US, April 16, 2017: The U.S. space agency NASA has identified a moon orbiting Saturn as a new candidate for potential life.
NASA’s Cassini spacecraft said the icy, ocean-covered body possesses ample amounts of hydrogen gas. The gas could be a chemical energy source of life, scientists involved with the mission said.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington, called Saturn’s moon Enceladus “the closest we’ve come” to identifying a planet with the necessary ingredients for a habitable planet.
NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.
“These results demonstrate the interconnected nature of NASA’s science missions that are getting us closer to answering whether we are indeed alone or not,” he said in a statement.
The paper from researchers with the Cassini mission was published Thursday in the journal Science.
The Cassini spacecraft detected the hydrogen in a plume of gas and icy material spraying off Enceladus in October 2015. Scientists determined the gas in the plume nearly 98 percent water, about 1 percent of which is hydrogen, with the rest being a mixture of carbon dioxide, methane and ammonia.
The scientists noted that “life as we know it requires three primary ingredients”: liquid water, a source of energy for metabolism, and a combination of chemical ingredients that include hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen, among others.
Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.
“With this finding, Cassini has shown that Enceladus — a small, icy moon a billion miles farther from the sun than Earth — has nearly all of these ingredients for habitability,” NASA said in a statement announcing the findings.
While some ingredients for life were found on Enceladus, the scientists made clear that the discovery didn’t confirm life on the planet, but merely confirmed favorable conditions.
“Although we can’t detect life, we’ve found that there’s a food source there for it. It would be like a candy store for microbes,” said Hunter Waite, lead author of the Cassini study. (VOA)
Kalpana Chawla continues to be an inspirational force for youth all-over, especially girls
Kalpana Chawla earned a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado in 1988
In the year 2000, Chawla was selected for her second voyage into space, serving again as a mission specialist on STS-107
Kalpana Chawala is one of the inspiring personality and an Ideal for numerous people, it’s been 18 years since her passing, but Indo-American astronaut, Kalpana Chawla continues to be an inspirational force for youth all-over, especially girls. Born in Karnal-Punjab, Kalpana overcame all odds and fulfilled her dream of reaching for the stars.
Kalpana achieved a grade in aeronautical engineering from Punjab Engineering College before immigrating to the United States and becoming a naturalized citizen in the 1980s. She earned a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado in 1988, having previously obtained her master’s degree from the University of Texas. She began working at NASA’s Ames Research Center the same year, working on power-lift computational fluid dynamics.
In 1994, Kalpana was selected as an astronaut candidate. She was appointed as a crew representative for the Astronaut Office EVA/Robotics and Computer Branches after a year of training, where she worked with Robotic Situational Awareness Displays and tested software for the space shuttles.
kalpana chawala’s Death was a very uncertain demise of one of the finest astronaut the world ever had.
Early life: Kalpana Chawala was born on March 17, 1962, in Karnal, Haryana. Born into a middle-class family, she completed her schooling from Tagore Baal Niketan Senior Secondary School, Karnal and her B.Tech in Aeronautical Engineering from Punjab Engineering College at Chandigarh, India in 1982.
Kalpana Chawala was the youngest of four children in her family. The forename Kalpana denotes “idea” or “imagination.” Her full name is pronounced CULL-puh-na CHAV-la, though she often went by the nickname K.C.
Journey in the United States: To fulfil her desire of becoming an astronaut, Kalpana aimed to join NASA and moved to the United States in 1982. She obtained a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1984 and a second Master’s in 1986. She then earned a doctorate in aerospace engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Wedding bells: There’s always time for romance. In 1983, Kalpana tied the knot with Jean-Pierre Harrison, a flying instructor and an aviation author.
Work at NASA: In 1988, Kalpana’s dream of joining NASA finally came true. For the position of Vice President of Overset Methods, Kalpana Chawala was appointed at NASA Research Center and was later assigned to do Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) research on Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing concepts.
Kalpana’s dream break to fly in space came in November 1997, aboard the space shuttle Columbia on flight STS-87. The space shuttle made 252 orbits of the Earth in just over two weeks. The space aircraft completed a number of experiments and observing tools on its trip, including a Spartan satellite, which Chawla deployed from the shuttle. The satellite, which studied the outer layer of the sun, malfunctioned due to software errors, and two other astronauts from the shuttle had to perform a spacewalk to recapture it.
In the year 2000, Chawala was selected for her second voyage into space, serving again as a mission specialist on STS-107. The mission was delayed several times and finally launched in 2003. Over the course of the 16-day flight, the crew completed more than 80 experiments.
On the morning of Feb. 1, 2003, the space shuttle returned to Earth, intending to land at Kennedy Space Center. At launch, a briefcase-sized piece of insulation had broken off and damaged the thermal protection system of the shuttle’s wing, the shield that protects it from heat during re-entry. When the aircraft moved through the atmosphere, hot gas streaming into the wing caused it to break up. The unstable craft rolled and bucked, pitching the astronauts about. Less than a minute passed before the ship depressurized killing the crew. The shuttle broke up over Texas and Louisiana before plunging into the ground. This incident was the second major disaster for the space shuttle program, following the 1986 explosion of the shuttle Challenge.
In the disastrous damage of the space shuttle, Columbia took the lives of seven astronauts. One of those, Kalpana Chawla, was the first Indian-born woman in space.