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This Week at NASA | Science Instruments Selected for Europa Mission

Uploaded 05/30/2015

Science Instruments Selected for Europa Mission

NASA announced May 26, it has selected nine science instruments for a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to investigate whether the icy moon has conditions suitable for life. The instruments, targeted for launch aboard a robotic probe in the 2020s, include cameras and spectrometers to collect high-resolution imagery; an ice penetrating radar to measure surface thickness and look for subsurface lakes; and a magnetometer to measure the strength and direction of the moon’s magnetic field, and allow scientists to determine the depth and salinity of the moon’s ocean. The mission will collect data during a series of close flybys of Europa during a three-year period. Also, Commercial Crew update, Space station module relocated, Bolden visits space companies, SLS engine test, Supersonic vehicle test and more.

 

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Science instruments selected for Europa mission

NASA announced May 26 it has selected nine science instruments for a mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to investigate whether the icy moon has conditions suitable for life. The instruments, targeted for launch aboard a robotic probe in the 2020s, include cameras and spectrometers to collect high-resolution imagery; an ice penetrating radar to measure surface thickness and look for subsurface lakes; and a magnetometer to measure the strength and direction of the moon’s magnetic field, and allow scientists to determine the depth and salinity of the moon’s ocean. The mission will collect data during a series of close flybys of Europa during a three-year period.

Commercial Crew update

NASA’s Commercial Crew Program ordered its first crew rotation mission from The Boeing Company – moving a step closer to the agency’s goal of restoring America’s ability to launch astronauts to the International Space Station from the United States in 2017. SpaceX, the other company developing spacecraft to fly astronauts to and from the ISS, also is expected to receive its first order from NASA later this year. A determination of which company will fly the first crewed mission to the station will be made at a later time.

Space station module relocated

Work was completed on May 27 to relocate the International Space Station’s Permanent Multipurpose Module from the Earth-facing port of the Unity module to the forward port of the Tranquility module. The “module move” is part of the process of reconfiguring the station for the future arrival of U.S. commercial crew spacecraft.

Bolden visits space companies

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden visited Aerojet Rocketdyne’s facility in Southern California on May 28. While there, Bolden was briefed on work being conducted by the company on the propulsion system for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft. That same day, the administrator also visited the nearby headquarters of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems where parts for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope are in production.

SLS engine test

Engineers at NASA’s Stennis Space Center conducted a 450 second test of an RS-25 engine on the A-1 test stand. Four RS-25 engines will power the Space Launch System rocket. This was the second in the current series of test firings to investigate how the RS-25 stands up to the rigors and specific requirements needed to boost the massive SLS core stage. Six more tests are planned for the current cycle of development.

Supersonic vehicle test

The second flight test of NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project is scheduled for no earlier than June 2 from the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Hawaii. The test, which simulates a supersonic entry and descent through the Martian atmosphere, is helping researchers investigate breakthrough technologies for landing future robotic and human Mars missions and safely returning large payloads to Earth.

2015 World Science Festival

NASA Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan was one of several agency representatives at the 2015 World Science Festival in New York. The festival also included a host of interactive NASA activities and exhibits showcasing the science and technology that will enable future groundbreaking discoveries and human journeys to far away destinations in our solar system, including Mars.

And that’s what’s up this week @NASA.

 

(c)2015 NASA | SCVTV
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