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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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Two NASA Technologies that will aid Perseverance Rover’s Mars Landing

 

How two new technologies will help Perseverance, NASA’s most sophisticated rover yet, touch down onto the surface of Mars this month.

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – After a nearly seven-month journey to Mars, NASA’s Perseverance rover is slated to land at the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater on February 18th, 2021, a rugged expanse chosen for its scientific research and sample collection possibilities.

But the very features that make the site fascinating to scientists also make it a relatively dangerous place to land – a challenge that has motivated rigorous testing here on Earth for the lander vision system (LVS) that the rover will count on to safely touch down.

Mars 2020’s Perseverance Rover Landing Technique. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Mars 2020’s Perseverance Rover Landing Technique. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA to proceed with Green Run Hot Fire of Space Launch System Rocket

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – NASA is targeting the final test in the Green Run series, the hot fire, for as early as January 17th, 2021. The hot fire is the culmination of the Green Run test series, an eight-part test campaign that gradually brings the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) — the deep-space rocket that will power the agency’s next-generation human Moon missions — to life for the first time.

NASA conducted the seventh test of the SLS core stage Green Run test series – the wet dress rehearsal – on December 20th at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and marked the first time cryogenic, or super cold, liquid propellant was fully loaded into, and drained from, the SLS core stage’s two immense tanks.

Fully loading the propellant and detecting no leaks is a major milestone for the Green Run test series. A total of 114 tanker trucks delivered propellant to six propellant barges next to the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The barges deliver more than 733,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to the core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket as part of the seventh test in the Green Run test series. (NASA)

Fully loading the propellant and detecting no leaks is a major milestone for the Green Run test series. A total of 114 tanker trucks delivered propellant to six propellant barges next to the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The barges deliver more than 733,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to the core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket as part of the seventh test in the Green Run test series. (NASA)

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Marsha Blackburn announces Space Command to be located in Tennessee Valley

 

U.S. SenateNashville, TN – Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) have released the following statement after the announcement that the United States Space Command will be headquartered in Huntsville, AL.

“The new Space Command Center in the Tennessee Valley is an important investment in both the future of our military and in the skilled workforce of the region,” said Senator Blackburn. “This base will bring over 1,600 new jobs in the area and more as the command grows.”

Senator Marsha Blackburn.

Senator Marsha Blackburn.

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NASA ends mission for Insight Lander’s Heat Probe

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The heat probe developed and built by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and deployed on Mars by NASA’s InSight lander has ended its portion of the mission.

Since February 28th, 2019, the probe, called the “mole,” has been attempting to burrow into the Martian surface to take the planet’s internal temperature, providing details about the interior heat engine that drives Mars’ evolution and geology. But the soil’s unexpected tendency to clump deprived the spike-like mole of the friction it needs to hammer itself to a sufficient depth.

In this artist's concept of NASA's InSight lander on Mars, layers of the planet's subsurface can be seen below, and dust devils can be seen in the background. (IPGP/Nicolas Sarter)

In this artist’s concept of NASA’s InSight lander on Mars, layers of the planet’s subsurface can be seen below, and dust devils can be seen in the background. (IPGP/Nicolas Sarter)

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NASA’s Juno Spacecraft gets Mission Extended

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA has authorized a mission extension for its Juno spacecraft exploring Jupiter. The agency’s most distant planetary orbiter will now continue its investigation of the solar system’s largest planet through September 2025, or until the spacecraft’s end of life.

This expansion tasks Juno with becoming an explorer of the full Jovian system – Jupiter and its rings and moons – with multiple rendezvous planned for three of Jupiter’s most intriguing Galilean moons: Ganymede, Europa, and Io.

This view of Jupiter's atmosphere from NASA's Juno spacecraft includes something remarkable, two storms caught in the act of merging. (Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSSImage processing by Tanya Oleksuik, © CC)

This view of Jupiter’s atmosphere from NASA’s Juno spacecraft includes something remarkable, two storms caught in the act of merging. (Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSSImage processing by Tanya Oleksuik, © CC)

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NASA reports 3D Printed Rocket Engine Parts make it through 23 Hot-Fire Tests

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – Future lunar landers might come equipped with 3D printed rocket engine parts that help bring down overall manufacturing costs and reduce production time. NASA is investing in advanced manufacturing – one of five industries of the future – to make it possible.

Through a series of hot-fire tests in November, NASA demonstrated that two additively manufactured engine components – a copper alloy combustion chamber and nozzle made of high-strength hydrogen resistant alloy – could withstand the same extreme combustion environments that traditionally manufactured metal structures experience in flight.

Hot-fire testing of an additively manufactured copper alloy combustion chamber and a nozzle made of a high-strength hydrogen resistant alloy. (NASA)

Hot-fire testing of an additively manufactured copper alloy combustion chamber and a nozzle made of a high-strength hydrogen resistant alloy. (NASA)

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AT&T releases Second Outage Update on December 27th

 

AT&T INCNashville, TN – Progress continues on our restoration efforts today, Monday, December 27th, 2020. More than 75% of mobility sites affected by the explosion on Friday have now been restored and we expect additional improvements as more equipment comes back online.

Mobility service in the Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama areas is now operating normally.

Nashville Recovery Efforts. (AT&T) «Read the rest of this article»

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How APSU Detected the First Chinese Atomic Bomb

 

APSU alumnus Dr. Ronald Miller (’65) wrote this personal account of a historic moment in APSU history.

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – As a senior physics major in the Fall of 1964, I was asked by the Physics Faculty to take part in a research program they were conducting. The program was fairly simple, as research goes, but was important at the time.

Harold Dewein and Ronald Miller test air samplings. (The All State)

Harold Dewein and Ronald Miller test air samplings. (The All State)

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NASA lists 3 Things learned from Mars InSight Mission

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s InSight spacecraft touched down November 26th, 2018, on Mars to study the planet’s deep interior.

A little more than one Martian year later, the stationary lander has detected more than 480 quakes and collected the most comprehensive weather data of any surface mission sent to Mars. InSight’s probe, which has struggled to dig underground to take the planet’s temperature, has made progress, too.

There was a time when the surfaces of Mars and Earth were very similar. Both were warm, wet, and shrouded in thick atmospheres.

Clouds drift over the dome-covered seismometer, known as SEIS, belonging to NASA's InSight lander, on Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Clouds drift over the dome-covered seismometer, known as SEIS, belonging to NASA’s InSight lander, on Mars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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