This Week at NASA | Hurricane Matthew Seen from Space, more
Cameras outside the International Space Station captured views of Hurricane Matthew during several passes over the major storm as it made its way north through the Caribbean Sea during the week of Oct. 3. The storm, which reached Category 4 status with winds up to about 145 miles per hour, impacted Haiti, eastern Cuba and the Bahamas. Forecasters predicted Matthew would threaten the southeast coast of the United States, including Florida’s Space Coast. As a precaution, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center closed Oct. 5 after preparing facilities for what could be a direct hit from the storm. Also, One Mars Year of Science for MAVEN, SLS Hardware Being Stacked for Stress Test, Oceans Melting Greenland, Aspira con NASA, and NASA at White House Events.
Cameras outside the International Space Station captured views of Hurricane Matthew during several passes over the major storm, as it made its way north through the Caribbean Sea during the week of Oct. 3. The storm, which reached Category 4 status with winds up to about 145 miles per hour, impacted Haiti, eastern Cuba and the Bahamas. Forecasters predicted Matthew would threaten the southeast coast of the United States, including Florida’s Space Coast. As a precaution, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center closed Oct. 5 after preparing facilities for what could be a direct hit from the storm.
On Oct. 3, NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN or (MAVEN) mission completed one Martian year of science observations at Mars. One Martian year (687 Days) is equivalent to just under two Earth years. Since settling into orbit around Mars on Sept. 21, 2014, MAVEN has helped researchers formulate the most complete understanding of the role solar wind plays in the loss of the planet’s atmosphere. The mission has also helped scientists determine that the loss of atmospheric gas to space is the major force behind the change in the planet’s climate from the warm, wet environment it was in the past, to the cold, dry one that we see today. MAVEN has been approved for an additional two-year mission extension that will run through the end of September 2018.
Engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, are getting ready to put the pressure on hardware for the agency’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. On Sept. 21, a simulator of the SLS core stage, designed and built at Marshall, was lifted and lowered into the newly-constructed 65-foot-tall test stand there, in preparation for a series of rigorous stress tests with hardware for the SLS and NASA’s Orion spacecraft. The testing, which is scheduled to begin in January, is designed to ensure the world’s most powerful rocket can withstand the incredible forces that occur during a launch.
NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG) airborne field campaign is back in the Arctic – dropping probes from a science aircraft into ocean waters off the coast of Greenland. The probes relay data to airborne computers that show where warm, extremely salty, subsurface water is reaching the bottoms of glaciers – a process believed to be contributing to accelerated melting of the world’s second largest ice sheet. Oceans Melting Greenland is part of NASA’s Earth Expeditions field studies designed to delve into tough questions about how our home planet is changing.
In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month NASA hosted an October 4 event at the agency’s headquarters in Washington, called Aspira con NASA – which, in English, translates to “Aspire with NASA”. The event featured a video message from NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden, and remarks from Associate Administrator for Education, Donald James and Krista Paquin – associate administrator for Mission Support. Guest speakers Diana Trujillo, mission lead for NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover, and former NASA astronaut José Hernández also each shared their personal stories with students, to help inspire and encourage them to pursue an education and career in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM-related field.
NASA at White House Events
NASA was represented at two White House events the week of October 3. NASA astronaut Anne McClain participated in a Facebook Live and other activities at Monday’s South by South Lawn – a White House festival that brought together creative thinkers, innovators, and organizers from around the country. And on Thursday, astronaut Kjell Lindgren participated in the harvest of the White House Kitchen Garden. Last spring, NASA officials helped the First Lady plant seeds in the garden, including seedlings of the same variety of lettuce that has been grown on the International Space Station. Lindgren harvested the original crop of lettuce onboard the Space Station during his time on orbit.
And that’s what’s up this week @NASA.
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