Aerospace

A new type of rocket propellant made from a mixture of water and nanoscale aluminum powder could be manufactured on the moon or Mars or any place remnant ice may exist, say researchers from NASA, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Purdue and Pennsylvania State University who believe their aluminum-ice, or ALICE, propellant could be used to launch rockets into orbit from Earth as a pit stop for long-distance space missions.  Since it's greener than current propellants it will also be acceptable to those of you concerned about universal global warming(1).
After wrapping up the minutiae of funding, we're finally entering the lab for Project Calliope.  Next week, I get to build a model ionosphere and replicate a spinning satellite to test what sort of music to expect.

In practice, this means rigging up a magnet to replicate ionospheric magnetic fields, putting a strobe for mimicking the Sun as seen by a rapidly spinning satellite, then seeing what sort of data my detectors spit out.

NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), launched on June 18th, 2009,  will return more data about the Moon than any previous mission. The Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LAMP), developed by Southwest Research Institute,  uses a novel method to peer into the perpetual darkness of the Moon's so-called permanently shadowed regions - the dark side of the moon.

Everyone is thorough about checklists of items they want to take on long trips - fewer people worry about things they are supposed to leave behind.  But forty years ago, as the Apollo 11 astronauts were completing their checklist to leave the Moon they discovered that they had forgotten something important that wasn't supposed to return to Earth.
Our teeth can withstand an enormous amount of pressure over a period of decades but tooth enamel is only about as strong as glass. The mystery of teeth may become a solution to future aircraft design concerns, according to a a new study by Prof. Herzl Chai of Tel Aviv University's School of Mechanical Engineering and colleagues at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and George Washington University. The automotive and aviation industries already use sophisticated materials to prevent break-up on impact. For example, airplane bodies are made from composite materials ― layers of glass or carbon fibers — held together by a brittle matrix.
Ptolemy's 20 century-old constellation, Cepheus, seems to have been reserved for long hours of star gazing by astronomers with all levels of experience - especially after it was declared the best yet model for studying the star formation process. Its close, its exciting, its inspiring, and its forming (the last one's most important: a star is forming).

The Cepheus B region, lying in the Cepheus constellation in the Cave Nebula (aka Caldwell 9) near the M52 galaxy, has apparently begun a star-formation process owing to - much to the schock of many astronomers - a radiation nudge (if I may call it so) by a massive star just outside the region's molecular cloud.
The logo of NASA's Ares I-X Finally, for its any-time-after-October-31st launch, NASA has completed building the Ares I-X launch rocket. The Ares I-X is the first test-flight rocket built under NASA's Ares I developement programme aimed at building a launch system for human space flights in the future, after the space shuttle retires. 
  
One of the more exciting aspects of going 4-wheeling in the wilderness is the potential for getting stuck in the mud or hung up on a rock. It’s not so exciting if the 4-wheeler is a robot on Mars (actually, a 6-wheeler). There are websites that tell you how to free your vehicle on Earth (such as http://4wheeldrive.about.com/cs/offroadingtips/a/aa020401a_5.htm). For the Mars rover Spirit, her drivers have to test out options in a simulated Martian landscape.
What would you do with 3/4 of a kilogram of gear in space? For the price of a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883, you can now go to space.

InterOrbital Systems (IOS) has announced their TubeSat Personal Satellite Kit. This is 'complete', giving you the basic interface bus for your payload and including the launch costs.

If I were a salesman, I'd point out that launches alone typically cost five times that price!

The previous low-access route to space was the CubeSat, which is still an active and viable program. TubeSat just adds competition, which can only be good. IOS even mentions "the new IOS TubeSat PS Kit is the low-cost alternative to the CubeSat."
It's the typical husband/sports fan stereotype - he uses the wedding video tape accidentally to tape some classic football game, the wife finds out years later, sleeping on couch ensues.

But this time it's a government program - NASA - and footage of history in the making that nobody else at the party could have shot.

Is there a collective doghouse for NASA?