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NASA’s InSight Lander holding up to Dust on Mars

 

As dust collects on the solar panels and winter comes to Elysium Planitia, the team is following a plan to reduce science operations in order to keep the lander safe.

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s InSight lander recently received a mission extension for another two years, giving it time to detect more quakes, dust devils, and other phenomena on the surface of Mars.

While the mission team plans to continue collecting data well into 2022, the increasing dustiness of the spacecraft’s solar panels and the onset of the Martian winter led to a decision to conserve power and temporarily limit the operation of its instruments.

This artist's concept depicts NASA's InSight lander after it has deployed its instruments on the Martian surface. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s concept depicts NASA’s InSight lander after it has deployed its instruments on the Martian surface. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA releases Broadcast times for OSIRIS-REx Asteroid Sample Collection Activities

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA will broadcast coverage of a first for the agency as its Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission attempts to collect a sample of asteroid Bennu on Tuesday, October 20th, at 5:12pm CT.

Live coverage of the spacecraft’s descent to the asteroid’s surface for its “Touch-And-Go,” or TAG, maneuver, which will be managed by Lockheed Martin Space near Denver, will begin at 4:00pm CT on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission readies itself to touch the surface of asteroid Bennu. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission readies itself to touch the surface of asteroid Bennu. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

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Tennessee Titans last game against the Denver Broncos

 

Tennessee Titans

Tennessee TitansNashville, TN – In Week 6 of the 2019 season, the Tennessee Titans traveled to Denver to take on the Broncos and lost by a score of 16-0.

On Denver’s opening possession, the Broncos constructed an eight-play, 32-yard scoring drive. Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay contributed 13 yards on the ground, and Broncos RB Royce Freeman accounted for 11 rushing yards. Broncos K Brandon McManus converted a 31-yard field goal for an early 3-0 Denver lead.

The Tennessee Titans fell to the Denver Broncos 16-0 on October 13th, 2019. (Tennessee Titans)

The Tennessee Titans fell to the Denver Broncos 16-0 on October 13th, 2019. (Tennessee Titans)

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NASA’s Juno Spacecraft gets first ever pictures of Jupiter’s Moon Ganymede

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – On its way inbound for a December 26th, 2019, flyby of Jupiter, NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew in the proximity of the north pole of the ninth-largest object in the solar system, the moon Ganymede. The infrared imagery collected by the spacecraft’s Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument provides the first infrared mapping of the massive moon’s northern frontier.

The only moon in the solar system that is larger than the planet Mercury, Ganymede consists primarily of water ice. Its composition contains fundamental clues for understanding the evolution of the 79 Jovian moons from the time of their formation to today.

These images the JIRAM instrument aboard NASA's Juno spacecraft took on Dec. 26, 2019, provide the first infrared mapping of Ganymede's northern frontier. Frozen water molecules detected at both poles have no appreciable order to their arrangement and a different infrared signature than ice at the equator. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM)

These images the JIRAM instrument aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft took on Dec. 26, 2019, provide the first infrared mapping of Ganymede’s northern frontier. Frozen water molecules detected at both poles have no appreciable order to their arrangement and a different infrared signature than ice at the equator. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/ASI/INAF/JIRAM)

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NASA’s Mars Helicopter will hitch a ride to Mars on belly of NASA’s Perseverance rover

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter will travel with the Perseverance rover through 314 million miles (505 million kilometers) of interplanetary space to get to Mars. But for the team working on the first experimental flight test on another planet, engineering the final 5 inches (13 centimeters) of the journey has been among the most challenging of all.

To safely navigate those 5 inches – the distance Ingenuity will travel from where it’s stowed on the rover to the surface of Mars – they came up with the ingenious Mars Helicopter Delivery System.

