Tag Archives: space

Top 10 Downloads: Space and Aeronautics

Since last June, hundreds of thousands of PDFs have been downloaded for free from the NAP website. Don’t miss out on your chance to read any of these top ten downloads in the Space and Aeronautics category. Continue reading

Beyond the Space Shuttle: Future Directions for Space Exploration and Research

Atlantis blasted off for its final mission last week, marking the end of the space shuttle program. As we look back on what we have learned from the space shuttle and other space research programs, it is amazing to consider how far we can advance knowledge of our own solar system and planets beyond in just a few decades. Looking ahead, where do we go from here?

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era lays out steps that NASA can take to reinvigorate its partnership with the life and physical sciences research community and develops a forward-looking portfolio of research that will provide the basis for recapturing the excitement and value of human spaceflight. The recommendations of this report can guide the U.S. space program to deliver on new exploration initiatives that serve the nation, excite the public, and place the United States again at the forefront of space exploration for the global good.

Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022 reviews the status of planetary science in the United States and develops a comprehensive strategy that will continue these advances in the coming decade. Drawing on extensive interactions with the broad planetary science community, this book presents a decadal program of science and exploration with the potential to yield revolutionary new discoveries. The program will achieve long-standing scientific goals with a suite of new missions across the solar system and will provide fundamental new scientific knowledge.

In astronomy and astrophysics, recent discoveries, powerful new ways to observe the universe, and bold new ideas to understand it have created scientific opportunities without precedent. New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics proposes a broad-based, integrated plan for space- and ground-based astronomy and astrophysics for the decade 2012-2021. It also lays the foundations for advances in the decade 2022-2031. Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics is a collection of reports, each of which addresses a key sub-area of the field, prepared by specialists in that subarea, and each of which plays an important role in setting overall priorities for the field.

These books and others from the Space Studies Board and the Board on Physics and Astronomy are fascinating and useful resources for the scientific community and the explorer in all of us.

Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration
Recapturing a Future for Space Exploration: Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era

More than four decades have passed since a human first set foot on the Moon. Great strides have been made since in our understanding of what is required to support an enduring human presence in space, as evidenced by progressively more advanced orbiting human…
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Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022
Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022

In recent years, planetary science has seen a tremendous growth in new knowledge. Deposits of water ice exist at the Moon’s poles. Discoveries on the surface of Mars point to an early warm wet climate, and perhaps conditions under which life could have…
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New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically over the course of the last few decades. The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections to…
Details

Panel Reports--New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics
Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Every ten years the National Research Council releases a survey of astronomy and astrophysics outlining priorities for the coming decade. The most recent survey, titled New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, provides overall…
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Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey
Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey

The 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey report, New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (NWNH), outlines a scientifically exciting and programmatically integrated plan for both ground- and space-based astronomy and astrophysics in…
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Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions
Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Collaboration on Space and Earth Science Missions

Through an examination of case studies, agency briefings, and existing reports, and drawing on personal knowledge and direct experience, the Committee on Assessment of Impediments to Interagency Cooperation on Space and Earth Science Missions found that…
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Defending Planet Earth
Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies

The United States spends approximately $4 million each year searching for near-Earth objects (NEOs). The objective is to detect those that may collide with Earth. The majority of this funding supports the operation of several observatories that scan the sky…
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Capabilities for the Future
Capabilities for the Future: An Assessment of NASA Laboratories for Basic Research

Over the past 5 years or more, there has been a steady and significant decrease in NASA’s laboratory capabilities, including equipment, maintenance, and facility upgrades. This adversely affects the support of NASA’s scientists, who rely on these…
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The Nation’s Science Report Card: Perspectives from the Board on Science Education

On the National Assessment of Educational Progress 2009 Science Report Card released last Tuesday, the United States received an overall grade of “needs improvement.” The test, which measures science proficiency, was administered to 4th, 8th, and 12th graders and underscores one of the major focal points of President Obama’s State of the Union address: the need to improve science education in the United States. Four in ten 12th grade students did not perform even at a basic level of science understanding, and only about a fifth were judged to be proficient in science, with just 1% performing at an advanced level. Furthermore, there is still a strong gap in the achievement of students based on ethnicity, educational attainment of parents and caregivers, and family income. The National Research Council’s Board on Science Education has produced a number of reports that discuss research and provide practical guidance to improve science education. We asked Tom Keller, Senior Program Officer with the board, for his thoughts.

