Who is the First Woman? Meet our new graphic novel hero!
Artemis is the first step in the next era of human exploration. This time when we go to the Moon, we're staying, to study and learn more than ever before. We’ll test new technologies and prepare for our next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.
Artemis missions will achieve many historic feats, like landing the first woman and first person of color on the Moon.
With today’s release of our graphic novel First Woman: NASA’s Promise for Humanity you don’t have to wait to join us on an inspiring adventure in space.
Meet Commander Callie Rodriguez, the first woman to explore the Moon – at least in the comic book universe.
In Issue No. 1: Dream to Reality, Callie, her robot sidekick RT, and a team of other astronauts are living and working on the Moon in the not-too-distant future. Like any good, inquisitive robot, RT asks Callie how he came to be – not just on the Moon after a harrowing experience stowed in the Orion capsule – but about their origin story, if you will.
From her childhood aspirations of space travel to being selected as an astronaut candidate, Callie takes us on her trailblazing journey to the Moon.
As they venture out to check on a problem at a lunar crater, Callie shares with RT and the crew that she was captivated by space as a kid, and how time in her father’s autobody shop piqued her interest in building things and going places.
Callie learned at a young age that knowledge is gained through both success and failure in the classroom and on the field.
Through disappointment, setbacks, and personal tragedy, Callie pursues her passions and eventually achieves her lifelong dream of becoming an astronaut – a road inspired by the real lives of many NASA astronauts living and working in space today.
So what's up with that lunar crater?
Did Callie pass her math class?
And where did RT come from?
Be a part of the adventure: read (or listen to) the full First Woman story and immerse yourself in a digital experience through our first-ever extended reality-enabled graphic novel.
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space!
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The Meteorite Edit
A new acquisition for the budding rock collection – a slice of the Sericho pallasite! This beautiful specimen was once part of an asteroid’s core–mantle boundary, and similar stony iron meteorites are some of our best proxies for the Earth’s own interior. Here you can see megacrysts of olivine in gemmy green and orange, suspended in an iron–nickel groundmass. The olivine has characteristic curvilinear fractures, but also several sub–parallel shock fractures, possibly formed on impact. The free metal groundmass has apparent mm–scale banding, a characteristic of octahedrite Widmanstatten patterns (apparent I say because Widmanstatten patterns can only be seen after acid etching, and I don’t know how the sample was prepared – in the case that this was an over–enthused interpretation, I offer the lesser alternative of mechanical scratches from slicing).
Pallasites are thought to have formed during magma ocean differentiation on larger asteroids. The heat generated by short lived radionuclides and high interior pressures leads to melting and density segregation into an iron core and a silicate magma ocean. As this too cools, denser crystal–rich melts will settle as olivine cumulates, aided by convection and crustal foundering. At the core–mantle interface, the molten metal of the core is thus mixed with the olivine cumulates, resulting in stony iron formation. Small asteroidal bodies cannot stay hot for long, and so will ‘freeze’ at some point in their early histories. Impacts can break up these solidified asteroids and reassemble them into rubble piles – or they can send them hurtling our way, which is what happened with Sericho, and why we can observe what we can today!
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All regional mons would be a separate part of my region, but I had this idea that I wanted to put down: amino acid Unowns. I also made an evolution based on secondary protein structures here.
While memorizing the whole Periodic Table of Elements isn't useful to most chemical professions, many biochemists do memorize amino acids to recognize how a certain string might behave. Amino acids make up proteins which serve various functions in the cell. Knowing what amino acid does what in a chain can help theorize how the chain would fold up and what region does the most work in a protein.
Unown (Fighting): Their "head" like parts have the ability to connect with each other, allowing them to achieve a stronger form. Some have theorized that these Unowns were a part of larger mechanisms used in ancient times.
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The weather is getting slightly cooler, but the sky remains stubbornly clear. I’m really looking forward to the rainy season.
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STEM DARK ACADEMIA
I'm a little upset at the lack of stem in dark academia, so here's my list of aesthetic science things, STEM ACADEMIA (dark edition)
• relating a little too much to the mad scientist trope (and telling everyone "no, no I would never do anything like that, I just want to help people" but like imagine if we could resurrect people
• rereading Frankenstein every year, specifically in the month of october
• "why is STEAM a thing?? Art? who that?"
