NASA | This Week @ NASA: Sky Panorama, Commercial Flight Test
A critical milestone for commercial crew …
Resupply spacecraft delivers to the space station …
And a new wide-eyed view of the southern sky … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!
NASA Partner Boeing’s Starliner Completes Pad Abort Test
On Nov. 4, our commercial partner Boeing successfully completed its first flight test with its CST-100 Starliner, as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The Pad Abort Test at the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico was a critical safety milestone, designed to verify that each of Starliner’s systems will function not only separately, but also together, to carry astronauts safely away from the launch pad in the unlikely event of an emergency prior to liftoff. With Boeing and SpaceX, our other commercial crew partner, we are working to return human spaceflight launches to the International Space Station from American soil.
U.S. Commercial Cargo Ship Arrives at Space Station
In the early hours of Nov. 4, our commercial resupply services partner, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station, two days after launching from our Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The unpiloted Cygnus – loaded with about 8,200 pounds of research, crew supplies, and hardware – was captured by our Jessica Meir and Christina Koch controlling the Canadarm2 robotic arm from inside the station. The Cygnus was later attached to the station through commands sent by ground controllers.
TESS Captures Panorama of the Southern Sky
This new mosaic of the southern sky was stitched together with 208 images taken by our Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS during its first year of science operations – which it completed in July 2019. The mission divided the southern sky into 13 sectors, and imaged each sector for nearly a month. Some notable objects visible in the image include the Milky Way – our home galaxy, which is seen edgewise on the left, the Orion Nebula, seen near the top, and near the center is the Large Magellanic Cloud – a nearby galaxy located about 163,000 light-years from Earth. TESS also discovered 29 exoplanets, or worlds beyond our solar system in this scene, and more than 1,000 candidate planets astronomers are now investigating.
NASA Opens Previously Unopened Apollo Sample Ahead of Artemis Missions
On Nov. 5, an untouched rock and soil sample brought back from the Moon on Apollo 17 was opened in the Lunar Curation Laboratory at our Johnson Space Center in Houston. This marked the first time in more than 40 years a pristine sample of rock and regolith from the Apollo era has been opened, and sets the stage for scientists to practice techniques to study samples collected on future Artemis missions. The sample, collected by astronauts Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt, was opened as part of an initiative to study Apollo samples using new tools that were not available when the samples were originally returned to Earth.
Harrison Schmitt, Apollo 17 Astronaut:
Former Astronaut Fred Haise Featured at Apollo to Artemis Event
Former NASA astronaut and pilot Fred Haise gave a presentation at an event hosted by our Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, to highlight our famed Apollo program and our plans to return to the Moon by 2024. Haise, once a research pilot at the center, shared his experiences from Apollo – including the legendary Apollo 13 lunar mission, and also commented on the need for future human space exploration efforts, such as our Artemis program that will send the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024.
Fred Haise, Former NASA Astronaut:
That’s what’s up this week @NASA …(c)2019 NASA JPL | SCVTV