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Topic: International Space Station

NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 gathers data for the first time

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s newest carbon dioxide-measuring mission to launch into space, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-3 (OCO-3), has seen the light. From its perch on the International Space Station, OCO-3 captured its first glimpses of sunlight reflected by Earth’s surface on June 25th, 2019.

Just weeks later, the OCO-3 team was able to make its first determinations of carbon dioxide and solar-induced fluorescence – the “glow” that plants emit from photosynthesis, a process that includes the capture of carbon from the atmosphere.

Preliminary carbon dioxide (CO2) measurements from OCO-3 over the United States. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Preliminary carbon dioxide (CO2) measurements from OCO-3 over the United States. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA designing Climbing Technology for next generation Robots

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA -NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineers in Pasadena, California, have designed a four-limbed robot named LEMUR (Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot) can scale rock walls, gripping with hundreds of tiny fishhooks in each of its 16 fingers and using artificial intelligence (AI) to find its way around obstacles.

In its last field test in Death Valley, California, in early 2019, LEMUR chose a route up a cliff while scanning the rock for ancient fossils from the sea that once filled the area.

The climbing robot LEMUR rests after scaling a cliff in Death Valley, California. The robot uses special gripping technology that has helped lead to a series of new, off-roading robots that can explore other worlds. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The climbing robot LEMUR rests after scaling a cliff in Death Valley, California. The robot uses special gripping technology that has helped lead to a series of new, off-roading robots that can explore other worlds. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA to send Four Tech missions to space aboard SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket, Monday

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The first nighttime launch of a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will happen Monday, June 24th, 2019. NASA Television will cover the launch and prelaunch activities.

The rocket will be carrying four agency technology missions to help improve future spacecraft design and performance.

The launch window for the Falcon Heavy opens at 11:30pm EDT Monday, June 24th, from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy demonstration launch on February 6th, 2018. (NASA)

SpaceX Falcon Heavy demonstration launch on February 6th, 2018. (NASA)

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NASA’s path to the Moon runs through Alabama

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Since the earliest days of the NASA space program, the path to the Moon has run through Alabama. Today, work in the “Rocket City” Huntsville and across the state is advancing the largest rocket we’ve ever built and our Artemis Program to land humans on the Moon by 2024.

At a recent visit with the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine demonstrated Alabama’s deep technical and economic contributions to our nation’s space program.

The largest piece of structural test hardware for America’s new deep space rocket, the Space Launch System, was loaded into Test Stand 4693 at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama Jan. 14, 2019. The liquid hydrogen tank is part of the rocket’s core stage that is more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet, and stores cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle’s RS-25 engines. (NASA/Tyler Martin)

The largest piece of structural test hardware for America’s new deep space rocket, the Space Launch System, was loaded into Test Stand 4693 at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama Jan. 14, 2019. The liquid hydrogen tank is part of the rocket’s core stage that is more than 200 feet tall with a diameter of 27.6 feet, and stores cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen that will feed the vehicle’s RS-25 engines. (NASA/Tyler Martin)

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NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations to prepare Astronauts for Space Missions

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Beginning June 10th, NASA will future deep space missions by joining an international crew on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean this summer during the 10-day NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 23 expedition.

NEEMO 23 will focus on both exploration spacewalks and objectives related to space missions such as the International Space Station and future deep space missions to the Moon and Mars. As an analogue for future planetary science concepts and strategies, marine science also will be performed under the guidance of Florida International University’s marine science department.

The pictured NEEMO 22 diver is collecting a scientific sample for coral research using proxy tools, techniques, technologies, and training envisioned for future NASA planetary science exploration missions. (NASA)

The pictured NEEMO 22 diver is collecting a scientific sample for coral research using proxy tools, techniques, technologies, and training envisioned for future NASA planetary science exploration missions. (NASA)

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NASA develops Flying Robots to help with work in Space

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – Bees are known to be both busy and hard-working, and NASA’s new free-flying space robots, called Astrobee, will soon have the same reputation. Unlike bees that live on Earth, the robots will do their work flying alongside astronauts inside the International Space Station and will play a critical role in supporting innovative and sustainable exploration of the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Astrobee is a free-flying robot system that will provide a research platform for the orbiting laboratory. The system includes three robots—named Honey, Queen and Bumble— as well as a docking station for recharging.

