Daily Archives: January 8, 2013

NASA technology (26)

First Use of Mars Rover Curiosity’s Dust Removal Tool
NASA – This image from the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) on NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity shows the patch of rock cleaned by the first use of the rover’s Dust Removal Tool (DRT).

The tool is a motorized, wire-bristle brush on the turret at the end of the rover’s arm. Its first use was on the 150th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Jan. 6, 2013). MAHLI took this image from a distance of about 10 inches (25 centimeters) after the brushing was completed on this rock target called “Ekwir_1.” The patch of the rock from which dust has been brushed away is about 1.85 inches by 2.44 inches (47 millimeters by 62 millimeters). The scale bar at bottom right is 1 centimeter (0.39 inch).

A view of Curiosity’s turret at http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA15699 shows the DRT on the right side of the image and the MAHLI at the center.

Honeybee Robotics, New York, N.Y., built the DRT for Curiosity. Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego, built the MAHLI. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

Politics or Ideology? Obama’s Curious Indifference to Trillion Dollar Deficits

By Paul Roderick Gregory – So it boils down to this: Near the end of Obama’s second term or in the first term of his successor, the American people will face a choice so clear that even the liberal media cannot obfuscate it: Do we all want to pay higher income taxes, a national sales tax, $10 gas, and much higher social security taxes to keep Obama’s entitlement state that guarantee everyone, irrespective of circumstances or effort, a “decent standard of living,” and “universal access” to health care, income security, and “healthy” food. Yes or no? more> http://tinyurl.com/acczftj

The GOP Opportunity To Turn Fiscal Cliff “Defeat” Into Victory

By Charles Kadlec – If Republicans choose to use these strategic gains to fight for spending cuts and future entitlement reforms in exchange for higher taxes, they will have fallen into the austerity trap that perpetuates the financial crisis in Europe and will have squandered their new-found position of strength.

Emphasizing growth also means the Republicans will have to stop advocating spending cuts in the name of achieving an ephemeral balanced budget. Instead, reducing wasteful federal spending should be pursued for the sake of freeing resources to the private sector. Every dollar the federal government does not spend is a dollar that does not have to be taken from the private sector in the form of taxes or debt. more> http://tinyurl.com/av9l4tb

At least one in six stars has an Earth-sized planet

R&D Magazine – Using NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, astronomers are beginning to find Earth-sized planets orbiting distant stars. A new analysis of Kepler data shows that about 17% of stars have an Earth-sized planet in an orbit closer than Mercury. Since the Milky Way has about 100 billion stars, there are at least 17 billion Earth-sized worlds out there.

Kepler detects planetary candidates using the transit method, watching for a planet to cross its star and create a mini-eclipse that dims the star slightly. The first 16 months of the survey identified about 2,400 candidates. Astronomers then asked, how many of those signals are real, and how many planets did Kepler miss? more> http://tinyurl.com/a5sq3ml

Cloud computing: fact or fiction? (Infographic)

Siliconrepublic.com – Cloud computing has nothing to do with the weather and while it’s not entirely safe from cyber attacks, the technology is creating IT jobs and millions of people are using the cloud. Cloud computing creates nearly 14 million jobs by 2015.

The infographic published by DeVry University on Visual.ly. more> http://tinyurl.com/b8o8djw