Clocking an Accelerating Universe

BOSS measures the three-dimensional clustering of galaxies at various redshifts, revealing their precise distance, the age of the universe at that redshift, and how fast the universe has expanded. The measurement uses a "standard ruler" based on the regular variations of the temperature of the cosmic microwave background (

Some six billion light years ago, almost halfway from now back to the big bang, the universe was undergoing an elemental change. Held back until then by the mutual gravitational attraction of all the matter it contained, the universe had been expanding ever more slowly. Then, as matter spread out and its density decreased, dark energy took over and expansion began to accelerate.

Today BOSS, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, the largest component of the third Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III), announced the most accurate measurement yet of the distance scale of the universe during the era when dark energy turned on.

“We’ve made precision measurements of the large-scale structure of the universe five to seven billion years ago – the best measure yet of the size of anything outside the Milky Way,” says David Schlegel of the Physics Division at the U.S. Department of Energy‘s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), BOSS’s principal investigator. “We’re pushing out to the distances when dark energy turned on, where we can start to do experiments to find out what’s causing accelerating expansion.”

How to measure expansion in an accelerating universe

Accelerating expansion was announced less than 14 years ago by both the Supernova Cosmology Project (SCP) based at Berkeley Lab and the competing High-z Supernova Search Team, a discovery that resulted in 2011 Nobel Prizes for the SCP’s Saul Perlmutter and High-z Team members Brian Schmidt and Adam Riess. Acceleration may result from an unknown something dubbed “dark energy” – or, dark energy may be just a way of saying we don’t understand how gravity really works.

The first step in finding out is to establish a detailed history of expansion. Unlike supernova searches, which depend on the brightness of exploding stars, BOSS uses a technique called baryon acoustic oscillation (BAO) to determine the distances to faraway galaxies.

Baryon acoustic oscillation measures the angle across the sky of structures of known size, the peaks where galaxies cluster most densely in the network of filaments and voids that fill the universe. Since these density peaks recur regularly, the angle between appropriate pairs of galaxies as precisely measured from Earth reveals their distance – the narrower the apparent angle, the farther away they are.

Knowing the distance to an object tells its age as well, since its light travels from there to here at known speed. And the redshift of the light reveals how the universe has expanded since that time, as expansion stretches space itself; the wavelength of light traveling through space toward Earth stretches proportionally, becoming redder and revealing the expansion of the universe since the light left its source.

“BOSS’s first major cosmological results establish the accurate three-dimensional positions of 327,349 massive galaxies across 3,275 square degrees of the sky, reaching as far back as redshift 0.7 – the largest sample of the universe ever surveyed at this high density,” says Martin White of Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of California at Berkeley and chair of the BOSS science survey teams. “BOSS’s average redshift is 0.57, equivalent to some six billion light-years away. BOSS gives that distance to within 1.7 percent – 2,094 megaparsecs plus or minus 34 megaparsecs – the most precise distance constraint ever obtained from a galaxy survey.”

The origin of BAO, the regular clustering of ordinary matter (called “baryons” by astronomical convention), was the pressure of sound waves (“acoustic”) moving through the universe when it was still so hot that light and matter were mixed together in a kind of soup, in which the sound waves created areas of regularly varying density (“oscillation”). By 380,000 years after the big bang, expansion had cooled the soup enough for ordinary matter to condense into hydrogen atoms (invisible dark matter was also part of the soup) and for light to go its separate way.

At that moment variations in density were preserved as variations in the temperature of the cosmic microwave background (CMB), a phenomenon first measured by Berkeley Lab astrophysicist George Smoot, for which he shared the 2006 Nobel Prize. The warmer regions of the CMB signal areas where the density of matter was greater; these regions seeded the galaxies and clusters of galaxies that form the large-scale structure of the universe today. Thus the cosmic microwave background establishes the basic scale of baryon acoustic oscillation used to measure the expansion history of the universe.

BOSS’s data on galaxy clustering and redshifts can be applied not only to BAO but also to a separate technique called “redshift space distortions” – a direct test of gravity that measures how fast neighboring galaxies are moving together to form galaxy clusters.

