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NASA selects SpaceX for Gateway Logistics Services Artemis Contract

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has selected SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, as the first U.S. commercial provider under the Gateway Logistics Services contract to deliver cargo, experiments and other supplies to the agency’s Gateway in lunar orbit. The award is a significant step forward for NASA’s Artemis program that will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 and build a sustainable human lunar presence.

At the Moon, NASA and its partners will gain the experience necessary to mount a historic human mission to Mars.

Illustration of the SpaceX Dragon XL as it is deployed from the Falcon Heavy's second stage in high Earth orbit on its way to the Gateway in lunar orbit. (SpaceX)

Illustration of the SpaceX Dragon XL as it is deployed from the Falcon Heavy’s second stage in high Earth orbit on its way to the Gateway in lunar orbit. (SpaceX)

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NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology aircraft uses parts from other aircrafts

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – A time-honored tradition employed by the aerospace community for decades is continuing with the assembly of NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology aircraft at the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® factory in California.

Perfectly acceptable components from other aircraft – some major, some minor – are finding new life as parts installed on the X-59, an experimental airplane whose mission is to help open a new era of commercial supersonic air travel over land.

NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology aircraft being assembled at the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® factory in Palmdale, California. (Lockheed Martin)

NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology aircraft being assembled at the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works® factory in Palmdale, California. (Lockheed Martin)

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Three Big Takeaways from President Donald Trump’s Successful Trip to India

 

The White HouseWashington, D.C. – President Donald Trump just concluded a historic trip to India, returning with some notable accomplishments alongside Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, James Jay Carafano writes for Fox News.

“Over 100,000 people packed a cricket stadium to hear Trump and the Indian prime minister reprise the [Howdy Modi] event in Houston, Texas a few months ago.”

President Donald J. Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi walk along a cordon of cultural performers upon President Trump’s arrival Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, India. (Official White House Photo by Shea Craighead)

President Donald J. Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi walk along a cordon of cultural performers upon President Trump’s arrival Monday, Feb. 24, 2020, to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahmedabad, India. (Official White House Photo by Shea Craighead)

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NASA to send equipment to International Space Station to research Improving Shoes, Showers, 3D Printing

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – A variety of science investigations, along with supplies and equipment, launch to the International Space Station on the 20th SpaceX commercial resupply services mission.

The Dragon cargo spacecraft is scheduled to leave Earth March 2nd from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Its cargo includes research on particle foam manufacturing, water droplet formation, the human intestine and other cutting-edge investigations.

Airbus workers unpack the Bartolomeo platform at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for its launch to the International Space Station. The platform, manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space, hosts multiple external payloads in low-Earth orbit. (NASA)

Airbus workers unpack the Bartolomeo platform at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida in preparation for its launch to the International Space Station. The platform, manufactured by Airbus Defence and Space, hosts multiple external payloads in low-Earth orbit. (NASA)

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NASA sending New Research to International Space Station, Sunday

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – NASA says investigations studying tissue culturing, bone loss and phage therapy will be launching, along with more scientific experiments and supplies, to the International Space Station on a Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft. The vehicle launches no earlier than February 9th, 2020 from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

This is the second mission under Northrop’s Commercial Resupply Services-2 contract with NASA.

The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket, with a Cygnus resupply spacecraft onboard, launches from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Saturday, November 2, 2019, in Virginia. (NASA)

The Northrop Grumman Antares rocket, with a Cygnus resupply spacecraft onboard, launches from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Saturday, November 2, 2019, in Virginia. (NASA)

These resupply missions help NASA deliver critical research to the orbiting lab and increase its ability to conduct new investigations.

Here are details on some of the scientific investigations Northrop Grumman’s 13th commercial resupply services mission (NG CRS-13) is delivering to the space station:

Better tissue and cell culturing in space

Mobile SpaceLab, a tissue and cell culturing facility, offers investigators a quick-turnaround platform to perform sophisticated microgravity biology experiments. Such experiments are critical for determining how microgravity affects human physiology and identifying ways to mitigate negative effects.

