Wanted Raspberry Pi Projects for K-12 Education Worldwide   Leave a comment

The Barboza Space Center: www.BarbozaSpaceCenter.com  is collecting Raspberry Pi projects to share with the Open Source Community.   Send us what you are working on an we will share the resources that we are working on.   If you need more information you can contact us at Suprschool@aol.com.

450px-Raspberry_Pi_3_Model_B.pngThe Raspberry Pi is a series of credit card-sized single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the Raspberry Pi Foundation to promote the teaching of basic computer science in schools and developing countries.[3][4][5] The original Raspberry Pi and Raspberry Pi 2 are manufactured in several board configurations through licensed manufacturing agreements with Newark element14 (Premier Farnell), RS Components and Egoman.[6] The hardware is the same across all manufacturers. The firmware is closed-source.[7]

Several generations of Raspberry Pis have been released. The first generation (Pi 1) was released in February 2012 in basic model A and a higher specification model B. A+ and B+ models were released a year later. Raspberry Pi 2 model B was released in February 2015 and Raspberry Pi 3 model B in February 2016. These boards are priced between US$20 and 35. A cut down “compute” model was released in April 2014, and a Pi Zero with smaller size and limited input/output (I/O), general-purpose input/output (GPIO), abilities released in November 2015 for US$5.

All models feature a Broadcom system on a chip (SoC), which includes an ARM compatible central processing unit (CPU) and an on chip graphics processing unit (GPU, a VideoCore IV). CPU speed ranges from 700 MHz to 1.2 GHz for the Pi 3 and on board memory range from 256 MB to 1 GB RAM. Secure Digital SD cards are used to store the operating system and program memory in either the SDHC or MicroSDHC sizes. Most boards have between one and four USB slots, HDMI and composite video output, and a 3.5 mm phone jack for audio. Lower level output is provided by a number of GPIO pins which support common protocols like I²C. The B-models have an 8P8C Ethernet port and the Pi 3 has on board Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth.

The Foundation provides Raspbian, a Debian-based linux distribution for download, as well as third party UbuntuWindows 10 IOT CoreRISC OS, and specialised media center distributions.[8] It promotes Python and Scratch as the main programming language, with support for many other languages.[9]

In February 2016, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced that they had sold eight million devices, making it the best-selling UK personal computer, ahead of the Amstrad PCW.[10][11] Sales reached ten million in September 2016.[12]

Posted September 12, 2016 by Kids Talk Radio in Education

Student Science Experiments Needed for Antarctica   Leave a comment

Occupy Mars STEM Team.jpg

The Occupy Mars Learning Adventures Team Needs Your Help.  The Barboza Space Center is collaborating with Antarctic explorer Doug Stoup. We want to conduct a student science experiment at the South Pole. Our team is leaving for Antarctica this December, 2016. We are looking for a science experiment that we can conduct on Earth that will help us with studying about Mars.  This is a great opportunity for you to get creative and to help our team to get ready to occupy Mars.

E mail your suggestions to: Suprschool@aol.com http://www.BarbozaSpaceCenter.com

Posted August 2, 2016 by Kids Talk Radio in Education

Are we alone in the universe?   Leave a comment

Why NASA still believes we might find life on Mars

 July 30

How and when will humans get to Mars?

 

Play Video3:43
Jim Green, head of NASA’s planetary science division, answers your questions about human travel to Mars. (Gillian Brockell, Sarah Kaplan/The Washington Post)

The day Gil Levin says he detected life on Mars, he was waiting in his lab at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, watching a piece of paper inch out of a printer.

Levin snatched the sheet and scrutinized the freshly inked graph. A thin line measuring radioactive carbon crept steadily upward, just as it always did when Levin performed the test with microbes on Earth. But this data came from tens of millions of miles away, where NASA’s Viking lander was — for the first time in history — conducting an experiment on the surface of Mars.

