Aerospace

Student-designed rover, built for NASA lab, can go to extremes

Just before midnight Saturday, one day before the final presentation, the project came to a dead stop.

The following Monday, the student aerospace engineering team was scheduled to perform a live test of their prototype land exploration rover to a high-profile client. But the microcontroller—the circuit board that commands the rover—was fried.

Student-professor collaboration could result in a better-fed astronaut

As an undergrad studying ecology and evolutionary biology, Lizzie Lombardi found herself as one of the few “plant” people on a team of University of Colorado Boulder engineering students who were tasked with a lofty mission: build a robotic system that could garden in space.

Severe 2012 solar storm narrowly missed Earth

A massive ejection of material from the sun initially traveling at over 7 million miles per hour that narrowly missed Earth last year is an event solar scientists hope will open the eyes of policymakers regarding the impacts and mitigation of severe space weather, says a University of Colorado Boulder professor.

Satellite designed and built by CU-Boulder students now in orbit

DANDE has left the planet.

A beach ball-sized satellite designed and built by a team of CU-Boulder students is now whipping around the planet in a polar orbit. Roughly 150 students have been involved in the project since 2007.

The satellite, known as the Drag and Atmospheric Neutral Density Explorer satellite, or DANDE, will investigate how atmospheric drag can affect satellite orbits.

MAVEN arrives in Florida

Following a decade of work from the birth of an idea to a finished spacecraft, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN, or MAVEN, mission to Mars being led by the University of Colorado Boulder has arrived in Florida for a slated November launch.

“We are now on the final journey to the launch pad,” said CU-Boulder Professor Bruce Jakosky of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics, principal investigator for the project. “It doesn’t get more exciting than that.”

Water-rock reaction could create enough 'food' to sustain life on Mars or in Earth's ocean crust

A chemical reaction between iron-containing minerals and water may produce enough hydrogen “food” to sustain microbial communities living in pores and cracks within the enormous volume of rock below the ocean floor and parts of the continents, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

Small satellites becoming big deal for CU-Boulder students

For some University of Colorado Boulder undergraduates, designing, building and flying small satellites is becoming a large part of their hands-on education.

CU-Boulder team develops swarm of pingpong ball-sized robots

University of Colorado Boulder Assistant Professor Nikolaus Correll likes to think in multiples. If one robot can accomplish a singular task, think how much more could be accomplished if you had hundreds of them. Correll and his computer science research team recently created a swarm of 20 robots, each the size of a pingpong ball, which they call “droplets.” When the droplets swarm together, Correll said, they form a “liquid that thinks.”

CU team’s efficient unmanned aircraft jetting toward commercialization

Propulsion by a novel jet engine is the crux of the innovation behind a University of Colorado Boulder-developed aircraft that’s accelerating toward commercialization.

As Voyager 1 nears edge of solar system, CU scientists look back

In 1977, Jimmy Carter was sworn in as president, Elvis died, Virginia park ranger Roy Sullivan was hit by lightning a record seventh time and two NASA space probes destined to turn planetary science on its head launched from Florida.

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