officially began its mission on May 30, 2013

The latest in the Landsat series of Earth observation satellites, Landsat 8, officially began its mission on May 30. The purpose is to extend an unparalleled four-decade record of Earth’s land surface as seen from space.  NASA launched the Landsat Data Continuity Mission satellite on February 11. Since then, NASA mission engineers and scientists, with USGS collaboration, have been putting the satellite through its paces – steering it into its orbit, focusing the instruments, calibrating the detectors, and collecting test images. Now fully mission-certified, the satellite will be transferred to USGS operational control and renamed  Landsat 8. The specs:

The technical capabilities of Landsat 8 move forward in three areas in comparison to Landsat 7:  increased spectral coverage; higher data precision (the ultimate resolution is not changed); and increased quantity of data collection (60% more scenes per day).

[Read more…]

Too Busy to Tweet? If @astro_ron can do it from space then you have no excuse!

So, you say that you’re simply too busy to tweet, re-tweet, or reply to a tweet eh?? Humbug… if @astro_ron can do it from the ISS then any excuse you give me for your lack of engagement is just downright lame ;0) A cool story on Ma shable via way of SXSW as Ron Garan describes just how NASA crews manage to tweet from space. Source: Mashable

With Landsat 8 DOI / NASA Partnership to Strengthen STEM Careers

This news on the heel of the launch of the next generation of the LDCM and the continuation of the Landsat program – the satellite is expected to transmit images and data about the Earth within 100 days.

Salazar today  released a new strategy to strengthen and inspire education and careers in (STEM. Interior’s STEM strategic plan is designed to provide a five-year framework for engaging the American public—particularly youth underrepresented in STEM fields—to become scientifically literate stewards of our natural and cultural resources while building a future workforce that fully represents the diversity of America for the 21st century… Interior employs nearly 15,000 scientists and engineers, many of whom will be retiring in the coming decade. By emphasizing fields of study in STEM, the Department is better positioned to fill in these critical gaps.

The five-year STEM plan is available at:

40 Years of Landsat Continues with LDCM Launch Today

Wow, launch day is here already as the Landsat Data Continuity Mission spacecraft takes flight to continue with what may in fact be the greatest space exploration success story of our generation! The Landsat Data Continuity Mission spacecraft is set to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base today. Liftoff is targeted for 1:02 p.m. EST, the beginning of a 48-minute launch window. This launch will ensure the continuation of the 40 year history of Landsat… awesome! See live coverage and more – Live Coverage: Landsat Launch Blog

See also NASATV

Source: via Glenn on Pinterest

Video – NASA Continuing Landsat’s 40-Year Legacy With LDCM 8

Indeed, it isn’t called the continuity mission for nothing!! The Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) is a collaboration between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey that will continue the Landsat Program’s 40-year data record of monitoring Earth’s landscapes from space. LDCM will expand and improve on that record with observations that advance a wide range of Earth sciences and contribute to the management of agriculture, water and forest resources. For more information, visit and

USPS Taps LandSat 7 satellite images For Earthscapes Forever stamps

This cool story from the USGS takes me back to my days of stamp collecting… Two images from the Landsat 7 satellite are included in the new U.S Post Office series of 15 Earthscapes Forever stamps. Released October 1 to kick off National Stamp Collecting Month, the stamps vividly portray America’s diverse landscapes as viewed from heights of several hundred feet above the Earth to several hundred miles in space.

The Earthscapes collection presents examples of three broad categories of the way that human actions intersect with the land — natural, agricultural, and urban. Note, As part of the Landsat 40th Anniversary Celebration this summer, the USGS and NASA held an online contest in which more 14,000 people voted on their Top Five favorite Earth as Art images.

Source: via Glenn on Pinterest

Esri Puts Mars Missions On A Map

Esri has created a new story map to show off some of the amazing photos captured on the planet Mars over the years. On a map, the service boasts an archive of images collected from the Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, and now the Curiosity missions. From Esri… More than three dozen missions to Mars have been launched since 1960. Although many have failed, NASA’s rovers have been a huge success story. Two of the four rovers are actively at work, including Curiosity, which landed on Mars in August 2012.

Make sure you zoom in to the landing sites! See