Status Report

NASA Weekly Update from the Administrator – Nov. 12, 2019

By SpaceRef Editor
November 12, 2019
Filed under ,
Administrator Jim Bridenstine
Tue 11/12/2019
Message from the Administrator
 
NASA Weekly Update
 
There is so much happening around the agency. Engineers and technicians at Michoud Assembly Facility recently attached the fourth and final RS-25 engine to the core stage of the Space Launch System rocket for Artemis I. This will be the largest rocket ever built and I can’t wait to fire it off!
– Top News: Last week, scientists at Johnson Space Center opened up previously untouched lunar rock and soil samples returned to Earth aboard Apollo 17. These were purposely preserved to await the innovation of technology that can maximize the science derived from the samples. We now have that technology and we are working to practice techniques to study future Artemis samples.
– Next Up: This Thursday, I will accompany Vice President Mike Pence on a tour of Ames Research Center. I am excited to show him all the fantastic work they’re doing there, and hopefully we can get him to test his pilot skills by trying out the Vertical Motion Simulator, the world’s largest flight simulator. After the tour, the Vice President will address Ames employees at approximately 11:30 a.m. (PST). The speech will air on NASA TV.
– Shout Out: President Donald Trump signed into law last Friday a bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to Katherine Johnson, Dr. Christine Darden, and to the late Dorothy Vaughn and Mary Jackson. These Hidden Figures represent the best of NASA, and they inspire us to reach new heights as we emulate their stalwart examples.
 
This Thursday, Nov. 14 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 12 launch. For me, this second successful lunar landing mission represents how uniquely challenging space is and how much fun space exploration can be. Lightning struck their rocket twice in less than a minute after launch, and it took the quick thinking of highly trained flight controllers to save the mission. Like the Apollo Program, I know our rigorous preparations today will enable successful Artemis missions and one day inspire us to shout for joy, as Apollo 12 Commander Pete Conrad did when he descended the ladder to the lunar surface.
 
Ad Astra,
Jim Bridenstine

SpaceRef staff editor.