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Topic: Lockheed Martin Space Systems

NASA’s Lucy Mission Passes Critical Mission Milestone

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA’s Lucy mission last week marked the completion of a major milestone on the path to spacecraft assembly, test, and launch operations.

The Systems Integration Review ensured segments, components, and subsystems, scientific instrumentation, electrical and communication systems, and navigation systems are on schedule to be integrated into the system. It confirmed that facilities, support personnel, and plans and procedures are on schedule to support integration.

NASA's Lucy spacecraft poses in front of the orbit trajectory for her 12-year mission to study the Trojan Asteroids. Lucy will be featured in her own cartoon series coming soon. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center)

NASA’s Lucy spacecraft poses in front of the orbit trajectory for her 12-year mission to study the Trojan Asteroids. Lucy will be featured in her own cartoon series coming soon. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

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NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope discovers Butterfly in Space filled with New Born Stars

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – What looks like a red butterfly in space is in reality a nursery for hundreds of baby stars, revealed in this infrared image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.

Officially named Westerhout 40 (W40), the butterfly is a nebula – a giant cloud of gas and dust in space where new stars may form. The butterfly’s two “wings” are giant bubbles of hot, interstellar gas blowing from the hottest, most massive stars in this region.

Besides being beautiful, W40 exemplifies how the formation of stars results in the destruction of the very clouds that helped create them.

Officially known as W40, this red butterfly in space is a nebula, or a giant cloud of gas and dust. The "wings" of the butterfly are giant bubbles of gas being blown from the inside out by massive stars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Officially known as W40, this red butterfly in space is a nebula, or a giant cloud of gas and dust. The “wings” of the butterfly are giant bubbles of gas being blown from the inside out by massive stars. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft arrived at asteroid Bennu, Monday

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – After traveling through space for more than two years and over two billion kilometers, NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft arrived at its destination, asteroid Bennu, on Monday, December 3rd, 2018.

The spacecraft will spend almost a year surveying the asteroid with five scientific instruments with the goal of selecting a location that is safe and scientifically interesting to collect the sample. OSIRIS-REx will return the sample to Earth in September 2023.

This image taken by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft shows Bennu from a distance of around 50 miles (80 km). The spacecraft’s PolyCam camera obtained the thirty-six 2.2-millisecond frames over a period of four hours and 18 minutes. (NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona)

This image taken by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft shows Bennu from a distance of around 50 miles (80 km). The spacecraft’s PolyCam camera obtained the thirty-six 2.2-millisecond frames over a period of four hours and 18 minutes. (NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona)

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NASA study reveals new information about Interstellar Visitor Oumuamua

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – In November 2017, scientists pointed NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope toward the object known as ‘Oumuamua – the first known interstellar object to visit our solar system. The infrared Spitzer was one of many telescopes pointed at ‘Oumuamua in the weeks after its discovery that October.

‘Oumuamua was too faint for Spitzer to detect when it looked more than two months after the object’s closest aproach to Earth in early September. However, the “non-detection” puts a new limit on how large the strange object can be. The results are reported in a new study published today in the Astronomical Journal and coauthored by scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

An artist's concept of interstellar asteroid 1I/2017 U1 ('Oumuamua) as it passed through the solar system after its discovery in October 2017. Observations of 'Oumuamua indicate that it must be very elongated because of its dramatic variations in brightness as it tumbled through space. (European Southern Observatory / M. Kornmesser)

An artist’s concept of interstellar asteroid 1I/2017 U1 (‘Oumuamua) as it passed through the solar system after its discovery in October 2017. Observations of ‘Oumuamua indicate that it must be very elongated because of its dramatic variations in brightness as it tumbled through space. (European Southern Observatory / M. Kornmesser)

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NASA’s Juno Mission discovers Waves in Jupiter’s Atmosphere

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Massive structures of moving air that appear like waves in Jupiter’s atmosphere were first detected by NASA’s Voyager missions during their flybys of the gas-giant world in 1979. The JunoCam camera aboard NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter has also imaged the atmosphere.

JunoCam data has detected atmospheric wave trains, towering atmospheric structures that trail one after the other as they roam the planet, with most concentrated near Jupiter’s equator.

