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Topic: Mars

NASA sends new Scientific Investigations to International Space Station aboard Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply Spacecraft

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – A Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station with about 7,500 pounds of science investigations and cargo after launching at 2:21pm CT Saturday from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The spacecraft launched on an Antares 230+ rocket from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A at Wallops and is scheduled to arrive at the space station at about 3:05am Tuesday, February 18th. Coverage of the spacecraft’s approach and arrival will begin at 1:30am on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

A Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply spacecraft launched on an Antares 230+ rocket from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A at Wallops at 2:21pm CT Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (NASA)

A Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply spacecraft launched on an Antares 230+ rocket from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A at Wallops at 2:21pm CT Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (NASA)

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NASA Statement on Moon to Mars Initiative, President Donald Trump’s FY 2021 Budget

 

Jim Bridenstine addresses NASA’s ambitious plans for the coming years, including Mars Sample Return.

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – “President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget for NASA is worthy of 21st century exploration and discovery. The President’s budget invests more than $25 billion in NASA to fortify our innovative human space exploration program while maintaining strong support for our agency’s full suite of science, aeronautics and technology work.

“The budget proposed represents a 12% increase and makes this one of the strongest budgets in NASA history. The reinforced support from the President comes at a critical time as we lay the foundations for landing the first woman and the next man on the South Pole of the Moon by 2024. This budget keeps us firmly on that path.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine delivers the State of NASA address from NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on Feb. 10, 2020. (NASA)

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine delivers the State of NASA address from NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on Feb. 10, 2020. (NASA)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover’s Mast to include new Laser Instrument

 

SuperCam is a rock-vaporizing instrument that will help scientists hunt for Mars fossils.

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA is sending a new laser-toting robot to Mars. But unlike the lasers of science fiction, this one is used for studying mineralogy and chemistry from up to about 20 feet (7 meters) away. It might help scientists find signs of fossilized microbial life on the Red Planet, too.

One of seven instruments aboard the Mars 2020 rover that launches this summer, SuperCam was built by a team of hundreds and packs what would typically require several sizable pieces of equipment into something no bigger than a cereal box.

Mars 2020's mast, or "head," includes a laser instrument called SuperCam that can vaporize rock material and study the resulting plasma. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Mars 2020’s mast, or “head,” includes a laser instrument called SuperCam that can vaporize rock material and study the resulting plasma. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Astronaut Christina Kock, Crewmates return to Earth from International Space Station

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – After setting a record for the longest single spaceflight in history by a woman, NASA astronaut Christina Koch returned to Earth Thursday, along with Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency).

The trio departed the International Space Station at 11:50pm CST and made a safe, parachute-assisted landing at 3:12am (3:12pm Kazakhstan time) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch is helped out of the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft just minutes after she, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, and ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, landed their Soyuz MS-13 capsule in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

NASA astronaut Christina Koch is helped out of the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft just minutes after she, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, and ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, landed their Soyuz MS-13 capsule in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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NASA astronaut Christina Koch set record for longest single Spaceflight by any Woman

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA astronaut Christina Koch is set to return to Earth on Thursday, February 6th, 2020 after 328 days living and working aboard the International Space Station. Her mission is the longest single spaceflight by any woman, which is helping scientists gather data for future missions to the Moon and Mars.

Koch will return to Earth alongside ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Luca Parmitano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov. She has been a crew member for three expeditions – 59, 60 and 61 – during her first spaceflight.

NASA astronaut Christina Koch is pictured during a spacewalk on January 15, 2020. (NASA)

NASA astronaut Christina Koch is pictured during a spacewalk on January 15, 2020. (NASA)

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President Donald Trump in State of the Union Address Remarks

 

The White HouseWashington, D.C. – THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Madam Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, the First Lady of the United States — (applause) — and my fellow citizens:

Three years ago, we launched the great American comeback. Tonight, I stand before you to share the incredible results. Jobs are booming, incomes are soaring, poverty is plummeting, crime is falling, confidence is surging, and our country is thriving and highly respected again. (Applause.) America’s enemies are on the run, America’s fortunes are on the rise, and America’s future is blazing bright.