• minoring in classics because you still like mythology and history and reading
• finding the science in art (why things make you feel a certain way, how they do that, what effect they've had on health and medicine) and finding the art in science (isn't it incredible that dna knows how to tell plant cells to break down chlorophyll and this makes the gorgeous fall colors)
• reading every book that mentions at all a scientist or has a character who is interested in stem (they are few and far between)
• enjoying the structure of math and engineering but thriving off the chaos that is science
• where are the mad scientist women? I need this
• people being surprised when you tell them you're majoring in something "really science-y" after being an absolute bookworm and musician all throughout your childhood and having to defend what your heart desires (no? just me?)
• CARDIGANS are peak stem culture
• "why aren't you a doctor? why aren't you going to med school? why are you doing insert reasonable science degree here and not becoming a doctor? don't you want to help people?"
• wanting to go into genetics but wanting to go into botany but wanting to go into theoretical physics but wanting to go into astronomy but wanting to go into geology but wanting to go into chemical engineering but wanting to go into astrophysics but wanting to go into wildlife biology
• for some reason having a huge obsession with morals, ethics, and philosophy
• watching true crime just for the forensic bits
• watching mythbusters as a kid
• LISTENING TO TCHAIKOVSKY, BEETHOVEN, BACH, AND MOZART those are the stem classical musicians change my mind
• doing all your homework and frying your brain then getting to read a simple book that really refreshes you
• you had the astronomy and archaeology obsession as a kid
• listening to synth wave instrumentals
• MITOCHONDRIA IS THE POWERHOUSE OF THE CELL
• when people tell you that one cool science fact they learned and you try your hardest to encourage them but girl that wasn't even close to being correct
• ScienceDirect and PubMed are your go-to databases
• having lots of intrusive, existential thoughts that sometimes suffocate you, because you know better than most how much dark dna there is or how small we really are in the universe or knowing how much math explains and how little room there is for free will or thinking about how we are made up of mostly four types of atoms
• reading science or math textbooks for fun
• reading the fountainhead by ayn rand when you were way too young and didn't understand it but now parts of it emerge from the depths of your memory and you are struck by the power
• watching marvel and x-men and jurassic park just because
• reading sci-fi because it's the closest thing to real science in literature
• knowing a little too much about radiation poisoning and how to really dissolve a body in chemicals
• wearing white to make up for how little your professors make you wear lab coats
(sorry, I don't know that much about technology and I'm a literal grandpa when it comes to using it myself)
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I can tell you that the difference between organic and non-organic foods is NOT their anti-mold properties.
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Are you happy with where you are right now? Who you are right now? I am not, I wonder if I could ever be truly happy anywhere or as anyone. I have an inherent dissatisfaction with life because of its many boundaries. I do not let any of this stop me from trying to achieve a sense of satisfaction, but these days I refuse to lie to myself.
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Okay but earth science is such an inherently romantic subject?? We have been sleeping on its dark academia potential, and I’m procrastinating reading a paper on upper ocean mixing (it’s fun! I do not know why I procrastinate doing fun things!) so it’s Time To Romanticise Earth Sci (speaking of literally romanticising earth sci, if anyone could tell me where I might find the movie Ammonite online, I would be forever indebted to you)
~ rocky shores and the pursuit of fossils at sunset; for a moment, time blurs, and old, gone things become more than just memories (what more than being remembered by the earth, though?); ancient trails forged by creatures long-dead that lead you deeper into untouched forests, where the trees wear their history on their bark, like badges or scars; the hallowed silence of sleeping bones in a museum
~complex modelling software and sheet after sheet of data collected painstakingly over decades come together, whispering of howling storms and withering droughts and change bearing down, still, you are triumphant, because it feels like you share a language with the seas and the skies, a language of numbers and time with which they tell you beautiful and terrible things
~ stories buried in ice cores and deep sea sediments, in smooth river rocks and the curve of a mountain just so, there are stories everywhere, and together they unfold a tale so grand in scale that fitting it within your skull sometimes feels impossible; how could you, after all? It is a story spanning millions of years, of oceans as deep as mountains are high and all that came before them, of whole continents that split apart and found one another all over again, of life, and all it did-
~ entire playlists dedicated to whalesong echoing through the sea, you think that if you listen to it often enough, you just might understand what they’re saying; leatherbound journals filled with blurry photographs of mushrooms and insects, and all the interesting habits of theirs you’ve observed; thick, dusty volumes with whimsical diagrams of birds and tides and everything in between, walls papered with old botanical posters and photo-prints of erupting volcanoes
~ fitted corduroys and loose shirts, bulky jackets with many pockets for collecting curious things, green tea left to cool on all available surfaces, waking up early to watch the sunrise and sleeping late anyway
~ witnessing the world’s (and particularly the government’s) response to climate change and wanton environmental destruction has filled you with a desperation that makes you throw yourself heedlessly into your research, it leaves you exhausted and sometimes hopeless, but this is how you would have the earth remember you, as someone who gave more than they took
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Hello there for the first time from Remi!
