NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured a solar eclipse. photo courtesy: NASA
On August 21, a shadow will fall across North America. Towns along the eclipse path of totality are eagerly making plans to accommodate the thousands of visitors expected to trek out for the celestial marvel. NASA scientists are searching for people who are making plans to watch the eclipse, either at home or traveling. All of North America will experience at least a partial eclipse, this is where you can become a NASA citizen scientist.
A 1959 NASA promotional photo shows John Glenn in his spacesuit. Fred Jones/NASA/AP
by Russel Lewis
The first American to orbit the Earth has died. John Glenn was the last surviving member of the original Mercury astronauts. He would later have a long political career as a U.S. senator, but that didn’t stop his pioneering ways. Glenn made history a second time in 1998, when he flew aboard the shuttle Discovery to become the oldest person to fly in space.
On July 20th in 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the moon. And some day, you might be able to visit that historic site yourself. Recently on Science Friday, we talked with space archaeologist Beth O’Leary and aerospace engineer Ann Darrin about preserving humanity’s history in space. Although space tourism is still a ways off, NASA is already taking steps to preserve significant sites on the moon. In 2011 the agency issued recommendations for protecting the first and last landing sites on the moon, essentially creating a no-landing zone within two kilometers of where Apollos 11 and 17 were located.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft appears as a faint streak in this ground-based telescope image, captured during the mission’s Earth flyby encounter. The image was taken by Greg Roberts, near Cape Town, South Africa at on Oct. 9, 2013 at 19:18 UTC. According to NASA, after an almost five year journey to Jupiter, spacecraft Juno has successfully made it into Jupiter’s orbit. The goal of this mission is to learn much more about this mysterious super planet.
A Year in Space airs on WSKG TV March 2, 2016 at 8pm. Follow astronaut Scott Kelly’s record-breaking 12-month mission on the International Space Station, from launch to landing, as NASA charts the effects of long-duration spaceflight by comparing him to his identical twin on Earth, astronaut Mark Kelly. Check out PBS Learning Media resources on living in space.
American Experience Space Men airs on WSKG TV March 1, 2016 at 9pm. In the 1950s and early ’60s, a small band of high-altitude pioneers exposed themselves to the extreme forces of the space age long before NASA’s acclaimed Mercury 7 would make headlines. Though largely forgotten today, balloonists were the first to venture into the frozen near-vacuum on the edge of our world, exploring the very limits of human physiology and human ingenuity in this lethal realm.