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Topic: Moon

NASA’s Artemis Lunar Exploration Program

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA is committed to landing American astronauts, including the first woman and the next man, on the Moon by 2024. Through the agency’s Artemis lunar exploration program, we will use innovative new technologies and systems to explore more of the Moon than ever before.

NASA will collaborate with their commercial and international partners to establish sustainable missions by 2028. And then we will use what we learn on and around the Moon to take the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.

Artist's concept of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule prepared for launch. (NASA)

Artist’s concept of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule prepared for launch. (NASA)

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NASA Pathfinder CubeSat to orbit Moon in same orbit projected for Gateway

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has awarded a $13.7 million contract to Advanced Space of Boulder, Colorado, to develop and operate a CubeSat mission to the same lunar orbit targeted for Gateway – an orbiting outpost astronauts will visit before descending to the surface of the Moon in a landing system as part of NASA’s Artemis program.

The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) is expected to be the first spacecraft to operate in a near rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon.

Highly elliptical, a near rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon takes advantage of a precise balance point in the gravities of Earth and the Moon and creates a stability that is ideal for long-term missions like Gateway. (Advanced Space)

Highly elliptical, a near rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon takes advantage of a precise balance point in the gravities of Earth and the Moon and creates a stability that is ideal for long-term missions like Gateway. (Advanced Space)

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NASA establishes Mars 2020 Rover’s center of Gravity

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – On August 29th, 2019, engineers took NASA’s Mars 2020 for a spin. The 2,300-pound (1,040-kilogram) Martian vehicle was rotated clockwise and counterclockwise at about 1 revolution per minute on what is called a spin table in the clean room of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The engineers were looking for the rover’s center of gravity, or the point at which weight is evenly dispersed on all sides.

NASA's Mars 2020 rover was rotated on a spin table in the clean room of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Engineers were looking to establish the rover's center of gravity, or the point at which weight is evenly dispersed on all sides. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover was rotated on a spin table in the clean room of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Engineers were looking to establish the rover’s center of gravity, or the point at which weight is evenly dispersed on all sides. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft data suggests Lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan actually Explosive Craters

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft radar data recently published research presents a new scenario to explain why some methane-filled lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan are surrounded by steep rims that reach hundreds of feet high. The models suggests that explosions of warming nitrogen created basins in the moon’s crust.

Titan is the only planetary body in our solar system other than Earth known to have stable liquid on its surface. But instead of water raining down from clouds and filling lakes and seas as on Earth, on Titan it’s methane and ethane – hydrocarbons that we think of as gases but that behave as liquids in Titan’s frigid climate.

This artist's concept of a lake at the north pole of Saturn's moon Titan illustrates raised rims and rampartlike features such as those seen by NASA's Cassini spacecraft around the moon's Winnipeg Lacus. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s concept of a lake at the north pole of Saturn’s moon Titan illustrates raised rims and rampartlike features such as those seen by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft around the moon’s Winnipeg Lacus. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA attaches Mars Helicopter to Mars 2020 Rover

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA -NASA engineers have attached the Mars Helicopter to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover today in the High Bay 1 clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The Mars Helicopter will be the first aircraft to fly on another planet.

The twin-rotor, solar-powered helicopter was connected, along with the Mars Helicopter Delivery System, to a plate on the rover’s belly that includes a cover to shield the helicopter from debris during entry, descent and landing.

An engineer works on attaching NASA's Mars Helicopter to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover - which has been flipped over for that purpose - on Aug. 27, 2019, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An engineer works on attaching NASA’s Mars Helicopter to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover – which has been flipped over for that purpose – on Aug. 27, 2019, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA names Rock on Mars, “Rolling Stones Rock”

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The team behind NASA’s InSight lander has named a Martian rock after the band: ‘Rolling Stones Rock.’ For decades, the music of The Rolling Stones has had a global reach here on Earth. Now, the band’s influence extends all the way to Mars. 

