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Topic: International Space Station

NASA to focus on Return to the Moon, Mission to Mars, and Beyond

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – “The directive I am signing today will refocus America’s space program on human exploration and discovery. It marks a first step in returning American astronauts to the Moon for the first time since 1972, for long-term exploration and use.

This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprints — we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars, and perhaps someday, worlds beyond.”

President Donald Trump

NASA to refocus exploration efforts on the Moon. (NASA)

NASA to refocus exploration efforts on the Moon. (NASA)

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NASA studies Mustard Seedlings roots in microgravity environment on International Space Station

 

Written by Morgan McAllister
NASA’s Johnson Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – When plants on Earth search for nutrients and water, what drives their direction? Very simply, gravitational force helps them find the easiest path to the substances they need to grow and thrive. What happens if gravity is no longer part of the equation?

Botanists from Ohio Weslyan University leverage the microgravity environment of the International Space Station to study root growth behaviors and sensory systems in an investigation known as Gravity Perception Systems (Plant Gravity Perception).

Seeds are aligned along a membrane within the cassette and germinated before their exposure to simulated gravity within the EMCS. (NASA)

Seeds are aligned along a membrane within the cassette and germinated before their exposure to simulated gravity within the EMCS. (NASA)

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Two NASA Astronauts Among Crew Heading to International Space Station

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Three crew members, including NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, are on their way to the International Space Station after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:44pm CDT Wednesday (11:44pm Baikonur time).

The Soyuz spacecraft carrying Feustal, Arnold and Oleg Artemyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos is scheduled to dock to the space station’s Rassvet module at 3:41pm Friday, March 23rd. Coverage of docking will begin at 3:00pm on NASA Television and the agency’s website, followed at 5:00pm by coverage of the opening of hatches between the spacecraft and station.

The Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, and Oleg Artemyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:44pm EDT March 21, 2018 (11:44pm Baikonur time). The crew is scheduled to dock to the International Space Station at 3:41pm March 23, 2018. (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

The Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft carrying NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, and Oleg Artemyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:44pm EDT March 21, 2018 (11:44pm Baikonur time). The crew is scheduled to dock to the International Space Station at 3:41pm March 23, 2018. (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

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NASA Science Heading to Space Ranges from the Upper Atmosphere to Microbes

 

Written by Melissa Gaskill, International Space Station Program Science Office
NASA’s Johnson Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – A Dragon spacecraft scheduled to launch into orbit no earlier than April 2nd, 2018 carries the 14th SpaceX commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station for NASA. Lifted into orbit atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, Dragon takes supplies, equipment and scientific research to crew members living and working aboard the station.

This flight delivers scientific investigations looking at severe thunderstorms on Earth, the effects of microgravity on production of high-performance products from metal powders, and growing food in space.

From left, Matthew Romeyn and Dr. Ye Zhang, project scientists, place Arabidopsis seeds in Veggie Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System (PONDS) units inside a laboratory at the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA/Daniel Casper)

From left, Matthew Romeyn and Dr. Ye Zhang, project scientists, place Arabidopsis seeds in Veggie Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System (PONDS) units inside a laboratory at the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA/Daniel Casper)

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NASA’s TSOS-1 Instrument installed on International Space Station turned on

 

Written by Kasha Patel
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – The instrument was launched from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on December 15th, 2017. After a two-week pause, TSIS-1 was extracted from the trunk of the SpaceX Dragon capsule and integrated onto its permanent home on the space station.

For over two months, the operations team at the University of Colorado Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) in Boulder, Colorado have been testing TSIS-1. First, the team tested the all-important pointing platform that directs the solar instruments at the Sun.

Follow NASA's TSIS-1 from its launch to its installation aboard the International Space Station to its collection of science data. (NASA Goddard)

Follow NASA’s TSIS-1 from its launch to its installation aboard the International Space Station to its collection of science data. (NASA Goddard)

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NASA looks to develop 3-D Printable Tools to examine Biological Samples in Space

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – If humans are destined for deep space, they need to understand the space environment changes health, including aging and antibiotic resistance.

