THIS WEEK @NASA: ISS Newest Crew Members, First Asteroid Sample Return Mission Arrives At Bennu

By  //  December 7, 2018

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ABOVE VIDEO: The space station’s newest crew members are safely onboard, our first asteroid sample return mission arrives at its destination, and the first sounds from Mars … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

New Crew Onboard Space Station

The International Space Station’s three newest crew members, including our Anne McClain, are adjusting to life aboard the orbital outpost.

McClain, Oleg Konenenko of Roscosmos, and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency docked their Soyuz spacecraft to the station at 2:33 p.m. EST on Dec. 3 – six hours after launching from Kazakhstan.

They will spend more than six months on the station and are scheduled to be onboard during the first test flights of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, which will return human spaceflight launches to American soil.

Commercial Resupply Mission Launches to Space Station

On Dec. 5, a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida to deliver supplies to the space station – including critical materials to directly support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations onboard. This is SpaceX’s 16th resupply mission to the space station.

OSIRIS-REx Arrives at Bennu

OSIRIS-REx Control Room:
“We have arrived! (applause and cheering)”

After traveling through space for more than two years and two billion kilometers, our OSIRIS-REx spacecraft arrived at asteroid Bennu, on Dec. 3. The spacecraft will spend almost a year surveying Bennu to select a location on the asteroid that is safe and scientifically interesting to collect a sample. OSIRIS-REx will return that sample to Earth in September 2023.

InSight “Hears” Martian Winds

Our InSight lander has captured the first sounds ever sensed directly from the surface of Mars.

(Quick Nat Sound: Wind Vibrations on Mars)
Because the sounds – which are of vibrations caused by the Martian wind – are below or near the lower range of human hearing, they’ve been processed to make them more audible. Two very sensitive sensors aboard InSight each recorded the wind noise in different ways – resulting in rather different sounds. An air pressure sensor recorded the direct air vibrations caused by the wind moving through the open air.

(Sound: Wind Vibration from Air Sensor [APSS])
While a seismometer recorded vibrations experienced by the lander itself as the wind moved over the spacecraft’s solar panels.

Mars New Home ‘a Large Sandbox’, Shown by NASA’s InSight SpacecraftRelated Story:
Mars New Home ‘a Large Sandbox’, Shown by NASA’s InSight Spacecraft

(Sound: Wind Vibration from Seismometer)
InSight landed on Mars Nov. 26, and is the first mission to study the deep interior of the Red Planet – to help us learn more about how it and other rocky celestial bodies formed – including Earth and our Moon.

NASA Mourns Passing of President George H.W. Bush

NASA joined the rest of the nation this past week to mourn the passing of President, George Herbert Walker Bush – the nation’s 41st President. In a statement, our administrator, Jim Bridenstine said the late President’s Space Exploration Initiative helped us to think big and long-term about space. And his impassioned vision still can be felt in our ongoing efforts to send humans farther into the solar system to live and work for extended periods. President George H.W. Bush – was 94 years old.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA

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