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Topic: Moon

NASA reports Asteroid 2002 AJ129 to Fly Safely Past Earth February 4th

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Asteroid 2002 AJ129 will make a close approach to Earth on February 4th, 2018 at 1:30pm PST (3:30pm CST / 21:30 UTC). At the time of closest approach, the asteroid will be no closer than 10 times the distance between Earth and the Moon (about 2.6 million miles, or 4.2 million kilometers).

2002 AJ129 is an intermediate-sized near-Earth asteroid, somewhere between 0.3 miles (0.5 kilometers) and 0.75 miles (1.2 kilometers) across. It was discovered on January 15th, 2002, by the former NASA-sponsored Near Earth Asteroid Tracking project at the Maui Space Surveillance Site on Haleakala, Hawaii.

Asteroid 2002 AJ129 will make its closest approach to Earth on February 4th, 2018, at 1:30pm PST (3:30pm CST). At the time of closest approach, the asteroid will be no closer than 10 times the distance between Earth and the moon. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Asteroid 2002 AJ129 will make its closest approach to Earth on February 4th, 2018, at 1:30pm PST (3:30pm CST). At the time of closest approach, the asteroid will be no closer than 10 times the distance between Earth and the moon. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft data reveals Saturn’s moon Titan has Sea Level elevation

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA –  Saturn’s moon Titan may be nearly a billion miles away from Earth, but a recently published paper based on data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft reveals a new way this distant world and our own are eerily similar. Just as the surface of oceans on Earth lies at an average elevation that we call “sea level,” Titan’s seas also lie at an average elevation.

This is the latest finding that shows remarkable similarities between Earth and Titan, the only other world we know of in our solar system that has stable liquid on its surface.

Ligeia Mare, shown in here in data obtained by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, is the second largest known body of liquid on Saturn's moon Titan. It is filled with liquid hydrocarbons, such as ethane and methane, and is one of the many seas and lakes that bejewel Titan's north polar region. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Cornell)

Ligeia Mare, shown in here in data obtained by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, is the second largest known body of liquid on Saturn’s moon Titan. It is filled with liquid hydrocarbons, such as ethane and methane, and is one of the many seas and lakes that bejewel Titan’s north polar region. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASI/Cornell)

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NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory 2018 Missions and Activities

 

Written by Elyssia Widjaja
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Newsroom

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The year 2017 marked several milestones in science, technology and flight projects for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. Voyager 1 returned data from interstellar space as it surpassed 40 years in flight.

NASA’s Cassini Spacecraft ended its 13-year tour of Saturn. JPL celebrated the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Earth-orbiting Topex/Poseidon satellite.

As JPL turns 82 in 2018, its missions and activities will continue to inspire. Here is a preview of events planned for JPL (some dates subject to change):

The solar arrays on NASA's InSight lander are deployed in this test inside a clean room at Lockheed Martin Space, Denver. This configuration is how the spacecraft will look on the surface of Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin)

The solar arrays on NASA’s InSight lander are deployed in this test inside a clean room at Lockheed Martin Space, Denver. This configuration is how the spacecraft will look on the surface of Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin)

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NASA looks at exciting year for Deep Space Exploration

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Engineers preparing NASA’s deep space exploration systems to support missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond are gearing up for a busy 2018. The agency aims to complete the manufacturing of all the major hardware by the end of the year for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), which will pave the road for future missions with astronauts.

Planes, trains, trucks and ships will move across America and over oceans to deliver hardware for assembly and testing of components for the Orion spacecraft and the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket while teams at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida prepare the Ground Systems infrastructure. Testing will take place from the high seas to the high skies and in between throughout the year and across the country, not only in support of EM-1, but also for all subsequent missions.

NASA plans December 2019 launch date for the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion spacecraft. (NASA)

NASA plans December 2019 launch date for the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion spacecraft. (NASA)

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NASA Mourns the Passing of Astronaut John Young

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Astronaut John Young, who walked on the Moon during Apollo 16 and commanded the first space shuttle mission, died Friday, January 5th, 2018, at the age of 87 from complications of pneumonia. Young began his impressive career at NASA in 1962, when he was selected from among hundreds of young pilots to join NASA’s second astronaut class, known as the “New Nine.”