“Gil, that’s life,” his co-investigator, Patricia Straat, exclaimed when she saw the first results come in. There was jubilation at JPL. Afterward, Levin said, he drove into the mountains above Los Angeles, sat on the ground and stared up at the night sky.

“I was sort of trembling, you know?” he recalled. It was July 30, 1976.

Forty years later, Levin and Straat still believe that their experiment was evidence of microbiotic Martians. But few people agree with them. To NASA, and to most scientists, the 1976 Viking mission was a technical triumph but a biological bust. Scientists, such as Carl Sagan, who had wagered that large organisms “are not only possible on Mars; they may be favored,” were disappointed to see images the lander sent back of a dry, barren planet. Two experiments aimed at finding life turned up negative, and NASA concluded that the results of Levin’s test, called the Labeled Release experiment, could be explained by chemical processes rather than biological ones.

“I was sort of set aback,” recalled NASA chief astrobiologist Penny Boston, who was still in college at the time. “I was thinking, ‘Gosh, I want to work in exobiology, as we called it at the time, and now it seems like it’s just a pile of rocks, and there’s no life there at all.’”

Viking put a 20-year damper on Mars exploration. Even when NASA did return to the Red Planet, it completely quit trying to test for living organisms directly.

But hope was in the air at Langley Research Center last week, where NASA held a two-day conference to honor the 40th anniversary of the Viking landing. After decades of pointedly not looking for it, the space agency is more optimistic than it’s been since 1976 that it might find life on Mars yet.

“Every new piece of information we get about the planet seems to point to greater and greater habitability,” Boston said. “It just seems more and more likely.”

The issue with the Viking experiments is that they expected to find too much too soon, speaker after speaker explained over the course of the conference. Detecting life with Viking would have been a breakthrough of unprecedented proportions, and science doesn’t usually happen that way. Most “breakthroughs” come after years of accumulating incremental increases in knowledge.

So, for the past four decades, “we’ve engaged in creeping up on the problem,” Boston said.

Some evidence in favor of a livable Mars came from the same mission that seemed to quash the possibility: Viking itself. While the two landers relayed bleak photos and disappointing data from the surface, the orbiters that were launched along with them revealed landscapes that looked strikingly like ones on our own planet.

Ellen Stofan, now NASA’s chief scientist, was then a summer intern at JPL assigned to map Mangala Valles, a system of crisscrossing channels near Mars’s equator.

“What was so fascinating were all these features that were so familiar from our studies of the Earth,” she recalled. “Things like teardrop-shaped islands, abandoned oxbow sections of channels, features that by looking at rivers on Earth we could understand that these features on Mars had been carved by water, and in some cases by great floods of water, coursing across the Martian surface.”

Images from the Viking orbiters confirmed what the Mariner 9 satellite found when it arrived at the planet five years earlier: Mars once had water, a key ingredient for the evolution of life as we know it. But that water existed hundreds of millions, perhaps even billions, of years ago, offering little promise that organisms might still exist.

Today, the space agency has two rovers and three active satellites surveying the planet. Among them is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) a bulky spacecraft shaped like a metal water bird that flew into Mars orbit in 2006.

In the fall, NASA announced that photos from MRO showing dark, tendril-like formations called recurring slope lineae were actually evidence of liquid water on the planet’s surface. It’s only a tiny amount, and only appears under specific circumstances, but “it’s really important from a scientific point of view,” Stofan said last week. “… If there’s life on Mars, that’s probably the environment in which we would find it.”

Other spacecraft have uncovered organic compounds in Martian soil and fluctuating levels of methane, which is usually a biological byproduct, in the atmosphere. Mars may be a frigid, atmosphere-less, radiation-bombarded desert, but it is slightly less of an inhospitable wasteland than the version Viking first captured 40 years ago.

NASA confirms new evidence of water on Mars

 

Play Video2:47
On Sept. 28, NASA announced the strongest evidence yet for liquid water on Mars. This new research increases the possibility for astronauts to rely on the red planet’s own water in future space travel. (NASA)

Meanwhile, here on Earth, scientists have begun to realize that even apparent “wastelands” aren’t as inhospitable as they seem.

