This Week at NASA | This Week @ NASA: Taking the Next Giant Leap – Sooner
Accelerating our return to the Moon …Another spacewalk outside the International Space Station … And testing our Mars Helicopter … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!
Vice President Mike Pence: “Fifty years ago, one small step for man became one giant leap for mankind.”
On March 26, during the fifth National Space Council meeting near our Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, U.S. Vice President and council chair Mike Pence asked NASA to accelerate plans to take the next giant leap off Earth.
Vice President Pence: “At the direction of the President of the United States, it is the stated policy of this administration and the United States of America to return American astronauts to the Moon within the next five years.”
Even though this changes the plan for when we’ll go to the Moon, the plan for how and why to go remains consistent.
Vice President Pence: “Establish a permanent base there and develop the technologies to take American astronauts to Mars and beyond.”
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine: “You have given us a charge today and it is right on time – and I want to say thank you for that vision and the leadership. NASA is going to do everything in its power to meet that vision – to meet that deadline.”
The accelerated timeline calls for an “all-hands on deck” approach – reminiscent of our historic Apollo program. The Vice President made it clear – he believes NASA is up to the challenge.
Vice President Pence: “History’s not written by those who stubbornly cling to the status quo, history is written by those who dare to dream big and do the impossible. We will lead the world in human space exploration once again. Now let’s get to work.”
Outside the International Space Station, our Nick Hague and Christina Koch conducted a spacewalk to complete the replacement of batteries on a portion of the station’s truss system. This was the second of three planned outings to upgrade the station’s power system. The final spacewalk in the series is currently scheduled for April 8.
Engineers put our Mars Helicopter technology demonstration through rigorous testing at our Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Flying a helicopter hundreds of millions of miles away, in the thin Martian atmosphere presents some unique challenges. So the team recreated the gravity and flying conditions at Mars in a 25-foot wide vacuum chamber. The Mars Helicopter is scheduled to launch with the agency’s Mars 2020 rover mission.
We will ‘rock’ you — A set of stereoscopic images released by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission provides a 3D view of a 170-foot boulder that juts from the surface of asteroid Bennu, and the rocky slopes surrounding the boulder in the asteroid’s southern hemisphere. Dr. Brian May, legendary guitarist for the rock band Queen and an astrophysicist, is one of the scientists who helped create the image. After working with NASA’s New Horizons mission, Dr. May recently joined the OSIRIS-REx mission science team to create stereoscopic data products, which will be used by the team to help select a sample collection site on Bennu.
That’s what’s up this week @NASA …(c)2019 NASA | SCVTV