The platform can work in multiple configurations, allowing investigators to tailor the facility to their needs.

Mobile SpaceLab launches and returns on resupply spacecraft. It performs experiments autonomously with ground monitoring. The crew is responsible for moving the payload from the resupply vehicle to a designated ISS EXPRESS Rack and back to a vehicle for return to ground.

This process allows investigators to get their research in orbit quickly and gather sophisticated data using the automated capabilities. Experiments can run for up to one month.

A close-up view

The Mochii investigation provides an initial demonstration of a new miniature scanning electron microscope (SEM) with spectroscopy. Mochii will demonstrate real-time, on-site imaging and measurements of micro- and nanostructures aboard the space station.

This capability could accelerate answers to many scientific inquiries and mission decisions and serve the public as a powerful and unique microgravity research platform.

The ability to identify small particles is needed for crewed flight and deep space exploration beyond low-Earth Orbit (LEO) since samples cannot be sent back to Earth. Rapid identification of these particles can help keep crews and vehicles safe.

 


Examining Bone Loss in Microgravity

Commander Peggy Whitson works on the OsteoOmics bone cell study that uses the Microgravity Science Glovebox inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory in May 2017. OsteoOmics investigates the molecular mechanisms that dictate bone loss in microgravity by examining osteoblasts, which form bone, and osteoclasts, which dissolve bone. (NASA)

Commander Peggy Whitson works on the OsteoOmics bone cell study that uses the Microgravity Science Glovebox inside the U.S. Destiny laboratory in May 2017. OsteoOmics investigates the molecular mechanisms that dictate bone loss in microgravity by examining osteoblasts, which form bone, and osteoclasts, which dissolve bone. (NASA)

Crew members experience bone loss in orbit, stemming from the lack of gravity acting on their bones. OsteoOmics investigates the molecular mechanisms that dictate this bone loss by examining osteoblasts, cells in the body that form bone, and osteoclasts, which dissolve bone. A better understanding of these mechanisms could lead to more effective prevention of astronaut bone loss during space missions.

Understanding the cellular mechanisms of bone loss associated with microgravity also helps researchers better understand bone loss associated with a wide range of disorders. This insight could help identify better preventative care and therapeutic treatments for people who experience bone loss due to diseases such as osteopenia and osteoporosis or from prolonged bed rest.

Fighting bacteria with phages

Bacteriophages, or phages, are viruses that specifically invade and destroy bacteria. Discovered in 1915, phages have been used to fight infectious diseases, most notably in Eastern Europe.

With increasing types of bacteria developing resistance to antibiotics, phage therapy offers a possible alternative to traditional antibiotics. In addition, phages can eliminate harmful bacteria without causing large-scale damage to the body’s beneficial bacterial population or microbiome.

Scientists also can evolve phages in the laboratory to remain potent even if phage-resistant bacteria develop.

Phage Evolution examines the effects of microgravity and radiation exposure on phage and bacterial host interactions, including phage specificity for a bacterial host and host resistance to specific phages. A better understanding of the effects of microgravity and cosmic radiation on bacteriophages and hosts could result in significant developments for phage technology, ultimately helping protect the health of astronauts on future missions.

(Do not) light my fire

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra commanded the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to release the Cygnus spacecraft on June 14, 2016. After Cygnus was a safe distance away, ground controllers at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio initiated the sequence for Saffire-1, the first in a series of fire experiments. Saffire-IV will launch on NG-13. (NASA)

NASA astronaut Tim Kopra commanded the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm to release the Cygnus spacecraft on June 14, 2016. After Cygnus was a safe distance away, ground controllers at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio initiated the sequence for Saffire-1, the first in a series of fire experiments. Saffire-IV will launch on NG-13. (NASA)

The Spacecraft Fire Experiment-IV (Saffire-IV) investigation examines fire development and growth in different materials and environmental conditions, fire detection and monitoring, and post-fire cleanup capabilities. It is part of a series of fire investigations conducted in the Cygnus resupply vehicle after its departure from space station, eliminating exposure of humans or occupied spacecraft to fire danger.

