This Week at NASA | This Week @ NASA: Expedition 51-52 Launches to the Space Station
Expedition 51-52 Launches to the Space Station
On April 20, Expedition 51-52 Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA and Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Space Agency, Roscosmos launched to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. About six-hours later, the pair arrived at the orbital outpost and were greeted by station Commander Peggy Whitson of NASA and other members of the crew. Fischer and Yurchikhin will spend four and a half months conducting research aboard the station.
U.S. Resupply Mission Heads to the Space Station
Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft launched to the station atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket April 18, from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Cygnus — named the “SS John Glenn” in honor of the late NASA astronaut and U.S. Senator from Ohio, is delivering more than 7,600 pounds of supplies and scientific experiments for the station crew. Following its arrival on April 22, the Cygnus is scheduled to spend the next three months at the station.
Time Magazine Recognizes Planet-Hunting Scientists
Three extraordinary planet hunters have been named to Time Magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Natalie Batalha, is a project scientist with NASA’s Kepler mission – Kepler discovered the first Earth-size planets beyond our solar system. She’s joined on the list by Guillem Anglada-Escudé of the Queen Mary University of London, who discovered an Earth-size planet orbiting Proxima Centauri in 2016, and Michaël Gillon of the University of Liège in Belgium, who recently announced the discovery of the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. The discovery was made using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and ground-based observatories.
Landslides on Ceres Reflect Ice Content
As NASA’s Dawn spacecraft continues exploring the dwarf planet Ceres, there is growing evidence that Ceres has a significant amount of water ice. A new study in the journal Nature Geoscience adds to this picture, showing how ice may have shaped the variety of landslides seen on Ceres today. Research shows that Ceres is covered in landslides like those we experience on Earth, and furthers the case that the dwarf planet has a lot of water ice involved in its structure.
Mars Rover Opportunity Leaves ‘Tribulation’
NASA’s senior Mars rover, Opportunity, is leaving “Cape Tribulation” – a crater-rim segment it has explored since late 2014. Opportunity is headed southbound for the fluid-carved “Perseverance Valley” on the “Cape Byron” segment of the crater rim. The rover team plans observations in the valley in an effort to determine the type of fluid activity that carved out the valley billions of years ago: water, wind or flowing debris lubricated by water.
Earth Day in the Nation’s Capital
NASA’s Earth Day celebrations this year include live and online public activities. The April 20 Earth Day in the Nation’s Capital event at Washington’s Union Station featured NASA hands-on activities and presentations, images of Earth on NASA’s Hyperwall, agency officials discussing the benefits of observing our home planet from the vantage point of space, and autographs from former astronaut Scott Altman – commander of the last Hubble Space Telescope Servicing mission. NASA also invited the public to learn about our global environment by “adopting” a small part of Earth – complete with an adoption certificate to print and share on social media.
And that’s what’s up this week @NASA …(c)2017 NASA | SCVTV