Photos
Article

By Tamarra Kemsley

Apparently even NASA can't avoid the zombie craze: the agency announced their selection of programs for launch in 2017 on Friday and one of them is the Neutron-star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER).

Neutron stars have long carried the nickname "zombies of the cosmos" due to the fact that they shine despite technically being dead, and have the rude tendency of eating their neighbors should they venture too close. However, in terms of really understanding the celestial objects roughly the size of New York City, this is about as far as it gets for scientists.

"A neutron star is right at the threshold of matter as it can exist - if it were compressed any further, it would collapse completely on itself and become a black hole," said Zaven Arzoumanian, a NASA Goddard scientist the the deputy principal investigator on the mission. "We have no way of creating or studying this matter in any laboratory."

Thus by funding NICER, NASA is providing for what will likely be a series of ground-breaking discoveries should everything go according to plan.

But it doesn't stop there.

The mission, as it turns out, is two-fold. Not only will it allow unprecedented access to Neutron stars, but the explorer itself will employ what NASA says is a groundbreaking navigation technology capable of revolutionizing the ability to travel to the "far reaches of the solar system and beyond."

Specifically, scientists hope to prove the viability of using pulsars as a sort of lighthouse in order to guide the explorer through space - a phenomenon made possible through the exactness with which pulsars give off light.

In all, it will consist of 56 X-ray telescopes, their associated silicone detectors, and what NASA calls in a press release "a number of other advanced technologies."

In the end, the resulting product will be about the side of a dormitory refrigerator and will fly as an externally-attached payload on the International Space Station.

Source: http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/1252/20130406/script-type-text-javascript-location-replace-adm-account-login-url-2fadm-2fpublish-2fpublish-2fget-keywords-ajax-php-script.htm

Comments
Order by: 
Per page: 
 
  • There are no comments yet
The Social Network Buzz - Comment using your Facebook, AOL, Hotmail or Yahoo! account
Info
Administrator
The Black Vault Owner/Operator
04.06.2013 (383 days ago)
Main Space
453 Views
0 Subscribers
All News by Administrator
Share This Article
Rate
1 votes
Related News
Getting your “space legs” in Earth orbit has taken on new meaning for NASA’s pioneering Robonaut program.
Main Space
6 hours ago · From Administrator
While spiders were busy spinning webs in space, researchers on Earth weaved their knowledge of this activity into educational materials to inspire and motivate students.
Yesterday · From Administrator
A test flight later this week will challenge a set of sensors to map out a 65-yard square of boulder-sized hazards and pick out a safe place to land.
Main Space
Yesterday · From Administrator
NASA is developing the capabilities needed to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and Mars in the 2030s
Main Space
2 days ago · From Administrator
NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., have confirmed that NASA's Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft impacted the surface of the moon
Main Space
5 days ago · From Administrator
NASA Announces Plans To Explore Neutrons Stars - The Zombies Of Space