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Topic: Pacific Ocean

NASA’s Global Hawk research aircraft finishes Climate Change study

 

Written by Rachel Hoover
NASA Ames Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – NASA’s Global Hawk research aircraft returned to its base at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, early Friday morning March 14th, marking the completion of flights in support of this year’s Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX), a multi-year NASA airborne science campaign.

On February 13th, the autonomously operated aircraft began conducting science flights from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam in the western Pacific region on a mission to track changes in the upper atmosphere and help researchers understand how these changes affect Earth’s climate.

NASA's Global Hawk No. 872 flares for landing at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam to begin the 2014 ATTREX climate-change mission Jan. 17th. The two-month-long airborne science flight campaign wrapped up with the aircraft's return to NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center March 14th. (U.S. Air Force)

NASA’s Global Hawk No. 872 flares for landing at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam to begin the 2014 ATTREX climate-change mission Jan. 17th. The two-month-long airborne science flight campaign wrapped up with the aircraft’s return to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center March 14th. (U.S. Air Force)

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NASA reports Orion Spacecraft construction, testing ahead of schedule

 

NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Orion is marching ever closer to its first trip to space on a flight that will set the stage for human exploration of new destinations in the solar system.

The Orion team continues to work toward completing the spacecraft to be ready for a launch in September-October.  However, the initial timeframe for the launch of Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1) has shifted from September-October to early December to support allowing more opportunities for launches this year.

Engineers prepare Orion’s service module for installation of the fairings that will protect it during launch this fall when Orion launches on its first mission. The service module, along with its fairings, is now complete. (NASA)

Engineers prepare Orion’s service module for installation of the fairings that will protect it during launch this fall when Orion launches on its first mission. The service module, along with its fairings, is now complete. (NASA)

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NASA uses satellites, aircraft, and high-altitude balloons to investigate California’s extreme drought

 

Written by Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – California is supposed to be the Golden State.  Make that golden brown.

The entire west coast of the United States is changing color as the deepest drought in more than a century unfolds.  According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and NOAA, dry conditions have become extreme across more than 62% of California’s land area—and there is little relief in sight.

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NASA Scientists use Global Hawk aircraft to track atmosphere changes that affect the climate of Earth

 

Written by Rachel Hoover
NASA’s Ames Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMoffett Field, CA – NASA’s uncrewed Global Hawk research aircraft is in the western Pacific region on a mission to track changes in the upper atmosphere and help researchers understand how these changes affect Earth’s climate.

Deployed from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, CA, the Global Hawk landed at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam Thursday at approximately 5:00pm EST and will begin science flights Tuesday, January 21st. Its mission, the Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX), is a multi-year NASA airborne science campaign.

NASA's Global Hawk 872 on a checkout flight from Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, in preparation for the 2014 ATTREX mission over the western Pacific Ocean. (NASA/Tom Miller)

NASA’s Global Hawk 872 on a checkout flight from Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, in preparation for the 2014 ATTREX mission over the western Pacific Ocean. (NASA/Tom Miller)

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NASA’s Orion Spacecraft has it’s Parachute Jettison system tested

 

NASA’s Johnson Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – Engineers testing the parachute system for NASA’s Orion spacecraft increased the complexity of their tests Thursday, January 16th, adding the jettison of hardware designed to keep the capsule safe during flight.

The test was the first to give engineers in-air data on the performance of the system that jettisons Orion’s forward bay cover. The cover is a shell that fits over Orion’s crew module to protect the spacecraft during launch, orbital flight and re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

A test version of NASA’s Orion spacecraft floats through the sky about the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona under the two drogue parachutes that precede the release of its three main parachutes. (NASA)

A test version of NASA’s Orion spacecraft floats through the sky about the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona under the two drogue parachutes that precede the release of its three main parachutes. (NASA)

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NASA’s New Orion Spacecraft work continues with 2014 target launch

 

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – Orion’s first mission, Exploration Flight Test-1, or EFT-1, is less than a year away now, and the team building the spacecraft is meeting milestones left and right as they prepare the vehicle for its debut.

