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Topic: Apollo Program

NASA prepares Space Launch System rocket for Artemis I Launch

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationFlorida – NASA has stacked the first piece of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on the mobile launcher in preparation for the Artemis I launch next year. At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, engineers lowered the first of 10 segments into place November 21st, 2020 for the twin solid rocket boosters that will power the first flight of the agency’s new deep space rocket.

Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight to test the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft as an integrated system ahead of crewed flights to the Moon with the Artemis program.

The solid rocket boosters are the first components of the SLS rocket to be stacked and will help support the remaining rocket pieces and the Orion spacecraft. (NASA/Kim Shiflett)

The solid rocket boosters are the first components of the SLS rocket to be stacked and will help support the remaining rocket pieces and the Orion spacecraft. (NASA/Kim Shiflett)

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NASA Helps Keep Thanksgiving Food Safe to Eat

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – As many Americans prepare for a socially distanced Thanksgiving meal, some may be aware that NASA helped develop the tiny, highly efficient video cameras in the devices that will allow virtual family dinners, and a few may know it was the space agency that first modernized conference calling

But there’s an even more important contribution from NASA on the table: food that’s safe to eat.

Today, outbreaks of illness from packaged food are exceedingly rare, in part because the industry has almost universally adopted a system created for astronaut food in the early days of the Apollo program.

From Capsules to Cranberries, an important contribution from NASA keeps our Thanksgiving Food Safe to Eat. (NASA)

From Capsules to Cranberries, an important contribution from NASA keeps our Thanksgiving Food Safe to Eat. (NASA)

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NASA Statement on Moon to Mars Initiative, President Donald Trump’s FY 2021 Budget

 

Jim Bridenstine addresses NASA’s ambitious plans for the coming years, including Mars Sample Return.

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – “President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget for NASA is worthy of 21st century exploration and discovery. The President’s budget invests more than $25 billion in NASA to fortify our innovative human space exploration program while maintaining strong support for our agency’s full suite of science, aeronautics and technology work.

“The budget proposed represents a 12% increase and makes this one of the strongest budgets in NASA history. The reinforced support from the President comes at a critical time as we lay the foundations for landing the first woman and the next man on the South Pole of the Moon by 2024. This budget keeps us firmly on that path.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine delivers the State of NASA address from NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on Feb. 10, 2020. (NASA)

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine delivers the State of NASA address from NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on Feb. 10, 2020. (NASA)

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NASA reports All Four Engines Are Attached to the SLS Core Stage for Artemis I Mission

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – All four RS-25 engines were structurally mated to the core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for Artemis I, the first mission of SLS and NASA’s Orion spacecraft. To complete assembly of the rocket stage, engineers and technicians are now integrating the propulsion and electrical systems within the structure.

The completed core stage with all four RS-25 engines attached is the largest rocket stage NASA has built since the Saturn V stages for the Apollo Program that first sent Americans to the Moon.

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket now has all four RS-25 engines were mated to the core stage. (Eric Bordelon, NASA)

NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket now has all four RS-25 engines were mated to the core stage. (Eric Bordelon, NASA)

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NASA’s prepares for Next Giant Leap, Mars and Beyond

 

NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The first humans who will step foot on Mars are walking the Earth today. It was 45 years ago that Neil Armstrong took the small step onto the surface of the moon that changed the course of history. The years that followed saw a Space Age of scientific, technological and human research, on which we have built the modern era.

We stand on a new horizon, poised to take the next giant leap—deeper into the solar system. The Apollo missions blazed a path for human exploration to the moon and today we are extending that path to near-Earth asteroids, Mars and beyond.

Artist's concept image of a boot print on the moon and on Mars. (NASA)

Artist’s concept image of a boot print on the moon and on Mars. (NASA)

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NASA to launch Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) to study Twilight Rays on the Moon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Back in the 60s and 70s, Apollo astronauts circling the Moon saw something that still puzzles researchers today. About 10 seconds before lunar sunrise or lunar sunset, pale luminous streamers would pop up over the gray horizon. These “twilight rays” were witnessed by crew members of Apollo 8, 10, 15 and 17.

Back on Earth, we see twilight rays all the time as shafts of sunlight penetrate evening clouds and haze.  The “airless Moon” shouldn’t have such rays, yet the men of Apollo clearly saw them.

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Lunar Research funded by NASA detects Water on Moon’s Surface and possible Water underneath

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA-funded lunar research has yielded evidence of water locked in mineral grains on the surface of the moon from an unknown source deep beneath the surface.

Using data from NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) instrument aboard the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, scientists remotely detected magmatic water, or water that originates from deep within the moon’s interior, on the surface of the moon.

This image of the moon was generated by data collected by NASA's Moon Mineralogy Mapper on the Indian Space Research Organization's Chandrayaan-1 mission. It is a three-color composite of reflected near-infrared radiation from the sun, and illustrates the extent to which different materials are mapped across the side of the moon that faces Earth. (Image credit: ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Brown Univ./USGS)

This image of the moon was generated by data collected by NASA’s Moon Mineralogy Mapper on the Indian Space Research Organization’s Chandrayaan-1 mission. It is a three-color composite of reflected near-infrared radiation from the sun, and illustrates the extent to which different materials are mapped across the side of the moon that faces Earth. (Image credit: ISRO/NASA/JPL-Caltech/Brown Univ./USGS)

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NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter records new impact Craters on Mars

 

Written by Guy Webster
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Scientists using images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have estimated that the planet is bombarded by more than 200 small asteroids or bits of comets per year forming craters at least 12.8 feet (3.9 meters) across.

Researchers have identified 248 new impact sites on parts of the Martian surface in the past decade, using images from the spacecraft to determine when the craters appeared. The 200-per-year planetwide estimate is a calculation based on the number found in a systematic survey of a portion of the planet.

This set of images from cameras on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter documents the appearance of a new cluster of impact craters on Mars. The orbiter has imaged at least 248 fresh craters, or crater clusters, on Mars. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Univ. of Arizona)

This set of images from cameras on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter documents the appearance of a new cluster of impact craters on Mars. The orbiter has imaged at least 248 fresh craters, or crater clusters, on Mars. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/Univ. of Arizona)

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NASA is looking for ways to Target an Asteroid

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Like many of his colleagues at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, Shyam Bhaskaran is working a lot with asteroids these days. And also like many of his colleagues, the deep space navigator devotes a great deal of time to crafting, and contemplating, computer-generated 3-D models of these intriguing nomads of the solar system.

But while many of his coworkers are calculating asteroids’ past, present and future locations in the cosmos, zapping them with the world’s most massive radar dishes, or considering how to rendezvous and perhaps even gently nudge an asteroid into lunar orbit, Bhaskaran thinks about how to collide with one.

This spectacular image of comet Tempel 1 was taken 67 seconds after it obliterated Deep Impact's impactor spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD)

This spectacular image of comet Tempel 1 was taken 67 seconds after it obliterated Deep Impact’s impactor spacecraft. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UMD)

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NASA’s GRAIL probes create high resolution gravity field map of the Moon

 

Written by DC Agle
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Twin NASA probes orbiting Earth’s moon have generated the highest resolution gravity field map of any celestial body.

The new map, created by the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, is allowing scientists to learn about the moon’s internal structure and composition in unprecedented detail. Data from the two washing machine-sized spacecraft also will provide a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed and evolved.

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