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NASA looks to Advance Human Moon Landers with help from 11 American Companies

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA looks to put American astronauts, the first woman and next man, on the Moon’s south pole by 2024 and establish sustainable missions by 2028. In order to do so, NASA has picked 11 companies to conduct studies and produce prototypes of human landers for its Artemis lunar exploration program.

“To accelerate our return to the Moon, we are challenging our traditional ways of doing business. We will streamline everything from procurement to partnerships to hardware development and even operations,” said Marshall Smith, director for human lunar exploration programs at NASA Headquarters.

Illustration of a human landing system. (NASA)

Illustration of a human landing system. (NASA)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 Spacecraft nears completion

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Prior to a test in the Space Simulator Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, an engineer inspects the completed spacecraft that will carry NASA’s next Mars rover to the Red Planet.

From the top down, and suspended by cables, is the complete cruise stage, which will power and guide the Mars 2020 spacecraft on its seven-month voyage to the Red Planet. Directly below that is the aeroshell (white back shell and barely visible black heat shield), which will protect the vehicle during cruise as well as during its fiery descent into the Martian atmosphere.

NASA's Mars 2020 Spacecraft undergoes inspection. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Mars 2020 Spacecraft undergoes inspection. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Senators Marsha Blackburn, Mike Braun Introduce Bill Requiring GAO to Study Pharmaceutical Benefit Managers Role in Supply Chain

 

U.S. SenateWashington, D.C. – On Friday, May 17th, 2019, Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Mike Braun (R-Indiana) introduced S.1532, the Pharmacy Benefit Managers Accountability Study Act of 2019, to require the Government Accountability Office to submit a report on pharmaceutical benefit managers (PBMs) to the Senate HELP and Finance Committees within one year of the date of enactment.

“As Congress looks to reduce prescription drug costs, we need to be sure we are getting complete and accurate information at each stage of the pharmaceutical supply chain,” said Senator Blackburn. “A major component of that effort is bringing transparency and accountability to the role of PBMs.”

Senator Marsha Blackburn.

Senator Marsha Blackburn.

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NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter finishes 60,000 trips around Mars

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter completed 60,000 loops around the Red Planet at 10:39am PDT (12:39 pm CDT) on Wednesday morning, May 15th, 2019. On average, MRO takes 112 minutes to circle Mars, whipping around at about 2 miles per second (3.4 kilometers per second).

Since entering orbit on March 10th, 2006, the spacecraft has been collecting daily science about the planet’s surface and atmosphere, including detailed views with its High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera (HiRISE). HiRISE is powerful enough to see surface features the size of a dining room table from 186 miles (300 kilometers) above the surface.

This still from an animation shows NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter soaring over Mars. The spacecraft has been in Mars orbit for 13 years, and just completed 60,000 trips around the planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This still from an animation shows NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter soaring over Mars. The spacecraft has been in Mars orbit for 13 years, and just completed 60,000 trips around the planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Senators Marsha Blackburn, John Cornyn Introduce Supply Chain Act

 

U.S. SenateWashington, D.C. – On Tuesday, May 14th, Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced the Sharing Urgent, Potentially Problematic Locations that Yield Communications Hazards in American Internet Networks (SUPPLY CHAIN) Act.

The legislation directs the Secretary of Commerce to coordinate with the heads of appropriate federal entities and conduct ongoing reviews of the information and communications technology marketplace and its supply chain.

Senator Marsha Blackburn.

Senator Marsha Blackburn.

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NASA study reveals Earth’s Moon has active, changing surface

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA says the Earth’s Moon formed vast basins called “mare” (pronounced MAR-ay) over a billions of years ago. Scientists have long assumed these basins were dead, still places where the last geologic activity occurred long before dinosaurs roamed Earth.

But a survey of more than 12,000 images reveals that at least one lunar mare has been cracking and shifting as much as other parts of the Moon – and may even be doing so today. The study adds to a growing understanding that the Moon is an actively changing world.

New surface features of the Moon have been discovered in a region called Mare Frigoris, outlined here in teal. This image is a mosaic composed of many images taken by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). (NASA)

New surface features of the Moon have been discovered in a region called Mare Frigoris, outlined here in teal. This image is a mosaic composed of many images taken by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). (NASA)

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NASA’s Grace satellites data reveals how Water moves on Earth

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA says when you hear news about an aquifer in California that is getting depleted, ice loss from Greenland or Antarctica,  or a new explanation for a wobble in Earth’s rotation, you might not realize that all these findings may rely on data from one single mission: the U.S.-German Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE).

GRACE data, collected from 2002 to 2017 while the mission was active, are still being used to improve our understanding of water in motion and its sometimes surprising effects on our planet.

Illustration of the twin GRACE satellites. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Illustration of the twin GRACE satellites. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter takes photos of Mars’ moon Phobos at full moon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Odyssey orbiter has captured Mar’s moon Phobos during a full moon phase for the first time. Each color in this new image represents a temperature range detected by Odyssey’s infrared camera, which has been studying the Martian moon since September of 2017.

Looking like a rainbow-colored jawbreaker, these latest observations could help scientists understand what materials make up Phobos, the larger of Mars’ two moons.

These three views of the Martian moon Phobos were taken by NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter using its infrared camera, THEMIS. Each color represents a different temperature range. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/SSI)

These three views of the Martian moon Phobos were taken by NASA’s 2001 Mars Odyssey orbiter using its infrared camera, THEMIS. Each color represents a different temperature range. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/SSI)

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Senator Marsha Blackburn says Tennessee is Open for Business

 

U.S. SenateWashington, D.C. – Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) spoke on the Senate floor today about the important impact of small businesses on Tennessee. May 5th-11th, 2019 is National Small Business Week.

Remarks as Prepared

Mister President, I rise today in celebration of National Small Business Week.

For over five decades, National Small Business Week has been an opportunity to recognize the tremendous contribution of small businesses and entrepreneurs to the American economy.

Senator Marsha Blackburn.

Senator Marsha Blackburn.

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NASA to test Planetary Defense Technology against Asteroid in 2022

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s first mission to demonstrate a planetary defense technique, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), will get one chance to hit its target, the small moonlet in the binary asteroid system Didymos.

The asteroid poses no threat to Earth and is an ideal test target: measuring the change in how the smaller asteroid orbits about the larger asteroid in a binary system is much easier than observing the change in a single asteroid’s orbit around the Sun.

NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). (Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory)

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). (Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory)

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