Space

With NSF boost, deep-space detective eyes death stars

By GREGORY ZELLER // A relatively small federal grant will propel a SUNY-Old Westbury instructor deep into the ocean of space, where he’ll track radio waves produced by the spectacular collision of two long-dead stars. The National Science Foundation has awarded Michael Kavic, an associate professor in the SUNY College at Old Westbury’s Chemistry and Physics Department, a mere $189,233 – a pittance, actually, in an age of million-dollar research grants. But the award will…

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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…


On ray beams, death stars and petaflops

By GREGORY ZELLER // A national research team led by Stony Brook University scientists is about to get a close-up look at neutron-star explosions, thermonuclear supernovae and other spectacularly volatile astrophysical phenomena. At least, they’ll get up close and personal with simulated space explosions, courtesy of one of the world’s fastest supercomputers. A project led by SBU Department of Physics and Astronomy professors Michael Zingale and Alan Calder has been awarded 45 million “processor hours”…


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…


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…