THIS WEEK @NASA: Water Discovered on Moon, International Agreement on Artemis Mission

By  //  October 31, 2020

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Latest Happenings around NASA

ABOVE VIDEO: An international agreement to collaborate on Artemis, an intriguing discovery on the Moon, and an update on OSIRIS-REx … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

NASA, European Space Agency Formalize Artemis Gateway Partnership

On Oct. 27, NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) finalized an agreement to collaborate on the Gateway for our Artemis program. Under the agreement, ESA will contribute habitation and refueling modules, lunar communications, and other key technologies.

This is part of our effort to collaborate with international partners for sustainable lunar exploration and technology needed to send humans to Mars.

NASA’s SOFIA Discovers Water on Sunlit Surface of Moon

The SOFIA flying observatory has confirmed, for the first time, water molecules on the sunlit surface of the Moon. This indicates that water may be distributed more widely across the lunar surface; not just in cold, shadowed regions of the Moon. NASA is looking to learn as much as possible about the presence of water on the Moon ahead of sending the first woman and next man to the lunar surface in 2024.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Goes for Early Stow of Asteroid Sample

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft collected so much sample material from asteroid Bennu on Oct. 20 that the overfilled collection unit could not hold it all. So mission managers made the call to stow the sample days earlier than planned – to minimize losing any more material. The stowage process safely seals the material in a capsule that will transport it back to Earth for study.

New Target Date for Crew-1 Launch to Space Station

NASA and SpaceX now are targeting Saturday, Nov. 14, at 7:49 p.m. EST, for the launch of Crew-1, the first crew rotation mission to the International Space Station as part of our Commercial Crew Program. Crew-1 will increase the station’s regular crew size from six to seven astronauts, adding to the amount of crew time available for research.

Space Station Cameras Capture Views of Hurricane Zeta

Cameras outside the International Space Station captured views of Hurricane Zeta on the afternoon of Oct. 28 in the Gulf of Mexico. Zeta made landfall later the same day near New Orleans as a Category 2 storm. Our Michoud Assembly Facility and Stennis Space Center were affected by the storm and are both assessing any impacts to operational status.

Expedition 1 Crew Discuss Importance of the Space Station

Nov. 2, marks 20 years that humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station. Members of the station’s first resident crew, including former NASA astronaut Bill Shepherd, shared some thoughts about the importance of the orbital outpost during an Oct. 29 panel discussion.

William Shepherd, Former NASA Astronaut:
“Space station, particularly Expedition One, set the tone for how crews needed to operate in space. I think it’s the blueprint for larger expeditions and going certainly to the Moon and probably beyond that to Mars and elsewhere.”

241 people from 19 countries have visited this unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted over 3,000 investigations from people in more than 100 countries and areas.

NASA Discovers “Weird” Molecule in Titan’s Atmosphere

NASA has identified a molecule in the atmosphere of Saturn’s largest moon Titan that has never been detected in any other atmosphere. Cyclopropenylidene is a simple carbon-based molecule scientists say may be a precursor to more complex compounds that could form or feed possible life on Titan. Our Dragonfly mission is targeted for launch to Titan in 2027.

New NASA Posters Feature Cosmic Frights for Halloween

Just in time for Halloween – our latest Galaxy of Horrors posters, featuring a dead galaxy, an explosive gamma ray burst caused by colliding stellar corpses, and the ever-elusive dark matter. You can download the posters for free, in English and Spanish, at exoplanets.nasa.gov/galaxy.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA

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