GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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June 30, 2013

Rockport Ramblings: Scientist's book takes on the Milky Way

Local resident William H. Waller has released a general interest book intended for anyone who is curious about our galactic home, and the many marvels that it has spawned over its 12 billion years.

Though not a textbook, “The Milky Way — An Insider’s Guide,” can be used in high-school and college classrooms as a narrative resource on galactic astronomy and the scientific quest, Waller said.

Waller also is editing the new e-journal The Galactic Inquirer at galacticinquirer.net.

This e-journal is intended to engage readers interested in galactic astronomy, the search for life beyond Earth, and prospects for interstellar communications.

He and the site coordinators are actively seeking well-written non-technical articles, commentaries, profiles, book reviews, and photo essays.

If you or somebody you know would be interested in contributing, please email info@glacticinquirer.net.

NASA robotics champ

Nathaniel Tuck of Rockport, who majors in computer science, was a member of the University of Massachusetts Lowell team that won a NASA-sponsored exploration “robo-ops” competition, beating out university teams from across the country.

The win by the school’s Rover Hawks team — a play on the name of the university’s sports teams, the River Hawks — comes in just the first year UMass-Lowell was selected to participate by NASA and the National Institute of Aerospace, the contest’s organizers.

For the win, the team’s rover successfully negotiated hills and wide expanses and picked up objects for one hour in a simulated planetary surface at NASA’s Houston training headquarters while being remotely controlled by team members at the New England Robotics Validation and Experimentation Center at UMass Lowell.

The team was awarded $10,000 by the contest’s organizers to build its rover based on plans submitted last December, and took home $6,000 with the win.

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