NASA INVITES PUBLIC TO SUBMIT MESSAGES FOR ASTEROID MISSION TIME CAPSULE
From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton September 2, 2014 NASA,GOV.
NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission launches Asteroid Time Capsule — a mission to collect ideas from the public about space exploration 10 years from now. Image Credit: Heather Roper/University of Arizona/OSIRIS-Rex
NASA is inviting the worldwide public to submit short messages and images on social media that could be placed in a time capsule aboard a spacecraft launching to an asteroid in 2016.
Called the Origins-Spectral Interpretation-Resource Identification-Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx), the spacecraft will rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu in 2019, collect a sample and return the cache in a capsule to Earth in 2023 for detailed study. The robotic mission will spend more than two years at the 1,760-foot (500-meter)-wide asteroid and return a minimum of 2 ounces (60 grams) of its surface material.
Topics for submissions by the public should be about solar system exploration in 2014 and predictions for space exploration activities in 2023. The mission team will choose 50 tweets and 50 images to be placed in the capsule. Messages can be submitted Sept. 2 – 30.
This is an artist’s concept of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft preparing to take a sample from asteroid Bennu.Image Credit: NASA/Goddard
“Our progress in space exploration has been nothing short of amazing,” says Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator at the University of Arizona, Tucson. “I look forward to the public taking their best guess at what the next 10 years holds and then comparing their predictions with actual missions in development in 2023.”
This event is the second of NASA’s efforts to engage space enthusiasts around the world in the OSIRIS-REx mission, following the agency’s January invitation to participate in Messages to Bennu, which asked the public to submit their names to be etched on a microchip aboard the spacecraft.
“It is exciting to think that some people may formulate predictions then have the chance to help make their prediction a reality over the next decade,” said Jason Dworkin, OSIRIS-REx project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
When the sample return capsule returns to Earth in 2023 with the asteroid material, the mission team will open the time capsule to view the messages and images, at which time the selected submissions will be posted online.
“OSIRIS-REx has to take many years to perform a complex asteroid sample return,” said Bruce Betts, the director of science and technology at The Planetary Society in Pasadena, California, a public outreach partner on the asteroid mission.
“A time capsule capitalizes on the long duration of the mission to engage the public in thinking about space exploration — where are we now, and where will we be.”
The OSIRIS-REx mission is focused on finding answers to basic questions about the composition of the very early solar system and the source of organic materials and water that made life possible on Earth. The mission also will contribute to NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) and support the agency’s efforts to understand the population of potentially hazardous near-Earth objects and characterize those suitable for future asteroid exploration missions.
NASA’s ARM is a first-ever mission to identify, capture and redirect a near-Earth asteroid to a stable orbit around the moon, where astronauts will explore it in the 2020s, and return with samples. The mission will advance the new technologies and spaceflight experience needed for humans to explore Mars in the 2030s.
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center will provide overall mission management, systems engineering and safety and mission assurance. The University of Arizona, Tucson, is the principal investigator institution. Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver will build the spacecraft. OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program. NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages New Frontiers for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington.
For details on procedures and rules for submitting a message and image, visit:
More information is available online about Messages to Bennu, at:
INTERNATIONAL GLOBAL PRECIPITATION MEASUREMENT MISSION DATA GOES PUBLIC
From FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton September 4, 2014 NASA,GOV
Image Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
GPM Looks Inside a Snow Storm
On March 17, 2014 the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission’s Core Observatory flew over the East coast’s last snow storm of the 2013-2014 winter season. This was also one of the first major snow storms observed by GPM shortly after it was launched on February 27, 2014.
The GPM Core Observatory carries two instruments that show the location and intensity of rain and snow, which defines a crucial part of the storm structure – and how it will behave. The GPM Microwave Imager sees through the tops of clouds to observe how much and where precipitation occurs, and the Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar observes precise details of precipitation in 3-dimensions.
For forecasters, GPM’s microwave and radar data are part of the toolbox of satellite data, including other low Earth orbit and geostationary satellites, that they use to monitor tropical cyclones and hurricanes.