“There has not been such momentum in science education in this country since the 1960s, and in contrast to the times when the nation responded to the Sputnik shock, we now know much more about effective science learning and teaching. Foundational work has been and is underway in the National Academies’ Board on Science Education (BOSE) that summarizes the enormous progress we have made through learning and education research over the last 20 years. BOSE published two seminal studies and their derivative products in two major areas of science learning: K-8 in schools, and the whole area of out-of-school or informal science learning. The report on learning science in K-8 classrooms, Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8, and the associated practitioner volume Ready, Set SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms have become important resources for classroom-based science teaching. The two reports on learning science in informal environments, Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits, and its practitioner volume Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments are beginning to influence how museums, science centers, zoos and aquariums, and other institutions of informal learning think about their products for their public. Taking Science to School cites the research evidence and builds the case for the teaching and learning of more rigorous content than has been the usual. And proficiency has been defined as encompassing four strands of scientific proficiency – understanding scientific explanations, generating scientific evidence, reflecting on scientific knowledge and participating productively in science. Science is not just a body of facts; it is what you know, how you use that knowledge and how that knowledge helps you understand the world. The reports on informal learning expanded on these four strands of science proficiency by acknowledging more specifically the role of interest and motivation, and by addressing the crucial role of identity as a science learner.

“A number of factors are converging, leading to an unprecedented effort in science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. Just recently, the Carnegie Corporation and the Institute for Advanced Studies released the Opportunity Equation, which lays out a framework for aligning the entire science education enterprise. The Council of Chief State School Officers and the National Governors Association led the creation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative in English language arts and mathematics. The president initiated the Race to the Top education reform efforts, Educate to Innovate, and Change the Equation. The President’s Council of Advisors in Science and Technology and the National Science Board each put forth their reports on K-12 science education. The National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council is currently finalizing a framework for next generation science standards and is working in a unique partnership with AAAS, NSTA, and Achieve on the framework and standards.”

National Research Council publications can certainly inform discussions and promote science education to move us from a “needs improvement” category to “clearly outstanding,” though it will take effort throughout the entire education system to get us there.

Taking Science to School

Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8

What is science for a child? How do children learn about science and how to do science? Drawing on a vast array of work from neuroscience to classroom observation, Taking Science to School provides a comprehensive picture of what we know about…
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Ready, Set, SCIENCE!

Ready, Set, SCIENCE!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms

What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, school administrators need to know to…
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Learning Science in Informal Environments

Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits

Informal science is a burgeoning field that operates across a broad range of venues and envisages learning outcomes for individuals, schools, families, and society. The evidence base that describes informal science, its promise, and effects is informed by a…
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Surrounded by Science

Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments

Practitioners in informal science settings–museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, libraries, aquariums, zoos, and botanical gardens–are interested in finding out what learning looks like, how to measure it, and…
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Learning Science Through Computer Games and Simulations

Learning Science Through Computer Games and Simulations

At a time when scientific and technological competence is vital to the nation’s future, the weak performance of U.S. students in science reflects the uneven quality of current science education.  Although young children come to school with innate…
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Exploring the Intersection of Science Education and 21st Century Skills

Exploring the Intersection of Science Education and 21st Century Skills: A Workshop Summary

An emerging body of research suggests that a set of broad “21st century skills”–such as adaptability, complex communication skills, and the ability to solve non-routine problems–are valuable across a wide range of jobs in the national economy. However, the…
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Nurturing and Sustaining Effective Programs in Science Education for Grades K-8

Nurturing and Sustaining Effective Programs in Science Education for Grades K-8: Building a Village in California: Summary of a Convocation

K-8 science education in California (as in many other parts of the country) is in a state of crisis. K-8 students in California spend too little time studying science, many of their teachers are not well prepared in the subject, and the support system for…
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Engineering in K-12 Education

Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects

Engineering education in K-12 classrooms is a small but growing phenomenon that may have implications for engineering and also for the other “STEM” subjects–science, technology, and mathematics. Specifically, engineering education may improve student…
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Science, Evolution, and Creationism

Science, Evolution, and Creationism

How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with…
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America's Lab Report

America’s Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science

Laboratory experiences as a part of most U.S. high science curricula have
been taken for granted for decades, but they have rarely been carefully
examined. What do they contribute to science learning? What can they
contribute to science learning? What is the…
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How Students Learn

How Students Learn: Science in the Classroom

How Students Learn: Science in the Classroom builds on the discoveries detailed in the best-selling How People Learn. Now these findings are presented in a way that teachers can use immediately, to revitalize their work in the classroom for even…
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How People Learn

How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition

This popular trade book, originally released in hardcover in the Spring of 1999, has been newly expanded to show how the theories and insights from the original book can translate into actions and practice, now making a real connection between classroom…
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New Planets, New Possibilities in Space Research

On Monday a team of NASA astronomers announced the discovery of the first rocky planet orbiting a star outside our solar system. The discovery of the planet, named Kepler-10b, was the result of data collected by the Kepler spacecraft, launched by NASA in March 2009.

