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On the Cover Issue 46
On the Cover — Issue 46, Spring 2012

Astronomers used the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) telescope to take this deep image in ultraviolet light of the sprawling spiral galaxy M81, hoping to learn where it kept its hot stars. Hot stars emit more ultraviolet than cool stars, and are frequently associated with young, open clusters of stars and energetic star-forming regions. Less than […]

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The structural and thermal model of the BepiColombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter in the Large Space Simulator at ESA’s Test Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, ready for a dry run in preparation for thermal-balance testing.
International Collaboration on BepiColombo

By Elsa Montagnon   BepiColombo is a collaborative mission to Mercury between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) due to launch in August 2015.

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HMA’s fire-suppression technology is ideal for a host of firefighting applications, including combating wildfires in areas unreachable by standard fire trucks. Here, HMA’s L3 (light, lean, and lethal) vehicle demonstrates these capabilities.
Space-Propulsion Technology Helps Suppress Fires Faster

By Bo Schwerin   Much deserved attention is given to the feats of innovation that allow humans to live in space and robotic explorers to beam never-before-seen images back to Earth.

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A highly collaborative IBM team built the computer that won Jeopardy!
Building the Watson Team

By David Ferrucci   On January 14, 2011, I was in the audience at IBM’s Watson Research Lab in Yorktown, New York, along with company executives, major clients, and my project team when our Watson computer soundly defeated two human champions in the third round of their Jeopardy! competition.

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Joint- and muscle-driven versions of the squat-exercise biomechanics modules integrated with the ARED/VIS module.
The NASA Digital Astronaut Project

By Lealem Mulugeta and DeVon Griffin   Conducting human missions beyond low-Earth orbit to destinations such as asteroids and Mars will require substantial work to ensure the well-being of the crew.

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The Aquarius instrument is integrated to the service platform at INVAP (Bariloche) just before its shipment to Brazil for environmental testing.
An Argentine Partnership with NASA

By Matthew Kohut   When the Aquarius mission launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in June 2011, few Americans outside the Earth-science and space communities probably knew that the satellite itself came from Argentina.

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This global map shows temperature anomalies for July 4–11, 2010, compared with temperatures for the same dates from 2000 to 2008. CLARREO’s ability to measure trends over a decade or more could help scientists know whether climate change will be less or more severe than expected as much as two decades earlier than current data allow.
CLARREO: Bringing Disciplines Together

By David Young   CLARREO, the Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory, is an Earth-science satellite mission in pre-Phase A (conceptual study) that is being designed to capture critical climate-change data much more precisely than has been possible with existing instruments.

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Artist’s concept of the SOHO spacecraft exploring the center of the sun. In reality, the spacecraft does this indirectly, by analyzing ripples on the solar surface that come from the deep interior.
The Million-Mile Rescue

By the NASA Safety Center   The Solar Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) is a major element of the joint International Solar Terrestrial Program between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).

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This artist's concept shows the MAVEN spacecraft in orbit around the Red Planet, with a fanciful image of her home planet in the background. Credit: NASA/Goddard
Interview with Lisa May

By Don Cohen Lisa May is the program executive for MAVEN, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission, in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD). In her spare time, she acts as the female voice of NASA’s ScienceCasts. Don Cohen spoke with her at NASA Headquarters.

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