This Week in Science!

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the lack of posting everyone! It’s been the craziest past couple of weeks. There have been lots of great, great things happening this week in science,  and I had to share. My “STEM links of the week” series is being updated to “This week in science!”.  Please note, some of the posts that are really, really awesome may be older than a week, and the content and format of the posts will not change, just the name.

Without further adieu:

NASA officially finds water on Mars!!!! A soil sample analyzed by Curiousity was comprised of 2% liquid water. By heating up one cubic foot of Martian soil, two PINTS of water is released. This is huge!!!!!

Scientists have created an inexpensive type of polyurethane that heals itself without added pressure or temperature!

Scientists at Harvard and MIT have created a completely new type of matter. They have successfully made photons interact and “bind” like molecules, in a state analogous to a lightsaber.

The fight between ULA/Blue Origin and SpaceX over KSC’s launchpad 39A heats up as Musk insults Blue Origin, saying it is more likely to find “unicorns dancing in the flame duct” than Blue Origin creating a flight-ready suborbital vehicle.

Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus cargo ship successfully docked with the ISS!


Voyager I: The greatest exploration feat of all time?

I remember the exact moment about one year ago when I read that it was suspected that Voyager I had entered interstellar space. I freaked out, texting my friends and telling nearly everyone within a mile radius, “we may have left the solar system!”

Now, it has finally been confirmed by NASA that Voyager I has indeed left the solar system and entered interstellar space!!!

Image Credit: JPL/NASA

Image Credit: JPL/NASA

This may not seem as momentous as the Spanish conquistadors and explorers venturing to the Americas, but Voyager I, in my opinion, far exceeds most engineering and all exploration feats of all time (with the exception of the lunar landings). The impact of the spacecraft leaving the solar system may not be widely felt, as no humans are aboard the craft, but just imagine! We are  the only known intelligent race, and we have sent a robot OUTSIDE of the solar system. Voyager I passed the planets, the asteroid belt, as well as the Oort Cloud… All thanks to incredible engineering. (Voyager I was launched in 1977, and was engineered for years before that. How is that for “old”, “antiquated” engineering?)

We have LEFT the solar system, the neighborhood we love so much, to discover and explore places that have never been explored before. Is this not amazing? We as a species are one step closer to the stars; slowly we are climbing the rungs to become a space-faring planet.

We have not only explored our own Earth and moon, but also our neighboring planets; now we are off into the great unknown. Who knows what we will discover?

Read more about Voyager I at the links below:

STEM Links of the Week


Remember, if there are any article you would like to be featured in the STEM Links of the Week series, please leave them in the comments! 

STEM links of the week: NASA edition

There has been a lot of news around NASA lately, so I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s STEM links to our favorite space agency! Check out these recent happenings, and remember, if you have any links you want to be shared on 3…2…1…, drop a line in the comments! 

The WISE space telescope, “retired” in 2011, may be given new life as an asteroid hunting scope!

Woohoo! NASA’s SLS (space launch system) rocket, a HUGE rocket that is larger than the Saturn V, passed its preliminary design review. 

Although Lori Garver is leaving NASA (boo!), discusses the importance of women working at NASA, and how they and everyone can inspire more generations of girls to aim for the STEM fields. 

Whether it’s getting astronauts to an asteroid, protecting space farers from radiation, or creating the most advanced propulsion systems, NASA is always looking for innovative technology. 

STEM Links of the Week

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon and of private space company Blue Origin, has an awesome pastime of searching the oceans for old space artifacts. His most recent discovery were the engines from Apollo 11, the mission that first took man to the moon!

An interesting study on what makes people introverted and extroverted. 

How clean should our rovers be when sending them out to Mars and other places in the solar system?

The revolutionary Sabre engine is getting funding from the UK government. Read all about this amazing engine here. 

(Note: If you have any news articles on anything STEM-related and would like to have it featured on 3…2…1…, please drop a line in the comments!)

STEM links of the week

Announced today, an astronomer at the SETI Institute discovered a new moon around Neptune! 

Astronomers from the New Jersey Institute of Technology are finding antimatter in solar flares! 

Biologists are researching biology’s “dark matter”, unknown microbes and biological mysteries that still elude scientists. 

A bill is being presented to Congress proposes that the lunar landing sites of the Apollo missions would become national parks. (Anyone care to join me for a visit?)

