The LPI’s Lunar South Pole Atlas — A New Online Reference for Mission Planners

Credit: Lunar and Planetary Institute

HOUSTON and COLUMBIA, Md., May 17, 2019 (LPI/USRA PR) — The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), managed by Universities Space Research Association (USRA), has compiled and made available an atlas of the Moon’s south pole ( https://www.lpi.usra.edu/lunar/lunar-south-pole-atlas/). Given NASA’s recent direction to implement Space Policy Directive-1 landing astronauts at the south pole by 2024, the LPI has compiled a series of maps, images, and illustrations designed to provide context and reference for those interested in exploring this area.

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Scientists to Study How Fire Burns in Space

Saffire I experiment inside Cygnus. (Credit: NASA)

COLUMBIA, Md., June 2, 2017 (USRA PR) — Shortly after the Cygnus cargo vehicle (which launched in March 2017) undocks from the International Space Station on June 4, 2017, a team of researchers from NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), Universities Space Research Association (USRA) and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) will conduct the Spacecraft Fire Experiment-III (SAFFIRE III).

SAFFIRE III is the third in a series of six flight experiments to better understand how flames spread in microgravity and increase understanding of how an accidental fire might behave in space. “The SAFFIRE portfolio of experiments is providing the best data yet on how large fires behave in the microgravity environment of space,” said Christopher Pestak, Director of USRA operations at NASA GRC.

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Lunar and Planetary Institute Joins NASA’s New Virtual Institute

NASA_SSERVI-LOGOHOUSTON (USRA PR) — The Universities Space Research Association (USRA) is proud to announce NASA’s recent selection of scientists from USRA’s Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI), the Johnson Space Center (JSC), Arecibo Observatory, and colleagues at six universities to be one of the nine initial teams in NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI). SSERVI is a new organization that expands the scope of the NASA Lunar Science Institute to one that includes near-Earth asteroids and the moons of Mars.

The LPI/JSC team is led by Dr. David A. Kring, Senior Staff Scientist at the LPI and the founding Principal Investigator of the Center for Lunar Science and Exploration. Under the auspices of SSERVI, the team will continue to integrate science and exploration activities in a coordinated study of the Moon and the asteroids that bombard the Earth-Moon system. Those studies will include observations of existing near-Earth asteroids, studies of past collisional events in the Earth-Moon system, and the collisional evolution of the asteroid belt that delivers those objects to near-Earth space.

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USRA Scientists Complete Astronaut Researcher Training

USRA scientists in front of the centrifuge used for the suborbital flight simulations at The NASTAR Center. From left to right are Dr. Joanne Hill, Dr. Ramona Gaza, and Dr. Scott Wood.
USRA scientists in front of the centrifuge used for the suborbital flight simulations at The NASTAR Center. From left to right are Dr. Joanne Hill, Dr. Ramona Gaza, and Dr. Scott Wood.

USRA PRESS RELEASE

Three scientists with the Universities Space Research Association (USRA) successfully underwent training this week to gain familiarization with human suborbital spaceflight. Dr. Joanne E. (Joe) Hill, an astrophysicist with USRA working at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, and Dr. Scott J. Wood and Dr. Ramona Gaza, both with USRA’s Division of Space Life Sciences which carries out work for NASA’s Johnson Space Center, participated in the first such course being offered by the National AeroSpace Training and Research Center (The NASTAR Center). The two-day course ranged from altitude training and high-performance centrifuge training to learning about the industry and the opportunity to perform low-cost, hands-on projects in space. Research experiments that will take advantage of the coming era of commercial human spaceflight are already in development.

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Scientists Gather to Discuss Use of Space Tourism Vehicles for Research

Special Guest Blogger Amalie Sinclair submitted this report on a workshop that brought together researchers and commercial space companies in San Francisco:

On Monday, the Universities Space Research Association held the Human-Tended Suborbital Science Workshop in conjunction with NASA Ames Research Center and the Personal Spaceflight Federation.

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