Science

Science
6:23 pm
Fri April 24, 2015

USF Pulls Forensic Research Facility Plan

USF Anthropology Professor Erin Kimmerle talks to reporters Thursday about the proposed research facility.
Credit Mark Schreiner/WUSF 89.7 News

The University of South Florida announced late Friday afternoon that the USF Forensic Anthropology Laboratory will find an alternate location to train students and law enforcement to process human remains in outdoor crime scenes.

The Facility for Outdoor Experimental Research and Training (FORT) program was proposed on Hillsborough County Sheriffs property in Lithia, but an outcry from residents about possible smells, groundwater contamination and property values prompted a change in plans.

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Science
9:45 am
Thu April 23, 2015

Real Bodies for USF Research

USF Anthropology Professor Erin Kimmerle talks to reporters about the proposed research facility.
Mark Schreiner WUSF 89.7 News

USF's Forensic Anthropology Laboratory is best known for its work at the Dozier School for Boys. Now, they're asking for approval to use a parcel of land in Lithia as a training ground for identifying real bodies in different stages of decomposition. 

Currently, students are using plastic skeletons to train on. USF Anthropology professor Erin Kimmerle, however, said that real bones aren't pure white like fake ones are. 

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Science
5:21 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Storm Clouds Delay SpaceX Spacecraft Launch

A Falcon 9 SpaceX rocket lifts off from launch complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Feb. 11. SpaceX will attempt to return a Falcon 9 rocket to a floating ship in the Atlantic Ocean on its next launch.
John Raoux AP

Originally published on Mon April 13, 2015 5:38 pm

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET.

SpaceX has delayed the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft by a day, after fast-approaching storm clouds moved into Cape Canaveral, Fla., according to the AP. In a tweet, SpaceX said the next opportunity for a launch will be Tuesday at 4:10 p.m. EDT.

Our original post continues:

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Science
4:58 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

NASA To Fly Astronauts On Private Spacecraft - For $58 Million A Seat

Boeing's CST-100 is one of the spacecrafts NASA will use to fly astronauts to the International Space Station
Credit Taisha Henry

NASA says it’s on schedule to fly astronauts to the International Space Station on private spacecraft beginning in 2017.

It will cost about $58 million a seat to get to low earth orbit.

It was NASA’s first update on its Commercial Crew Program since a legal complaint about the bidding process was resolved earlier this month.

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden says if the space agency is going to focus on Mars, it must rely on private companies to take astronauts to the space station.

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Science
9:11 am
Mon January 12, 2015

SpaceX Supply Ship Arrives at Space Station

Launch of the SpaceX rocket
Credit SpaceX

A shipment of much-needed groceries and belated Christmas presents finally arrived Monday morning at the International Space Station.

The SpaceX company's supply ship, Dragon, pulled up at the orbiting lab two days after its liftoff. Station commander Butch Wilmore used a robot arm to grab the capsule and its 5,000 pounds of precious cargo, as the craft soared more than 260 miles above the Mediterranean.

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Science
3:08 pm
Tue January 6, 2015

SpaceX Calls Off Launch to Space Station at Last Minute

SpaceX called off its planned flight to the International Space Station early Tuesday because of rocket trouble
Credit AP Photo

SpaceX called off its planned flight to the International Space Station early Tuesday because of rocket trouble.

The unmanned Falcon rocket was supposed to blast off before sunrise. But the countdown was halted with just over a minute remaining. The soonest SpaceX can try again is Friday morning.

Officials said the problem was with the motors needed for second-stage rocket thrust steering. If controllers had not aborted the launch, computers would have done so closer to flight time, NASA launch commentator George Diller said.

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10:25 am
Thu December 11, 2014

2015 Spending Bill Includes $18 Billion for NASA

That's $364 million more than the space agency got for the current fiscal year -- which ends on Sept. 30 -- and some $500 million more than it requested. Most of that increase is due to lawmakers increasing funding for the Space Launch System and Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle designed to eventually take astronauts to Mars, a key congressional priority. The spending bill includes $3.25 billion for human exploration, up from the $2.78 billion the Obama administration had sought.
WASHINGTON -- NASA would get $18 billion in fiscal 2015 as part of a $1.01 trillion government-wide spending bill Congress is expected to pass as early as Thursday. That's $364 million more than the space agency got for the current fiscal year -- which ends on Sept.
Science
9:24 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Navy Returns NASA's Orion Spacecraft After Test Flight

A man looks on as NASA's Orion space capsule is prepared to be unloaded from the USS Anchorage at Naval Base San Diego Monday in San Diego. NASA's new spacecraft returned to dry land Monday in Southern California after a test flight that ended with a plunge in the Pacific Ocean
Credit AP Photo/Gregory Bull

NASA's new Orion spacecraft returned to dry land in Southern California after a test flight that ended with a plunge into the Pacific Ocean.