When Viking landed in 1976, our understanding of the capacities and diversity of microscopic life was fairly limited. Most microbiological knowledge came from medicine, in which scientists focused on the bacteria that lived in our bodies or infected them.

“It’s almost like we were looking for a gut bacteria on Mars,” Boston said. “We were naive, really, about the capabilities of microbes and what you need to do to find them.”

But a year after the Viking experiments, divers discovered bizarre creatures living in the dark, toxic waters around hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the Pacific — the first organisms capable of making a living off chemicals, rather than sunlight. Scientists have also found microrganisms deep within the oceanic crust and high up in the stratosphere.

Boston herself, who spent 30 years studying life in caves before being appointed director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute this year, has discovered microbes that can metabolize minerals in dark cracks in the earth. Similar environments — lava tubes, the bottoms of lake beds, rock overhangs, tiny cavities in the soil — exist on Mars and would offer protection from the planet’s frigid climate and punishing solar radiation.

“That’s where I want to go look,” she said.

This kind of talk is frustrating for Levin, who has held for 30 years that life on Mars has already been detected. At the anniversary event Wednesday, he exhorted the audience, “there is no scientifically acceptable explanation to the Labeled Release experiments on Mars, except life.”

Off stage, Levin admitted he was surprised he was invited to speak at the conference (when he announced his opinion at the 10th anniversary celebration, he says he was pelted with shrimp).

“I’m very glad because I was invited, despite this long convolution of disagreements. I kind of hope it means they’re beginning to consider the experiment again,” he said.

In a statement, Walt Engelund, the director of the Space Technology and Exploration Directorate at NASA Langley, said there was no “implicit motivation” in inviting Levin. He was an integral part of the mission’s science team, and merited a chance to “discuss and defend his own perspectives,” Engelund said.

But it is true that NASA is gearing up to start a more focused search for Martians past and present. The last decade and a half of Mars exploration has focused on “following the water” to identify spots where the Red Planet might potentially be habitable.

“It’s a much more sophisticated approach,” Boston said. “We’re trying to map out the parameters that we know are conducive to life surviving — and it’s a whole lot more work than we realized.” (Levin, ever impatient, scoffed at that excuse.)

A new rover scheduled to launch in 2020 will carry several instruments aimed at finding organisms, or at least organics. Among them are SHERLOC, which will use ultraviolet light to search for carbon molecules that might indicate ancient life and the organic compounds that could be signs it still exists, and PIXL, which uses x-rays to detect microbial biosignatures. The mission also includes plans to cache soil samples that will be returned to Earth at some later date.

But Boston believes a human mission to Mars is our best bet at detecting life beyond our planet. Other potentially habitable worlds, like the ocean moons Europa and Enceladus, are harder to get to and pose their own challenges for exploration (namely, thick outer layers of ice). Robotic Mars rovers have dramatically expanded our understanding of our neighbor, but there’s a limit to how much they can achieve. It took Opportunity 11 years and two months to move 26.2 miles — the distance of a marathon, which an average human can cover in a few hours.

It will take people, Boston argued, to recognize the remains of life that might have existed billions of years ago, when scientists believe that Mars was a warmer planet with an ocean and an atmosphere not unlike our own. And if organisms still survive in the harsh environment on the planet today, they’re probably buried beneath the surface, where a human with a rock hammer can get at them much more easily than a clumsy rover could.

“Nature has a lot of secrets that she’s only going to reveal if we go looking for them in person,” she said.

How soon such a mission can happen is debated. This week, the Government Accountability Office warned that NASA’s new rocket aimed at taking humans into space may end up behind schedule and over budget. Others have cautioned that we don’t know enough yet about the effects of a trip to Mars on astronauts — or, indeed, the effect astronauts might have on Mars. It might prove impossible to explore the planet without contaminating it.

