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Topic: Space

NASA Scientists take new look at Voyager 2 Data, Find new Discovery about Uranus

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Eight and a half years into its grand tour of the solar system, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft was ready for another encounter. It was January 24th, 1986, and soon it would meet the mysterious seventh planet, icy-cold Uranus.

Over the next few hours, Voyager 2 flew within 50,600 miles (81,433 kilometers) of Uranus’ cloud tops, collecting data that revealed two new rings, 11 new moons and temperatures below minus 353 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 214 degrees Celsius). The dataset is still the only up-close measurements we have ever made of the planet.

Voyager 2 took this image as it approached the planet Uranus on Jan. 14, 1986. The planet's hazy bluish color is due to the methane in its atmosphere, which absorbs red wavelengths of light. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Voyager 2 took this image as it approached the planet Uranus on Jan. 14, 1986. The planet’s hazy bluish color is due to the methane in its atmosphere, which absorbs red wavelengths of light. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA uses SHIIVER tank to test keeping liquid fuel cool

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationCleveland, OH – When deep space exploration missions launch, like NASA’s future Artemis missions to the Moon, they carry liquids with them for fuel and life support systems. These liquids are stored at cryogenic temperatures, which range from -243 to -423 degrees F, and to be usable, they need to remain cold and in a liquid state.

But as the extreme environment of space warms a spacecraft, the fuels begin to evaporate or “boiloff.”

“As energy from the Sun, Earth, and even the Moon enters the cryogenic propellant tanks, the liquid has to absorb that energy, which causes it to boiloff,” explains Wesley Johnson, cryogenic fluid management technical lead at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.

SHIIVER is 13-foot diameter test tank built by NASA to evaluate technologies aimed at reducing the evaporation or “boiloff” losses in large cryogenic storage tanks for human exploration missions. (NASA)

SHIIVER is 13-foot diameter test tank built by NASA to evaluate technologies aimed at reducing the evaporation or “boiloff” losses in large cryogenic storage tanks for human exploration missions. (NASA)

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NASA explains how Solar Orbiter withstands Heat from the Sun

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MDWhen Solar Orbiter launches on its journey to the Sun, there’s one key piece of engineering making this ESA-NASA mission possible: the heat shield.

Seeking a view of the Sun’s north and south poles, Solar Orbiter will journey out of the ecliptic plane — the belt of space, roughly in line with the Sun’s equator, through which the planets orbit. Slinging repeatedly past Venus in order to draw near the Sun and climb higher above the ecliptic, the spacecraft bounds from the Sun and back toward the orbit of Earth throughout its mission.

An image of Solar Orbiter peering at the Sun through peepholes in its heat shield. (ESA/ATG medialab)

An image of Solar Orbiter peering at the Sun through peepholes in its heat shield. (ESA/ATG medialab)

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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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NASA missions examine reason Earth’s poles mess with Electronics

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – The 2019 Norway Campaign has come to an end with two of three missions being launched. The Cusp Heating Investigation, or CHI mission, was successfully launched December 10th — citizen scientists Hearts In The Ice, affiliated with the Aurorasaurus project, captured imagery of the launch from the ground in Svalbard.

The Investigation of Cusp Irregularities-5 or ICI-5 mission launched November 26th.  After 17 launch attempts, the Cusp Region Experiment-2, or CREX-2, mission, was not able to get off the ground due to a combination of unacceptable weather conditions and a lack of science activity.

Earth’s magnetosphere, showing the northern and southern polar cusps. (Andøya Space Center/Trond Abrahamsen)

Earth’s magnetosphere, showing the northern and southern polar cusps. (Andøya Space Center/Trond Abrahamsen)

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NASA’s Artemis Lunar Program moves full speed ahead

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – In 2019, NASA celebrated the 50th anniversary of the agency’s Apollo 11 Moon landing, the most historic moment in space exploration, while also making significant progress toward putting the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 under the Artemis program.

Through America’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, Artemis gained bipartisan support this year among members of Congress, the U.S aerospace industry, as well as with international partners, including Canada, Australia, and Japan, and member states of the European Space Agency.

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NASA looks at returning to Venus

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Sue Smrekar really wants to go back to Venus. In her office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the planetary scientist displays a 30-year-old image of Venus’ surface taken by the Magellan spacecraft, a reminder of how much time has passed since an American mission orbited the planet.

The image reveals a hellish landscape: a young surface with more volcanoes than any other body in the solar system, gigantic rifts, towering mountain belts and temperatures hot enough to melt lead.

Venus hides a wealth of information that could help us better understand Earth and exoplanets. NASA's JPL is designing mission concepts to survive the planet's extreme temperatures and atmospheric pressure. This image is a composite of data from NASA's Magellan spacecraft and Pioneer Venus Orbiter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Venus hides a wealth of information that could help us better understand Earth and exoplanets. NASA’s JPL is designing mission concepts to survive the planet’s extreme temperatures and atmospheric pressure. This image is a composite of data from NASA’s Magellan spacecraft and Pioneer Venus Orbiter. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Astronauts Thanksgiving Day Message from International Space Station

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Right now, NASA says half of the crew members on board the International Space Station are American astronauts who are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, and they have a message for us.

View the video below to see what the holiday means to NASA’s Christina Koch, Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan and get a look at what Thanksgiving in space will be like in 2019: Expedition 61 Thanksgiving message.

 

NASA explains how the International Space Station is Helping Us Get to the Moon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – The International Space Station is a stepping stone for NASA’s Artemis program that will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.

As the only place for conducting long-duration research on how living in microgravity affects living organisms, especially humans, as well as testing technologies to allow humans to work at the Moon, the space station serves as a unique asset in the effort establish a sustainable presence at the Moon.

The moon as seen from the International Space Station. (NASA)

The moon as seen from the International Space Station. (NASA)

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NASA looks to understand Asthma from Space

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA says help may be on the way for the millions of people around the world who suffer from asthma. Pioneering research in orbit is opening new avenues to understanding what goes wrong in patients with airway inflammation.

The results have contributed to the development of quick lung tests for an improved quality of life––both on Earth and in space. With each lungful of air, our bodies absorb oxygen and exhale waste products. In people with asthma, inflammation in the lung adds nitric oxide to exhaled air. Doctors measure the amount of nitric oxide exhaled by patients to help diagnose inflamed lungs and asthma.

Astronaut Alexander Gerst exhales into an ultra-sensitive gas analyzer for the Airway Monitoring experiment. (NASA)

Astronaut Alexander Gerst exhales into an ultra-sensitive gas analyzer for the Airway Monitoring experiment. (NASA)

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