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Topic: earth

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope observes conditions on Rocky Planet

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope data has been used in a new study to provide a rare glimpse of conditions on the surface of a rocky planet orbiting a star beyond the Sun. The study, published today in the journal Nature, shows that the planet’s surface may resemble those of Earth’s Moon or Mercury:

The planet likely has little to no atmosphere and could be covered in the same cooled volcanic material found in the dark areas of the Moon’s surface, called mare.

This artist's illustration depicts the exoplanet LHS 3844b, which is 1.3 times the mass of Earth and orbits an M dwarf star. The planet's surface may be covered mostly in dark lava rock, with no apparent atmosphere, according to observations by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC))

This artist’s illustration depicts the exoplanet LHS 3844b, which is 1.3 times the mass of Earth and orbits an M dwarf star. The planet’s surface may be covered mostly in dark lava rock, with no apparent atmosphere, according to observations by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC))

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NASA picks Study Proposals for understanding Fundamental Nature of Space

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. Two Proposals have been picked by NASA for concept studies that could help us better understand the fundamental nature of space and how it changes in response to planetary atmospheres, radiation from the Sun, and interstellar particles. The proposals will advance NASA’s heliophysics program and could lead to better protection for both technology and humans as we travel farther from home.

Each of these Heliophysics Science Mission of Opportunity proposals will receive $400,000 to conduct a nine-month mission concept study.

NASA has chosen two new science proposals for nine-month concept studies to advance our understanding of how the particles and energy in space – shown here flowing from the Sun in an illustration of the solar wind – affect the fundamental nature of space. One proposal will ultimately be chosen to launch along with NASA’s upcoming Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe in October 2024. (NASA)

NASA has chosen two new science proposals for nine-month concept studies to advance our understanding of how the particles and energy in space – shown here flowing from the Sun in an illustration of the solar wind – affect the fundamental nature of space. One proposal will ultimately be chosen to launch along with NASA’s upcoming Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe in October 2024. (NASA)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover gains Bit Carousel

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars 2020 rover now has the bit carousel installed, a mechanism that will play a key role in the acquisition, containment and eventual return to Earth of humanity’s first samples from another planet.

“The bit carousel is at the heart of the sampling and caching subsystem,” said Keith Rosette, Mars 2020 sample handling delivery manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “It contains all of the tools the coring drill uses to sample the Martian surface and is the gateway for the samples to move into the rover for assessment and processing.”

In this August 5, 2019 image, the bit carousel - the heart of sampling and caching subsystem of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission - is attached to the front end of the rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In this August 5, 2019 image, the bit carousel – the heart of sampling and caching subsystem of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission – is attached to the front end of the rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory robots take part in Subterranean Challenge

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – On August 15th through the 22nd, robots from all over the world will compete to find objects in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge Systems Competition held in mining tunnels under Pittsburgh.

Among them will be a team led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, that features wheeled rovers, drones and climbing robots that can rise on pinball-flipper-shaped treads to scale obstacles.

JPL and its university partners are competing in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Subterranean Challenge in Pittsburgh August 15th-22nd, 2019, with a fleet of robots built to search tunnels, caves and other subterranean environments. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

JPL and its university partners are competing in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Subterranean Challenge in Pittsburgh August 15th-22nd, 2019, with a fleet of robots built to search tunnels, caves and other subterranean environments. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Orion’s Service Module passes Propulsion Test

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – In order to send astronauts to the Moon for Artemis missions, NASA is working on building a new system that includes tests to make sure the Orion spacecraft is prepared to safely carry crew on an alternate mission profile in the face of unexpected problems.

That capability was most recently demonstrated with a successful, continuous 12-minute firing of Orion’s propulsion system that simulated a possible alternate mission scenario.

NASA tests the Orion propulsion system. (NASA)

NASA tests the Orion propulsion system. (NASA)

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NASA’s Search for Life

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA says in the hunt for life on other worlds, astronomers scour over planets that are light-years away. They need ways to identify life from afar — but what counts as good evidence?

Our own planet provides some inspiration. Microbes fill the air with methane; photosynthesizing plants expel oxygen. Perhaps these gases might be found wherever life has taken hold.

An artist's conception of an Earth-like exoplanet. (NASA/GSFC/C. Meaney/B. Monroe/S. Wiessinger)

An artist’s conception of an Earth-like exoplanet. (NASA/GSFC/C. Meaney/B. Monroe/S. Wiessinger)

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NASA says there maybe Thick Ice Deposits on Moon, Mercury

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA’s LRO and MESSENGER spacecraft data reveals Earth’s Moon and Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, may contain significantly more water ice than previously thought.

The potential ice deposits are found in craters near the poles of both worlds. On the Moon, “We found shallow craters tend to be located in areas where surface ice was previously detected near the south pole of the Moon, and inferred this shallowing is most likely due to the presence of buried thick ice deposits,” said lead author Lior Rubanenko of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Conceptual illustration of permanently shadowed, shallow icy craters near the lunar south pole. (UCLA/NASA)

Conceptual illustration of permanently shadowed, shallow icy craters near the lunar south pole. (UCLA/NASA)

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NASA announces One of the Two Van Allen Probe Spacecraft shutdown

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA reports that on July 19th, 2019, mission operators sent a shutdown command to one of two Van Allen Probes spacecraft at 12:27pm CT, known as spacecraft B, from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, or APL, in Laurel, Maryland.

As expected, following final de-orbit maneuvers in February of this year, the spacecraft has used its remaining propellant to keep its solar panels pointed at the Sun and is now out of fuel.

Illustration of the identical Van Allen Probes. (JHU/APL, NASA)

Illustration of the identical Van Allen Probes. (JHU/APL, NASA)

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NASA takes a look at Marsquakes

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A recent set of earthquakes shook up Southern California. But NASA says Earth isn’t the only place that experiences quakes: Both the Moon and Mars have them as well. NASA sent the first seismometer to the Moon 50 years ago, during the Apollo 11 mission; the agency’s InSight lander brought the first seismometer to Mars in late 2018, and it’s called the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS).

Provided by the French space agency, Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), the seismometer detected its first marsquake on April 6th, 2019.

This artist's concept is a simulation of what seismic waves from a marsquake might look like as they move through different layers of the Martian interior. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ETH Zurich/ Van Driel)

This artist’s concept is a simulation of what seismic waves from a marsquake might look like as they move through different layers of the Martian interior. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ETH Zurich/ Van Driel)

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence Unveils Spacecraft for NASA Artemis 1 Lunar Mission

 

Washington, D.C. – On Saturday, July 20thNASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2019, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Vice President Mike Pence gave remarks in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the agency’s Apollo 11 Moon landing and announce to America the completion of NASA’s Orion crew capsule for the first Artemis lunar mission.

“Thanks to the hard work of the men and women of NASA, and of American industry, the Orion crew vehicle for the Artemis 1 mission is complete and ready to begin preparations for its historic first flight,” said Vice President Pence.

Vice President Mike Pence addresses invited guests, elected officials and NASA, Lockheed Martin and other industry leaders at Kennedy Space Center’s Neil Armstrong Operations Checkout Building on July 20, 2019. Pence, who visited the Florida spaceport in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, also spoke about NASA’s progress and future plans to return to the Moon and on to Mars. (NASA)

Vice President Mike Pence addresses invited guests, elected officials and NASA, Lockheed Martin and other industry leaders at Kennedy Space Center’s Neil Armstrong Operations Checkout Building on July 20, 2019. Pence, who visited the Florida spaceport in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, also spoke about NASA’s progress and future plans to return to the Moon and on to Mars. (NASA)

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