How does media enhance science learning? Fifty teachers tested prototypes in their classrooms.
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The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) exploits the polarization state of light from astrophysical sources to provide insight into our understanding of X-ray production in objects such as neutron stars and pulsar wind nebulae, as well as stellar and supermassive black holes.
The most sophisticated space science telescope ever constructed – the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) – is targeted to launch in October 2018. With a primary mirror three times as wide as The Hubble Space Telescope and a special sensitivity to penetrating infrared radiation, Webb will peer into the far reaches of the universe to reveal how the first stars and galaxies formed after the Big Bang.
Stringent testing is underway to prove the James Webb Space Telescope can handle an Earth-shaking take-off and still capture the universe’s first light while deeply ensconced in the hyper-cold of space.
Earth. A world dominated by water. Trillions of gallons flow freely across the surface of our blue-green planet. While we once thought oceans made our planet unique, we’re now coming to realize that ‘ocean worlds’ are all around us.
We once thought oceans made our planet unique, but we’re now coming to realize that ‘ocean worlds’ are all around us.
Technology Infused: On December 3, 2015, the LISA Pathfinder mission, led by the European Space Agency, blasted into space carrying the most stable spacecraft thruster system ever qualified for use in space. Developed by NASA JPL, the Space Technology 7 (ST-7) Disturbance Reduction System (DRS) is designed to control the spacecraft’s position to within a millionth of a millimeter. ST-7 DRS consists of clusters of colloid micronewton thrusters and control software residing on a dedicated computer.
Technology Development: The NASA Glenn Research Center is developing the next generation of Stirling Radioisotope Generators (SRGs) to power deep space science missions. One potential technology gap is the waste heat rejection approach for higher power Stirling convertors. The previous 140W Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generator (ASRG) used a copper alloy conduction flange to transfer heat from the convertor to the generator housing radiator surface. The conduction flange would incur a substantial mass and thermal performance penalty for larger Stirling systems.