NASA News Digest: Space Science For 5 December – 23 December 2016

Greetings fellow astrophiles,

The NASA News Service provides up-to-date announcements of NASA policy, news events, and space science. A recent selection of space science articles are provided below, including direct links to the full announcements. Those interested in receiving these announcements from NASA can subscribe to their service by sending an email to: hqnews-request@newsletters.nasa.gov?subject=subscribe

Spinoff 2017 Shows How NASA Technology Makes A Difference On Earth

RELEASE 16-114 (Click here for the full article) – 5 December 2016

NASA has released its Spinoff 2017 publication, which takes a close look at 50 different companies that are using NASA technology – innovations developed by NASA, with NASA funding, or under a contract with the agency – in products that we all benefit from.

Whether it’s the self-driving tractor that harvests food, cameras used in car-crash safety tests, or tools making brain surgery safer, NASA technology plays a significant role in our daily lives.

“The stories published in Spinoff represent the end of a technology transfer pipeline that begins when researchers and engineers at NASA develop innovations to meet mission needs,” said Stephen Jurczyk, associate administrator of the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington. “This year’s spinoffs includes products and services at work in every sector of the economy. They are innovations that make people more productive, protect the environment, and much more.”

For print and digital versions of Spinoff 2017, and for more information, visit: spinoff.nasa.gov

NASA Shares The Universe On Pinterest And GIPHY

RELEASE 16-117 (Click here for the full article) – 8 December 2016

NASA now is sharing its best images on official Pinterest and GIPHY accounts, providing visitors an out-of-this-world journey through animated GIFs and images of Earth and beyond.

On Pinterest, NASA is posting new and historic images and videos, known as pins, to collections called pinboards. This social media platform allows users to browse and discover images from across NASA’s many missions in aeronautics, astrophysics, Earth science, human spaceflight, and more, and pin them to their own pinboards. Pinboards are often used for creative ideas for home decor and theme-party planning, inspiration for artwork and other far-out endeavors.

To follow NASA on Pinterest, visit: www.pinterest.com/nasa

To see NASA’s animated GIFs on GIPHY, visit: giphy.com/nasa

For a complete list of official NASA social media accounts and platforms, visit: www.nasa.gov/socialmedia

NASA Remembers American Legend John Glenn

RELEASE 16-118 (Click here for the full article) – 8 December 2016

The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on the passing of Sen. John Glenn:
“Today, the first American to orbit the Earth, NASA astronaut and Ohio Senator John Glenn, passed away. We mourn this tremendous loss for our nation and the world. As one of NASA’s original Mercury 7 astronauts, Glenn’s riveting flight aboard Friendship 7 on Feb. 20, 1962, united our nation, launched America to the forefront of the space race, and secured for him a unique place in the annals of history.

“While that first orbit was the experience of a lifetime, Glenn, who also had flown combat missions in both World War II and the Korean War as a Marine aviator, continued to serve his country as a four-term Senator from Ohio, as a trusted statesman, and an educator. In 1998, at the age of 77, he became the oldest human to venture into space as a crew member on the Discovery space shuttle — once again advancing our understanding of living and working in space.

For more information about Glenn’s NASA career, and his agency biography, visit: www.nasa.gov/johnglenn

Space Laser Reveals Boom-and-Bust Cycle Of Polar Ocean Plants

RELEASE 16-121 (Click here for the full article) – 20 December 2016

A new study using a NASA satellite instrument orbiting Earth has found that small, environmental changes in polar food webs significantly influence the boom-and-bust, or peak and decline, cycles of phytoplankton. These findings will supply important data for ecosystem management, commercial fisheries and our understanding of the interactions between Earth’s climate and key ocean ecosystems.

“It’s really important for us to understand what controls these boom-and-bust cycles, and how they might change in the future so we can better evaluate the implications on all other parts of the food web,” said Michael Behrenfeld, a marine plankton expert at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

Phytoplankton also influence Earth’s carbon cycle. Through photosynthesis, they absorb a great deal of the carbon dioxide dissolved in the upper ocean and produce oxygen, which is vital for life on Earth. This reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

For more information about NASA’s Earth science activities, visit: www.nasa.gov/earth

NASA Administrator Remembers NASA Scientist, Astronaut Piers Sellers

RELEASE 16-122 (Click here for the full article) – 23 December 2016

The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on Piers Sellers, who passed away Friday in Houston of pancreatic cancer:

“The entire NASA family mourns the passing of scientist and astronaut Piers Sellers.

“Piers was dedicated to all facets of exploration. His curiosity and drive to uncover new knowledge was generously shared with audiences around the world, both from space and in wide travels to reach as many people as possible with an essential understanding of our fragile planet.

“Piers devoted his life to saving the planet. As a climate scientist, his work in computer modeling of the climate system, satellite remote sensing studies and field work using aircraft, satellites and ground teams broke new ground in our understanding of Earth’s systems. His legacy will be one not only of urgency that the climate is warming but also of hope that we can yet improve humanity’s stewardship of this planet. His cancer diagnosis became a catalyst for him to work even harder on efforts to save the planet from global warming for the benefit of future generations.

For more information about Piers Sellers’ NASA career, visit: science.gsfc.nasa.gov/sed/bio/piers.j.sellers

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