Uni doesn’t start until October, but pre-requisite work has been given for my Maths module (Advanced Partial Differential Equations)! I’m currently trying to recall my knowledge on hyperbolic, parabolic and elliptic equations and am tackling Laplace’s equation first!
(I promise I am going to make use of my desk this term, and I was just eager to give my first bit of revision a go while sitting on my bed, but fear not - my back shall survive this semester.)
My brain hasn’t switched on fully quite yet, but I’m really happy I got the chance to do a Maths module in my degree! I might need to put a bit more work in for this one, but I’m eager to do so with my other modules, so expect many a maths worksheet posted once term properly starts!!
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there are southern lights?!
YES THERE ARE MY FRIEND AURORA AUSTRALIS THE DAWN OF THE SOTUH. CAUSE THEY'RE IN THE SOUTH
they're the exact same thing as the northern lights: a phenomenon in the atmosphere due to the interaction of the solar winds against the earth's magnetic field and gases up there
they differ in one major way however: pink as a color shows up more commonly than in the north!
LOOK AT HOW PRETTY
the classic green aurora is of course still around it is one of the more common colors but pink shows up just a bit more frequently than in the north!
move aside forbidden snacks: UNOBTAINABLE WATERMELON
they are absolutely stunning and one of the best ways to see them is on a cruise (ehhhhhhhh) or going to antarctica!!!!!
i'm obsessed with these funky little things like look at nature's neon lights she's so pretty. they're absolutely beautiful and it is on my bucket list to see both of them
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NASA Spotlight: Earth Climate Scientist Dr. Yolanda Shea
Dr. Yolanda Shea is a climate scientist at NASA's Langley Research Center. She’s the project scientist for the CLARREO Pathfinder (CPF) mission, which is an instrument that will launch to the International Space Station to measure sunlight reflected from Earth. It will help us understand how much heat is being trapped by our planet’s atmosphere. Her mission is designed to help us get a clearer picture than we currently have of the Earth’s system and how it is changing
Yolanda took time from studying our home planet to answer questions about her life and career! Get to know this Earth scientist:
What inspired you to study climate science?
Starting in early middle school I became interested in the explanations behind the weather maps and satellite images shown on TV. I liked how the meteorologists talked about the temperature, moisture, and winds at different heights in the atmosphere, and then put that together to form the story of our weather forecasts. This made me want to learn more about Earth science, so I went to college to explore this interest more.
The summer after my junior year of college, I had an internship during which my first assignment was to work with a program that estimated ocean currents from satellite measurements. I was fascinated in the fact that scientists had discovered a way to map ocean currents from space!
Although I had learned about Earth remote sensing in my classes, this was my first taste of working with, and understanding the details of, how we could learn more about different aspects of the physical world from satellite measurements.
This led to my learning about other ways we can learn about Earth from space, and that includes rigorous climate monitoring, which is the area I work in now.
What does a day in your life look like?
Before I start my workday, I like to take a few minutes to eat breakfast, knit (I’m loving sock knitting right now!), and listen to a podcast or audio book. Each workday really looks different for me, but regardless, most days are a combination of quieter moments that I can use for individual work and more interactive times when I’m interfacing with colleagues and talking about project or science issues. Both types of work are fun in different ways, but I’m glad I have a mixture because all researchers need that combination of deep thinking to wrap our minds around complex problems and also time to tackle those problems with others and work on solving them together.
