INDIAN PAINTBRUSH ELEMENTARY PARTICIPATED IN HIGH-ALTITUDE BALLOON LAUNCH

May 11th, 2021

LARAMIE, Wyo. (May 6, 2021) – Third grade students at Indian Paintbrush Elementary School (IPES) participated in a high-altitude balloon launch in conjunction with the University of Wyoming (UW) NASA Space Grant Consortium this morning. The event was planned to be a fun event that rounded out the students’ weather science unit.

Third grade students created payloads that were attached to a parachute and then attached to the balloon. The UW team sent up GPS tracking devices and cameras so students can see how high and how far the balloon went. Then, when the balloon is collected, they can watch on what happened to the balloon by replaying the cameras’ videos.

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THIS MOTHER’S DAY, MEET SOME OF THE MOMS WHO’VE GONE TO SPACE

May 9th, 2021

Throwback to an article from 2018 – Happy Mother’s Day!

This year for Mother’s Day, let’s take a look at some of the moms who have launched — or will launch soon — into space. From Anna Fisher, the first mother in space, to Serena Auñón-Chancellor, who will take her first trip to space on June 6, these fearless women build and support their families while working to advance science and society through groundbreaking research and exploration. This isn’t a comprehensive list, for sure, but one we’ll add to over time.

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TOUCHDOWN! SPACEX SUCCESSFULLY LANDS STARSHIP ROCKET

May 7th, 2021

SpaceX managed to land its prototype Starship rocket at its Texas base without blowing it up on Wednesday, the first time it has succeeded in doing so in five attempts.

The test flight represents a major win for the hard-charging company, which eventually wants to carry crew inside Starship for missions to Mars.

“Starship landing nominal!” tweeted founder Elon Musk triumphantly, after the last four tries ended in big explosions.

“Nominal” means normal in the context of spaceflight.

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WHAT GOING TO THE MOON TAUGHT MICHAEL COLLINS ABOUT EARTH

April 29th, 2021

Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins died Wednesday after battling cancer. In 1969, he stayed in lunar orbit alone for over 20 hours while fellow astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first landing on the moon. Collins said he had no regrets, he was focused on making sure his crewmates could return home. Miles O’Brien spoke with Collins for the 50th anniversary of the historic flight.

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CELEBRATE EARTH DAY 2021 WITH NASA

April 22nd, 2021

For Earth Day 2021 (April 22), NASA highlights science and technology that is helping us live more sustainably on our home planet and adapt to natural and human-caused changes. Here’s how to participate.

To celebrate Earth Day 2021 (Thursday, April 22), NASA is hosting a virtual Earth Day event – from Wednesday, April 21, through Saturday, April 24 – focused on how to live more sustainably on our home planet, and exploring the connections between Earth’s atmosphere, water cycle, forests, fields, cities, ice caps, and climate. The program – called #ConnectedByEarth – will feature live presentations by NASA scientists, conversations with astronauts and scientists working in space, videos, interactive science content, a kid-friendly fun zone, a scavenger hunt, hundreds of downloadable resources, and more. Some content will also be available in Spanish.

Registration is free and open to the public.

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WHAT GOING TO THE MOON TAUGHT MICHAEL COLLINS ABOUT EARTH

April 29th, 2021

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Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins died Wednesday after battling cancer. In 1969, he stayed in lunar orbit alone for over 20 hours while fellow astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made the first landing on the moon. Collins said he had no regrets, he was focused on making sure his crewmates could return home. Miles O’Brien spoke with Collins for the 50th anniversary of the historic flight.

MARS HELICOPTER INGENUITY UNLOCKS ITS ROTOR BLADES TO PREPARE FOR 1ST FLIGHT ON RED PLANET

April 11th, 2021

 

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Ginny is getting ready to go for a spin!

The Mars helicopter Ingenuity has unlocked its two rotor blades as preparations continue for the vehicle's first flight, due to occur no earlier than Sunday (April 11).

Ingenuity arrived on Mars Feb. 18 along with NASA's Perseverance rover, having made the long trek out to the Red Planet tucked inside the rover's belly. As of April 4, the little chopper has parted ways with Perseverance, preparing to take to the skies during a month-long test campaign. If Ingenuity's Sunday sortie is successful, it will be the first powered, guided flight on another planet.

