December 2020

The Expedition 64 crew is packing a pair of U.S. resupply ships for departure next month. The International Space Station is also humming with microgravity research to benefit humans on and off the Earth.

The International Space Station flies 262 miles above the Atlantic Ocean into an orbital sunrise with portions of the JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Kibo laboratory module in the foreground. The two main Kibo components pictured are the Japanese robotic arm and the Japanese Logistics module.

The Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) is home to many interdisciplinary projects which benefit from the synergy of a wide range of expertise available at the institute. One such project is the study of black holes that could have formed in the early universe, before stars and galaxies were born.

Two U.S. resupply ships are being readied for their departure next month from the International Space Station. Meanwhile, the Expedition 64 crew continued its intense schedule of space research with cardiac studies and radish harvesting today.

A view of radishes growing in the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) ground unit inside the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Dec. 14, 2020.

The supersharp radio "vision" of the National Science Foundation's Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) has revealed previously unseen details in a jet of material ejected at three-quarters the speed of light from the core of a galaxy some 12.8 billion light-years from Earth.

Following a day off on Christmas, the Expedition 64 crew went into the weekend with a variety of space biology to help researchers gain therapeutic insights not possible on Earth.

NASA astronaut and Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins checks on radish plants growing for the Plant Habitat-02 experiment that seeks to optimize plant growth in the unique environment of space and evaluate nutrition and taste of the plants.

Newborn stars, hidden behind thick dust, are revealed in this image of a section of the so-called Christmas Tree Cluster from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

2020 has been another year of progress for ESA. Watch this short highlight video.

Today the crew worked on the following: AstroPi, Food Acceptability, FOP sample exchange, ISS Experience, JAXA video take, Rodent Research, Standard Measures, SoundSee stow, Veggie Monitor. Tomorrow the crew has the day off to celebrate Christmas.

2020 was historic for NASA. We launched humans to the International Space Station from America again, made progress on our plans to return humans to the Moon and explore Mars, had an unprecedented encounter with an asteroid, and displayed perseverance and resilience in space and on Earth ... all, while helping the country deal with a global crisis. Here's a look back at highlights from those and other things we did this year at NASA.

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

The seven Expedition 64 residents living aboard the International Space Station will be going into the Christmas holiday focusing intensely on space biology.

Members of the International Space Station's Expedition 64 crew, spending this holiday season orbiting the Earth, wrap up 2020 with a message of hope for their fellow Earthlings.

The seven-member Expedition 64 crew, consisting of five astronauts and two cosmonauts, will spend the rest of the year conducting valuable space research aboard the International Space Station.

Science operations continue to expand aboard the International Space Station with the installation of a new research airlock over the weekend.

Christchurch, New Zealand (far right), Lake Ellesmere and Pigeon Bay are pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited above the Tasman Sea just south of the island nation.

Cloudy seas are pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 260 miles above the Pacific Ocean about 1,100 miles due south of the Hawaiian island chain.

A Southwest Research Institute-led team of scientists has identified a potentially new meteorite parent asteroid by studying a small shard of a meteorite that arrived on Earth a dozen years ago.

Snow-covered mountains along the Kazakhstan-China border, including Sayram Lake at top, are pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 263 miles above the Asian nations.

As Chile and Argentina witnessed the total solar eclipse on Dec. 14, 2020, unbeknownst to skywatchers, a little tiny speck was flying past the Sun -- a recently discovered comet.

On December 10, 2020 (Hawai?i Standard Time), the Subaru Telescope imaged the small asteroid 1998 KY26, the target of Hayabusa2's extended mission.

NASA Astronauts Stephanie Wilson, Jonny Kim, and Randy Bresnik take a look at the Orion spacecraft simulator that recently arrived at the agency's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Have you noticed two bright objects in the sky getting closer together with each passing night? It's Jupiter and Saturn doing a planetary dance that will result in the Great Conjunction on Dec. 21.

The International Space Station is one of the most ambitious international collaborations ever attempted, and is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that provides humanity a one-of-a-kind proving ground for Artemis as we go forward to the Moon and on to Mars.

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

he Expedition 64 crew is busy this week with a full slate of life science to promote healthier humans on and off the Earth.

The Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission takes us over Lapland, the largest and northernmost region of Finland, just in time for Christmas.

Artificial intelligence is classifying real supernova explosions without the traditional use of spectra, thanks to a team of astronomers at the Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian. The complete data sets and resulting classifications are publicly available for open use.

An international group of scientists, including Case Western Reserve University Astronomy Chair Stacy McGaugh, has published research contending that a rival idea to the popular dark matter hypothesis more accurately predicts a galactic phenomenon that appears to defy the classic rules of gravity.

Space biology was the dominant research theme aboard the International Space Station today.

The Alps in Switzerland are pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 263 miles above the European nation.

In extreme environments, even the most ordinary tasks can seem like unsurmountable challenges.

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope watched a mysterious dark vortex on Neptune abruptly steer away from a likely death on the giant blue planet.

WSU researchers have used the ancient Japanese art of paper folding to possibly solve a key challenge for outer space travel - how to store and move fuel to rocket engines.

