Astronauts to fight fire with fog during Space Shuttle flight

During a January flight of Space Shuttle Columbia, astronauts will test a new commercial fire-fighting system that puts out blazes with a fine water mist — instead of using harmful chemicals or large quantities of water that damage property. “The fire-fighting industry is in search of a new tool that doesn’t use dangerous chemicals or douse fires with huge quantities of water that cause extensive property damage,” said Mark Nall, director of the Space Product Development Program at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. “By flying this commercial experiment on the STS-107 Columbia mission, NASA is helping industry design a cost-effective, environmentally friendly system for putting out fires.”

NASA Research Offers Explanation for Earth’s Bulging Waistline

A team of researchers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and the Royal Observatory of Belgium has apparently solved a recently observed mystery regarding changes to the physical shape of Earth and its gravity field. The answer, they found, appears to lie in the melting of sub-polar glaciers and mass shifts in the Southern, Pacific and Indian Oceans associated with global-scale climate changes.