What if dark energy isn’t an unknown force or substance, but instead a shortcoming of Albert Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, our best-yet theory of gravity? General Relativity predicts how fast galaxies should be moving toward one another in galaxy clusters, and, in the aggregate, how fast the structure of the universe should be growing. Any departure from its predictions would mean the theory is flawed.

“We depend on redshift to know expansion rates and how structure was growing at different times in the past,” says Beth Reid, a Hubble Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who directed the BOSS study of redshift space distortions. “But redshifts aren’t uniform. Galaxies are carried along in the Hubble flow as the universe expands, but they also have their own velocities. They tend to fall toward denser regions, for example. Because the ones on the far side of a dense region are coming toward us, their redshift makes them look closer than they really are; the opposite is true for the galaxies on the near side, which are falling away from us – they look farther away.”

Statistical analysis of the redshifts of the hundreds of thousands of galaxies in the BOSS dataset can take into account the peculiarities of local variation and still produce a dependable measure of distance, the Hubble expansion rate, and the growth rate of structure in the universe. With these techniques, Reid and her colleagues have measured gravity on a scale of 100 million light years, far larger than the most accurate gravity measure yet, which is based on the distance from Earth to the moon.

The right tools to do the job

BOSS obtained these best-yet measures with the wide-field Sloan Telescope at the Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico, designed especially for galaxy surveys but mounting a spectrograph far more sophisticated than was available to earlier SDSS surveys.

“The 2.5-meter Sloan Telescope remains the world’s premier facility for wide-field spectroscopy because it uses fiber-fed spectrographs, which offer a huge numerical advantage,” says Natalie Roe, director of Berkeley Lab’s Physics Division and instrument scientist for BOSS, who directed construction of the new spectrographs.

For each 15-minute exposure, covering three degrees of the sky, a thousand optical fibers are inserted by hand into aluminum “plug plates” and positioned at the telescope’s focal plane; each fiber is targeted on a specific distant bright galaxy, selected from earlier SDSS imaging. The BOSS instrument uses 50 percent more fibers than earlier SDSS runs, each with finer diameter; for more coverage and finer resolution the new spectrograph incorporates two red cameras using the thick, red-sensitive astronomical CCDs invented and fabricated at Berkeley Lab, as well as two new blue cameras.

“All the data collected by BOSS flows through a data-processing pipeline at Berkeley Lab,” says Stephen Bailey of the Physics Division, who describes himself as the “baby sitter of the pipeline.” Working with Schlegel at Berkeley Lab and Adam Bolton at the University of Utah, Bailey “turns the data into something we can use – catalogues of the hundreds of thousands galaxies, eventually well over a million, each identified by their two-dimensional positions in the sky and their redshifts.” The data are processed and stored on the Riemann computer cluster, operated by Berkeley Lab’s High-Performance Computing Services group.

The current crop of BOSS papers is based on less than a quarter of the data BOSS will continue to collect until the survey ends in 2014. So far, all lines of inquiry point toward the so-called “concordance model” of the universe: a “flat” (Euclidean) universe that bloomed from the big bang 13.7 billion years ago, a quarter of which is cold dark matter – plus a few percent visible, ordinary, baryonic matter (the stuff we’re made of). All the rest is thought to be dark energy in the form of Einstein’s cosmological constant: a small but irreducible energy of puzzling origin that’s continually stretching space itself.

But it’s way too soon to think that’s the end of the story, says Schlegel. “Based on the limited observations of dark energy we’ve made so far, the cosmological constant may be the simplest explanation, but in truth, the cosmological constant has not been tested at all. It’s consistent with the data, but we really have only a little bit of data. We’re just beginning to explore the times when dark energy turned on. If there are surprises lurking there, we expect to find them.”

