NASA

Dr. Stephen Parke / Northwest Nazarene University

A satellite built by Northwest Nazarene University students will launch into space in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. The experiment will help NASA find out the best kind of plastics to use on future satellites.

Rescued Film Project

When was the last time you had a roll of film developed? For many, our digital devices are datebook, rolodex and camera all in one. But moments captured on film are finding a second life through a project based in Idaho, and it raises some questions about our digital future.

In his Boise basement darkroom, Levi Bettwieser deftly unspools, cuts and winds a roll of film into a canister. He rinses it in several chemicals, waits few minutes, then takes it out and holds it up to the light.

AP

Astronaut and teacher Barbara Morgan is the first recipient of Idaho's highest civilian honor.

Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter announced Morgan's achievement after his annual State of the State address on Monday.

Morgan was an elementary teacher in McCall before joining NASA's Teacher in Space program. She later trained as a NASA mission specialist and flew on the Endeavor space shuttle in 2007.

The Idaho Medal of Achievement was created in 2015.

When Sally Ride flew into orbit aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1983, she made history. As the first American woman in space, Ride helped change perceptions about what women could accomplish and inspired a new generation of girls to literally reach for the stars. But Ride was more than an icon for the U.S. space program – she also was a complex, private woman with singular talents and skills, who continued to contribute to science and education until her death from pancreatic cancer in 2012.

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Imagine if Jupiter drifted so close to the sun its atmosphere was burned away and the rocky core that was left orbited our star every three or four hours. Boise State University is leading a group of researchers looking at scenarios like this one in other solar systems.

Using a $166,000 grant from NASA, scientists led by BSU will try to figure out where these exoplanets, which closely hug their host stars, come from.

More than 100 of these ultra-short-period planets have been found, but it’s not clear how they got so close to their stars.

NASA, ESA, and J. Nichos (University of Leicester)

The NASA space probe Juno arrives at Jupiter on the Fourth of July.

The probe will study Jupiter’s atmosphere, magnetic fields, and auroras. The hope is to better understand the planet's origin and evolution.

Boise State's physics department will use telescopes to get a close-up look at Jupiter Monday night as Juno starts orbiting the planet.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/USGS/Cornell

Mars is making its closest approach to Earth in over a decade, and one scientist says it’s a great time to learn more about the red planet. Boise State University will hold an astronomical viewing party to celebrate Mars Tuesday night.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A group of Boise State University students got glowing reviews after the tool they built for NASA was put through its paces last month.

The tool, known as the Zero Operable Interplanetary Delivery Based Ergonomics Grabber, is called Zoidberg 2.0 for short. Zoidberg is a character on the cartoon Futurama.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A group of Boise State students has built a tool for NASA that one day might go into space. The Microgravity team is in NASA in Houston this week, where it will be tested by experts. If it does well, NASA may use the design on a mission to study asteroids.

“It’s kind of heavy. This is last year’s tool, if it wants to cooperate,” Boise State University student Chris Ruby is holding what looks like a weird, oversized pistol with boxes on one end. Everyone on the Microgravity team calls it “The Tool.”

NASA/Jeff Schmaltz

Monday's crisp and clear air is a welcome relief after weeks of wildfire smoke fumigated valleys around Idaho. The real-time monitor from the Department of Environmental Quality shows just how much things have improved, even in places where fires are still raging.

Timelapsed / Flickr Creative Commons

Idaho State University and NASA are collaborating on research that may help scientists find life on other planets and improve radar to land rovers more safely on Mars.

The Idaho State Journal reports two teams are researching lava flows at the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve using rocks that ISU Geosciences assistant professor Shannon Kobs-Nawotniak says are very similar to those found on Mars.

Images taken by the Thematic Mapper sensor onboard Landsat 5. Source: USGS Landsat Missions Gallery, Long Butte, Idaho Fire. / U.S. Department of the Interior / U.S. Geological Survey

More than 7-million acres have burned in Idaho wildfires since 2004, and NASA satellites have captured how some of those fires have changed the regional landscape. 

Boise State University

A Boise State professor is looking for clues about Earth's origin by studying planets around distant stars.

Brian Jackson is an assistant professor in Boise State’s Department of Physics. He’s using a $271,000 grant from NASA and data from the Kepler space observatory to study planets that are very close to their host stars.

Steve Swanson / NASA

Tuesday morning, Boise State University students will speak with astronauts aboard the International Space Station. They’ll get to ask the crew 20 questions. It’s all part of BSU’s Space Symposium.

All semester, BSU Space Broncos have been engaging with NASA, chatting online and taking part in the space agency’s research and programs. That work is culminating with a live chat with NASA astronauts Steve Swanson and Rick Mastracchio.

Gabriel Trisca and Mark Robertson

A roving robot recently returned from a trip to Greenland.  In the cold (-22 Fahrenheit) and windy (30 mph gusts) environment, the tough little rover was put through its paces. 

Two Boise State graduate students, Gabriel Trisca, computer science, and Mark Robertson, geophysics, spent a month with the rover on the frozen landscape.  The robot, which is as tall as a person, uses a radar system, developed by Boise State geosciences assistant professor Hans-Peter Marshall.

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