Scientists are sensing a loss of identity from media portrayal and stereotypes. 

(Note: If you have any news articles on anything STEM-related and would like to have it featured on 3…2…1…, please drop a line in the comments!)


STEM links of the week

Quantum engines must break down
Current understanding of thermodynamics completely breaks down with small quantum systems, prompting the need for new research in quantum thermodynamics.

Engineering’s Jukebox Heroes
A fun and quirky article of the history and engineering behind the beloved classic jukebox.

NASA Shuts Down Galaxy-Hunting Space Telescope
The GALEX telescope, a telescope that has helped find the biggest spiral galaxy, confirmed dark energy theories, and more has been officially decommissioned by NASA.

Atlantis attraction at KSC Visitor Complex
Take a virtual tour of the Atlantis Exhibit at Kennedy Space Center (or check out my post on it here!)

STEM links of the week

GE Opens Two Jet Engine Plants as Next-Gen Aircraft Get Ready for Take-Off
Submitted by Billy, this article details the new plant openings and talks about the LEAF and GEnx advanced engines.

Metals Become Molecular-Like at the Atomic Scale, Reveal Materials Scientists

An experiment by Harsh Deep Chopra and The State University of New York at Buffalo has shown that on the atomic scale, metallic bonds act very differently between a dew number of atoms than from when they are in a bulk material.

3D printing takes to the stars

The first 3D printing experiment is launched on a zero-g flight!

Meet the heir apparent to the U.S. Army’s Blackhawk helicopter

AVX is designing the military’s new attack chopper- and it’s pretty rad.

Canada Seeks to Rove Beyond the Space Station

The Canadian Space Agency is looking beyond the ISS and is looking to send rovers to Mars.

STEM links of the week

Old Mars rover finds more proof of possible life
The “old” Mars rover Opportunity has found a rock that could have favorably hosted life in the Cape York are in a time when Mars hosted water.

Astronaut Packs Crafts for Creative Space Station Trip
One of my favorite astronauts and idol Karen Nyberg is launching to the International Space Station for a six month stay, and is bringing her love of sewing with her.

Scientists identify the mystery killer behind Ireland’s potato famine
The strain of potato blight that caused the notorious Irish potato famine has finally been identified by scientists, and it isn’t the “usual suspects”.

This Incredible Full Scale Lego X-Wing Is the Largest Model In History
An absolutely mind-blowing full scale replica of the Star Wars X-Wing spacecraft was constructed from over five million lego bricks. Reinforced with metal components, this beauty took about 4 months to construct.

Hubble Telescope Reveals True 3D Shape of Ring Nebula
New Hubble images show that the Ring Nebula is not quite ring shaped, but more “jelly doughnut” shaped.

STEM links of the week

My regular readers may have noticed that I have not made a “STEM links of the week” post in quite a while, and I am really sorry for that. My semester had gotten so busy that I decided to cut back on my blogging, and I figured that if it came down to posting only one post a week (which oftentimes, it came down to that or less), that I didn’t want this to be the only thing I posted. But now I am in the summer semester, and even though I am taking a couple of classes, I have much more free time to blog! Therefore, I feel that now is an appropriate time to bring back the “STEM links of the week feature”!

In addition, I would like to open my blog for my readers to submit articles they would like for me to feature as well. You can comment on any post with the link, and if you have a URL, I’ll share that and credit you to have submitted the link. (This will also help keep these posts going if things get crazy bust again.)

Without further adieu, here are this week’s STEM links!

Property of Rarest Element on Earth Measured for 1st Time
The ionization potential of astatine (atomic number 85 for those who are curious), was discovered by CERN physicists using artificial isotopes of the element.

Moon Explosion Sparked By Meteorite Crash On Lunar Surface, NASA Says
This article & video describes the March 17 meteorite crash discovered by an analyst at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.

Warp Speed, Scotty? Star Trek’s FTL Drive May Actually Work
This article & accompanying video describe the theory behind “warp drive” and current efforts by NASA to achieve fast-than-light craft.

Scientists create world’s tiniest drops of liquid in biggest atom smasher
Not only has CERN measured the ionization potential of the rarest element of Earth, but they have also created the smallest ever droplets of “liquid”, quark-gluon plasma, in the Compact Muon Solenoid.

Let me know what you think of this week’s articles! And remember, feel free to share any science, tech, engineering, & math articles with me, and I’ll include them in next week’s links!