THIS WEEK @NASA: Step Toward Sustainable Lunar Exploration, NASA Aiding Response to California’s Wildfires

By  //  September 12, 2020

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Latest Happenings around NASA

ABOVE VIDEO: A step toward sustainable lunar exploration, looking for science and tech delivery to the Moon, and gearing up for some extreme conditions … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

Space Resources Key to Safe and Sustainable Lunar Exploration

We’re asking commercial companies to provide proposals for collecting of space resources in support of the Artemis program.

The requirements — a company has to collect a small amount of Moon “dirt” from the lunar surface, provide imagery and data to NASA, and conduct an “in-place” transfer of ownership of the material to NASA.

NASA Enlists Commercial Partners to Fly Payloads to Moon

We also asked our Commercial Lunar Payload Services partners for bids to fly a suite of science and technology payloads to the Moon in 2022 that will help lay the foundation for human missions to the lunar surface. Next-generation lunar science and technology is a main objective for returning to the Moon and preparing for Mars.

New Gears Can Withstand Impact, Freezing Temperatures on Lunar Missions

A NASA project is developing special gears able to withstand extremely cold temperatures on missions to the Moon and other destinations in our solar system. The gears are housed inside a “metallic glass” material able to survive the extreme cold without needing the usual heating.

NASA Resources Aiding the Response to California’s Wildfires

As California experiences one of the worst wildfire seasons on record, NASA’s Earth-observing instruments on spacecraft, satellites and aircraft are providing data to agencies responding to the emergency, including public health officials monitoring diminished air quality and visibility. The fires have burned more than 300,000 acres since Aug. 16.

OSIRIS-REx Data Show Trajectories of Particles Ejected from Bennu

This animation from our OSIRIS-REx mission shows the trajectories of particles emitted from the surface of asteroid Bennu during several months in 2019. Ongoing examination of Bennu and a sample of the asteroid expected to be returned to Earth, could help the O-REx team learn exactly why this phenomenon is occurring. The spacecraft is set to “touch” Bennu and collect that sample on Oct. 20.

New Educational Website Celebrates 20 Years of Space Station Science

Just in time for the new school year, the Celebrating Station Science online resource is available to connect students and educators to 20 years of space station experiments and research. Each month will have lesson plans, activities, information on space station science, and other resources for the Artemis Generation of explorers. Check it out at

That’s what’s up this week @NASA