NASA will test-fire its 1st SLS megarocket for moon missions today. Here’s how to watch.

NASA will attempt to fire the engines on its Space Launch System (SLS) megarocket for the first time today and you can watch the fiery action live online.

As part of a critical test before the rocket behemoth  lifts off for the first time, the agency plans to ignite the four main engines on its heavy-lift core booster this at about 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT) today, Jan. 16. The test, which is designed to simulate the core stage’s performance during launch, will take place at the agency’s Stennis Space Center, in Mississippi.

You can watch the test live here and on the homepage, courtesy of NASA, beginning at 4:20 p.m. EST (1920 GMT). You’ll also be able to watch the test directly from NASA here.

Read the whole article here.

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What Would NASA Imagery Experts Pack for the Moon?

We are one step closer to landing the first woman and the next man on the Moon, and we want to know: What would you take with you to the Moon? 🌙

We are getting ready for our Green Run Hot Fire test, which will fire all four engines of the rocket that will be used for the Artemis I mission. This test will ensure the Space Launch System — the most powerful rocket ever built — is ready for the first and future missions beyond Earth’s orbit to the Moon.

Read the full article here.


Image Credit: Marv Smith, Lead Photographer, NASA Glenn Research Center

Next high-flying SpaceX Starship test could blast off Friday

Just in time to distract from the chaos in Washington, DC, SpaceX is working toward another high-altitude test flight of its next-generation spaceflight system.

The latest prototype of Elon Musk’s Starship, which is identified by the serial number SN9, underwent a brief test firing of its Raptor engines at the company’s Boca Chica, Texas, development facility on Wednesday. The test is part of a series of checks, which may include another static fire, leading up to a launch that could come as soon as Friday.


Read the full article here.


Image Credit: Republic World

ROBERT WINGLEE (1958–2020)

We are devastated to announce that Robert Winglee, director of Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium and of the Northwest Earth and Space Sciences Pipeline, has passed away.  He quite suddenly had a heart attack on December 24 and did not recover.

Robert was passionate about sharing his love of space and space science with others, and his impact went far beyond Seattle or the Pacific Northwest.  We invite you to join us in remembering him.  Please share your memories of Robert using #WingItLikeWinglee on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

A celebration of his life will be held in the new year — we’ll share details when they’re available.


Robert Winglee also served on the National Space Grant Foundation board from Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2015. We sincerely thank him for his service to the organization.


Original Article

Credit: Washington Space Grant Consortium

Dark Storm on Neptune Reverses Direction, Possibly Shedding a Fragment

Astronomers using NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope watched a mysterious dark vortex on Neptune abruptly steer away from a likely death on the giant blue planet.

The storm, which is wider than the Atlantic Ocean, was born in the planet’s northern hemisphere and discovered by Hubble in 2018. Observations a year later showed that it began drifting southward toward the equator, where such storms are expected to vanish from sight. To the surprise of observers, Hubble spotted the vortex change direction by August 2020, doubling back to the north. Though Hubble has tracked similar dark spots over the past 30 years, this unpredictable atmospheric behavior is something new to see.

Equally as puzzling, the storm was not alone. Hubble spotted another, smaller dark spot in January this year that temporarily appeared near its larger cousin. It might possibly have been a piece of the giant vortex that broke off, drifted away, and then disappeared in subsequent observations.


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Saturn and Jupiter to almost ‘kiss’ this winter solstice

Saturn and Jupiter will appear to almost kiss this winter solstice, although not because of some cosmic mistletoe hanging overhead.

Rather, the two gas giants will look as though they’re very close in the night sky in an event known as a “great conjunction,” which happens roughly every 20 years. In reality, Saturn and Jupiter will be hundreds of millions of miles apart from each other.

This year’s great conjunction will be exceptionally close — just a tenth of a degree apart, or one-fifth of a full moon’s diameter. The last time Saturn and Jupiter looked this cozy was July 16, 1623, back when the famous Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei was alive, according to, a Live Science sister site.

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12-year-old boy genius accepted at Georgia Tech, has dreams of going to Mars

A 12-year-old boy in Atlanta has dreams of going to Mars. Those dreams are not far-fetched, as the boy has already been accepted into college.

Caleb Anderson is not your typical 12-year-old.

He is currently enrolled in high school and takes classes at a local technical college. In the fall of 2021, he expects to enroll at Georgia Tech.

Read the full article and watch the news clip.


NASA Intern Thankful for New Career

David Tucker had spent nearly 20 years cooking at restaurants and hotels, with the last eight spent as a sous chef. “When everyone else is excited for a holiday and saying, ‘Yay! It’s Thanksgiving!’ I would think, “Okay so that just means I get to work twice as hard now.” He was in his mid-30’s when he realized he just wasn’t happy and wanted more for himself.


So, he enrolled at Thomas Nelson Community College (TNCC) on a whim. “It was kind of daunting at first, being out of school for that long. And you don’t even write or use a computer when you’re working in the kitchens, it’s just non-stop hands-on work.” Still, he knew he wanted to change his own trajectory somehow. “I wasn’t even sure about what major to take. I knew I was good with my hands, putting things together, so I decided on Mechanical Engineering Technology. I thought there would always be a need for engineering.”

When he took that path he never thought a career at NASA was a possibility, until a teacher came in one day and encouraged students to apply for the STEM Takes Flight program


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How We Got to the Moon’ tells the story of NASA’s 1960s venture in rich detail

Author-illustrator John Rocco has worked on many kinds of projects over the years, including designing demigods for the covers of the Percy Jackson, Magnus Chase and Kane Chronicles book series. In his latest book, he focuses on heroes from a different realm: the human engineers and scientists who worked on the United States space program in the 1960s.

In researching, writing and illustrating “How We Got to the Moon,” his first work of nonfiction, Rocco wanted to showcase the science and the human ingenuity that made the 1969 Apollo moon landing a reality. He also wanted to present the mission, which employed 400,000 people across the United States, as “a blueprint” for addressing current “problems that sometimes seem impossible, like climate change and racial injustice. If you look at how people came together back then, you can see a way through.”


Continue reading the article here.

(Photos by Hayley Rocco, left; Penguin Random House)

Two South Carolina women lead NASA teams aiming for the moon and beyond

A few years ago, Vanessa Wyche was in the launch control complex at Kennedy Space Center when she saw a woman wearing a Clemson University lanyard attached to a NASA badge.

“Hey,” she said excitedly to Charlie Blackwell-Thompson.

Despite studying at Clemson’s engineering department for a few years at the same time, the women had never met.

Read the full article.