Friday, September 24, 2010

Curiosity's ChemCam instrument arrives at JPL

The ChemCam instrument for NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission uses a pulsed laser beam to vaporize a pinhead-size target. NASA-LANL photo.

Experts at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, who are in charge of building the next NASA rover that will go on Mars, have just received one of the key elements of the new robot – the ChemCam.

This is an instrument of a class that has never flown to space before. It will go on the Mars Science Laboratory rover, which is now called Curiosity. It was constructed by experts at Los Alamos National Laboratory, who have just delivered it to the JPL, in Pasadena, California. (Full Story)

Decades after discovery, neutrons still a mystery

Andy Saunders, of Los Alamos National Laboratory, is passionate about neutrons — and with good reason.

Neutrons and protons clustered together make up the central mass of atoms. They represent 99.9 percent of the actual matter in the universe. Our bodies and our physical world have substance because of neutrons and protons. (
Full Story)

Physics experiments abound in WIPP underground

There are several research areas at the underground waste
repository. WIPP photo.

One long-standing particle physics experiment in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's underground is taking the slow but steady approach to particle physics research.

"Our team at LANL has had something or another going on at WIPP since the early to mid 90s," said Victor Gehman, Postdoctoral Research Associate with LANL. "We've been working on this project since we built a clean room in 2003." (Full Story)

Earth to Rosetta: Head south!

The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft should deposit its lander, Philae, on the southern hemisphere of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, EU-funded researchers are recommending….

“Churyumov-Gerasimenko is a time capsule holding material from the birth of the Solar System,” explains Jeremie Lasue of Los Alamos National Laboratory in the US….(Full Story)

Bradbury Science Museum takes part in Museum Day

Los Alamos National Laboratory's Bradbury Science Museum is participating for the sixth year in the Smithsonian's Museum Day on Saturday.

Sponsored by Smithsonian Media, during Museum Day participating museums and cultural institutions across the United States open their doors free to anyone presenting a Smithsonian Museum Day ticket. (
Full Story)

Science on Wheels begins new classes

Los Alamos National Laboratory's Bradbury Science Museum Science on Wheels program is offering new, renewable energy-related workshops during the current school year.

Beginning in October, the museum's educators will offer four Science on Wheels workshops on Energy Explorations, Solar Energy, Wind Energy and Fuel Cells. They are geared toward students in fourth through eighth grades, offering opportunities for hands-on learning. (
Full Story)

Oppenheimer’s Los Alamos home goes to museum

Los Alamos Historical Society photo

The Los Alamos Historical Society is hosting a symposium to plan how best to memorialize the wartime home of J. Robert Oppenheimer in the historic area of Los Alamos known as "Bathtub Row." (Full Story)

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