Space

Return to Mars: SBU scientist back in the PIXL

By GREGORY ZELLER // Joel Hurowitz just can’t get off Mars. Hurowitz is not at all like the “The Martian,” titular hero of novelist Andy Weir’s smash hit about a stranded astronaut desperate to return to Earth. Instead, the assistant professor in Stony Brook University’s Department of Geosciences keeps volunteering to return to the Red Planet – at least virtually, as a consultant on several NASA missions. His first trip to Mars was in 2004,…

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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…