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Uploaded 09/23/2016

This Week at NASA: Magnetospheric Multiscale Mission, more

The four spacecraft orbiting Earth in formation as part of NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission achieved a new record recently when the space between them was decreased from just over six miles to only four-and-a-half miles. This is the closest separation ever of any multi-spacecraft formation. The team of spacecraft fly in a pyramid shape, called a tetrahedron, which enables MMS to capture three-dimensional observations of magnetic reconnection – a mysterious phenomenon, during which magnetic fields experience explosive interactions. The closer formation will allow the spacecraft to measure magnetic reconnection at smaller scales, helping scientists to better understand it. Also, Destination Mars Exhibit, Orbital ATK Targets Launch Window, NASA-developed Technology Saves Pilot’s Life, and Combined Federal Campaign Underway.

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Closest Multi-Spacecraft Flying Formation

The four spacecraft orbiting Earth in formation as part of NASA’s Magnetospheric Multiscale, or MMS, mission achieved a new record recently when the space between them was decreased from just over six miles to only four-and-a-half miles. This is the closest separation ever of any multi-spacecraft formation. The team of spacecraft fly in a pyramid shape, called a tetrahedron, which enables MMS to capture three-dimensional observations of magnetic reconnection – a mysterious phenomenon, during which magnetic fields experience explosive interactions. The closer formation will allow the spacecraft to measure magnetic reconnection at smaller scales, helping scientists to better understand it.

Destination Mars Exhibit

While it will be years before the first astronauts go to Mars, a new exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida can take you on a virtual field trip there, now. Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin helped introduce “Destination Mars”, a mixed-reality experience designed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and Microsoft HoloLens – a fully self-contained, holographic computer.  The limited-time exhibit, which uses real imagery taken by NASA’s Mars Curiosity rover and enables users to explore the Martian surface, runs through Jan. 1, 2017.

Orbital ATK Targets Launch Window

Orbital ATK is targeting a five-day window of Oct. 9-13, for the launch of its Antares rocket and Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station, from Wallops Flight Facility, in Virginia. A more specific date will be identified upon completion of final operational milestones and technical reviews. This mission, known as OA-5, will be Orbital ATK’s sixth to the station under its Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA. Cygnus will carry more than 5,200 pounds of supplies and science experiments to the space station on the mission.

NASA-developed Technology Saves Pilot’s Life

Radio Comm-Pilots:
“Two, recover. Two recover. Two recover. (warning alarm).”

This video from the heads-up display of an F-16 aircraft during a recent training exercise shows the jet plummeting toward the ground after its student-pilot loses consciousness. But, fortunately, technology known as the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System, or Auto-GCAS, developed in part by NASA, took control and maneuvered the F-16 and the pilot away from the ground, to safety. NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, the Air Force Research Lab, and Lockheed Martin collaborated on testing and development of this technology. This is the fourth confirmed save of an aircraft by Auto-GCAS.

Combined Federal Campaign Underway

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden was on hand at headquarters for the 2016 Combined Federal Campaign Kickoff event on Sept. 22. Each year, donations from NASA employees make a positive impact on the lives of others who are less fortunate. There is a wide choice of approved local, national and international charities to which employees around the agency can donate. The campaign runs through Dec. 31.

And that’s what’s up this week @NASA.

 

(c)2016 NASA | SCVTV
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