By monitoring the cosmos with a radio telescope array, a Cornell University-led international team of scientists has detected radio bursts emanating from the constellation Boötes. The signal could be the first radio emission collected from a planet beyond our solar system.

The Expedition 64 crew continues exploring how microgravity affects the heart to improve health for humans on and off the Earth.

In a Tweet, Astra, the San Francisco area small satellite launch company announced that its Rocket 3.2 had successfully launched today from the Kodiak Spaceport in Alaska.

Cardiac research and orbital plumbing were the Monday highlights for the Expedition 64 crew aboard the International Space Station.

When it comes to water and Mars, there's good news and not-so-good news. The good news: there's water on Mars! The not-so-good news?

A hyper-sensitive instrument, deep underground in Italy, has finally succeeded at the nearly impossible task of detecting CNO neutrinos (tiny particles pointing to the presence of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen) from our sun's core.

Today: Payloads - JAXA Low Temp PCG: The crew retrieved the Low Temp PCG Sample from cold stowage and initiated protein crystal growth with historical documentation of the sample condition.

JAXA astronaut Sochi Noguchi is pictured inside the newly arrived SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle wearing personal protective equipment.

The Hubble Space Telescope turned 30 this year, and for the occasion, it's sharing a present with you. NASA has just released dozens of newly processed Hubble images featuring 30 dazzling galaxies, sparkling star clusters, and ethereal nebulae.

Using Planck data from the cosmic microwave background radiation, an international team of researchers has observed a hint of new physics.

The Vice President introduces the Artemis team of astronauts, progress on hardware for upcoming Artemis missions, and the science priorities for our next human mission on the Moon ... a few of the stories to tell you about - This Week at NASA.

SpaceCast Weekly is a NASA Television broadcast from the Johnson Space Center in Houston featuring stories about NASA's work in human spaceflight.

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over Kyiv - the capital and most populous city of Ukraine.

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

Life science continues ramping up aboard the International Space Station as the Expedition 64 crew explores cancer therapies and heart conditions.

SOFIA observed the occultation by Pluto of a bright star on 29 June 2015, enabling scientists to measure pressure, density, and temperature profiles of the atmosphere of the dwarf planet.

This is the first time that astronomers have been able to measure the motion of a massive Jupiter-like planet that is orbiting very far away from its host stars and visible debris disk.

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, a joint U.S.-European satellite built to measure global sea surface height, has sent back its first measurements of sea level. The data provide information on sea surface height, wave height, and wind speed off the southern tip of Africa.

The Expedition 64 crew kicked off an array of new space biology experiments delivered this week aboard the SpaceX Cargo Dragon.

Look closely: Wasabi peas, Ocean Spray Crasins, apricots, French's yellow mustard, Smuckers strawberry jam, and of course, Sriracha sauce - with Huggies velcroed on the wall to clean up astro faces after eating.

COVID-19 has changed the way we live and work, as various health and safety restrictions keep more of us at home more often.

A new study from scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and the University of Chicago sheds light on a hotly contested debate in Earth sciences: when did plate subduction begin?

Six spaceships, three U.S. and three Russian, are parked at the International Space Station after Monday's arrival of the upgraded SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle.

The upgraded SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle approaches the International Space Station as both vehicles were orbiting above the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico.

The oasis city of Sakakah in northwestern Saudi Arabia is pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 261 miles above.

While the International Space Station was traveling 268 miles over the southern Indian Ocean, a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft autonomously docked to the space-facing side of the orbiting laboratory's Harmony module for the first time at 1:40 p.m. EST, Monday, Dec. 7.

A phenomenon first detected in the solar wind may help solve a long-standing mystery about the sun: why the solar atmosphere is millions of degrees hotter than the surface.

In order for future lunar exploration missions to be successful and land more precisely, engineers must equip spacecraft with technologies that allow them to "see" where they are and travel to where they need to be.

In direct contradiction to the official forecast, a team of scientists led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is predicting that the Sunspot Cycle that started this fall could be one of the strongest since record-keeping began.

Surrounded by the Nefud Desert, the city of Jubba, Saudi Arabia, with its abundant agriculture and plentiful water, is pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 261 miles above.

In a new paper published in the journal Nature Communications Earth and Environment, researchers at the University of Rochester were able to use magnetism to determine, for the first time, when carbonaceous chondrite asteroids--asteroids that are rich in water and amino acids--first arrived in the inner solar system.

The world's largest solar observatory, the U.S. National Science Foundation's Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope, just released its first image of a sunspot.

Astronomers have taken a step towards understanding how the Moon might have formed out of a giant collision between the early Earth and another massive object 4.5 billion years ago.

This large expanse of space captured with the Hubble Space Telescope features the galaxy SDSS J225506.80+005839.9.

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 64 crewmembers Michael Hopkins and Shannon Walker of NASA discussed their flight to the complex last month on the SpaceX Crew Dragon "Resilience" and the progress of their mission during a question-and-answer session Dec. 4 with SpaceX President and Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell.

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

The Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over the Banks Peninsula on the South Island of New Zealand.

Expedition 64 is getting ready for over 6,400 pounds of cargo due to arrive this weekend aboard the next-generation SpaceX Dragon space freighter.

Pictured from the International Space Station, the Aswan Dam in Egypt separates Lake Nasser from the Nile River.