Archive for the ‘NASA Ames’ Category

The Tech Museum: Space Shuttle & IMAX – Hubble

Carina Nebula

After nearly 30 years of service, the Space Shuttle will be retired.

The Tech is giving us a chance to say our goodbyes during Space Week: May 3 – 9, 2010

Explore displays, including two Space Shuttle tires. (hands-on activities) Now – May 9th

Meet NASA Scientists:
Monday – Friday
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM
1:00 PM – 1:30 PM

Now Playing – IMAX
See “Hubble” and experience the wonder of the universe we live in.

“Hubble” – Trailer

“I first thought about becoming an astronaut in my 20s after seeing the IMAX movie ‘The Dream is Alive’.”
– Susan Helms NASA Astronaut

IMAX “Hubble” Calendar

Yuri’s Night – Support Space Exploration!

NASA Ames Research Center

Yuri’s Night is an international event (30 countries) which celebrates Yuri Gagarin and the April 1961 shuttle flight.

Did you know that the celebration is held to support space exploration? If President Obama’s decision to kill the NASA’s Constellation program (to the moon) and to turn future exploration over to commercial companies bothers you, please let Congress know.

Houston Congressman Peter Olson continues to be skeptical of Obama NASA space plan.

Get Tickets Now!

YouTube – The Black Keys

Type: Music/Arts – Performance
Date: Saturday, April 10, 2010
Time: 12:00pm – 11:55pm
Location: NASA Ames Research Center – Hangar 211
Street: Moffett Field – Severyns Ave & King Rd
City/Town: Mountain View, CA

Moffett Field – Hanger One & Zeppelins

Many years ago Moffett Field’s Hangar One was built for the USS Macon. Today the goal is to save Hangar One from demolition. Hope is with the Navy and NASA Ames to follow though with plans to bring Hangar One up to current safety standards.

The History of Moffett Field – a Free Lecture: sponsored by the Saratoga Historical Foundation.

“John Mascali will trace the 75 year history of Moffett Field beginning in 1930 to the present. The multi-media presentation is free to the public. Mascali, a director of Moffett Field’s Historical Society will recount stories of the construction of the historic Hanger One, the dirigible USS Macon, the squadrons and aircraft that have flown out of Moffett Field and some of the history of NASA Ames.

Hangar One, built during the Depression, is one of the largest unsupported structures in the country. The floor covers 8 acres and can accommodate 10 football fields. The hangar’s’interior is so large that fog sometimes forms near the ceiling. Hangar One was used to house the USS Macon, a 785 foot dirigible. The Macon could accommodate 100 officers and men; sleeping berths, a mess room, a galley and observation platform in the nose and tail. The Navy used the dirigible for reconnaissance. The ship was useful because of its silent motion and speed (up to 80 mph) for long distance.”

Monday, March 15 @ 7:15 PM
Immanuel Lutheran Church
14103 Saratoga Avenue
Saratoga, CA 95070

In 2008 I was invited to go up in an Airship moored at Moffett Field. It was a ride of a lifetime.

see Airship Ventures

Zeppelin flickr set

Ames Research Center 70th Anniversary

NASA Ames 70
Ames Research Center founded on Dec. 20, 1939, as the second laboratory of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), a federal agency established in 1915 to institutionalize aeronautical research. NACA became the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958, but aeronautics continues to be a major focus at Ames.

Ames named after Joseph Sweetman Ames, one of the founding members of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics and chaired NACA for 20 years.

Many years ago, I worked at Ames and enjoyed “touring” the world’s greatest collection of wind tunnels during lunch breaks. Once, I did have the opportunity to stand in the world’s largest wind tunnel. That was a very eerie experience.

Discover Ames’ 70-year history, current missions, and future vision here.

Moonfest 2009: From Apollo to LCROSS, and Beyond

moonfest09On Sunday July 19, NASA Ames will host Moonfest 2009 a celebration of all things related to the moon; including the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moonwalks and NASA’s Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission.

The Apollo 11 mission was the first manned mission to land on the Moon. In 1969 on July 20, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon, while Michael Collins orbited above.

