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Topic: Mars

NASA has New Technology set to Launch on SpaceX Falcon Heavy early Tuesday morning

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA reports that SpaceX is now targeting 1:30am CDT, Tuesday June 25th, 2019, for the Falcon Heavy launch of the Department of Defense Space Test Program-2 to allow time for additional ground system checkouts—vehicle and payload continue to look good.

NASA TV live launch coverage will start 30 minutes before launch, at 1:00am: www.nasa.gov/nasalive

The SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying new NASA technology.

New technology from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory will launch on the first night flight of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy on June 25th, 2019, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The technology includes an atomic clock for self-driving spacecraft, climate-observing satellites and more. (SpaceX)

New technology from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory will launch on the first night flight of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy on June 25th, 2019, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The technology includes an atomic clock for self-driving spacecraft, climate-observing satellites and more. (SpaceX)

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NASA’s Curiosity rover measures large amount of Methane on Mars

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has discovered the largest amount of methane ever measured on Mars during the mission. Curiosity measured about 21 parts per billion units by volume (ppbv). One ppbv means that if you take a volume of air on Mars, one billionth of the volume of air is methane.

The finding came from the rover’s Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) tunable laser spectrometer. It’s exciting because microbial life is an important source of methane on Earth, but methane can also be created through interactions between rocks and water.

This image was taken by the left Navcam on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on June 18, 2019, the 2,440th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. It shows part of "Teal Ridge," which the rover has been studying within a region called the "clay-bearing unit." (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This image was taken by the left Navcam on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover on June 18, 2019, the 2,440th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. It shows part of “Teal Ridge,” which the rover has been studying within a region called the “clay-bearing unit.” (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Engineers install Legs, Wheels on Mars 2020 Rover

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, install the starboard legs and wheels, otherwise known as the mobility suspension, on the Mars 2020 rover on June 13th, 2019. They installed the port suspension later that day.

“Now that’s a Mars rover,” said David Gruel, the Mars 2020 assembly, test, and launch operations manager at JPL. “With the suspension on, not only does it look like a rover, but we have almost all our big-ticket items for integration in our rearview mirror – if our rover had one.”

In this image, taken on June 13th, 2019, engineers at JPL install the starboard legs and wheels - otherwise known as the mobility suspension - on the Mars 2020 rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In this image, taken on June 13th, 2019, engineers at JPL install the starboard legs and wheels – otherwise known as the mobility suspension – on the Mars 2020 rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA selects Three Finalists for Future Small Satellites

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Three finalists have been selected by NASA from among a dozen concepts for future small satellites.

The finalists include a 2022 robotic mission to study two asteroid systems, twin spacecraft to study the effects of energetic particles around Mars, and a lunar orbiter managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, to study water on the Moon.

One of three finalists selected by NASA for future small satellites, Lunar Trailblazer will detect and map water on the lunar surface to study how its form, abundance and location relate to geology. The principal investigator is Caltech's Bethany Ehlmann. JPL will provide project management. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

One of three finalists selected by NASA for future small satellites, Lunar Trailblazer will detect and map water on the lunar surface to study how its form, abundance and location relate to geology. The principal investigator is Caltech’s Bethany Ehlmann. JPL will provide project management. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA picks proposals from American Small Businesses for Advance Space Tech Development

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has selected 363 proposals from small businesses and research institutions across 41 states to help advance the types of capabilities needed for those future missions, as well as to support the agency in other areas.

American businesses will help NASA land astronauts on the Moon in five years and establish a sustainable presence there, as part of the agency’s larger Moon to Mars exploration approach.

NASA has selected 363 proposals from American small businesses and research institutions advance technologies in the areas of human exploration and operations, space technology, science, and aeronautics. (NASA)

NASA has selected 363 proposals from American small businesses and research institutions advance technologies in the areas of human exploration and operations, space technology, science, and aeronautics. (NASA)

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NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock to help Astronauts get to Mars

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – In the future, spacecraft could safely and autonomously fly themselves to destinations like the Moon and Mars thanks to NASA navigators.

Navigators today tell a spacecraft where to go by calculating its position from Earth and sending the location data to space in a two-way relay system that can take anywhere from minutes to hours to deliver directions. This method of navigation means that no matter how far a mission travels through the solar system, our spacecraft are still tethered to the ground, waiting for commands from our planet.

The Deep Space Atomic Clock, a new technology from NASA's JPL, may change the way spacecraft navigate in space. Launching in late June aboard the Orbital Test Bed satellite, on the SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket, descendants of the technology demonstration could be a key component of a self-driving spacecraft and a GPS-like navigation system at other worlds. (General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems)

The Deep Space Atomic Clock, a new technology from NASA’s JPL, may change the way spacecraft navigate in space. Launching in late June aboard the Orbital Test Bed satellite, on the SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, descendants of the technology demonstration could be a key component of a self-driving spacecraft and a GPS-like navigation system at other worlds. (General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission will pave way for future Astronauts

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A historic moment, when a female astronaut first sets foot on the Moon in 2024 will represent a step toward another NASA first: eventually putting humans on Mars. NASA’s latest robotic mission to the Red Planet, Mars 2020, aims to help future astronauts brave that inhospitable landscape.

When a female astronaut first sets foot on the Moon in 2024, the historic moment will represent a step toward another NASA first: eventually putting humans on Mars. NASA’s latest robotic mission to the Red Planet, Mars 2020, aims to help future astronauts brave that inhospitable landscape.

This artist's concept depicts astronauts and human habitats on Mars. NASA's Mars 2020 rover will carry a number of technologies that could make Mars safer and easier to explore for humans. (NASA)

This artist’s concept depicts astronauts and human habitats on Mars. NASA’s Mars 2020 rover will carry a number of technologies that could make Mars safer and easier to explore for humans. (NASA)

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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 Helicopter completes key tests

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A number of key tests were passed by NASA’s Mars Helicopter flight demonstration project with flying colors. In 2021, the small, autonomous helicopter will be the first vehicle in history to attempt to establish the viability of heavier-than-air vehicles flying on another planet.

“Nobody’s built a Mars Helicopter before, so we are continuously entering new territory,” said MiMi Aung, project manager for the Mars Helicopter at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “Our flight model – the actual vehicle that will travel to Mars – has recently passed several important tests.”

This image of the flight model of NASA's Mars Helicopter was taken on Feb. 14, 2019, in a cleanroom at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The aluminum base plate, side posts, and crossbeam around the helicopter protect the helicopter's landing legs and the attachment points that will hold it to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This image of the flight model of NASA’s Mars Helicopter was taken on Feb. 14, 2019, in a cleanroom at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The aluminum base plate, side posts, and crossbeam around the helicopter protect the helicopter’s landing legs and the attachment points that will hold it to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA InSight’s Team looks to get heat probe digging again

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA InSight’s heat probe has been unable to dig very far on the surface of Mars. Scientists and engineers have a new plan for getting the probe also known as the “mole,” digging again on Mars. Part of an instrument called the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3), the mole is a self-hammering spike designed to dig as much as 16 feet (5 meters) below the surface and record temperature.

But the mole hasn’t been able to dig deeper than about 12 inches (30 centimeters) below the Martian surface since February 28th, 2019.

Engineers in a Mars-like test area at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory try possible strategies to aid the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) on NASA's InSight lander, using engineering models of the lander, robotic arm and instrument. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Engineers in a Mars-like test area at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory try possible strategies to aid the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) on NASA’s InSight lander, using engineering models of the lander, robotic arm and instrument. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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