Samantha Cristoferetti practicing in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory in Houston.

I think this photo was taken just at the start of practice. The astronaut needs to be float neutrally at the right depth. For this the suit is fitted with packs of styrofoam, for example near the legs.

Source: Samantha Cristoforetti

There are some amazing women sharing this podium. Can you name them all? One hint - this archive photo is from a Women in Space Forum at NASA’s Kennedy Space Station in the late 90s.

      Irina Marinov: Deep Ocean Current May Slow Due to Climate Change

Irina Marinov. Credit: University of Pennsylvania

Irina Marinov, of the Department of Earth and Environmental Science and the University of Pennsylvania, is an author on a recent study that shows how ‘conveyor belts’ in the ocean may be slowing due to climate change.

Irina studies how the Earth’s climate will change in the future by working with climate models. Her work is particularly focused on the role of the oceans in global heat and carbon cycling.

Heather Graham speaking in the evening session of the 2012 FameLab regionals, held at National Geographic in Washington DC.

Here is another highlight from the ladies of FameLab. This is a great presentation from Heather Graham (no, not that Heather Graham) Thomson talking about what it’s like to be part of the 1% (no, not that 1%). Heather gave this fantastic talk at the 2012 regional competition at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC.

This is another highlight from past years of the FameLab competition supported by NASA’s Astrobiology Program. Aomawa Shields presents in front of a public audience during the evening competition of the 2012 regional competition in Denver.

This year’s national competition for FameLab is now over… so we thought we’d celebrate by featuring some of the highlights from previous years. Here is Rebecca Turk MacLeod, from the 2012 FameLab Astrobiology competition in Houston, with her Preliminary Round performance.

      Julienne Stroeve

Julienne Stroeve specializes in studying snow and ice remotely in the visible, infrared, and microwave wavelengths. Stroeve recently took part in a study showing that the melt season for Arctic sea ice is lengthening. The melt season is starting earlier, and this means the Arcitic Ocean is absorbing more solar radiation… resulting in more melting of the Arctic ice cap.

Julienne Stroeve. Credit: UC Boulder

"The lengthening of the melt season is allowing for more of the sun’s energy to get stored in the ocean and increase ice melt during the summer, overall weakening the sea ice cover." - Julienne Stroeve, NASA Press Release

"Alas, with organic aerosol formation, plants have yet another way of hiding themselves from our detection by promoting cloud formation."

- Nancy Kiang, of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, on detecting plants on distant worlds. 

A recent study shows that plants are the source of naturally occurring aerosol particles (called climate-active organic aerosols), which promote cloud formation.


      How to Get Girls to Choose, and Stick With, STEM Careers

This is a really interesting article from Slate discussing how to narrow the gender gap in STEM industries.
When Ashley Gavin wants to convince girls to start computer science or coding careers, she shows them her high-school report card. Biology: F. Math: straight Ds. An MIT computer science major who now writes the curriculum for the non-profit Girls Who Code, Gavin never even took calculus. But after a…

Anyone excited for a mission to Titan? The Planetary Lake lander is in its second year of funding from the Astrobiology Program. In this video, Dr. Nathalie Cabrol explains how updates to software and sensors will change to prototype robot.