THIS WEEK @NASA: Inside Look at Upcoming Demo-2 Launch of Astronauts From Florida’s Space Coast

By  //  May 1, 2020

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Latest Happenings around NASA

ABOVE VIDEO: Highlighting our upcoming launch of astronauts from Florida, some news about our Moon to Mars effort, and our Mars helicopter has a new name … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

NASA, SpaceX Highlight Upcoming Demo-2 Mission

May 27 is the date NASA and SpaceX are targeting for the return of human spaceflight launches from American soil.

The historic mission known as Demo-2, which will send our Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station, was highlighted during a series of news conferences on May 1.

Bob Behnken/NASA Astronaut:
“Launching again on an American rocket from the Florida coast, and generations of people who maybe didn’t get a chance to see a space shuttle launch, getting a chance again to see human spaceflight in our own back yard, if you will is pretty exciting to be a part of.”

Doug Hurley/NASA Astronaut:
“It’s been a long eight-and-a-half or nine years in a lot of ways for the folks that have worked on this program, and then the fact that we didn’t have capability to go to space station from the United States, and so once again, I think Bob and I are very humbled to be in this position in order to do that soon.”

It will be the first flight test of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft with NASA astronauts aboard.

NASA Announces Commercial Human Lander Awards

This past week, we announced that three U.S. companies – SpaceX, Dynetics, and Blue Origin – have been selected to develop modern human landing systems for our Artemis program. Artemis will carry the first woman and next man to the surface of the Moon by 2024, and develop sustainable lunar exploration. We will use the experience gained on and around the Moon to prepare for eventual human exploration of Mars.

Alabama High School Student Names NASA’s Mars Helicopter

The helicopter for our Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission has a new name – Ingenuity. Alabama high school student Vaneeza Rupani submitted the name as part of NASA’s “Name the Rover” essay contest. Her winning essay was among 28,000 submitted from every U.S. state and territory. Ingenuity is an experimental aircraft that could help add an aerial component to future Mars exploration missions.

Asteroid 1998 OR2 Flies Safely Past Earth

A large near-Earth asteroid, called 1998 OR2, safely passed by Earth April 29, giving astronomers an opportunity to study the 1.5-mile-wide object in great detail. When it passed Earth, 1998 OR2 was more than 16 times farther away from us than our Moon. Our Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking program discovered the asteroid in July 1998, and astronomers have been tracking it for the past two decades.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA

NASA Names Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX to Develop Human Landers for Artemis Moon MissionsRelated Story:
NASA Names Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX to Develop Human Landers for Artemis Moon Missions