Moffett Field, Calif -- The U.S. space agency says it's developed a nanotechnology-based biosensor that can detect trace amounts of biohazards.
The device, developed at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Ames Research Center in California, can detect specific bacteria, viruses and parasites. NASA said the biosensor will be used to help prevent the spread of potentially deadly biohazards in water, food and other contaminated sources.
The technology has been licensed to Early Warning Inc. of Troy, N.Y.
"The biosensor makes use of ultra-sensitive carbon nanotubes which can detect biohazards at very low levels," explained Meyya Meyyappan, chief scientist for exploration technology and former director of the Center for Nanotechnology at Ames. "When biohazards are present, the biosensor generates an electrical signal, which is used to determine the presence and concentration levels of specific micro-organisms in the sample. Because of
Washington -- The U.S. space agency says it plans to honor the late U.S. astronaut John Swigert Jr. with the presentation of an Ambassador of Exploration Award.
During Friday's ceremony with Apollo 13 spacecraft commander James Lovell, Swigert's sister, Virginia, will accept the award and present it for display to the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Denver.
The award presentation will highlight the opening of the museum's new exhibit honoring Colorado's astronauts.
NASA is giving Ambassador of Exploration Awards to the first generation of explorers in the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs for realizing America's goal of going to the moon. The space agency said the award is a moon rock encased in Lucite and mounted for public display. The moon rock is part of the 842 pounds of lunar samples collected during the six Apollo expeditions from 1969 to 1972.
Cape Canaveral, Fla -- National Aeronautics and Space Administration officials have selected May 31 as the launch date for space shuttle Discovery's STS-124 mission.
Commander Mark Kelly and his six crewmates are scheduled to lift off for the International Space Station at 5:02 p.m. EDT that day.
Discovery's 14-day flight will carry the largest payload so far to the station and the mission will include three spacewalks. It's the second of three flights to carry components to complete the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory. The crew will install Kibo's large Japanese Pressurized Module and Kibo's robotic arm system.
Discovery also will deliver new station crew member Greg Chamitoff and bring Flight Engineer Garrett Reisman back to Earth after a three-month stay aboard the space station.
Paris -- The European Space Agency said its controllers have successfully made a slight course correction to adjust the Phoenix's flight patch toward Mars.
The ESA said the correction made last weekend involved the spacecraft's four trajectory-correction thrusters being fired for less than 2 seconds. That maneuver nudged Phoenix toward a targeted landing spot approximately 11 miles to the northwest, with the goal of hitting the center of the targeted landing zone.
The next scheduled opportunity for a course correction will be May 24, the day before Phoenix is scheduled to land.
Washington -- The U.S. space agency has given the Ares Corp. a $26 million, one-year contract extension for development and operation of the International Space Station.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the Houston company has held the station's program integration and control contract since January 2004. The one-year extension brings the total value of the contract to $151.8 million. The extension, which begins Oct. 1, is the first of two such options provided by the original contract.
NASA said ARES provides integrated vehicle performance and risk management, configuration and schedule management, information technology management, resource analysis and cost estimating services.
Major subcontractors include Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. in Colorado Springs, Colo., and Barrios Technology in Houston.
Stephenville, Texas -- The Texas chapter of the Mutual UFO Network says it has been unable to confirm sightings around the town of Stephenville, despite multiple witnesses.
Ken Cherry, director of the Texas chapter of the group that tracks unidentified flying objects, said what was thought to be the strongest piece of evidence for a UFO visitation above Stephenville in January, a 12-minute video, has been revealed as a zoomed-in video of a star, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported Monday.
"We're probably going to get a lot of flak for that," Cherry said.
Steve Hudgeons, the head Texas investigator for the network, said there were a number of credible witnesses to the Jan. 8 event, including a pilot, a county constable, city officials, business owners, clergy and teachers "and a full conglomerate of others."
Paris -- The European Space Agency began accepting applications Monday in its first search since 1992 for potential astronauts.
Applicants must, among other things, submit some basic information and upload a private-pilot medical examination certificate from an aviation medical examiner.
The short-listed candidates will then go through a series of additional selection procedures, including psychological and aptitude evaluations and a formal interview. At the end of the process, four candidates will be invited to become members of the European Astronaut Corps and begin basic training at the European Astronaut Center in Cologne, Germany. The final appointments will be announced next year.
The ESA says candidates should be competent in scientific disciplines, such as physics, chemistry and medicine and/or be an engineer or experimental test pilot.
Greenbelt, MD -- The U.S. space agency says it has selected SP Systems Inc. of Greenbelt, MD., to provide mission support services at the Goddard Space Flight Center.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the program analysis and control contract, valued at $200 million, will support Goddard's Flight Projects Directorate in Greenbelt.
The contract will be effective from June 28, 2008, through June 27, 2013.
NASA said the contract requires SP Systems Inc. to support programs newly proposed and under development as well as existing programs including the Hubble and James Webb Space Telescopes, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Gamma-ray Large Area Telescope.
The Goddard Flight Projects Directorate is responsible for managing spacecraft flight hardware systems, ground systems, launch vehicles and research instrumentation payloads for NASA science and exploration programs.
Washington -- The U.S. space agency is seeking innovative U.S. companies and organizations to take part in its Innovation Transfusion Program.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the program allows NASA employees to spend up to a year working in high-tech environments outside the agency where they can "share their expertise while gaining valuable experience and new ideas to bring back to their jobs at NASA."
NASA officials said they will pay the salary and travel expenses for participating NASA employees.
Organizations interested in participating in the program, either by hosting an employee or a workshop, should contact Andrew Petro of NASA's Innovative Partnerships Program at 202-358-0310, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
HOUSTON -- The U.S. space agency said it will telecast a high-definition glimpse of life in space with a special program to be broadcast beginning Thursday.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said astronaut Garrett Reisman, during his final weeks aboard the International Space Station, videotaped many daily activities in orbit that are anything but routine.
A compilation of Reisman's video diaries will be broadcast in high definition beginning at 5 p.m. EDT Thursday.
The program will against be telecast Friday, May 23, and Tuesday, May 27, from 6-9 a.m., 1-3 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. EDT.
The special NASA TV Video File also will be broadcast in standard-definition on NASA TV immediately following the regularly scheduled daily Video File broadcasts.
Champaign,Iii -- U.S. scientists say they've determined convection currents inside Mercury's core create that planet's weak magnetic field.
The field, discovered during the 1970's by NASA's Mariner 10 spacecraft, is about 100 times weaker than Earth's magnetic field.
Researchers at the University of Illinois and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland have produced a model of conditions within Mercury's core that give rise to that weak magnetic field.
Although mostly made of iron, Mercury's core also contains sulfur. The scientists subjected an iron-sulfur mixture in a laboratory to pressures and temperatures similar to those expected to exist within Mercury. When they analyzed the mixture with a scanning electron microscope, they found the iron atoms had condensed into flakes.
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