The most accurate and comprehensive collection of rain, snowfall and other types of precipitation data ever assembled now is available to the public. This new resource for climate studies, weather forecasting, and other applications is based on observations by the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Core Observatory, a joint mission of NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), with contributions from a constellation of international partner satellites.
The GPM Core Observatory, launched from Japan on Feb. 27, carries two advanced instruments to measure rainfall, snowfall, ice and other precipitation. The advanced and precise data from the GPM Core Observatory are used to unify and standardize precipitation observations from other constellation satellites to produce the GPM mission data. These data are freely available through NASA’s Precipitation Processing System at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
“We are very pleased to make all these data available to scientists and other users within six months of launch,” said Ramesh Kakar, GPM program scientist in the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters, Washington.
In addition to NASA and JAXA, the GPM mission includes satellites from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Meteorological Satellite Program, European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites, Indian Space Research Organisation, and France’s Centre National d’Études Spatiales.
Instruments on the GPM Core Observatory and partner satellites measure energy naturally emitted by liquid and frozen precipitation. Scientists use computer programs to convert these data into estimates of rain and snowfall. The individual instruments on the partner satellites collect similar data, but the absolute numbers for precipitation observed over the same location may not be exactly the same.
The GPM Core Observatory’s data are used as a reference standard to smooth out the individual differences, like a principal violinist tuning the individual instruments in an orchestra. The result is data that are consistent with each other and can be meaningfully compared.
With the higher sensitivity to different types of precipitation made possible by the GPM Core Observatory’s Microwave Imager (GMI) and Dual-frequency Precipitation Radar (DPR), scientists can for the first time accurately measure the full range of precipitation from heavy rain to light rain and snow.
The instruments are designed not only to detect rain and snow in the clouds, but to measure the size and distribution of the rain particles and snowflakes. This information gives scientists a better estimate of water content and a new perspective on winter storms, especially near the poles where the majority of precipitation is snowfall.
“With this GPM mission data, we can now see snow in a way we could not before,” said Gail Skofronick-Jackson, GPM project scientist at Goddard Space Flight Center.
“Cloud tops high in the atmosphere have ice in them. If the Earth’s surface is above freezing, it melts into rain as it falls. But in some parts of the world, it is cold enough that the ice and snow falls all the way to the ground.”
One of the first storms observed by the GPM Core Observatory on March 17 in the eastern United States showed that full range of precipitation. Heavy rains fell over the North and South Carolina coasts. As the storm moved northward, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland and Washington were covered with snow.
The GMI observed an 547 mile- (880 kilometer) wide track of precipitation on the surface, while the DPR imaged every 820 feet (250 meters) vertically to get the three-dimensional structure of the rain and snowfall layer by layer inside the clouds.
“What is really clear in these images is the melting layer, the place in the atmosphere where ice turns into rain,” said Skofronick-Jackson.
“The melting layer is one part of the precipitation process that scientists do not know well because it is in such a narrow part of the cloud and changes quickly. Understanding the small scale details within the melting layer helps us better understand the precipitation process.”
The combined snowfall and rainfall measurements from GPM will fill in the picture of where and how water moves throughout the global water cycle.
“Scientists and modelers can use the new GPM data for weather forecasts, estimating snowpack accumulation for freshwater resources, flood and landslide prediction, or tracking hurricanes,” Skofronick-Jackson said.
“This revolutionary information also gives us a better grasp of how storms and precipitating systems form and evolve around the planet, providing climate modelers insight into how precipitation might change in a changing climate.”
GPM data are freely available to registered users from Goddard’s Precipitation Processing System (PPS) website. The data sets are currently available in strips called swaths that correspond to the satellites’ overpasses.
Daily and monthly, global maps are also available from all the sensors. In the coming months, the PPS will merge this instrument data from all partner satellites and the Core Observatory into a seamless map that shows global rain and snow data at a 6-mile (10-kilometer) resolution every 30 minutes.
The GPM Core Observatory was the first of five scheduled NASA Earth science missions launching within a year. NASA monitors Earth’s vital signs from land, air and space with a fleet of satellites and ambitious airborne and ground-based observation campaigns.
NASA also develops new ways to observe and study Earth’s interconnected natural systems with long-term data records and computer analysis tools to better see how our planet is changing. The agency freely shares this unique knowledge with the global community and works with institutions in the United States and around the world that contribute to understanding and protecting our home planet.
