THIS WEEK @NASA: Next Space Station Crew Prepares for Launch, Artemis Moonwalk Simulations Underway

By  //  October 10, 2020

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ABOVE VIDEO: Prelaunch preparations for the next space station crew, science, technology and other cargo arrive at the station, and an update on an upcoming commercial crew flight … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

Next Space Station Crew Prepares for Launch in Kazakhstan

The next crew headed to the International Space Station, including our Kate Rubins, wrapped up pre-launch training at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov, and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov are scheduled to launch Oct. 14 for a six-month mission aboard the station.

U.S. Commercial Cargo Spacecraft Arrives at Space Station

On Oct. 5, Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft arrived at the station with almost 8,000 pounds of science, technology and other cargo. The spacecraft is named in honor of late astronaut Kalpana Chawla, a member of the STS-107 crew that perished in the space shuttle Columbia accident.

NASA, Boeing Announce Crew Changes for Starliner Crew Flight Test

“Butch” Wilmore will join fellow NASA astronauts Mike Fincke and Nicole Mann for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner’s first crewed flight to the International Space Station, targeted for 2021. Wilmore will take the place of Boeing’s Chris Ferguson, who is a former NASA astronaut. Ferguson decided not to fly for personal reasons.

Artemis Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)

Astronauts in demonstration versions of the exploration spacesuits being developed for our Artemis program, are using our Neutral Buoyancy Lab, near our Johnson Space Center to practice some of the same activities the first woman and next man on the Moon will carry out when they land on the lunar surface in 2024. This testing will help evaluate tools, develop training techniques for lunar surface operations, and plan future missions to the Moon.

Artemis Instrument Ready for Extreme Moon Temperatures

Teams at our Kennedy Space Center installed the radiator for an instrument designed to analyze the chemical makeup of lunar landing sites, and study water on the Moon as part of our Artemis program. The radiator will help protect the instrument, called MSolo, from the Moon’s extreme heat and cold. Several of the instruments will travel to the Moon through our Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, including one aboard our water-hunting VIPER rover in late 2023.

What’s in Your #NASAMoonKit?

Right now we don’t know who will be the first woman or next man selected to go to the Moon as part of Artemis. But what if it was going to be you!? We want to know what items you would pack to take with you in your NASA Moonkit? So make your list, check it twice and head on over to for instructions on using the hashtag #NASAMoonKit to share your work online.

TESS Creates a Cosmic Vista of the Northern Sky

A new panorama of the northern sky has been assembled from over 200 images captured by our planet-hunting Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or TESS, which has imaged about 75% of the sky in a two-year-long survey that is still going strong. TESS has discovered 74 exoplanet worlds beyond our solar system. There are some 1,200 additional exoplanet candidates, with more than 600 of those situated in the northern sky.

NASA, Aviation Industry Partners Simulate Urgent Medical Transport

The latest in a series of demonstrations by NASA, the FAA, and aviation companies used a remotely piloted aircraft from Bell Textron, Inc. to simulate an urgent medical transport mission. These demonstrations highlight some potential commercial uses of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in an effort to accelerate the safe integration of these aircraft into the National Airspace System.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA