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John Johnson

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Top John Johnson Articles

Displaying items 23-33
  • Donald Osterbrock, 82; modest scholar of the heavens studied sun, Milky Way

    Donald E. Osterbrock, one of the leading astronomers of the late 20th century who helped pioneer the use of basic physics to understand processes of the sun and the shape of the Milky Way galaxy, has died. He was 82. Osterbrock, the former director of...
  • Mars lander Phoenix is ready for the big dig

    Mars lander Phoenix is ready for the big dig
    After troubleshooting an electrical problem on NASA's Phoenix lander and performing a test scoop into the crumbly surface of the Martian northern plain, scientists said Monday that they are ready to dig for ice as early as today. Phoenix is the first...
  • Arthur Kantrowitz dies at 95; physicist pioneered rocket nose cones, intra-aorta pumps

    Arthur Kantrowitz dies at 95; physicist pioneered rocket nose cones, intra-aorta pumps
    Arthur R. Kantrowitz, a physicist and inventor whose research pioneered the development of nose cones for rockets as well as pumps to help failing hearts move blood more effectively, died of heart failure Nov. 29 at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City....
  • Phoenix lander scoops up soil on Mars

    After nearly two weeks of testing and preparation, NASA's Phoenix lander on Friday began its first day of scientific work at Mars' north pole, where the lander's robotic arm delivered a scoop of soil to an oven that will search for evidence that the Red...
  • NASA's Mars Phoenix lander is really cooking now

    NASA's Mars Phoenix lander is really cooking now
    A last-ditch attempt to shake a sample of Martian soil into an oven on NASA's Phoenix lander succeeded Wednesday, clearing the way for tests to determine whether the northern plains of Mars may once have been habitable. "The group went up in cheers --...
  • NASA's Phoenix spacecraft scheduled to land on Mars

    Fewer than half the missions that have attempted landings on Mars have survived, so tension is rising at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the Phoenix spacecraft closes in for a landing today on the planet's north pole, where it will be the first to...
  • Asteroid on track for possible Mars hit

    Asteroid on track for possible Mars hit
    Talk about your cosmic pileups. An asteroid similar to the one that flattened forests in Siberia in 1908 could plow into Mars next month, scientists said Thursday. Researchers attached to NASA's Near-Earth Object Program, who sometimes jokingly call...
  • Mars Phoenix to try shake-and-bake once more

    Mars Phoenix to try shake-and-bake once more
    In a series of maneuvers that sounds more like cooking class than research on Mars, scientists said Monday they would try one more time to shake bits of the clumpy Martian soil into a test oven on NASA's Phoenix lander before switching to a backup...
  • George W. Housner dies at 97; Caltech professor emeritus was called the father of earthquake engineering

    George W. Housner, who pioneered the modern field of earthquake engineering, developing the most complete mathematical system to analyze the effects of ground shaking on structures, has died. He was 97. Housner, the Braun professor emeritus of...
  • NASA's Phoenix spacecraft is ready to get its hands dirty on Mars

    NASA's Phoenix spacecraft is ready to get its hands dirty on Mars
    Ground operations began Monday at the Phoenix landing site at Mars' north pole, with the latest images from the robotic lander showing a bizarre, checkerboard landscape apparently shaped by the movement of ice lying only inches beneath the surface....
  • Aliens get a new switchboard: a SETI radio telescope in Northern California

    Aliens get a new switchboard: a SETI radio telescope in Northern California
    In this remote volcanic valley near Mt. Shasta, 42 telescope dishes have sprouted amid the soaring ponderosa pines, listening for a voice from space. Every few seconds the 20-foot-wide dishes, scattered over dozens of acres, pirouette in perfect...