NASA Launches Suborbital Rocket With Student Experiments

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/quick-look-launch-BR.jpg"NASA successfully launched a NASA Terrier-Improved Orion suborbital sounding rocket carrying student experiments with the RockOn/RockSat-C programs at 6 a.m., today. More than 200 middle school and university students and instructors participating in Rocket Week at Wallops were on hand to witness the launch. Through RockOn and RockSat-C students are learning and applying skills required to develop experiments for suborbital rocket flight. In addition, middle school educators through the Wallops Rocket Academy for Teachers (WRATS) are learning about applying rocketry basics in their curriculum."

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ESA's Parabolic Flight Opportunities for Students Restart

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/ARID_team.jpg"The ESA Education Office's 'Fly Your Thesis!' programme is back, after having a short break of three years. The first new flight campaign is planned for late 2016. The deadline for applications is 21 September 2015. Fly Your Thesis! allows Master and PhD students from ESA Member and Cooperating States to design, build and fly scientific or technology-related experiments in microgravity. These are the conditions that astronauts experience in space. The dramatic reduction of gravity up to a few thousandths of the pull on Earth provides experimental conditions that are impossible to reproduce in ground-based laboratories."

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LISA Pathfinder Prepares For Final Exams

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/LISA_Pathfinder_2015.jpg"The summer is coming and that means students across Europe are sitting their final tests. ESA's LISA Pathfinder, a technology demonstrator that will pave the way for space-based gravitational wave observatories, is no different. LISA is currently in the test centre at IABG (Industrieanlagen-Betriebsgesellschaft), Ottobrunn, Germany. "Everything is running nominally and we are on schedule, which is the most important thing," says Ulrike Ragnit, AIV and launch campaign manager for LISA Pathfinder. LISA Pathfinder is a rather special spacecraft. It is designed to measure how well we can isolate a macroscopic body from all external forces except gravity. If successful, it will open the door to a new breed of spacecraft that can observe the gravitational Universe. For astronomers, this will be as if they developed a new sense, providing access to a view of the Universe that is wholly different to what they can detect now via electromagnetic radiation."

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American Team Wins International Rocketry Competition

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/image015.jpg"Seven students from the Russellville City Schools of Russellville, Ala., won first place in the International Rocketry Challenge at the 2015 Paris Air Show on June 19. The U.S. team, sponsored by Raytheon, beat teams from the United Kingdom, who came in second place, and France, who took home third. "It was a great experience representing the United States and winning the international rocketry competition," said Andrew Heath, captain of the RCS Engineers. "It has been an honor to be part of me team and this year's program."

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Future Engineers Look Toward Future of Space Exploration

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/ksc-315d-0244_0139.jpg"The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Foundation, SpaceX, Digital Domain and NASA gave the finalists of the Space Tools 3-D Design Challenge a chance to see the future of space exploration under development as NASA prepares for a journey to Mars. These future engineers had the opportunity to see how NASA is conducting research and developing technologies that will allow us to live and work off the planet and eventually on Mars; how SpaceX is one of two U.S. Commercial companies developing a new crew transportation system that will take astronauts from the U.S. to the International Space Station and back; and how visual effects studios like Digital Domain can use the magic of Hollywood to virtually transport people to the surface of Mars to see what those future missions will be like."

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NASA Hosts Rocket Week at Wallops Flight Facility

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/img_4247.jpg"Students and educators from across the country will have the chance to be rocket scientists during Rocket Week, June 20-26 at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. About 150 university and community college students and instructors will build and fly experiments on a NASA suborbital rocket through the RockOn and RockSat-C programs. Another 20 high school educators from the eastern United States will examine how to apply rocketry basics into their curriculum through the Wallops Rocket Academy for Teachers (WRATS)."

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NASA, UN Photo Competition Highlights Why Space Matters on Earth

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/unoosaclip2.jpgNASA and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) have launched a global photography competition to highlight how the vantage point of space helps us better understand our home planet, improve lives, and safeguard our future by aiding sustainable development on Earth. To highlight the role of space-based science and technologies and their applications on Earth, NASA and UNOOSA are inviting the public to submit photos depicting why space matters to us all in our daily lives. To participate, post a picture and description on Instagram using the hashtag #whyspacematters and tagging @UNOOSA.

How To Un-inspire The Next Generation

http://images.spaceref.com/news/hand.earth.moon.stars.jpg"In following the incessant debate about potential NASA missions, I often hear NASA leaders, industry advocates and Congressional champions alike point to the value of these missions to inspire the next generation. Yet the more their arguments cause inaction, the more cynicism they generate in those they seek to inspire. The problem is not that young people don't understand the importance to humanity or relevance to individuals of a certain NASA mission. We understand perfectly fine. But we also see that these missions are doomed to die a political death when leadership at NASA or elsewhere in government has a change of heart."

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15 Year Old Discovers a New Planet

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/wasp_142_lo.jpg"A 15-yr-old schoolboy has discovered a new planet orbiting a star 1000 light years away in our galaxy. Tom Wagg was doing work-experience at Keele University when he spotted the planet by finding a tiny dip in the light of a star as a planet passed in front of it. ``I'm hugely excited to have a found a new planet, and I'm very impressed that we can find them so far away'', says Tom, now aged 17. It has taken two years of further observations to prove that Tom's discovery really is a planet."

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Genes in Space Finalists

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/genes.in.space.jpg"Boeing, the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), Math for America (MƒA), and miniPCR named five finalists in the first ever Genes in Space competition. The innovative contest called for students in grades 7 through 12 to design an experiment to solve a real-life space exploration problem through DNA analysis. The winning experiment will be performed aboard the International Space Station (ISS) using a miniPCR machine. The five finalist teams will receive mentoring from R&D scientists from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who will help refine the experiments and make them feasible for space. The teams will present their proposals to a prestigious panel of scientists, educators, and technologists at the ISS Research and Development Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, July 7-9. The winner will be announced at the conclusion of the conference and have their experiment performed 250 miles above the Earth aboard the ISS. Members of the winning team will also be invited to watch the launch of their experiment into orbit."

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