Archives

January 2017



On January 31, 2017, NASA observed its annual Day of Remembrance to commemorate the crews of Apollo 1, and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, as well as other members of the NASA family who lost their lives furthering the cause of exploration. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the accidental fire, that occurred inside an Apollo spacecraft on the launch pad at Cape Kennedy, that tragically claimed the lives of Apollo 1 astronauts, Virgil Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee.


Scientists are researching how International Space Station astronauts adapt to new technology as NASA prepares to send humans beyond low-Earth orbit. Crew members will have to learn how to operate new types of spacecraft and adjust to planetary surfaces with different microgravity environments.


A layer of dry ice covers the South Polar layered deposits every winter. In the spring, gas created from heating of the dry ice escapes through ruptures in the overlying seasonal ice, entraining material from the ground below.


Newly released images showcase the incredible closeness with which NASA's Cassini spacecraft, now in its "ring-grazing" orbits phase, is observing Saturn's dazzling rings of icy debris.


In a lab at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, engineers simulated conditions that astronauts in space suits would experience when the Orion spacecraft is vibrating during launch atop the agency's powerful Space Launch System rocket.


Thomas Pesquet: Ethiopian landscapes are just as colourful! Here is the largest lake of the country, Lake Tana


No Earth-based telescope could ever capture a view quite like this. Earth-based views can only show Saturn's daylit side, from within about 25 degrees of Saturn's equatorial plane.


Expedition 50 Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) and Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA commanded the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm to release a Japanese cargo vehicle at 10:46 a.m. EST.


Tethys, one of Saturn's larger icy moons, vaguely resembles an eyeball staring off into space in this view from NASA's Cassini spacecraft.


This image of a crescent Jupiter and the iconic Great Red Spot was created by a citizen scientist (Roman Tkachenko) using data from Juno's JunoCam instrument.


NASA has successfully completed the exploration upper stage (EUS) preliminary design review for the powerful Space Launch System rocket.


Thomas Pesquet: The sun reflecting on the Brahmaputra River in #India.


When NASA's Commercial Crew Astronauts make their first trip to the International Space Station aboard Boeing's Starliner spacecraft, they'll be outfitted in new custom-designed spacesuits.


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


Thomas Pesquet: As the sun rises on the International Space Station, we prepare to say farewell to HTV6.


The lesser-known constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs), is home to a variety of deep-sky objects -- including this beautiful galaxy, known as NGC 4861. Astronomers are still debating on how to classify it.


A new tribute opened Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, dedicated to the lives, accomplishments and memories of the three astronauts who perished 50 years ago in a launch pad fire while training for the flight of Apollo 1.


The Expedition 50 crew is getting ready for Friday morning's release of Japan's sixth cargo craft to visit the International Space Station. The station residents are also continuing to explore how their eyes adapt to living in space for months at a time.


An area over the western end of the US state of Texas is pictured in this image from the Sentinel-2A satellite from 13 March 2016.


Researchers have used remote sensing data to map out the functional diversity of forests in the Peruvian Andes and Amazon basin, a technique that has revealed hotspots for conservation.


Space is hard. While startups success rates are slowly increasing in low earth orbit (LEO), it's even harder for startups looking beyond low earth orbit. In fact, no company with the goal of operating a commercial enterprise near or on the moon, can call themselves a success, yet. But just maybe we'll the emergence of one as a the result of the Google Lunar XPRIZE.


Today: Fluid Shifts Chibis Imaging Day 2: The Flight Day 45 Chibis session for the 49S crew was planned this morning, however due to Joint Station LAN (JSL) network issues the session had to be cancelled. This Fluid Shifts session will be replanned for tomorrow.


Thin, blade-like walls, some as tall as a 16-story building, dominate a previously undocumented network of intersecting ridges on Mars, found in images from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.


NASA calculated California's rainfall over seven days using a constellation of satellites and created a map to provide the visual extent of the large rainfall totals.


In September 2015, a team of astronomers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, University of Michigan, Kyoto Sangyo University, Rikkyo University and the University of Tokyo successfully observed the entire hydrogen coma of the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, using the LAICA telescope onboard the PROCYON spacecraft.


The Expedition 50 crew members explored a variety of space phenomena today to help researchers improve life for humans and stimulate children's curiosity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.


The JunoCam imager on NASA's Juno spacecraft snapped this shot of Jupiter's northern latitudes on Dec. 11, 2016 at 8:47 a.m. PST (11:47 a.m. EST)


More than 100 billion micrometeorites (MMs) fall to Earth each year. Until now, scientists believed that these particles could only be found in the cleanest environments, such as the Antarctic.


Mission controllers are preparing to release Japan's Kounotori cargo ship from the International Space Station at the end of the week. Meanwhile, the Expedition 50 crew is getting ready for a new protein crystal experiment and reconfiguring combustion science gear.


Thomas Pesquet: A veil of clouds creeps ominously over a snowy plain. Not a poem for Sunday, but a common sight over Earth!


This stunning image, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), shows part of the sky in the constellation of Sagittarius (The Archer).


The International Space Station residents are wrapping up their work week today installing and checking science communications gear. The Expedition 50 crew is also continuing to explore how long-term space flight affects eyesight.


Since the GOES-16 satellite lifted off from Cape Canaveral on November 19, scientists, meteorologists and ordinary weather enthusiasts have anxiously waited for the first photos from NOAA's newest weather satellite, GOES-16, formerly GOES-R.


The appearance of small bodies in the outer solar system could be deceiving. Asteroids and dwarf planets may be camouflaged with an outer layer of material that actually comes from somewhere else.


Like cosmic lighthouses sweeping the universe with bursts of energy, pulsars have fascinated and baffled astronomers since they were first discovered 50 years ago.


