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The birth of Hurricane Sandy

October 29, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Hurricane Sandy may be shaping up to be the worst storm in recent history. But it began life like all storms do: as a series of winds, breezing their way across Earth's surface. The video below -- a full disk animation from NASA's GOES-EAST satellite -- shows the birth of ...

Curiosity's cousins: Meet the rover fleet of the Canadian Space Agency

October 24, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In 2009, the Canadian Space Agency committed $110 million the development of advanced robotics and space exploration technologies. The funding was designed to be spread over three years -- and now, right on schedule, the CSA has unveiled the results of its efforts: a fleet of rovers that will one ...

Do you suffer from motion sickness? NASA has your back

October 16, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Water filters. Cordless tools. Shoe insoles. The list of life-improving products developed at NASA is long and nerdy and wonderful. And it is, wonderfully and nerdily, about to add a new item: a nasal spray that fights motion sickness. Yes. Rejoice, ye sufferers of sickness, whether of space or car ...

What the SpaceX Dragon capture looked like from the Space Station

October 10, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Today, at 9:03 am EDT, SpaceX's Dragon capsule successfully docked with the International Space Station. The delivery is the first contracted resupply mission by the company under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract. Space station crew members Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Sunita Williams of NASA used ...

SpaceX's just-launched Falcon 9 rocket: The things it carries

October 9, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow On Oct. 7 at 8:35pm East Coast time, SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launched into space. Its destination: the International Space Station. Though this isn't SpaceX's first foray to the ISS -- the private space exploration firm successfully completed a test mission to the station in May -- it's the first ...

Snakes on a plane! That are actually laser-wielding robots!

October 1, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A jet plane's engine has around 100 sensors that track things like air pressure, temperature, and vibration as it propels its cargo over the Earth. Machines on the ground, via diagnostic algorithms, are constantly monitoring the data delivered by those sensors to ensure that the cargo makes it back safely. ...

Video: Clay Shirky on how the Internet will (one day) transform government

October 1, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Clay Shirky is one of the most prominent and well-respected thinkers there is when it comes to the political impact of digital media. This summer, he gave a talk at the TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh -- subject: how the Internet will (one day) change government -- and the video of ...

Science: Watching Animal Videos Could Make You a Better Employee

October 1, 2012 The puppy cam. The kitty cam. This. We watch this stuff at work to procrastinate on our work, right? Not necessarily, it turns out. It turns out, in fact, that looking at images of adorable animals could actually help us be better at our jobs. No, really. In a study ...

Space is the new frontier of the 2012 presidential campaign

September 25, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The decidedly human undertaking that is the 2012 presidential election has taken a cosmic turn. On Saturday, at a campaign event on Florida's "Space Coast," Paul Ryan derided President Obama's handling of space exploration. "We have presided over a dismantling of the space program over the last four years," the ...

Video: NASA satellites capture the ground impact of droughts, from 2002 to today

September 24, 2012 FROM NEXTGOV arrow While the effects of droughts reveal themselves in the short term through arid fields and withered riverbeds, their ongoing impact reveals itself most readily below the crust of the Earth. Ground water, both right under the surface and deep underneath it, suggests how months and years of dryness will affect ...