Source: Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory

Reference:

Lauren Anderson, Eric Aubourg, Stephen Bailey, & et al. (2012). The clustering of galaxies in the SDSS-III Baryon Oscillation
Spectroscopic Survey: Baryon Acoustic Oscillations in the Data Release 9
Spectroscopic Galaxy Sample Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society arXiv: 1203.6594v1

Beth A. Reid, Lado Samushia, Martin White, & et al. (2012). The clustering of galaxies in the SDSS-III Baryon Oscillation
Spectroscopic Survey: measurements of the growth of structure and expansion
rate at z=0.57 from anisotropic clustering Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society arXiv: 1203.6641v1

ResearchBlogging.org

Researchers One Step Closer to Giving Robots the Ability to “Feel”

A particular area of interest I have is the the use of robots in space exploration so I try to keep an eye out for interesting developments within the robotics field to share with you guys. I came across a recently released research paper dealing with mechanical stimuli and thought this might be of interest to those of you that share my interest. Below is the release that accompanied the paper which discusses what I think is pretty ground-breaking work. Would love to hear your thoughts on this! Read More →

Astronomers Find Anomaly Around Ancient Black Hole

This image shows the bright emission from carbon and dust in the galaxy surrounding the most distant

Using the IRAM array of millimetre-wave telescopes in the French Alps, a team of European astronomers from Germany, the UK and France has discovered a large reservoir of gas and dust in a galaxy that surrounds the most distant supermassive black hole known. Light from the galaxy, called J1120+0641, has taken so long to reach us that the galaxy is seen as it was only 740 million years after the Big Bang, when the universe was only 1/18th of its current age.

Team leader Dr. Bram Venemans of the Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg, Germany will present the new discovery on Wednesday 28th March at the RAS / AG National Astronomy Meeting in Manchester, United Kingdom. The Institut de Radioastronomie Millimetrique (IRAM) array is made up of six 15-m size telescopes that detect emission at millimeter wavelengths (about a thousand times as long as visible light) sited on the 2550-m high Plateau de Bure in the French Alps. The IRAM telescopes work together to simulate a single much larger telescope in a so-called interferometer that can study objects in fine detail.

A recent upgrade to IRAM allowed the scientists to detect the newly discovered gas and dust that includes significant quantities of carbon. This is quite unexpected, as the chemical element carbon is created via nuclear fusion of helium in the centres of massive stars and ejected into the galaxy when these stars end their lives in dramatic supernova explosions.

Dr Venemans comments: “It’s really puzzling that such an enormous amount of carbon-enriched gas could have formed at these early times in the universe. The presence of so much carbon confirms that massive star formation must have occurred in the short period between the Big Bang and the time we are now observing the galaxy.”

From the emission from the dust, Venemans and his team were able to show that the galaxy is still forming stars at a rate that is 100 time higher than in our Milky Way. The team give credit to the IRAM upgrade that made the new discovery possible.

“Indeed, we would not have been able to detect this emission only a couple of years ago.” says team member Dr Pierre Cox, director of IRAM.

The astronomers are excited about the fact that this source is also visible from the southern hemisphere where the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), which will be the world’s most advanced sub/millimeter telescope array, is currently 2 under construction in Chile. Observations with ALMA will enable a detailed study of the structure of this galaxy, including the way the gas and dust moves within it.

Dr Richard McMahon, a member of the team from the University of Cambridge in the UK is looking forward to when ALMA is fully operational later this year. “The current observations only provide a glimpse of what ALMA will be capable of when we use it to study the formation of the first generation of galaxies.”

Source: Max-Planck Institute for Astronomy

Image Credits: ESO/UKIDSS/SDSS)

Reference:

B. P. Venemans, R. G. McMahon, F. Walter, R. Decarli, P. Cox, R. Neri, P. Hewett, D. J. Mortlock, C. Simpson, & S. J. Warren (2012). Detection of atomic carbon [CII] 158 micron and dust emission from a
z=7.1 quasar host galaxy APJ Letters arXiv: 1203.5844v1

ResearchBlogging.org

ESA’s Gaia Mission Aim Highs

Yesterday I posted about the important work being conducted on the LSST project. Today I wanted to cover another amazing project – ESA’s Gaia mission.

