Author: Rony Mattar

New Expedition 39 Crew Set for Tuesday Launch to ISS

A new Expedition 39 trio waits at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for its launch tomorrow night to the International Space Station. New Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov, Steve Swanson and Oleg Artemyev will launch aboard a Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft on Tuesday, March 25 at 5:17 p.m. EDT for a six-hour ride to the orbital laboratory. New Flight Engineers Alexander Skvortsov, Steve Swanson and Oleg Artemyev will launch aboard a Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft at 5:17 p.m. EDT for a six-hour ride to the orbital laboratory. Their rocket rolled out to the launch pad Sunday morning and has been raised into...

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Tombs of Graeco-Roman Egypt and the Coptic Church: Two D.C.-Area Lectures

The Washington, D.C.-area Biblical Archaeology Forum (BAF) and Biblical Archaeology Society of Northern Virginia (BASONOVA) will be hosting the lectures “Visualizing the Afterlife: Monumental Tombs of Graeco-Roman Egypt” (March 12) and “A History of the Coptic Church” (March 16) next week. Not in the D.C. area? BAS offers a wide range of travel/study programs in the United States and across the globe.  On Wednesday, March 12 at 8:00, University of Maryland professor Marjorie Venit will deliver the lecture “Visualizing the Afterlife: Monumental Tombs of Graeco-Roman Egypt.” The Greek conquest of Egypt in 331 BCE and subsequent Roman hegemony resulted in intellectual interaction far beyond that permitted by...

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Saturn’s largest moons, Titan and Rhea from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft.

Fire and Ice Saturn’s largest and second largest moons, Titan and Rhea, appear to be stacked on top of each other in this true-color scene from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The north polar hood can be seen on Titan (3,200 miles or 5,150 kilometers across) appearing as a detached layer at the top of the moon on the top right. See PIA08137 to learn more about Titan’s atmosphere and the north polar hood. This view looks toward the Saturn-facing side of Rhea (949 miles or 1528 kilometers across). North on Rhea is up and rotated 35 degrees to the right. Images taken...

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NASA Has Recovered 7 “Precious” Particles From The Solar System’s Birth

It’s been years since researchers overseeing NASA’s sample-return Stardust mission first reported that the spacecraft had retrieved traces of cosmic dust – the tiny, interstellar particles that make up stars and planets. This week, they announced the net haul of their cosmic catch: Seven particles. SEVEN. Together the particles weigh just 3.1-trillionths of a gram. Somehow, the Stardust team’s description of the sample (the first such particles ever collected in space and returned to Earth) as “rare,” “precious” and “extremely difficult to locate” still feels like a bit of an understatement. According to ScienceNOW, the successful return of the interstellar particles, reported this...

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