"The blades of glory, aka rotor blades of the #MarsHelicopter, have been unlocked and are ready for testing," NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California wrote in a tweet posted early today (April 8). "Next, we'll do a slow-speed spin-up of the blades for the first time on the Martian surface."

Ingenuity's flight preparation process has been slow and cautious, in part because the 4-lb. (1.8 kilograms) helicopter made the journey to Mars in a folded configuration, tucked behind a protective shield.

After the rover dropped that shield and drove to the airfield, the helicopter's personnel had to order the device to unpack and slowly unfold itself. Then Perseverance had to set Ingenuity directly on the Martian surface and drive away, allowing the helicopter's solar panels to begin supporting the aircraft.

NASA ‘MODERN FIGURE’ TELLS ARCADIA MIDDLE SCHOOLERS ANYONE CAN PURSUE STEM CAREER

April 2nd, 2021

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By Stefanie Jackson – Arcadia Middle School students met NASA “modern figure” Christyl Johnson, deputy director for technology and research investments for Goddard Space Flight Center, at a virtual event March 24.

The movie “Hidden Figures” was released in 2016, about three African American women who were NASA mathematicians in the 1950s and 1960s and helped the U.S. win the space race.

Following the film’s debut, Johnson was named a NASA modern figure, someone “paving the way for the next generation of scientists and engineers, especially those young girls and boys that look like me,” said Johnson, who is African American.

The goal of her virtual meeting with Arcadia Middle School students March 24 was to answer their questions and provide a different view of careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Anyone can pursue a STEM career, and it’s not necessary to be a science or math whiz or a straight-A student to get started, Johnson said. All it takes is wanting to learn and finding the right teacher.

“There is no concept whatsoever that is so complicated … no concept on the planet that a third grader can’t understand,” she said.

“The challenge is really finding somebody that can break it down to you at the lowest level so that light bulb in your brain goes off and you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s pretty easy. How come nobody explained it to me that way?’”

She advised the students to get extra help from their teachers when needed or ask for help from classmates who understand the material and can explain it in a different way.

NASA TV to Air First US Commercial Crew Port Relocation on Space Station

March 29th, 2021

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NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts aboard the International Space Station will mark another first for commercial spaceflight Monday, April 5, when the four astronauts will relocate the Crew Dragon spacecraft to prepare for the arrival of new crew members in late April and the upcoming delivery of new solar arrays this summer.

Live coverage will begin at 6 a.m. EDT on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.

NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, along with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi, will undock Crew Dragon Resilience from the forward port of the station’s Harmony module at 6:29 a.m. and dock to the space-facing port at 7:15 a.m.

The relocation will free Harmony’s forward port for the docking of Crew Dragon Endeavour, set to carry four crew members to the station on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission. NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and  Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut Aki Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Thomas Pesquet are scheduled to launch to the station Thursday, April 22, from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Crew-1 astronauts will depart the station and return to Earth in late April or early May, leaving the space-facing port of Harmony vacant. A Dragon cargo spacecraft carrying several tons of supplies and the first set of new solar arrays for the space station is scheduled to launch this summer, and requires the space-facing port position to enable robotic extraction of the arrays from Dragon’s trunk using Canadarm2.

This will be the first port relocation of a Crew Dragon spacecraft. NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission lifted off Nov. 15, 2020, and docked to the space station Nov. 16. The mission is the first of six certified crew missions NASA and SpaceX planned as a part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program.

NC SPACE SYMPOSIUM TO HOST ASTRONAUT ZENA CARDMAN

March 24th, 2021

Registration is open for the 2021 NC Space Symposium on April 16 that will feature a keynote address from NASA astronaut Zena Cardman. Hosted by NC Space Grant, the event will run from 1 to 5 p.m. in a virtual format. Registration is free, but seats are limited.

“Our symposium celebrates current students, alumni and partners who offer insight for career pathways,” notes Susan White, NC Space Grant’s executive director.

Cardman is among the alumni for the program. While an undergraduate and graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she was a Space Grant scholar, with funding support for research and internships. Cardman was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class.

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MONTANA STATE, NASA RESEARCH TECH TO LAUNCH FOR THE MOON

March 18th, 2021

A computer system developed by Montana State University researchers that has been in the works for more than a decade has taken its next step toward a NASA moon launch.