While many space borne observation platforms have provided excellent images to scientists, these have mostly been in two dimensions thus far. Gaia is a very ambitious mission by the European Space Agency to make a three dimensional map of the Milky Way. While GAIA originally stood for Global Astrometric Interferometer for Astrophysics, it seems that the acronym has been dropped in favor of the shorter name. Read More →

Collaborative Classroom Prepares Future Scientists

 

Webster University’s East Academic Building unites faculty, staff and students around the world through technology-enhanced learning spaces. According to Erik Palmore, head of Webster’s Faculty Development Center, one of these spaces is the new Collaborative Classroom, whose mix of space, furniture, pedagogy and technology is configured to promote group work and sharing, creative and collaborative problem solving and design thinking. Read More →

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Overview

At its completion in 2016, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will provide the largest ever survey of the night sky. It will deliver 30 terabytes of data each night. LSST will consist of an 8.4 meter telescope and the 3.2 billion pixel camera. Astronomers hope the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will deliver 5.6 million 15 second images over its ten year lifetime. The images will then be cataloged and made available for viewing by both the public and researchers.  Astronomers hope these images will allow them to create a 3D map of the universe. In addition, they hope it will greatly increase their understanding of dark matter and dark energy.

The location was carefully chosen after much debate. The location has an altitude of 2,715 meters above sea level. The mountain is known to have some of the darkest skies in the world. The area has very little rainfall and one of the most stable environments on Earth. A stable atmosphere with a large number of clear nights will greatly assist astronomers in collecting data. The Cerro Pachon Mountain is currently home to the Gemini South Telescope and the Southern Astrophysical Research Telescope. The planned location is just northwest of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory.

Be back tomorrow with a little information on another amazing endeavor – ESA’s Gaia project!

Reference:

The New Sky | LSST. (n.d.). Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. Retrieved March 27, 2012, from http://www.lsst.org/lsst/

[Awesome Alert] Deflecting Asteroids with Lasers

Who remembers the game Asteroids? What if that were reality?

Pioneering engineers at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow are developing an innovative technique based on lasers that could radically change asteroid deflection technology. This sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi film but the research has merit (and is just really cool!).

The research has unearthed the possibility of using a swarm of relatively small satellites flying in formation and cooperatively firing solar-powered lasers onto an asteroid – this would overcome the difficulties associated with current methods that are focused on large unwieldy spacecraft.

Dr. Massimiliano Vasile, of Strathclyde’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is leading the research. He said: “The approach we are developing would involve sending small satellites, capable of flying in formation with the asteroid and firing their lasers targeting the asteroid at close range.

“The use of high power lasers in space for civil and commercial applications is in its infancy and one of the main challenges is to have high power, high-efficiency and high beam quality all at the same time.

“The additional problem with asteroid deflection is that when the laser begins to break down the surface of the object, the plume of gas and debris impinges the spacecraft and contaminates the laser. However, our laboratory tests have proven that the level of contamination is less than expected and the laser could continue to function for longer than anticipated.”

Just over 100 years ago a 2000-kilometer area of vegetation was destroyed when an object believed to be 30-50 meters in diameter exploded in the skies above Tunguska, Siberia. While the likelihood of an immediate threat from a similar asteroid strike remains low, it is widely recognized that researching preventative measures is of significant importance.

Dr. Vasile added: “The Tunguska class of events are expected to occur within a period of a few centuries. Smaller asteroids collide with Earth more frequently and generally burn in the atmosphere although some of them reach the ground or explode at low altitude potentially causing damage to buildings and people.

“We could reduce the threat posed by the potential collision with small to medium size objects using a flotilla of small agile spacecraft each equipped with a highly efficient laser which is much more feasible than a single large spacecraft carrying a multi mega watt. Our system is scalable, a larger asteroid would require adding one or more spacecraft to the flotilla, and intrinsically redundant – if one spacecraft fails the others can continue.”

Dr. Vasile is now investigating the use of the same concept to remove space debris. The number of objects in orbit classified as debris is ever-increasing and with no widely accepted solution for their removal. Researchers at the University of Strathclyde believe the space-borne lasers could be used to lower the original orbit of the space debris and reduce the congestion.

Dr. Vasile said: “The amount of debris in orbit is such that we might experience a so called Kessler syndrome – this is when the density becomes so high that collisions between objects could cause an exponentially increasing cascade of other collisions.

“While there is significant monitoring in place to keep track of these objects, there is no specific system in place to remove them and our research could be a possible solution.

