NASA

courtesy photo

  Patrick Wiggins, who represents NASA as a volunteer Solar System Ambassador in Utah, is receiving one of the space agency’s highest honors.

NASA’s Solar System Ambassadors work to educate the public about astronomy and space exploration.  They commit to eight events a year – but the agency says Wiggins averages about 88 a year, more than a thousand since he started working in the program 12 years ago.

Wiggins says it’s something he just likes to do.

File: NASA

University of Utah atmospheric scientist John Lin is eagerly awaiting a second launch attempt of the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, early tomorrow morning. Lin is a member of the NASA team studying carbon dioxide around the world. He plans to see the liftoff in person at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. This morning’s planned launch of the satellite was scrubbed due to a problem with the Delta-2 rocket.

NASA

You don’t have to be at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab to get live, edge of your seat, coverage of a rover landing on Mars.  The rover Curiosity is set to land on the red planet Sunday night, and the public is invited to attend a Mars Rover Landing Party on the University of Utah campus. 

A video clip from NASA’s website describes the entry, descent, and landing process – or EDL – as 7 minutes of terror.