NASA | This Week @ NASA: Power Play Spacewalks Aboard the Space Station
Power Upgrade Spacewalks Outside the Space Station
Outside the International Space Station, our Christina Koch and Andrew Morgan conducted the first two spacewalks of what Koch refers to as, “the great @Space_Station battery swap” – a series of five expected spacewalks this month to upgrade the station’s power system, by replacing nickel-hydrogen batteries with new, more powerful lithium-ion batteries. The pair kicked off the series with a seven-hour and one minute spacewalk on Oct. 6, followed by the second outing five days later. The third spacewalk in the great space station battery swap series is scheduled for Oct. 16.
Administrator Bridenstine Checks Out Commercial Crew Progress
On Oct. 10, our Administrator Jim Bridenstine, visited the Hawthorne, California headquarters of our commercial partner, SpaceX. While there, they saw progress the company is making to fly astronauts to and from the space station aboard its Crew Dragon spacecraft, as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. This will help return the ability to fly American astronauts on American spacecraft from American soil – an important step toward sending the first woman and the next man to the Moon by 2024, as part of our Artemis program. Meanwhile, Bridenstine, Deputy Administrator Jim Morhard, Associate Administrator for Science Thomas Zurbuchen and James Webb Space Telescope Program Director Greg Robinson visited Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in California, where the fully assembled Webb Telescope is undergoing testing, prior to its eventual mission to seek out the first galaxies that formed in the early universe.
NASA Launches Mission to Study the Frontier of Space
On Oct. 10 – in the skies over the Atlantic Ocean, we air-launched the Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON mission aboard a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket. ICON will study the dynamic region of our upper atmosphere, where terrestrial and space weather meet, known as the ionosphere. The mission could help us better understand the physical processes at play in the ionosphere that are potentially detrimental to radio communications, satellites and the physical health of astronauts.
NASA Takes Delivery of First All-Electric Experimental Aircraft
The first all-electric configuration of our X-57 Maxwell aircraft has been delivered to our Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, for engineers to begin ground, taxi and eventually, flight tests. The X-57 is our first all-electric experimental aircraft, or X-plane, and the first crewed X-plane in two decades. A goal of the X-57 project is to further advance the design and airworthiness process for using distributed electric propulsion technology in general aviation aircraft – which has the potential to increase efficiency while decreasing emissions, and noise.
Registration Open for 2020 Human Exploration Rover Challenge
Registration is open for our 2020 Human Exploration Rover Challenge, set for April 17-18, near our Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The annual event is open to student teams from high schools, colleges and universities around the world to design, engineer and test a human-powered rover, on a course simulating terrain found on our Moon, Mars, and other planetary bodies. It is one of several challenges we use to encourage students to pursue degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math related fields. For more details go to nasa.gov/roverchallenge.
That’s what’s up this week @NASA(c)2019 NASA JPL | SCVTV