“A major advantage of using our technique is that the laser does not have to be fired from the ground. Obviously there are severe restrictions with that process as it has to travel through the atmosphere, has a constrained range of action and can hit the debris only for short arcs.”

The research was carried out in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde’s Institute of Photonics and was presented to the Planetary Society at the end of February.

What are your thoughts on this research? Do you believe it can be developed to the scale required to deflect a real asteroid?

Source: University of Strathclyde

WTF is the ‘Hollow Earth’ Theory?

Image from David Standish

I’ll admit I had never heard of this theory until a few days ago so I decided to investigate. This post is based on my findings thus far…

Introduction

Humans have an innate need to explore their surroundings and beyond. Although we have become consumed with the exploration of space, there is still much about planet Earth that is not completely understood. Long ago, people believed Earth was flat until it was proved to be round. The views held by most scientists are that Earth is a solid sphere and life (for the most part) exists only on the surface. However, there are apparently those who believe that Earth is hollow and that subterranean races exist within the planet. Seriously.

Could it be possible that the portion of the world we are inhabiting is only one layer? There are those who believe it is very possible. The Hollow Earth Theory has been around for a long time and there are several variations. In 1692, the astronomer Edmund Halley who discovered Halley’s comet, proposed the idea of an hollow Earth. Halley suggested that Earth contained two inner shells separated by an atmosphere, each with its own magnetic poles. Halley believed that Earth contained spheres – one inside another – that turned independently of each other. He also speculated that the aurora borealis was caused by escaping atmospheric gas of an inner sphere.

Variations Abound

There have been several variations on the hollow earth theory that include features such as a central sun of the inner sphere, expansion of Earth, and a new examination of the laws of gravity. There are some believers of the hollow Earth theory that also believe the moon and other planets within the universe may also be hollow spheres.

There are many other ideas within the realm of the hollow Earth theory including the proposed idea that we live on the interior of the Earth and just have not realized it. This theory suggests that what we consider to be the surface or outer layer of Earth is actually the surface of an inner sphere and the sun we believe we are looking at in the sky is situated at the center of Earth. Such a theory indicates that when we look out at the universe, we are actually looking within the Earth.

The idea of a hollow Earth appears in myths and legends of various cultures. Greek legend refers to a paradise region known as Hyperborea. According to legend, the people of Hyperborea enjoyed good health and lived 1000 years or longer without growing old. Chinese and Eskimo legends state that there is an opening in the North to a subterranean realm where an underground species resides. They believe the underground realm is a paradise and is where their ancestors came from. Eskimo legend also states that the underground paradise is a place of perpetual light where the sun never sets. According to their stories, it is a land of peace and happiness with a mild climate, large lakes, tropical animals and no darkness. The Hopi Indians also have a legend that states they emerged from an underground realm within Earth. The legends also refer to snake people that resided underground.

There are many other myths and legends that refer to openings in the Earth, underground civilizations, flying machines that resemble UFOs, and beings with advanced technology. Adolf Hitler believed in the hollow Earth theory and some believe he may have found an opening to the subterranean realm and fled there. People often think of the flights of Admiral Byrd in connection with the hollow Earth theory. Admiral Richard E. Byrd flew to the North Pole in 1926. In 1929, he flew over the South Pole. Admiral Byrd allegedly made entries in his diary that detailed entering the interior of the Earth and seeing lakes, rivers, mountains, lush vegetation, and animals previously thought extinct. He documented seeing a sun beneath the Earth and being greeted by advanced inhabitants of underground civilizations. There is speculation over the authenticity and/or existence of such a diary.

Hollow Theory (pun intended)

Although the hollow Earth theory has obviously never been proven, it is no longer viewed with as much ridicule as it once was in some circles. As with any theory, there are many unanswered questions that only lead to even more unanswered questions – such as the migration patterns of birds and animals that migrate north to a warmer climate when winter approaches. Perhaps a tropical paradise such as the fabled Hyperborea does exist far beyond the region of the North Pole. However, the hollow Earth theory will remain in the realm of myth until enough evidence can be found to either prove or disprove the theory beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Based on our current understanding of planetary formation, I believe this theory is without merit (it sure was fun exploring the idea though). I’m open to outside opinions as always but I’m having a tough time buying into this one.