“Today, NASA and the world have lost a pioneer,” acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot said in a statement. “Astronaut John Young’s storied career spanned three generations of spaceflight; we will stand on his shoulders as we look toward the next human frontier.

John Young's official astronaut portrait. (NASA)

John Young’s official astronaut portrait. (NASA)

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A Look Back at NASA’s efforts to send Astronauts into Deep Space from 2017

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Below are the top images from 2017 that tell the story of building and testing the systems that will send astronauts to deep space destinations including the Moon, Mars and beyond.

Construction Completed for Stand to Test SLS’s Largest Fuel Tank

Major construction is complete on NASA’s structural test stand that will ensure SLS’s liquid hydrogen tank can withstand the extreme forces of launch and ascent. Together, the SLS liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks will feed 733,000 gallons (nearly 3 million liters) of super-cooled propellant to four RS-25 engines, producing a total of 2 million pounds of thrust at the base of the core stage.

The 215-foot-tall structural test stand for NASA's Space Launch System is seen Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The 215-foot-tall structural test stand for NASA’s Space Launch System is seen Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy observes Magnetic Fields in the Universe

 

Written by Nicholas A. Veronico
NASA Ames Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMoffett Field, CA – NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy, SOFIA, is preparing for its 2018 observing campaign, which will include observations of celestial magnetic fields, star-forming regions, comets, Saturn’s giant moon Titan and more.

This will be the fourth year of full operations for SOFIA, with observations planned between February 2018 and January 2019. Research flights will be conducted primarily from SOFIA’s home base at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center.

HAWC+ performed polarization measurements at 89 μm to capture the structure of the magnetic field in the Orion star forming region. Each line segment represents the orientation of the magnetic field at that location, overlaid on an image of the total intensity at the same wavelength. (NASA/SOFIA/Caltech/Darren Dowell)

HAWC+ performed polarization measurements at 89 μm to capture the structure of the magnetic field in the Orion star forming region. Each line segment represents the orientation of the magnetic field at that location, overlaid on an image of the total intensity at the same wavelength. (NASA/SOFIA/Caltech/Darren Dowell)

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NASA partners with American Girl to inspire children about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA is collaborating with a well-known doll and book company to inspire children to dream big and reach for the stars.

Through a Space Act Agreement, NASA partnered with American Girl to share the excitement of space with the public, and in particular, inspire young girls to learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

NASA provided the company subject matter experts for their advisory board, provided input for an upcoming book series, and also reviewed merchandise as it was developed for a new STEM-inspired character to ensure authenticity and adherence to agency graphic and media usage standards.

Megan McArthur, NASA astronaut who serves on the advisory board for American Girl’s new STEM-inspired character, says she always wants to encourage girls and boys to pursue their dreams, no matter how big. McArthur, seen here during a space shuttle mission, dreamed of being an astronaut since she was a teenager. (NASA)

Megan McArthur, NASA astronaut who serves on the advisory board for American Girl’s new STEM-inspired character, says she always wants to encourage girls and boys to pursue their dreams, no matter how big. McArthur, seen here during a space shuttle mission, dreamed of being an astronaut since she was a teenager. (NASA)

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NASA Engineers successfully use 3-D Printed Part on RS-25 Rocket Engine

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Engineers successfully hot-fire tested an RS-25 rocket engine with a large 3-D printed part for the first time on December 13th, marking a key step toward reducing costs for future engines that power NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System.

During flight, a rocket may experience powerful up-and-down vibrations mainly due to the engines and propellant in the feed lines. This is called the pogo effect and is similar to the up-and-down motion of bouncing on a pogo stick. The 3-D printed part tested, called the pogo accumulator, is a beachball-sized piece of hardware that acts as a shock absorber by regulating liquid oxygen movement in the engine to prevent the vibrations that can destabilize a rocket’s flight.

The successful hot-fire test of an RS-25 development engine at NASA's Stennis Space Center on Dec. 13 included NASA's largest 3-D printed rocket engine component to date, the pogo accumulator assembly. The test was the first of 50 for NASA's restart of RS-25 engine production. (NASA/Stennis)

The successful hot-fire test of an RS-25 development engine at NASA’s Stennis Space Center on Dec. 13 included NASA’s largest 3-D printed rocket engine component to date, the pogo accumulator assembly. The test was the first of 50 for NASA’s restart of RS-25 engine production. (NASA/Stennis)

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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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