Known as the RadPC, the technology is designed to withstand increased radiation in outer space and may replace more expensive and cumbersome computers used now by NASA scientists. MSU researchers recently learned the technology is scheduled for launch on a lunar rover, most likely aboard a SpaceX rocket, in summer 2023.

The mission may be an intensive test of the technology to see if it can survive a trip to the moon and the conditions once it arrives, according to Brock LaMeres, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. LaMeres has led the research into a radiation-tolerant computer for the past 10 years.

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INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: 5 FEMALES FROM THEN AND NOW WITH SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO SCIENCE

March 8th, 2021

Women are underrepresented in almost every industry and underappreciated, which is the same case within the scientific field even though numerous female scientists have made significant contributions to the different branches of science.

In celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2021, Science Times presents some of the most notable female scientists throughout history, whether from the past century or today.

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NASA’S REAL ‘HIDDEN FIGURES’

February 19th, 2021

In the 1960s, Mercury astronauts Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn and others absorbed the accolades of being the first men in space. Behind the scenes, they were supported by hundreds of unheralded NASA workers, including “human computers” who did the calculations for their orbital trajectories. “Hidden Figures,” a 2016 book by Margot Lee Shetterly and a movie based on the book, celebrates the contributions of some of those workers.

Beginning in 1935, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), a precursor of NASA, hired hundreds of women as computers. The job title described someone who performed mathematical equations and calculations by hand, according to a NASA history. The computers worked at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in Virginia.

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ASTRONAUT, NC STATE GRAD CHRISTINA KOCH NAMED TO TIME 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL LIST

February 8th, 2021

Astronaut Christina Koch, who graduated from North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham and NC State, was named to the Time 100 Most Influential People list.

“Let’s face it — Christina didn’t need us to succeed. So we just feel lucky to be part of that,” said Dr. Stephen Reynolds, a professor of physics who served as Koch’s academic advisor at NC State.

Koch made history by taking part in the first all-female spacewalk and setting a record for longest single spaceflight by a woman.

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NASA TO PERFORM SECOND SLS GREEN RUN TEST

Feb 4th, 2021

WASHINGTON — NASA will carry out a second hotfire test of the Space Launch System core stage, a move that makes it more likely the vehicle will miss its scheduled launch date of late this year.

NASA announced late Jan. 29 that it will re-run the static-fire test of the core stage’s four RS-25 engines no earlier than the final week of February at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. That test is the last step in the Green Run test campaign that started one year ago.

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NASA WILL TEST-FIRE ITS 1ST SLS MEGAROCKET FOR MOON MISSIONS TODAY. HERE’S HOW TO WATCH.

January 17th, 2021

NASA will attempt to fire the engines on its Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket for the first time today and you can watch the fiery action live online.

As part of a critical test before the rocket behemoth  lifts off for the first time, the agency plans to ignite the four main engines on its heavy-lift core booster this at about 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT) today, Jan. 16. The test, which is designed to simulate the core stage’s performance during launch, will take place at the agency’s Stennis Space Center, in Mississippi.

You can watch the test live here and on the Space.com homepage, courtesy of NASA, beginning at 4:20 p.m. EST (1920 GMT). You’ll also be able to watch the test directly from NASA here.

Read the whole article here.

DARK STORM ON NEPTUNE REVERSES DIRECTION, POSSIBLY SHEDDING A FRAGMENT

Dec 17th, 2020

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.

The storm, which is wider than the Atlantic Ocean, was born in the planet’s northern hemisphere and discovered by Hubble in 2018. Observations a year later showed that it began drifting southward toward the equator, where such storms are expected to vanish from sight. To the surprise of observers, Hubble spotted the vortex change direction by August 2020, doubling back to the north. Though Hubble has tracked similar dark spots over the past 30 years, this unpredictable atmospheric behavior is something new to see.

Equally as puzzling, the storm was not alone. Hubble spotted another, smaller dark spot in January this year that temporarily appeared near its larger cousin. It might possibly have been a piece of the giant vortex that broke off, drifted away, and then disappeared in subsequent observations.

SATURN AND JUPITER TO ALMOST ‘KISS’ THIS WINTER SOLSTICE

Dec 10th, 2020

Saturn and Jupiter will appear to almost kiss this winter solstice, although not because of some cosmic mistletoe hanging overhead.

Rather, the two gas giants will look as though they’re very close in the night sky in an event known as a “great conjunction,” which happens roughly every 20 years. In reality, Saturn and Jupiter will be hundreds of millions of miles apart from each other.

