Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Visit NASA at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival!

Meet NASA employees and learn about all that NASA does at the 2008 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The Festival will be on the National Mall during June 25-29 and July 2-6 from 11:00am-5:30pm each day. NASA will feature exhibits and family-friendly activities on space science, earth science, human spaceflight, robotics, observatories, food in space, space art, the space shuttle, the international space station, launch and mission control, propulsion, future missions, aeronautics, and a lunar outpost. The Festival organizers are encouraging cultural conversations between visitors and NASA staff. This is an excellent opportunity to find out about NASA careers or to ask that burning question you have about Mars or the Moon!

Each NASA Center is participating, including our own Goddard Space Flight Center. Goddard will feature exhibits and activities on the MESSENGER mission to Mercury, the Hubble Space Telescope, the James Webb Space Telescope, Landsat imagery, UV radiation, the ozone, magnetism, astrophysics missions and science, and heliophysics missions and science, including an opportunity to safely view the Sun through a telescope!

In addition to NASA, the country of Bhutan and the food, music, and wine of Texas will also be featured. The Festival is free to attend, so we hope to see you there!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Help Scientists Find the Mars Polar Lander

In 1999, the Mars Polar Lander (MPL) failed to send a signal to Earth after it was supposed to have landed on Mars, leading scientists and engineers to believe it most likely crashed. However, scientists still don't know exactly what happened to MPL, nor where exactly it crashed on the surface of Mars. In the wake of MPL's failure, the University of Arizona proposed the Phoenix Mars Lander. On May 25th, Phoenix will be landing in the high northern latitudes of Mars in an attempt to accomplish many of the same science goals as the doomed MPL.

Recently, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), released 18 images of the supposed MPL landing/crash site. They are asking for the public's help in locating the doomed MPL lander. Each image is HUGE, approximately 1.6 billion pixels. "If your computer screen is 1000 by 1000, that means you need 1600 screen shots to view one image," says Alfred McEwen, who leads the HiRISE team. If you'd like to learn more and participate, check out these sites: New Scientist and HiRISE blog.

To learn more about the Phoenix Mars Lander and the events surrounding its may 25th landing, click here.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Would you like to go to the Moon?

At this time, NASA is not sending people there, just LRO and LCROSS. But you can send a little part of yourself there... your name.

The Send Your Name to the Moon Web site enables everyone to participate in NASA's lunar adventure and place their names in orbit around the Moon for years to come. Participants can submit their information at, print a certificate and have their name entered into a database. The database will be placed on a microchip that will be integrated onto the LRO spacecraft. The deadline for submitting names is June 27, 2008.

While you're online, check out the new videos on the LRO mission page:

Join us at the Moon!!