THIS WEEK @NASA: NASA InSight Spacecraft Arrives At Mars, ISS Next Crew Wraps Up Prelaunch Activities
By Space Coast Daily // December 2, 2018
ABOVE VIDEO: NASA InSight spacecraft arrives at Mars after a nearly six month journey, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announces nine American companies who will help us get to the Moon, and the International Space Station’s next crew wraps up prelaunch activities … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!
InSight Mission Lands Successfully on Mars
InSight Control Room Comm:
“Touchdown confirmed (applause and cheering) …”
That confirmation at 11:52 a.m. PST on Nov. 26 – that our InSight lander survived the plunge through Mars’ atmosphere and was safely on the Martian surface, triggered waves of relief and elation from InSight team members at our Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Like past landings on Mars, this one was expected to be extremely hard and not without peril. So – no surprise that crowds braved the rain in New York City to watch outside the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Nasdaq bell ringing:
While inside, the mission was recognized during the closing bell. Even the crew aboard the International Space Station paid close attention. When the dust settled, this photo from the lander showing the surrounding Elysium Planitia region erased any lingering doubt the mission had indeed stuck a nearly flawless landing.
NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine:
“Today was a great day for the United States of America. It was also a great day for our international partners. This was seen all around the world.”
Voice of: Alexander Gerst, European Space Agency Astronaut:
“Kudos for pulling that one off and we are looking forward to the data that comes out of this mission.”
InSight will be the first mission to study the deep interior of Mars – which is expected to help us learn more about how Mars and other rocky celestial bodies formed – including Earth and our Moon. The mission could teach us valuable science as we prepare for our next bold endeavor to send astronauts to the Moon and later to Mars.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory Director, Michael Watkins:
“The history books will be rewritten about the interior of Mars. And these first couple of pictures of a place no human has ever seen before also remind us that in order to do science, we have to be bold and we have to be explorers.”
Also a success – was our Mars Cube One, or MarCO experimental CubeSats that launched with InSight as a communications technology demonstration. The first CubeSats sent into deep space, not only helped relay InSight’s landing signal and surface photo back to Earth – but even captured an incredible image of Mars as they flew by the Red Planet.
With landing complete — the InSight team will focus mainly on preparing to set the lander’s instruments on the Martian ground. InSight is expected to start collecting science data within its first week.
New Moon Partnerships Announced
On Nov. 29, we invited media to our headquarters in Washington, D.C. for the announcement of new Moon partnerships with U.S. companies. Working with American companies is the next step to achieving long-term scientific study and human exploration of the Moon and Mars.
NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine:
“We want multiple providers that are competing on costs and innovation. So that we as NASA can do more than we’ve ever been able to do before and advance the human spirt.”
Under Space Policy Directive-1, the agency will lead an innovative and sustainable exploration of the Moon together with commercial and international partners.
Expedition 58 Crew Prepares for Launch in Kazakhstan
At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, our Anne McClain and her Expedition 58 crewmates – Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency – wrapped up their final week of activities in preparation for a targeted Dec. 3 launch to the International Space Station. The trio is scheduled for a six-and-a-half-month mission on the station.
That’s what’s up this week @NASA
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