This Week at NASA | Voyager Exits Solar System; Asteroids; Flight of Cygnus; more
During a press briefing at NASA headquarters, scientists announced that the Voyager 1 spacecraft has officially left our solar bubble and has reached interstellar space. The Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM) seeks to extend NASA’s exploration of the solar system beyond the outer planets — to the outer limits of the Sun’s sphere of influence, and possibly beyond. Voyager 1 and its twin Voyager 2 were launched 16 days apart in 1977. Also, Off the Earth, For the Earth, Comings and Goings, Flight Of Cygnus, Rockets 2 Racecars, InSight Landing Sites and more.
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VOYAGER: INSTERSTELLAR SPACE! – JPL
Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist:
During a press briefing at NASA headquarters, scientists announced that the Voyager 1 spacecraft has officially left our solar bubble and has reached interstellar space.
Sound Wave from Interstellar Space
Don Gurnett, Voyager Plasma Wave Scientist:
The Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM) seeks to extend NASA’s exploration of the solar system beyond the outer planets — to the outer limits of the Sun’s sphere of influence, and possibly beyond. Voyager 1 and its twin Voyager 2 were launched 16 days apart in 1977.
OFF THE EARTH, FOR THE EARTH – HQ
The Space 2013 Conference in San Diego featured the presentation of a paper co-authored by NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations, Bill Gerstenmaier that relates past, present and proposed NASA activities off the Earth to their importance for the Earth. Those activities include research conducted aboard ISS and the future mission to an asteroid – the topic of another discussion at the conference.
Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations:
The Off the Earth, For the Earth theme – is from the mission patch of the station’s Expedition 34 crew.
COMINGS AND GOINGS – JSC
The traditional change of command ceremony took place on the ISS with Expedition 36 Commander Pavel Vinogradov passing the reins to fellow cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin — Commander of Expedition 37. A couple of days later, Vinogradov, Chris Cassidy of NASA and Russian Alexander Misurkin landed in Kazakhstan – after 166 days in space. Yurchikin, NASA’s Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency will welcome Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Michael Hopkins of NASA to the station in late September.
FLIGHT OF CYGNUS – JSC/WFF
Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Cygnus cargo craft is scheduled for a September 22 arrival at the station – based on a September 17 launch aboard the company’s Antares rocket from Wallops Flight Facility. The Orbital demonstration mission of Antares and Cygnus is part of NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program to develop viable partnerships to resupply the space station.
ROCKETS 2 RACECARS – LARC
NASA Associate Administrator for Education, Leland Melvin was on hand for Rockets 2 Racecars at Richmond International Speedway to help rev up public interest about NASA missions, STEM education – and the shared science between NASA and the auto racing industry. Melvin also waved the green flag to start the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR race that night.
InSight LANDING SITES – JPL
The list of possible landing sites for NASA’s next mission to touch down on Mars has been narrowed to four. Slated for a September 2016 launch, the InSight mission will land at one of the four sites – located in close proximity to each other, in the Elysium Planitia region of Mars. Insight will study the Red Planet’s interior, rather than surface, to better understand the underlying processes that formed and shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system, including Earth.
NASA ON INSTAGRAM – HQ
NASA has launched an official Instagram profile that will take its followers on an out-of-this-world journey through images of Earth and beyond. Featuring aeronautics, astrophysics, Earth science, human spaceflight and more, NASA Instagram will provide a comprehensive view of the agency by sharing new and historic images and videos
And that’s This Week @NASA.
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