THIS WEEK @NASA: Historic First Look at a Black Hole, Putting Humans on the Moon by 2024

By  //  April 14, 2019

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ABOVE VIDEO: The plan to put humans on the Moon by 2024, wrapping up a series of spacewalks on the space station, and an historic first look at a black hole … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

Administrator Bridenstine Speaks at Space Symposium

During his keynote address April 9 at the 35th Space Symposium in Colorado, our administrator, Jim Bridenstine, discussed how NASA plans to put humans on the Moon within the next five years.

NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine:
“The first phase is speed. Those things that we were going to invest in, in 2025, 2026, 2027 – we’re going to move them up. We need to get EM-1 off the ground in 2020 – that’s going to be a test of an uncrewed Orion crew capsule with the European Service Module around the Moon.”

Following that and a successful EM-2 flight test with a crew, we’ll need the power, propulsion and habitation that the Gateway will provide in lunar orbit.

NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine:
“The Gateway is our ability to go the Moon fast, for sure. Because of the power and propulsion element of the Gateway we have more access to more parts of the Moon than ever before.”

Which will also give us access to vital resources needed to live and work on the Moon for extended periods of time.

NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine:
“Why is that so important? The Moon is a proving ground. It’s the best place for us to live and work on another world so that we can ultimately go to Mars. Know this: the new direction of putting humans on the Moon in 2024, is not an America alone effort. We need all of our international partners. Our agency is up for it.”

Space Station Astronauts Wrap Up Spacewalk Series to Upgrade Power

On April 8, our Anne McClain and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency, conducted a six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk outside the International Space Station – the third spacewalk in just under a month on the station. The pair completed work to provide backup power to the Canadarm2 robotic arm, expand wireless communications coverage, enhance computer network capability, and prepare the station for future battery upgrade operations.

NASA’s Landmark Kelly Twins Study Reveals Resilience of Human Body in SpaceRelated Story:
NASA’s Landmark Kelly Twins Study Reveals Resilience of Human Body in Space

Black Hole Image Makes History; NASA Telescopes Coordinated Observations

A black hole and its shadow have been captured in an image for the first time. It was captured by a massive network of radio telescopes around the world – known as the Event Horizon Telescope, or EHT – that works together as one very large instrument.

The image shows the supermassive black hole at the center of the elliptical galaxy M87 – about 55 million light years away from us. Several NASA spacecraft also observed the black hole, and though they did not directly trace out the historic image, data from those observations were used to complement the EHT findings.

Results Published from NASA’s Landmark Twins Study

Results from our landmark Twins Study, which took place from 2015-2016, were published April 11 in Science. Retired astronauts and twins Mark and Scott Kelly participated in the investigation during Scott’s final spaceflight – a nearly year-long mission aboard the International Space Station – while his brother was on Earth.

Key results from the study will help better understand how to maintain crew health during human exploration to the Moon and Mars. For more information visit: nasa.gov/twins-study.

Kavandi, Buchli Inducted into Hall of Fame

The U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame inducted its two newest members during an April 6 ceremony at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. Janet Kavandi, currently director of our Glenn Research Center, is a veteran of three space shuttle missions and has logged more than 33 days in space. James Buchli has four space flights to his credit during which he traveled more than 7 million miles. He also served as deputy chief of the Astronaut Office from March 1989 until May 1992. These inductions bring the total number of hall of fame space explorers to 99.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA

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