University of Texas at Austin

Archive for the ‘Space exploration’ Category


Friday, August 23, 2013

Longhorns in Space, by Jupiter!

Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin’s Institute for Geophysics helped develop a blueprint for a possible future NASA lander mission to Europa, an icy moon of Jupiter that has a global ocean covered by an ice shell.

Europa’s large reservoir of liquid water has long enchanted planetary scientists with the possibility of harboring life. Many experts believe it to be the most likely place in our solar system besides Earth to host life today. The proposed mission is designed
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Monday, October 10, 2011

A gallery of GRACE images

The twin satellites of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) constantly beam information back to Earth.

(See the full story on the University of Texas at Austin Web site).

The data arrives in scientists’ computers as screens full of numbers. The scientists transform the bit and bytes into images to help them, other researchers and policymakers better understand the information.

The principal investigator of the GRACE misson is Byron Tapley, director of the Center for Space Research and professor in the Cockrell School of
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Thursday, February 17, 2011

FASTRAC satellites on track

fastracimageTwo satellites designed and built by students at the Cockrell School of Engineering have passed two major milestones since their launch Nov. 19 from the Kodiak Launch Complex in Alaska.

The 60-plus pound satellites, named Emma and Sara Lily, survived orbit during the most extreme hot conditions they will face in space — orbiting for hours in front of the sun — and in the coldest conditions, being directly behind the Earth’s shadow.

“We wanted to make sure the satellites could live through
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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The first Longhorn in space

Sam, the rhesus monkey, was launched on Dec. 4, 1959. He and Miss Sam, launched a month later, were trained at The University of Texas at Austin. Photo by NASA.

Sam, a Rhesus monkey, was launched on Dec. 4, 1959. He and Miss Sam, launched a month later, were trained at The University of Texas at Austin. Photo by NASA.

The 50th anniversary of the first primate shot into space by Americans was this week.

On Jan. 31, 1961, Ham, a chimpanzee, was launched 160 miles above the Earth. The chimp became something of a celebrity after a photo spread in Life magazine immortalized his flight.

The University of Texas at Austin didn’t have
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