Saffire-IV contributes to fire safety efforts in similar environments on Earth, from submarines to mines, and helps improve general understanding and modeling of fire phenomena.

These are just a few of the hundreds of investigations currently happening aboard the orbiting laboratory. For daily updates, follow @ISS_ResearchSpace Station Research and Technology News or our Facebook. For opportunities to see the space station pass over your town, check out Spot the Station.

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NASA tests New Moon Rover in Lunar Operations Lab

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationCleveland, OH – An engineering model of the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, is tested in the Simulated Lunar Operations Laboratory at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

About the size of a golf cart, VIPER is a mobile robot that will roam around the Moon’s South Pole looking for water ice in the region and for the first time ever, actually sample the water ice at the same pole where the first woman and next man will land in 2024 under the Artemis program.

NASA model of the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover. (NASA / Bridget Caswell, Alcyon Technical Services)

NASA model of the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover. (NASA / Bridget Caswell, Alcyon Technical Services)

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NASA’s Artemis Lunar Program moves full speed ahead

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – In 2019, NASA celebrated the 50th anniversary of the agency’s Apollo 11 Moon landing, the most historic moment in space exploration, while also making significant progress toward putting the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 under the Artemis program.

Through America’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, Artemis gained bipartisan support this year among members of Congress, the U.S aerospace industry, as well as with international partners, including Canada, Australia, and Japan, and member states of the European Space Agency.

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Tennessee Titans fact Houston Texans with Playoff Berth on the Line

 

Tennessee Titans (8-7) at Houston Texans (10-5)

Sunday, December 29th, 2019 | 3:25pm CST
Houston, TX – | NRG Stadium | TV: CBS

Tennessee TitansNashville, TN – With a playoff berth on the line, the Tennessee Titans (8-7) conclude their regular season schedule this week with trip to play the AFC South champion Houston Texans (10-5). Kickoff at NRG Stadium (capacity 69,143) is scheduled for 3:25pm CST on Sunday, December 22nd.

The Titans are still alive in the AFC playoff chase with a chance to capture the second wild card, the final spot in the conference’s six-team postseason field. With a Titans win at Houston, the Titans would secure the sixth-overall seed.

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NASA seeks to use 3D Printing to create parts during Long Space Flights

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – NASA says the International Space Station has continuously been home to astronauts for more than nineteen years. Astronauts conduct scientific research using dozens of special facilities aboard the space station, which also provides them with a place to eat, sleep, relax and exercise.

To make all of this possible requires sending more than 7,000 pounds of spare parts to the station annually. Another 29,000 pounds of spaceflight hardware spares are stored aboard the station and another 39,000 on the ground, ready to fly if needed.

NASA Astronaut Barry (Butch) Wilmore holds a ratchet wrench created in 2014 with the 3D printer aboard the International Space Station using a design file transmitted from the ground. (NASA)

NASA Astronaut Barry (Butch) Wilmore holds a ratchet wrench created in 2014 with the 3D printer aboard the International Space Station using a design file transmitted from the ground. (NASA)

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NASA says Boeing Flight Test for Commercial Crew Program Will Pave the Way for Future Science

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – NASA says Boeing’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test (OFT) will be the second uncrewed test flight of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, a partnership with the aerospace industry to launch astronauts on U.S. rockets and spacecraft from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011.

When Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft lifts off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket December 20th from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida, scientists who research how things behave in space will be amongst the eager spectators watching with bated breath.

The crew module of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is lifted onto its service module on Oct. 16 inside the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility (C3PF) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of the company’s Orbital Flight Test to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. (Boeing)

The crew module of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is lifted onto its service module on Oct. 16 inside the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility (C3PF) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of the company’s Orbital Flight Test to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. (Boeing)

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