NASA

In space, no one can hear your nervous breakdown

By GREGORY ZELLER // It’s lonely out in space. And the mental health of astronauts embarking on long-term missions to the final frontier is a paramount concern for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which is funding a new clinical trial of an innovative e-mental health tool that could relieve astronomical anxiety, star stress and deep-space depression. The study, led by a Stony Brook University psychiatry professor in conjunction with Australian researchers, officially kicked off…


NASA taps NYIT for critical rocket-propulsion sensors

By GREGORY ZELLER // A New York Institute of Technology engineering professor is contributing to the creation of specialized sensors that could help test the next generation of space propulsion systems – and one day blast into the void themselves. Fang Li, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at NYIT’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences in Old Westbury, is partnering with X-Wave Innovations Inc., a Maryland-based R&D firm, on the development of an embedded…


To infinity, and beyond, at FSC commencements

Farmingdale State College will go global, and then some, at its annual commencement exercises. The college is planning two separate ceremonies this year – one for students graduating from the School of Business and the School of Health Sciences, one for graduates of the School of Arts and Sciences and the School of Engineering Technology – and each will feature a heavy-hitting keynote speaker. The Business/Health Sciences commencement, scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. May…


The SBU ecologist who came in from the cold

If you’ve ever dreamt of tracking Antarctic penguin populations – and really, who hasn’t? – Stony Brook University can now make it happen. No, the university won’t fly you to King George Island or outfit you with a state-of the-art military-surplus Marpat Level 7 ECW Hooded Jacket. However, through a collaboration with NASA, the university is recruiting citizen scientists to lend a hand with a virtual census, of sorts, of Antarctica’s iconic inhabitants. Jokes aside,…


At SBU, Rocking the Space Vibe

By GREGORY ZELLER // The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is funding a five-year mission that has Stony Brook University geologists exploring strange, new worlds – and gearing up for future star treks. The university’s Department of Geosciences on Friday officially launched its new 6,500-square-foot Center for Planetary Exploration, a three-laboratory consortium using next-generation science to unearth the solar system’s oldest clues. It’s prime directives: to seek out ancient microbial lifeforms and otherwise decode eons…


You know the mother of invention. Here’s the son.

By GREGORY ZELLER // Science research coordinator Lisa Runco has seen many students come through Great Neck’s North Shore Hebrew Academy High School, but never one quite like Scott Soifer. When it comes to innovation, creativity and an inherent understanding of electrical and mechanical systems, the 15-year-old sophomore is unlike any other past or current NSHA student, according to Runco. “No. 1 at our school,” the student advisor said, “and his work ethic is amazing.”…


Visualizing where food, water and energy meet

By GREGORY ZELLER // Nada, meet NASA. That’s Dr. Nada Anid, thank you, dean of the New York Institute of Technology’s School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, and her plans for NASA could take Long Island innovation to the final frontier. Anid was in Washington on Wednesday for the National Council for Science and the Environment’s 16th annual conference on Science, Policy and the Environment. Dubbed the “Food-Energy-Water Nexus,” the Mensa-level networker united 1,200 leaders…


NASA tests its heading-for-Mars rocket engine

NASA hot-fired an RS-25 engine on Thursday, one of four that will power the core stage of the agency’s new Space Launch System and carry the agency’s Orion crew capsule as part of a future journey to Mars and other deep space destinations. The test, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, is part of a series designed to put the upgraded former space shuttle main engines through the rigorous temperature and pressure conditions they will…