Friday, August 3, 2012

A drop-In looking for signs of company

NASA / JPL image.
Packed with ingenious new instruments, the Curiosity rover promises to provide the best-ever examination of the Red Planet, digging up clues to a profound question: Could there ever have been life there?
“[ChemCam] is really designed to be a sentry or advance guard for the rover and identify the most interesting samples,” said Roger C. Wiens, a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory who is the instrument’s principal investigator. (Full Story)      

Why Mars rover will be blasting its heat ray as it searches for life

AP image.
The Mars rover Curiosity, which is due on the Red Planet next week, is outfitted with an infrared laser and telescope package called ChemCam that will vaporize bits of rock to study its chemical makeup.
… The technology was adapted for space missions by a team led by Los Alamos National Laboratory geochemist Roger Wiens, ChemCam's lead scientist. The Mars Science Laboratory's mission marks the instrument's maiden flight. (Full Story)    


Martian fever comes to Bradbury
NASA Image.
Curious about Curiosity, the SUV-sized rover scheduled to touch down on Mars on Sunday? Then come to an opening party for a new exhibit about it this Sunday at the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos.

The public is invited to a special opening reception beginning at 10 p.m. Sunday to celebrate Los Alamos National Laboratory technologies aboard the six-wheeled mobile science laboratory. (Full Story)    

 Greenland loses ice in fits and starts

Image: Niels J. Korsgaard, Natural History Museum of Denmark
The surge of ice loss from Greenland between 2005 and 2010, which drove up sea levels around the world, was not unprecedented. A similar spurt happened in the late 1980s, and possibly decades earlier as well.

… The real problem is predicting when warm waters will swash around Greenland's coast, and exactly how that affects the ice, says Stephen Price of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. (Full Story)


LANL to help advance robotics
Throwbots are used by the military and law enforcement. Reconrobotics photo.
  A new partnership between Los Alamos National Laboratory and a Minnesota company could accelerate advances in robotic technology for use by the military, law enforcement, businesses and the general public.

LANL and ReconRobotics Inc., a company that specializes in tactical micro-robot systems, recently entered into a research and development agreement to identify, evaluate and produce technologies that could prove to be mutually beneficial. (Full Story)


Also from the Journal this week:

Editorial: Top researchers bring accolades to the state

Amy J. Clarke. LANL photo.                

This week six researchers with New Mexico ties will be among 96 U.S. researchers to receive the 2011 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, including Amy J. Clarke, a materials scientist for Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Full Story)

Best defense is a good offense

Manny L’Esperance demonstrates the SimTable. Monitor photo.

On West Jemez Road, in a small room at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Emergency Operations Center, sits one the greatest defensive weapons the lab uses against fighting wildfires.

At first glance, it just looks like a sand box propped up on four wooden legs. However, turn off the lights and turn on an overhead projector, and that’s where the similarity to the childhood memories ends. (Full Story)

Also from the Monitor this week:

Seen @ the Scene: Lab Picnic los alamos monitor

Photo Gallery: Hundreds turned out for the annual laboratory picnic with fun-for-the-family games, prizes, demonstrations and food. Free sno cones made life grand for children of all ages, while many participated in dancing and Zumba. (Full Story)

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