Thursday, October 29, 2009

Ames Toward Trek


As NASA Ames Research Center celebrates their Platinum Jubliee, I'm noticing far more email alerts coming from the Moffett mailing list these days.

Of course LCROSS was a huge milestone for all their engineers and scientists, but true to form, I often tend to skirt the obvious and zero in on some tangential project that should be headline news if we lived in a world where actual intelligence was worshipped and the latest celebrity divorce was not.

On the heels of releasing the first NASA app for iPhone, Ames also announced a demonstration of first-generation laboratory prototypes of new technology that would bring chemical sensing capabilities to cell phones.

Of course, Ames and Glenn have both been instrumental in the development of many types of sensors over the years, mostly designed to detect molecular building blocks of life on Mars, or various vapors in barren environments... but this is the first time one has been developed as a HAND-HELD DEVICE.

Maybe I've just got Spock-On-The-Brain because it's that time of year when I dust off one of my Vulcan costumes, but does this sound suspiciously like a TRICORDER to anyone else? :)