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NASA continues work on Mars 2020 Rover, Public invited to watch

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – As NASA’s Mars 2020 rover takes shape at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, a newly installed webcam will offer the public a live, bird’s-eye view of it. You can watch as JPL engineers and technicians assemble and test the rover before it embarks next year on one of the most technologically challenging interplanetary missions ever designed.

“There is so much happening and changing in the clean room, I come here every opportunity I get,” said Mars 2020 project manager John McNamee of JPL. “It is great that we can share this part of our journey to the Red Planet with the public anytime they want.”

The "Seeing 2020" live video feed allows the public to watch engineers and technicians assemble and test NASA's next Mars rover in a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-CalTech)

The “Seeing 2020” live video feed allows the public to watch engineers and technicians assemble and test NASA’s next Mars rover in a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-CalTech)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 rover has high definition cameras installed

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – On February 18th, 2021, after the NASA Mars 2020 rover touches down on the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater, one of it’s first operations will be to raise its remote sensing mast (RSM), which carries important optics and instrumentation.

In this picture – taken on May 23rd, 2019, in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility’s High Bay 1 clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California – engineers re-install the cover to the RSM head after integration of two Mastcam-Z high-definition cameras.

In this picture - taken on May 23, 2019, in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility's High Bay 1 clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California - engineers re-install the cover to the remote sensing mast (RSM) head after integration of two Mastcam-Z high-definition cameras that will go on the Mars 2020 rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In this picture – taken on May 23, 2019, in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility’s High Bay 1 clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California – engineers re-install the cover to the remote sensing mast (RSM) head after integration of two Mastcam-Z high-definition cameras that will go on the Mars 2020 rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 Mission’s Lander Vision System tested in Death Valley

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – An Airbus helicopter carried an engineering model of the Lander Vision System (LVS), on a test flight in Death Valley, California, that will help guide NASA’s next Mars mission to a safe touchdown on the Red Planet. During the flight – one in a series — the helicopter (which is not part of the mission and was used just for testing) and its two-person crew flew a pre-planned sequence of maneuvers while LVS collected and analyzed imagery of the barren, mountainous terrain below.

Airbus helicopter helped NASA test the  Lander Vision System (LVS) that will help guide the Mars 2020 rover land on Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Airbus helicopter helped NASA test the Lander Vision System (LVS) that will help guide the Mars 2020 rover land on Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 Spacecraft nears completion

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Prior to a test in the Space Simulator Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, an engineer inspects the completed spacecraft that will carry NASA’s next Mars rover to the Red Planet.

From the top down, and suspended by cables, is the complete cruise stage, which will power and guide the Mars 2020 spacecraft on its seven-month voyage to the Red Planet. Directly below that is the aeroshell (white back shell and barely visible black heat shield), which will protect the vehicle during cruise as well as during its fiery descent into the Martian atmosphere.

NASA's Mars 2020 Spacecraft undergoes inspection. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Mars 2020 Spacecraft undergoes inspection. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 Spacecraft undergoing detailed Vehicle Stacking

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – For the past few months, the clean room floor in High Bay 1 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has been covered in parts, components and test equipment for the Mars 2020 spacecraft, scheduled for launch toward the Red Planet in July of 2020.

But over the past few weeks, some of these components – the spacecraft-rocket-laden landing system and even the stand-in for the rover (christened “surrogate-rover”) – have seemingly disappeared.

In the center of this image is the Mars 2020 spacecraft stack attached to the Spacecraft Assembly Rotation Fixture (SCARF) in the High Bay 1 clean room in JPL's Spacecraft Assembly Facility. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In the center of this image is the Mars 2020 spacecraft stack attached to the Spacecraft Assembly Rotation Fixture (SCARF) in the High Bay 1 clean room in JPL’s Spacecraft Assembly Facility. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars Helicopter Completes Flight Tests

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Since the Wright brothers first took to the skies of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, December 17th, 1903, first flights have been important milestones in the life of any vehicle designed for air travel. After all, it’s one thing to design an aircraft and make it fly on paper – or computer. It is quite another to put all the pieces together and watch them get off the ground.

In late January 2019, all the pieces making up the flight model (actual vehicle going to the Red Planet) of NASA’s Mars Helicopter were put to the test.