Astrobee flight units and docking unit in granite table lab at the Atomated Science Research Facility N-269 NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field in Silicon Valley California. (NASA)

Astrobee flight units and docking unit in granite table lab at the Atomated Science Research Facility N-269 NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field in Silicon Valley California. (NASA)

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NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3 will study Earth’s Carbon Cycle from International Space Station

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA says that when the Orbiting Carbon Observatory 3, OCO-3, heads to the International Space Station, it will bring a new view – literally – to studies of Earth’s carbon cycle.

OCO-3 will observe near-global measurements of carbon dioxide on land and sea, from just after sunrise to just before sunset from its perch on the space station. That makes it far more versatile and powerful than its predecessor, OCO-2.

“OCO-2 revisits areas on Earth at roughly the same time of day due to its sun-synchronous orbit,” said Matt Bennett, OCO-3’s project systems engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “OCO-3 will expand the time period of that coverage and observe the presence of carbon dioxide at varying times of day.”

OCO-3 sits on the large vibration table (known as the "shaker") in the Environmental Test Lab at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

OCO-3 sits on the large vibration table (known as the “shaker”) in the Environmental Test Lab at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Team works to get handle on Lunar Dust

 

Written by Jim Cawley 
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationFlorida – Dust can be a nuisance — on Earth and the Moon. Astronauts exploring the Moon’s South Pole will need a way to help keep pesky lunar dust out of hard to reach places.

A team at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida may have the solution. The technology launched to the International Space Station April 17th, 2019, from Wallops Flight Facility on the eastern shore of Virginia as part of the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE)-11 mission.

“This is the first flight of the Electrodynamic Dust Shield (EDS) and the first exposure to the space environment,” said Kennedy scientist Dr. Carlos Calle. “It is a big deal, and we are very excited. We’ve been working on this for a long time.”

Dr. Carlos Calle has worked on the Electrostatic Dust Shield (EDS) for 15 years. He leads a team of about eight researchers striving to perfect the technology that uses dynamic electric fields to remove dust from surfaces. Calle is hopeful that the EDS will play a major role in NASA’s plans to send humans back to the Moon and on to Mars. (NASA)

Dr. Carlos Calle has worked on the Electrostatic Dust Shield (EDS) for 15 years. He leads a team of about eight researchers striving to perfect the technology that uses dynamic electric fields to remove dust from surfaces. Calle is hopeful that the EDS will play a major role in NASA’s plans to send humans back to the Moon and on to Mars. (NASA)

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NASA reports Cygnus Cargo Craft brings Research, Supplies to International Space Station

 

NASA Headquarters 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA says that after its capture on April 19th, 2019 at 4:28am CDT, the Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft was bolted into place on the International Space Station’s Earth-facing port of the Unity module at 6:31am At the time of installation, Cygnus was flying 255 miles above the Indian Ocean just south of Singapore.

Cygnus will remain at the space station until July 23rd, when the spacecraft will depart the station, deploy NanoRacks customer CubeSats, then have an extended mission of nine months before it will dispose of several tons of trash during a fiery reentry into Earth’s atmosphere.

International Space Station Configuration. Five spaceships are docked at the space station including Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter and Russia’s Progress 71 and 72 resupply ships and the Soyuz MS-11 and MS-12 crew ships. (NASA)

International Space Station Configuration. Five spaceships are docked at the space station including Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus space freighter and Russia’s Progress 71 and 72 resupply ships and the Soyuz MS-11 and MS-12 crew ships. (NASA)

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NASA says network of Telescopes captures historic Black Hole image

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – A black hole and its shadow have been captured in an image for the first time, a historic feat by an international network of radio telescopes called the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). EHT is an international collaboration whose support in the U.S. includes the National Science Foundation.

A black hole is an extremely dense object from which no light can escape. Anything that comes within a black hole’s “event horizon,” its point of no return, will be consumed, never to re-emerge, because of the black hole’s unimaginably strong gravity.

Scientists have obtained the first image of a black hole, using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the center of the galaxy M87. The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun. (Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration)

Scientists have obtained the first image of a black hole, using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the center of the galaxy M87. The image shows a bright ring formed as light bends in the intense gravity around a black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Sun. (Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration)

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