When do you feel most connected to Earth?
I’ve always loved sunsets. I find them peaceful and beautiful, and I love how each one is unique. They are also a beautiful reminder of the versatility of reflected light, which I study. Sitting for a moment to appreciate the beauty and calm I feel during a sunset helps me feel connected to Earth.
What will your mission – CLARREO Pathfinder – tell us about Earth?
CLARREO Pathfinder (CPF) includes an instrument that will take measurements from the International Space Station and will measure reflected sunlight from Earth. One of its goals is to demonstrate that it can take measurements with high enough accuracy so that, if we have such measurements over long periods of time, like several decades, we could detect changes in Earth’s climate system. The CPF instrument will do this with higher accuracy than previous satellite instruments we’ve designed, and these measurements can be used to improve the accuracy of other satellite instruments.
How, if at all, has your worldview changed as a result of your work in climate science?
The longer I work in climate science and learn from the data about how humans have impacted our planet, the more I appreciate the fragility of our one and only home, and the more I want to take care of it.
What advice would you give your younger self?
It’s ok to not have everything figured out at every step of your career journey. Work hard, do your best, and enjoy the journey as it unfolds. You’ll inevitably have some surprises along the way, and regardless of whether they are welcome or not, you’re guaranteed to learn something.
Do you have a favorite metaphor or analogy that you use to describe what you do, and its impact, to those outside of the scientific community?
I see jigsaw puzzles as a good illustration of how different members of a science community play a diverse set of roles to work through different problems. Each member is often working on their own image within the greater puzzle, and although it might take them years of work to see their part of the picture come together, each image in the greater puzzle is essential to completing the whole thing. During my career, I’ll work on a section of the puzzle, and I hope to connect my section to others nearby, but we may not finish the whole puzzle. That’s ok, however, because we’ll hand over the work that we’ve accomplished to the next generation of scientists, and they will keep working to bring the picture to light. This is how I try to think about my role in climate science – I hope to contribute to the field in some way; the best thing about what I have done and what I will do, is that someone else will be able to build on my work and keep helping humanity come to a better understanding of our Earth system.
What is a course that you think should be part of required school curriculum?
Time and project management skills – I think students tend to learn these skills more organically from their parents and teachers, but in my experience I stumbled along and learned these skills through trial and error. To successfully balance all the different projects that I support now, I have to be organized and disciplined, and I need to have clear plans mapped out, so I have some idea of what’s coming and where my attention needs to be focused.
Another course not specifically related to my field is personal financial management. I was interested in personal finance, and that helped me to seek out information (mainly through various blogs) about how to be responsible with my home finances. There is a lot of information out there, but making sure that students have a solid foundation and know what questions to ask early on will set them to for success (and hopefully fewer mistakes) later on.
What’s the most unexpected time or place that your expertise in climate science and/or algorithms came in handy?
I think an interesting part of being an atmospheric scientist and a known sky-watcher is that I get to notice beautiful moments in the sky. I remember being on a trip with friends and I looked up (as I usually do), and I was gifted with a gorgeous sundog and halo arc. It was such a beautiful moment, and because I noticed it, my friends got to enjoy it too.
Can you share a photo or image from a memorable NASA project you’ve worked on, and tell us a little bit about why the project stood out to you?
I absolutely loved being on the PBS Kids TV Show, SciGirls for their episode SkyGirls! This featured a NASA program called Students’ Clouds Observations On-Line (S’COOL). It was a citizen science program where students from around the globe could take observations of clouds from the ground that coincided with satellite overpasses, and the intention was to help scientists validate (or check) the accuracy of the code they use to detect clouds from satellite measurements. I grew up watching educational programming from PBS, so it was an honor to be a science mentor on a TV show that I knew would reach children across the nation who might be interested in different STEM fields. In this photo, the three young women I worked with on the show and I are talking about the different types of clouds.
To stay up to date on Yolanda's mission and everything going on in NASA Earth science, be sure to follow NASA Earth on Twitter and Facebook.
