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Topic: NASA Headquarters

NASA’s GRACE Follow-On Spacecraft launched Tuesday with mission to track Earth’s Water Changes

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. –  A joint U.S./German space mission to track the continuous movement of water and other changes in Earth’s mass on and beneath the planet’s surface successfully launched at 12:47pm PDT (2:47pm CDT) Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 from the California coast.

The twin spacecraft of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO), a joint NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) mission, lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, sharing their ride into space with five Iridium NEXT communications satellites.

The NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences GRACE Follow-On spacecraft launch onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The mission will measure changes in how mass is redistributed within and among Earth's atmosphere, oceans, land and ice sheets, as well as within Earth itself. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences GRACE Follow-On spacecraft launch onboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Tuesday, May 22, 2018, from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The mission will measure changes in how mass is redistributed within and among Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, land and ice sheets, as well as within Earth itself. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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Reexamination of NASA Galileo orbiter data yields new evidence of Plumes from Jupiter’s moon Europa

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Scientists re-examining data from an old mission bring new insights to the tantalizing question of whether Jupiter’s moon Europa has the ingredients to support life. The data provide independent evidence that the moon’s subsurface liquid water reservoir may be venting plumes of water vapor above its icy shell.

Data collected by NASA’s Galileo spacecraft in 1997 were put through new and advanced computer models to untangle a mystery — a brief, localized bend in the magnetic field — that had gone unexplained until now.

Artist's illustration of Jupiter and Europa (in the foreground) with the Galileo spacecraft after its pass through a plume erupting from Europa's surface. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Michigan)

Artist’s illustration of Jupiter and Europa (in the foreground) with the Galileo spacecraft after its pass through a plume erupting from Europa’s surface. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Michigan)

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NASA is sending Mars Helicopter to Red Planet on Mars 2020 Rover Mission

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA is sending a helicopter to Mars.

The Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with the agency’s Mars 2020 rover mission, currently scheduled to launch in July 2020, to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet.

“NASA has a proud history of firsts,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “The idea of a helicopter flying the skies of another planet is thrilling. The Mars Helicopter holds much promise for our future science, discovery, and exploration missions to Mars.”

The Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with NASA's Mars 2020 rover, currently scheduled to launch in July 2020, to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with NASA’s Mars 2020 rover, currently scheduled to launch in July 2020, to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Kilopower Reactor experiment shows Nuclear Fission can power long Space Missions

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) have successfully demonstrated a new nuclear reactor power system that could enable long-duration crewed missions to the Moon, Mars and destinations beyond.

NASA announced the results of the demonstration, called the Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling Technology (KRUSTY) experiment,during a news conference Wednesday at its Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. The Kilopower experiment was conducted at the NNSA’s Nevada National Security Site from November 2017 through March.

Artist's concept of new fission power system on the lunar surface. (NASA)

Artist’s concept of new fission power system on the lunar surface. (NASA)

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NASA’s testing of the Mars 2020 Heat Shield revealed a fracture

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A post-test inspection of the composite structure for a heat shield to be used on the NASA Mars 2020 mission revealed that a fracture occurred during structural testing. The mission team is working to build a replacement heat shield structure. The situation will not affect the mission’s launch readiness date of July 17th, 2020.

Project management at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is working with contractor Lockheed Martin Space, Denver, to understand the cause of the fracture and determine whether any design changes need to be incorporated into a replacement.

Artist's concept of the Mars Science Laboratory entry into the Martian atmosphere. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist’s concept of the Mars Science Laboratory entry into the Martian atmosphere. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA has worked with John Deere for over a decade with Self-Driving Tractors

 

Written by Gina Anderson
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – There has been a lot of talk lately of self-driving cars, but farmers have already been making good use of self-driving tractors for more than a decade—in part due to a partnership between John Deere and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on GPS receivers.

The story starts with GPS, which was still new in the mid-1990s when John Deere, based in Moline, Illinois, began using it for precision agriculture. The company combined GPS location data with readings from sensors on a harvesting combine to determine the crop yield on different parts of the field.

A long partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory helped John Deere spread self-driving tractor capabilities all over the world, lowering costs and improving yields for farmers while popularizing the idea of precision agriculture. (John Deere)

A long partnership with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory helped John Deere spread self-driving tractor capabilities all over the world, lowering costs and improving yields for farmers while popularizing the idea of precision agriculture. (John Deere)

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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’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite to launch April 16th

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – On a mission to detect planets outside of our solar system, NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is scheduled to launch no earlier than 6:32pm EDT Monday, April 16th. Prelaunch mission coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency’s website Sunday, April 15th, with three live briefings.

TESS is NASA’s next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system, known as exoplanets, including those that could support life.

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is set to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida no earlier than April 16, 2018. Once in orbit, TESS will spend about two years surveying 200,000 of the brightest stars near the sun to search for planets outside our solar system. (NASA)

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is set to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida no earlier than April 16, 2018. Once in orbit, TESS will spend about two years surveying 200,000 of the brightest stars near the sun to search for planets outside our solar system. (NASA)

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NASA contracts Lockheed Martin to design, build, test Supersonic Aircraft with reduced Sonic Boom

 

Written by J.D. Harrington
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has taken another step toward re-introducing supersonic flight with the award Tuesday of a contract for the design, building and testing of a supersonic aircraft that reduces a sonic boom to a gentle thump.

Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Palmdale, California, was selected for the Low-Boom Flight Demonstration contract, a cost-plus-incentive-fee contract valued at $247.5 million. Work under the contract began April 2nd and runs through December 31st, 2021.

NASA awards a contract for the design, building and testing of a supersonic aircraft to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Palmdale, California. (NASA)

NASA awards a contract for the design, building and testing of a supersonic aircraft to Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Palmdale, California. (NASA)

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NASA to invest in 25 Visionary Technology Proposals

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA is investing in technology concepts that include meteoroid impact detection, space telescope swarms and small orbital debris mapping technologies that may one day be used for future space exploration missions. Five of the concepts are from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

The agency is investing in 25 early-stage technology proposals that have the potential to transform future human and robotic exploration missions, introduce new exploration capabilities, and significantly improve current approaches to building and operating aerospace systems.

NASA Invests in Shapeshifters, Biobots, Other Visionary Technology. (NASA)

NASA Invests in Shapeshifters, Biobots, Other Visionary Technology. (NASA)

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