What are your thoughts? Does the hollow Earth theory warrant additional study and research? I would love to hear from anyone that has plausible evidence (or even relevant input) to support this idea.

NASA Measures Impact of Solar Flare on Earth’s Atmosphere

A key NASA instrument that can directly measure the impact of solar events on the Earth’s upper atmosphere has weighed in on the huge flare that impacted Earth last week.

The flare was considered one of the largest solar events in years even though its impact on the power grid and communications was minimal due to the angle it hit Earth.

Its direct interaction with the upper atmosphere was measured by NASA’s SABER (Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry) instrument orbiting on the TIMED (Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere, Energetics and Dynamics) satellite.

The upper atmosphere heated up, and huge spikes occurred in infrared emission from nitric oxide and carbon dioxide, said Marty Mlynczak, SABER’s associate-principal investigator at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.

Sol ‘waking up’

“It’s been seven years since we’ve had a storm like that,” he said. “This is the first major storm event since the deep solar minimum of 2008-2009. We are finally seeing the Sun ‘wake up’ as it proceeds to the next solar maximum.”

A solar maximum is a period of increased activity on the Sun, and minimum-to-maximum-to-minimum cycles generally last 11 years each. Solar activity began to pick up in 2010, is steadily increasing and should peak in late 2014.

As the Sun becomes more active, Mlynczak said, it emits more ultraviolet radiation and produces more solar flares – coronal mass ejections (CMEs) – which are absorbed in the atmosphere. “More heating results, and the atmosphere gets warmer, and the infrared emission increases,” he said.

“We don’t know yet how these affect weather or climate — likely there is not any direct effect,” he said, “but there may be, over time, influences on ozone that affect climate.”

“These results are very timely,” said James Russell, SABER’s principal investigator at Hampton University in Hampton, Va. “SABER is cataloging the atmospheric response to solar forcing and is providing a solid baseline for examining long-term changes in the climatology of the upper atmosphere.”

“The data set is a vital resource for study of atmospheric trends, for validating atmospheric models of the region, and for evaluating our understanding of solar/atmosphere coupling, he said.


Unique Record

SABER is one of four instruments on the TIMED spacecraft launched in December 2001. TIMED studies the Earth’s mesosphere and lower thermosphere, the least explored and least understood region of our atmosphere.

“SABER has a unique, continuous record of over 3,700 days observation of the climate and energy balance of the Earth’s upper and outer atmosphere,” Mlynczak said.

“From this, we are learning with each event how sensitive this region of the Earth’s atmosphere is to short- and long-term variability of the Sun,” he said. “We have documented the decline of the prior solar cycle, the deep minimum and the ‘ground state’ of the atmosphere during that time, and are now seeing the uptick.”

TIMED was designed to operate for two years but has operated flawlessly for more than 10 years. Another NASA review is planned in 2013 to determine if SABER will continue operating for at least three more years.

“This is well before the predicted solar maximum,” Mlynczak said. There are no other measurements like it, and the entire SABER science team is working hard to make the scientific case to keep the mission operating.”

Partners in the SABER mission include Hampton University in Hampton, Va.; Science Systems and Applications, Inc.; GATS Inc.; NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Md.; and Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. Utah State University Space Dynamics Laboratory built SABER.

Michael Finneran
NASA Langley Research Center

For more information about Langley go to http :// www . nasa . gov / langley

Source: NASA

Image Credit: Credit: NASA/JHU/APL

The Politics of Space Exploration


Our daily lives have been impacted by NASA in countless ways. Thanks to the agency’s efforts we have GPS, a better understanding of the ozone layer, we are better able to predict the weather and we understand the effect of global warming on our sea levels. Thanks to NASA we are closer to being able to live in outer space and find asteroids that may impact Earth. We understand how Rossby waves affect the weather on Jupiter and have plans to map the universe in new and exciting ways. Today, NASA has over 1,000 original patents that greatly impact our lives on Earth and our knowledge of the universe beyond. There is little doubt that the agency has improved our world since its’ founding in 1958. Read More →