NASA Space App Challenge Beginning this weekend with IBM BlueMix! Out of this world!

NASA Space App Challenge Beginning this weekend with IBM BlueMix! Out of this world!.

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What is the true mission of NASA?

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Ted Cruz has drawn both criticism and support in recent weeks for his declaration that NASA should be focused on the tangible goals of space exploration rather than their recent endeavors into earth science and climate change. Some see his arguments as longing for the inspirational spirit of NASA’s classic Apollo missions, but others see them as petty partisan tactics. If he were simply a vocal senator, it would not matter all that much, but given that he leads the Senate subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, his opinion is crucial. Subcommittees have the ability to dictate policy in congress by killing bills before they reach the floor. If NASA is to continue to provide key research on climate change, it will have to do so in spite of Cruz.

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NASA Allowing Public To Name Features On Dwarf Planet Pluto

CBS San Francisco

(CBS SF) — NASA has partnered with the International Astronomical Union to allow the public to nominate names for soon-to-be-discovered features on Pluto and its orbiting satellites.

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will make the first-ever close flyby of Pluto and its satellites in July, collecting thousands of photographs which should reveal an in-depth look at the features on the bodies in the Pluto system.

These features will be named by the public after a vetting by NASA’s New Horizons team and the IAU. Don’t get too excited and think a feature on Pluto will soon be named after you, your pet hamster, or Seymour Buttz as there is a very strict set of rules for nomenclature.

All nominated names must “related to mythology and the literature and history of exploration.” Nominations also can not be the name of a living person. Below are the basic rules for names from IAU

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Report: Astronauts Could Land On Mars By 2039

CBS Tampa

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (CBS Tampa) – NASA could send astronauts to Mars by 2039, a new report by The Planetary Society says.

The report discussed the workability and cost of such a mission. They say their plan could fit within NASA’s budget.

“We believe we now have an example of a long-term, cost-constrained, executable humans-to-Mars program,” Scott Hubbard, a professor in the Stanford University Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a member of The Planetary Society’s board of directors, said in a press release.

The Planetary Society is a nongovernmental organization. According to their website, it’s the largest nongovernmental space advocacy organization in the world.

Along with Hubbard, Planetary Society CEO Bill Nye and John Logsdon, a professor emeritus at The George Washington University Space Policy Institute and also on The Planetary Society’s board of directors, spoke at the “Humans Orbiting Mars” workshop that took place between March 31 and April…

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NASA Selects 2015 Carl Sagan Fellows

Cosmology & Space Research

The Sagan Fellowship program, named after the late Carl Sagan, supports talented young scientists in their mission to explore the unknown. Following the path laid out by Sagan, these bright fellows will continue to tread the path, make their own discoveries and inspire future Sagan fellows. Image credit: NASA/Cosmos Studies

NASA has selected six scientists as recipients of the 2015 Carl Sagan Exoplanet Postdoctoral Fellowships. The fellowship, named for the late astronomer, was created in 2008 to inspire the next generation of explorers seeking to learn more about planets, and possibly life, around other stars.

The Sagan Fellowship’s primary goal is to support outstanding recent postdoctoral scientists in conducting independent research related to the science goals of NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program, namely, to discover and characterize planetary systems and Earth-like planets around nearby stars.

Significant discoveries and advances have already been made by previous Sagan Fellows. Recent science results from…

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Aliens on the Moon?

The Bizarre Unknown

Originally reported by The Huffington Post.

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A bizarre shadowy figure was spotted on the moon and has grabbed the wild speculations and imaginations of the internet.

The shadow was spotted by YouTube user Wowforreal while browsing images on Google Moon, a collection of millions of NASA images made public. The figure appears to be a that of a large humanesque figure, but is most likely created by any number of geological formations on the moon’s surface.

Other speculation as to the subject of the shadow includes everything from aliens to ancient Greek statues. The Examiner even urges its readers to set aside all logic before examining the mysterious shape:

Of course, the shadow might be explained in a number of ways, particularly as a trick of light or a camera lens glitch.

But, if those explanations are ruled out, it still leaves the question of what this object is…

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