Archives

March 2017



Three astronauts are preparing for a Friday morning spacewalk to upgrade and maintain the International Space Station's external systems. The three cosmonauts stayed focused today on their set of Russian space experiments and life support work.


Thomas Pesquet: The Grand Canyon, is less grand when seen from space but still very impressive!


Thomas Pesquet: Thanks to all the children at today's UNICEF conference and all the great questions!


No one keeps time quite like NASA. Last month, the space agency's next-generation atomic clock was joined to the spacecraft that will take it into orbit in late 2017.


Sudden and short-lived outbursts were observed frequently during Rosetta's two-year mission at Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.


The next rovers to explore another planet might bring along a scout. The Pop-Up Flat Folding Explorer Robot (PUFFER) was inspired by origami. Its lightweight design is capable of flattening itself, tucking in its wheels and crawling into places rovers can't fit


Some 290 million years ago, a star much like the sun wandered too close to the central black hole of its galaxy.


As children, we learned about our solar system's planets by certain characteristics -- Jupiter is the largest, Saturn has rings, Mercury is closest to the sun.


A massive protostar, deeply nestled in its dust-filled stellar nursery, recently roared to life, shining nearly 100 times brighter than before.


Today - Dragon SpaceX (SpX)-10 Unberth: The crew packed critical items and egressed the vehicle in preparation for Dragon departure.


Today - Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) 275 Failure: On Wednesday evening, White Sands Facility reported a timeout of the 275 satellite. This resulted in a loss of both S-band and Ku-band communications.


The U.S. commercial SpaceX Dragon cargo craft was released from the International Space Station's Canadarm2 robotic arm in the early hours of March 19, after spending more than three weeks at the orbital outpost.


As British royal families fought the War of the Roses in the 1400s for control of England's throne, a grouping of stars was waging its own contentious skirmish -- a star wars far away in the Orion Nebula.


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


Today - Rodent Research (RR) Habitat Stow: Following Tuesday's completion of operations, today the crew stowed the RR habitats. The habitats were cleaned and sealed prior to their next use, planned for RR-5 scheduled for SpX-11.


From the Rocky Mountains on the left to the Prairies on the right, Sentinel-2A takes us over the southern part of the Canadian province of Alberta, with part of British Columbia in the lower left.


Thomas Pesquet: Minimalist snow art in Russia. I cannot explain these km-long paralel lines


Bacteria may mutate more rapidly in space and scientists theorize patterns of those mutations could help predict how pathogens become resistant to antibiotics.


Study ties fertilizers, animal waste, changes to atmospheric chemistry and climate change to increased ammonia over the United States, Europe, China and India.


Today - Mobile Servicing System (MSS) Operations: Overnight, the Robotics Ground Controllers unstowed the Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) Payload from the Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM) Enhanced Orbit Replaceable Unit (ORU) Temporary Platform (EOTP).


Observations in the past decade have demonstrated that extremely massive supermassive black holes were already in place when the Universe was less than 800 million years old.


When planets first begin to form, the aftermath of the process leaves a ring of rocky and icy material that's rotating and colliding around the young central star like a celestial roller derby.


Today - 2A Direct Current to Direct Current Converter Unit (DDCU) Trips: Today, all of the DDCUs on the 2A power bus tripped off simultaneously due to a bus undervoltage. This included DDCU 2A, DDCU LA2A, DDCU N2P2A, and DDCU N32A. The trip of DDCU 2A removed power from the 2A Pump Flow Control Subassembly (PFCS).


A new study in the journal Nature Astronomy reports that the south polar region of Saturn's icy moon Enceladus is warmer than expected just a few feet below its icy surface.


These streets appear far whiter and whole lot more fluffy than their land-bound cousins. So-called "cloud streets" feature trailing parallel bands of water vapor.


Some climate models are suggesting that El Niño may return later this year, but for now, the Pacific Ocean lingers in a neutral "La Nada" state, according to climatologist Bill Patzert of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.


On February 26, 2017, the skies above Argentina dimmed and the landscape darkened as the Moon moved in front of the Sun, partially blocking its rays.


