NASA, ESA Astronauts Safely Return to Earth

From left to right, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthais Maurer, NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari, and Kayla Barron, are seen inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endurance spacecraft onboard the SpaceX Shannon recovery ship shortly after having landed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Tampa, Florida, Friday, May 6, 2022. Maurer, Marshburn, Chari, and Barron are returning after 177 days in space as part of Expeditions 66 and 67 aboard the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s SpaceX Crew-3 astronauts aboard the Dragon Endurance spacecraft safely splashed down Friday in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida, completing the agency’s third long-duration commercial crew mission to the International Space Station. The international crew of four spent 177 days in orbit.

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NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 Astronauts Launch to International Space Station

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft is launched on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission to the International Space Station with NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Robert Hines, Jessica Watkins, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti onboard, Wednesday, April 27, 2022, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credits: NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

NASA Mission Update

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 astronauts are in orbit following their launch to the International Space Station at 3:52 a.m. EDT Wednesday, April 27, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The international crew of astronauts will serve as the fourth commercial crew rotation mission aboard the space station.

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Coverage Updated for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 Briefing, Events, Broadcast

NASA astronauts and Crew-4 crewmembers Jessica Watkins, Bob Hines and Kjell Lindgren stand alongside ESA astronaut and Crew-4 crewmember Samantha Cristoforetti. (Credit: SpaceX)

NASA Mission Update

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. — NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission, which will send astronauts to the International Space Station.

The launch is targeted for 3:52 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 27, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Dragon spacecraft, dubbed Freedom by the mission’s crew, is scheduled to dock to the space station at 8:15 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 27.

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Private Axiom 1 Mission Splashes Down After 17 Days in Space

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Axiom Space astronauts Michael López-Alegría, Larry Connor, Eytan Stibbe, and Mark Pathy have safely returned to Earth, marking the end of the Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1) – the first private astronaut mission to the International Space Station. SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft, carrying the crew of four and more than 200 pounds of science and supplies, including NASA experiments and hardware, undocked from the space station at 9:10 p.m. EDT on Sunday, April 24. About 16 hours later, the vehicle splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.

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Astrobotic to Unveil Peregrine Lander Today

A rendering of Astrobotic’s Peregrine lunar lander is shown, with NASA’s three water-detecting payloads (MSolo, NSS, and NIRVSS) highlighted in blue. (Credit: Astrobotic Technology)

WATCH LIVE TODAY: APRIL 20
3:00 pm EST

WHAT: Tune in to see flight hardware from the never-before-seen Peregrine lunar lander.

WHO: Speakers include:

CEO, Astrobotic, John Thornton
Founding Board Chair, Keystone Space Collaborative, Justine Kasznica
PA-8th, Congressman Matt Cartwright
NASA Administrator, Senator Bill Nelson
NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen
NASA Associate Administrator for Space Technology Mission Directorate, Mr. James L. Reuter

WHEN: Wednesday, April 20; 3:00-3:30 p.m. EST

TUNE IN

Astrobotic’s Peregrine will deliver a diverse suite of 24 payloads (cargo) to the Moon’s surface later this year.

Peregrine is set to be the first US lunar lander to touch down on the Moon since the Apollo missions nearly 50 years ago. You will also hear from local and national leaders in commercial space, who are gathering for the tri-state region’s first-ever space conference.

NASA Administrator Statement on White House ASAT Announcement

Bill Nelson

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson released this statement Tuesday following Vice President Kamala Harris’ announcement the U.S. will not conduct destructive anti-satellite missile testing (ASAT):

“Fifteen years ago, China’s military littered outer space with thousands of pieces of debris from a reckless ASAT missile test. Just a few months ago, another destructive ASAT test by the Russian military threatened U.S. and European astronauts, Russian cosmonauts, and Chinese taikonauts in space, as well as scientific and commercial on-orbit assets.

“There is no doubt that human spaceflight and the future of the space environment are incompatible with destructive direct-ascent ASAT missile tests. Vice President Harris and the Biden Administration’s leadership to address these threats and reduce risk is an important step forward to foster a safe, sustainable space environment – now and into the future. I encourage the world to join us in making this important commitment.”

For more information on NASA and agency activities, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov

NASA Releases Equity Action Plan to Make Space More Accessible to All

Lee esta nota de prensa en español aquí.

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to advance racial equity in the federal government, NASA has released its first-ever Equity Action Plan. The plan establishes key focus areas that will allow the agency to track progress toward improved diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility both internally and externally to NASA.

“At NASA, all of our missions depend on our steadfast commitment to equal opportunity,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “The Equity Action plan deepens our commitment to further identify and remove the barriers that limit opportunity in underserved and underrepresented communities. This framework anchors fairness as a core component in every NASA mission to make the work we do in space and beyond more accessible to all.”

