Pasadena, CA – How much water sloshes around in Earth’s lakes, rivers, and oceans? And how does that figure change over time? The upcoming Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission plans to find out.
Targeting a late-2022 launch date, this SUV-size satellite will measure the height of Earth’s water. SWOT will help researchers understand and track the volume and location of water – a finite resource – around the world, making NASA’s first truly global survey of the planet’s surface water.
Pasadena, CA – After years of development, the Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT) project has been awarded $500,000 to support additional work as it enters Phase II of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. While not yet a NASA mission, the LCRT describes a mission concept that could transform humanity’s view of the cosmos.
The LCRT’s primary objective would be to measure the long-wavelength radio waves generated by the cosmic Dark Ages – a period that lasted for a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, but before the first stars blinked into existence.
Washington, D.C. – NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has a new mission. Having proven that powered, controlled flight is possible on the Red Planet, the Ingenuity experiment will soon embark on a new operations demonstration phase, exploring how aerial scouting and other functions could benefit future exploration of Mars and other worlds.
This new phase will begin after the helicopter completes its next two flights. The decision to add an operations demonstration is a result of the Perseverance rover being ahead of schedule with the thorough checkout of all vehicle systems since its February 18th landing, and its science team choosing a nearby patch of crater bed for its first detailed explorations.
Washington, D.C. – Now that NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has accomplished the goal of achieving powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on the Red Planet, and with data from its most recent flight test, on Sunday, April 25th, 2021 the technology demonstration project has met or surpassed all of its technical objectives.
The Ingenuity team now will push its performance envelope on Mars.
The fourth Ingenuity flight from Wright Brothers Field, the name for the Martian airfield on which the flight took place, is scheduled to take off Thursday, April 29th, at 10:12am CDT (7:12am PDT, 12:30pm local Mars time), with the first data expected back at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California at 1:21pm CDT (10:21am PDT).
Greenbelt, MD – In celebration of the 31st anniversary of the launching of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers aimed the renowned observatory at a brilliant “celebrity star,” one of the brightest stars seen in our galaxy, surrounded by a glowing halo of gas and dust.
The price for the monster star’s opulence is “living on the edge.” The star, called AG Carinae, is waging a tug-of-war between gravity and radiation to avoid self-destruction.
Pasadena, CA – Astronomers using data from NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) telescopes have released a new all-sky map of the outermost region of our galaxy. Known as the galactic halo, this area lies outside the swirling spiral arms that form the Milky Way’s recognizable central disk and is sparsely populated with stars.
Though the halo may appear mostly empty, it is also predicted to contain a massive reservoir of dark matter, a mysterious and invisible substance thought to make up the bulk of all the mass in the universe.
Washington, D.C. – NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter successfully completed its second Mars flight on April 22nd – the 18th sol, or Martian day, of its experimental flight test window. Lasting 51.9 seconds, the flight added several new challenges to the first, which took place on April 19th, including a higher maximum altitude, longer duration, and sideways movement.
“So far, the engineering telemetry we have received and analyzed tell us that the flight met expectations and our prior computer modeling has been accurate,” said Bob Balaram, chief engineer for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
Washington, D.C. – The growing list of “firsts” for Perseverance, NASA’s newest six-wheeled robot on the Martian surface, includes converting some of the Red Planet’s thin, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into oxygen.
A toaster-size, experimental instrument aboard the NASA Mars Perseverance rover called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) accomplished the task. The test took place April 20th, the 60th Martian day, or sol, since the mission landed February 18th.
Pasadena, CA – NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California is providing the instrument that will enable a nonprofit organization called Carbon Mapper to pinpoint and measure methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) point-sources from space.
The data collected by the instrument will help to find super-emitters – the small percentage of individual sources that are responsible for a significant fraction of global emissions of methane and carbon dioxide.
Washington, D.C. – On Monday, April 19th, 2021, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first aircraft in history to make a powered, controlled flight on another planet.
The Ingenuity team at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California confirmed the flight succeeded after receiving data from the helicopter via NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover at 5:46am CDT (3:46am PDT).
“Ingenuity is the latest in a long and storied tradition of NASA projects achieving a space exploration goal once thought impossible,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk.
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