Posts Tagged 'space exploration'

Science at home: HiRISE images of Mars

by Terry Burton, Digital Media Coordinator

Thanks to amazing new pictures from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera mounted on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, you can imagine that you’re pressing your nose to the window of a plane flying over the Red Planet: cruising Mars from the comfort of your chair.

The camera is operated by the University of Arizona, Tucson, and is part of NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission. The MRO was launched August 12, 2005, and is searching for evidence that water persisted on the surface of Mars for a long period of time. Scientific instruments aboard the MRO are zooming in for extreme close-up photography of the martian surface, analyzing minerals, looking for subsurface water, tracing how much dust and water are distributed in the atmosphere, and monitoring daily global weather.

The HiRISE camera is the largest ever flown on a planetary mission. This camera is capable of showing objects as small as three feet across — the size of your dining room table!

HiRISE image of Victoria Crater on Mars

HiRISE image of Victoria Crater on Mars (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

Gullies at the edge of Hale Crater, Mars (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

Gullies at the edge of Hale Crater, Mars (NASA/JPL/University of Arizona)

Virtual Space Community event this Saturday at DSC

by Jason Wolvington, Associate Director, Discovery Science Center

As you may know, Discovery Science Center was recently awarded a $15,000 grant by Space Center Houston to participate in the national Virtual Space Community program. Discovery Science Center is one of four science museums chosen across the nation to launch the program.

vsc-logo3Our first program, “Journey Through the Solar System,” was a huge success. The live video conference enabled visitors to ask questions directly to Space Center Houston experts, as well as take a “virtual” tour of the exhibits and spacecrafts on display at the space center.

Our next Virtual Space Community event is this Saturday, April 4, at noon at Discovery Science Center. Take a trip back in time to remember the beginning of space exploration through a special video conference from Space Center Houston, and look forward in time to NASA‘s plans for future space exploration. Visit our StarLab planetarium shows, and take part in other hands-on rocket activities. Hope to see you there! And keep your eyes peeled here on our blog for an exciting space program and exhibit happening later this summer.


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