Remember when grade school astronomy consisted mainly of knowing the names of the nine planets in order from the sun? We have come a long way from the astronomy taught to us even 10 years ago. In recent decades, significant progress in the fields of astronomy and astrophysics has brought about a revolution in understanding of the origins and nature of our universe. Hundreds of planets of startling diversity have been discovered orbiting distant suns. Black holes, once viewed as exotic theoretical possibilities, are now known to be present at the center of most galaxies, including our own. Precision measurements of the primordial radiation left by the big bang have enabled astronomers to determine the age, size, and shape of the universe. Recent discoveries, powerful new ways to observe the universe, and bold new ideas to understand it have created unprecedented scientific opportunities.

So how can we make the most of these opportunities to better understand our universe? New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, a new book from the National Research Council, outlines a plan for ground- and space- based astronomy and astrophysics for the coming decade. This book, based on comprehensive input from the astronomy and astrophysics community, presents exciting yet realistic recommendations.

A companion volume, Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics features a collection of reports on various sub-areas of astronomy and astrophysics. Each of these reports played an important role in setting overall priorities.

These titles and others can guide future research and decision making.

New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Driven by discoveries, and enabled by leaps in technology and imagination, our understanding of the universe has changed dramatically over the course of the last few decades.  The fields of astronomy and astrophysics are making new connections to…
Details

Panel Reports--New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics Panel Reports–New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics

Every ten years the National Research Council releases a survey of astronomy and astrophysics outlining priorities for the coming decade. The most recent survey, entitled New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics, provides overall…
Details

Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey Report of the Panel on Implementing Recommendations from the New Worlds, New Horizons Decadal Survey

The 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey report, New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics (NWNH), outlines a scientifically exciting and programmatically integrated plan for both ground- and space-based astronomy and astrophysics in…
Details

Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration: An Interim Report

In response to requests from Congress, NASA asked the National Research Council to undertake a decadal survey of life and physical sciences in microgravity. Developed in consultation with members of the life and physical sciences communities, the guiding…
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Defending Planet Earth Defending Planet Earth: Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies

The United States spends approximately $4 million each year searching for near-Earth objects (NEOs). The objective is to detect those that may collide with Earth. The majority of this funding supports the operation of several observatories that scan the sky…
Details

An Enabling Foundation for NASA's Space and Earth Science Missions An Enabling Foundation for NASA’s Space and Earth Science Missions

NASA’s space and Earth science program is composed of two principal components: spaceflight projects and mission-enabling activities. Most of the budget of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is applied to spaceflight missions, but NASA identifies nearly…
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Revitalizing NASA's Suborbital Program Revitalizing NASA’s Suborbital Program: Advancing Science, Driving Innovation, and Developing a Workforce

Suborbital flight activities, including the use of sounding rockets, aircraft, and high-altitude balloons, and suborbital reusable launch vehicles, offer valuable opportunities to advance science, train the next generation of scientists and engineers, and…
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America's Future in Space America’s Future in Space: Aligning the Civil Space Program with National Needs

As civil space policies and programs have evolved, the geopolitical environment has changed dramatically. Although the U.S. space program was originally driven in large part by competition with the Soviet Union, the nation now finds itself in a post-Cold War…
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Radioisotope Power Systems Radioisotope Power Systems: An Imperative for Maintaining U.S. Leadership in Space Exploration

Spacecraft require electrical energy. This energy must be available in the outer reaches of the solar system where sunlight is very faint. It must be available through lunar nights that last for 14 days, through long periods of dark and cold at the higher…
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Approaches to Future Space Cooperation and Competition in a Globalizing World Approaches to Future Space Cooperation and Competition in a Globalizing World: Summary of a Workshop

Numerous countries and regions now have very active space programs, and the number is increasing. These maturing capabilities around the world create a plethora of potential partners for cooperative space endeavors, while at the same time heightening…
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Seven New Books: Sea Turtles, Space Exploration, and more

This past week, there were seven new publications on the NAP site, six of which have free PDFs. There were prepublications covering space exploration, climate, and sea turtles.

