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Topic: Pasadena CA

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 Mars 2020 Rover gains Bit Carousel

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars 2020 rover now has the bit carousel installed, a mechanism that will play a key role in the acquisition, containment and eventual return to Earth of humanity’s first samples from another planet.

“The bit carousel is at the heart of the sampling and caching subsystem,” said Keith Rosette, Mars 2020 sample handling delivery manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “It contains all of the tools the coring drill uses to sample the Martian surface and is the gateway for the samples to move into the rover for assessment and processing.”

In this August 5, 2019 image, the bit carousel - the heart of sampling and caching subsystem of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission - is attached to the front end of the rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In this August 5, 2019 image, the bit carousel – the heart of sampling and caching subsystem of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission – is attached to the front end of the rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory robots take part in Subterranean Challenge

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – On August 15th through the 22nd, robots from all over the world will compete to find objects in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge Systems Competition held in mining tunnels under Pittsburgh.

Among them will be a team led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, that features wheeled rovers, drones and climbing robots that can rise on pinball-flipper-shaped treads to scale obstacles.

JPL and its university partners are competing in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Subterranean Challenge in Pittsburgh August 15th-22nd, 2019, with a fleet of robots built to search tunnels, caves and other subterranean environments. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

JPL and its university partners are competing in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Subterranean Challenge in Pittsburgh August 15th-22nd, 2019, with a fleet of robots built to search tunnels, caves and other subterranean environments. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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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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NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope takes image of Lightsaber Shaped Galaxy

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has taken an image that might look like a lightsaber floating in space, but it’s actually an entire galaxy viewed on its side.

The long red beam in the center of the image is a galaxy called NGC 5866. It lies 44 million light-years from Earth and has a diameter of roughly 60,000 light-years – a little more than half the diameter of our own Milky Way galaxy. When we think of galaxies, we often imagine massive spiral arms or thick disks of dust.

But not all galaxies are oriented face-on as viewed from Earth. From our viewpoint, we see only the edge of NGC 5866, so most of its structural features are invisible.

Galaxy NGC 5866 lies 44 million light-years from Earth and has a diameter of roughly 60,000 light-years - a little more than half the diameter of our own Milky Way galaxy. From our viewpoint, NGC 5866 is oriented almost exactly edge-on, yielding most of its structural features invisible. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Galaxy NGC 5866 lies 44 million light-years from Earth and has a diameter of roughly 60,000 light-years – a little more than half the diameter of our own Milky Way galaxy. From our viewpoint, NGC 5866 is oriented almost exactly edge-on, yielding most of its structural features invisible. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA engineers test Mars 2020 Rover Cameras

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Equipped with visionary science instruments, the NASA Mars 2020 rover underwent an “eye” exam after several cameras were installed on it. The rover contains an armada of imaging capabilities, from wide-angle landscape cameras to narrow-angle high-resolution zoom lens cameras.

“We completed the machine-vision calibration of the forward-facing cameras on the rover,” said Justin Maki, chief engineer for imaging and the imaging scientist for Mars 2020 at JPL. “This measurement is critical for accurate stereo vision, which is an important capability of the vehicle.”

In this image, engineers test cameras on the top of the Mars 2020 rover's mast and front chassis. The image was taken on July 23, 2019, in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility's High Bay 1 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In this image, engineers test cameras on the top of the Mars 2020 rover’s mast and front chassis. The image was taken on July 23, 2019, in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility’s High Bay 1 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover continues exploring Martian Surface

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Curiosity rover has come a long way since touching down on Mars seven years ago. It has traveled a total of 13 miles (21 kilometers) and ascended 1,207 feet (368 meters) to its current location. Along the way, Curiosity discovered Mars had the conditions to support microbial life in the ancient past, among other things.

And the rover is far from done, having just drilled its 22nd sample from the Martian surface. It has a few more years before its nuclear power system degrades enough to significantly limit operations. After that, careful budgeting of its power will allow the rover to keep studying the Red Planet.

This panorama of a location called "Teal Ridge" was captured on Mars by the Mast Camera, or Mastcam, on NASA's Curiosity rover on June 18th, 2019, the 2,440th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

This panorama of a location called “Teal Ridge” was captured on Mars by the Mast Camera, or Mastcam, on NASA’s Curiosity rover on June 18th, 2019, the 2,440th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA creates Sensor Chip Electronics for ESA Dark Energy Mission, Euclid

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA says the European Space Agency’s Euclid mission, set to launch in 2022, will investigate two of the biggest mysteries in modern astronomy: dark matter and dark energy. A team of NASA engineers recently delivered critical hardware for one of the instruments that will fly on Euclid and probe these cosmic puzzles.

Based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, and the Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, the engineers designed, fabricated and tested 20 pieces of sensor-chip electronics (SCEs) hardware for Euclid (16 for the flight instrument and four backups).

The cryogenic (cold) portion of the Euclid space telescope's Near Infrared Spectrometer and Photometer (NISP) instrument. NASA led the procurement and delivery of the detectors for the NISP instrument. The gold-coated hardware is the 16 sensor-chip electronics integrated with the infrared sensors. (Euclid Consortium/CPPM/LAM)

The cryogenic (cold) portion of the Euclid space telescope’s Near Infrared Spectrometer and Photometer (NISP) instrument. NASA led the procurement and delivery of the detectors for the NISP instrument. The gold-coated hardware is the 16 sensor-chip electronics integrated with the infrared sensors. (Euclid Consortium/CPPM/LAM)

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NASA takes a look at Marsquakes

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A recent set of earthquakes shook up Southern California. But NASA says Earth isn’t the only place that experiences quakes: Both the Moon and Mars have them as well. NASA sent the first seismometer to the Moon 50 years ago, during the Apollo 11 mission; the agency’s InSight lander brought the first seismometer to Mars in late 2018, and it’s called the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS).

Provided by the French space agency, Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), the seismometer detected its first marsquake on April 6th, 2019.

This artist's concept is a simulation of what seismic waves from a marsquake might look like as they move through different layers of the Martian interior. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ETH Zurich/ Van Driel)

This artist’s concept is a simulation of what seismic waves from a marsquake might look like as they move through different layers of the Martian interior. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ETH Zurich/ Van Driel)

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NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory impact on Apollo Missions

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – When Neil Armstrong became the first human to step onto the surface of the Moon, the giant leap for mankind 50 years ago, it imprinted on several generations.

Some savor that day as a treasured memory, while for others, it’s an inspirational chapter in history books. While NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has long been associated with robotic missions rather than ones involving astronauts, the Lab helped pave the way for the historic Apollo missions that took humans to the Moon.

Here are three contributions by JPL:

Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad (pictured) and Alan Bean visit JPL's Surveyor 3 in the Ocean of Storms on November 20, 1969. The Apollo 12 astronauts had visited JPL earlier in the year, in part to try out tools to help remove parts of Surveyor 3 to return to Earth. Surveyor 3's camera now resides in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, and its soil sampler scoop is on display in JPL's Visitor Center. (NASA)

Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad (pictured) and Alan Bean visit JPL’s Surveyor 3 in the Ocean of Storms on November 20, 1969. The Apollo 12 astronauts had visited JPL earlier in the year, in part to try out tools to help remove parts of Surveyor 3 to return to Earth. Surveyor 3’s camera now resides in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, and its soil sampler scoop is on display in JPL’s Visitor Center. (NASA)
Requestor: J. Strand
Date Filed: 12/24/69

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