But at the Viking celebration, the optimists had the day. By the 2030s, Stofan promised, there will be a new kind of life on Mars: us.

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly identified the rover that has traveled a marathon distance. It is Opportunity.

Read more:

Andy Weir and his book ‘The Martian’ may have saved NASA and the entire space program

Here is NASA’s three-step plan for getting humans to Mars

Can Mars, or any other planet, have just a little bit of life?

Why can’t we just send our rovers to look for life on Mars?

Mars once had great lakes and rivers, according to rover data

Posted July 31, 2016 by Kids Talk Radio in Education

Are we alone in the universe?   Leave a comment

Why NASA still believes we might find life on Mars

 July 30

How and when will humans get to Mars?

 

Play Video3:43
Jim Green, head of NASA’s planetary science division, answers your questions about human travel to Mars. (Gillian Brockell, Sarah Kaplan/The Washington Post)

The day Gil Levin says he detected life on Mars, he was waiting in his lab at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, watching a piece of paper inch out of a printer.

Levin snatched the sheet and scrutinized the freshly inked graph. A thin line measuring radioactive carbon crept steadily upward, just as it always did when Levin performed the test with microbes on Earth. But this data came from tens of millions of miles away, where NASA’s Viking lander was — for the first time in history — conducting an experiment on the surface of Mars.

“Gil, that’s life,” his co-investigator, Patricia Straat, exclaimed when she saw the first results come in. There was jubilation at JPL. Afterward, Levin said, he drove into the mountains above Los Angeles, sat on the ground and stared up at the night sky.

“I was sort of trembling, you know?” he recalled. It was July 30, 1976.

Forty years later, Levin and Straat still believe that their experiment was evidence of microbiotic Martians. But few people agree with them. To NASA, and to most scientists, the 1976 Viking mission was a technical triumph but a biological bust. Scientists, such as Carl Sagan, who had wagered that large organisms “are not only possible on Mars; they may be favored,” were disappointed to see images the lander sent back of a dry, barren planet. Two experiments aimed at finding life turned up negative, and NASA concluded that the results of Levin’s test, called the Labeled Release experiment, could be explained by chemical processes rather than biological ones.

“I was sort of set aback,” recalled NASA chief astrobiologist Penny Boston, who was still in college at the time. “I was thinking, ‘Gosh, I want to work in exobiology, as we called it at the time, and now it seems like it’s just a pile of rocks, and there’s no life there at all.’”

Viking put a 20-year damper on Mars exploration. Even when NASA did return to the Red Planet, it completely quit trying to test for living organisms directly.

But hope was in the air at Langley Research Center last week, where NASA held a two-day conference to honor the 40th anniversary of the Viking landing. After decades of pointedly not looking for it, the space agency is more optimistic than it’s been since 1976 that it might find life on Mars yet.

“Every new piece of information we get about the planet seems to point to greater and greater habitability,” Boston said. “It just seems more and more likely.”

The issue with the Viking experiments is that they expected to find too much too soon, speaker after speaker explained over the course of the conference. Detecting life with Viking would have been a breakthrough of unprecedented proportions, and science doesn’t usually happen that way. Most “breakthroughs” come after years of accumulating incremental increases in knowledge.

So, for the past four decades, “we’ve engaged in creeping up on the problem,” Boston said.

Some evidence in favor of a livable Mars came from the same mission that seemed to quash the possibility: Viking itself. While the two landers relayed bleak photos and disappointing data from the surface, the orbiters that were launched along with them revealed landscapes that looked strikingly like ones on our own planet.

Ellen Stofan, now NASA’s chief scientist, was then a summer intern at JPL assigned to map Mangala Valles, a system of crisscrossing channels near Mars’s equator.

“What was so fascinating were all these features that were so familiar from our studies of the Earth,” she recalled. “Things like teardrop-shaped islands, abandoned oxbow sections of channels, features that by looking at rivers on Earth we could understand that these features on Mars had been carved by water, and in some cases by great floods of water, coursing across the Martian surface.”

