UpFront

App of the Month: NASA Lunar Electric Rover Simulator

Buckle up as the Lunar Electric Rover Simulator gives you a glimpse of what it might be like to support the activities of a functioning Lunar Outpost. Get busy — you never know if your skills will become a major part of the NASA astronaut application process in the future. Download the free app for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad at https://itunes.apple.com/app/nasa-lunarelectric-rover/id355542143?mt=8.

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Create the Future and Win

The 11th annual “Create the Future” Design Contest (www.createthefuturecontest.com) sponsored by COMSOL, SAE International, and Tech Briefs Media Group, is open for entries. The contest will recognize outstanding innovations in product design worldwide, awarding a Grand Prize of $20,000 USD. There is no cost to enter.

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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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