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This Week at NASA | Looking for Human Landing Sites on Mars

Uploaded 06/26/2015

Looking for Human Landing Sites on Mars

On June 25, NASA announced that the first Landing Site/Exploration Zone Workshop for Human Missions to the Surface of Mars will take place Oct. 27-30 at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. The agency hopes to collect proposals at the conference about which areas on Mars have the best scientific and physical characteristics for humans to safely land, live and work on the Red Planet. Once identified, the potential “exploration zones” could be further imaged by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey spacecraft, to create better resolution maps for mission planning. Also, Mars Odyssey: 60,000 orbits, Martian New Year in Mars, PA, Mars Day on the Hill, Wiseman and Wilmore appearances, Engine tests continue, Micro-g NExT.

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Looking for human landing sites on Mars

On June 25, NASA announced that the first Landing Site/Exploration Zone Workshop for Human Missions to the Surface of Mars will take place Oct. 27-30, at the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston. The agency hopes to collect proposals at the conference about which areas on Mars have the best scientific and physical characteristics for humans to safely land, live and work on the Red Planet. Once identified, the potential “exploration zones” could be further imaged by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and Mars Odyssey spacecraft, to create better resolution maps for mission planning.

Mars Odyssey: 60,000 orbits

The Mars Odyssey spacecraft recently completed its 60,000th orbit of the Red Planet. Odyssey, the longest-operating spacecraft ever sent to Mars, has been in Martian orbit for almost 14 years. In that time, it has discovered widespread water ice beneath the planet’s surface; and the expectation is that Odyssey will continue to help pave the way for the first humans to journey to Mars in the 2030s.

Martian New Year in Mars, PA

NASA helped ring in the Martian New Year recently, at the invitation of the citizens of Mars, Pennsylvania. The celebration of Mar’s New Year, which happens about every two Earth-years, included three days of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics or (STEAM) activities to encourage young people to pursue careers in these fields of study, which are critical to NASA’s journey to Mars.

Mars Day on the Hill

The June 25 Mars Day on the Hill provided an opportunity for NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden and other agency officials to show members of Congress the progress of NASA’s journey to Mars. Astronauts Reid Wiseman and Barry “Butch” Wilmore – in town to share experiences from their recent missions aboard the International Space Station, also were there. The event featured interactive exhibits highlighting NASA’s Mars scientific exploration accomplishments and the cross-cutting technologies being developed for the journey, that may also be used here on Earth.

Wiseman and Wilmore appearances

Reid Wiseman and Butch Wilmore made several other appearances while in the Washington area. On June 22, Wilmore, who helped make the first 3-D printed part in space, visited the Arlington, Virginia TechShop, a do-it-yourself workshop and fabrication studio. While there, he talked about being a maker while in space. The following day, Wiseman shared imagery and stories from his mission during a presentation at NASA headquarters. Both astronauts conducted valuable scientific research while onboard the ISS.

Engine tests continue

At NASA’s Stennis Space Center, testing continues of the engine that will power the agency’s Space Launch System rocket on human missions to Mars and other deep space destinations. The 650 second test was the fourth in the current series of eight planned test firings to evaluate the design and functionality of the engine. Four RS-25s will be installed on the completed SLS core stage.

Micro-g NExT

Divers at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab or (NBL) in Houston, tested prototype tools designed by students in the Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Teams or (Micro-g NExT) program. Micro-g NExT challenges college undergrad students to design, build, and test a tool or device that addresses a real and current space exploration problem. The students then oversee the test operations in the simulated microgravity environment of the NBL.

And that’s what’s up this week @NASA.

 

(c)2015 NASA | SCVTV
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