Members of the NASA Mars Helicopter team attach a thermal film to the exterior of the flight model of the Mars Helicopter. The image was taken on February 1st, 2019 inside the Space Simulator, a 25-foot-wide (7.62-meter-wide) vacuum chamber at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Members of the NASA Mars Helicopter team attach a thermal film to the exterior of the flight model of the Mars Helicopter. The image was taken on February 1st, 2019 inside the Space Simulator, a 25-foot-wide (7.62-meter-wide) vacuum chamber at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA takes Mars 2020 Rover out for a Test Drive

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – In a little more than seven minutes in the early afternoon of February 18th, 2021, NASA’s Mars 2020 rover will execute about 27,000 actions and calculations as it speeds through the hazardous transition from the edge of space to Mars’ Jezero Crater.

While that will be the first time the wheels of the 2,314-pound (1,050-kilogram) rover touch the Red Planet, the vehicle’s network of processors, sensors and transmitters will, by then, have successfully simulated touchdown at Jezero many times before.

Technicians working Mars 2020's System's Test 1 approach their workstation in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Technicians working Mars 2020’s System’s Test 1 approach their workstation in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA announces Israeli to send Lander to the Moon

 

Written by Lonnie Shekhtman
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – The last screw is tightened and a private Moon lander is packed in the fairing atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It took eight years to get there, plus significant dedication by a small group of scientists and engineers building Israel’s first machine to leave Earth’s orbit.

Now, the highly anticipated moment is here: a shot at the first private Moon landing, and NASA is contributing to the experiment.

An Israeli spacecraft from SpaceIL is scheduled to launch Thursday, February 21st, 2019 and is aiming to touch down on Mare Serenitatis two months later.

A false color view of the Moon's southern latitudes. The large blue area at the bottom of the frame is the South Pole-Aitken Basin, an enormous and very old impact feature on the far side of the Moon. (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio)

A false color view of the Moon’s southern latitudes. The large blue area at the bottom of the frame is the South Pole-Aitken Basin, an enormous and very old impact feature on the far side of the Moon. (NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio)

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NASA’s Opportunity Mars Rover Mission Ends

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – One of the most successful and enduring feats of interplanetary exploration, NASA’s Opportunity rover mission is at an end after almost 15 years exploring the surface of Mars and helping lay the groundwork for NASA’s return to the Red Planet.

The Opportunity rover stopped communicating with Earth when a severe Mars-wide dust storm blanketed its location in June 2018. After more than a thousand commands to restore contact, engineers in the Space Flight Operations Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) made their last attempt to revive Opportunity Tuesday, to no avail. The solar-powered rover’s final communication was received June 10th.

The dramatic image of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity's shadow was taken on sol 180 (July 26, 2004), by the rover's front hazard-avoidance camera as the rover moved farther into Endurance Crater in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. was taken on sol 180 (July 26, 2004), by the rover's front hazard-avoidance camera as the rover moved farther into Endurance Crater in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The dramatic image of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity’s shadow was taken on sol 180 (July 26, 2004), by the rover’s front hazard-avoidance camera as the rover moved farther into Endurance Crater in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech. was taken on sol 180 (July 26, 2004), by the rover’s front hazard-avoidance camera as the rover moved farther into Endurance Crater in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Experiments arrive at International Space Station aboard SpaceX

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Experiments in forest observation, protein crystal growth and in-space fuel transfer demonstration are heading to the International Space Station following the launch Wednesday of SpaceX’s 16th mission for NASA under the agency’s Commercial Resupply Services contract.

The company’s Dragon spacecraft lifted off at 12:16pm CST on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. It’s carrying more than 5,600 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies that will support the crew, station maintenance and dozens of the more than 250 investigations aboard the space station.

A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft launches to the International Space Station at 12:16pm CST December 5th, 2018, on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The spacecraft, on its 16th mission for NASA under the agency’s Commercial Resupply Services contract, carries more than 5,600 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies. (NASA Television)

A SpaceX Dragon spacecraft launches to the International Space Station at 12:16pm CST December 5th, 2018, on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The spacecraft, on its 16th mission for NASA under the agency’s Commercial Resupply Services contract, carries more than 5,600 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies. (NASA Television)

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