#NASA; AstronautsReturnFromSpaceStation; #Roscosmos
Washington, Apr 18 (Canadian-Media): NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan returned to Earth Friday, along with Soyuz Commander Oleg Skripochka of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, NASA reports said.
The Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft is seen as it lands in a remote area near the town of Zhezkazgan, Kazakhstan with Expedition 62 crew members Jessica Meir and Drew Morgan of NASA, and Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos, Friday, April 17, 2020. Meir and Skripochka returned after 205 days in space, and Morgan after 272 days in space. All three served as Expedition 60-61-62 crew members onboard the International Space Station.
Image Credits: NASA/GCTC/Andrey Shelepin
The trio departed the International Space Station at 9:53 p.m. EDT Thursday and made a safe, parachute-assisted landing at 1:16 a.m. Friday in Kazakhstan (11:16 a.m. local time), southeast of the remote town of Dzhezkazgan. During their first spaceflight, Morgan and Meir contributed to hundreds of experiments in biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development.
Morgan’s nine-month mission began July 20, 2019. His 272-day flight spanned Expeditions 60-62, encompassing a total of 4,352 Earth orbits and a journey of 115.3 million miles. Morgan’s extended stay in space will increase knowledge about how the human body responds to longer-duration spaceflight, through the various investigations he supported, including the Fluid Shifts study. He also conducted seven spacewalks – totaling 45 hours and 48 minutes – four of which were to improve and extend the life of the station’s Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer as it looks for evidence of dark matter in the universe.
Meir and Skripochka, who launched on the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft Sept. 25, 2019, spent 205 days in space, making 3,280 orbits of Earth during a trip of 86.9 million miles. During her first spaceflight, Meir conducted the first three all-woman spacewalks with crewmate Christina Koch of NASA, totaling 21 hours and 44 minutes. Among the investigations to which she contributed is a study co-led by a former colleague of hers, examining how human heart tissue functions in space. Skripochka is completing his third spaceflight for a cumulative 536 days in orbit.
After post-landing medical checks, the crew will return by Russian helicopters to the recovery staging city in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, where they will split up. Morgan and Meir will board a NASA plane located in the adjacent city of Kyzlorda, Kazakhstan, for a flight back to Houston. Skripochka will board a Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center aircraft in Baikonur to return to his home in Star City, Russia.
Among the research experiments to which the Expedition 62 crew contributed was the Droplet Formation Study, which evaluates water droplet formation, water flow and, indirectly, the perceived pressure of current shower head technology as compared to the industry-standard use of jet nozzles. The study examines droplet size and speed and how they affect the feeling of increased pressure for the end user. Another experiment to which the crew contributed was Mochii, a miniature scanning electron microscope used to conduct real-time, on-site imaging and composition measurements of particles. Analysis of small and microscopic particles is a critical need for human space exploration beyond low-Earth orbit when samples cannot be returned to Earth immediately for analysis.
When the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft with Meir, Morgan and Skripochka departed, Expedition 63 officially began aboard the station, with NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy serving as station commander and Roscosmos’ Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner serving as flight engineers.
The crew members of Expedition 63 are scheduled to be aboard the station to welcome NASA astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley, the first astronauts to launch from American soil to the space station since 2011, on NASA’s upcoming SpaceX Demo-2 flight test.
#Washington; #NASA; #AeronauticsResearchGoals; #ULI; #NASAAmesResearchCenter; #AAM
Washington, Apr 12 (Canadian-Media): NASA has selected five teams led by university faculty and students to examine a range of technical areas in support of the agency’s aeronautics research goals, NASA reports said.
Students from a current ULI team discuss results of their research.
Image Credits: Hans Sati Goertz, University of Tennessee
Known as the University Leadership Initiative (ULI), the project will provide a total of $32.8 million to the five teams during the next four years.
“Each of these teams is working on important problems that definitely will help break down barriers in ways that will benefit the U.S. aviation industry,” said John Cavolowsky, director of NASA’s Transformative Aeronautics Concepts Program in Washington, D.C.
This is the third time NASA Aeronautics has reached out to the academic community in this way. Five teams were selected in 2017 and three teams announced in 2019.