Navy ship, the USS Anchorage, delivered the capsule to Naval Base San Diego and unloaded the 11-foot-tall cone around 10 p.m. PST Monday.

Orion made an unmanned flight Friday that carried it 3,600 miles above Earth to test the spacecraft's systems before it carries astronauts on deep space missions. During re-entry into the atmosphere, the spacecraft endured speeds of 20,000 mph and temperatures near 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Science
6:00 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Space Florida is Riding on Orion

Artist's illustration of Orion in space

Orion, NASA's deep-space exploration spacecraft, remained on the launch pad Thursday as a series of delays pushed its scheduled maiden flight to Friday.

But the vessel sitting atop the massive Delta 4 rocket is expected to one day push man to the Moon, asteroids and Mars, and Florida's aerospace leaders believe the state will remain at the forefront of those efforts.

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Science
12:07 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

NASA Scrubs Launch Of Orion Spacecraft

NASA's Orion spaceship early Thursday in Cape Canaveral, Fla.
Chris O'Meara AP

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 2:38 pm

Update at 9:35 a.m. ET

NASA's Orion spacecraft, which could one day send astronauts to Mars, is stuck on terra firma for at least another day after the space agency's mission control was unable to satisfactorily resolve a number of issues before a 9:45 a.m. ET launch window closed.

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Science
7:05 am
Wed December 3, 2014

What You Need to Know About the Orion Launch (video)

The Orion test capsule will not have life support, but it will check many other systems, including computers and parachutes and the heat shield.
Credit Radislav Sinyak NASA/Rad Sinyak

At 7:05 a.m. Thursday, the unmanned Orion test vehicle is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station atop a Delta IV Heavy rocket to begin a two-orbit, four-and-a-half hour mission called Exploration Flight Test-1.

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Science
10:33 am
Wed November 19, 2014

The Little Comet Probe That Could

This combination photo produced with different images shows Philae after landing on the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.
AP

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 9:14 am

Even with all the drama — and now the prolonged silence, possibly permanent — the European Space Agency's (ESA) mission to land a fridge-sized probe on a comet zipping at about 80,000 miles per hour, some 300 million miles from Earth, was a resounding success. This first ever comet landing has captivated the world as very few events in the history — certainly the recent history — of space exploration have.

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Science
2:15 am
Wed November 19, 2014

USF Professor Finds Ants, CEOs Not that Different

Deby Cassill, the Associate Professor of Biology at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg
Credit M. S. Butler

Plenty of kids play in dirt and collect bugs. Maybe you used to bring home bugs in a jar. Maybe you still do.  Deby Cassill does. But, she’s the Associate Professor of biology at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

So, she spends her days getting a microscopic look at something many of us consider a pest and even something to step on.

She says there was a time when it was considered strange for her to play with bugs.

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Science
4:12 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

Comet Landing A Success: European Craft Makes 'Fairly Gentle Touchdown'

The Philae lander took this photo of its descent onto comet 67P Wednesday, when it was about 3 kilometers from the surface. The landing site is seen with a resolution of about 3 meters per pixel.
ESA/Rosetta/Philae/ROLIS

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 7:07 pm

Hundreds of millions of miles from Earth, a man-made object was flung at a comet Wednesday — and now it's sticking to the rock as it hurtles through space.

"We are on the comet," Stephan Ulamec, Philae Lander Manager, announced Wednesday, marking a historic achievement.

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12:23 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Report: KSC Must Do More to Succeed as Spaceport

KSC has leased about half of the 23 facilities it no longer needs after the shuttle program's 2011 retirement, including giving SpaceX control of launch pad 39A. But in interviews with the auditors, six companies and KSC's closest government partner, Space Florida, continued to raise concerns about bureaucracy, high costs and potential mission conflicts that can hamper commercial operations at KSC. The companies have not abandoned the spaceport given limited options available today, but "this may change as the commercial space industry grows and additional non-Federal launch sites become available," the report says.
Kennedy Space Center has made progress transitioning into a multiuser spaceport but must do more to compete with a growing number of alternative launch sites, according to a NASA audit report released today. "The better Kennedy can position itself now as a commercial-friendly launch site, the more competitive it will be in the future," says the report by NASA's Office of Inspector General.

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