This year’s great conjunction will be exceptionally close — just a tenth of a degree apart, or one-fifth of a full moon’s diameter. The last time Saturn and Jupiter looked this cozy was July 16, 1623, back when the famous Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was alive, according to Space.com, a Live Science sister site.

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12-YEAR-OLD BOY GENIUS ACCEPTED AT GEORGIA TECH, HAS DREAMS OF GOING TO MARS

A 12-year-old boy in Atlanta has dreams of going to Mars. Those dreams are not far-fetched, as the boy has already been accepted into college.

Caleb Anderson is not your typical 12-year-old.

He is currently enrolled in high school and takes classes at a local technical college. In the fall of 2021, he expects to enroll at Georgia Tech.

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December 3rd, 2020

David Tucker had spent nearly 20 years cooking at restaurants and hotels, with the last eight spent as a sous chef. “When everyone else is excited for a holiday and saying, ‘Yay! It’s Thanksgiving!’ I would think, “Okay so that just means I get to work twice as hard now.” He was in his mid-30’s when he realized he just wasn’t happy and wanted more for himself.

So, he enrolled at Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) on a whim. “It was kind of daunting at first, being out of school for that long. And you don’t even write or use a computer when you’re working in the kitchens, it’s just non-stop hands-on work.” Still, he knew he wanted to change his own trajectory somehow. “I wasn’t even sure about what major to take. I knew I was good with my hands, putting things together, so I decided on Mechanical Engineering Technology. I thought there would always be a need for engineering.”

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HOW WE GOT TO THE MOON’ TELLS THE STORY OF NASA’S 1960S VENTURE IN RICH DETAIL

Nov 23rd, 2020

Author-illustrator John Rocco has worked on many kinds of projects over the years, including designing demigods for the covers of the Percy Jackson, Magnus Chase and Kane Chronicles book series. In his latest book, he focuses on heroes from a different realm: the human engineers and scientists who worked on the United States space program in the 1960s.

In researching, writing and illustrating “How We Got to the Moon,” his first work of nonfiction, Rocco wanted to showcase the science and the human ingenuity that made the 1969 Apollo moon landing a reality. He also wanted to present the mission, which employed 400,000 people across the United States, as “a blueprint” for addressing current “problems that sometimes seem impossible, like climate change and racial injustice. If you look at how people came together back then, you can see a way through.”

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Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Satellite Prepared for Launch

Nov 19th, 2020

Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, the latest in a series of spacecraft designed to monitor our oceans, is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in central California on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. The satellite will be followed in 2025 by its twin, Sentinel-6B. Together, the pair is tasked with extending our nearly 30-year-long record of global sea surface height measurements. Instruments aboard the satellites will also provide atmospheric data that will improve weather forecasts, climate models, and hurricane tracking.

Launch Timeline

Named after former NASA Earth Science Division Director Michael Freilich, the U.S.-European satellite will be carried into space on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with liftoff targeted for 9:17:08 a.m. PST (12:17:08 p.m. EST) from Space Launch Complex 4 East. If needed, backup launch opportunities are available on subsequent days, with the instantaneous launch window falling about 12 minutes earlier each day.

A little more than two minutes after the Falcon 9 rocket lifts off, the main engine will cut off. Shortly after, the rocket's first and second stages will separate, followed by second-stage engine start. The reusable Falcon 9 first stage will then begin its automated boost-back burn to the launch site for a propulsive landing.

The first cutoff of the second stage engine will take place approximately eight minutes after liftoff. It will fire a second time 45 minutes later, at which point the launch vehicle and the spacecraft will be in a temporary "parking" orbit. Several minutes later, the launch vehicle and the spacecraft will separate. The satellite will begin solar panel deployment about one hour and seven minutes post-launch and is expected to make first contact about 25 minutes after that.

TWO SOUTH CAROLINA WOMEN LEAD NASA TEAMS AIMING FOR THE MOON AND BEYOND

Nov 12, 2020

A few years ago, Vanessa Wyche was in the launch control complex at Kennedy Space Center when she saw a woman wearing a Clemson University lanyard attached to a NASA badge.

“Hey,” she said excitedly to Charlie Blackwell-Thompson.

Despite studying at Clemson’s engineering department for a few years at the same time, the women had never met.

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