Unlike other NASA-funded research programs in which the agency specifies the project goals, universities are asked to come up with a compelling investigation, so long as that technical challenge addresses one of the strategic research thrusts of NASA.
Another key goal of ULI is for the student researchers involved to gain experience in leading a multidisciplinary team made up of partners from other universities and industry, especially representing those who traditionally have not applied their skills to aviation problems.
“We’ve also sought to emphasize inclusion of universities that serve underrepresented student populations and I think we’ve been successful this year in achieving that goal,” said Koushik Datta, ULI project manager at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley.
For the first time, a ULI team will be led by a historically black university, North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro. Moreover, team leader Oklahoma State University in Stillwater is known for graduating the most Native American students of any school in the nation.
The five team leaders and their research topics are:
North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
The team seeks to develop a novel integration of secure and safe autonomous systems used on unmanned Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) aircraft with the goal of advancing their technical readiness level and be ready for industry to consider using these technologies. The team intends to validate these systems with flight tests of multiple aircraft.
The team will receive $8 million over four years. Team members include Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana; Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta; Aurora Flight Sciences in Manassas, Virginia; Alaka’i Technologies Corporation in Hopkinton, Massachusetts; General Atomics Aeronautical Systems in Poway, California; and Northrop Grumman Corporation in Linthicum, Maryland.
Oklahoma State University
The team will look for ways to improve real-time weather forecasting of low-level winds and turbulence in both rural and urban environments with an eye to improving safety for Unmanned Aircraft Systems flying in AAM operations.
The team will receive $5.2 million over four years. Team members include the University of Oklahoma in Norman; University of Nebraska Lincoln; University of Kentucky in Lexington; National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado; Vigilant Aerospace Systems Inc. in Oklahoma City; AirXOS, part of GE Aviation, in Boston; and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
The team will seek to develop tools that ensure machine learning in autonomous systems used by unmanned AAM aircraft work as expected in real-time, as well as to employ fault detection and recovery methods if they do not, particularly in situations involving taxiing, landing and collision avoidance.
The team will receive $8 million over four years. Team members include the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge; Georgia Tech in Atlanta; University of New Mexico in Albuquerque; Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia; University of California, Berkeley; MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts; and United Technologies Research Center Inc. in Berkeley, California.
University of Delaware
Using a composite supply method already developed under a Defense Advanced Research Project Agency program, the team plans to demonstrate the ability to produce aerospace-quality components at a rate comparable to that of the automotive industry.
The work supports a NASA research goal to find ways to help manufacturers increase the rate at which they can produce hardware using composite materials.
The team will receive $5.9 million over four years. Team members include Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Joby Aviation in Santa Cruz, California; Spirit AeroSystems Inc. in Wichita, Kansas; Advanced Thermoplastic Composites Manufacturing in Post Falls, Idaho; American Composite Manufacturers Association in Arlington, Virginia; Arkema Inc. in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; and SGL Carbon in Charlotte, North Carolina.
University of South Carolina
The team seeks to develop tools and technology to help better understand and safely use a composite tape made of thermoplastic in designing and manufacturing parts for an AAM vehicle. Two structural parts typical of an AAM vehicle – a fan blade and airframe shell component – will be designed and built to demonstrate the technology.
The team will receive $5.7 million over four years. Team members include the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg; Boise State University in Boise, Idaho; Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina; The Boeing Company in Chicago; Joby Aviation in Santa Cruz, California; Toray Advanced Composites USA in Morgan Hill, California; Ingersoll Machine Tools Inc. in Rockford, Illinois; Smart Tooling in Xenia, Ohio; C. A. Litzler Co. Inc. in Cleveland; Schrӧdinger in New York City; and Collins Aerospace in Melbourne, Florida.
A fourth round of ULI request for proposals is anticipated to be announced soon. An online virtual workshop for interested participants is currently scheduled for Thursday, April 30. More information is available at this ULI website.
#Washingon; #NASA; #EarthDayAtHome
Washington, Apr 12 (Canadian-Media): As the world observes the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, NASA is highlighting the agency’s many contributions to sustaining and improving our home planet’s environment with a week of online events, stories, and resources, NASA reports said.
