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Uploaded 10/09/2017

This Week @ NASA: National Space Council Meets

National Space Council Meets

Vice President Mike Pence called for renewed U.S. leadership in space during the first meeting of the National Space Council.

Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States:
We will return American astronauts to the Moon. Not only to leave behind footprints and flags, but to build the foundation we need to send Americans to Mars and beyond.”

The October 5 council meeting, held at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, outside Washington, brought together representatives from all aspects and sectors of the national space enterprise, for the first time in a quarter century – including NASA’s Acting Administrator, Robert Lightfoot.

U.S. Spacewalk Aboard the Space Station

On Oct. 5, NASA’s Randy Bresnik and Mark Vande Hei conducted a spacewalk to replace one of two Latching End Effectors (LEE) on the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 robotic arm. The excursion was the first of three U.S. spacewalks planned in October to perform station maintenance. Spacewalks on Oct. 10 and 18 will be devoted to lubricating the newly installed end effector and replacing cameras outside the station.

Eugene Parker Views Solar Probe Spacecraft

Physicist Dr. Eugene Parker viewed the NASA spacecraft that bears his name, during an Oct. 3 event at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab in Laurel, Md. Thomas Zurbuchen, our Associate Administrator for Science, was among those on hand. The Parker Solar Probe will be the first-ever mission to travel directly into the sun’s atmosphere – conducting studies closer to the surface of our star, than any spacecraft before it. Launch is targeted for summer 2018.

Scientists Find Giant Black Hole Pairs

Astronomers have identified five pairs of supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies – each containing millions of times the mass of the Sun. This discovery was made using data from a suite of observatories, including our Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), and the ground-based Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona. The finding could help astronomers better understand how giant black holes grow and how they may produce the strongest gravitational wave signals in the Universe.

Parachute Test Platform Launched

A suborbital sounding rocket was launched on Oct. 4 from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, carrying a payload called the Advanced Supersonic Parachute Inflation Research Experiment (ASPIRE) from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. ASPIRE, which was launched to an altitude of 32 miles, is designed to test parachute systems in a low-density, supersonic environment with the ultimate goal of supporting landings on Mars.

And that’s what’s up this week @NASA …

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