Images from the Viking orbiters confirmed what the Mariner 9 satellite found when it arrived at the planet five years earlier: Mars once had water, a key ingredient for the evolution of life as we know it. But that water existed hundreds of millions, perhaps even billions, of years ago, offering little promise that organisms might still exist.

Today, the space agency has two rovers and three active satellites surveying the planet. Among them is the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) a bulky spacecraft shaped like a metal water bird that flew into Mars orbit in 2006.

In the fall, NASA announced that photos from MRO showing dark, tendril-like formations called recurring slope lineae were actually evidence of liquid water on the planet’s surface. It’s only a tiny amount, and only appears under specific circumstances, but “it’s really important from a scientific point of view,” Stofan said last week. “… If there’s life on Mars, that’s probably the environment in which we would find it.”

Other spacecraft have uncovered organic compounds in Martian soil and fluctuating levels of methane, which is usually a biological byproduct, in the atmosphere. Mars may be a frigid, atmosphere-less, radiation-bombarded desert, but it is slightly less of an inhospitable wasteland than the version Viking first captured 40 years ago.

NASA confirms new evidence of water on Mars

 

Play Video2:47
On Sept. 28, NASA announced the strongest evidence yet for liquid water on Mars. This new research increases the possibility for astronauts to rely on the red planet’s own water in future space travel. (NASA)

Meanwhile, here on Earth, scientists have begun to realize that even apparent “wastelands” aren’t as inhospitable as they seem.

When Viking landed in 1976, our understanding of the capacities and diversity of microscopic life was fairly limited. Most microbiological knowledge came from medicine, in which scientists focused on the bacteria that lived in our bodies or infected them.

“It’s almost like we were looking for a gut bacteria on Mars,” Boston said. “We were naive, really, about the capabilities of microbes and what you need to do to find them.”

But a year after the Viking experiments, divers discovered bizarre creatures living in the dark, toxic waters around hydrothermal vents at the bottom of the Pacific — the first organisms capable of making a living off chemicals, rather than sunlight. Scientists have also found microrganisms deep within the oceanic crust and high up in the stratosphere.

Boston herself, who spent 30 years studying life in caves before being appointed director of NASA’s Astrobiology Institute this year, has discovered microbes that can metabolize minerals in dark cracks in the earth. Similar environments — lava tubes, the bottoms of lake beds, rock overhangs, tiny cavities in the soil — exist on Mars and would offer protection from the planet’s frigid climate and punishing solar radiation.

“That’s where I want to go look,” she said.

This kind of talk is frustrating for Levin, who has held for 30 years that life on Mars has already been detected. At the anniversary event Wednesday, he exhorted the audience, “there is no scientifically acceptable explanation to the Labeled Release experiments on Mars, except life.”

Off stage, Levin admitted he was surprised he was invited to speak at the conference (when he announced his opinion at the 10th anniversary celebration, he says he was pelted with shrimp).

“I’m very glad because I was invited, despite this long convolution of disagreements. I kind of hope it means they’re beginning to consider the experiment again,” he said.

In a statement, Walt Engelund, the director of the Space Technology and Exploration Directorate at NASA Langley, said there was no “implicit motivation” in inviting Levin. He was an integral part of the mission’s science team, and merited a chance to “discuss and defend his own perspectives,” Engelund said.

But it is true that NASA is gearing up to start a more focused search for Martians past and present. The last decade and a half of Mars exploration has focused on “following the water” to identify spots where the Red Planet might potentially be habitable.

“It’s a much more sophisticated approach,” Boston said. “We’re trying to map out the parameters that we know are conducive to life surviving — and it’s a whole lot more work than we realized.” (Levin, ever impatient, scoffed at that excuse.)

