This Week at NASA | This Week @ NASA: Space Station Upgrades Continue
Space Station Upgrades Continue
Work continues aboard the International Space Station on upgrades to prepare it for future operational activities. Ground controllers, using the station’s robotic arm, moved the Pressurized Mating Adapter-3 (PMA-3) from the Tranquility module to the station’s Harmony module March 26. PMA-3 will be outfitted with one of two International Docking Adapters to accommodate U.S. commercial spacecraft carrying astronauts on future missions. Four days after the PMA-3 move, NASA’s Shane Kimbrough and Peggy Whitson conducted the second in a series of three planned spacewalks to complete work related to the upgrades. The third spacewalk is planned in April.
James Webb Space Telescope Completes Acoustic and Vibration Tests
Engineers at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland recently completed the acoustic and vibration portions of environmental testing on the agency’s James Webb Space Telescope. The telescope was exposed to earsplitting noise and shaken five to 100 times per second as part of the testing. This and future testing ensures the spacecraft and all of its instruments can endure launch in 2018.
MAVEN Data Helps Measure Loss of Mars’ Atmosphere
New research from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft announced March 30 in the journal Science indicates solar wind and radiation are responsible for stripping away the Martian atmosphere. That process transformed Mars from a planet that could have supported life billions of years ago into a frigid desert world.
The science team for MAVEN, the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission, determined most of the gas ever in the Mars atmosphere has been lost to space. The team focused on the gas argon — estimating that about 65 percent of it has been stripped from the Martian atmosphere.
The MAVEN team previously announced measurements in 2015 that showed atmospheric gas currently is being lost to space. The present analysis uses measurements of the current atmosphere for the first estimate of how much gas was lost over time.
Getting Excited About STEM
NASA participated in an education-related Women’s History Month celebration, March 28 at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington. The program, featured appearances and presentations by NASA astronaut Kay Hire, several NASA engineers and scientists, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka. There also were activities geared toward getting students excited about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and a screening of the film, “Hidden Figures.”
New NASA App for Amazon Fire TV
NASA has released its popular NASA app for a new platform — the Amazon Fire TV. The app already is available for Apple TV, iOS, and Android devices. Viewers can access live streaming of NASA TV, more than 16,000 images, and play more than 14,000 NASA videos on demand directly on their televisions. The NASA app is available for free in the app store on Amazon Fire TV.
And that’s what’s up this week @NASA …(c)2017 NASA | SCVTV