Monthly Archives: January 2013

Titan and Europa Essay Contest

NASA is holding an essay contest about Saturn’s moon Titan and Jupiter’s moon Europa for students in grades 5-12. The contest deadline is February 28, 2013.

The topic of the Titan and Europa essay is either a mission to Saturn’s moon Titan or to Jupiter’s moon Europa. Both of these missions would study a world that is exciting for astrobiologists. Your assignment is to decide which of the proposed missions would be more interesting to you, and why. Be creative, be original, and ask good questions that you hope the mission would answer.

The Titan mission would include a Titan orbiter and a Titan balloon. The Europa mission would include a Europa orbiter and a Europa lander. The orbiters, balloon, and lander would each have science instruments to study either Titan or Europa. In your essay, you can include information about what science instruments you would put on the orbiter and balloon or lander, if you wish, based on what you hope to find on Titan or Europa.

Winning essays will be posted on a NASA website, and winners and their classes will be invited to participate in a videoconference or teleconference with NASA scientists.

Early Lunar Maps

New scans of lunar cartography from the 1960’s have been added to LPI’s Lunar Map Catalog. Included are the following maps:

Albedo Reference Chart (ARC-1)
Lunar Photogeologic Chart (LPC 58)
Lunar Earthside Chart: Provisional (LEC)
Lunar Earthside Chart: Provisional Flight Crew Planning Version (LEC)
Lunar Farside Chart (LFC-1)
Lunar Farside Chart (LFC-2)
USAF Lunar Reference Mosaic: Lunar Earthside Hemisphere (LEM-1)

NSTA Web Seminars

National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Web Seminars are free, 90-minute, live professional development experiences for educators that use online learning technologies to allow participants to interact with nationally acclaimed experts, NSTA Press authors, and scientists, engineers, and education specialists from NSTA partner organizations. Register for upcoming web seminars or watch recent web seminars that have been archived.

What If Prize Competition

The What If Prize Competition is designed to spark interest in space science with the goal of encouraging students to use their imagination for innovative ideas. Each year the competition presents unique space-theme challenges and gives students the opportunity to think, search and write their ideas on how to solve these challenges. There is one competition for middle school students and another for high school students.

Teams must register by February 28, 2013, and competition entries must be submitted by March 31, 2013. Winners will be announced in early May.

Johnson Space Center History Collection at UH-Clear Lake

The Johnson Space Center History Collection has reopened at the University of Houston-Clear Lake.

This collection includes records covering more than forty years of NASA manned spaceflight, including Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, Shuttle, Space Station Freedom, Center Records, General Reference and the JSC Oral History Project. These records are available and open to all researchers.

In addition, the Human Space Flight Collection features personal papers collected from individuals involved in the space industry, related to the support of human space flight.

The hours of this special collection are 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. Appointments are recommended.

NASA Exoplanet Archive

The NASA Exoplanet Archive is an online astronomical exoplanet and stellar catalog and data service that collates and cross-correlates astronomical data and information on exoplanets and their host stars and provides tools to work with these data. The Exoplanet Archive is dedicated to collecting and serving important public data sets involved in the search for and characterization of extrasolar planets and their host stars. The data include stellar parameters (such as positions, magnitudes, and temperatures), exoplanet parameters (such as masses and orbital parameters) and discovery/characterization data (such as published radial velocity curves, photometric light curves, images, and spectra).

All data in the Exoplanet Archive are vetted by a team of astronomers and are linked back to the original literature reference. Data are searchable either for an individual star or by stellar and planetary properties. The Exoplanet Archive offers direct access to frequently accessed data sets via an interactive table which allows sorting and filtering of the data. These data sets in the archive include:
List of all known planets and hosts
List of all Kepler Objects of Interest
List of all Kepler Threshold Crossing Events (TCEs)

The Space Place

The Space Place is an online educational resource for students, parents and teachers. The goal of the Space Place is to inform, inspire, and involve children in the excitement of science, technology, and space exploration. The website, a joint effort by NASA, JPL, Caltech, and the International Technology and Engineering Education Association, covers a variety of topics and offers activities, fun facts, images and games.

New NASA Publications

The LPI Library has recently added several new NASA publications to the collection. Here are some of the new titles. They are currently on display in the library.

Coming Home: Reentry and Recovery from Space
When Biospheres Collide: A History of NASA’s Planetary Protection Programs
Rockets and People Volume IV: The Moon Race
Risk and Exploration: Earth, Sea and the Stars
Spinoff 2011
Antarctic Exploration Parallels for Future Human Planetary Exploration: The Role and Utility of Long Range, Long Duration Traverses