Venus, asteroid or the Moon?

So which will be the next celestial body that NASA will explore?

The space agency has announced that it has chosen three finalists among the eight proposals sent for its next space probe. Depending on which finalist will be ultimately selected by mid-2011, the next space mission will be to Venus, an asteroid, or the Moon.

Here’s an excerpt from the NASA announcement.

NASA will select one proposal for full development after detailed mission concept studies are completed and reviewed. The studies begin during 2010, and the selected mission must be ready for launch no later than Dec. 30, 2018. Mission cost, excluding the launch vehicle, is limited to $650 million.

“These are projects that inspire and excite young scientists, engineers and the public,” said Ed Weiler, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “These three proposals provide the best science value among eight submitted to NASA this year.”

Want more info on NASA’s New Frontiers Program? Check out the site. You can also become a fan of the NASA Discovery & New Frontiers page on Facebook.

Photo courtesy of NASA.

Venus, asteroid or the Moon?

Making science interesting to Filipino students

I’m happy to say that our daughter Sam, who recently turned 8, simply loves science. That’s not necessarily the case, however, for many students in the Philippines.

Recognizing this, the Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology, whose flagship program is the Philippine Science Centrum, aims to make science teaching more engaging.

Here’s an excerpt from the BusinessMirror article.

“This teaching program is a way for teachers to recreate [the Philippine] Science Centrum’s [PSC] exhibits through classroom-type experiments in order for the students to be more attentive and receptive to the lesson,” PSC executive director May Pagsinohin told the BusinessMirror in a visit at the PSC.

The teachers’ training consists of brief lectures and extensive discussions, demonstrations and hands-on workshops. The participants, housed at the PSC, are given firsthand experience with the “interactive learning system” using the PSC’s collection of science exhibits.

Here’s hoping that our teachers will be able to instill a passion for science among more students.

Making science interesting to Filipino students

Astronaut Mike Massimino sends first Twitter update from space

Check out my latest CNET Asia blog post.

Here’s an excerpt:

NASA astronaut Mike Massimino has made history as the first person to tweet from space while in orbit on board the space shuttle Atlantis for the STS-125 mission to the Hubble Space Telescope.

Massimino, who opened a Twitter account on April 4 to start tweeting updates on the preparations for the launch, has 234,075 followers as of this writing.

Congratulations Mike and all the best to you and your crew!

Astronaut Mike Massimino sends first Twitter update from space

Follow NASA astronaut Mike Massimino on Twitter

From my latest CNET Asia blog post:

I’ve been following the tweets of Mike Massimino, one of the seven astronauts who will take part in the Hubble servicing mission. Massimino will be onboard the space shuttle Atlantis, which is set to launch on May 12. Massimino has been using Twitter to keep people updated on his training and the Hubble service mission. Wonder if he’ll be able to tweet from space?

Read the full story.

Follow NASA astronaut Mike Massimino on Twitter