The Mars Helicopter, visible in lower center of the image, was attached to the belly of NASA's Perseverance rover at Kennedy Space Center on April 6, 2020. The helicopter will be deployed onto the Martian surface about two-and-a-half months after Perseverance lands. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Mars Helicopter, visible in lower center of the image, was attached to the belly of NASA’s Perseverance rover at Kennedy Space Center on April 6, 2020. The helicopter will be deployed onto the Martian surface about two-and-a-half months after Perseverance lands. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft searches Asteroid Bennu’s surface for safe areas to land

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – This summer, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft will undertake NASA’s first-ever attempt to touch the surface of an asteroid, collect a sample of it, and safely back away. But since arriving at asteroid Bennu over a year ago, the mission team has been tackling an unexpected challenge: how to accomplish this feat at an asteroid whose surface is blanketed in building-sized boulders.

Using these hazardous boulders as signposts, the mission team developed a new precision navigation method to overcome the challenge.

During the sample collection event, Natural Feature Tracking (NFT) will guide NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to asteroid Bennu’s surface. The spacecraft takes real-time images of the asteroid’s surface features as it descends, and then compares these images with an onboard image catalog. The spacecraft then uses these geographical markers to orient itself and accurately target the touchdown site. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

During the sample collection event, Natural Feature Tracking (NFT) will guide NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft to asteroid Bennu’s surface. The spacecraft takes real-time images of the asteroid’s surface features as it descends, and then compares these images with an onboard image catalog. The spacecraft then uses these geographical markers to orient itself and accurately target the touchdown site. (NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

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NASA maneuvers Mars InSight Landers’ robotic arm to press down on the “Mole”

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – After nearly a year of trying to dig into the Martian surface, the heat probe belonging to NASA’s InSight lander is about to get a push. The mission team plans to command the scoop on InSight’s robotic arm to press down on the “mole,” the mini pile driver designed to hammer itself as much as 16 feet (5 meters) down.

They hope that pushing down on the mole’s top, also called the back cap, will keep it from backing out of its hole on Mars, as it did twice in recent months after nearly burying itself.

This test using an engineering model of the InSight lander here on Earth shows how the spacecraft on Mars will use its robotic arm to press on a digging device, called the "mole." (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This test using an engineering model of the InSight lander here on Earth shows how the spacecraft on Mars will use its robotic arm to press on a digging device, called the “mole.” (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Tennessee Titans hit the road to take on Denver Broncos, Sunday

 

Tennessee Titans (2-3) at Denver Broncos (1-4)

Sunday, October 13th, 2019 | 2:25pm MDT/3:25pm CDT
Denver, CO | Empower Field at Mile High | TV: CBS

Tennessee TitansNashville, TN – The Tennessee Titans (2-3) travel to face the Denver Broncos (1-4) this week in a late afternoon matchup. Kickoff at Empower Field at Mile High (capacity 76,125) is scheduled for 2:25pm MDT/3:25pm CDT on Sunday, October 13th, 2019.

This week’s game will be regionally televised on CBS, including Nashville affiliate WTVF NewsChannel 5. The broadcast team includes play-by-play announcer Andrew Catalon, analyst James Lofton and sideline reporter John Schriffen.

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NASA to help Mars InSight Lander’s Heat Probe dig

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s InSight lander, which is on a mission to explore the deep interior of Mars, positioned its robotic arm this past weekend to assist the spacecraft’s self-hammering heat probe. Known as “the mole,” the probe has been unable to dig more than about 14 inches (35 centimeters) since it began burying itself into the ground on February 28th, 2019.

The maneuver is in preparation for a tactic, to be tried over several weeks, called “pinning.”

NASA InSight's robotic arm will use its scoop to pin the spacecraft's heat probe, or "mole," against the wall of its hole. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA InSight’s robotic arm will use its scoop to pin the spacecraft’s heat probe, or “mole,” against the wall of its hole. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Dodging the Roadkill: Rocky Mountain High – Part 2

 

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – I landed in Colorado Springs at about 3:00pm after a long day in the saddle.  The ride was a mix of calm, cool traveling through Wyoming, then an absolute circus navigating down I-25 through Denver.  I was tired and ready for a shower.

This would be my second visit to Colorado having been here in 2017.  It was magnificent then and it’s magnificent now.  Just having the Colorado mountains in the background makes it so beautiful.  And, the altitude reminds me that I’m not in Kansas anymore.

Colorado Springs Lisa Sumner

Colorado Springs Lisa Sumner

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