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Latest LOCAD Stories

2011-08-03 08:49:39

NASA is once again taking human space exploration to the Arizona desert in tests to simulate conditions on other worlds. News media representatives are invited to two opportunities to learn more about the upcoming Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) field tests. On Thursday, Aug. 4, journalists can visit NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston from 2:30 to 4 p.m. CDT for the Desert RATS team's final dry run before next month's mission. On Sept. 12, reporters at Black Point...

2010-09-03 09:13:06

To see what life might be like on a distant planet, reporters need only travel to the Arizona desert. NASA's Research and Technology Studies, or Desert RATS, will make its 13th trip to the desert this fall to test rovers, habitats and robots that could be used in future exploration missions. A media day for the tests will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 15, to allow reporters to observe the activities. Interested news media should contact Brandi Dean at 281-483-5111 by Thursday, Sept. 9. Access...

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2009-09-16 05:10:03

NASA has concluded two weeks of technology development tests on two of the agency's prototype lunar rovers. The Desert RATS -- or Research and Technology Studies -- in the Arizona desert at Black Point Lava Flow allow NASA to analyze and refine technologies and procedures in extreme environments on Earth. "These tests provide us with crucial information about how our cutting edge vehicles perform in field situations approximating the moon," said Rob Ambrose, Human Robotic Systems project lead...

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2009-08-27 07:05:00

As the Expedition 20 crew members continued preparations for a visit by space shuttle Discovery, they tackled a variety of science and maintenance duties aboard the International Space Station Wednesday. The launch target for STS-128 is Friday at 12:22 a.m. EDT. A problem with a fill-and-drain valve inside Discovery's aft compartment scrubbed the Wednesday morning launch attempt. Discovery is carrying more than seven tons of supplies, science racks and equipment, as well as additional...

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2009-04-10 15:40:00

Steve "Ark" Vander Ark takes a deep breath at the foot of the stairs in a lonely, dusky stairwell, then turns and heads up ten long flights of steps "“ for the eighth time. He'll repeat this ritual thrice more, for a total of 100 flights of stairs, in the NASA Johnson Space Center building where he works. And to top it all off, he's wearing a fully-laden backpack. Why? He's getting ready to climb Mount Everest. Why? Because it's there "“ and because he wants to do a NASA...

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2009-03-21 09:03:36

On March 19th, astronauts onboard the International Space Station checked themselves for microbes before stepping outside on a space walk. It was a first-ever test of planetary protection technology that, one day, could keep humans from contaminating the sands of Mars. "We conducted the tests using LOCAD-PTS, a miniature biological lab for space travelers," explains Jake Maule, principal investigator for the experiment. LOCAD-PTS stands for Lab-On-A-Chip Application Development Portable Test...

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2009-02-06 14:55:00

Even in space, someone has to clean the bathroom. Good housekeeping is essential when you're living in the close quarters of a tightly-sealed spaceship for months at a time. To make this possible, NASA scientists have developed a tricorder-like device called "LOCAD-PTS" that can track down microscopic bacteria and fungi. It helps astronauts do their chores. "The crew of the space station works hard to keep things clean," says Norm Wainwright, principal investigator for LOCAD-PTS...

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2008-05-11 10:20:00

Any Trekkies out there? Remember the tricorder? Dr. McCoy and Mr. Spock both carried them, and they came in mighty handy exploring "strange new worlds ...where no one has gone before." On the International Space Station, astronauts are carrying an experimental device that looks strikingly similar: LOCAD-PTS, short for Lab-On-a-Chip Application Development Portable Test System. This handheld biological lab is the first step along the path to developing something akin to Dr. McCoy's medical...

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2007-05-12 08:40:00

Picture this: You're one of several astronauts homeward bound after a three-year mission to Mars. Halfway back from the Red Planet, your spacecraft starts suffering intermittent electrical outages. So you remove a little-used service panel to check some wiring. To your unbelieving eyes, floating in midair in the microgravity near the wiring is a shivering, shimmering globule of dirty water larger than a grapefruit. And on the wiring connectors are unmistakable flecks of mold. That actually...

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2007-04-10 09:30:00

A miniature biological laboratory important to the future of space exploration has just been tested successfully onboard the International Space Station. NASA -- "What a huge relief," says Norman Wainwright of the Charles River Laboratories in Charleston, SC. "The whole technical team was delighted that it worked so well." He's talking about a miniature biological laboratory just tested for the first time onboard the International Space Station. Called LOCAD-PTS (short for Lab-On-a-Chip...


Word of the Day
bodacious
  • Remarkable; prodigious.
  • Audacious; gutsy.
  • Completely; extremely.
  • Audaciously; boldly.
  • Impressively great in size; enormous; extraordinary.
This word is probably from the dialectal 'boldacious,' a blend of 'bold' and 'audacious.'
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