A new rover scheduled to launch in 2020 will carry several instruments aimed at finding organisms, or at least organics. Among them are SHERLOC, which will use ultraviolet light to search for carbon molecules that might indicate ancient life and the organic compounds that could be signs it still exists, and PIXL, which uses x-rays to detect microbial biosignatures. The mission also includes plans to cache soil samples that will be returned to Earth at some later date.

But Boston believes a human mission to Mars is our best bet at detecting life beyond our planet. Other potentially habitable worlds, like the ocean moons Europa and Enceladus, are harder to get to and pose their own challenges for exploration (namely, thick outer layers of ice). Robotic Mars rovers have dramatically expanded our understanding of our neighbor, but there’s a limit to how much they can achieve. It took Opportunity 11 years and two months to move 26.2 miles — the distance of a marathon, which an average human can cover in a few hours.

It will take people, Boston argued, to recognize the remains of life that might have existed billions of years ago, when scientists believe that Mars was a warmer planet with an ocean and an atmosphere not unlike our own. And if organisms still survive in the harsh environment on the planet today, they’re probably buried beneath the surface, where a human with a rock hammer can get at them much more easily than a clumsy rover could.

“Nature has a lot of secrets that she’s only going to reveal if we go looking for them in person,” she said.

How soon such a mission can happen is debated. This week, the Government Accountability Office warned that NASA’s new rocket aimed at taking humans into space may end up behind schedule and over budget. Others have cautioned that we don’t know enough yet about the effects of a trip to Mars on astronauts — or, indeed, the effect astronauts might have on Mars. It might prove impossible to explore the planet without contaminating it.

But at the Viking celebration, the optimists had the day. By the 2030s, Stofan promised, there will be a new kind of life on Mars: us.

Correction: A previous version of this post incorrectly identified the rover that has traveled a marathon distance. It is Opportunity.

Read more:

Andy Weir and his book ‘The Martian’ may have saved NASA and the entire space program

Here is NASA’s three-step plan for getting humans to Mars

Can Mars, or any other planet, have just a little bit of life?

Why can’t we just send our rovers to look for life on Mars?

Mars once had great lakes and rivers, according to rover data

Posted July 31, 2016 by Kids Talk Radio in Education

Teachers and Scientists Wanted   Leave a comment

Bob Barboza met with NanoRacks and visiting German informal scientists and educators on Thursday in San Diego, California and they talked about the Barboza Space Center and its high school STEM teams building collaborative STEM prototypes and planning to launch science experiments aboard the International Space Station.  We are seeking to work with other scientists , educators and engineers.   Contact:   http://www.BarbozaSpaceCenter.com and or Suprschool@aol.com

international_space_station_by_mcsdaver-d46to94NanoRacks Advances International Space Station Utilization

Cape Canaveral, Florida –15 July 2016—NanoRacks is proudly advancing International Space Station (ISS) utilization across a wide range of users – from education to international organizations to professional researchers –both inside and outside of Station– all on one mission. On SpaceX’s Commercial Resupply Mission-9 (SpaceX-9), scheduled for the early hours of Monday July 18, are over 25 payloads that will utilize NanoRacks commercial research facilities both in the U.S. National Lab and external to Station.

“NanoRacks is more than just a satellite deployment company,” says NanoRacks CEO Jeffrey Manber. “We offer a full scope of in-space opportunities, and we are watching the customer base grow larger and broader. NanoRacks will continue to offer the best research accommodations both inside and outside of the International Space Station, and beyond.”

Education and STEM Engagement

Working together, NanoRacks and DreamUp are launching 22 student experiments on the SpaceX-9 mission. Specifically, five of these payloads are being re-flown after being lost on Orbital CRS-3 and SpaceX CRS-7. These payloads come from the CASIS National Design Challenge, including the Awty International School of Houston, Duchesne Academy and the Cristo Rey Jesuit School.

Eaglecrest High School, a NASA HUNCH team, is also on this mission, studying the crystallization of silver nitrate in microgravity on a silver cathode.

