Bridges vol. 40, July 2014 / News from the Network
Washington, DC: Chapter Updates
The ASciNA DC Chapter visited the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center with the staff of the Austrian Embassy's Office of Science and Technology (OSTA), an event arranged by Karin Muglach.The group first visited a class 10,000 clean room (making it one of the largest in the world). It accommodates two shuttles as well as simulators for the Hubble telescope and is kept particularly clean to prevent particles or smudges from damaging the lens equipment. Currently scientists from the Goddard Center are preparing to upgrade the telescope. The last time they went up to fix the spacecraft was in 2009.
The tour then moved on to learn about magnetic measuring spacecraft (mms). The craft are used for testing electrical storms in space, and each has 25 measuring instruments per craft. It generally requires two years to make an entire ship, sometimes taking that long because of waiting for the necessary parts. The group then learned the importance of measuring magnetics in space, since the Earth’s magnetic atmosphere is one of the only guards against the sun and other space particles. Located on the mms was one ASPOC, an Austrian instrument used for equalizing electric equipment while in space. The binocular-looking instrument helped to ground the rest of the devices on the spacecraft.
Goddard hosts the largest thermal vacuum chamber, as well as the largest collection of earth and space scientists, with 9,000 walking through each day. It is also the largest organization of scientists and engineers in the US dedicated to studying the Earth, Solar System, and Universe throughobservations from space.
The Washington, DC, ASciNA chapter also held an ASciNA Talk in June on "Novel Therapeutic Strategies for Acute Leukemia – Beyond Chemotherapy," hosted by Hanna Knaus.
About ASciNA: Austrian Scientists and Scholars in North America (ASciNA) is an independent association established in 2002 with local chapters founded throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. ASciNA aims to support Austrian scientists and researchers in North America as well as Austrians who have returned from North America to Austria or Germany.