NASA science and technology is helping us all live more sustainably on our home planet and adapt to natural and human-caused changes. Image credit; NASA
NASA’s investment in space – both the unique Earth science we conduct from orbit and the technology we’ve developed by living in space and exploring our solar system and universe – is returning benefits every day to people around the world, particularly those who are working on environmental issues. From documenting Earth’s changing climate to creating green technologies to save energy and natural resources, NASA is helping us all live more sustainably on our home planet and adapt to natural and human-caused changes.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, no in-person NASA activities are planned for Earth Day. However, NASA is bringing people together virtually for Earth Day with new online content, programming, and activities, including an extensive array of at-home projects in the #EarthDayAtHome collection, which debuts Thursday, April 16.
NASA’s observation of the Earth Day golden anniversary began on March 3 with a “50-Day Countdown” of daily social media posts highlighting many of the agency’s Earth images and environmental projects. All of these posts are available on a blog updated daily on NASA’s Earth Day website, which also includes a toolkit of activities for students and families. New content will be posted to the site beginning Monday, April 13. The NASA Earth Facebook account and @NASAEarth on Twitter and Instagram also will have special content through Earth Day.
Highlights of NASA Earth Day content and activities over the next two weeks:
Monday, April 13: NASA’s Curious Universe podcast – From the sights and sounds of the Amazon rainforest, where scientists study how this massive ecosystem is changing, to Los Angeles, where one NASA scientist found her calling to study air pollution, this episode takes listeners on a tour of the many ways the agency observes and studies our home planet.
Wednesday, April 15: Make Your Own Satellite View of Earth – Explore 20 years of satellite views of our home planet in NASA’s online data archive and create your own Earth Day snapshot or animated GIF with the NASA Worldview data visualization application. An easy-to-use map interface lets you explore this global archive to see hurricanes forming, wildfires spreading, icebergs drifting, and more. A special Earth Day gallery of images will be available on Wednesday, April 15 for inspiration along with a tutorial to help you use Worldview to create your own Earth Day images.
Thursday, April 16: NASA’s Earth Day at Home – Although people around the world are socially distancing, NASA is creating an opportunity to observe Earth Day virtually with the #EarthDayAtHome collection of new and curated activities and information that debuts on Thursday, April 16, on nasa.gov/earthday. The collection includes at-home science activities, videos from Earth and space, downloadable posters, social media engagement and more. Many resources will be available in both English and Spanish. Everyone is encouraged to share images of what they did to observe Earth Day using the hashtag #EarthDayAtHome.
Lecture: “How NASA Observes Earth from Air and Orbit” – NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, will host a livestream of its monthly von Kármán lecture on how NASA monitors global change from space and from closer to the ground, with aircraft, boats and buoys. This webcast will be conducted via video conference, with speakers joining remotely from home. Watch live at 10 p.m. EDT via YouTube and submit your questions via the chat feature.
Wednesday, April 22: “NASA Science Live” broadcast – The Earth Day episode will feature experts from around the agency talking about how NASA science and technology are used to understand and improve our environment. The half-hour program will explore important discoveries about our home planet, advances in green technology and aircraft, and a new interactive app to let anyone at home help NASA map coral reefs around the world. The program airs at 3 p.m. on NASA TV, YouTube Premiere, Facebook Watch Party and Periscope/Twitter.
Earth Science Video Talks – NASA Earth science experts have recorded a series of short videos on a wide range of topics, from scientific advances since the first Earth Day to research expeditions in the air and on the ground. The series will be posted in a playlist on NASA’s Science Mission Directorate YouTube channel.
Live Q&A with Astronaut Chris Cassidy – NASA’s Chris Cassidy, who just arrived at the International Space Station on April 9, will answer questions submitted by social media users wanting to know more about his spaceflight experience and his views of our home planet from 250 miles above. Viewers can tune in to NASA TV starting at 12:10 p.m. to see questions answered live from the orbiting laboratory.