Additionally, NanoRacks is launching 15 Student Spaceflight Experiment Program (SSEP) MixStix on this mission. SSEP is a program of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE). Including this launch, the NanoRacks-SSEP-DreamUp partnership has engaged over 65,000 students across the United States and Canada to date.

NanoRacks External Platform Customers

The first users of the NanoRacks External Payload Platform (NREP) have payloads on SpaceX-9 as well. Yosemite Space is launching GumStix, a mission is to analyze and evaluate GumStix performance in low- Earth orbit and study if these microprocessors can withstand the radiation environment in space. Additionally, Georgia Institute of Technology is launching Solar Cells, their experiment to study a new type of three-dimensional solar cells and their response to the continually changing sun angles in the harsh environment of space.

Displaying U.S. Leadership

NanoRacks is excited to be launching a student-based experiment that comes from NSL Satellites Ltd., an Israeli organization. The experiment explores whether microgravity affects the mixing of oil bubbles. The data from this investigation will benefit materials research and future mixing methods in space.

NanoRacks is proud to be continuing to grow our international customer base and remain the leading commercial provider of access to space.

New NanoRacks ISS Hardware, and Professional Researchers

As previously announced, NanoRacks is launching a 2nd generation Plate Reader (NanoRacks Plate Reader-2) to the ISS on SpaceX-9. This improved plate reader will provide for a seamless transition from earth-based life sciences research to conducting biological studies in orbit.

Sanford-Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute will be running test microplates as the first to use NanoRacks Plate Reader-2 in orbit, testing spectrophotometer functionality, temperature control, and communications. The plates specifically will study chemical reactions using fluorescence polarization, which produces changes in light when molecules bind together.

This broad range of customers truly highlights all of the possibilities available in low-Earth orbit, and NanoRacks is excited to be facilitating this phenomenon in space.

To join this group of in-space researchers, reach out to NanoRacks at info@nanoracks.com and be sure to follow @NanoRacks on twitter for continued updates.

For media inquiries, please email Abby Dickes at adickes@nanoracks.com

About NanoRacks

NanoRacks LLC was formed in 2009 to provide commercial hardware and services for the U.S. National Laboratory onboard the International Space Station via a Space Act Agreement with NASA. NanoRacks’ main office is in Houston, Texas, right alongside the NASA Johnson Space Center. The Business Development office is in Washington, DC. Additional offices are located in Silicon Valley, California and Leiden, Netherlands.

In July 2015, NanoRacks signed a teaming agreement with Blue Origin to offer integration services on their New Shepard space vehicle. The Company has grown into the Operating System for Space Utilization by having the tools, the hardware and the services to allow other companies, organizations and governments to realize their own space plans.

As of March 2016, over 350 payloads have been launched to the International Space Station via NanoRacks services, and our customer base includes the European Space Agency (ESA) the German Space Agency (DLR,) the American space agency (NASA,) US Government Agencies, Planet Labs, Urthecast, Space Florida, NCESSE, Virgin Galactic, pharmaceutical drug companies, and organizations in Vietnam, UK, Romania and Israel.

Posted July 15, 2016 by Kids Talk Radio in Education

Who wants to talk about Mars?   Leave a comment

kids-talk-radio-logo-jpeg

NASA’s findings suggest Mars even more Earth-like than previously believed

NASA’s Curiosity rover has been exploring the Gale Crater on Mars since 2012, and in that time has come up with some astounding discoveries that suggest the Red Planet was somewhat Earth-like in its earlier times.

The rover has come through again, this time detecting significant amounts of manganese oxides inside of mineral veins.

Said researcher Nina Lanza of New Mexico’s Los Alamos National Laboratory, “The only ways on Earth that we know how to make these manganese materials involve atmospheric oxygen or microbes. Now we’re seeing manganese oxides on Mars, and we’re wondering how the heck these could have formed?”

She further notes, “One potential way that oxygen could have gotten into the Martian atmosphere is from the breakdown of water when Mars was losing its magnetic field. It’s thought that at this time in Mars’ history, water was much more abundant.”

