NASA Activates Deep Space Atomic Clock

An atomic clock that could pave the way for autonomous deep space travel was successfully activated last week and is ready to begin its year-long tech demo, the mission team confirmed on Friday, Aug. 23, 2019. Launched in June, NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock is a critical step toward enabling spacecraft to safely navigate themselves in deep space rather than rely on the time-consuming process of receiving directions from Earth.

Developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the clock is the first timekeeper stable enough to map a spacecraft’s trajectory in deep space while being small enough to fly onboard the spacecraft. A more stable clock can operate farther from Earth, where it needs to work well for longer periods than satellites closer to home.

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Scientists Discover 2nd Alien Planet Around Star Beta Pictoris — and It’s Huge

The solar system around a star called Beta Pictoris was already a pretty interesting place, with a large planet scientists have actually seen and a huge amount of rubble flying around. But it just got even more intriguing.

That’s because astronomers now think they’ve picked up on a second planet orbiting the nearby star. The discovery is based on more than 10 years of data about miniscule changes in the star’s orbit caused by the gravitational tug between the star and what scientists now believe to be a planet.

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Marshall selected to lead NASA human lunar lander program

DALLAS — NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will manage the agency’s efforts to develop a lander needed to achieve the goal of landing astronauts on the moon by 2024, an announcement overshadowed by political wrangling about what center should be responsible.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, speaking at Marshall and flanked by three House members from Alabama and Tennessee, said that the Huntsville, Alabama, center will have overall responsibility for the Human Landing System program, which will oversee industry development of a human-rated landing system.

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Watch SpaceX Catch a Falling Rocket Fairing

The speedy, net-equipped SpaceX boat plucked a payload fairing out of the sky for the second time ever on Tuesday evening (Aug. 6), during the launch of the Amos-17 communications satellite atop a two-stage Falcon 9 rocket.

“Rocket fairing falls from space & is caught by Ms Tree boat,” SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said about 75 minutes after liftoff via Twitter, where he posted a 28-second-long video of the fairing half settling into GO Ms. Tree’s net in the Atlantic Ocean, far off the Florida coast.

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NASA is planning to spice up space, literally

Space is about to get spicy. The American space agency, NASA, is planning to blast New Mexico chile pepper plants out of the Earth’s atmosphere in March 2020 and grow the fruiting blooms on the International Space Station. Researchers hope it will lead to improved meals for astronauts, as well as a deeper understanding of how to someday grow food on the moon and Mars.

The “Improved Española” breed of New Mexico chile plants will be the first fruit Americans grow aboard the space station. NASA astronauts in 2015 ate lettuce grown in space for the first time, and a zinnia bloomed on the space station in 2016. But Russians were the first to grow produce on the ISS, beginning with peas in 2003, before Americans began extraterrestrial gardening activities.

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NASA | Meet Curiosity, a Mars Rover

What technology is needed to search for life on Mars? 9th-12 grade students can explore and learn about the Curiosity Mars rover in this interactive lesson from NASA & PBS Teachers.

In this interactive activity adapted from NASA, explore the onboard equipment and technologies that will help Curiosity, the latest Mars rover, meet its primary mission goal: to search for evidence of life. To achieve this, Curiosity will employ high-resolution stereoscopic cameras, spectrometers, chromatographs, environmental monitoring sensors, communications antennas, and a radiation detector, all of which you can explore in this activity.

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Times Square to Transform Into Tranquility Base

The Aldrin Family Foundation will host a day-long, free family celebration in support of The People’s Moon project on July 20 in Times Square in honor of the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest achievements of all time – landing a human on the Moon. City, state and national partners have come together to help transform the heart of New York City into Tranquility Base, the Apollo 11 landing site. From fun-filled educational activities to iconic footage from 1969 on the infamous Times Square screens to a giant Apollo photo mosaic, families will have the opportunity to spend nearly 14 hours celebrating this historic milestone.

“On July 20, 1969, the world was united as one, when humans achieved the ‘impossible’ dream of landing and walking on the moon,” said Andrew Aldrin, President of the Aldrin Family Foundation. “Our goal is to recapture that spirit and give thousands the opportunity to put themselves in the place where only 12 men have gone before and to share this historic moment, just like people did 50 years ago. Through this celebration, we hope to inspire today’s generation, give them hope for the future like Apollo did for generations before, and help them realize that their own ‘giant leap’ is right within their grasp.”

Press Release From: Aldrin Family Foundation

More about the event

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NASA’s Giant Leaps: Past and Future

NASA’s Giant Leaps: Past and Future – Celebrating Apollo 50th as we Go Forward to the Moon
On July 19, NASA will broadcast live from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the historic, newly-restored Apollo mission control room at Johnson Space Center in Houston and the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. NASA will also be at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, with a special guest host. They will look in live on Neil Armstrong’s hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio, see the Apollo 11 command module on display in Seattle, and see slices of Americana at other anniversary celebrations around the country. They will tell the story of how we got there, and how we’ll get there again, hearing directly from Apollo astronauts alongside current and future astronauts, scientists, engineers, and others sharing some untold stories, quirky facts, and personal reflections about journeying to the lunar surface. Watch it on the NASA Live page.

From Air and Space to L’SPACE – How I Came to NASA

My name is Daleen M. Torres and I study Mechanical Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus. NASA has always been one of those places where I never thought I would work. I originally wanted to work in the biomedical industry, but when I visited the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, a tiny spark lit up in me. My best friend who was with me at the time could tell that I was all starry-eyed and amazed when I saw the spacecraft and airplanes. This was where my initial interest for aerospace came.

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Virginia CubeSat Constellation Deployment

Three Virginia university satellites were deployed into nearly simultaneous orbit from the International Space Station via the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer at 10:50 a.m. EDT this morning. The Virginia CubeSat Constellation mission is a collaborative project of the Virginia Space Grant Consortium and four of its member universities: Old Dominion University (ODU), Virginia Tech (VT), University of Virginia (UVA), and Hampton University (HU). Livestream video (above) courtesy of UVA. Photograph courtesy of NanoRacks.