This Week at NASA | JPL Collaborates on ‘The Martian’ Starring Matt Damon
On Aug. 19, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched its “Kounotori” H-II Transfer Vehicle, or HTV-5 from the Tanegashima Space Center to the International Space Station. The unpiloted cargo spacecraft is loaded with almost five tons of supplies and scientific experiments. It will spend about five weeks at the station. Also, National Aviation Day, First Atlantic hurricane of 2015, New hurricane mission, Spotlight on The Martian and more.
On Aug. 19, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched its “Kounotori” H-II Transfer Vehicle, or HTV-5 from the Tanegashima Space Center to the International Space Station. The unpiloted cargo spacecraft is loaded with almost five tons of supplies and scientific experiments. It will spend about five weeks at the station.
In celebration of National Aviation Day, NASA encouraged people to spread their wings and post their photos online. Many did — including travelers who stopped by NASA exhibits at two Washington, DC area airports. The exhibits put the spotlight on NASA-developed technologies onboard every U.S. commercial aircraft. The agency celebrates this annual event, which coincides with Orville Wright’s birthday, to promote the history of air travel, NASA’s 100 years of excellence in aeronautics research and the work we’re doing to make flying even safer and more efficient.
Hurricane Danny, the first Atlantic hurricane of the 2015 season was captured from space, on August 20 by cameras aboard the International Space Station. The storm was located about 1,090 miles east of the Windward Islands when it became a hurricane – with maximum sustained winds of about 75 miles per hour.
Construction of NASA’s next-generation hurricane-observing satellite mission is underway, as we mark the ten-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the catastrophic damage it caused. The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System or (CYGNSS) mission is a constellation of eight microsatellites designed to accurately measure ocean surface winds in and near the eye wall of a storm, throughout the full life of the storm, to improve hurricane forecasting. The mission is set to launch in late 2016.
Hollywood visited NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California for a media tour as part of the rollout of the upcoming feature film, “The Martian.” NASA collaborated on the technical aspects of the film, which are based on real NASA science. Directed by Ridley Scott, starring Matt Damon, and based on Andy Weir’s book, the story is about an astronaut struggling to survive alone on Mars in the 2030s. NASA hopes the film will encourage young people to pursue careers in science, technology, education, the arts and math.
You can participate in NASA’s Journey to Mars by adding your name to a microchip that will be on NASA’s InSight Mars lander – scheduled for launch to the Red Planet next year. The mission is the first dedicated to investigation of the planet’s deep interior. To send your name to Mars aboard InSight, go to: http://go.usa.gov/3Aj3G. The deadline for submissions is Sept. 8.
August 20th was the 40-year anniversary of the launch of Viking 1, the first of two identical spacecraft in NASA’s Viking Project. The program was the first U.S. mission to land a spacecraft safely on the surface of Mars and send back images. The Viking Landers analyzed samples of the Martian surface and atmosphere, while the Viking Orbiters high above the surface captured high-resolution, detailed images of the entire surface.
New images were captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft of Saturn’s moon Dione (DYE-uh-nee) – during the spacecraft’s final close flyby of the icy satellite on Aug. 17. Cassini was expected to get a rare up-close peek at the moon’s North Pole during the pass and conduct a gravity experiment that could teach us more about the moon’s internal structure and its outer shell.
And that’s what’s up this week @NASA.
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