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NASA says Robotic Navigation Tech to Explore the Deep Ocean

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – On May 14th, 2021, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) ship Okeanos Explorer will depart from Port Canaveral in Florida on a two-week expedition led by NOAA Ocean Exploration, featuring the technology demonstration of an autonomous underwater vehicle.

Called Orpheus, this new class of submersible robot will showcase a system that will help it find its way and identify interesting scientific features on the seafloor.

The Orpheus submersible robot is being developed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and JPL to explore the deep ocean autonomously. Orpheus uses vision-based navigation that works in a similar way to how the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter navigates during flight. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Orpheus submersible robot is being developed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and JPL to explore the deep ocean autonomously. Orpheus uses vision-based navigation that works in a similar way to how the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter navigates during flight. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Voyager 1 measures Density of Material in Interstellar Space

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Until recently, every spacecraft in history had made all of its measurements inside our heliosphere, the magnetic bubble inflated by our Sun. But on August 25th, 2012, NASA’s Voyager 1 changed that.

As it crossed the heliosphere’s boundary, it became the first human-made object to enter – and measure – interstellar space. Now eight years into its interstellar journey, a close listen of Voyager 1’s data is yielding new insights into what that frontier is like.

An illustration depicting one of NASA’s twin Voyager spacecraft. Both Voyagers have entered interstellar space, or the space outside our Sun’s heliosphere. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An illustration depicting one of NASA’s twin Voyager spacecraft. Both Voyagers have entered interstellar space or the space outside our Sun’s heliosphere. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover uses Robotic Arm to begin studies of Red Planet

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover has been busy serving as a communications base station for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter and documenting the rotorcraft’s historic flights. But the rover has also been busy focusing its science instruments on rocks that lay on the floor of Jezero Crater.

What insights they turn up will help scientists create a timeline of when an ancient lake formed there, when it dried, and when sediment began piling up in the delta that formed in the crater long ago. Understanding this timeline should help date rock samples – to be collected later in the mission – that might preserve a record of ancient microbes.

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover used its dual-camera Mastcam-Z imager to capture this image of Santa Cruz, a hill within Jezero Crater, on April 29th, 2021. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS)

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover used its dual-camera Mastcam-Z imager to capture this image of Santa Cruz, a hill within Jezero Crater, on April 29th, 2021. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS)

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NASA’s Mars Ingenuity Helicopters Fourth Flight captured by Perseverance Rover on Video, Audio

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – For the first time, a spacecraft on another planet has recorded the sounds of a separate spacecraft. NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover used one of its two microphones to listen as the Ingenuity helicopter flew for the fourth time on April 30th, 2021.

A new video combines footage of the solar-powered helicopter taken by Perseverance’s Mastcam-Z imager with audio from a microphone belonging to the rover’s SuperCam laser instrument.

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NASA announces International Cutting-Edge SWOT Satellite to Survey the World’s Water

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – How much water sloshes around in Earth’s lakes, rivers, and oceans? And how does that figure change over time? The upcoming Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission plans to find out.

Targeting a late-2022 launch date, this SUV-size satellite will measure the height of Earth’s water. SWOT will help researchers understand and track the volume and location of water – a finite resource – around the world, making NASA’s first truly global survey of the planet’s surface water.

This illustration of the SWOT spacecraft shows the two antennas on either side of the satellite, as well as the large solar panels.(NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This illustration of the SWOT spacecraft shows the two antennas on either side of the satellite, as well as the large solar panels.(NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT) project gets funding

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – After years of development, the Lunar Crater Radio Telescope (LCRT) project has been awarded $500,000 to support additional work as it enters Phase II of NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program. While not yet a NASA mission, the LCRT describes a mission concept that could transform humanity’s view of the cosmos.

The LCRT’s primary objective would be to measure the long-wavelength radio waves generated by the cosmic Dark Ages – a period that lasted for a few hundred million years after the Big Bang, but before the first stars blinked into existence.

This illustration depicts a conceptual Lunar Crater Radio Telescope on the Moon’s far side. (Vladimir Vustyansky)

This illustration depicts a conceptual Lunar Crater Radio Telescope on the Moon’s far side. (Vladimir Vustyansky)

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NASA to start New Demonstration Phase with Ingenuity Helicopter

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has a new mission. Having proven that powered, controlled flight is possible on the Red Planet, the Ingenuity experiment will soon embark on a new operations demonstration phase, exploring how aerial scouting and other functions could benefit future exploration of Mars and other worlds.

This new phase will begin after the helicopter completes its next two flights. The decision to add an operations demonstration is a result of the Perseverance rover being ahead of schedule with the thorough checkout of all vehicle systems since its February 18th landing, and its science team choosing a nearby patch of crater bed for its first detailed explorations.

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter, seen here about 13 feet (3.9 meters) from the rover. This image was taken by the WASTON camera on the rover’s robotic arm on April 6th, 2021, the 46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the Ingenuity helicopter, seen here about 13 feet (3.9 meters) from the rover. This image was taken by the WASTON camera on the rover’s robotic arm on April 6th, 2021, the 46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS)

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NASA’s Mars Ingenuity Mars Helicopter completes Third Flight

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter continues to set records, flying faster and farther on Sunday, April 25th, 2021 than in any tests it went through on Earth. The helicopter took off at 3:31am CDT (1:31am PDT) , or 12:33pm local Mars time, rising 16 feet (5 meters) – the same altitude as its second flight.

Then it zipped downrange 164 feet (50 meters), just over half the length of a football field, reaching a top speed of 6.6 feet per second (2 meters per second).

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter can be seen hovering during its third flight on April 25th, 2021, as seen by the left Navigation Camera aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter can be seen hovering during its third flight on April 25th, 2021, as seen by the left Navigation Camera aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA reports Astronomers create New All-Sky Map of Milky Way’s Outer Reaches

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Astronomers using data from NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) telescopes have released a new all-sky map of the outermost region of our galaxy. Known as the galactic halo, this area lies outside the swirling spiral arms that form the Milky Way’s recognizable central disk and is sparsely populated with stars.

Though the halo may appear mostly empty, it is also predicted to contain a massive reservoir of dark matter, a mysterious and invisible substance thought to make up the bulk of all the mass in the universe.

Images of the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) are overlaid on a map of the surrounding galactic halo. The smaller structure is a wake created by the LMC’s motion through this region. The larger light-blue feature corresponds to a high density of stars observed in the northern hemisphere of our galaxy. (NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/Conroy et. al. 2021)

Images of the Milky Way and the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) are overlaid on a map of the surrounding galactic halo. The smaller structure is a wake created by the LMC’s motion through this region. The larger light-blue feature corresponds to a high density of stars observed in the northern hemisphere of our galaxy. (NASA/ESA/JPL-Caltech/Conroy et. al. 2021)

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NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover uses MOXIE Instrument to Extract Oxygen from Red Planet

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The growing list of “firsts” for Perseverance, NASA’s newest six-wheeled robot on the Martian surface, includes converting some of the Red Planet’s thin, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into oxygen.

A toaster-size, experimental instrument aboard the NASA Mars Perseverance rover called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) accomplished the task. The test took place April 20th, the 60th Martian day, or sol, since the mission landed February 18th.

Technicians at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory lower the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) instrument into the belly of the Perseverance rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Technicians at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory lower the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) instrument into the belly of the Perseverance rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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