What would it be like to actually land on Pluto? This movie was made from more than 100 images taken by NASA's New Horizons spacecraft over six weeks of approach and close flyby in the summer of 2015.


NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced on Jan. 18, that global surface temperatures in 2016 were the warmest since modern record keeping began in 1880.


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


The Expedition 50 crew is continuing its investigation into vision changes and eye damage some astronauts have experienced after long-term missions in space.


The volcanic landscape of the largest island in the Hawaiian archipelago is pictured in this Sentinel-2A satellite image.


Thomas Pesquet: So cool to watch these micro satellites fly in formation above Earth on Tuesday. Peggy took fantastic shots, and Shane some great videos.


Christer Fuglesang, a veteran of five spacewalks and a professor of particle physics, will present a five-week online course on human spaceflight beginning on 23 January.


Following a successful pair of spacewalks, the Expedition 50 crew has switched gears and is moving full-speed ahead with advanced space research. The orbital residents checked out science gear and studied the impacts of living in space.


The wavemaker moon, Daphnis, is featured in this view, taken as NASA's Cassini spacecraft made one of its ring-grazing passes over the outer edges of Saturn's rings on Jan. 16, 2017. This is the closest view of the small moon obtained yet.


Last week NASA Administrator Bolden and his deputy, Dava Newman, held a farewell town hall meeting for NASA employees. While the event was not publicly televised I had a chance to watch it shortly after it aired live. Here are @NASAWatch tweets of the highlights of the event.


Today: Extra-vehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Loop Scrub: Today, the crew configured EMUs 3006 and 3008 for loop scrubbing following last week's EVA.


Earth's 2016 surface temperatures were the warmest since modern recordkeeping began in 1880, according to independent analyses by NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).


Scientists used NASA's Curiosity Mars rover in recent weeks to examine slabs of rock cross-hatched with shallow ridges that likely originated as cracks in drying mud.


Astronomers have discovered a cosmic one-two punch unlike any ever seen before. Two of the most powerful phenomena in the Universe, a supermassive black hole, and the collision of giant galaxy clusters, have combined to create a stupendous cosmic particle accelerator.


Thomas PesquetL Europe's roof - Mont Blanc! I was lucky enough to climb it one summer in the best company.


NASA pays tribute to former NASA astronaut Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, who died Monday, January 16 at the age of 82 following ongoing health issues according to a statement from his family.


Today: Japanese-Small Satellite Orbital Deployer-6 (J-SSOD-6) Deployment: Today four deployers, holding six satellites, were grappled by the JEM Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS) and deployed.


New images from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) reveal stunning details of our Sun, including the dark, contorted center of an evolving sunspot that is nearly twice the diameter of the Earth.


The beautiful spiral galaxy visible in the center of the image is known as RX J1140.1+0307, a galaxy in the Virgo constellation imaged by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and it presents an interesting puzzle.


Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough from NASA and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency concluded their spacewalk at 12:20 p.m. EST.


This image of a well-preserved unnamed elliptical crater in Terra Sabaea, is illustrative of the complexity of ejecta deposits forming as a by-product of the impact process that shapes much of the surface of Mars.


Outside the International Space Station, Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency conducted a spacewalk on Jan. 13, to complete an upgrade that included installing adapter plates and hooking up electrical connections for six new lithium-ion batteries, which were delivered to the station in December.


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


Outside the International Space Station, Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency conducted a spacewalk in U.S. spacesuits to upgrade the system for the 1A power channel of the orbital laboratory's starboard 4 (S4) truss solar arrays.


This is what a spacewalk is: 400km of void under your feet.


A young boy in Chile wearing a NASA t-shirt explains a computer game to Pete Worden from Breakthrough Initiatives. How did he get that t-shirt? Why is he wearing it?


Expedition 50 astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Thomas Pesquet are ready for their mission's second spacewalk (live) that starts Friday at 7 a.m. EST.


The snow-covered Russian city of Saint Petersburg on the Neva Bay is pictured in this image from the Sentinel-2A satellite.


Thomas Pesquet: Lots of cameras in the Russian segment! They also have fantastic windows looking straight down. A laptop showing our navigation software is visible on the right.


A UCLA-led research team reports that the moon is at least 4.51 billion years old, or 40 million to 140 million years older than scientists previously thought.


Commander Shane Kimbrough is getting ready for his second spacewalk in a week to complete the upgrade of power systems on the International Space Station. He will be joined by Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency who will be conducting his first spacewalk.


Now available is the January 11, 2017 NASA Future In-Space Operations (FISO) telecon material. The speaker was Ben Reed (NASA GSFC) who presented "NASA Satellite Servicing Evolution."


The EU-U.S. 2nd Space Policy Conference will cover the following issues:


Astronomers led by David Sobral and Jorryt Matthee, of the Universities of Lancaster in the UK and Leiden in the Netherlands have discovered giant halos around early Milky Way type galaxies, made of photons (elementary particles of light) that have struggled to escape them.


The 11 farthest known stars in our galaxy are located about 300,000 light-years from Earth, well outside the Milky Way's spiral disk.


With the help of tens of thousands of volunteers the distributed computing project Einstein@Home discovers 13 new gamma-ray pulsars.


After a two-and-a-half-hour descent, the metallic, saucer-shaped spacecraft came to rest with a thud on a dark floodplain covered in cobbles of water ice, in temperatures hundreds of degrees below freezing.


Orbital ATK has completed a significant mission milestone for NASA's next International Space Station cargo mission.


A groundbreaking new optical device, developed at NJIT's Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO) to correct images of the Sun distorted by multiple layers of atmospheric turbulence, is providing scientists with the most precisely detailed, real-time pictures to date of solar activity occurring across vast stretches of the star's surface.


This delicate smudge in deep space is far more turbulent than it first appears.