U.S. President Donald J. Trump

U.S. President Donald J. Trump

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NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft studies Mars’ Atmosphere for causes of unpredictable Radio Communications disruptions

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – NASA’s MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN) spacecraft has discovered “layers” and “rifts” in the electrically charged part of the upper atmosphere (the ionosphere) of Mars. The phenomenon is very common at Earth and causes unpredictable disruptions to radio communications.

However, we do not fully understand them because they form at altitudes that are very difficult to explore at Earth. The unexpected discovery by MAVEN shows that Mars is a unique laboratory to explore and better understand this highly disruptive phenomenon.

Graphic illustrating radio signals from a remote station (bent purple line) interfering with a local station (black tower) after being reflected off a plasma layer in the ionosphere. (NASA Goddard/CI lab)

Graphic illustrating radio signals from a remote station (bent purple line) interfering with a local station (black tower) after being reflected off a plasma layer in the ionosphere. (NASA Goddard/CI lab)

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NASA says Future Homes on Moon, Mars Could Be Made of Fungi

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – Science fiction often imagines our future on Mars and other planets as run by machines, with metallic cities and flying cars rising above dunes of red sand. But the reality may be even stranger – and “greener.”

Instead of habitats made of metal and glass, NASA is exploring technologies that could grow structures out of fungi to become our future homes in the stars, and perhaps lead to more sustainable ways of living on Earth as well.

A researcher holding a petri dish containing mycelia – the underground threads that make up the main part of a fungus – growing in simulated martian soil, also known as martian regolith. (NASA/Ames Research Center/Lynn Rothschild)

A researcher holding a petri dish containing mycelia – the underground threads that make up the main part of a fungus – growing in simulated martian soil, also known as martian regolith. (NASA/Ames Research Center/Lynn Rothschild)

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NASA has big plans for 2020

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – In 2020, NASA will be taking long strides toward returning astronauts to the Moon, continuing the exploration of Mars and developing new technology to make supersonic aircraft fly more quietly.

Artemis: Returning astronauts to the Moon

Under Artemis, NASA will send new science instruments and technology demonstrations to study the Moon, accelerate plans to send astronauts to the Moon by 2024, and establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028.

Launching Americans from U.S. soil, sending a new rover to Mars and continuing to prepare for human missions to the Moon are just a few of the things NASA has planned for 2020. (NASA TV/Lacey Young)

Launching Americans from U.S. soil, sending a new rover to Mars and continuing to prepare for human missions to the Moon are just a few of the things NASA has planned for 2020. (NASA TV/Lacey Young)

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NASA examines problems Astronauts on Mars could face talking with experts back on Earth

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – NASA’s BASALT project finds that science experts on this planet will be able to guide astronauts’ scientific exploration on Mars while it’s happening, despite a sometimes 40-minute round-trip lag in communications with Earth. But the devil’s in the details – and there are a lot of them.

A scene that first played out on the Moon in 1972 happened again, years later, in Hawaii. While exploring the lunar surface, Apollo 17 astronaut and geologist Harrison Schmitt spotted some bright orange soil – an important clue about the Moon’s volcanic history. You can hear the excitement in his voice in recordings, but mission control in Houston couldn’t see what was so remarkable in the video beamed back to Earth.

Two BASALT project researchers take on the role of astronauts exploring Mars to collect scientific samples, during a simulated human space mission in 2016. Conducted on Hawaii’s volcanic terrain, which bears similarities to landscapes on Mars, this research is designing and developing elements of future missions. (NASA)

Two BASALT project researchers take on the role of astronauts exploring Mars to collect scientific samples, during a simulated human space mission in 2016. Conducted on Hawaii’s volcanic terrain, which bears similarities to landscapes on Mars, this research is designing and developing elements of future missions. (NASA)

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