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This Week at NASA | Color Pix of Pluto; Surveying Both (Earth) Poles; more

Uploaded 09/25/2015

Color Pix of Pluto; Surveying Both (Earth) Poles; more

A news conference was held on Sept. 24 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center with the next crew launching to the International Space Station, including NASA astronaut Tim Kopra. ESA astronaut Timothy Peake, cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Kopra will launch to the station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft on Dec. 15 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They’re currently scheduled to return to Earth in May 2016. Also, The rich colors of Pluto, Anniversary of MAVEN’s arrival at Mars, Fall IceBridge missions at both poles, New aviation technology and Robotics team on Capitol Hill.

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Next space station crew discusses mission

A news conference was held on Sept. 24 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center with the next crew launching to the International Space Station, including NASA astronaut Tim Kopra. ESA astronaut Timothy Peake, cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Kopra will launch to the station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft on Dec. 15 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They’re currently scheduled to return to Earth in May 2016.

The rich colors of Pluto

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has sent back the most detailed color view yet of the Pluto hemisphere. The new extended view, captured during the spacecraft’s July 14 flyby of Pluto, shows extremely rich and varied colors — all of which are clues about the elemental makeup of the dwarf planet’s surface.

Anniversary of MAVEN’s arrival at Mars

Sept. 21 marked the one-year anniversary of the arrival at Mars of NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft – the first probe dedicated to studying what has happened to the Martian atmosphere and how that history has influenced the evolution of the planet’s surface and potential habitability. Scientific data gathered by MAVEN in the past year – including the first look at energetic solar particles in the atmosphere and the first ultraviolet images of oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon coronas surrounding Mars — support our current understanding that the upper atmosphere is only tenuously bound by the Red Planet’s weak gravity.

Fall IceBridge missions at both poles

For the first time in its seven years of flights, NASA’s Operation IceBridge is conducting survey missions of polar ice in Antarctica and the Arctic during the same timeframe. The Antarctic campaign, which kicked off on Sept. 22, will continue until Nov. 2, with Arctic flights scheduled to last from Sept. 23 until Oct. 23. The goal of the IceBridge mission is to collect data on changing polar land and sea ice and maintain continuity of measurements between ICESat satellite missions.

New aviation technology

NASA-developed software, called Traffic Aware Strategic Aircrew Requests (TASAR), designed to help airlines save time, fuel and reduce carbon emissions soon will be tested on board Virgin America and Alaska Airlines, following a recently signed agreement with Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The technology assists pilots to determine the most efficient flight paths, while planes are en route to their destinations.

Robotics team on Capitol Hill

The West Virginia University Mountaineers robotics team that won $100,000 in June at NASA’s Sample Return Robot Challenge, was recognized by West Virginia Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito at a Sept 21 event on Capitol Hill. NASA Associate Administrator for Space Technology Steve Jurczyk also was there. The Centennial Challenges Program encourages innovations in autonomous navigation and robotics technologies.

And that’s what’s up this week @NASA.

 

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