Water found on the surface of Mars!

http://solarsystem.nasa.gov/news/2015/09/28/nasa-confirms-evidence-that-liquid-water-flows-on-todays-mars

If you haven’t heard the incredible discovery announced today about Mars, stop what you’re doing and read the above article.

Researchers at Georgia Tech have discovered seasonal salt water flow on Mars! Such an incredible discovery! This definitely will change where we explore the red planet and how future research will be conducted on Mars.

Research findings like these are so exciting to me! This is what motivates me to work hard and do what I do.

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Do you wanna fix a spaceman?

As many of you know, I am the team lead of a group called the Orbital Ospreys that recently flew in zero gravity through NASA’s Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program. This is the program’s last summer, and we were part of the last traditional flight week. It was also the first time we applied for the program, and we were so grateful and lucky to be blessed with the chance to take part in NASA’s greatest education program. 

Below is a video of our experience, which we submitted with our final report. 

It may also remind you of an old favorite video game (for those around 25 or younger).

How the Rosetta Spacecraft Will Land on a Comet (Infographic)

NASA Social!

I just found out today that I got accepted to my first ever NASA Social! I will be going this Monday to Kennedy for the O&C Renaming Ceremony. This NASA social event also centers around the Apollo 11 moon landing anniversary on Sunday, ( #Apollo45 ) and NASA’s big step to Mars (#NextGiantLeap ) and I’ll be sharing all the details with you all on social media!  I am so excited to go and am already talking to my fellow space geeks on Twitter about this! 

Anyways, most of the immediate updates will be shared on the below pages, if you want to tune in! I’ll do one big piece on here afterwards. 

https://www.facebook.com/chelsea.r.partridge

https://www.facebook.com/SpacePioneers

https://www.facebook.com/spacehardwareunf

https://www.facebook.com/orbitalospreys

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-NASA-Florida-Space-Grant-Consortium/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ChelseaPartridge

And of course, this blog’s Facebook page!

Motivational Monday

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(Image Credit: From Quarks to Quasars).

Today’s motivation comes from one of my heroes and idols, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and one of my favorite non-profits, From Quarks to Quasars. For those of you who don’t NDT, Dr. Tyson is an amazing person, and is a brilliant physicist and speaker. His books are also wonderful and easy to read; I strongly encourage them to any interested in science, space, and the cosmos.

I also highly recommend checking out From Quarks to Quasars. There website and their Facebook page are fantastic venues for keeping up with the latest news in science, as they try to educate the masses. They are a really fantastic organization, so check them out! Links are provided below for you convenience.

http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/

https://www.facebook.com/fromquarkstoquasars

 

The final space shuttle launch: Three years ago today

The anticipation that morning was high.

Everyone arrived early with a bittersweet excitement. The entire space center was abuzz. This was the last launch. The last launch. After today, never again would the space shuttle spread her wings and soar into the cosmos.

We were a part of history.

Many people there who witnessed the last launch had worked on or in support of the magnificent space shuttle for years, for entire careers. Others, like myself, only worked on it for a summer or two. The vast majority, the rest of the world, watched it with a different perspective of awe and sadness. But everyone watching was amazed. And everyone watching was sad.

I can’t believe this launch was three years ago today. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember the entire day as if it were a movie I just watched. I remember the sights and the feelings and everyone around me. It was one of the most bittersweet days of my entire life.

It was a day I’ll never forget.

Where were you this day three years ago? Did you watch the launch? Share your stories in the comments!

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#DefyGravity (My experience in zero-g!)

Just imagine- you are laying on a white, padded floor of an airplane. Your friends and fellow researchers are around you, and excitement is in the air. You have butterflies in your stomach and you hear the hum of the C-9’s engines…. and suddenly they get quiet. All of a sudden, you and everything inside of you, your fellow researchers- are floating. You are in zero gravity.

I had this exact amazingly fortunate experience during the second week of this month. You may or may not know from my other posts, but I am the team lead of the Orbital Ospreys, a research team from the University of North Florida. We are studying the effects that the zero gravity environment of space has on bone cell density, and we were one of 14 teams in the entire country selected to fly on a NASA zero gravity flight.

This was a very special flight for a variety of reasons. First, this was our very first time ever applying to fly in zero gravity and we were accepted on our very first proposal submission (which is quite the rare feat!!!!). Secondly, after being accepted in December, NASA cancelled the program in April, meaning this was the last round of flights NASA will be doing for a very long time. This made us even more fortunate for being accepted on our very first submission; if that had not happened, we would have never flown and our research would be dead.

We were selected, though, and have been working very hard since January to get our experiment ready for flight!

We went to NASA JSC/Ellington Field for an entire flight week. It was really amazing, and 5 members of my team and I got to experience zero gravity, (plus did some really great data collection for our experiment!). We also got to see some of NASA’s aircraft, the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (the GIANT pool with the ISS mockup that astronauts train on for spacewalks), and my team exclusively got a special tour of Mission Control and the Space Vehicle Mockup Facility, where we got to see and enter some mockups. It was truly amazing!

Some of the pictures and videos are included below, but for more, I definitely recommend liking the Orbital Ospreys on Facebook. We have a lot more pictures there!

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NASA’s Global Selfie

Did you take part of NASA’s Global Selfie event this Earth Day? I surely did! NASA did an open call for selfies taken worldwide, captioned online with #GlobalSelfie and used 36,000 of the 50,000 selfies taken to create an absolutely BEAUTIFUL mosaic of the Earth. You can check it out in the links below and look for your #GlobalSelfie!

http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/2014-globalselfie-wrap-up/#.U35K9fldXHX
http://www.gigapan.com/gigapans/155294

Summer has come at last!

Hey everyone!!!!!

I know I have been MIA for pretty much this entire spring semester, but I have conquered my hardest semester yet! Therefore, I am back, ready to blog again!

This semester has truly been rough, but I survived, and did much better than I had anticipated (but I will probably write a separate post about this later). Now, it is summer!!

My summer will be pretty busy though. I fly with NASA is less than a month, and I still have a lot to worry about on that end. But it’s one of the most awesome opportunities of my life, so I don’t mind the extra work or worry. I also start interning at GE Aviation this upcoming Monday! I have no idea what I will be doing there, but it will surely be interesting to find out.

My Science Saturday outreach will also “boom” this summer. The nation’s summer reading theme this year is actually STEM-related, so I am ready to have a fantastically awesome summer inspiring kids to think critically and explore science. It’s going to be marvelous.

And of course, I will be blogging again! I plan to start blogging frequently, but it will probably pick up after flight week.

I hope you all will join me here as I blog about my adventures in space and science this summer!