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.

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.

CU engineers help launch Colorado K-12 science experiments into space

When the space shuttle Atlantis lifted off for its journey to the International Space Station in 2009, it had on board two butterfly habitats, which were part of an experiment conducted by CU-Boulder and K–12 students across the country.

Sensor developed at CU-Boulder enables plants to say “I’m thirsty”

Corn and potato crops may soon provide information to farmers about when the plants need water and how much should be delivered, due to a CU-Boulder invention. A tiny sensor clipped to plant leaves charts their moisture content, a key measure of water deficiency and accompanying stress. Data from the leaves is sent wirelessly over the Internet to computers linked to irrigation equipment, ensuring timely watering, reducing excessive water and energy use, and potentially saving farmers millions of dollars a year.

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