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Uploaded 05/21/2018

This Week @ NASA: Astronauts Working Outside the Space Station

Our astronauts doing work outside the Space Station …

An agency wide town hall with our new administrator …

And old data provide new insight about Jupiter’s moon Europa – a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

U.S. Spacewalk Outside the Space Station

On May 16, outside the International Space Station, our astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold made a spacewalk to help swap out a failed cooling system component with a spare. It is one of several on the station’s truss structure that helps maintain proper temperature for critical systems aboard the station. Feustel and Arnold also worked on replacing a camera system on the Destiny Laboratory and a communications receiver.

Agency Town Hall with Administrator Bridenstine

On May 17, during an agencywide town hall that originated from headquarters, our new Administrator Jim Bridenstine discussed a variety of topics.

NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine:
“Attracting talent is not a problem that NASA has. What we’ve got to make sure we’re doing is making sure that we’re attracting the diverse talent that ultimately is the best talent. The goal is – we need the absolute best workforce for the absolute best agency in the U.S. government. I am committed to that.”

The administrator also took questions from employees in the audience, and those participating remotely from centers and facilities across the country. Bridenstine, who officially took office on April 23, takes over an agency critical to the nation’s economy, security and technological preeminence.

NASA’s New Planet Hunter Snaps Initial Test Image

On May 17, while passing the Moon on its way to its final working orbit, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS – our next planet hunter – snapped a test image of the southern constellation Centaurus that reveals more than 200,000 stars. TESS is expected to cover more than 400 times as much sky as shown in the image during its initial two-year search for exoplanets. A science-quality image, also referred to as a “first light” image, is expected to be released in June.

Old Data Reveal New Evidence of Europa Plumes

Old data from our Galileo mission, reexamined with new modeling techniques are providing new insight into the question of whether Jupiter’s moon Europa has the ingredients to support life.

UCLA Professor Emerita, Margaret Kivelson
“We were aware of the possibility but it was certainly not something that we thought was highly probable. It was quite an ‘aha moment’.”

The data – from Galileo’s closest flyby of Europa in 1997 – have revealed independent evidence that the subsurface liquid water reservoir on the moon may be venting plumes of water vapor above its icy shell. This is good news for our Europa Clipper mission, which may launch as early as June 2022 to explore the moon’s potential habitability.

Small Asteroid Passes between Earth and Moon

On May 15, asteroid 2010 WC9 passed between Earth and the Moon while traveling at about 29,000 mph. At the time of closest approach, the asteroid came no closer to Earth’s surface than about 120,000 miles – which is about half the distance between Earth and the Moon. This flyby is the closest approach 2010 WC9 will make to Earth for at least two centuries.

New Space Station Crew Trains for Launch

Expedition 56-57 – the next crew headed to the International Space Station – was in Star City, Russia prepping for their mission. Our Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos, and Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency are scheduled to launch June 6 from Kazakhstan for a six and a half month mission on the station.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA …

(c)2018 NASA | SCVTV
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