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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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Dodging the Roadkill: The Sturgis Chronicles – Part 6

 

Dodging the Roadkill - A Biker's JourneyClarksville, TN – For those of you who have been to the Sturgis Rally, you know that the presence of law enforcement stands out like no other.  There’s good reason for that, and I for one, am glad that security is tight.  Not only in downtown Sturgis, but along all of the highways, there were troopers and police.

As we were approaching Rapid City, we started to see a heavy presence of South Dakota State Troopers.  The speed limit is 80mph along the Interstate, and although we weren’t traveling at that speed, apparently others felt the need to push that limit.

Black Hills

Black Hills

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NASA Mars InSight Lander records sound of Winds on Mars

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport InSight lander, which touched down on Mars just 10 days ago, has provided the first ever “sounds” of Martian winds on the Red Planet. A media teleconference about these sounds will be held today at 1:30pm CST (9:30am PST).

InSight sensors captured a haunting low rumble caused by vibrations from the wind, estimated to be blowing between 10 to 15 mph (5 to 7 meters a second) on December 1st, from northwest to southeast. The winds were consistent with the direction of dust devil streaks in the landing area, which were observed from orbit.

One of the NASA Mars InSight Lander's 7-foot (2.2 meter) wide solar panels was imaged by the lander's Instrument Deployment Camera, which is fixed to the elbow of its robotic arm. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

One of the NASA Mars InSight Lander’s 7-foot (2.2 meter) wide solar panels was imaged by the lander’s Instrument Deployment Camera, which is fixed to the elbow of its robotic arm. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Mars Insight Lander tests it’s Robotic Arm

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – New images from NASA’s Mars InSight lander show its robotic arm is ready to do some lifting.

With a reach of nearly 6 feet (2 meters), the arm will be used to pick up science instruments from the lander’s deck, gently setting them on the Martian surface at Elysium Planitia, the lava plain where InSight touched down on November 26th.

But first, the arm will use its Instrument Deployment Camera, located on its elbow, to take photos of the terrain in front of the lander. These images will help mission team members determine where to set InSight’s seismometer and heat flow probe – the only instruments ever to be robotically placed on the surface of another planet.

This image from InSight's robotic-arm mounted Instrument Deployment Camera shows the instruments on the spacecraft's deck, with the Martian surface of Elysium Planitia in the background. The image was received on Dec. 4, 2018 (Sol 8). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This image from InSight’s robotic-arm mounted Instrument Deployment Camera shows the instruments on the spacecraft’s deck, with the Martian surface of Elysium Planitia in the background. The image was received on Dec. 4, 2018 (Sol 8). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA InSight Lander touches down on Mars

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Mars has just received its newest robotic resident. NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander successfully touched down on the Red Planet after an almost seven-month, 300-million-mile (458-million-kilometer) journey from Earth.

InSight’s two-year mission will be to study the deep interior of Mars to learn how all celestial bodies with rocky surfaces, including Earth and the Moon, formed.

Tom Hoffman, InSight Project Manager, NASA JPL, left, and Sue Smrekar, InSight deputy principal investigator, NASA JPL, react after receiving confirmation that the Mars InSight lander successfully touched down on the surface of Mars, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018 inside the Mission Support Area at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Tom Hoffman, InSight Project Manager, NASA JPL, left, and Sue Smrekar, InSight deputy principal investigator, NASA JPL, react after receiving confirmation that the Mars InSight lander successfully touched down on the surface of Mars, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018 inside the Mission Support Area at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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