The Orion crew module that will fly 3,600 miles above Earth on the spacecraft’s first mission is continuing to come together inside the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Delta IV Heavy Lift rocket that will be used for Orion’s first mission, Exploration Flight Test-1, is in the final assembly area at United Launch Alliance’s factory in Decatur, AL. (NASA)

The Delta IV Heavy Lift rocket that will be used for Orion’s first mission, Exploration Flight Test-1, is in the final assembly area at United Launch Alliance’s factory in Decatur, AL. (NASA)

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NASA says ‘La Nada’ Climate Pattern Lingers in the Pacific

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – New remote sensing data from NASA’s Jason-2 satellite show near-normal sea-surface height conditions across the equatorial Pacific Ocean.

This neutral, or “La Nada” event, has stubbornly persisted for 16 months, since spring 2012. Models suggest this pattern will continue through the spring of 2014, according to the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center.

The latest image of sea surface heights in the Pacific Ocean from NASA's Jason-2 satellite shows that the equatorial Pacific Ocean is now in its 16th month of being locked in what some call a neutral, or "La Nada" state. (Image credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech/Ocean Surface Topography Team)

The latest image of sea surface heights in the Pacific Ocean from NASA’s Jason-2 satellite shows that the equatorial Pacific Ocean is now in its 16th month of being locked in what some call a neutral, or “La Nada” state. (Image credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech/Ocean Surface Topography Team)

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The Legacy of Tennessee Air National Guard’s Historic C-5 Aircraft #69-0014

 

Written By Retired Lt. Col. Niki Gentry

Tennessee National Air GuardMemphis, TN – American aviation enthusiasts are very familiar with the names of famous aircraft such as “The Wright Flyer,” “Spirit of St. Louis,” “Glamorous Glennis” and “Memphis Belle.”

These groundbreaking machines and their pilots each made history during the relatively young story of manned flight. Yet the longevity of aircraft often means past exploits may go unknown among the Airmen at the controls of the aging flying machines.

Lockheed C-5A aircraft, #69-0014.

Lockheed C-5A aircraft, #69-0014.

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NASA’s Jason-1 Ocean Altimetry Satellite decommissioned after Signal Loss

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The curtain has come down on a superstar of the satellite oceanography world that played the “Great Blue Way” of the world’s ocean for 11-1/2 years. The successful joint NASA and Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES) Jason-1 ocean altimetry satellite was decommissioned this week following the loss of its last remaining transmitter.

Launched December 7th, 2001, and designed to last three to five years, Jason-1 helped create a revolutionary 20-plus-year climate data record of global ocean surface topography that began in 1992 with the launch of the NASA/CNES Topex/Poseidon satellite.

Artist's concept of the joint NASA/CNES Jason-1 ocean altimetry satellite. During its 11-1/2-year life, Jason-1 helped create a 20-plus-year climate record of global ocean surface topography, providing new insights into ocean circulation, tracking our rising seas and enabling more accurate weather, ocean and climate forecasts. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist’s concept of the joint NASA/CNES Jason-1 ocean altimetry satellite. During its 11-1/2-year life, Jason-1 helped create a 20-plus-year climate record of global ocean surface topography, providing new insights into ocean circulation, tracking our rising seas and enabling more accurate weather, ocean and climate forecasts. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA launches their Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) Spacecraft

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMoffett Field, CA – NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) spacecraft launched Wednesday at 7:27pm PDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA. The mission to study the solar atmosphere was placed in orbit by an Orbital Sciences Corporation Pegasus XL rocket.

“We are thrilled to add IRIS to the suite of NASA missions studying the sun,” said John Grunsfeld, NASA’s associate administrator for science in Washington. “IRIS will help scientists understand the mysterious and energetic interface between the surface and corona of the sun.”

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