Archives

September 2016



NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.


The House Committee on Armed Services held the hearing National Security Space - 21st Century Challenges, 20th Century Organization on Tuesday, September 27, 2016.


ESA's historic Rosetta mission has concluded as planned, with the controlled impact onto the comet it had been investigating for more than two years


BEAM, the new expandable module attached to the International Space Station, was opened up today for tests and equipment checks. The Expedition 49 crew also explored eating right in space, adapting to new technology and studied a variety of other life science and physics research.


The Rosetta mission came to an end today with the orbiter purposefully "crash" landing (softly) on the Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko just as the Philae lander had done previously.


NASA's Curiosity rover has found evidence that chemistry in the surface material on Mars contributed dynamically to the makeup of its atmosphere over time.


Swirling around the young star Elias 2-27 is a stunning spiral-shape pinwheel of dust.


For the first time beginning next month, forecasts of the regional effects of solar storms will help protect the power grid and communications satellites, thanks to a new tool developed by researchers at the University of Michigan and Rice University.


The three Expedition 49 crew members measured noise levels on the International Space Station today and continued exploring how physical and organic phenomena are affected by weightlessness.


On Tuesday, September 27th the Space Subcommittee of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee will held a hearing on "Are We Losing the Space Race to China."


Of the many challenges involved in sending humans on the journey to Mars, figuring out how to pack enough food for such a lengthy trip looms large.


The Loma Fire in California broke out on September 26, 2016, and quickly spread to be 2,250 acres in size.


Two different studies are under way on the International Space Station - one will observe how fuel burns in space while another is researching how medicine dissolves in water. Results from both experiments could benefit humans on Earth and in space.


Stevinus A (31.75°S, 51.55°E) is an 8 km diameter crater with very smooth, high albedo crater walls and low albedo streamers and streaks.


The theme of the third plenary at the 67th International Astronautical Congress taking place in Guadalajara, Mexico was Space and Climate: How Space Agencies Will Contribute to the Implementation and Follow-up of the Paris Agreement during COP 21?


When a star is young, it is often still surrounded by a primordial rotating disk of gas and dust, from which planets can form.


Researcher Don Hood from LSU and colleagues from collaborating universities studied an unusual region on Mars -- an area with high elevation called Thaumasia Planum.


In a presentation today at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, Elon Musk outlined his ambitious plan to colonize Mars. His personal motivation is to make humanity a multi-planetary species. The reason is to avoid an extinct level event on Earth that would wipe out humanity.


SpaceX has released the following video of their concept for an Interplanetary Transport System.


Mission managers are targeting the Oct. 9-13 timeframe for the launch of the sixth Orbital ATK resupply mission to the International Space Station. A pair of astronauts onboard the station are also training for the robotic capture of the Cygnus resupply ship from Orbital ATK when it arrives about two days after launch.


NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.


Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have imaged what may be water vapor plumes erupting off the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa. This finding bolsters other Hubble observations suggesting the icy moon erupts with high altitude water vapor plumes.


It's small, it's hot, and it's shrinking. New NASA-funded research suggests that Mercury is contracting even today, joining Earth as a tectonically active planet.


Today: NanoRack Cubesat Deployer (NRCSD) Removal: FE-5 removed the NanoRack deployer from the Multi-Purpose Experiment Platform (MPEP) Japanese Experiment Module Airlock (JEMAL) Slide Table, following the successful deployments of 8 DoveSat satellites last week.


Operation IceBridge, NASA's airborne survey of polar ice, is flying in Greenland for the second time this year, to observe the impact of the summer melt season on the ice sheet.


Sculpted by ancient water flowing on the surface, Mawrth Vallis is one of the most remarkable outflow channels on Mars.


Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins (pictured) of NASA conducted a six-hour and 48-minute spacewalk on Sept. 1, 2016.


Astronomers have captured the sharpest, most detailed observations of a comet breaking apart 67 million miles from Earth, using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.


Astronomers have found signs of a growing planet around TW Hydra, a nearby young star, using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).


German astronomers have measured the magnetic field in the vicinity of a supermassive black hole. A bright and compact feature of only 2 light-days in size was directly observed by a world-wide ensemble of millimeter-wave radio telescopes in the heart of the active galaxy NGC 1052.


In the last century, humans realized that space is filled with types of light we can't see - from infrared signals released by hot stars and galaxies, to the cosmic microwave background that comes from every corner of the universe. Some of this invisible light that fills space takes the form of X-rays, the source of which has been hotly contended over the past few decades.


Supermassive black holes, millions to billions of times the mass of our Sun, are found at the centers of galaxies.


The four spacecraft orbiting Earth in formation as part of NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission achieved a new record recently when the space between them was decreased from just over six miles to only four-and-a-half miles.


Ever since NASA's New Horizons spacecraft flew by Pluto last year, evidence has been mounting that the dwarf planet may have a liquid ocean beneath its icy shell.


Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams (feet) and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins (right) of NASA conducted a six-hour and 48-minute spacewalk on Sept. 1, 2016.


A new study by researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, funded by the National Science Foundation, has identified for the first time a process by which the solar wind is heated along extended regions of the Earth's magnetic shield as it penetrates through this barrier.


When astronauts in Orion venture far beyond Earth into deep space, they will expand humanity's frontier and push the boundaries of exploration.


Brief but powerful outbursts seen from Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko during its most active period last year have been traced back to their origins on the surface.


Large chunks of broken ice float in east-central Kazakhstan's Alakol Lake in this Copernicus Sentinel-2 image from 5 April 2016.


Astronauts Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi are continuing more eye checks today in the middle of day-long orbital plumbing work. Commander Anatoly Ivanishin packed trash in a resupply ship and researched a variety of Earth and space phenomena.


