NASA: NASA, University of Texas at Dallas Reveal Apollo 11 Behind-the-Scenes Audio. “NASA’s Johnson Space Center has the only functional remaining tape recorder capable of playing those approximately 170 remaining tapes. But the time and effort of converting them to current digital formats was daunting, and required the tape deck to be modified from being able to handle two-channels at a time to handle the 30 channels on the historic tapes. But through a collaborative effort with The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas), the conversion finally has been completed, and the unique perspective of those at the core of supporting humankind’s ‘giant leap’ is available to download and listen to all 19,000 hours of audio recordings.” This is an incredible achievement. I posted in December about what it took behind the scenes to get this digitizing done.
PRNewswire: NASA Debuts Online Toolkit to Promote Commercial Use of Satellite Data (PRESS RELEASE). “While NASA’s policy of free and open remote-sensing data has long benefited the scientific community, other government agencies and nonprofit organizations, it has significant untapped potential for commercialization. NASA’s Technology Transfer program has created an online resource to promote commercial use of this data and the software tools needed to work with it. With the Remote Sensing Toolkit, users will now be able to find, analyze and utilize the most relevant data for their research, business projects or conservation efforts. The toolkit provides a simple system that quickly identifies relevant sources based on user input. The toolkit will help users search for data, as well as ready-to-use tools and code to build new tools.”
NASA: Can NASA help predict fires? New database includes fire danger forecasts. “NASA researchers recently created a model that analyzes various weather factors that lead to the formation and spread of fires. The Global Fire Weather Database (GFWED) accounts for local winds, temperatures, and humidity, while also being the first fire prediction model to include satellite–based precipitation measurements. Predicting the intensity of fires is important because smoke can affect air quality and increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.”
Emory University: Preserving the Apollo 15 Flight Data Logs. “In 2017, Emory University took the unique opportunity to create a digital learning hub centering around the Apollo Space Program. Emory Library and Information Technology Services borrowed materials from the 1971 Apollo 15 mission (NASA’s fourth manned mission to the moon) to use in creating an interactive website featuring the digital archives from the mission.”
New York Times: Asteroids and Adversaries: Challenging What NASA Knows About Space Rocks. “For the last couple of years, Nathan P. Myhrvold, a former chief technologist at Microsoft with a physics doctorate from Princeton, has roiled the small, congenial community of asteroid scientists by saying they know less than they think about these near-Earth objects. He argues that a trove of data from NASA they rely on is flawed and unreliable.”
NASA: 20 Years of Earth Data Now at Your Fingertips. “Powerful Earth-observing instruments aboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites, launched in 1999 and 2002, respectively, have observed nearly two decades of planetary change. Now, for the first time, all that imagery — from the first operational image to imagery acquired today — is available for exploration in Worldview. Thanks to the efforts of several NASA teams, the public can now interactively browse all global imagery from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument quickly and easily from the comfort of a home computer. All global MODIS imagery dating back to the operational start of MODIS in 2000 is available through NASA’s Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) for viewing using NASA’s Worldview application. And there’s a lot to see.”
Computerworld Australia: Google, NASA, UTS propose ‘hello world’ test for quantum computers. “What is the smallest computational task a quantum computer might be able to complete, that the most powerful supercomputers available today would find prohibitively hard? Find that and you locate the frontier of what is commonly (and some say, problematically) referred to as ‘quantum supremacy’.”