Today - Rodent Research-4: Over the weekend and continuing today, the crew performed Rodent Research operations, in coordination with ground specialists, collecting samples and stowing them in Minus Eighty Degree Celsius Laboratory Freezer for ISS (MELFI) for return on SpX-10.


Thomas PesquetL This one is for you, Andreas Mogensen. Denmark in all its glory, without a single cloud in winter. I know, nobody will ever believe me ;) It looks quite hygge down there


Thomas Pesquet Finally! Snapped the Pyramids. Enfin! Voilà les Pyramides.


Astronomers have found evidence for a star that whips around a black hole about twice an hour. This may be the tightest orbital dance ever witnessed for a black hole and a companion star.


Dr. Oscar Monje, a research scientist, packs a growing substrate called arcillite in the science carrier, or base, of the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) inside a laboratory at the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


Today - Advanced Plant Experiments (APEX)-04: The crew configured the Veggie facility for the next APEX-04 Petri Plate sample for a four-day growing cycle. After the four days of growth, the petri plate will be inserted into the Fluids Integrated Rack (FIR) Light Microscopy Module (LMM) facility for detailed imaging.


Today - Fluid Shifts Chibis Measurements, Day 1: The 48S crew member performed the first of two days of operations in the Russian Segment conducting the Return minus 45 day (R-45) Fluid Shifts operations.


Inside a laboratory at the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, scientists prepare Apogee wheat seeds for the science carrier, or base, of the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH).


Members of the news media had the opportunity to view the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft before it was enclosed in its payload fairing inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


Thomas Pesquet: Glaciers and snow in the Alps, look a bit like whipped egg whites. And they are fragile like eggs too, you can see the traces of melting already.


A trip past the sun may have selectively altered the production of one form of water in a comet - an effect not seen by astronomers before, a new NASA study suggests.


NASA conducted the latest successful test of the Orion spacecraft's parachute system on March 8 in the skies above the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.


Volcanoes erupt, they spew ash, their scarred flanks sometimes run with both lava and landslides.


On Earth, liquid flows downhill thanks to gravity. Creating an effective liquid fuel tank involves little more than putting a hole at the bottom of a container.


This beautiful Hubble image reveals a young super star cluster known as Westerlund 1, only 15,000 light-years away in our Milky Way neighborhood, yet home to one of the largest stars ever discovered.


A movie of weather across the globe during February 2017. This new series of monthly weather videos shows a combination of infrared imagery from the geostationary satellites of EUMETSAT, NOAA and the JMA, which together continuously observe most of the Earth's surface 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


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


The Sentinel-3A satellite takes us over the Sea of Okhotsk in the Russian Far East on 15 February, where clouds blend with the ice and snow beneath from our bird's-eye view.


A regional dust storm currently swelling on Mars follows unusually closely on one that blossomed less than two weeks earlier and is now dissipating, as seen in daily global weather monitoring by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.


This image of Saturn's moon Pan was taken on Taken: Mar. 7, 2017 at 5:56 PM by Cassini


Finding derelict spacecraft and space debris in Earth's orbit can be a technological challenge.


The Arctic has been losing sea ice over the past several decades as Earth warms.


The crew is harvesting plants today grown on the International Space Station that will be returned to Earth aboard the SpaceX Dragon. Also, a variety of student experiments submitted from schools across the United States were activated inside the orbital laboratory.


On Feb. 22, astronomers announced that the ultra-cool dwarf star, TRAPPIST-1, hosts a total of seven Earth-size planets that are likely rocky, a discovery made by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope in combination with ground-based telescopes.


The bright central area of Ceres' Occator Crater, known as Cerealia Facula, is approximately 30 million years younger than the crater in which it lies, according to a new study in the Astronomical Journal. Scientists used data from NASA's Dawn spacecraft to analyze Occator's central dome in detail, concluding that this intriguing bright feature on the dwarf planet is only about 4 million years old -- quite recent in terms of geological history.