The event will have a variety of hands-on activities and presentations by NASA and space industry experts. Some of the Moonfest exhibits and activities include:

Ask a Lunar Scientist
Ask NASA experts about their jobs. This will be a chance to informally interact with lunar/ space experts about their work, career paths, or other topics.

Small Spacecraft Division, NASA Ames Research Center
Visitors will get an overview of current and future Ames’ satellite missions, build their own little satellite, and have the chance to talk to people directly involved in those missions.

Moon Rocks
The real deal.

Model Rockets
Scale models of the Apollo Saturn V, scale models of other spacecraft from the Apollo era will be launched between noon and 2:00 pm at the airfield (shuttle buses will be available).

The Planetary Society allegedly will be handing out mini MoonPies.

Kids’ Activities for preschool through middle school will include puzzles, coloring contests, and quiz games.

There will be speakers from various backgrounds throughout the day (click name for time and topic): Lawrence Krauss, Anthony Colaprete, Susan Hackwood, Diane Wooden, and Donald Pettit.

Astronaut Donald Pettit is veteran of two spaceflights and lived aboard the Space Station for 5-1/2 months. Recently, he was aboard the STS-126 Endeavour Shuttle/Station assembly mission.

The event organized by the NASA Lunar Science Institute, a new organization that supplements and extends existing NASA lunar science programs and LCROSS. Follow them on Twitter.

Moonfest 2009
NASA Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, 94035

Sunday, July 19, 2009
12:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Admission: Free
Free parking, limited public transportation is available.

Kepler Mission – Are We Alone?

Kepler Mission - NASA

Kepler Mission - NASA

Are there any Earth type planets out there? Welp, NASA’s Kepler mission will launch this Friday and be on its way to find out.

This Friday, March 6, NASA Ames Exploration Center will present demonstrations on the technology used on the Kepler spacecraft followed by the live televised launch of the Kepler spacecraft. Admission is free.

The Kepler Mission will check out a part of the Milky Way galaxy to discover hundreds of Earth-size and smaller planets in or near the habitable zone and determine how many of the billions of stars in our galaxy have such planets.

The Kepler will look for terrestrial planets, those in the habitable zone of their stars where liquid water and possibly life might exist.

Bill Borucki, Kepler Principal Investigator, NASA Ames: “The habitable zone is where we think water will be. If you can find liquid water on the surface, we think we may very well find life there. So that zone is not too close to the star, because it’s too hot and the water boils. Not too far away where the water’s condensed and ice-covered, a planet covered with glaciers. It’s the goldilocks zone, not too hot, not too cold, just right for life.”

NASA’s Ames Research Center is the home organization of the principal science investigator and is responsible for the ground system development, mission operations and science data analysis.

The Kepler Mission is named after Johannes Kepler (1571 – 1630) a German mathematician and astronomer who discovered that the Earth and planets travel about the sun in elliptical orbits.

The NASA Exploration Center is located outside the main gate of NASA Ames, location map here.

Friday, March 6, 2009
Doors open at 5:30 pm, and the program includes:

5:45-6:30 Kepler Orrery demonstrations (learn how the spacecraft will detect planets)
6:40 Welcome, Lewis Braxton, Deputy Center Director
6:45 Ames’ history of planetary exploration – Jack Boyd, Ames historian
7:00 Kepler Mission Overview – Dr. Tom Roellig, NASA Ames Astrophysicist and Kepler co-investigator
7:48 Kepler Launch – televised live from Kennedy Space Center, Florida

The Exploration Center will remain open for approximately one hour following the launch. Launch windows are 7:49 – 7:52 pm and 8:13 – 8:16 pm.

Way too much information here.

NASA Ames Family Night featuring Earth’s Moon – 2008


Credit: NASA

On Saturday, September 06, NASA Ames will host another “Return to the Moon Family Night” at their Research Center.

The event will highlight the roles of NASA and Ames Research Center in conducting robotic missions slated for launch in 2009 that include the identification of water on the moon and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission is designed to confirm the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater at the moon’s South Pole.

