Are you traveling by air this year? If so, then you’ll be in the company of millions who are directly benefiting from the ongoing research performed by NASA’s aeronautical innovators.
During 2012, NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate continued a wide range of research projects aimed at advancing the science of flight. Among the goals are enhancing safety; designing more fuel-efficient jet engines; enabling quieter airplanes; improving air traffic management; and educating and inspiring future generations of aviation experts.
NASA’s “aeronauts” even helped scientists learn about the Martian atmosphere during Curiosity’s nail-biting descent toward the Red Planet in August 2012.
To read about some aeronautics highlights from 2012, visit https://www.nasa.gov/topics/aeronautics/features/2012_highlights.html.
This article is a great extension to the NASA Explorer Schools lesson, “Distance/Rate/Time Problems: Smart Skies.” To access this lesson, visit the NES Virtual Campus at http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.
Be sure to check out NASA’s video review of the agency’s incredible accomplishments during 2012, below. The 50-minute video details the amazing achievement of landing Curiosity on the surface of Mars.
To learn more about the many processes involved in the landing and the engineering behind them, check out January’s Mars Month episodes of NASA Now on the NES Virtual Campus at http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.
Teachers, check out the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Eyes on the Solar System website, a 3-D environment full of real NASA mission data. Your students can explore the cosmos from their computer. They can hop on an asteroid or fly with NASA’s Voyager spacecraft. They can explore individual planets or see the entire solar system moving in real time. It’s up to them: They control space and time.
In addition to exploring the solar system, the website currently features interactive explorations of the Curiosity rover’s mission on Mars; Mission Juno’s trip to Jupiter; the lunar explorations of the Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory, or GRAIL, and MoonKam missions; and the radioisotope power systems behind Curiosity and other missions.
JPL’s Eyes on the Solar System is located at http://eyes.nasa.gov.
Link to the NASA Explorer Schools home page.
On Friday, Jan. 11th, high school students from around the world joined in fierce competition to claim the championship spot in the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, or SPHERES, Zero Robotics High School Tournament 2012. The young competitors operated robotic satellites aboard the International Space Station, or ISS, using programs they wrote in preparation for the event. The finalists watched the action via live downlink from the space station with anticipation, as astronauts supervised the satellites during the ISS Finals.
The finals event followed three months of online simulation competitions, during which the initial pool of 96 teams from the United States and 47 teams from Europe was narrowed to nine and six alliances, respectively. Each alliance consisted of three different teams of high school students that joined forces in November 2012 to collaborate and write the best computer programs to run on the SPHERES aboard the space station.
To read more about the ZERO Robotics challenge, visit https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/zero_robotics.html.
To get your math students involved in using robotics to discover algebra concepts, check out the NASA Explorer Schools lesson: Algebraic Equations: Calculator Controlled Robots. The lesson can be found on the NES Virtual Campus at http://explorerschools.nasa.gov.
Educator and astronaut Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger describes her dream job and the exciting adventures of space travel.
This program is available on the NES Virtual Campus beginning Jan 16.
NES Virtual Campus home page.
Preview of this program.
In this NASA Now classroom video, introduced by educator Kaci Heins from Northland Preparatory Academy, NASA astronaut Greg Johnson discusses the future of space exploration and the logical progression of sending humans to Mars. He talks about sending astronauts back to the moon and the possibility of building a lunar habitat to understand more about working and living in space.
Johnson has logged over 5,000 hours in more than 50 aircraft.
Preview of NASA Now: The Future of Space Travel
The monthly NASA Explorer Schools e-Blast was emailed on Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 to registered participants. If you did not get a copy and you are registered with the project, contact the NES Help Desk.