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Topic: Pasadena CA

NASA’s GRACE-FO Mission set to launch May 19th

 

Written by Jia-Rui Cook
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Media Relations

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA –  Imagine standing on the roof of a building in Los Angeles and trying to point a laser so accurately that you could hit a particular building in San Diego, more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) away.

This accuracy is required for the feat that a novel technology demonstration aboard the soon-to-launch Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission will aim to achieve.

For the first time, a promising technique called laser ranging interferometry will be tested between two satellites.

GRACE-FO will demonstrate the effectiveness of using lasers instead of microwaves to more precisely measure fluctuations in the separation distance between the two spacecraft, potentially improving the precision of range fluctuation measurements by a factor of at least 10 on future GRACE-like missions. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

GRACE-FO will demonstrate the effectiveness of using lasers instead of microwaves to more precisely measure fluctuations in the separation distance between the two spacecraft, potentially improving the precision of range fluctuation measurements by a factor of at least 10 on future GRACE-like missions. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA takes Satellite Images of Hawaii Volcano Fissures

 

Written by Esprit Smith
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The eruption of Kilauea Volcano on the island of Hawaii triggered a number of gas- and lava-oozing fissures in the East Riff Zone of the volcano. The fissures and high levels of sulfur dioxide gas prompted evacuations in the area.

Images taken from the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) onboard NASA’s Terra satellite picked up these new fissures.

In the first image, the red areas are vegetation, and the black and gray areas are old lava flows.

ASTER image acquired May 6 picks up hotspots on the thermal infrared bands – shown in yellow. These hotspots are newly formed fissures and lava flows. (NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team)

ASTER image acquired May 6 picks up hotspots on the thermal infrared bands – shown in yellow. These hotspots are newly formed fissures and lava flows. (NASA/METI/AIST/Japan Space Systems, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team)

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NASA’s twin Mars Cub One CubeSats on their way to Deep Space

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA has received radio signals indicating that the first-ever CubeSats headed to deep space are alive and well. The first signal was received at 12:15pm PST (2:15pm CST) today; the second at 1:58pm PST (3:58pm CST). Engineers will now be performing a series of checks before both CubeSats enter their cruise to deep space.

Mars Cube One, or MarCO, is a pair of briefcase-sized spacecraft that launched along with NASA’s InSight Mars lander at 4:05am PDT (6:05am CDT) today from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Central California. InSight is a scientific mission that will probe the Red Planet’s deep interior for the first time; the name stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport.

An artist's rendering of the twin Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft as they fly through deep space. The MarCOs will be the first CubeSats -- a kind of modular, mini-satellite -- attempting to fly to another planet. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

An artist’s rendering of the twin Mars Cube One (MarCO) spacecraft as they fly through deep space. The MarCOs will be the first CubeSats — a kind of modular, mini-satellite — attempting to fly to another planet. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

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NASA’s InSight Mars Lander launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base Saturday morning

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission is on a 300-million-mile (483-million-kilometer) trip to Mars to study for the first time what lies deep beneath the surface of the Red Planet. InSight launched at 4:05am PDT (6:05am CDT) Saturday from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

“The United States continues to lead the way to Mars with this next exciting mission to study the Red Planet’s core and geological processes,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

The NASA InSight spacecraft launches onboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas-V rocket, Saturday, May 5, 2018, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is a Mars lander designed to study the "inner space" of Mars: its crust, mantle, and core. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The NASA InSight spacecraft launches onboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas-V rocket, Saturday, May 5, 2018, from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. InSight, short for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, is a Mars lander designed to study the “inner space” of Mars: its crust, mantle, and core. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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NASA’s Mars InSight Lander to be first interplanetary launch from West Coast

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – All systems are go for NASA’s next launch to the Red Planet.

The early-morning liftoff on Saturday of the Mars InSight lander will mark the first time in history an interplanetary launch will originate from the West Coast. InSight will launch from the U.S. Air Force Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 3E. The two-hour launch window will open on May 5th at 4:05am PDT (6:05am CDT).

InSight, for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, will launch aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. InSight will study the deep interior of Mars to learn how all rocky planets formed, including Earth and its Moon.

This artist's concept shows NASA's Mars InSight lander, its sensors, cameras and instruments. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s concept shows NASA’s Mars InSight lander, its sensors, cameras and instruments. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory gets visit from U.S. Vice President Mike Pence

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A week before NASA launches its next mission to Mars, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence toured on Saturday, April 28th, the birthplace of numerous past, present and future space missions at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The afternoon visit by the Vice President, his wife, Karen, and daughter Charlotte, included a stop in JPL’s Mission Control, where engineers will communicate with NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight).

JPL Director Michael Watkins gave Vice President Mike Pence, right, a plaque during the Vice President's tour of JPL on April 28, 2018. The plaque features a view of NASA's Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

JPL Director Michael Watkins gave Vice President Mike Pence, right, a plaque during the Vice President’s tour of JPL on April 28, 2018. The plaque features a view of NASA’s Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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NASA’s Twin GRACE-FO Spacecraft to measure Earth’s Water Movement

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A pair of new spacecraft that will observe our planet’s ever-changing water cycle, ice sheets and crust is in final preparations for a California launch no earlier than Saturday, May 19th.

The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, a partnership between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), will take over where the first GRACE mission left off when it completed its 15-year mission in 2017.

GRACE-FO will continue monitoring monthly changes in the distribution of mass within and among Earth’s atmosphere, oceans, land and ice sheets, as well as within the solid Earth itself.

Artist's illustration of the NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, which will track changes in the distribution of Earth's mass, providing insights into climate, Earth system processes and the impacts of some human activities. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist’s illustration of the NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO) mission, which will track changes in the distribution of Earth’s mass, providing insights into climate, Earth system processes and the impacts of some human activities. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA to Launch InSight Mars Lander on May 5th

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s next mission to Mars, Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight), is scheduled to launch Saturday, May 5th, 2018 on a first-ever mission to study the heart of the Red Planet. Coverage of prelaunch and launch activities begins Thursday, May 3rd, on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

InSight, the first planetary mission to take off from the West Coast, is targeted to launch at 4:05am PDT (6:05am CDT) from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.

An artist's rendering of a rocket launching with the InSight spacecraft later this May. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An artist’s rendering of a rocket launching with the InSight spacecraft later this May. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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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 Study May Improve Future River-Observing Satellites

 

Written by Maria-José Viñas
NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – River floods are one of the most common and devastating of Earth’s natural disasters. In the past decade, deluges from rivers have killed thousands of people every year around the world and caused losses on the order of tens of billions of U.S. dollars annually. Climate change, which is projected to increase precipitation in certain areas of the planet, might make river floods in these places more frequent and severe in the coming decades.

Now, a new study led by researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, analyzes what it would take for river-observing satellites to become an even more useful tool to mitigate flood damage and improve reservoir management globally in near real-time.

Artist's illustration of NASA's planned Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite over the Amazon basin. The colors depict estimated minimum times for flood waves to travel downstream and reach the ocean, data that can inform requirements of satellites like SWOT that can detect floods. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist’s illustration of NASA’s planned Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite over the Amazon basin. The colors depict estimated minimum times for flood waves to travel downstream and reach the ocean, data that can inform requirements of satellites like SWOT that can detect floods. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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