Farewell to a great scientist: Claudia Alexander (1959 – 2015)

OASIS is saddened by the recent passing of a great scientist, Dr. Claudia Alexander, planetary scientist at JPL.  You can read about her extraordinary life at http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-me-0719-claudia-alexander-20150718-story.html

Quote from Robert Gounley, OASIS Membership Director and JPL scientist:

“Claudia’s intelligence, enthusiasm, and glowing smile made her a joy to
work with.  Time and again, I saw assemble her fellow scientists into
effective teams that accomplished great things.  She will be missed.”

In Claudia’s memory, her brother created a memorial fund that will
continue her work encouraging students to pursue STEM careers

Please share this with anyone who’d like to help a new generation reach
for the stars.

Posted in JPL | Leave a comment

Riverside Air Show

Many thanks to all who visited the OASIS table on Saturday, March 28th. There was no shortage of amazing aeronautical acrobatics and precision flying. Did you witness the awesome engine power of the C17 as it backed up (and up, and up… surely caught a few by surprise)? Did you see the Predator autonomous drone? The DeLorean?

riverside2015It’s our mission to spread the word about how science and engineering is so important to the future. We hope the 3D printed give-aways and science toy raffle prizes ignite a spark of interest in younger minds to get interested in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) and eventually to add their own unique contribution to the many achievements of this great country.

Posted in EVENTS, OASIS, STEM STEAM | Leave a comment

Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

“Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels… his was the most… human.”

-Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

…but most of you already know where that quote came from.

Leonard Nimoy will live long and prosper in our hearts and memories, a great actor, artist, poet and human being. He has been, and will always be, our friend.

OASIS Vice President Seth Potter comments on how Leonard Nimoy’s legacy goes even further, referring to the ABC News article Leonard Nimoy Leaves Legacy Beyond Science-Fiction.

Leonard Nimoy may have played a fictional character, but his contributions to space exploration were very real, as seen here. From inspiring those of us who grew up with Star Trek: TOS to his contribution to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles to his narration of IMAX films on space explorations, his work will live on into the 23rd century and beyond.

Posted in OASIS | Leave a comment

Success!! Launch of DSCOVR satellite atop Falcon 9

“The Falcon takes flight! Propelling the Deep Space Climate Observatory on a million-mile journey to protect our planet Earth” proclaimed the NASA TV announcer.

A Falcon 9 rocket carrying the DSCOVR launched successfully from Cape Canaveral at 6:04 ET on February 11. About 40 minutes later, DSCOVR separated from the second stage and took off for its final destination – orbit around L1.

Unfortunately, the Falcon 9 first stage won’t be able to attempt a landing on a ship – the ocean waves are too rough.  Next time…

Congratulations to SpaceX, the USAF, NASA and NOAA.

Posted in OASIS | Leave a comment

Successful launch and splashdown! ESA’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle

The European Space Agency (ESA)’s Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV) spaceplane launch-reentry mission was a big success! At approximately 6 am PT (2 pm GMT) on February 11, IXV launched atop a Vega rocket from the Guiana Space Center (Kourou, French Guiana), and splashed down in the South Pacific at 7:20 am PT (3:20 pm GMT).

This is the 4th launch of a Vega; all have been successful. These launches have shown that the Vega can launch different payloads in different orbits, which has tremendous scientific and commercial significance. This is also the 45th mission by Arianespace.

This is a very large collaboration: Thales Alenia Space Italia was the prime contractor building the IXV, with over 40 companies, universities, and research institutes involved.

The mission tested several of IXV’s parameters: its wingless spaceplane shape; the thermal protection systems, which incorporate ceramic and ablative; and its advanced automated guidance and navigation system for reentry and landing.

This mission is a big step in the ESA’s development of re-entry technology. Congratulations to the ESA, Arianespace, Thales Alenia Space Italia, and all collaboration efforts!

Posted in OASIS | Leave a comment

SCRUBBED AGAIN Launch of DSCOVR satellite atop Falcon 9 – another attempt at an intact landing

Due to wind.

New launch time at 6:03 pm ET (3:03 pm PT) Wednesday

Watch here


Posted in OASIS | Leave a comment

SCRUBBED launch of DSCOVR atop a Falcon 9 – TODAY February 8, 2015 – NASA TV

Launch scrubbed due to loss of the Air Force’s Eastern Range radar. Next possible launch time is Monday, February 9 at 6:07 pm ET.

On February 8, 2015, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) is set to launch aboard a Falcon 9 at 6:10 pm ET (3:10 pm PT) from Cape Canaveral, FL.


Posted in OASIS | Leave a comment

Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) Ready to Launch Atop a Falcon 9

On February 8, 2015, the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) is set to launch aboard a Falcon 9 at 6:10 pm ET (3:10 pm PT) from Cape Canaveral, FL. This launch is highly and doubly significant: DSCOVR’s primary mission is to give advance warning of solar winds and magnetic fields before they reach the Earth and cause geomagnetic storms. This is absolutely crucial to preserving the national security and economy, which heavily depend on advanced technology that would be severely disrupted. In addition, this launch will be SpaceX’s second attempt to land the first stage of a Falcon 9 in reusable condition on a specific target.

Continue reading

Posted in OASIS | Leave a comment

Now the folks on the International Space Station can enjoy a morning (or whenever) cup o’ joe!

Well, actually, espresso. The Italians have developed the ISSpresso, which will make the good stuff, even in microgravity.

And soon the astronauts/cosmonauts can even drink it out of cups! No more of these squeeze bags and straws. These cups are made on a 3D printer. They have a rather wacky shape but that’s what’s needed to hang onto the liquid.

Although this 3D-printing technology is to be used for more serious applications[1]: other fluid transporting, such as in fuel tanks, cooling systems and life support.

[1]WHAT! what’s more serious than coffee? Tell me that when I’m first waking up!

Read the full story here.



Posted in OASIS | Leave a comment

NASA Mission to Measure Earth’s Soil Moisture Levels Launches Successfully

NASA’s latest Earth-observing mission, Soil Moisture Active Passive Satellite (SMAP), launched successfully on January 31, 2015. The satellite rode atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II that was launched from Vandenburg Air Force Base early Saturday morning, and its solar arrays have deployed.

Using a 6-meter-diameter rotating antenna-the largest of its kind flown in space–SMAP will gather a complete set of data for the entire Earth every third day to tell us the following:

  • Where on earth is ground water frozen?
  • Where is it thawed?
  • How much water is concentrated in any one area?
  • How do all these factors affect water going from the soil into the air to the clouds?

All of these data can be used to predict droughts or floods.

Read more here.

Diagrams explain how NASA's SMAP satellite works.

Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration.

Posted in OASIS | Leave a comment