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Topic: Mars

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 Mars Curiosity Rover makes record climb over Greenheugh Pediment

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover recently set a record for the steepest terrain it’s ever climbed, cresting the “Greenheugh Pediment,” a broad sheet of rock that sits atop a hill. And before doing that, the rover took a selfie, capturing the scene just below Greenheugh.

In front of the rover is a hole it drilled while sampling a bedrock target called “Hutton.” The entire selfie is a 360-degree panorama stitched together from 86 images relayed to Earth. The selfie captures the rover about 11 feet (3.4 meters) below the point where it climbed onto the crumbling pediment.

This selfie was taken by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover on Feb. 26, 2020 (the 2,687th Martian day, or sol, of the mission). The crumbling rock layer at the top of the image is "the Greenheugh Pediment," which Curiosity climbed soon after taking the image. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This selfie was taken by NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover on Feb. 26, 2020 (the 2,687th Martian day, or sol, of the mission). The crumbling rock layer at the top of the image is “the Greenheugh Pediment,” which Curiosity climbed soon after taking the image. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA installs Sample Handling System on Mars Perseverance Rover

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – With the launch period for NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover opening in a little less than four months, the six-wheeler is reaching significant pre-launch milestones almost daily at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The rover had some components removed prior to being shipped from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California to the Cape in early February.

This illustration depicts NASA's Perseverance rover operating on the surface of Mars. Perseverance will land at the Red Planet's Jezero Crater a little after 2:40pm CST (12:40pm PST) on February 18th, 2021. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This illustration depicts NASA’s Perseverance rover operating on the surface of Mars. Perseverance will land at the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater a little after 2:40pm CST (12:40pm PST) on February 18th, 2021. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA picks first two Science Instruments for Gateway

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has selected the first two scientific investigations to fly aboard the Gateway, an orbital outpost which will support Artemis lunar operations while demonstrating the technologies necessary to conduct a historic human mission to Mars. The instruments selected for Gateway will observe space weather and monitor the Sun’s radiation environment.

“Building the Gateway with our commercial and international partners is a critical component of sustainable lunar exploration and the Artemis program,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

NASA Gateway. (NASA)

NASA Gateway. (NASA)

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NASA’s Voyager 2 Communications to be affected by Deep Space Antenna Upgrades

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Starting in early March, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft will quietly coast through interstellar space without receiving commands from Earth. That’s because the Voyager’s primary means of communication, the Deep Space Network’s 70-meter-wide (230-feet-wide) radio antenna in Canberra, Australia, will be undergoing critical upgrades for about 11 months.

During this time, the Voyager team will still be able to receive science data from Voyager 2 on its mission to explore the outermost edge of the Sun’s domain and beyond.

DSS43 is a 70-meter-wide (230-feet-wide) radio antenna at the Deep Space Network's Canberra facility in Australia. It is the only antenna that can send commands to the Voyager 2 spacecraft. (NASA/Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex)

DSS43 is a 70-meter-wide (230-feet-wide) radio antenna at the Deep Space Network’s Canberra facility in Australia. It is the only antenna that can send commands to the Voyager 2 spacecraft. (NASA/Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover has a new name, Perseverance

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s next Mars rover has a new name – Perseverance.

The name was announced Thursday by Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the Science Mission Directorate, during a celebration at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia. Zurbuchen was at the school to congratulate seventh grader Alexander Mather, who submitted the winning entry to the agency’s “Name the Rover” essay contest, which received 28,000 entries from K-12 students from every U.S. state and territory.

This illustration depicts NASA's Perseverance rover operating on the surface of Mars. Perseverance will land at the Red Planet's Jezero Crater a little after 2:40pm CST (12:40pm PST) on February 18th, 2021. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This illustration depicts NASA’s Perseverance rover operating on the surface of Mars. Perseverance will land at the Red Planet’s Jezero Crater a little after 2:40pm CST (12:40pm PST) on February 18th, 2021. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover takes highest resolution panorama to date

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Curiosity rover has captured its highest-resolution panorama yet of the Martian surface. Composed of more than 1,000 images taken during the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday and carefully assembled over the ensuing months, the composite contains 1.8 billion pixels of Martian landscape.

The rover’s Mast Camera, or Mastcam, used its telephoto lens to produce the panorama; meanwhile, it relied on its medium-angle lens to produce a lower-resolution, nearly 650-million-pixel panorama that includes the rover’s deck and robotic arm.

NASA's Curiosity rover captured its highest-resolution panorama of the Martian surface between Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 2019. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

NASA’s Curiosity rover captured its highest-resolution panorama of the Martian surface between Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 2019. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA to create concept design for Venus Atmosphere Probe

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – A proposed mission called DAVINCI+ could one day fly the first U.S. spacecraft since 1978 to study the atmosphere of Venus.

On February 13th, NASA announced that DAVINCI+, named after the visionary Renaissance artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci, is one of four teams selected under the agency’s Discovery Program to develop concept studies for new missions in this decade to various intriguing destinations in the solar system.

Maat Mons is displayed in this computer-generated, three-dimensional perspective of the surface of Venus. The viewpoint is located 634 kilometers (393 miles) north of Maat Mons at an elevation of 3 kilometers (2 miles) above the terrain. Lava flows extend for hundreds of kilometers across the fractured plains shown in the foreground to the base of Maat Mons. (NASA/JPL)

Maat Mons is displayed in this computer-generated, three-dimensional perspective of the surface of Venus. The viewpoint is located 634 kilometers (393 miles) north of Maat Mons at an elevation of 3 kilometers (2 miles) above the terrain. Lava flows extend for hundreds of kilometers across the fractured plains shown in the foreground to the base of Maat Mons. (NASA/JPL)

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NASA gives University Teams opportunity to develop designs for Moon, Mars missions

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA, in collaboration with the National Space Grant Foundation, is giving university teams the opportunity to develop innovative design ideas that will assist NASA’s Moon to Mars mission objectives.

The 2021 Moon to Mars eXploration Systems and Habitation (M2M X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge is an opportunity for NASA to build partnerships and tap into the ingenuity and creativity of the rising Artemis generation space explorers. 

Concept for NASA's Gateway platform. (NASA)

Concept for NASA’s Gateway platform. (NASA)

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Austin Peay State University adds more Robotic Classes due to high demand

 

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – One quick observation bolsters the Austin Peay State University (APSU) decision to add robotics classes to the Department of Computer Science and Information Technology’s offerings.

Associate professor Dr. John Nicholson teaching a robotics class at Austin Peay State University. (APSU)

Associate professor Dr. John Nicholson teaching a robotics class at Austin Peay State University. (APSU)

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