NASA spinoffs, universe evolution and new space exploration center

nasaspinoffNASA spinoffs: Bringing space tech to Earth

The new year is a time of taking stock.  For NASA that means, at least in part, release of the 2016 edition of Spinoff, a publication produced by its Technology Transfer Program that describes the latest crop of technologies that have come out of the nation’s space program and entered Earth-based markets.

The 244-page report is impressive for both the number and variety of technologies developed, though it includes products that were actually spun out of NASA as many as 10 or 12 years ago.  That’s understandable, because many technologies developed by NASA a decade ago are only now being marketed.

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Green pea galaxy provides insights to early universe evolution

Newly formed dwarf galaxies were likely the reason that the universe heated up about 13 billion years ago, according to new work by an international team of scientists. The finding opens an avenue for better understanding the early period of the universe’s 14-billion-year history.

In the period of several hundred thousand years after the Big Bang, the universe was so hot and dense that matter was ionized instead of being in a neutral form. But 380,000 years later, the expansion of the universe had cooled it enough for matter to become neutral and for the first structures of the universe to form — gas clouds of hydrogen and helium. Gravity then made these gas clouds grow in mass and collapse to form the first stars and galaxies. Then, about one billion years after the Big Bang, another important transformation occurred: the universe reheated and hydrogen — the most abundant element — became ionized for a second time, as it had shortly after the Big Bang — an event which astronomers call “cosmic re-ionization.” How this happened is still debated.

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Bill would create Washington state space exploration center to boost fledgling industry

spaceflight-1240x698A bill is in play in Washington state Legislature to get the state government deeply involved in nurturing Washington’s fledgling space-exploration industry.

The push comes as one major commercial space company based in the Seattle region, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, calls for further tax incentives from the Legislature to boost the emerging industry. Companies including Blue Origin, SpaceX, Planetary Resources, Spaceflight Industries and others have established major operations in the state.

The bill’s goals are to increase federal space funding in Washington by 30 percent, and to increase space-related jobs by 15 percent. However, the baselines for those increases are still being calculated, Morris said.

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A job opening for an Avionics Software Engineer, The Spaceship Company (USA). TSC is seeking a talented and motivated Avionics Software Engineer to join our Avionics team. The ideal candidate will have at least 4 years of experience working with avionics flight software on certified or experimental aircraft or spacecraft. The Avionics Software Engineer will develop software for the SpaceshipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo avionics system as well as for the flight simulator. More information

Build up your space resume by participating in a space data challenge: develop an application that could use any available data from SETI. More information


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