Meteorites streak through the sky, dropping a mysterious dust. Adults fall unconscious worldwide. To rescue them, kids must gather dirt from Mars. Who says learning science and engineering can’t be fun? Not NASA engineers! They’ve teamed up with engineering students and gamers to create Falling Dust, a free, alternative-reality game that lets multiple players apply real-world skills to save humanity.
Biomimicry is back!
By studying lizards, a team of researchers has created a snake-like robot that can move through sand. The new robot is the most detailed model of an organism moving through an environment that is not water or air.
Plans to develop an inflatable space station may soon be given the green light, FoxNews reports. A deputy administrator at NASA recently visited the Bigelow Aerospace facility in Las Vegas to discuss future additions to the International Space Station.
NASA has endorsed the concept of inflatable habitats and Bigelow Aerospace has already built, tested, and launched prototypes, hoping to have the first fully-developed space station in orbit by 2015. One of the main advantages to these new modules is cost reduction, as the lightweight yet impact-resistant material of the inflatable shells would allow them to be larger and less expensive than heavier structures.
In April, President Obama asked engineers to come up with a less expensive method for launching a spacecraft. So NASA has come up a system that it says would save millions of dollars in propellant and allow more frequent flights – all while improving astronaut safety.