A new NASA project could help. It aims to develop technology used to study “omics” — fields of microbiology that are important to human health. Omics includes research into genomes, microbiomes and proteomes.

The Omics in Space project is being led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The project was recently funded by NASA’s Translational Research Institute for Space Health four years of study.

In this 2016 photo, Matthias Maurer of ESA inserts samples into the MinION DNA sequencer while at NASA's Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO), an underwater research facility. The MinION device will also be used as part of the Omics in Space project, which will develop new tools for studying microbiology in space. (NASA)

In this 2016 photo, Matthias Maurer of ESA inserts samples into the MinION DNA sequencer while at NASA’s Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO), an underwater research facility. The MinION device will also be used as part of the Omics in Space project, which will develop new tools for studying microbiology in space. (NASA)

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NASA examines Fluids in Space on International Space Station

 

Written by Jenny Howard
NASA’s Johnson Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – Watching a bubble float effortlessly through the International Space Station may be mesmerizing and beautiful to witness, but that same bubble is also teaching researchers about how fluids behave differently in microgravity than they do on Earth.

The near-weightless conditions aboard the station allow researchers to observe and control a wide variety of fluids in ways that are not possible on Earth, primarily due to surface tension dynamics and the lack of buoyancy and sedimentation within fluids in the low-gravity environment.

NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg watches a water bubble float freely between her and the camera, showing her image refracted in the droplet. (NASA)

NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg watches a water bubble float freely between her and the camera, showing her image refracted in the droplet. (NASA)

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NASA satellite instruments help detect, track Wildfires

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s satellite instruments are often the first to detect wildfires burning in remote regions, and the locations of new fires are sent directly to land managers worldwide within hours of the satellite overpass.

Together, NASA instruments, including a number built and managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, detect actively burning fires, track the transport of smoke from fires, provide information for fire management, and map the extent of changes to ecosystems, based on the extent and severity of burn scars.

The concentration and global transport of carbon monoxide pollution from fires burning in Russia, Siberia and Canada is depicted in this NASA photo created with data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft. (NASA)

The concentration and global transport of carbon monoxide pollution from fires burning in Russia, Siberia and Canada is depicted in this NASA photo created with data from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA’s Aqua spacecraft. (NASA)

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NASA’s Space Communications Networks turns 20

 

Written by Ashley Hume
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD –  NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS) don’t just enable data from spacecraft to reach Earth – they provide internet and even telemedicine to researchers at the South Pole. The South Pole TDRS Relay (SPTR) system turns 20 years old on January 9th, 2018.

In the 1990s, the National Science Foundation (NSF) faced a communications challenge with more than a hundred scientists working at their Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica per year to study everything from meteorology to astrophysics to climate.

The South Pole TDRS Relay (SPTR) ground terminal was installed at the National Science Foundation’s Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in December 1997 to help connect NSF researchers and their scientific data to the rest of the world. This image shows the original SPTR system, which became operational on Jan. 9, 1998. (NASA)

The South Pole TDRS Relay (SPTR) ground terminal was installed at the National Science Foundation’s Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in December 1997 to help connect NSF researchers and their scientific data to the rest of the world. This image shows the original SPTR system, which became operational on Jan. 9, 1998. (NASA)

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NASA 2017 Highlights

 

Written by Jen Rae Wang / Allard Beutel
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The Moon became a key focus point for NASA in 2017, whether it was blocking out the Sun during one of the most-viewed events in U.S. history, or reinvigorating the agency’s human space exploration plans.

One of the numerous NASA-related activities and actions the Trump Administration did in 2017 was to reconstitute the National Space Council. During its first meeting on October 5th, Vice President Mike Pence directed NASA to develop a plan to help extend human exploration across our solar system, and return astronauts to the Moon in preparation for human missions to Mars and other destinations.

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