Volunteer For Space Travel Study

space travel
Sweetie187/Flickr

Like the idea of space travel but you’re not a NASA astronaut? The University of Hawaii is looking for volunteers age 18-65 to take part in a new series of space exploration studies. Odds are you won’t exactly be in space, but the studies hope to provide information that is essential for long-duration space exploration missions, like human travel to Mars. To do that, they need some humans. You might do just fine.

“The upcoming missions are focused on evaluating the social, interpersonal and cognitive factors that affect team performance over time,” says the University of Hawaii in a news release. To do that, volunteers will bring with them some research project or scholarly work they have in progress to work on in a group setting. That work might include engineering design and technology evaluation, scholarly writing, or artistic endeavors.While they don’t need to be NASA astronauts, participants in the study must meet the basic requirements of the NASA astronaut program. Candidates must be tobacco-free, able to pass a Class 2 flight physical examination, and understand, speak and write fluently in English.

The opportunity is part of the University of Hawaii’s Hi-Seas project that is simulating long-duration Mars missions here on Earth, detailed in this video:

See Live Rocket Blast This Summer, Before Anti-Gravity Takes Over

anti-gravityVisitors to Florida’s Kennedy Space Center have been lining up to see Space Shuttle Atlantis in a new $200 million exhibit that opened in June. But while traveling over 26 million miles, Atlantis’ glory days are over and the circa-1976 space ship will never fly again. Still, live launch viewing opportunities are available and this summer is host to one of the most exciting.

On Friday, July 19, NASA will launch a 191-foot Atlas V rocket, allowing visitors to view the launch from the Apollo/Saturn V Center, the closest possible public viewing area. That Atlas 5 rocket is launching the second Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite for the U.S. Navy, part of a new system that is providing improved ground communications for U.S. forces on the move.

A limited number of tickets for the Apollo/Saturn V Center launch, also viewable from a special area at the Visitors Complex with live commentary during the event, are available for an additional $20 plus tax on top of normal admission.

Blasting off from Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the launch window is tight. To maximize the success of the mission, launch must occur between 8:51 and 9:35 a.m. ET.How many more rocket missions there will be is unknown. But in this video a former NASA engineer suggests that technology may already be available to build and use an anti-gravity drive, rendering rockets obsolete.

Space Shuttle Atlantis Exhibit Honors 30-Year NASA Program

Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex Photo

Now open on Florida’s Space Coast, the $100 million Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit features over 60 interactive experiences and celebrates the people, passion and patriotism behind the shuttle program.

“It’s true that there is more than one space shuttle orbiter out there, but there is nowhere else on Earth like Space Shuttle Atlantis,” said Bill Moore, chief operating officer of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in the Miami Herald.

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The 90,000-square-foot Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit is not funded by tax dollars or appropriated funds but by ticket, food and merchandise sales – part of a 10-year master plan developed by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, operator of Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for NASA since 1995.

Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11 and includes the Kennedy Space Center Tour, which features the Apollo/Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the new Angry Birds™ Space Encounter, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and other interactive exhibits.

“This completely immersive experience is about much more than seeing Atlantis close up,” said Moore. “With hi-fi replicas, simulators and interactive activities touching on all aspects of the shuttle program and its accomplishments, including the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station, it’s the closest guests can get to living and working in space – short of applying to the astronaut corps.”

Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia.

NASA Removes The Ice From Antarctica For Our Best View Of The Continent Yet

NASA removes the ice from Antarctica
NASA

Thanks to an incredibly thick layer of snow and ice, the topographical layout of the Antarctic continent has always remained shrouded in mystery, leaving geographers to ponder what exactly it looks like. Back in 2001, an extensive survey using modern technologies gave us our first real glimpse at Antarctica without the ice. That project resulted in a map called “Bedrock” that provided the most detailed view of the Antarctic surface ever seen, showing mountains, valleys and other hidden features.

Since then, NASA, along with the British Antarctic Survey, has been using satellites and specially equipped planes with laser-powered terrain sensors to fill in even more detail. Last week they released “Bedrock2″ to truly show us how Antarctica would appear if all of the ice were removed. Judging from the images shown in the video below, the frozen continent is a wild, mountainous place that would remain rugged and demanding even if it weren’t buried under a mile of snow and ice.

Solar Airplane Completes First Leg Of Cross-Country Flight

Solar AirplaneSolar Impulse, the solar airplane that was set to fly across the United States, has taken off and completed the first leg of the journey from California to Arizona. Averaging an altitude of just 10,000 feet and a speed of 40.6 miles per hour, the flight took most of a day to complete. Technically, 14,000 people were on board, albeit virtually via streaming video.

Launching the “Clean Generation” initiative by completing the first leg of their 2013 Across America mission, Pilot Bertrand Piccard took off from Moffett Airfield at NASA’s Ames Research Center early Saturday morning, arriving at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport 18 hours and 18 minutes later.

Promoting greater investment in technologies for sustainable energy production and use, Piccard and Solar Impulse co-founder André Borschberg will alternate flying the five legs of the trip.”We’ve been dreaming about crossing the United States for years – the land of scientific research, innovation and aviation pioneers – and it’s hard to believe it’s really happening.” said Borschberg and Piccard as they walked down the runway in Phoenix.

Coming up in mid-May, the second leg of the journey will fly from Phoenix to Dallas/Fort Worth before continuing on to St Louis then Washington, D.C., before completing the first crossing of the United States by a solar-powered airplane at New York’s JFK airport.

[Photo credit - Solar Impulse]