THIS WEEK @NASA: Power Spacewalk Outside ISS, Young Giant Planet Offers Clues to Formation of Exotic Worlds

By  //  June 27, 2020

Latest Happenings around NASA

ABOVE VIDEO: A power spacewalk outside the space station, honoring a former ‘Hidden Figure,’ and a “way cool” find of a hot Jupiter … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

A Power Spacewalk Outside the Space Station

Chris Cassidy & Bob Behnken/NASA Astronauts:
“I am clear, tether’s clear. Bob can you double check me? I can verify you’re clear.”

On June 26, our Chris Cassidy and Bob Behnken worked outside the International Space Station to replace aging nickel-hydrogen batteries in one of the station’s power channels with new lithium-ion batteries.

Chris Cassidy & Bob Behnken/NASA Astronauts:
“Alright Bob – finally heading your way. Sounds good!”

The battery replacement work is the culmination of power upgrade spacewalks that began in January 2017.

NASA Names Headquarters After ‘Hidden Figure’ Mary W. Jackson

On June 24, our Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced that our headquarters building in Washington, D.C., will be named after Mary W. Jackson, the first African American female engineer at NASA. Jackson was part of a group of very important women whose math and scientific acumen helped to safely get American astronauts to space and back. These women were portrayed in the book “Hidden Figures” and popular movie of the same name.

Young Giant Planet Offers Clues to Formation of Exotic Worlds

Our planet-hunting TESS spacecraft and data from our recently retired Spitzer Space Telescope, helped identify the youngest known hot Jupiter – a type of gas-dominated exoplanet that orbits extremely close to its parent star. The planet, located about 490 light-years from Earth, is believed to be less than 17 million years old and could teach us more about how planets form throughout the universe.

NASA’s First Planetary Defense Mission Target Gets a New Name

The moon in the binary near-Earth asteroid system, Didymos that was previously known as Didymos B, has been officially named Dimorphos. In 2022, it will be the target of our Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), the first full-scale demonstration of an asteroid deflection technology for planetary defense.

NASA Developing a Plan to Fly Personnel on Suborbital Spacecraft

We’ve started a new effort to enable astronauts, principal investigators and other NASA personnel to fly on future commercial suborbital spaceflights. These flights are anticipated to be more accessible, affordable, and available than missions to the International Space Station and could provide additional commercial human spaceflights for research, training, and testing activities.

A Ten-Year View of Our Sun

Our Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) has been watching the Sun for over a decade. This 10-year timelapse compresses each day into a second, showing the rise and fall in solar activity and notable events like transiting planets and eruptions.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA