We are stardust, made of the stuff of dying suns. NASA simulates our basic building blocks. Scientists at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California have developed a way of recreating the dust and gas found around dying red giant stars that eventually become planet-forming interstellar dust.: http://www.gizmag.com/interstellar-dust-planet-formation-nasa/31957/
This is such a fascinating research project. Who knew we could gleam such fascinating insights from humble dust grains?
Right now NASA — still arguably the leader in space exploration among world agencies — receives a little over 0.4 percent of every U.S. tax dollar. Less than half a penny. That’s what NASA explores the Solar System with, what makes our knowledge of the Universe — from the farthest visible reaches right down to our own planet Earth — even possible. What if NASA were to receive a full one percent? A whole penny from every dollar? That’d still be only a quarter of what NASA worked with to put men on the Moon in 1969, but it’d be more than double what it gets now.
Thank you NASA. I’m glad you’re up there looking out for all of us, whether its Cassini gazing back from Saturn at our pale blue dot, or the fleet of Earth-observing satellites that help us learn more about our one and only home.
Such a great video. I bet this will inspire a few kids to take up science as a career.
When designing the Shuttle program, NASA was looking for a word to signify reliability, cost savings and re-usability. The noun shuttle entered English first, in the mid-14th century to signify a weaving tool, from Old English scytel meaning a dart or arrow. A hundred years later the verb shuttle arrived meaning to move back and forth quickly or to move rapidly to and fro, no doubt taken from the speedy action of the shuttle in use during weaving. It did not acquire the modern sense of to move via a shuttle service until the advent of buses and public transportation. NASA began using the word around 1969 as they began working on the Shuttle program. Interestingly, the word rocket also derives from weaving: the word rocket entered English in 1610 from the Italian word rocchetto, meaning a bobbin or spool head. The Italian root probably derived from a Germanic root such as rocko with the same meaning. The word was first used in English to describe a device propelled by a rocket engine in 1919.