Space

How I Became a NASA Engineer Despite My Disability

"I entered college at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a computer science major but decided on mechanical engineering since I liked to work with my hands. I had two internships that helped shape my career. The first was with Benét Laboratories, a research and development company known for manufacturing cannons and mortars, located in Watervliet, New York. The most memorable projects I worked on involved testing the safety and efficacy of the cannons the company manufactured."

Sharing an out-of-this-world experience 140 characters at a time

On Thursday, July 24, Wiseman and fellow Astronaut Steve Swanson will be speaking live with the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee from the International Space Station. Watch the conversation live at 11 a.m. or follow it on twitter using the hashtag #LiveFromSpace. In just 140 characters NASA Astronaut Reid Wiseman is bringing his 167,000 [...]

RPI President George Low’s role in moon walk recalled

TROY >> Forty-five years ago – July 20, 1969 – when man first landed on the moon, former Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute president George M. Low had a hand in planning the giant step for mankind.

Low joined the National Aeronautics Space Administration soon after its formation in 1958, and was chairman of Manned Lunar Landing Task Group, which investigated technical and planning requirements for the mission and provided technical background for President John F. Kennedy’s decision to promise a manned moon landing by the end of the 1960s.

Astronaut Vine video from space goes viral

The sun never sets in a new video taken by a space traveler aboard the International Space Station (ISS). 

The space station orbits around the Earth once every 92 minutes in its journey around our planet. 

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute graduate and NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman recorded the first Vine video from space, filming the Earth during one entire orbit. The 92 minutes are compressed to a mere six seconds.

My Night With SOFIA

(We’ve been following Daniel Angerhausen, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy, in his quest to conduct research aboard NASA’s flying observatory, SOFIA. From anticipation in April, to disappointment in May, we are pleased to at last report success and joy. Congratulations Daniel!) “So I spent the night at 42,000 feet on a billion [...]

Curiosity sample shows astronauts could mine water from Martian soil

To figure out what was in the dirt, the Mars Science Laboratory Team used a device known as the Sample Analysis at Mars, or SAM. As lead author Laurie Leshin, dean of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, puts it, a baby aspirin-sized piece of the sample was fed into a tiny cup in Curiosity, then heated to temperatures of 835 degrees Celsius (over 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.) The gases that came off revealed the composition of the soil inside.

Curiosity Rover Makes Big Water Discovery in Mars Dirt, a 'Wow Moment'

NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has found that surface soil on the Red Planet contains about 2 percent water by weight. That means astronaut pioneers could extract roughly 2 pints (1 liter) of water out of every cubic foot (0.03 cubic meters) of Martian dirt they dig up, said study lead author Laurie Leshin, of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.

This Scoop of Mars Soil is Two Percent Water

“One of the most exciting results from this very first solid sample ingested by Curiosity is the high percentage of water in the soil,” said Laurie Leshin, Dean of Science at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, N.Y., and lead author of one of the studies focusing on SAM analysis of Mars ‘fines.’ “About 2 percent of the soil on the surface of Mars is made up of water, which is a great resource, and interesting scientifically.”

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