Welcome to gURLs in space, presented by Astrobiology Magazine (www.astrobio.net)!
We started this blog as a way to highlight the important work of women in fields related to the space sciences. Women are still dramatically underrepresented in many scientific fields relevant to the exploration of space, and we’re hoping to help change that.
There are a lot of inspiring women out there doing incredible research – and we want to help bridge the gap between their work and the next generation of women space scientists.
In the coming years we will be featuring a wide range of material – from stories and videos we find on the web to original content developed alongside the Astrobiology Magazine. We want this to be as interactive as possible – so please send us your comments and suggestions!
*In addition to original content, gURLs in space also runs content from non-NASA sources in order to provide broad coverage of issues that women face in science, both nationally and internationally. Publication of press-releases or other out-sourced content does not signify endorsement or affiliation of any kind.
In this video from NASA’s MAVEN mission team, Dr. Janet Luhmann talks about how Mars’ upper atmosphere interacts with the solar wind… and what this process may have meant for the evolution of Mars and the planet’s potential for life.
Inspired by the Apollo missions, Karen Gundy-Burlet spent the summer of her junior year in high school as an intern at NASA Ames Research Center. Just goes to show - following your passions when you’re young can lead you to big places!
Attention students! On February 27th, join this very special opportunity to meet and interact with one of Curiosity’s drivers—JPL’s Vandi Tompkins—ask questions about her life and career, and especially what it’s like to drive the rover. For more information, visit the NBN Mars Lab website.
Astronaut Mae Jemison is working on an ambitious idea: Envision, design, and create the technologies necessary to send a spacecraft to another star in the next century. It’s called 100 Year Starship.
Here she is at the recent Makers conference discussing how getting women truly involved in STEM (which should always be expanded to STEAM in my opinion) is the only way to mobilize the intellectual capital necessary to make something like that happen.
In other words …
"We can’t do this with just half the population… the future never just happened, it was created. We have an opportunity to create the future and decide what that’s like.”
Some great work from Sanpisa Sritrairat and Dorothy Peteet of NASA GISS in New York. Sometimes field work in astrobiology and Earth science doesn’t have to be in far-off locales. This study was from the Hudson River estuary, yet the results have global implications.
Sritrairat and her colleagues showed that human beings have been the biggest driver of ecosystem change in the region - more so than major natural changes in Earth’s climate that have happened in the past.
When Sabrina Thompson was heading to college, one of her high school teachers told her that a mechanical engineering degree would be too hard for her. She took that as a challenge… and in the end, she proved him wrong. Today, Thompson is based at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.
Jennifer Eigenbrode is a co-author on the recent Science paper discussing results from the Curiosity rover’s Radiation Assessment Detector. Curiosity is the first mission to return radiation data from the surface of another planet (Mars)!
Eigenbrode is a researcher at NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, and it was her passion for the search for life on Mars that led her to the agency.
“Radiation is probably the key parameter in determining how much alteration organics are experiencing in the rocks on the surface. If we find organics on mars, the circumstance in which we find them [the context of the rocks], the history of the rocks, and the chemistry that we find, will help guide our mission strategy.”
Jennifer Glass is an assistant professor at GA Tech and an alumni of the NASA Postdoctoral Program with the Astrobiology Program. She does some super cool work on life around methane seeps on the ocean floor. Her work is helping scientists understand how life might survive in subsurface oceans on moons of giant planets - such as Jupiter’s moon Europa.
Check out this interview that she did when she first landed the job at GA Tech.