CELLPHONE ADDICTION HARMING ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IS ‘AN INCREASINGLY REALISTIC POSSIBILITY’
Women Students Spend More Time on Cells than Men, with Excessive Use a Potential Risk for Academic Performance
From the FMS Global News Desk of Jeanne Hambleton 28-Aug-2014 Citations Journal of Behavioral Addictions Source: Baylor University
Newswise — Women college students spend an average of 10 hours a day on their cellphones and men college students spend nearly eight, with excessive use posing potential risks for academic performance, according to a Baylor University study on cellphone activity published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions.
“That’s astounding,” said researcher James Roberts, Ph.D., The Ben H. Williams Professor of Marketing in Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business.
“As cellphone functions increase, addictions to this seemingly indispensable piece of technology become an increasingly realistic possibility.”
The study notes that approximately 60 percent of college students admit they may be addicted to their cell phone, and some indicated they get agitated when it is not in sight, said Roberts, lead author of the article “The Invisible Addiction: Cellphone Activities and Addiction among Male and Female College Students.”
The study — based on an online survey of 164 college students — examined 24 cellphone activities and found that time spent on 11 of those activities differed significantly across the sexes. Some functions — among them Pinterest and Instagram — are associated significantly with cellphone addiction. But others that might logically seem to be addictive – Internet use and gaming — were not.
General findings of the study showed that:
- Of the top activities, respondents overall reported spending the most time texting (an average of 94.6 minutes a day), followed by sending emails (48.5 minutes), checking Facebook (38.6 minutes), surfing the Internet (34.4 minutes) and listening to their iPods. (26.9 minutes).
- Men send about the same number of emails but spend less time on each. “That may suggest that they are sending shorter, more utilitarian messages than their female counterparts,” Roberts said.
- Women spend more time on their cellphones. While that finding runs somewhat contrary to the traditional view that men are more invested in technology, “women may be more inclined to use cellphones for social reasons such as texting or emails to build relationships and have deeper conversations.”
- The men in the study, while more occupied with using their cellphones for utilitarian or entertainment purposes, “are not immune to the allure of social media,” Roberts said. They spent time visiting such social networking sites as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Among reasons they used Twitter were to follow sports figures, catch up on the news — “or, as one male student explained it, ‘waste time,’” Roberts said.
Excessive use of cellphones poses a number of possible risks for students, he said.
“Cellphones may wind up being an escape mechanism from their classrooms. For some, cellphones in class may provide a way to cheat,” Roberts said.
Excessive or obsessive cellphone use also can cause conflict inside and outside the classroom: with professors, employers and families. And “some people use a cellphone to dodge an awkward situation. They may pretend to take a call, send a text or check their phones,” Roberts said.
Roberts noted that the current survey is more extensive than previous research in measuring the number and types of cellphone activities. It also is the first to investigate which activities are associated significantly with cellphone addictions and which are not.
Study participants were asked to respond to 11 statements such as “I get agitated when my cellphone is not in sight” and “I find that I am spending more and more time on my cellphone” to measure the intensity of their addiction.
The study noted that modern cellphone use is a paradox in that it can be “both freeing and enslaving at the same time.”
“We need to identify the activities that push cellphone use from being a helpful tool to one that undermines our well-being and that of others,” Roberts said.
Cellphone activities examined in the study included calling, texting, emailing, surfing the Internet, banking, taking photos, playing games, reading books, using a calendar, using a clock and a number of applications, among them the Bible, iPod, coupons, Google Maps, eBay, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, iTunes, Pandora and “other” (news, weather, sports, lifestyle-related applications and Snapchat.)
Other researchers include Luc Honore Petnji Yaya, professor in the department of economics and business administration at Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain; and the late Chris Manolis, Ph.D., professor of marketing in Williams College of Business at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.
ABOUT HANKAMER SCHOOL OF BUSINESS
Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business provides a rigorous academic experience, consisting of classroom and hands-on learning, guided by Christian commitment and a global perspective. Recognized nationally for several programs, including Entrepreneurship and Accounting, it offers 24 undergraduate and 13 graduate areas of study
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