The UPSat team of engineers is proud to announce the delivery of the first completely open source software and hardware satellite.


Why the universe is dominated by matter today, instead of being comprised of equal parts matter and antimatter, is one of the most intriguing questions in all of science.


International teams of astronomers have used the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to explore the distant corner of the Universe first revealed in the iconic images of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF).


Two's company, but three might not always be a crowd -- at least in space. Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, and a trick of nature, have confirmed the existence of a planet orbiting two stars in the system OGLE-2007-BLG-349, located 8,000 light-years away towards the center of our galaxy.


The United States and Russia are working to get a pair of cargo ships ready for a mid-October launch schedule to the International Space Station. While the new shipments are being processed, the Expedition 49 crew conducted eye checks, wore carbon dioxide monitors and prepared for a fuel combustion experiment.


Now available is the September 21, 2016 NASA Future In-Space Operations (FISO) telecon material. The speakers was Philip McAlister (NASA HQ) who discussed "NASA Collaboration with SpaceX's Red Dragon Mission".


An experiment to explore the aftermath of cosmic dawn, when stars and galaxies first lit up the universe, has received nearly $10 million in funding from the National Science Foundation to expand its detector array in South Africa.


Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA conducted a six-hour and 48-minute spacewalk on Sept. 1, 2016.


On Sept. 15, 2016, NASA's Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission achieved a new record: Its four spacecraft are flying only four-and-a-half miles apart, the closest separation ever of any multi-spacecraft formation. The previous record was first set by MMS in October 2015, when the spacecraft achieved a flying separation of just over six miles apart.


Using ESO's Very Large Telescope and other telescopes a fossilised remnant of the early Milky Way harboring stars of hugely different ages has been revealed by an international team of astronomers.


India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle, in its thirty-seventh flight (PSLV-C35), will launch the 377 kg SCATSAT-1 for ocean and weather related studies and seven co-passenger satellites into polar Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO). Co-passenger satellites are from Algeria, Canada and USA as well as two satellites from Indian Universities/ Academic Institute.


Aboard the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins checks a sample for air bubbles prior to loading it in the biomolecule sequencer. When Rubins' expedition began, zero base pairs of DNA had been sequenced in space.


In research published today, Australian scientists have taken a critical step towards understanding why different types of galaxies exist throughout the universe.


Mars is a dusty place and you might not think it is surprising that we regularly see dust storms on its surface. But the phenomenon has puzzled scientists since the 1980s when experiments showed that typical wind speeds recorded on Mars are not strong enough to lift the dust.


The Expedition 49 crew is helping the pharmaceutical industry improve drug design while also helping researchers understand the properties of materials burning at high temperatures.


An international team using ALMA, along with ESO's Very Large Telescope and other telescopes, has discovered the true nature of a rare object in the distant universe called a Lyman-alpha blob.


Every day, NASA spacecraft beam down hundreds of petabytes of data, all of which has to be codified, stored and distributed to scientists across the globe.


Researchers have detected two massive holes which have been 'punched' through a stream of stars just outside the Milky Way, and found that they were likely caused by clumps of dark matter, the invisible substance which holds galaxies together and makes up a quarter of all matter and energy in the universe.


NASA's IceBridge, an airborne survey of polar ice, flew over the Helheim/Kangerdlugssuaq region of Greenland on Sept. 11, 2016.


ESA is now working with satellite operator Avanti Communications to bring a swathe of new affordable Internet services to more people across sub-Saharan Africa through the Hylas-4 telecom satellite, due for launch next year.


The puzzling appearance of an ice cloud seemingly out of thin air has prompted NASA scientists to suggest that a different process than previously thought -- possibly similar to one seen over Earth's poles -- could be forming clouds on Saturn's moon Titan.


Now available is the September 7, 2016 NASA Future In-Space Operations (FISO) telecon material. The speakers were Mark Lupisella, Jack Bleacher and Michael Wright of NASA GSFC who discussed "Low-Latency Teleoperations for the Evolvable Mars Campaign".


The occultation of stellar active regions during the planetary transit[1] can lead to inaccurate estimates of the characteristics of these exoplanets, especially the spin-orbit tilt angle.


The mystery of a rare change in the behaviour of a supermassive black hole at the centre of a distant galaxy has been solved by an international team of astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope along with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.


The three Expedition 49 crew members orbiting Earth right now are moving ahead today with human research and the upkeep of the International Space Station.


Now available is the August 31, 2016 NASA Future In-Space Operations (FISO) telecon material. The speaker was Jim Bell (ASU) who discussed "Telerobotics from Mars Orbit - Lessons from Robotic Exploration for Human Missions to Mars"


The Expedition 49 trio is looking at plant growth today after the successful deployment of eight nanosatellites Thursday. The crew also inspected a treadmill and trained to care for a sick or injured crew member.


On Sept. 14, officials from the White House and NASA discussed the space agency's Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) during a televised event at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.


Supermassive black holes, with their immense gravitational pull, are notoriously good at clearing out their immediate surroundings by eating nearby objects.


Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams (pictured) and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA conducted a six-hour and 48-minute spacewalk on Sept. 1, 2016.


NASA's Space to Ground is your weekly update on what's happening aboard the International Space Station.


Officials from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and NASA held a live Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) discussion at the space agency's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.


Today: NanoRack Cubesat Deployer (NRCSD) #9 Deployment: Overnight, ground controllers deployed the remaining three of four pairs of Planet Lab DoveSats from the NRCSD #9.


Southern China's Poyang Lake is the largest freshwater lake in the country. Located in Jiangxi province, this lake is an important habitat for migrating Siberian cranes, many of which spend the winter there.


After more than 12 years studying Saturn, its rings and moons, NASA's Cassini spacecraft has entered the final year of its epic voyage.