In view of recent do-they-or-don't-they reports of neutrinos slightly outpacing photons -- i.e., a possible chink in the century-old edifice that is Einsteinian relativity -- here's another reminder that Einstein tended to get things right. To wit: It's been shown (again) that the rotation of a massive object produces frame dragging of space-time, as predicted by general relativity.
But wait! There's more!
NASA began the new year by putting two probes into lunar orbit. Working in tandem, the Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) probes, A and B, will reveal details of lunar composition all the way down to the moon's very core. See "NASA marks 2012 with twin probes in moon orbit."
|Grail A and B|
That's one past and one present neat NASA mission. What might we see in the future? To guess about that, consider where NASA is investing some of its long-range funds: "NASA Picks 3 Pioneering Technologies for Deep Space Travel." See the article for details, but the short form is: a scaled-up light-sail trial, an improved atomic clock (valuable for navigation), and lasers -- rather than radios -- for deep-space communications. Any and all could contribute to a major revolution in deep-space mission design.
|Pluto Kuiper Express|