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NASA/JPL-Caltech

When you think about ways to deflect an asteroid, your mind probably immediately jumps to heavy artillery. Things like lasers. Or Bruce Willis-style nuclear bombs. But Sung Wook Paek is working on a much lower-key approach to preventing Armageddon: paintballs.  

The first satellite ever developed by high school students to make it to space is believed to be orbiting Earth after getting a ride aboard a U.S. military rocket Tuesday night from Wallops Island, Va.

Fittingly, perhaps, you can send it a text message.

The satellite, using a voice synthesizer, is built to transform that text into an audio message that can be heard over certain radio frequencies around the globe, and in different languages.

Solar Dynamics Observatory / NASA

It started several months ago -- sunspots flickered, more and more solar flares arched out into space, and a ripple of changing current made its way past Pluto to the outer reaches of our solar system.

The sun was flipping its magnetic polarity -- an event that happens every 11 years. 

Rick Mastracchio / NASA

Last week, NASA astronaut and Waterbury native Rick Mastracchio blasted off into space and boarded the International Space Station. On Wednesday afternoon, he tweeted a photo of his home state from the ISS. He said the station's altitude is around 400 km, and the view is magnificent.

More than a ton of advanced electronics, including an ion engine and sensors that help detect variations in gravity, crashed into Earth's atmosphere Sunday night, when the European GOCE satellite ended its four-year mission. Most of the 2,425-pound craft disintegrated when it re-entered the atmosphere over the South Atlantic Ocean; about 25 percent did not.

NASA/Bill Ingalls

Rick Mastracchio completed his fourth successful trip into space yesterday. He launched aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket, and was carrying some special cargo -- geocaching tags from the Waterbury Police Activity League and the 2014 Winter Olympic torch.

If you were on the East Coast and got up very early this morning, you may have gotten a celestial treat.

As the Capital Weather Gang explained, this eclipse was a hybrid event, appearing as a total eclipse or annular eclipse in some places on Earth. The Weather Gang explains:

Ed Campion / NASA

If you look into the sky tonight you may see an unusual sight.

According to NASA, tonight's launch of a Minotaur V Rocket from Virginia's Wallops Flight Facility will be visible up and down the East Coast, including Connecticut.

Liftoff is scheduled for 11:27 tonight, and the rocket will be visible in the night sky 45 seconds to one minute after the launch. NASA advises watching the launch on NASA TV or at NASA.gov and then start looking 15 degrees above the horizon in the south/southwest sky.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/flickr creative commons

The world’s most popular astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, joins us. Plus a look at Secret Sex Lives, Suzy Spencer’s year on the fringes of American sexuality.

Flickr Creative Commons, USDAgov

The good news about Mars? It has sunlight, carbon, water, and nitrogen. On a good day, it's only 35.8 million miles away. True that good day is July 27, 2018, but still, it beats trying to reach the closest other Earth-like planet which is 70 trillion miles away.

Flickr Creative Commons, USDAgov

The good news about Mars? It has sunlight, carbon, water, and nitrogen. On a good day, it's only 35.8 million miles away. True that good day is July 27, 2018, but still, it beats trying to reach the closest other Earth-like planet which is 70 trillion miles away.

NASA

A Connecticut museum has been selected to contribute to an upcoming NASA mission. 

Bridgeport's The Discovery Museum and Planetarium will join 18 other organizations in the latest round of NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative.

Interstellar Travel

Jan 23, 2013
Temari 09, Flickr Creative Commons

When you think of all the things here on the ground that don't work right, the notion that we should consider traveling to other stars seems a little crazy.

Connecticut's Space Case

Aug 30, 2012
Royalty-free image collection

Two stories this summer have had us thinking about the stars... and a bit about our own backyard.  

The death of Neil Armstrong - the first man to walk on the moon - has made many nostalgic for a time when the American space program captured the world’s imagination.  The local connection?  

The iconic Apollo spacesuit was designed by Connecticut’s own Hamilton Standard.  That company - now Hamilton Sunstrand - just announced job cuts at its aerospace division.

Flickr Creative Commons, tomalen

First contact is probably not going to be like "Close Encounters" or any other sci-fi movie you can think of, because the likelihood of another civilization in the universe with technology even that close to ours is very low.

Chion Wolf

http://cptv.vo.llnwd.net/o2/ypmwebcontent/Catie/2012_05_07_File%20Clare%20Rossini%20WEb%20Extra%20WWL.wav.mp3

The “age of exploration” is long past. We’ve charted most every inch of the planet, So what’s left to explore?

It seems we’re no longer sending men and women into space, and even if you make it to the arctic or the top of Mount Everest you’re sure to have cell phone service. Well, at least you can tweet about it.

The Science Of Dust

Feb 13, 2012
Gilles San Martin/flickr creative commons

There was a time when nobody studied dust. In fact, two kinds of nobody studied two kinds of dust. Astronomers were annoyed by interstellar dust because it got in the way of what they were looking at. It took a long time for them to realize the dust itself was worth looking at.

Same goes for earthbound particulate dust. Dust might creep into a sample on a slide if somebody got sloppy. And that was a problem. Only recently did scientists start looking at the dust itself and even cataloging it in, off all things, a dust library.

Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon, but the first man to urinate there was Buzz Aldrin, just a little ahead of Neil. The two astronauts relieved themselves into bags within their suits, then removed the bags and left them on the lunar surface. When you gotta go, you gotta go. It was time to go.

Chaos and Creativity

Dec 8, 2011
NASA

A new PBS film “Journey of the Universe” invites viewers to become travelers on a journey that explores the origins of the universe, the emergence of life, and the rise of humans. Today, we’ll talk to producer and scholar Mary Evelyn Tucker about the human connection to the Earth and the cosmos.

Crowdsourced Science

Nov 18, 2011
Cano Vääri (Flickr Creative Commons)

Today, we’re talking about crowds...their power, and perhaps, their combined wisdom.

A recent Boston Globe column called the scientific world a closed society. But technological innovation has opened up the field to the ordinary citizen on the outside with online programs such as Foldit and Planet Hunters - attempts at “crowdsourcing” some of our trickiest problems.

The Origins Of The Universe

Oct 6, 2011
NASA

Following up on our conversation with astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, today we check in with cosmologist Priya Natarajan from Yale’s upcoming conference “Why is There Anything”.

Yow Wray (Flickr Creative Commons)

Photo by Jurvetson (Flickr)

When the space shuttle Atlantis lifted off on its final mission earlier this month, it brought along a little bit of Hartford with it. A group of eighth graders from the Annie Fisher STEM Magnet School in Hartford's North End wanted to measure the effect of microgravity on Tomato growth, so they wrote a proposal and it was accepted.

We talk to principal Melony Brady about her students' project.

Flickr Creative Commons, Seth Lemmons

The winds of life can change abruptly.

Go back about six weeks, and Rupert Murdoch's media empire looks indomitable. Now it's slowly rolling in the water like a half-dead sea mammal.

Paris Air Show

Connecticut companies both large and small are doing business at the prestigious Paris Air Show this week, the world’s largest gathering of aerospace companies. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

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