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December 13, 2013
This Week @ NASA, December 13, 2013

Here’s some of the stories trending This Week at NASA!

46th AGU Fall Meeting

Over twenty-two thousand Earth and space scientists, educators, students and leaders from around the world connected with each other and NASA at the American Geophysical Union’s 46th annual fall meeting in San Francisco.

Among some of the new revelations …

New Results from Mars Rover

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has determined the age of a rock on Mars, accomplishing a fundamental and unprecedented measurement that would have been considered unlikely when the mobile laboratory landed last year.  Curiosity also made the first measurements of the natural radiation environment of the surface of Mars and determined it to be approximately an average of 0.67 millisieverts per day. For comparison, radiation exposure from a typical chest X-ray is about 0.02 millisieverts. 

Dynamic Mars: New Results from MRO

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter or MRO has detected additional liquid streaking down mountain slopes near the planet’s equator during the red planet’s seasonal changes.

Titan as Never Seen Before

The Cassini space probe has photographed actual seas and lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan.  Although these bodies are filled with liquid ethane and methane rather than liquid water, they do represent the only known stable lakes in the solar system that are not on planet Earth.

New Juno Video

New images of the Juno spacecraft making it’s closest ever flyby with Earth were revealed this week as it sped away for a rendezvous with Jupiter in July 2016.

Energy Meeting at NASA Glenn

The NASA Glenn Research Center hosted a summit on energy and manufacturing activities attended by more than two hundred representatives from regional colleges and industry. Case Western Reserve University sponsored the event that included dignitaries such as Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Dr. Ernest Moniz, Secretary of Energy and panelist member Dr. Rebecca Spyke Keiser, NASA’s associate deputy administrator for strategy and policy.

Morpheus Lander Tests

Testing on the Project Morpheus planetary lander is underway at Kennedy Space Center’s repurposed Shuttle Landing Facility – which has been outfitted with rocks, craters and other hazards to automatically avoid. Using “green” propellants, landers like Project Morpheus and NASA’s Mighty Eagle could deliver cargo to asteroids and other planetary surfaces on future missions.

Too Cold to Breathe

Landsat 8 is learning more about our planet, including the coldest place on Earth.  Using data from NOAA and NASA satellites, the coldest recorded spot… a tall ridge on the East Antarctic Plateau at minus 133.6 degrees Fahrenheit, would turn hot water - tossed into the air- into shards of ice.

Cygnus Prepares for Launch

At NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Orbital Sciences is preparing a resupply mission to the International Space Station.  The mission will be the first launch of its commercial cargo contract with NASA, and is scheduled to launch in mid to late December to bring more than two tons of food, experiments and other supplies.

And that’s what’s up … This Week at NASA.

For more on these and other stories follow us on social media and visit www.nasa.gov/twan.

Page Last Updated: December 14th, 2013
Page Editor: Gary Daines