Activities and exhibits include:

• animated videos
• moon rocks display
• robotic rover demonstrations
• kids activities
• telescope viewing of the lunar surface
• presentations by LCROSS experts and scientists

NASA Ames Research Center
Moffett Boulevard, Moffett Field

Saturday, September 06
3:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Free admission

In addition, remember the upcoming Sally Ride Science Festival for 5th to 8th grade girls.

Sally Ride Science Festival 2008

Sally Ride Science Festival is where girls, parents, and teachers attend workshops, meet scientists, and have fun at the street fair.

The Science Festival is designed for 5th to 8th grade girls. Parents and teachers are welcome. Please read the FAQ here.

The festival features workshops for students given by local scientists and engineers including chemists, veterinarians, microbiologists, and others; there will be workshops for parents and teachers on ways to support students’ interests in science and math; also, a street fair with booths, hands-on activities, food, and music. There will also be a talk by astronaut Wendy Lawrence.

Wendy Lawrence is a veteran of 4 space shuttle missions and was an astronaut for 14 years. Her space missions included a shuttle flight that carried a set of telescopes to study the stars, 2 space shuttle trips to rendezvous with the Russian space station Mir, and most recently the space shuttle’s return to space after the Columbia accident. She is also an Ocean Engineer.

Sally Ride is the first American woman to fly in space. She was aboard the space shuttle Challenger that launched from Kennedy Space Center, on June 18, 1983. NASA selected Sally Ride as an astronaut candidate in January 1978. While in training, she worked on development of the shuttle’s robot arm, and worked in mission control as a capsule communicator. Long an advocate for improved science education, Sally Ride has written six science books for children. She also initiated and directed education projects designed to fuel middle school students fascination with science.

Advance registration is required and is $20 (includes the featured talk, workshops, lunch, and the Street Fair).

Sally Ride Science Festival information and registration

Sally Ride Science Festival
NASA Ames Research Center

Saturday, September 27
11:00 am – 1:00 pm Check-in, Lunch, Street Fair
1:00 pm – 4:15 pm Featured Talk, Workshops, Street Fair

Return to the Moon Family Night at NASA Ames 2007


Saturday, November 17, NASA Ames will host a “Return to the Moon Family Night” at their Exploration Center.

The event will highlight the roles of NASA and Ames Research Center in conducting robotic missions in the near future that include the identification of water on the moon and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) mission is designed to confirm the presence or absence of water ice in a permanently shadowed crater at the moon’s South Pole.

Activities and exhibits include:

• animated videos
• moon rocks display
• robotic rover demonstrations
• kids activities
• telescope viewing of the lunar surface (weather permitting)
• presentations by LCROSS experts and scientists

NASA Ames Research Center
Exploration Center
Saturday, November 17
4:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Free admission

For directions and other activities at the Exploration Center check here.

NASA Ames Exploration Center

NASA Ames Exploration CenterDriving down 101 past Moffett Field I would notice the large white structure near the entrance to NASA Ames. I remembered reading about the NASA Exploration Center so I pulled in to check it out.

I was looking forward to seeing cool space stuff. From the bright sun into the dark building, my eyes adjusted and before me was, well… not very cool. There are many pictures and a lot to read. I could have stayed home and checked the same thing out online. On display is the Mercury Redstone capsule, the last unmanned test flight before manned flights. However, it was enclosed in plastic so no touching. There are also a few interactive exhibits that are under whelming; this is not the Tech Museum.

The main reason for visiting was to see the moon rock that brought back by the Apollo 15 crew. The rock is within a glass case with a very small light making it difficult to get a good view.

I spoke with the person at the visitor’s desk and he said that when a bus load of kids visit they zoom right through in just a few minutes and are ready to leave. He said that the center has a very small budget. Very unfortunate as this would be a great way for NASA to present itself to the public and to explain the function of NASA Ames.

Would I recommend The NASA Exploration Center? Yes, if you are in the area. Admission and parking is free.

After your visit, let us know any exhibits that you found enjoyable, interesting, and/or informative. I may have missed something. After all, I did not stay for the high-resolution Immersive Theater presentation.

Directions and hours here.

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