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NASA lists Top Five Technologies Needed for a Spacecraft to Survive Deep Space

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA says when a spacecraft built for humans ventures into deep space, it requires an array of features to keep it and a crew inside safe. Both distance and duration demand that spacecraft must have systems that can reliably operate far from home, be capable of keeping astronauts alive in case of emergencies and still be light enough that a rocket can launch it.

Artemis Missions near the Moon will start when NASA’s Orion spacecraft leaves Earth atop the world’s most powerful rocket, NASA’s Space Launch System.

Artist rendering of NASA’s Orion spacecraft as it travels 40,000 miles past the Moon during Artemis I, its first integrated flight with the Space Launch System rocket. (NASA)

Artist rendering of NASA’s Orion spacecraft as it travels 40,000 miles past the Moon during Artemis I, its first integrated flight with the Space Launch System rocket. (NASA)

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NASA looks to understand Asthma from Space

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA says help may be on the way for the millions of people around the world who suffer from asthma. Pioneering research in orbit is opening new avenues to understanding what goes wrong in patients with airway inflammation.

The results have contributed to the development of quick lung tests for an improved quality of life––both on Earth and in space. With each lungful of air, our bodies absorb oxygen and exhale waste products. In people with asthma, inflammation in the lung adds nitric oxide to exhaled air. Doctors measure the amount of nitric oxide exhaled by patients to help diagnose inflamed lungs and asthma.

Astronaut Alexander Gerst exhales into an ultra-sensitive gas analyzer for the Airway Monitoring experiment. (NASA)

Astronaut Alexander Gerst exhales into an ultra-sensitive gas analyzer for the Airway Monitoring experiment. (NASA)

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NASA’s Artemis Lunar Exploration Program

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA is committed to landing American astronauts, including the first woman and the next man, on the Moon by 2024. Through the agency’s Artemis lunar exploration program, we will use innovative new technologies and systems to explore more of the Moon than ever before.

NASA will collaborate with their commercial and international partners to establish sustainable missions by 2028. And then we will use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.

Artist's concept of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule prepared for launch. (NASA)

Artist’s concept of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule prepared for launch. (NASA)

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NASA Pathfinder CubeSat to orbit Moon in same orbit projected for Gateway

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has awarded a $13.7 million contract to Advanced Space of Boulder, Colorado, to develop and operate a CubeSat mission to the same lunar orbit targeted for Gateway – an orbiting outpost astronauts will visit before descending to the surface of the Moon in a landing system as part of NASA’s Artemis program.

The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) is expected to be the first spacecraft to operate in a near rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon.

Highly elliptical, a near rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon takes advantage of a precise balance point in the gravities of Earth and the Moon and creates a stability that is ideal for long-term missions like Gateway. (Advanced Space)

Highly elliptical, a near rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon takes advantage of a precise balance point in the gravities of Earth and the Moon and creates a stability that is ideal for long-term missions like Gateway. (Advanced Space)

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NASA announces Newly Discovered Comet is likely Interstellar Visitor

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA says a newly discovered comet has excited the astronomical community this week because it appears to have originated from outside the solar system. The object – designated C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) – was discovered on August 30th, 2019, by Gennady Borisov at the MARGO observatory in Nauchnij, Crimea.

The official confirmation that comet C/2019 Q4 is an interstellar comet has not yet been made, but if it is interstellar, it would be only the second such object detected. The first, ‘Oumuamua, was observed and confirmed in October 2017.