The Rolling Stones – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood – were delighted with the news and commented, “What a wonderful way to celebrate the ‘Stones No Filter’ tour arriving in Pasadena. This is definitely a milestone in our long and eventful history. A huge thank you to everyone at NASA for making it happen.”

The rock in the center of this image was tossed about 3 feet (1 meter) by NASA's InSight spacecraft as it touched down on Mars on November 26, 2018. The rock, which is a little bigger than a golf ball, was later nicknamed "Rolling Stones Rock" in honor of The Rolling Stones. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The rock in the center of this image was tossed about 3 feet (1 meter) by NASA’s InSight spacecraft as it touched down on Mars on November 26, 2018. The rock, which is a little bigger than a golf ball, was later nicknamed “Rolling Stones Rock” in honor of The Rolling Stones. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope observes conditions on Rocky Planet

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope data has been used in a new study to provide a rare glimpse of conditions on the surface of a rocky planet orbiting a star beyond the Sun. The study, published today in the journal Nature, shows that the planet’s surface may resemble those of Earth’s Moon or Mercury:

The planet likely has little to no atmosphere and could be covered in the same cooled volcanic material found in the dark areas of the Moon’s surface, called mare.

This artist's illustration depicts the exoplanet LHS 3844b, which is 1.3 times the mass of Earth and orbits an M dwarf star. The planet's surface may be covered mostly in dark lava rock, with no apparent atmosphere, according to observations by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC))

This artist’s illustration depicts the exoplanet LHS 3844b, which is 1.3 times the mass of Earth and orbits an M dwarf star. The planet’s surface may be covered mostly in dark lava rock, with no apparent atmosphere, according to observations by NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC))

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NASA confirms mission to Jupiter’s Moon, Europa

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA has announced the mission to explore Jupiter’s moon Europa is a go.

An icy ocean world in our solar system that could tell us more about the potential for life on other worlds is coming into focus with confirmation of the Europa Clipper mission’s next phase. The decision allows the mission to progress to completion of final design, followed by the construction and testing of the entire spacecraft and science payload.

A 2016 artist's concept of the Europa Clipper spacecraft. The design is changing as the spacecraft is developed. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

A 2016 artist’s concept of the Europa Clipper spacecraft. The design is changing as the spacecraft is developed. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Artemis Program Human Lunar Lander Development to be lead by Marshall Space Flight Center

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was joined Friday by U.S. Representatives Mo Brooks and Robert Aderholt of Alabama and Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to announce the center’s new role leading the agency’s Human Landing System Program for its return to the Moon by 2024.

“Marshall Space Flight Center is the birthplace of America’s space program. It was Marshall scientists and engineers who designed, built, tested, and helped launch the giant Saturn V rocket that carried astronauts on the Apollo missions to the Moon,” Brooks said.

On Aug. 16, 2019, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will lead the Human Landing System Program. Bridenstine was joined by Representatives Mo Brooks and Robert Aderholt of Alabama and Representative Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee. (NASA Television)

On Aug. 16, 2019, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will lead the Human Landing System Program. Bridenstine was joined by Representatives Mo Brooks and Robert Aderholt of Alabama and Representative Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee. (NASA Television)

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NASA’s Apollo 11, Mars 2020 have same goal, collect Samples

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Apollo 11 command module Columbia splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s goal to land a man on the Moon and return him safely to Earth on July 24th, 1969.

Among the mission’s many firsts was the acquisition and return of the first samples from another celestial body. Findings based on the 47 pounds (21.5 kilograms) of lunar rock and soil rewrote the textbooks on both the Moon and solar system, and the samples are still being studied today by researchers using new and more sensitive instruments.

From left to right: Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin stands on the Moon; 47 pounds (21.5 kilograms) of samples were brought back to Earth from that mission; the Mars 2020 rover, seen here in an artist's concept rover, will be taking the first planetary samples at Jezero Crater, Mars (on right). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

From left to right: Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin stands on the Moon; 47 pounds (21.5 kilograms) of samples were brought back to Earth from that mission; the Mars 2020 rover, seen here in an artist’s concept rover, will be taking the first planetary samples at Jezero Crater, Mars (on right). (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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