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Topic: NASA’s Johnson Space Center

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 picks Commercial Lander Providers for return to the Moon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Three commercial Moon landing service providers have been picked by NASA to deliver science and technology payloads under Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) as part of the Artemis program.

Each commercial lander will carry NASA-provided payloads that will conduct science investigations and demonstrate advanced technologies on the lunar surface, paving the way for NASA astronauts to land on the lunar surface by 2024.

Commercial landers will carry NASA-provided science and technology payloads to the lunar surface, paving the way for NASA astronauts to land on the Moon by 2024. (NASA)

Commercial landers will carry NASA-provided science and technology payloads to the lunar surface, paving the way for NASA astronauts to land on the Moon by 2024. (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 Orion spacecraft completes Liftoff, Splashdown Safety Tests

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Engineers completed two key tests the week of March 18th to help ensure NASA’s Orion spacecraft is ready from liftoff to splashdown for missions to the Moon.

Teams successfully tested one of the motors on Orion’s Launch Abort System responsible for taking the crew to safety in an emergency during launch, and completed testing at sea for the qualification of the system used to upright Orion after it lands in the ocean.

NASA tested Orion’s crew module uprighting system off the Coast of North Carolina in March 2018. (NASA)

NASA tested Orion’s crew module uprighting system off the Coast of North Carolina in March 2018. (NASA)

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NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland mission still making discoveries

 

Written by Carol Rasmussen
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Only seven months after NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) mission wrapped its last field campaign on the world’s largest island, an OMG crew is back in Greenland to collect more data.

With two or three field projects a year since 2016, no wonder OMG has made the most comprehensive measurements yet of how ocean water lapping at the undersides of Greenland’s melting glaciers affects them. All that data has answered a lot of existing questions – and it’s raised plenty of new ones.

Cracks in the front of a glacier as it reaches the ocean. (NASA/Adam Klein)

Cracks in the front of a glacier as it reaches the ocean. (NASA/Adam Klein)

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NASA reports SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft set for March 2nd Launch

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA says SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft—designed to fly astronauts to the International Space Station from U.S. soil—is ready for its debut flight on the company’s Falcon 9 rocket. It is a first-of-its-kind test mission of a commercially-built and operated American spacecraft and rocket designed for humans.

The Demo-1 uncrewed flight test, targeted to launch March 2nd, will demonstrate the company’s ability to safely launch crew to the space station and return them home.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen as it is rolled to the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for the Demo-1 mission, Feb. 28, 2019 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Demo-1 mission will be the first launch of a commercially built and operated American spacecraft and space system designed for humans as part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program. (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard is seen as it is rolled to the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A as preparations continue for the Demo-1 mission, Feb. 28, 2019 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Demo-1 mission will be the first launch of a commercially built and operated American spacecraft and space system designed for humans as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

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NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory produces coldest temperatures known

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA asks what’s the coldest place you can think of? Temperatures on a winter day in Antarctica dip as low as -120ºF (-85ºC). On the dark side of the Moon, they hit -280ºF (-173ºC). But inside NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory on the International Space Station, scientists are creating something even colder.

The Cold Atom Lab (CAL) is the first facility in orbit to produce clouds of “ultracold” atoms, which can reach a fraction of a degree above absolute zero: -459ºF (-273ºC), the absolute coldest temperature that matter can reach.

The International Space Station, shown here in 2018, is home to many scientific experiments, including NASA's Cold Atom Laboratory. (NASA)

The International Space Station, shown here in 2018, is home to many scientific experiments, including NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory. (NASA)

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NASA announces International Space Station Experiment Reaches Ultracold Milestone

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA reports the International Space Station is officially home to the coolest experiment in space.

NASA’s Cold Atom Laboratory (CAL) was installed in the station’s U.S. science lab in late May and is now producing clouds of ultracold atoms known as Bose-Einstein condensates. These “BECs” reach temperatures just above absolute zero, the point at which atoms should theoretically stop moving entirely. This is the first time BECs have ever been produced in orbit.

CAL is a multiuser facility dedicated to the study of fundamental laws of nature using ultracold quantum gases in microgravity.

This series of graphs show the changing density of a cloud of atoms as it is cooled to lower and lower temperatures (going from left to right) approaching absolute zero. The emergence of a sharp peak in the later graphs confirms the formation of a Bose-Einstein condensate -- a fifth state of matter -- occurring here at a temperature of 130 nanoKelvin, or less than 1 Kelvin above absolute zero. (Absolute zero, or zero Kelvin, is equal to minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 273 Celsius). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This series of graphs show the changing density of a cloud of atoms as it is cooled to lower and lower temperatures (going from left to right) approaching absolute zero. The emergence of a sharp peak in the later graphs confirms the formation of a Bose-Einstein condensate — a fifth state of matter — occurring here at a temperature of 130 nanoKelvin, or less than 1 Kelvin above absolute zero. (Absolute zero, or zero Kelvin, is equal to minus 459 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 273 Celsius). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA reports International Space Station uses miniaturized Fluorescence Microscope to observe changes in Living Cells in Microgravity

 

NASA’s Johnson Space Center

International Space Station Program Science Office

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – Honey, I shrunk the microscope! A miniaturized fluorescence microscope makes it possible to observe changes in living cells in microgravity. Future observations of astronauts’ cells could tell scientists important information about how the body adapts to space. 

“An astronaut’s physiology changes during long duration spaceflight because of the lack of gravity,” said Principal Investigator Oliver Ullrich, University of Magdeburg. “Knowing the molecular basis of this cellular response to altered gravity is key for risk management, monitoring, and development of countermeasures for future long-term space exploration. Cellular adaptation to the microgravity environment can only be studied and understood in dynamic or live measurements. Live imaging experiments in space are a crucial contribution to the understanding of cellular adaptation to microgravity.”

FLUMIAS team members install the 3D fluorescence microscope that will allow live-cell imaging in microgravity into Payload Card-8 of the TangoLab in preparation for launch aboard the SpaceX Dragon last month. (DLR)

FLUMIAS team members install the 3D fluorescence microscope that will allow live-cell imaging in microgravity into Payload Card-8 of the TangoLab in preparation for launch aboard the SpaceX Dragon last month. (DLR)

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NASA collects Meteorites in Antarctica

 

Written by Bill Steigerwald
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – On rare calm days, the most striking thing you notice at an altitude of more than 8,000 feet on an Antarctic glacier is the silence.

“There was just no sound; no air handling equipment, no leaves rustling, no bugs, no planes or cars. So quiet you just heard your heartbeat,” said Barbara Cohen, planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Most of the time, however, there is a steady howl of bitter cold wind flowing down from the East Antarctic ice plateau. With a summer temperature hovering around zero Fahrenheit, “It’s the wind that makes you cold,” Cohen said.

Camp at Mount Raymond in the Transantarctic Mountains. (Barbara Cohen)

Camp at Mount Raymond in the Transantarctic Mountains. (Barbara Cohen)

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