This illustration depicts Comet C/2019 Q4's trajectory. Deemed a possible interstellar object, it will approach no closer to Earth than about 190 million miles (300 million kilometers). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This illustration depicts Comet C/2019 Q4’s trajectory. Deemed a possible interstellar object, it will approach no closer to Earth than about 190 million miles (300 million kilometers). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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American Heart Association says NASA Astronauts less likely to faint on Earth if they Exercise in Space

 

Findings May Help Others with Fainting Issues

American Heart AssociationDallas, TX – Nearly 50 years after man’s first steps on the moon, researchers have discovered a way that may help NASA astronauts spending prolonged time in space come back to Earth on more stable footing, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

“One of the biggest problems since the inception of the manned space program has been that astronauts have fainted when they came down to Earth ,” said Benjamin Levine, M.D., the study’s senior author who is professor of Exercise Sciences at UT Southwestern Medical Center and director of the Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

Former Canadian Astronaut Robert “Bob” Thirsk wearing device which continuously measures blood pressure. (NASA)

Former Canadian Astronaut Robert “Bob” Thirsk wearing device which continuously measures blood pressure. (NASA)

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NASA has several Instruments, Spacecraft observing Hurricane Dorian

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has several instruments and spacecraft with eyes on Hurricane Dorian, capturing different types of data from the storm.

NASA’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), aboard the Aqua satellite, senses emitted infrared and microwave radiation from Earth. The information is used to map such atmospheric phenomena as temperature, humidity, and cloud amounts and heights.

Three images of Hurricane Dorian, as seen by a trio of NASA's Earth-observing satellites Aug. 27-29, 2019. The data sent by the spacecraft revealed in-depth views of the storm, including detailed heavy rain, cloud height and wind. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Three images of Hurricane Dorian, as seen by a trio of NASA’s Earth-observing satellites Aug. 27-29, 2019. The data sent by the spacecraft revealed in-depth views of the storm, including detailed heavy rain, cloud height and wind. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Ocean Ecosystem, Atmosphere Mission passes Major Review

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA’s newest mission to study the health of Earth’s ocean ecosystems and atmosphere is ready to move from design to reality after passing a key review hurdle.

The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission will study phytoplankton — microscopic plants and algae that live in the ocean — as well as the clouds and atmospheric aerosol particles above the water. Every mission goes through a rigorous review process on its journey from idea to launch, and PACE is now cleared to move forward to the critical design phase of the mission.

The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission will study phytoplankton — microscopic plants and algae that live in the ocean — as well as the clouds and atmospheric aerosol particles above the water. (NASA / Walt Feimer)

The Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission will study phytoplankton — microscopic plants and algae that live in the ocean — as well as the clouds and atmospheric aerosol particles above the water. (NASA / Walt Feimer)

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NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock activated

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA says an atomic clock that could pave the way for autonomous deep space travel was successfully activated last week and is ready to begin its year-long tech demo, the mission team confirmed on Friday, August 23rd, 2019.

Launched in June, NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock is a critical step toward enabling spacecraft to safely navigate themselves in deep space rather than rely on the time-consuming process of receiving directions from Earth.

NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock, the first GPS-like technology for deep space, started its one-year space mission on Friday. If the technology demonstration proves successful, similar atomic clocks will be used to navigate the self-flying spacecraft. (General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems)

NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock, the first GPS-like technology for deep space, started its one-year space mission on Friday. If the technology demonstration proves successful, similar atomic clocks will be used to navigate the self-flying spacecraft. (General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems)

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NASA explains Mars Solar Conjunction, Why Does It Matter?

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The daily chatter between antennas here on Earth and those on NASA spacecraft at Mars is about to get much quieter for a few weeks.

That’s because Mars and Earth will be on opposite sides of the Sun, a period known as Mars solar conjunction. The Sun expels hot, ionized gas from its corona, which extends far into space. During solar conjunction, this gas can interfere with radio signals when engineers try to communicate with spacecraft at Mars, corrupting commands and resulting in unexpected behavior from our deep space explorers.

This animation illustrates Mars solar conjunction, a period when Mars is on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth. During this time, the Sun can interrupt radio transmissions to spacecraft on and around the Red Planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This animation illustrates Mars solar conjunction, a period when Mars is on the opposite side of the Sun from Earth. During this time, the Sun can interrupt radio transmissions to spacecraft on and around the Red Planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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