Jan 2, 2001

A New Look for the New Year

A New Look for a New Year

The Science@NASA home page has a new look and we're pleased to offer a host of new services as well, including Spanish-language science stories.

by Ron Koczor, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center

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January 03, 2001 -- Since the Science@NASA web service began a few years ago, we've tried to bring you the latest stories about ongoing NASA research. Science@NASA covers everything from cellular and molecular research in the biological and material sciences, to black holes, active galactic cores, and gamma ray bursters at the farthest reaches of our universe. Science@NASA covers some of the most important research helping to unravel the complexities of Earth's interdependent systems and our human impact on them; and here you'll find some of the excitement and adventure of living in space and space transportation beyond rocketry.

Above: Recent observations of the Andromeda Galaxy by NASA's Chandra X-ray observatory revealed an active black hole at its core. [more information from Science@NASA]

Each year more of you have found Science@NASA to be a reliable source of information about NASA science. Our mission is to inform you, inspire you, and involve you in NASA's science programs. Science@NASA not only tells you what NASA research is underway, but also why that research is important to you and how it fits into the bigger picture. In 1999 you rewarded Science@NASA by voting it the 1999 Webby award for the best science website on the internet! Thank you!

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This past year Science@NASA grew to become a family of web sites. In addition to the original news site aimed at adults interested in and knowledgeable about science and our Thursday's Classroom site focused on educators and home schoolers, Science@NASA welcomed three other sites to its service family. 

NASA Liftoff is a site aimed at high schoolers and adults and contains the very popular satellite tracking programs, J-Pass and J-Track. If you want to know where ISS or Shuttle or any other of several hundred satellites are, this is the site for you!

NASA Kids offers stories written for middle schoolers and younger, with activities to help energize the natural curiosity of our children. NASAKids is undergoing a few changes now to assure a completely safe environment for your children. We may ask that you, as a parent, to give your permission for your children to take part. The fun of NASAKids is expanding and those new activities will be announced very soon. answers the question "What's Up in Space?" with alerts about auroras, meteor showers, comets, solar flares and more.

A few months ago, we also began offering our stories in audio format. Judging from the e-mail, that has been a very popular service addition! Last month we began another service: Our NASA science stories are now available in Spanish at Ciencia@NASA. Based on e-mail discussions with our audience, we learned that a large portion of our readers are in Hispanic communities in the United States and in Latin America. This new service will help them take part in NASA exploration firsthand.

Plasma Propulsion Space Ship in orbit
Teachers in schools with a high percentage of Hispanic students will find Ciencia@NASA stories useful tools in teaching English. Being in both languages, they will serve as excellent reading lessons AND hopefully in the process of learning English, students will learn about NASA and science! Of course, English speakers learning Spanish will also find the stories useful in the same way.

Above: Advanced plasma engines that produce high-power jets of ionized gas are one of many options for travel to the planets. (NASA/Marshall) [more information from Science@NASA]

At first the Spanish service will be in written form only. Hopefully, an audio Spanish service as well as English will be online by the middle of 2001. The goal is to offer Spanish readers as high a quality product as our English readers get.

Research about Earth and its environmental systems remains a core feature of NASA's science program and our stories will bring you the highlights of those studies. You get the latest scientific findings to help sort out the role of humans in global change. Are we creators of change? Or is our influence a small part of an otherwise continuous process of change that happens with or without us? Science@NASA brings you the facts as they are discovered.

Coverage of NASA's human space flight programs will expand in 2001. With the beginning of permanent occupancy of the International Space Station, ISS, the stories of how people live for long periods in space and do science in such a hostile environment will become more and more fascinating. How do 7 people from several countries live together for long periods of time in a container that is the size of two jumbo jets? What do they eat? Who takes out the trash? Stick with Science@NASA and we'll answer those questions and more.

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Right: The International Space Station will have a permanent crew for at least the next 10 years. As a science platform and as a stepping stone to further human space exploration, ISS is an integral part of NASA's research program. NASA photo. [more information from Science@NASA]

If you're an astronomy buff, don't fret. You'll still find the stories about space science and astronomy. Science@NASA will tell you about the auroras, meteor storms, and planetary alignments that the sky brings to you. Stories to make you look up will remain a staple of Science@NASA! Space science and learning about the boundless cosmos are a staple part of NASA's research and you'll see that in the coming months.

You might think it is difficult bringing you a continuous stream of stories about NASA science. But it isn't. There is such a large and exciting collection of NASA science stories to choose from, the problem really is what to leave out! Stick with Science@NASA and share the new worlds and information that NASA science brings you!

You can sign up for e-mail express delivery of our stories at any of our pages. If you like our stories, remember to tell a friend. And please remember, too, that you can write to us from each of our sites. If you see something you like (or even something you don't like) let us know. We can't answer every message but we DO read them all and answer as many as we can. 

Web Links

Ciencia@NASA -- Spanish-language science news stories

NASA Liftoff -- satellite tracking and stories aimed at high-schoolers. -- learn about geomagnetic storms, meteor showers, and more...

NASAKids -- offers stories written for middle schoolers and younger, with activities to help energize the natural curiosity of our children.

Thursday's Classroom -- lesson plans about recent NASA science news.

Join our growing list of subscribers - sign up for our express news delivery and you will receive a mail message every time we post a new story!!!

says 'NASA NEWS'

The Science and Technology Directorate at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center sponsors the Science@NASA web sites. The mission of Science@NASA is to help the public understand how exciting NASA research is and to help NASA scientists fulfill their outreach responsibilities.
For lesson plans and educational activities related to breaking science news, please visit Thursday's Classroom Author: Ron Koczor
Production Editor: Dr. Tony Phillips
Curator: Bryan Walls
Media Relations: Steve Roy
Responsible NASA official: John M. Horack