A rubber chicken: NASA's favorite mascot
Camilla sits inside a mockup Soyuz capsule at Johnson Space Center in Houston.
May 4th, 2012
02:02 PM ET

A rubber chicken: NASA's favorite mascot

Let me tell you about an ambitious rubber chicken. Her name is Camilla Corona SDO, and she's the official mascot for NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory. You may be most familiar with her as the bird that a group of high school students sent to the edge of space in March.

For Camilla, that flight (intended to study a solar radiation storm) was just part of her job promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education among students, especially girls. Oh, and let's not forget that her trip could be considered part of her astronaut training.

Yes, you read that right. Camilla Corona, along with her mascot duties, is training to fly in space. She wants to visit Little SDO, her best friend, who is currently on a mission to observe our sun. A flight to the International Space Station is on her wish list, too.

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Filed under: In Space • Science Education • Voices
'Super moon' to put shine on night-sky viewing
May 4th, 2012
11:04 AM ET

'Super moon' to put shine on night-sky viewing

Wait until dark Saturday. Dust off your telescope or binoculars. Grab the kids (dust them off too if needed). Go outside. Look up at the moon. Does it look bigger than usual?

According to NASA, this May’s full moon is called a "super moon,” and it will look about 14% bigger and 30% brighter than other full moons this year.

Scientists call it a “perigee moon.” Perigee, as all good space and science geeks know, means the moon is as close to the Earth as it will get for a while. The exact time of perigee will be 11:34 p.m. ET Saturday. (Apogee means far away - but we don’t care about a distant, tiny dim moon, do we?)

The best time to see the "super moon" is just as it crosses Earth's horizon. The moon always looks biggest then, although why is a bit of a mystery. Go online to find out when the moon rises in your area.

If you get good pictures of the "super moon" - please share with our iReport team.


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Filed under: In Space • On Earth


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