#NASA; #NASALive; #NASATV; #DigitalVideoBroadcast; #IntegratedReceiverDecoder
NASA/Canadian-Media: Direct from America's space program to YouTube, watch NASA TV live streaming here to get the latest from our exploration of the universe and learn how we discover our home planet, NASA reports said.
NASA. Image credit: Twitter handle
NASA TV airs a variety of regularly scheduled, pre-recorded educational and public relations programming 24 hours a day on its various channels. The network also provides an array of live programming, such as coverage of missions, events (spacewalks, media interviews, educational broadcasts), press conferences and rocket launches.
In the United States, NASA Television's Public and Media channels are MPEG-2 digital C-band signals carried by QPSK/DVB-S modulation on satellite AMC-3, transponder 15C, at 87 degrees west longitude. Downlink frequency is 4000 MHz, horizontal polarization, with a data rate of 38.86 Mhz, symbol rate of 28.1115 Ms/s, and ¾ FEC. A Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) compliant Integrated Receiver Decoder (IRD) is needed for reception.
#Japan; #JAXA; #AsteroidRyugu; #Hayabusa2; #Woomera
Japan/Canadian-Media: Collection of the samples from asteroid Ryugu within the sample container inside the re-entry capsule of the asteroid explorer, Hayabusa2 was confirmed by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
The recovery of Hayabusa2 re-entry capsule was in Woomera, Australia took place on December 6, 2020 and delivered to the JAXA Sagamihara Campus on December 8 watched over by many people. Below is a movie and photos to share the excitement of the capsule arrival.
Movie "Banzai!" with thousands of emotions
On December 8th, 2020, the re-entry capsule arrived at the JAXA Sagamihara Campus,
Work to open the sample container inside the re-entry capsule began and on December 14, a sample of grains of black sand thought to be derived from asteroid Ryugu was confirmed to be inside the sample container. These are believed to be particles attached to the entrance of the sample catcher (the container in which the samples have been stored).
Work on opening the sample catcher that sits in the sample container would be continue and the removal of the samples would proceed with the analysis by the curation and initial analysis team.
Tsuda PM interviewed by the press
NASA selects Heliophysics missions of 0pportunity for space science research and technology demonstration
#NASA; #Heliophysics; #SpaceScienceResearch; #TechnologyDeminstration
NASA/Canadian-Media: NASA has selected two SmallSat missions – a study of Earth’s outer most atmosphere and a solar sail spaceflight test mission – to share a ride to space in 2025 with the agency’s Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe (IMAP), NASA reports said.
NASA has chosen two new science proposals for nine-month concept studies to advance our understanding of how the particles and energy in space – shown here flowing from the Sun in an illustration of the solar wind – affect the fundamental nature of space. One proposal will ultimately be chosen to launch along with NASA’s upcoming Interstellar Mapping and Acceleration Probe in October 2024. Image Credits: NASA
The missions – the Global Lyman-alpha Imagers of the Dynamic Exosphere (GLIDE) and Solar Cruiser – were selected as Solar Terrestrial Probes (STP) Missions of Opportunity. GLIDE will help researchers understand the upper reaches of Earth’s atmosphere – the exosphere – where it touches space. Solar Cruiser demonstrate the use of solar photons for propulsion in space.
The launch of the IMAP mission in 2025 to the first Lagrangian equilibrium point (L1), about 1 million miles towards the Sun, will be a pathfinder for NASA’s new RideShare policy. With the policy, the agency’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) will plan – from the inception of major missions – to take advantage of excess launch capacity and provide increased access to space for SmallSats. IMAP will help researchers better understand the interstellar boundary region, where the solar wind and the solar magnetic field it transfers to the edge of the solar system collide with galactic material and the galactic magnetic field.
Focusing on small satellites and tech demonstrations helps prove the capabilities of these smaller missions and pairing them with existing missions for launch provides more avenues for learning about the solar system and developing innovative technical capabilities.
“The study of the solar influence on interplanetary space and the area around our Earth has made great advances just in the past decade,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “I’m confident the next decade promises even more new discoveries and historic technology innovations.”
The science selection was made competitively from proposals to help better understand the fundamental nature of space and the interaction between space and Earth’s environment. As the selected science mission, GLIDE will study variability in Earth’s exosphere by tracking far ultraviolet light emitted from hydrogen. The exosphere is the outer region of Earth’s atmosphere that touches space – a region where atoms can escape Earth. Observing the global structure of the exosphere requires a telescope that is outside of the outer reaches of the atmosphere, which extend almost to the Moon. The IMAP launch trajectory to the inner Lagrangian point, the point of the Earth-Sun system that provides an uninterrupted view of the Sun, will provide just such a perspective for the GLIDE mission and is ideally suited for the first continuous observations of the exosphere and its variations in response to solar storm disruptions.
