THIS WEEK @NASA: Milestone Test for Artemis Program, Commercial Lunar Payload Services Project

By  //  July 6, 2019

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ABOVE VIDEO: A milestone test for our Artemis Program, an update on our Commercial Lunar Payload Services project, and more honors for a NASA icon … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

Successful Milestone Test for Artemis Program

During a July 2 test at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, we successfully demonstrated the launch abort system for our Orion spacecraft can safely pull astronauts away from a speeding rocket in case of an emergency during launch.

The test, called Ascent Abort-2, is another milestone in the agency’s preparation for Artemis missions to the Moon that will lead to astronaut missions to Mars.

Orion is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration that – along with our Space Launch System rocket and Gateway – will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024.

NASA Selects 12 New Lunar Science, Technology Investigations

We have selected twelve new science and technology payloads that will help us study the Moon and explore more of its surface as part of our Artemis lunar program.

The selected investigations will go to the Moon on future flights through our Commercial Lunar Payload Services or CLPS project. CLPS allows rapid acquisition of lunar delivery services for payloads like these that advance capabilities for science, exploration, or commercial development of the Moon.

For more about Artemis, CLPS and other elements of our Moon to Mars effort go to nasa.gov/moontomars.

West Virginia NASA Facility Renamed After Agency Icon

On July 2, our Administrator Jim Bridenstine, U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, U.S. Representative David McKinley, and others attended a ceremony to rename and dedicate our Independent Verification and Validation, or IV&V Facility in West Virginia in honor of legendary NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson.

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The West Virginia native, who attended graduate school at nearby West Virginia University, worked for NASA as a human computer – where she calculated spacecraft trajectories for some of our earliest and most historic missions. The IV&V facility was originally founded in 1993 to contribute to the safety and success of our highest-profile missions.

NASA Livestreams South America Total Solar Eclipse

Also on July 2, we worked with the Exploratorium in San Francisco to provide live views, on nasa.gov, of the total solar eclipse only visible directly in parts of Chile and Argentina. The programming also featured updates from our Parker Solar Probe and Magnetospheric Multiscale missions.

Studying the Sun during total solar eclipses helps us better understand solar radiation – which can affect space weather near Earth, astronauts in space, and materials used to build spacecraft.

Similar data will be important in planning our return of astronauts to the Moon in 2024 and eventual crewed missions to Mars.

Hubble Captures the Galaxy’s Biggest Ongoing Stellar Fireworks Show

A new view from our Hubble Space Telescope of super-massive star, Eta Carinae, shows the star’s hot, expanding gases glowing in red, white and blue – like Fourth of July fireworks from space.

The star’s slow-motion fireworks actually started 170 years ago when it went through a massive outburst called the Great Eruption. This made it the second-brightest star visible in the sky for over a decade – so bright that, for a time, it even became an important navigational star for mariners in the southern seas.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA

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