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Coverage Set for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 Briefing, Events, Broadcast

Official portrait of Crew-4 astronauts Bob Hines, Samantha Cristoforetti, Jessica Watkins and Kjell Lindgren. (Credit: NASA-J.Valcarcel/ R.Markowitz/N.Moran)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of the upcoming prelaunch and launch activities for the agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission sending astronauts to the International Space Station.

The launch is targeted for 5:26 a.m. EDT Saturday, April 23, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Crew Dragon spacecraft, dubbed by Crew-4 as Freedom, is scheduled to dock to the space station at 6 a.m. Sunday, April 24.

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Ax-1 Mission Launches Successfully; 4 Private Astronauts En Route to Space Station

Ax-1 crew prior to launch. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (Axiom Space PR) — Axiom Space’s Axiom Mission 1 (Ax-1), the world’s first all-private astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS), launched Friday. The four-person multi-national crew of Ax-1 is now in orbit following an 11:17 a.m. EDT liftoff from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  

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Singapore Signs Artemis Accords

Deputy Executive Director of the Singapore Office for Space Technology & Industry Chris Leck, left, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Jennifer R. Littlejohn, Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, and Singapore Ambassador to the United States Ashok Kumar Mirpuri pose for a photo following Singapore’s signing of the Artemis Accords in Washington, March 28, 2022. (Credits: Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Singapore demonstrated its commitment to the peaceful and responsible exploration of space by signing the Artemis Accords, which set forth the guiding principles for cooperation among nations participating in NASA’s Artemis program. Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong signed the document during a ceremony March 28, 2022, in Washington.

Singapore is the 18th country to sign the Artemis Accords, more than doubling the original number of nations that signed in October 2020.

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Record-Setting NASA Astronaut, Crewmates Return from Space Station

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei is seen outside the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft after he landed with Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan on Wednesday, March 30, 2022. Vande Hei and Dubrov are returning to Earth after logging 355 days in space as members of Expeditions 64-66 aboard the International Space Station. For Vande Hei, his mission is the longest single spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut in history. Shkaplerov is returning after 176 days in space, serving as a Flight Engineer for Expedition 65 and commander of Expedition 66. (Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — After extending the record for the longest single spaceflight in history by an American to 355 days, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei returned to Earth on Wednesday, March 30, along with Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.

The trio departed the International Space Station at 3:21 a.m. EDT and made a safe, parachute-assisted landing at 7:28 a.m. (5:28 p.m. Kazakhstan time) southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan.

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NASA Administrator Statement on President’s FY 2023 Budget Request

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The President’s fiscal year 2023 budget would allow NASA to sustain America’s global innovation leadership and keep NASA at the forefront of exploration and discovery by returning to the Moon with the Artemis program, among other efforts. This budget would enable NASA to address climate change, drive economic growth, and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

The Biden-Harris Administration Monday submitted to Congress President Biden’s budget for fiscal year 2023. The President’s budget details his vision to expand on the historic progress our country has made over the last year and deliver the agenda he laid out in his State of the Union address – to build a better America, reduce the deficit, reduce costs for families, and grow the economy from the bottom up and middle out. 

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Annual State of NASA Address, Media Budget Briefing Set for March 28

Bill Nelson

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Bill Nelson will give the 2022 State of NASA address at 2 p.m. EDT on Monday, March 28, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The event will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

Nelson will highlight NASA’s plans to explore the Moon and Mars, address climate change, promote racial and economic equity, and drive economic growth while sustaining U.S. leadership in aviation and aerospace innovation.

Following the State of NASA, Associate Administrator Bob Cabana and Chief Financial Officer Margaret Vo Schaus will host a virtual media teleconference at 4:30 p.m. to discuss the Biden-Harris Administration’s fiscal year 2023 funding request for the agency. Joining them for questions and answers are senior leaders from each of NASA’s mission directorates.

Audio from the budget briefing will stream live on NASA’s website.

Timing of these activities are based on the President’s budget release on Monday and are subject to change. Budget proposal for NASA and supporting information will post online March 28 as soon as possible at:

https://www.nasa.gov/budget

NASA Provides Update to Astronaut Moon Lander Plans Under Artemis

An illustration of a suited Artemis astronaut looking out of a Moon lander hatch across the lunar surface, the Lunar Terrain Vehicle and other surface elements. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — As NASA makes strides to return humans to the lunar surface under Artemis, the agency announced plans Wednesday to create additional opportunities for commercial companies to develop an astronaut Moon lander.

Under this new approach, NASA is asking American companies to propose lander concepts capable of ferrying astronauts between lunar orbit and the lunar surface for missions beyond Artemis III, which will land the first astronauts on the Moon in more than 50 years.

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NASA to Release Draft RFP for Second Human Lunar Lander

Artist concept of the SpaceX Starship on the surface of the Moon. (Credits: SpaceX)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

NASA plans to release a draft request for proposal (RFP) by the end of the month for a second crewed lunar lander to join the Human Landing System (HLS) being developed by SpaceX, officials announced during a media conference on Wednesday.

“Competition is the key to our success,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in describing the Sustaining Lunar Development contract.

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