THIS WEEK @NASA: A Week Full of Moon to Mars and More for Administrator Jim Bridenstine

By  //  October 29, 2018

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NASA's First Image of Mars from a CubeSat

ABOVE VIDEO: A week full of Moon to Mars and more for administrator Bridenstine … Seeking ideas for future cargo deliveries to our Gateway … And an oddity of an iceberg … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA! 

(NASA) – A week full of Moon to Mars and more for administrator Bridenstine … Seeking ideas for future cargo deliveries to our Gateway … And an oddity of an iceberg … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA! 

Moon to Mars, Commercial Space and More

On Oct. 23, our administrator, Jim Bridenstine participated in the fourth meeting of the National Space Council at the National War College in Washington, D.C. During the event, the administrator provided an update to U.S. Vice President and council chair, Mike Pence on the commercialization of low-Earth orbit – as called for in Space Policy Directive-2.

Earlier that day, during a panel discussion at the “Transformers: Space” event – hosted by the Washington Post – Bridenstine talked about our plans for a long-term return to the Moon to gain knowledge and experience that is essential for even farther journeys, including to Mars.

NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine:
“What we want to do at the Moon is prove capability, prove technology – build this reusable architecture, and in building this architecture with reusability, that’s how we get sustainability.”

And later in the week, the administrator joined other agency officials at the 11th annual Werner von Braun Memorial Symposium, near our Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The theme of this year’s symposium was, “Galvanizing U.S. Leadership In Space.”

NASA Seeks Information for Gateway Cargo Delivery Services

We put out a request on Oct. 23, seeking input from U.S. companies regarding logistics requirements to supply the Gateway – a permanent spaceship the agency plans to put into orbit around the Moon. The Gateway will serve as a home base for human and robotic missions to the lunar surface, and ultimately to Mars. This request will help NASA understand service options to transport cargo, equipment and other supplies to and from the Gateway. Responses are due to NASA by Nov. 2, 2018.

Airborne Mission Observes Interesting Iceberg

Hockey, anyone?? Our Operation IceBridge team spotted a couple of unusual-looking icebergs, during an aerial survey over the northern Antarctic Peninsula. A very sharp-angled and rectangular-shaped, tabular iceberg was seen floating among sea ice just off the Larsen C ice shelf. Imagery of this iceberg was widely shared after it was posted to social media. The team also saw a slightly less rectangular iceberg. Operation IceBridge is NASA’s longest-running aerial survey of polar ice.

NASA’s First Image of Mars from a CubeSat

This image of Mars – seen in the dashed circle – is the first ever image of the Red Planet captured by a CubeSat – a class of tiny, low-cost spacecraft. The image was captured by one of the twin Mars Cube One, or MarCO CubeSats launched with our InSight spacecraft to Mars. They are part of a technology demonstration that might help communicate data about InSight’s status during the spacecraft’s Nov. 26 descent and landing on Mars.

Chandra Resumes Science, Hubble Closer to Normal Operations

After being put into safe mode on Oct. 10, our Chandra X-ray Observatory recently resumed science observations following the successful completion of a procedure to enable a new gyroscope configuration for the spacecraft. Meanwhile, a backup gyroscope activated after our Hubble Space Telescope went into safe mode Oct. 5 has been producing rotation rates within an expected range. The Hubble team is testing and monitoring the gyroscope to ensure Hubble can return to science operations.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA

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