All New Publications This Week

Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millenia (prepublication)

Assessment of Sea-Turtle Status and Trends: Integrating Demography and Abundance (prepublication)

Life and Physical Sciences Research for a New Era of Space Exploration: An Interim Report (prepublication)

Controlling Cost Growth of NASA Earth and Space Science Missions (prepublication)

A Scientific Assessment of Alternatives for Reducing Water Management Effects on Threatened and Endangered Fishes in California’s Bay Delta (final)

A Population-Based Policy and Systems Change Approach to Prevent and Control Hypertension (final)

Final Report of The National Academies’ Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Advisory Committee and 2010 Amendments to the National Academies’ Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research (final)

New Publications: Near-Earth Objects, Engineering, Zoonotic Diseases and More

Happy new year! Things have been a little bit quiet around here with the winter holidays, so we’re listing out all the new publications for the last three weeks in one fell swoop to get the year started with a bang.

Also, don’t forget to check out the YouTube video that accompanies Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Disease.

Featured Publication

Near-Earth Object Surveys and Hazard Mitigation Strategies: Interim Report (final)

The United States is currently the only country with an active, government-sponsored effort to detect and track potentially hazardous near-Earth objects (NEOs). Congress has mandated that NASA detect and track 90 percent of NEOs that are 1 kilometer in diameter or larger. These objects represent a great potential hazard to life on Earth and could cause global destruction. NASA is close to accomplishing this goal. Congress has more recently mandated that by 2020 NASA should detect and track 90 percent of NEOs that are 140 meters in diameter or larger, a category of objects that is generally recognized to represent a very significant threat to life on Earth if they strike in or near urban areas. Achieving this goal may require the building of one or more additional observatories, possibly including a space-based observatory.

Congress directed NASA to ask the National Research Council to review NASA’s near-Earth object programs. This interim report addresses some of the issues associated with the survey and detection of NEOs. The final report will contain findings and recommendations for survey and detection, characterization, and mitigation of near-Earth objects based on an integrated assessment of the problem.

All New Publications, 12/21/09 – 01/08/09

Phase I Report on Review of the Testing of Body Armor Materials for Use by the U.S. Army: Letter Report (final)

Information Assurance for Network-Centric Naval Forces (prepublication)

Engineering Curricula: Understanding the Design Space and Exploiting the Opportunities: Summary of a Workshop (final)

The Domestic and International Impacts of the 2009-H1N1 Influenza A Pandemic: Global Challenges, Global Solutions: Workshop Summary (prepublication)

Liquid Transportation Fuels from Coal and Biomass: Technological Status, Costs, and Environmental Impacts (final)

Sustaining Global Surveillance and Response to Emerging Zoonotic Diseases (final)

Intangible Assets: Measuring and Enhancing Their Contribution to Corporate Value and Economic Growth: Summary of a Workshop (final)

Evaluation of NSF’s Program of Grants and Vertical Integration of Research and Education in the Mathematical Sciences (VIGRE) (final)

An Assessment of NASA’s National Aviation Operations Monitoring Service (final)

New This Week: NASA, Evolution, Childhood Obesity

New this week we have two publications on the prevention of childhood obesity, continuing education in the health professions, humane issues in the use of random source dogs and cats in research, and one of the books from the In The Light Of Evolution series.

Featured New Publication

Mitigating the Nutritional Impacts of the Global Food Price Crisis: Workshop Summary (prepublication)


In 2007 and 2008, the world witnessed a dramatic increase in food prices. The global financial crisis that began in 2008 compounded the burden of high food prices, exacerbating the problems of hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. The tandem food price and economic crises struck amidst the massive, chronic problem of hunger and undernutrition in developing countries. National governments and international actors have taken a variety of steps to mitigate the negative effects of increased food prices on particular groups. The recent abrupt increase in food prices, in tandem with the current global economic crisis, threatens progress already made in these areas, and could inhibit future efforts.

The Institute of Medicine held a workshop, summarized in this volume, to describe the dynamic technological, agricultural, and economic issues contributing to the food price increases of 2007 and 2008 and their impacts on health and nutrition in resource-poor regions. The compounding effects of the current global economic downturn on nutrition motivated additional discussions on these dual crises, their impacts on the nutritional status of vulnerable populations, and opportunities to mitigate their negative nutritional effects.

All New Publications

Redesigning Continuing Education in the Health Professions (prepublication)

An Enabling Foundation for NASA’s Space and Earth Science Missions (prepublication)

A Database for a Changing Economy: Review of the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) (prepublication)

Benefit-Cost Analysis for Early Childhood Interventions: Workshop Summary (final)

In the Light of Evolution III: Two Centuries of Darwin (final)

Scientific and Humane Issues in the Use of Random Source Dogs and Cats in Research (final)

Race, Ethnicity, and Language Data: Standardization for Health Care Quality Improvement (final)

A Review of the NIOSH Roadmap for Research on Asbestos Fibers and Other Elongate Mineral Particles (final)

Community Perspectives on Obesity Prevention in Children: Workshop Summaries (final)

Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas: Workshop Summary (final)