NASA’s SpaceX launch is not the cure for racial injustice on Earth

The inspiration that human spaceflight brings cannot erase the anger and pain felt by communities around the United States who are reeling from violence and racial injustice.

This weekend, Americans celebrated the launch of SpaceX’s Demo-2 mission, a historic crewed mission that returned astronaut flights from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011. The mission launched NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station on a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule.

But at that same moment, people across the country were protesting the death of George Floyd, who was killed Monday (May 25) when the now-former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck while other officers looked on. Chauvin was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday (May 29), but the incident, captured on video and stemming from a history of police brutality against people of color, has sparked outrage across the nation.

Read the full article here.


Image credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA

At 82, NASA pioneer Sue Finley still reaching for the stars

Sue Finley began work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the US prepared to launch its first satellite into orbit in 1958, racing to match the Soviet Union, which had accomplished the feat months earlier.

Finley had dropped out of college and joined a group of mathematically gifted individuals, overwhelmingly women, whose job it was to solve the complex equations thrown at them by rocket scientists before electronic computing became affordable and reliable.


Read the full article here.


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Mount Pleasant students design space helmet, named finalists in national NASA competition

What started out as a project led by a group of students at Wando High School could one day be used as part of a NASA deep space mission.

After designing a space helmet to protect astronauts from harmful solar radiation, Wando’s student-led team was selected as one of 18 finalists in the NASA Wear competition, a nationwide event that challenges middle and high school students to design and create wearable space technology.

The best part? Components of the best designs might one day be used in NASA’s Moon to Mars mission.


Read the full article here.


Image Credit: Louanne Murphy

SpaceX Docking at the Space Station: Latest Updates

Astronauts dock with space station, fulfilling historic trip to orbit.

The Crew Dragon has arrived.

A SpaceX capsule carrying two NASA astronauts docked at the International Space Station on Sunday morning, less than a day after a historic launch that marked the first time humans had ever traveled to orbit in a spacecraft built and operated by a private company.

The approach of the Crew Dragon proceeded smoothly, about 15 minutes ahead of schedule, with a camera on the space station capturing the red, green and white lights of the capsule as it steadily crept up over the course of a couple of hours. The astronauts, Robert L. Behnken and Douglas G. Hurley, took over manual control for a while, firing the thrusters to nudge the position of the spacecraft, before turning control back to a computer for the final steps leading to docking.

Check out the New York Times page for live updates!

Image credit: Business Insider

SpaceX Launch: Live Updates

When is the launch, and how can I watch it?

On Saturday, for the first time since the retirement of the space shuttles in July 2011, NASA astronauts are scheduled to blast off from American soil on an American rocket to the International Space Station. In contrast to astronaut launches in the past when NASA ran the show, this time a private company, SpaceX, will be in charge of mission control. The company, founded by Elon Musk, built the Falcon 9 rocket and the capsule, Crew Dragon, which the two astronauts will travel in.

The mission is scheduled to lift off at 3:22 p.m. Eastern time from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Coverage of the launch on NASA Television began at 11 a.m.

See the full article here

Image Credit: Steve Nesius/Reuters

10 Ways Students Can Prepare to #BeAnAstronaut

Want to #BeAnAstronaut, but don’t know where to start? Here are some ways you can kick-start your journey! Since the first Artemis class of astronauts graduated on Jan. 10, NASA announced that it will accept applications for a new astronaut class from March 2 to 31. Even if you don’t qualify to #BeAnAstronaut — yet — within NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement, or OSTEM, there are ways to get involved with NASA’s missions. Check out the top 10 ways to #BeAnAstronaut:

See all 10 tips here.

📸: #Astronaut Mae Jemison,

I’m a female astronaut who spent 199 days in space and here are my most empowering self-isolation tips

Samantha Cristoforetti, an Italian astronaut with the European Space Agency, is someone who understands how it feels to be confined to a small space for long periods, more than most. She spent six and a half months in space (199 days to be precise), and up until June 2017, held the record for the longest single space flight by a woman. Here, she shares her tips on self-isolation and making the most of these testing times, exclusively with GLAMOUR. So how can we pace ourselves and adjust to a more confined way of living?

1. Reframe The Experience

Firstly, I must say that being in space wasn’t a struggle for me. Astronauts take it as a huge opportunity being in space. It’s something to enjoy. We knew in advance that we were going to be there. So I would say psychologically reframe this experience and try to make the most of the time. Ask yourself if there are things you can enjoy about it? I am getting to spend a lot more time with my three-year-old daughter, for example.


Read the other tips here.


📸: Universal-Sci


NASA CO2 Conversion Challenge Competitor Pitches in to Help COVID-19 Efforts

A technology that could help humans live on Mars is being used to address an immediate need here on Earth and produce hand sanitizer for a community impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Air Co., a company based in Brooklyn, New York, and competing in NASA’s CO2 Conversion Challenge, is making hand sanitizer with a technology that coverts carbon dioxide into ethanol. The company donates the supplies to local hospitals, doctors’ offices, and police stations.

They’re using the same unique technology to convert carbon dioxide into simple sugar molecules known as D-sugars for the NASA competition. The ability to make D-sugars, such as glucose, in space could be used to create mission-critical products such as plastic, food and medicine.

Read the full article here.


📸: #AirCo

‘Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload’ challenge seeks tiny designs for the moon

Do you love adorable, tiny things? Have you ever dreamed of having something you designed land on the moon? If you answered yes to both these questions, you should probably enter NASA’s new competition: “Honey, I Shrunk the NASA Payload.”

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has issued a public challenge for people to design instruments that could support a long-term human presence on the moon. The contest’s name references the hit movie “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” which debuted in 1989.

Read the full article here.


📸: #NASA

NASA Grant Helps Students Prepare for Their Next Steps

In Bethel’s fluids lab, Jake Stein ’20 adjusts the speed of liquid moving in a Taylor-Couette flow apparatus. He built the apparatus, which features a motor on top of a small, clear cylinder that rotates an inner black cylinder, causing the liquid solution inside to flow. For Stein, the work carries important implications for his future. Along with gaining practical experience, he found his efforts never felt like work. “I love to do it,” he says. “It’s good to know, going into mechanical engineering, I really love to work on a project, design stuff, actually build it, and spend time trying to create something.”

Read the full article here.


📸: Jason Schoonover #BethelUniversity