NASA is preparing for longer human journeys deeper into space and is exploring how to keep astronauts healthy and productive. The Expedition 50 crew members today studied space nutrition, measured their bodies and checked their eyes to learn how to adapt to living in space. The space residents also unloaded a cargo ship, worked on the Tranquility module and practiced an emergency simulation.


The International Potato Center (CIP) launched a series of experiments to discover if potatoes can grow under Mars atmospheric conditions and thereby prove they are also able to grow in extreme climates on Earth.


The scaffolding that holds the large-scale structure of the universe constitutes galaxies, dark matter and gas (from which stars are forming), organized in complex networks known as the cosmic web.


Four CubeSats were deployed this morning as the crew researched fluid shifts toward the head that may affect astronaut vision. Tools were also being collected and organized today ahead of possible maintenance spacewalks.


Jeff Bezos has a customer for his New Glenn launch vehicle, Eutelsat, which he announced at Satellite 2017 this morning in Washington, DC. While still years away from operations, Blue Origin has been making steady progress in a step-by-step fashion. It is this stead process "in the right sequence" that Jeff Bezos views as being most important to his company's success.


At Satellite 2017 this morning Jeff Bezos of Blue Origin, unveiled a new video introducing the New Glenn rocket which follows in SpaceX's footsteps in returning the first stage for future reuse.


When the universe was young, a supermassive black hole -- bloated to the bursting point with stupendous power -- heaved out a jet of particle-infused energy that raced through the vastness of space at nearly the speed of light.


Planets are thought to form in the disks of dust and gas found around young stars. But astronomers have struggled to assemble a complete theory of their origin that explains how the initial dust develops into planetary systems.


This close-up view of Jupiter captures the turbulent region just west of the Great Red Spot in the South Equatorial Belt, with resolution better than any previous pictures from Earth or other spacecraft.


This image shows lightning data captured on February 14, 2017 over the course of an hour and displayed over an image of the Western Hemisphere from the Advanced Baseline Imager on GOES-16.


Three Expedition 50 crew members recently surpassed 100 days in space and will come home in June. Also, SpaceX Dragon external experiments are being unloaded for installation on the International Space Station.


Galaxies have dramatically grown in size since the early Universe, and elliptical galaxies, in particular, are the largest galaxies in both size and mass. What is the main driver behind the late growth of their outer parts was the question that motivated this study.


MRIs before and after space missions reveal that astronauts' brains compress and expand during spaceflight, according to a University of Michigan study.


Sentinel-2A takes us over part of Botswana's Central District in this false-colour image captured on 22 March 2016.


With the discovery of seven earth-sized planets around the TRAPPIST-1 star 40 light years away, astronomers are looking to the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope to help us find out if any of these planets could possibly support life.


Asteroids on the main belt, situated between Mars and Jupiter, move around the Sun in quasi circular orbits, so they do not undergo the temperature changes which, in comets, produce the characteristic tails.


Shane Kimbrough‏@astro_kimbrough .@NASAAmes looking great from @Space_Station - neighboring Mountain View, Sunnyvale, and a touch of San Jose California. Larger image


The International Space Station fired its engines Wednesday night slightly raising its orbit to accommodate a crew exchange in April. In the meantime, the six-person Expedition 50 crew continued learning how living in space affects the human body.


The events surrounding the Big Bang were so cataclysmic that they left an indelible imprint on the fabric of the cosmos.


The first images from the Solar Ultraviolet Imager or SUVI instrument aboard NOAA's GOES-16 satellite have been successful, capturing a large coronal hole on Jan. 29, 2017.


NASA has released its 2017-2018 software catalog, which offers an extensive portfolio of software products for a wide variety of technical applications, all free of charge to the public, without any royalty or copyright fees.


The International Space Station will boost its orbit Wednesday night to get ready for a crew swap next month. Three Expedition 50 crew members will complete their mission and a new two-person crew will launch to the station in April.


University of Leicester researchers to assess impact of climate and greenhouse gas emissions on agriculture in the Indo-Gangetic Plain