GLIDE will fill a measurement gap, as only a handful of comparable ultraviolet light images have previously been made from outside the exosphere. The mission will gather observations at a high rate, with a view of the entire exosphere, ensuring a global and comprehensive set of data. Understanding the ways in which Earth’s exosphere changes in response to influences of the Sun above or the atmosphere below, will provide us with better ways to forecast and, ultimately, mitigate the ways in which space weather can interfere with radio communications in space.
The principal investigator for GLIDE is Lara Waldrop at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The GLIDE investigation is budgeted for $75 million.
Solar Cruiser was selected as the technology demonstration mission. Consisting of a nearly 18,000-square-foot (nearly 1,700-square-meter) solar sail, it will demonstrate the ability to use solar radiation as a propulsion system. Such a system could provide access to new orbits enabling high-value science, including SmallSat observations from deep space, out of the ecliptic plane, and in stationary orbits in the Earth’s geo-tail. Solar Cruiser will demonstrate one such orbit, where a spacecraft maintains position along the Earth-Sun line at a point closer to the Sun than L1. By positioning a monitoring spacecraft closer to the Sun, space weather scientists hope to obtain more advanced warnings of solar storms headed to Earth.
The principal investigator for Solar Cruiser is Les Johnson at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The Solar Cruiser investigation is budgeted for $65 million.
A second STP science Mission of Opportunity, the Spatial/Spectral Imaging of Heliospheric Lyman Alpha (SIHLA), also was provided funding toward a final selection decision at a later date based on budget and RideShare opportunities. SIHLA would use an innovative technique to map the entire sky to determine the shape and underlying mechanisms of the boundary between the heliosphere, the area of our Sun’s magnetic influence, and the interstellar medium, a boundary known as the heliopause.
“Launching several missions together helps us maximize science while keeping costs down,” said Nicky Fox, Heliophysics Division director at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We’re expanding the range and composition of a robust fleet of missions studying the Sun and space weather, and these two new selections will help advance into areas where we need to know more.”
From the start of IMAP mission formulation, SMD planned to include secondary spacecraft on the launch under the agency’s SMD Rideshare Initiative, which cuts costs by sending multiple missions on a single launch. This launch will also include the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Follow-On mission, which will expand that agency’s space weather forecasting.
“Expanding our capabilities and knowledge through experimental missions using SmallSats and tech demos enables us to do and try so many more things,” said Peg Luce, deputy director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Our Sun has thrown a lot of interesting questions at us lately, and we’re using every avenue to study space weather and its impact on our planet and our solar system.”
Funding for these missions comes from the Heliophysics Solar Terrestrial Probes program, which is managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
#NASA; #TEAMII; #STEMProfession; #NASAMuseum&InformalEducationAlliance
NASA/Canadian-Media: NASA’s Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II) program has selected three additional informal education organizations to promote learning in STEM with the goal of inspiring the next generation of explorers, NASA reports said.
The Franklin Institute hosts astronomy activities to engage students in STEM through NASA's TEAM II award. Image credit: NASA
The three organizations supplement an initial group selected in December 2019. The selected projects provide students with opportunities to engage in science, technology, engineering, and math behind NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration and aim to reach populations that are historically underrepresented in STEM professions.
The selected organizations will implement their proposals over the next three years, as a part of NASA’s Museum & Informal Education Alliance– a nationwide network of informal education professionals at more than 1,000 science museums, planetariums, NASA visitor centers, Challenger Centers, youth-serving organizations, camps, and libraries, as well as visitor centers at observatories and parks, nature centers, aquariums, and zoos.
The projects will provide authentic mission-driven STEM learning experiences via hands-on and virtual toolkits, a traveling exhibit, and community-focused professional development. In total, approximately $3 million will be awarded through cooperative agreements, which provide additional opportunities for interaction between recipients and NASA beyond the grants previously awarded through TEAM II.
The newly selected institutions and their projects are:
Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colorado
From Our Town to the Moon, Mars, and Beyond
Using a combination of a traveling exhibit, activity programming kits, and professional development, libraries across the country will increase their capacity to use NASA resources and engage their patrons in NASA’s mission to return permanently to the Moon while moving forward to Mars. The project builds upon the success of the Space Science Institute’s From Our Town to Outer Space project, funded by TEAM II’s predecessor, Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums, and Visitor Centers, program.
