NASA Grant Brings Us $1.1 Billion Closer to Commercial Manned Spaceflight

Friday August 3rd marked a significant milestone for three companies vying for commercial rights to manned space flight. After a year-long review of the current status of commercial manned spaceflight technology readiness, NASA awarded three grants totaling $1.1 billion to Boeing, Space X and Sierra Nevada Corp., to be paid over the next 21 months. These three companies are vigorously working to provide safe and cost-effective vehicles that can transport NASA astronauts and supplies to and from the International Space Station within the next five years. The awards are part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) under the space agency’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP). Read More

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Google Doodle Celebrates Amelia Earhart

Google Doodle Celebrates Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart would have been 115 today had she lived through her ill-fated attempt to circumnavigate the globe in 1937. Earhart was the epitome of female inspiration in the face of seemingly impossible odds. While her disappearance remains a mystery, her iconic status still inspires women everywhere to break gender boundaries in pursuit of their dreams. Google has chosen to celebrate Earhart’s birthday with a Doodle befitting this impressive woman. Read More

Can You Hear the Higgs?

Have you ever wondered what one of the greatest scientific discoveries of our time sounds like? Wonder no longer! After the announcement of the Higgs boson discoveries last week, researcher Domenico Vicinanza immediately went to work sonifiying the data. Now that the general populous can finally hear what the Higgs boson evidence sounds like, hopefully all of us can understand the data leading to this momentous discovery. Could the mysteries of the universe be holding a waltz beat? How about a jazz rhythm? R&B? Pop? Country? Turns out the score has a distinctly latin flair, similar to a habanera beat. Read More

What Finding the Higgs Boson Means

There has been a rise in speculation from the international physics community about the contents of a press conference that has been called by scientists at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), to be held at 9am Geneva time (3am EST) on July 4, 2012. Physicists expect that the announcement will be positive proof of the Higgs boson particle and a successful mission for the team. The anticipation reached a frenzied state yesterday when scientists from the Tevatron at Fermilab in Illinois announced that they had found significant supporting evidence for the existence of the Higgs boson. Read More

Science: It’s a Girl Thing Where Models and Science Don’t Meet

Science: It’s a Girl Thing Where Models and Science Don’t Meet

I think it is incredibly important to encourage girls to get involved with science, engineering, math and technology (STEM). Looking just at the screen snap above, I would have laughed it off as a poor attempt at trying to appeal to girls. Then I sat and watched the full ad released by the European Commission as part of campaign to attract girls to STEM careers. Go ahead and watch it… I’ll wait. Read More

Disney/Pixar gets Brave

As an avid Pixar fan who has seen all of the Pixar films so many times that I have the scripts memorized, I have been waiting, patiently, for Brave for some time now. I have savored every teaser trailer and stared in wonderment at the beautiful Scottish princess with the wild red hair and blue eyes who is determined to change her fate. So, does Brave live up to the hype? For the most part, yes. I had forgotten that Disney’s acquisition of Pixar allows Disney to put its princess stamp on a Pixar film, even if it muddles and otherwise awesome film. Read More

La Luna: Pixar’s latest animated short is a masterpiece

The latest Pixar animated short La Luna, written and directed by Enrico Casarosa, is nothing short of a masterpiece. La Luna is the longest ever Pixar short at 7 minutes, and is featured at the beginning of Disney/Pixar’s Brave.There is a reason why this short has already been nominated for a 2012 Academy Award for Best Short Film, Animated and 2012 Annie Award for Best Animated Short Subject. I am an astrophysicist by training, so its likely that anything with stars and the moon is generally to get acclaims from me, and while obviously not scientifically accurate, this story has the making of a legend. Read More

Landsat: “My American Landscape” Contest

The United States’ Landsat Earth observing program is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. This program has allowed scientists from all over the world to observe landscape changes on a massive scale through detailed photography of the Earth’s surface. To celebrate this historic anniversary, NASA is offering the chance for six lucky members of the American public to receive a chronicle of Landsat images from the past 40 years. Learn more about Landsat and enter NASA’s contest. Read More

RIP Maurice Sendak (1928-2012)

Maurice Sendak passed away today from complications of a recent stroke, at the age of 83. Sendak was one of the most acclaimed and important children’s book authors of the 20th century. Sendak was specifically known for more than a dozen picture books that he illustrated himself, the most famous being Where the Wild Things… Read More

Try to Catch the Lyrids Tonight!

If you see a shooting star, do you stop and make a wish? No? You should, it’s fun! OK, OK … so a shooting star isn’t really a “star,” nor is it “shooting.” It is a meteorite burning up upon re-entry into the Earth atmosphere. (I suppose that’s not as romantic a description as a shooting… Read More

Time for the Oscars Baby!

So are you going to watch for the red carpet fashions, the hilarious antics of host Billy Crystal or to find out which of the prospective films will be crowned Best Picture? There is one little girl that has done her research for the past two years, baby Sophia! She is the star of a… Read More

2012 White House Science Fair

Nothing like flying marshmallows to keep the secret service busy protecting President Barak Obama. Tuesday was the second annual White House Science Fair. The president seemed to have a blast playing with science yesterday, he even caused a little bit of innocent trouble with 14 year old Maker Faire veteran, Joey Hudy of Phoenix, AZ,… Read More