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NASA’s 10 Greatest Science Missions

NASA’s 10 Greatest Science Missions

https://www.space.com/6378-nasas-10-greatest-science-missions.html

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Pioneer

Pioneer

Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 were launched in 1972 and 1973. They were the first spacecraft to visit Jupiter and Saturn in a one-way voyage.

  • Pioneer 10 traveled through...

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Voyager

Voyager

Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 probes followed after the Pioneers.

  • They made many important discoveries about Jupiter and Saturn.
  • Discoveries include rings around Jupiter and volc...

40 SAVES


WMAP

WMAP

The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) was launched in 2001 and measured the temperature of the radiation left over from the Big Bang.

  • The craft can map out the fluctuations...

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Spitzer

Spitzer

The Spitzer Space Telescope observes the heavens through infrared light.

  • It takes stunning photos of galaxies, nebulae, and stars.
  • In 2005, Spitzer detected light from extr...

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Spirit & Opportunity

Spirit & Opportunity

In 2004, these twin Mars Exploration Rovers landed on opposite sides of the planet and explored it for more than five years.

Among the major finds is evidence that the surface of Mars once ...

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Cassini-Huygens

Cassini-Huygens

NASA/ESA spacecraft was launched in 1997 and reached Saturn in 2004. Since then its been orbiting around the planet and taking photos of the planets' rings, moons, and weather.

The Huyg...

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Chandra

Chandra

The earth's atmosphere blocks out most X-rays and prevents astronomers from viewing the universe in X-ray light - a high-energy, short-wavelength light.

  • In 1999, the Chandra X-ra...

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Viking

Viking

NASA's Viking 1 was the first man-made object that soft-landed on Mars in July 1976.

The Viking 1 lander is also the longest-running Mars surface mission, and sent the first color pictu...

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Hubble

Hubble

The photos of the Hubble Space Telescope is recognized around the world. It has radically changed science.

NASA developed a tool that could reveal starts, planets, nebulae, and galaxies in ...

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Apollo

Apollo

NASA's best space mission was the Apollo, taking humans along. The Apollo trips brought moonrocks home. The astronauts gathered data that helped us learn the likely age of the moon and what it&...

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Star Wars

Star Wars

The first movie of the blockbuster franchise, retroactively titled as Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, exploded into the movie theatres in 1977. It became a global cultural phenomenon and gave bir...

The Story Set In Space

The Star Wars story is a classic Hero’s Journey, in which the protagonist, Luke Skywalker in a galaxy, far, far away, learns that he is able to harness a certain force. He eventually joins the rebellion against the Galactic Empire, and along with his allies, destroys the Death Star, uniting with his father, who had fallen on the dark side.

Sequels Prequels

The original story and its continuation in the two sequels released in the 80s had limited computer graphics technology, which eventually became better in the 90s. The Director, George Lucas, then released three ‘prequels’ which had better technology and visual effects, though the story wasn’t in the same league.

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The northern lights, or aurora borealis

The northern lights, or aurora borealis

The magnetic fields of the sun distort and twist as the Earth rotates on its axis. When these fields become knotted together, they create sunspots. Usually, these sunspots occur in pairs.

A...

Auroras on other worlds

Auroras also occur on planets such as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. These gas giants have thick atmospheres and strong magnetic fields. These auroras are a little different from Earth's as they are formed under different conditions.

Venus has an aurora generated by its magnetotail. Mars experiences local auroras due to magnetic fields in the crust. There are also northern hemisphere auroras caused by particles hitting the Maritan atmosphere.

Cycles and particles

Northern lights occur roughly every eleven years. Record-keeping of the sun's activity began in 1749. Since then, there have been 22 full cycles.

Particles ejected from the sun travel 93 million miles toward Earth before they are drawn toward the magnetic north and south poles. As the particles move through the Earth's magnetic shield, they mix with the oxygen, nitrogen, and other elements that result in the display of lights.

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The International Space Station

The International Space Station

The ISS is a multi-nation super satellite, the largest single construct in space, made between 1998 and 2011.

  • As of 2018, 230 astronauts and 18 countries have visited the Internat...

ISS Journey Around Earth

The International Space Center circles the globe every 90 minutes at a speed of 17,500 mph. It flies at an altitude of 248 miles above Earth.

It holds a crew of three to six people, and for a long time, used the Russian Soyuz spacecraft as a way to transport astronauts. SpaceX has sent 2 more astronauts in May 2020, using their Special Dragon Spacecraft, courtesy Elon Musk.

Activities of ISS

Astronauts mainly perform experiments and do maintenance at the ISS. They also do some personal care and exercise, reach out to Earth to conduct some media or school events, and occasionally perform spacewalks. They also use a bit of Twitter.

Human health research, especially eye problems are a major activity. Biological activities, animal tests and testing of appliances in space is also done.

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