Tumblr Answer Time: NASA Earth Science – In collaboration with Tumblr, Sandra Cauffman, acting director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, and Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, will go live on NASA’s blog to answer questions submitted by followers about how the agency uses space to protect and sustain our home planet. Users across Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr will be able to submit questions starting Monday, April 13. The two experts will engage directly with users by recording video answers from their homes for the agency’s first-ever Answer Time hosted by NASA science leadership. Videos will be released from 1-2 p.m. on NASA’s Tumblr Blog.
Instagram Takeover with Astronaut Jessica Meir – In a collaboration with Instagram, NASA’s Jessica Meir created a series of short videos from the International Space Station about the science done on the station and how it relates back to Earth. The videos will be released from Instagram on Earth Day while NASA social media accounts share related content. Instagram will also feature a love letter to Earth from space written by Meir while aboard the station.
#NASA; #LiveMediaTeleconference; #NASATV; #NASAAstronauts;
Washington, Apr 4 (Canadian-Media): Three NASA astronauts will participate in a live media teleconference at 10:45 a.m. EDT Friday, April 10. The teleconference will stream on NASA TV and the agency’s website, NASA reports said.
The International Space Station in low Earth orbit. Image credit: NASA
Expedition 62 flight engineers Chris Cassidy, Jessica Meir and Andrew Morgan will be available to answer questions from orbit. Recorded video of the crew working on the International Space Station will air at 10:30 a.m.
Due to time limitations, interested media must RSVP to Johnson's newsroom at 281-483-5111 no later than 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 8. Questions can also be submitted in advance to @space_station using the hashtag #askNASA.
Meir and Morgan are scheduled to return home to Earth Friday, April 17. Morgan launched July 20, 2019, for an extended duration mission. Meir and Expedition 62 commander Oleg Skripochka launched to the space station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft on Sept. 25, 2019. It is the first spaceflight for both Morgan and Meir. Morgan, who considers New Castle, Pennsylvania, to be his hometown, has participated in six spacewalks, including four to help repair a cosmic ray detector experiment called the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. Meir, who is from Caribou, Maine, participated in the first three all-woman spacewalks.
Cassidy and his Expedition 63 crewmates, Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, are scheduled to launch and arrive at the space station Thursday, April 9. Cassidy, who considers York, Maine, to be his hometown, will become commander of Expedition 63 when Meir, Morgan and Skripochka return home.
The teleconference will take place on Cassidy’s first day on his third spaceflight, Meir’s 199th day in space during her mission, and Morgan’s 266th day in space, placing him fourth on the list of American astronauts for total time in space during one spaceflight.
For almost 20 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space, including the Moon and Mars. As a global endeavor, 239 people from 19 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 2,800 research investigations from researchers in 108 countries.
#NASA; #NASAArtemisGeneration; #Mars;
Washington, Apr 2 (Canadian-Media): More than 12,000 people have applied to join NASA’s next class of astronauts, demonstrating strong national interest to take part in America’s plans to explore the Moon and take humanity’s next giant leap – human missions to Mars, NASA reports said.
Thousands of Americans apply to be the next Artemis generation astronauts. Credits: NASA
Applications were received from every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, and four U.S. territories. However, the process is just beginning for NASA’s Astronaut Selection Board, which will assess the applicants’ qualifications and invite the most qualified candidates to the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston for interviews and medical tests before making a final selection. NASA expects to introduce the new astronaut candidates in the summer of 2021.
“We’ve entered a bold new era of space exploration with the Artemis program, and we are thrilled to see so many incredible Americans apply to join us,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “The next class of Artemis Generation astronauts will help us explore more of the Moon than ever before and lead us to the Red Planet.”
The application for the newest class of astronauts opened March 2 and closed March 31. The number of people who applied to be an astronaut represents the second-highest number of applications NASA has ever received, surpassed only by the record of 18,300 set by the most recent class of astronauts who graduated in January.
For this round of applications, NASA increased the education requirement for applicants from a bachelor’s degree to a master’s degree in a science, technology, math, or engineering field. In addition, the application period was shortened from two months to one.
“We’re able to build such a strong astronaut corps at NASA because we have such a strong pool of applicants to choose from,” said Anne Roemer, manager of the Astronaut Selection Board and director of human resources at Johnson. “It’s always amazing to see the diversity of education, experience and skills that are represented in our applicants. We are excited to start reviewing astronaut applications to identify the next class of astronaut candidates.”
