Tag: NASA

Animation of New Horizons’ Flyby of Pluto

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Video Caption: The Pluto system as NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft saw it in July 2015. This animation, made with real images taken by New Horizons, begins with Pluto flying in for its close-up on July 14; we then pass behind Pluto and see the atmosphere glow in sunlight before the sun passes behind Charon. The movie ends with New Horizons’ departure, looking back on each body as thin crescents.

NASA to Build New Launch Control Center at Wallops

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Launch complexes on Wallops Island, Virginia

Launch complexes on Wallops Island, Virginia

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded a contract to Harkins Contracting Inc. of Salisbury, Maryland, for the construction of a new Mission Launch Command Center (MLCC) at the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia.
NASA Logo.

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NASA’s New Horizons Team Selects Potential Kuiper Belt Flyby Target

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Artist's impression of NASA's New Horizons spacecraft encountering a Pluto-like object in the distant Kuiper Belt. (Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Alex Parker)

Artist’s impression of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft encountering a Pluto-like object in the distant Kuiper Belt. (Credits: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Alex Parker)

LAUREL, Md. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits nearly a billion miles beyond Pluto.

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NASA Tech: Rocket Fuel Pump Tests Pave Way for 3-D Printed Engine

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Engineers prepare a 3-D printed turbopump for a test at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The turbopump was tested at full power, pumping 1,200 gallons of liquid hydrogen per minute, enough to power an upper stage rocket engine capable of generating 35,000 pounds of thrust. (Credits: NASA/MSFC/David Olive)

Engineers prepare a 3-D printed turbopump for a test at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The turbopump was tested at full power, pumping 1,200 gallons of liquid hydrogen per minute, enough to power an upper stage rocket engine capable of generating 35,000 pounds of thrust. (Credits: NASA/MSFC/David Olive)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — One of the most complex, 3-D printed rocket engine parts ever made, a turbopump, got its “heartbeat” racing at more than 90,000 revolutions per minute (rpms) during a successful series of tests with liquid hydrogen propellant at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. These tests along with manufacturing and testing of injectors and other rocket engine parts are paving the way for advancements in 3-D printing of complex rocket engines and more efficient production of future spacecraft.

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NASA Tech: Gecko Grippers Moving On Up

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This artist's concept shows how a future robot called LEMUR (Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot) could inspect and maintain installations on the International Space Station. The robot would stick to the outside using a gecko-inspired gripping system. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s concept shows how a future robot called LEMUR (Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot) could inspect and maintain installations on the International Space Station. The robot would stick to the outside using a gecko-inspired gripping system. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — A piece of tape can only be used a few times before the adhesion wears off and it can no longer hold two surfaces together. But researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are working on the ultimate system of stickiness, inspired by geckos.

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ASU CubeSat to Explore Moon

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An ASU-built CubeSat about the size of a shoebox will be used to produce a map of the water resources on the moon for future space exploration. It is the first ASU-led interplanetary mission. (Credit: Sean Amidan/ASU/SpaceTREx)

An ASU-built CubeSat about the size of a shoebox will be used to produce a map of the water resources on the moon for future space exploration. It is the first ASU-led interplanetary mission. (Credit: Sean Amidan/ASU/SpaceTREx)

ASU PR — A spacecraft the size of a shoebox with Arizona origins will soon be orbiting our nearest neighbor to create a map of water-ice on the moon.

The NASA-selected CubeSat will be designed, built and operated at Arizona State University and is one piece of the agency’s larger mission to fully characterize the water content at the lunar South Pole in preparation for exploration, resource utilization and improved understanding of the moon’s geologic history.

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NASA’s High Performance EVA Glove Development Program

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Prototype outer glove protective layer. (Credit: NASA)

Prototype outer glove protective layer. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Fact Sheet
Space Technology Game Changing Development
Next Generation Life Support: High Performance EVA Glove

NASA’s future missions involve deep space exploration to places where humans have not gone before. This poses many new challenges for which the existing astronaut extravehicu­lar activity (EVA) gloves are not designed. Current gloves are limited to use outside the International Space Station where the environment is relatively pristine and free from the debris and dust present in lunar, planetary and asteroid environments. Thermal conditions may also vary and require different technological approaches to ensure that the astronauts are protected. In addition to environmental differences that may necessitate design changes to the glove, hand injuries are one of the most common injuries that astronauts face. Over the past two decades, gloves have accounted for 47% of all reported injuries. While gloves have been modified over the years to address these issues, they are due for a full redesign.

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Final Frontier Design Wins NASA Spacesuit Glove Contract

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FFD evaluating tactility of an early-stage MCP glove prototype in delta pressure conditions. (Credit: Final Frontier Design)

FFD evaluating tactility of an early-stage MCP glove prototype in delta pressure conditions. (Credit: Final Frontier Design)

BROOKLYN, NY, August 24, 2015 (FFD PR) – Last week, Final Frontier Design (FFD) was awarded its first fixed-price contract for the delivery of a functioning mechanical counter pressure (MCP) glove system next Summer.

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ISS National Lab Experiments Arrive at Station

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casis_new_logoKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL, August 24, 2015 (CASIS PR) - The most recent series of payloads sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) successfully berthed to the International Space Station (ISS) onboard the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV-5). CASIS is tasked with managing and promoting research onboard the ISS U.S. National Laboratory.

These ISS National Lab payloads have been delivered in coordination with payload services provider, NanoRacks LLC, a private sector company that operates the only commercial research facility aboard the ISS via a Space Act agreement with NASA. Sponsored payloads that berthed to the ISS on this recent mission include:
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Send Your Name to Mars

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Mars InSight lander (Credit: NASA)

Mars InSight lander (Credit: NASA)

With NASA incapable of sending people to Mars for quite some time (hell, it can’t even send them to low Earth orbit at the moment), the space agency is offering people the opportunity to send their names to the Red Planet.

The names will be included on a silicon microchip that will be attached to NASA’s InSight lander, which is scheduled for launch to Mars in March.

Submissions will be accepted until Sept. 8. To send your name to Mars aboard InSight, go to:

http://go.usa.gov/3Aj3G

“Our next step in the journey to Mars is another fantastic mission to the surface,” said Jim Green, director of planetary science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “By participating in this opportunity to send your name aboard InSight to the Red Planet, you’re showing that you’re part of that journey and the future of space exploration.”

The fly-your-name opportunity comes with “frequent flier” points to reflect an individual’s personal participation in NASA’s journey to Mars, which will span multiple missions and multiple decades. The InSight mission offers the second such opportunity for space exploration fans to collect points by flying their names aboard a NASA mission, with more opportunities to follow.

Last December, the names of 1.38 million people flew on a chip aboard the first flight of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, which will carry astronauts to deep space destinations including Mars and an asteroid. After InSight, the next opportunity to earn frequent flier points will be NASA’s Exploration Mission-1, the first planned test flight bringing together the Space Launch System rocket and Orion capsule in preparation for human missions to Mars and beyond.

InSight will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California in March 2016 and land on Mars Sept. 28, 2016. The mission is the first dedicated to the investigation of the deep interior of the planet. It will place the first seismometer directly on the surface of Mars to measure Martian quakes and use seismic waves to learn about the planet’s interior. It also will deploy a self-hammering heat probe that will burrow deeper into the ground than any previous device on the Red Planet. These and other InSight investigations will improve our understanding about the formation and evolution of all rocky planets, including Earth.

For additional information about the InSight mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/insight/main/index.html

You can follow the mission on Facebook and Twitter at:

https://www.facebook.com/NASAInSight

and

https://twitter.com/nasainsight