Topic: Lockheed Martin Space
Pasadena, CA – New results from the Ultraviolet Spectrograph instrument on NASA’s Juno mission reveal for the first time the birth of auroral dawn storms – the early morning brightening unique to Jupiter’s spectacular aurorae.
These immense, transient displays of light occur at both Jovian poles and had previously been observed only by ground-based and Earth-orbiting observatories, notably NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Results of this study were published March 16th in the journal AGU Advances.
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.
Pasadena, 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.
Pasadena, 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.
Pasadena, 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.
Pasadena, CA – New results from NASA’s Juno mission at Jupiter indicates that either “sprites” or “elves” could be dancing in the upper atmosphere of the solar system’s largest planet.
It is the first time these bright, unpredictable and extremely brief flashes of light – formally known as transient luminous events, or TLE’s – have been observed on another world. The findings were published on October 27th, 2020, in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.
Washington, D.C. – Two days after touching down on asteroid Bennu, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission team received on Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 images that confirm the spacecraft has collected more than enough material to meet one of its main mission requirements – acquiring at least 2 ounces (60 grams) of the asteroid’s surface material.
The spacecraft captured images of the sample collector head as it moved through several different positions. In reviewing these images, the OSIRIS-REx team noticed both that the head appeared to be full of asteroid particles, and that some of these particles appeared to be escaping slowly from the sample collector, called the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) head.
Washington, D.C. – NASA will broadcast coverage of a first for the agency as its Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission attempts to collect a sample of asteroid Bennu on Tuesday, October 20th, at 5:12pm CT.
Live coverage of the spacecraft’s descent to the asteroid’s surface for its “Touch-And-Go,” or TAG, maneuver, which will be managed by Lockheed Martin Space near Denver, will begin at 4:00pm CT on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
Pasadena, CA – The nebula known as W51 is one of the most active star-forming regions in the Milky Way galaxy. First identified in 1958 by radio telescopes, it makes a rich cosmic tapestry in this image from NASA’s recently retired Spitzer Space Telescope.
Located about 17,000 light-years from Earth, in the direction of the constellation Aquila in the night sky, W51 is about 350 light-years – or about 2 quadrillion miles – across. It is almost invisible to telescopes that collect visible light (the kind human eyes detect), because that light is blocked by interstellar dust clouds that lie between W51 and Earth.
Pasadena, CA – Weather sensors aboard NASA’s InSight Mars lander stopped providing data on Sunday, August 16th, 2020, a result of an issue affecting the sensor suite’s electronics. Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California are working to understand the cause of the issue.
Called the Auxiliary Payload Sensor Suite (APSS), the sensors collect data on wind speed and direction, air temperature and pressure, and magnetic fields.
Pasadena, CA – On its way inbound for a December 26th, 2019, flyby of Jupiter, NASA’s Juno spacecraft flew in the proximity of the north pole of the ninth-largest object in the solar system, the moon Ganymede. The infrared imagery collected by the spacecraft’s Jovian Infrared Auroral Mapper (JIRAM) instrument provides the first infrared mapping of the massive moon’s northern frontier.
The only moon in the solar system that is larger than the planet Mercury, Ganymede consists primarily of water ice. Its composition contains fundamental clues for understanding the evolution of the 79 Jovian moons from the time of their formation to today.
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