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NASA’s “Blue-Collar” Mining Robot

NASA’s new robot features a sturdy pair of diggers, and the reliability and strength to work all day, every day, for years. Think of it as a blue-collar robot. The Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot (RASSOR) is an autonomous machine designed for lunar soil excavation.

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Curiosity Update

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity has successfully obtained the first sample ever collected from the interior of a rock on another planet. The rock was selected for the first sample drilling because it may hold evidence of wet environmental conditions long ago. Watch Tech Briefs TV for the latest videos of the mission at www.techbriefs.com/tv/mars. Keep up with Curiosity at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl.

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App of the Month: HubbleSite

HubbleSite, the online home of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, invites you to help choose the world’s most popular Hubble images. The app provides a selection of Hubble wallpaper images as well as facts about Hubble history — the telescope and the scientific discoveries it’s revealed. The app is optimized for iPhone and iPod Touch’s Retina display. Download the free app through the iTunes store at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/hubblesite/id416759844?mt=8&ls=1.

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NTB Readers Select 2012 Products of the Year

In December, we asked NASA Tech Briefs readers to select the one product from our 12 Products of the Month that you thought was the most significant new introduction to the design engineering community in 2012. Thanks to all of our readers who voted, and here are your winners for the 2012 NASA Tech Briefs’ Readers’ Choice Product of the Year:

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Groundbreaking Air Cleaner Removes VOCs

Researchers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center are evaluating small tiles made of space trash to find out if they can be stored aboard spacecraft safely, or even used for radiation shielding during a deep-space mission.

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NASA Announces Space Apps Challenge

NASA has announced the second International Space Apps Challenge. At the event, which will take place April 20-21 at 12 U.S. locations and in 30 other countries, participants will use publicly released open data as part of 50 software, hardware, and visualization challenges. Registration opens on March 1.

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Curiosity Update

For the first time, NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity used the camera on its arm to take photos at night, illuminated by white lights and ultraviolet lights on the instrument. The purpose of acquiring observations under ultraviolet illumination was to look for fluorescent minerals. Watch Tech Briefs TV for the latest videos of the mission at www.techbriefs.com/tv/mars. Keep up with Curiosity at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/.

Posted in: UpFront

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