The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will orbit and explore asteroid 1999 RQ36 for more than a year before closing in and collecting a sample of pristine organic material that may have seeded Earth with the building blocks that led to life. The mission is budgeted for approximately $800 million, excluding the launch vehicle.
A federally funded consortium headed by the UA's Neal Armstrong is part of the race to develop cost-efficient solar electricity. His group is one of nearly four dozen centers around the country studying energy solutions for the future.
Social networks may function differently than previously thought, UA scientists have discovered by taking clues from ant colonies. The research has applications in building networks that, for example, could help prevent the spread of disease.
Given the economic downturn and rising costs of food, members of a UA research team said improved and expanded monitoring and more rapid cash transfers and food delivery mechanisms are necessary to aid the world's hungry and poor.
Visitors to the new eXtension website can ask questions on topics such as climate and receive answers within 48 hours. The site is designed for a wide audience, including members of the general public who are concerned about how climate change could affect forests and recreation in their region.