🌎 If you're looking for Earth Day plans, we have live events, Q&As, scavenger hunts and more going on through April 24. Get the details and register for our events HERE.
Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.
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subtitles from Science Gossip, 1900
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Here are evolutions of my regional amino acid Unowns as secondary structures of protein. Secondary structures refer to common motifs found in protein which include the alpha helix and beta sheet.
As mentioned before, regional mons would be a separate portion of my dex, but I just wanted to put this idea down before I forgot about it.
Uniown [Helix Form] (Fighting): These Uniowns can use their bodies to direct surrounding energy, often doing so when they attack. Uniowns can traverse beyond the physical realm due to the Stemian Unowns that make up the Uniown.
Uniown [Sheet Form] (Fighting): Stemian Unowns come together to form a chain which further folds into one of Uniown's forms. Uniowns of this form can overlap with other Uniowns of this form in the wild, getting stuck in the process.
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This High Schooler Invented Color-Changing Sutures to Detect Infection
By Theresa Machemer
Dasia Taylor has juiced about three dozen beets in the last 18 months. The root vegetables, she’s found, provide the perfect dye for her invention: suture thread that changes color, from bright red to dark purple, when a surgical wound becomes infected.
The 17-year-old student at Iowa City West High School in Iowa City, Iowa, began working on the project in October 2019, after her chemistry teacher shared information about state-wide science fairs with the class. As she developed her sutures, she nabbed awards at several regional science fairs, before advancing to the national stage. This January, Taylor was named one of 40 finalists in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, the country’s oldest and most prestigious science and math competition for high school seniors.
“I've done a lot of racial equity work in my community, I've been a guest speaker at several conferences,” says Taylor. “So when I was presented with this opportunity to do research, I couldn't help but go at it with an equity lens.”
Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Taylor spent most of her time after school in the Black History Game Show, a club she’s been a member of since eighth grade, and attending weekly school board and district meetings to advocate for an anti-racist curriculum. For the four months leading up to her first regional science fair in February 2020, Taylor committed Friday afternoons to research under the guidance of her chemistry teacher, Carolyn Walling.
Healthy human skin is naturally acidic, with a pH around five. But when a wound becomes infected, its pH goes up to about nine. Changes in pH can be detected without electronics; many fruits and vegetables are natural indicators that change color at different pH levels.
“I found that beets changed color at the perfect pH point,” says Taylor. Bright red beet juice turns dark purple at a pH of nine. “That's perfect for an infected wound. And so, I was like, ‘Oh, okay. So beets is where it's at.’”
Next, Taylor had to find a suture thread that would hold onto the dye. She tested ten different materials, including standard suture thread, for how well they picked up and held the dye, whether the dye changed color when its pH changed, and how their thickness compared to standard suture thread. After her school transitioned to remote learning, she could spend four or five hours in the lab on an asynchronous lesson day, running experiments.
A cotton-polyester blend checked all the boxes. After five minutes under an infection-like pH, the cotton-polyester thread changes from bright red to dark purple. After three days, the purple fades to light gray.
Working with an eye on equity in global health, she hopes that the color-changing sutures will someday help patients detect surgical site infections as early as possible so that they can seek medical care when it has the most impact. Taylor plans to patent her invention. In the meantime, she’s waiting for her final college admissions results.
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fuck hiding your femininity in stem. your sharp eyeliner is a taste of how steady your hands are in lab. your fire outfit demonstrates your attention to detail. normalize being hot and smart
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Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz
Let’s give it up for another amazing young scientist! ❤️
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Scientists working off the western coast of Mexico say they have found a previously unknown species of whale.
Three beaked whales were spotted last month by a team of scientists working with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society near the San Benito Islands, some 300 miles from the US border, according to a press release published Tuesday.
The team had set out to try to find out what kind of whales were making an unidentified acoustic signal previously recorded in the area.
Beaked whale experts working alongside Sea Shepherd's scientific department managed to take photographs and video recordings of the three whales, and also recorded their acoustic signals using an underwater microphone.
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Ye imma make moodboards for all my classes
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—fuck sex, let's pull an all nighter where you teach me chemistry and i make coffee for you
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