UpFront

NASA Experiment Studies Next-Generation Smoke Detectors

A candle flame in Earth’s gravity (left) and microgravity (right) show the difference in the processes of combustion in microgravity. (NASA/Glenn Research Center)As frightening as a fire is on Earth, it’s even scarier in space. “If a chair is on fire in your home, you have time to get out. In a spacecraft, you don’t,” said NASA scientist Dr. David Urban. “You have to detect smoke in an early pre-fire state, so you can stop it before it starts.”

Posted in: UpFront

Read More >>

NASA Studies Paper-Like Plastic for Space Electronics

On the right is an antenna array embedded on liquid crystal polymer (LCP); a large sheet of LCP is on the left. (Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek)NASA’s Earth Science Technology Office and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) are evaluating a material called liquid crystal polymer (LCP) for electronics applications in space, as well as possible uses in consumer electronics. The ultra-thin, paper-like plastic can incorporate a variety of electronic circuits, while still molding to any shape. It also performs well in extreme temperatures and intense radiation found in space.

Posted in: UpFront

Read More >>

NASA Teams With Army to Analyze Helicopter Parts Failure

From left: James Van Hoose and Dr. Po Chen, engineers with Qualis Corporation inThe Materials and Processes Laboratory at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center has partnered with the Aviation Engineering Directorate of the U.S. Army’s Aviation and Missile Research, Development, and Engineering Center to conduct failure analysis on helicopter parts. Using Marshall’s capabilities in metallurgy, the lab analyzed aircraft components such as engine parts, swash plates, and fasteners from Army helicopters that flew in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was found that the parts all experienced some type of failure with metal castings, forgings, or extrusions.

Posted in: UpFront

Read More >>

NASA Studies Benefits of Exercise for Astronauts and Public

The 20-G Centrifuge facility at NASA Ames has a radius of 29 feet and is human-rated to 12.5 G. (NASA)NASA's Ames Research Center in California has teamed with the University of Kentucky in Lexington and Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, to study ways to reduce adverse effects of space travel on an astronaut’s health. The study is being done on the 20-G Centrifuge at Ames, a machine that creates artificial gravity forces by spinning, and that can simulate up to 20 times the normal forces of gravity experienced on Earth.

Posted in: UpFront

Read More >>

NASA Imaging Technology Used to Fight Diabetes

This photomicrograph of a sliced rat beta cell has been processed with the modified NASA imaging technology. Insulin granules are the dark black spots surrounded by the white halo area. The colored borders around the granules are labels added to identify and classify them. (NASA/Tim McClanahan)NASA image processing technology used to explore orbital images of Earth is being modified for use in diabetes research. A team from George Washington University (Washington, DC) and Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) modified the technology, which has increased the speed of the research.

Posted in: UpFront

Read More >>

This Month in NASA History

The launch of Sputnik brought a sense of urgency to American efforts underway to launch a man-made object as part of the U.S. Navy’s Vanguard project. Following Sputnik, Wernher von Braun and his Army Redstone Arsenal team began work on the Explorer project.

Posted in: UpFront

Read More >>