Since the 1960s, NASA has selected 350 people to train as astronaut candidates for its increasingly challenging missions to explore space. With 48 astronauts in the active astronaut corps, more will be needed to serve as crew aboard spacecraft bound for multiple destinations and propel exploration forward as part of Artemis missions and beyond.
Once selected, the astronaut candidates will go through approximately two years of initial skills training, such as spacewalking, robotics, and spacecraft systems, as well as expeditionary behavior skills, such as leadership, followership, and teamwork. After completing training, the new astronauts could launch on American rockets and spacecraft -- developed for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program -- to live and work aboard the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth. There they will take part in experiments that benefit life at home and prepare us for the Moon and Mars.
This new class also may launch aboard NASA’s powerful new Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft for Artemis missions to the Moon. Beginning in 2024, NASA will send the first woman and next man to the lunar surface and will establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028. Gaining insights from new experiences on and around the Moon will prepare NASA to send the first humans to Mars in the 2030s.
#NASA; #NASAAwards; ARDESIIContract; APL
Washington, Apr 2 (Canadian-Media): NASA has awarded the Aerospace, Research, Development, and Engineering Support Services (ARDES) II contract to Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, to execute robotic space missions for the agency through the full mission life cycle, from mission concept and formulation through data analysis, NASA reports said.
Image credit: Twitter handle
The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract has a minimum ordering value of $50 million, and a maximum ordering value for the base period of $1 billion. The maximum ordering value of the contract, inclusive of an option period, is $2 billion. The contract provides for placement of cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed price task orders. The contract was awarded with a five-year base period, which began March 30, and one five-year option period, which, if exercised, will begin on March 30, 2025.
Under the ARDES II contract, APL will maintain an essential research capability in space systems engineering, with supporting capabilities required to perform all aspects of robotic space missions as follows: engineering and science technology; systems test and evaluation; information technology; and simulation, modeling, and operations analysis.
#NASA; #NASAatHOME; #VirtualTour; #AugmentedRealityTour; #SomehingForWholeFamily
Washington, Apr 2 (Canadian-Media): NASA’s new Internet and social media special, NASA at Home, will show and engage you in the agency’s discoveries, research, and exploration from around the world and across the universe – all from the comfort of your own home, NASA reports said.
Image credit: NASA
NASA at Home offers something for the whole family. It brings together a repository of binge-worthy videos and podcasts, engaging E-books on a variety of topics, do-it-yourself projects, and virtual and augmented reality tours, which include the agency’s Hubble Space Telescope and International Space Station, as well as an app that puts you in the pilot’s seat of a NASA aircraft.
“We know people everywhere, especially students, are looking for ways to get out of the house without leaving their house,” said Bettina Inclán, associate administrator for NASA’s Office of Communications. “NASA has a way for them to look to the skies and see themselves in space with their feet planted safely on the ground, but their imaginations are free to explore everywhere we go. We’ve put that information at their fingertips. We hope everyone takes a few moments to explore NASA at Home.”
This special also spotlights educational and entertaining resources and activities for families and students in kindergarten and up. Plus, it provides access to everything from formal lesson plans to amazing imagery and stories about how science and exploration help the world.
If you want to practice safe science at home, we have opportunities for citizen scientists to contribute to real ongoing research, from our solar system’s backyard to your own backyard. This includes searching for brown dwarfs and planets in our outer solar system and helping track changes in clouds, water, plants, and other life in support of climate research.
NASA at Home will feature ongoing opportunities to interact and hear from agency experts. For example, record-breaking astronaut Christina Koch reads children’s books weekdays at 4 p.m. EDT on Instagram live as part of educational and STEM activity for students.
NASA Television also is running NASA at Home-themed programming 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, as well as broadcasting around-the-clock with recent mission events and news, conversations with astronauts on the International Space Station, educational looks at science, technology and exploration topics, and historical programs from the agency’s storied past.
So, check in regularly with #NASAatHome for the latest and greatest the universe has to offer!