Three waves can be seen in this excerpt of a JunoCam image taken on Feb. 2, 2017, during Juno's fourth flyby of Jupiter. The region imaged in this picture is part of the visibly dark band just north of Jupiter's equator known as the North Equatorial Belt. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/JunoCam)

Three waves can be seen in this excerpt of a JunoCam image taken on Feb. 2, 2017, during Juno’s fourth flyby of Jupiter. The region imaged in this picture is part of the visibly dark band just north of Jupiter’s equator known as the North Equatorial Belt. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/JunoCam)

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NASA’s InSight Spacecraft set to launch May 5th for Mars

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – In the early morning hours of May 5th, millions of Californians will have an opportunity to witness a sight they have never seen before – the historic first interplanetary launch from America’s West Coast.

On board the 189-foot-tall (57.3-meter) United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will be NASA’s InSight spacecraft, destined for the Elysium Planitia region located in Mars’ northern hemisphere. The May 5th launch window for the InSight mission opens at 4:05am PDT (6:05 CDT, 11:05 UTC) and remains open for two hours.

NASA's InSight to Mars undergoes final preparations at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, ahead of its May 5th launch date. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s InSight to Mars undergoes final preparations at Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA, ahead of its May 5th launch date. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Insight Lander will give scientists look at Mars below the surface, study Marsquakes

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Starting next year, scientists will get their first look deep below the surface of Mars.

That’s when NASA will send the first robotic lander dedicated to exploring the planet’s subsurface. InSight, which stands for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, will study marsquakes to learn about the Martian crust, mantle and core.

Doing so could help answer a big question: how are planets born?

Artist's rendition showing the inner structure of Mars. The topmost layer is known as the crust, underneath it is the mantle, which rests on an inner core. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Artist’s rendition showing the inner structure of Mars. The topmost layer is known as the crust, underneath it is the mantle, which rests on an inner core. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s InSight Spacecraft delivered to Vandenberg Air Force Base in final preparation for May Launch

 

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s InSight spacecraft has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California to begin final preparations for a launch this May. The spacecraft was shipped from Lockheed Martin Space, Denver and arrived at Vandenberg.

The launch period for InSight opens May 5th and continues through June 8th. InSight will be the first mission to look deep beneath the Martian surface, studying the planet’s interior by listening for marsquakes and measuring the planet’s heat output. It will also be the first planetary spacecraft to launch from the West Coast.

Personnel supporting NASA's InSight mission to Mars load the crated InSight spacecraft into a C-17 cargo aircraft at Buckley Air Force Base, Denver, for shipment to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The spacecraft, built in Colorado by Lockheed Martin Space, was shipped February 28, 2018, in preparation for launch from Vandenberg in May 2018. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin Space)

Personnel supporting NASA’s InSight mission to Mars load the crated InSight spacecraft into a C-17 cargo aircraft at Buckley Air Force Base, Denver, for shipment to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The spacecraft, built in Colorado by Lockheed Martin Space, was shipped February 28, 2018, in preparation for launch from Vandenberg in May 2018. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Lockheed Martin Space)

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NASA launches NOAA Weather Satellite into orbit

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA successfully launched the second in a series of next-generation weather satellites for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at 6:02pm CST Thursday.

NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) lifted off on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

GOES-S mission managers confirmed at 7:58pm the spacecraft’s solar arrays successfully deployed and the spacecraft was operating on its own power.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying the NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, or GOES-S. Liftoff was at 6:02pm CST. GOES-S is the second satellite in a series of next-generation weather satellites. (NASA/Kim Shiflett)

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying the NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, or GOES-S. Liftoff was at 6:02pm CST. GOES-S is the second satellite in a series of next-generation weather satellites. (NASA/Kim Shiflett)

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NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s mission extended

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has begun extra stargazing to help the space agency accomplish advances in Mars exploration over the next decade.

The spacecraft already has worked more than double its planned mission life since launch in 2005. NASA plans to keep using it past the mid-2020s. Increased reliance on a star tracker, and less on aging gyroscopes, is one way the mission is adapting to extend its longevity. Another step is wringing more useful life from batteries. The mission’s extended service provides data relay from assets on Mars’ surface and observations with its science instruments, despite some degradation in capabilities.

Artist concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (NASA/JPL)

Artist concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (NASA/JPL)

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