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This Week at NASA | Mars Trek, Dark Side of the Moon, more

Uploaded 08/07/2015

Mars Trek, Dark Side of the Moon, more

NASA’s Curiosity rover celebrated the 3-year anniversary of its landing on Mars recently. Since landing, Curiosity has driven nearly seven miles to its current location at Mount Sharp, and found evidence of past conditions suitable for microbial life. To mark the anniversary, NASA is unveiling two new online tools that will bring the Mars experience to a new generation of explorers. “Mars Trek” is a free, web-based application that uses more than 40 years of Mars exploration data, to provide high-quality imagery of the planet’s features. “Experience Curiosity” is a 3-D simulation program that also uses real data, to take viewers along with Curiosity during the rover’s expeditions on the Martian surface. Since NASA’s robotic explorers became the first to study the Red Planet, advances in technology have enabled Mars exploration missions to continue making important scientific discoveries and pave the way for humans to reach Mars in the 2030s. Also, Newman visits composites tech facility, Future ISS crews, CubeSat Launch Initiative and Look, up in the sky.

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Making milestones on the journey to Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover celebrated the 3-year anniversary of its landing on Mars recently. Since landing, Curiosity has driven nearly seven miles to its current location at Mount Sharp, and found evidence of past conditions suitable for microbial life. To mark the anniversary, NASA is unveiling two new online tools that will bring the Mars experience to a new generation of explorers. “Mars Trek” is a free, web-based application that uses more than 40 years of Mars exploration data, to provide high-quality imagery of the planet’s features. “Experience Curiosity” is a 3-D simulation program that also uses real data, to take viewers along with Curiosity during the rover’s expeditions on the Martian surface. Since NASA’s robotic explorers became the first to study the Red Planet, advances in technology have enabled Mars exploration missions to continue making important scientific discoveries and pave the way for humans to reach Mars in the 2030s.

Newman visits composites tech facility

During an Aug. 6 visit to Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA Deputy Administrator Dava Newman visited the agency’s Composites Technology Center to see the massive robot that will help NASA build the biggest lightweight composite parts ever made for space vehicles. The head on the robot’s 21-foot arm uses up to 16 spools of “hair-thin” carbon fibers to create the precisely shaped parts. Lightweight composites could increase the weight an exploration spacecraft, like NASA’s new Space Launch System rocket can carry, while also decreasing the total cost of building the vehicle.

Future ISS crews

NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Jack Fischer are among those named to the Expeditions 51 and 52 crews to the station in 2017 that will continue important research to advance NASA’s journey to Mars and make discoveries that can benefit all of humanity. When Vande Hei and his crewmates arrive at the ISS in March 2017, veteran NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson will be part of the crew already onboard. Fischer will follow as part of the Soyuz crew scheduled to arrive in May 2017.

CubeSat Launch Initiative

The next round of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative is underway – giving students, educators and others in the growing community of space enthusiasts, an opportunity to help the agency achieve its space exploration goals. The initiative provides hands-on experience in designing, building and operating the small research satellites. The program also provides access to space for the hardware, as secondary payloads on NASA spaceflights.

Look, up in the sky!

Not to upstage the man in the moon … but this shot of the International Space Station zipping by the moon is pretty cool. NASA photographer, Bill Ingalls, captured the station’s lunar transit on Aug. 2 in the skies over Northern Virginia. For information on how to spot the station in your backyard, go tohttp://spotthestation.nasa.gov.

And on Aug. 5, NASA released another shot of the moon, but this was from a million miles away from Earth:

A NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite captured this unique view of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth in July. The series of test images in this animation shows the fully illuminated “dark side” of the moon that is never visible from Earth.

And that’s what’s up this week @NASA.

 

(c)2015 NASA | SCVTV
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