The Sciencenter, Ithaca, New York
Explore Science: Destination Moon
The Sciencenter, in collaboration with other partners in the National Informal STEM Education Network, will create a toolkit of hands-on STEM activities based on NASA's continuing pursuit of human exploration of the Moon, as well as a mobile app that brings the excitement of future exploration of Mars and our solar system to home. The Sciencenter will distribute the toolkit to 350 science centers, children’s museums, and planetariums. The app will bridge STEM engagement in museums with learning experiences at home through interactive activity guides and customized connections to NASA visualizations and mission data.
The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia
Mission to Mars: Boosting Community Engagement with NASA Resources
The Franklin Institute will develop a nationwide outreach program to bring together dozens of national and community partnerships across the country around NASA’s space exploration agenda through a series of professional development experiences. These experiences will equip informal science institutions, community-based organizations, and amateur astronomers with the skills and resources to develop and deploy high-quality astronomy engagement experiences for families and youth.
The STEM experiences provided by TEAM II directly align with NASA missions, including plans to send astronauts to the Moon as part of the agency’s Artemis program and prepare for human exploration of Mars. NASA’s Artemis program will send science and technology demonstrations forward to the Moon before landing the first woman and next man on the lunar surface. Finding and using resources in deep space is a key step for human exploration farther into the solar system.
#NASA; #LunarResources; #ArtemisDemonstration
NASA/Canadian-Media: NASA has selected four companies to collect space resources and transfer ownership to the agency: Lunar Outpost of Golden, Colorado; Masten Space Systems of Mojave, California; ispace Europe of Luxembourg; and ispace Japan of Tokyo. Overall, the new NASA contracts with these companies totals $25,001, NASA reports said.
NASA. Image credit: Twitter handle
Space resources will play a key role in NASA’s Artemis program and future space exploration. The ability to extract and use extraterrestrial resources will ensure Artemis operations can be conducted safely and sustainably in support of establishing human lunar exploration. Moreover, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) will play a vital role in a future human mission to Mars. Like many other operations, ISRU activities will be tested and developed on the Moon, building the required knowledge to implement new capabilities that will be necessary to overcome the challenges of a human mission to Mars.
“These awards expand NASA’s innovative use of public-private partnerships to the Moon. We’re excited to join with our commercial and international partners to make Artemis the largest and most diverse global human space exploration coalition in history,” said Mike Gold, NASA’s acting associate administrator for international and interagency relations. “Space resources are the fuel that will propel America and all of humanity to the stars.”
A great deal of work remains to be done to develop robust ISRU capabilities. Both robotic and human explorers will test new technologies and techniques.
“Leveraging commercial involvement enhances our ability to safely return to the Moon in a sustainable, innovative, and affordable fashion,” said Phil McAlister, director of Commercial Spaceflight Development at NASA Headquarters. “A supportive policy for the recovery and use of space resources provides a stable and predictable investment environment for commercial space innovators and entrepreneurs.”
Companies will collect a small amount of lunar regolith from any location on the Moon and provide imagery to NASA of the collection and the collected material, along with data that identifies the collection location. Subsequent to receiving such imagery and data, an “in-place” transfer of ownership of the lunar regolith to NASA will take place. After ownership transfer, the collected material becomes the sole property of NASA for the agency’s use under the Artemis program.
NASA solicited fixed price quotes using simplified acquisition procedures and selected companies using the “low-priced, technically acceptable” selection method. The agency evaluated quotes and assigned a pass-fail rating based on their ability to satisfactorily meet the requirements of the solicitation. Companies were then selected from the acceptable proposals, in accordance with the agency’s available budget, starting with the lowest-priced proposals.
Details about the selection are: Lunar Outpost proposed collection for $1 following arrival of a lander to the lunar South Pole in 2023; ispace Japan proposed collection for $5,000 following arrival in 2022 of a lander to Lacus Somniorum on the Moon’s northeastern near side; ispace Europe proposed collection for $5,000 following arrival in 2023 of a lander to the lunar South Pole; Masten Space Systems proposed collection for $15,000 following arrival in 2023 of a lander to the lunar South Pole.
Companies will receive 10% of their total proposed price upon award, will receive 10% upon launch, and the remaining 80% upon successful completion. NASA’s payment is exclusively for the lunar regolith. The agency will determine retrieval methods for the transferred lunar regolith at a later date.
Companies must take all actions to perform the contracts in full compliance with the Registration Convention, Article II, and other provisions of the Outer Space Treaty, as well as in accordance with NASA’s other relevant international obligations. NASA will continue to publicly release data and scientific discoveries gained through safe and sustainable lunar exploration to benefit all of humanity.