THIS WEEK @NASA: Getting Ready For First Trip To Sun, New Photos of Ceres, Resupply Mission Arrives at ISS

By  //  July 7, 2018

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ABOVE VIDEO: Preparations are underway for first-ever trip to the Sun, a new resupply mission arrives at the @International Space Station, and our Dawn spacecraft captures close-up photos of dwarf planet Ceres – these a few of the stories to tell you about This Week at NASA!

New Resupply Mission Arrives at Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station on July 2 – three days after being launched from Florida.

The Dragon delivered more than 5,900 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory.

After about a month, it will return to Earth with about 3,800 pounds of cargo and research, including investigations on DNA sequencing and cancer therapy.

Dawn’s Latest Orbit Reveals Dramatic New Views of Ceres

Since being dropped into its final and lowest-ever orbit – about 22 miles above the surface of dwarf planet Ceres, our Dawn spacecraft has been returning thousands of stunning images and data. The low-altitude observations will help shed new light on the origin of the materials found across the surface of Ceres, including the largest deposits of carbonates observed thus far outside Earth, and possibly Mars.

Europa’s Ocean Ascending

This animation demonstrates how deformation in the icy surface of Europa could transport subsurface ocean water to the moon’s surface. This is just one of several simulated behaviors reported in a new study performed by scientists at our Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The study focused on linear features called “bands” and “groove lanes” found on Jupiter’s moons Europa and Ganymede. Scientists have used the same numerical model to solve mysteries about motion in Earth’s crust.

Parker Solar Probe Gets Its Heat Shield

Our Parker Solar Probe spacecraft has been outfitted with the revolutionary heat shield designed to protect it from the extreme temperatures it will encounter on its historic mission to the Sun. At closest approach the spacecraft will pass within 4 million miles of the Sun’s surface – where temperatures reach nearly 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. But the heat shield is made from materials that will keep everything within its shadow to about 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The mission is targeted to launch in August.

NuSTAR Mission Proves Superstar Eta Carinae Shoots Cosmic Rays

A new study using data from our NuSTAR space telescope shows that Eta Carinae, the most luminous and massive stellar system within 10,000 light-years, is accelerating particles to high energies — some of which may reach Earth as cosmic rays. Located about 7,500 light-years away, the system contains a pair of massive stars whose eccentric orbits bring them unusually close every 5.5 years. They pass about 140 million miles apart at their closest approach – about the average distance separating Mars and the Sun.

SPACE TO GROUND: Latest Happenings Aboard International Space StationRelated Story:
SPACE TO GROUND: Latest Happenings Aboard International Space Station

Help NASA Track and Predict Mosquito-Borne Disease Outbreaks

Researchers are looking for more data from citizen scientists to help track mosquitoes known to carry and spread diseases like Zika, West Nile Virus and malaria. These data are combined with NASA Earth satellite observations to create new forecast models that can predict the spread of mosquito-carrying diseases. You can help track mosquitoes by downloading the GLOBE Observer app from your device’s app store, and then collect data over the summer using the Mosquito Habitat Mapper tool in the app.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA

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