A combination of that weakened magnetic field, ionizing radiation, and low gravity may have both split the water into its separate elements and rendered the Red Planet incapable of holding onto its hydrogen ions, leaving only the oxygen to linger.

Lanza does admit, “It’s hard to confirm whether this scenario for Martian atmospheric oxygen actually occurred.”

More Science News

Stephen Hawking opens up about the greatest threats to humanity

Some things are just too big of a mystery, keeping even geniuses like Stephen Hawking guessing.

“What still mystifies you about the universe?” Larry King asked in a recent interview.
SEE ALSO: Stephen Hawking on black holes: ‘There is a way out’

“Why do the universe and all the laws of nature exist? Are they necessary? In one sense they are, because otherwise we wouldn’t be here to ask the question. But is there a deeper reason?” Hawking answered.
We might not be able to answer Hawking’s question, but there’s a chance we could help with something else he told Larry King he knows all too well.
Hawking said in the roughly six years since he was last interviewed by King, the world hasn’t gotten any less greedy.
Air pollution has increased over that time to the point where now 80 percent of urban dwellers are in danger. And he called global warming Earth’s most pressing issue.

Posted June 28, 2016 by Kids Talk Radio in Education

XQ America   Leave a comment

Laurene Powell Jobs’s XQ America project enters a new phase this Friday

An untold number of schools will be receiving some happy news this coming Friday.

According to an on-stage appearance today at the Female Founders Conference in San Francisco, philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs revealed that a six-month-old national education challenge she’s backing called XQ: The Super School Project, is announcing which U.S. schools advance to the next phase. The competition will ultimately see at least five institutions receive a collective $50 million to try what will be for them entirely new educational approaches.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 6.47.06 PMPowell Jobs spoke about XQ on stage earlier tonight with Russlynn Ali, who worked in the Obama administration’s Education Department as the assistant secretary for civil rights. Ali now heads up XQ and she told attendees that the challenge has clearly struck a chord. In fact, its administrators have now heard from more than 40,000 individuals, including educators and parents, since Powell first made public the project. Ali also said the program has received nearly 700 applications from 49 states. (This includes 10,000 applicants and school designers, meaning individuals who both submitted full applications and those who participated in the design process.)

One of those applicants is Sullivan High School in Chicago, which, like other schools, was asked to come up with a new vision for itself that’s specific to its student population. According to a Chicago Sun-Times story, Sullivan features students from 35 countries, who speak 20 languages, and its principal, parents, and community members have proposed a curriculum that would provide incoming freshmen with time to focus on themselves. It would then ask sophomores to contribute their ideas and time to performing community service and problem solving — ideas the students would be asked to apply to a national level their junior year and a global level during their senior year of high school.

Whether or not Sullivan is ultimately chosen to receive funding and assistance from XQ, both Ali and Powell Jobs emphasized tonight that its ambitions to help schools rethink education is more important than ever, largely given how quickly the nature of work is changing.

Recounting an earlier conversation she’d had with Powell Jobs, Ali told the audience that “schools have been a black box” for too long. The pair also noted that in the last 100 years, the Model T has given way to Teslas, and switchboards have given way to incredible smart phones. Meanwhile, the model for U.S. high schools has remained virtually unchanged.

The pair also noted that while each of the winning schools will likely be addressing issues differently, the schools’ different models, including their learnings, successes and failures will be shared across the entire network. (Powell Jobs added that she expects “many commonalities” among them as well, including “highly relevant, interest-based, experiential learning” that’s “integrated with businesses in the community so that internships are accessible  to every single student.”)

If XQ is at all successful in jump-starting a bigger movement, Americans will hopefully “no longer see time as the proxy for learning but instead the actual mastery of content,” suggested Ali. If not, she seemed to warn, the U.S. could be saddled with both an achievement and opportunity gap that only grows wider from here.

You can learn much more about Project XQ

Posted April 25, 2016 by Kids Talk Radio in Education