Um, You Can See a Car on Mars

by Nancy Atkinson on April 16, 2014

A recent image taken by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of the Curiosity rover in "The Kimberly" area in Gale Crater on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

A recent image taken by the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of the Curiosity rover in “The Kimberly” area in Gale Crater on Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

First of all, I completely stole this headline from NASA engineer Bobak Ferdowski (AKA The Mohawk Guy) on Twitter. Second, this is just a great image of the Curiosity rover sitting on Mars, including views of its tracks and where it did a wheelie or two. Plus, where the rover now sits is a very intriguing region called “The Kimberly.” Curiosity will soon whip out its drill to see if it can find hints of organic material, which could be a biomarker — the holy grail of Mars exploration.

Find out why this is such an intriguing region in this video:
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Astronaut Salary

by Elizabeth Howell on April 16, 2014

Astronaut Drew Feustel reenters the space station after completing an 8-hour, 7-minute spacewalk at on  Sunday, May 22, 2011. He and fellow spacewalker Mike Fincke conducted the second of the four EVAs during the STS-134 mission. Credit: NASA

Astronaut Drew Feustel reenters the space station after completing an 8-hour, 7-minute spacewalk at on Sunday, May 22, 2011. He and fellow spacewalker Mike Fincke conducted the second of the four EVAs during the STS-134 mission. Credit: NASA

Talk about a high-flying career! Being a government astronaut means you have the chance to go into space and take part in some neat projects — such as going on spacewalks, moving robotic arms and doing science that researches the nature of the human body.

Behind the glamor and the giddiness of flight, however, astronauts also need to pay their bills on Earth. How much you get paid as an astronaut depends on what agency you work for – as well as your experience, just like any other career.

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Chelyabinsk fireball recorded by a dashcam from Kamensk-Uralsky north of Chelyabinsk where it was still dawn.

The bolide that impacted the atmosphere over Chelyabinsk in Feb. 2013 detonated with the equivalent of 530 kilotons of TNT, injuring over 1,200 people.

This Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, three former NASA astronauts will present new evidence that our planet has experienced many more large-scale asteroid impacts over the past decade than previously thought… three to ten times more, in fact. A new visualization of data from a nuclear weapons warning network, to be unveiled by B612 Foundation CEO Ed Lu during the evening event at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, shows that ”the only thing preventing a catastrophe from a ‘city-killer’ sized asteroid is blind luck.”

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German Impact Crater Could Have Hosted Early Life On Earth

by Elizabeth Howell on April 16, 2014

Aerial view of Nördlinger Ries crater in Germany, a formation so subtle it was not even known as an impact crater until the 1960s. Credit: Credit: Jesse Allen/NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS/ASTER

Aerial view of Nördlinger Ries crater in Germany, a formation so subtle it was not even known as an impact crater until the 1960s. Credit: Credit: Jesse Allen/NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS/ASTER

Could life thrive in the devastated rock left behind after a meteorite impact? A new study hints that possibly, that could be the case. Researchers discovered what they think are geological records of biological activity inside of Nördlinger Ries, a crater in Germany that is about 15 miles (24 kilometers) wide.

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The Zambezi River in Namibia floods the Caprivi plain in this April 2014 picture captured from Sentinel-1A. The satellite was not only noted for its high resolution of the flood, but its ability to send the image quickly -- it was downloaded only two hours after it was acquired. Credit: European Space Agency

The Zambezi River in Namibia floods the Caprivi plain in this April 2014 picture captured from Sentinel-1A. The satellite was not only noted for its high resolution of the flood, but its ability to send the image quickly — it was downloaded only two hours after it was acquired. Credit: European Space Agency

After dodging space debris and living to tell the tale, Sentinel-1A is now being put through its paces for its primary mission: to beam back pictures of the Earth as quickly as possible, to provide officials with the information they need during natural disasters or weather events.

The picture above gives a taste of what the European satellite will do when it’s fully commissioned. The picture of flooding in Namibia was downloaded only two hours after acquisition and then made available generally less than an hour after that, the European Space Agency said. Not only that, believe it or not — the view was socked in by cloud when the image was taken.

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