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Topic: Mountain View CA

NASA simulates Rocket Launch for Artemis Moon Missions

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – As part of the Artemis program, NASA is preparing to test the integrated systems that will take crew on missions to the Moon, including a powerful new rocket that will launch crew and cargo to lunar orbit.

There are many critical moments in a rocket’s journey from the ground to orbit, but perhaps none more so than the moment of ignition from the launch pad. When the Space Launch System, or SLS, rocket engines begin to roar – emitting fire, smoke, and shockwaves – it is critical the entire launch complex is designed to withstand the pressure.

Simulating NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket engines. (NASA/Michael Barad/Timothy Sandstrom)

Simulating NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket engines. (NASA/Michael Barad/Timothy Sandstrom)

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NASA Kepler Space Telescope data reveals around Half of Sun Like Stars could have Rocky, Potentially Habitable Planets

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – Since astronomers confirmed the presence of planets beyond our solar system, called exoplanets, humanity has wondered how many could harbor life. Now, we’re one step closer to finding an answer.

According to new research using data from NASA’s retired planet-hunting mission, the Kepler space telescope, about half the stars similar in temperature to our Sun could have a rocky planet capable of supporting liquid water on its surface.

This illustration depicts Kepler-186f, the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone. (NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle)

This illustration depicts Kepler-186f, the first validated Earth-size planet to orbit a distant star in the habitable zone. (NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle)

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NASA’s Ames Research Center Contributions to SpaceX Commercial Crew Missions

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – A new era of human spaceflight is set to begin as American astronauts once again launch on an American rocket from American soil to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program – the first time since the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

Commercial crew partner SpaceX will carry humans to the space station, like a taxi or a rideshare service, shuttling people to their destination and home again.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard as it is rolled to the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-1 mission on Feb. 28, 2019 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard as it is rolled to the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-1 mission on Feb. 28, 2019 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

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NASA Ames Research Center Wind Tunnels performs Ground Testing before you Fly

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – If you’ve ever flown on a plane, you’ve probably been in a vehicle that NASA helped develop. Because before something can fly in the sky, it needs to “fly” on the ground – and for that you need a wind tunnel. Several of these often huge and essential facilities are found at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley – including the biggest (two!) in the world.

A wind tunnel works by moving air past a stationary object, making it seem like the object is flying. The tunnel is essentially a giant tube with air flowing through it, usually moved along by fans.

This system of fans moves air through the world’s largest wind tunnels, at the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. Each of the six fans is 40 feet in diameter and is driven by a 22,500-horsepower electric motor. Two figures near fan 5 give a sense of scale. (NASA/Ames Research Center/Tom Trower)

This system of fans moves air through the world’s largest wind tunnels, at the National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. Each of the six fans is 40 feet in diameter and is driven by a 22,500-horsepower electric motor. Two figures near fan 5 give a sense of scale. (NASA/Ames Research Center/Tom Trower)

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NASA Researches to use Fluid Lensing to map Ocean Floor

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – NASA says that whenever you look through a substance, whether it’s the water in a pool or a pane of old, rippled glass, the objects you see look distorted.

For centuries, astronomers have been mapping the sky through the distortions caused by our atmosphere, however, in recent years, they’ve developed techniques to counter these effects, clearing our view of the stars.

If we turn to look at the Earth instead of the skies, distorted visuals are a challenge too: Earth scientists who want to map the oceans or study underwater features struggle to see through the distortions caused by waves at the surface.

Researchers flying the FluidCam instrument during a field deployment in Puerto Rico. (NASA)

Researchers flying the FluidCam instrument during a field deployment in Puerto Rico. (NASA)

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NASA’s VIPER Lunar Rover prepared to handle Moon Dust

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – NASA says that Moon dust is a formidable adversary – the grains are as fine as powder and as sharp as tiny shards of glass.

During the Apollo 17 mission to the Moon, the astronauts lamented how the dust found its way into everything, coating their spacesuits and jamming the shoulder joints, getting inside their lunar habitat and even causing symptoms of a temporary “lunar dust hay fever” in astronaut Harrison Schmitt. Those symptoms fortunately went away quickly – but the problem of Moon dust remains for future missions.

Robotics engineer Jason Schuler performs a preliminary test to prepare for dust testing of various seals for the wheel motors on NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, March 17, 2020, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The test takes place in a bin holding more than 120 tons of simulated lunar regolith – loose dirt, dust and rock – that is used to help simulate the properties of the lunar surface. (NASA/Cory Huston)

Robotics engineer Jason Schuler performs a preliminary test to prepare for dust testing of various seals for the wheel motors on NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, March 17, 2020, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The test takes place in a bin holding more than 120 tons of simulated lunar regolith – loose dirt, dust and rock – that is used to help simulate the properties of the lunar surface. (NASA/Cory Huston)

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NASA uses Satellites to Help Forecast Wildlife Migration in Yellowstone National Park

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – The research project looked specifically at how long the growing season lasts in Yellowstone  National Park, from snowmelt in spring to first snowfall in autumn, and the vegetation that covers the land in between.

The satellite data revealed that the season for vegetation growth has been getting longer, likely a result of climate change decreasing the severity of winters and warming average temperatures overall.

Studying national parks is helpful for this type of climate research, because human land use is restricted in these spaces.

A study using data from two NASA Earth science satellites reveals that the season for vegetation growth has been getting longer in Yellowstone National Park. Likely a result of climate change decreasing the severity of winters and warming average temperatures overall, this effect on the productivity of grasslands has contributed to the growing number of bison in the park. (Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory)

A study using data from two NASA Earth science satellites reveals that the season for vegetation growth has been getting longer in Yellowstone National Park. Likely a result of climate change decreasing the severity of winters and warming average temperatures overall, this effect on the productivity of grasslands has contributed to the growing number of bison in the park. (Joshua Stevens/NASA Earth Observatory)

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NASA tests New Moon Rover in Lunar Operations Lab

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationCleveland, OH – An engineering model of the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER, is tested in the Simulated Lunar Operations Laboratory at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

About the size of a golf cart, VIPER is a mobile robot that will roam around the Moon’s South Pole looking for water ice in the region and for the first time ever, actually sample the water ice at the same pole where the first woman and next man will land in 2024 under the Artemis program.

NASA model of the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover. (NASA / Bridget Caswell, Alcyon Technical Services)

NASA model of the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover. (NASA / Bridget Caswell, Alcyon Technical Services)

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NASA works to create Traffic Management System for Unmanned Aircraft

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – NASA is working to safely integrate drones into low-altitude airspace. Ever wonder what the skies will look like in the next five to 10 years? Can you imagine stepping onto your balcony on a sunny day, seeing drones buzzing around?

They could be delivering food and goods to doorsteps, hovering around backyards for family fun or over highways for traffic monitoring. An estimated 700,000 unmanned aircraft systems, called UAS, but commonly referred to as drones, are expected to be roaming the sky by the year 2020.

Drones in flight in downtown Reno, Nevada, during shakedown tests for NASA's Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management project, or UTM. The final phase of flight tests, known as Technical Capability Level 4, took place from May through August 2019 and studied how the UTM system could integrate drones into urban areas. (NASA/Dominic Hart)

Drones in flight in downtown Reno, Nevada, during shakedown tests for NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management project, or UTM. The final phase of flight tests, known as Technical Capability Level 4, took place from May through August 2019 and studied how the UTM system could integrate drones into urban areas. (NASA/Dominic Hart)

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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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