THIS WEEK @NASA: SpaceX Crew-1 Astronauts Journey to International Space Station

By  //  November 22, 2020

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Latest Happenings around NASA

ABOVE VIDEO: The journey of Resilience to the space station, the next ocean-observing satellite, and an update on a critical rocket test series for our Artemis missions … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 Astronauts Journey to International Space Station

On Nov. 15, NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi headed skyward from our Kennedy Space Center, aboard the SpaceX “Resilience” Crew Dragon spacecraft.

TV Launch Commentator:
“Not even gravity contains humanity when we explore as one for all.”

The successful launch kicked off the first crew rotation mission to the International Space Station and the first of six certified crew missions NASA and SpaceX will fly as a part of our Commercial Crew Program.

TV Launch Commentator:
“Another view from Crew Dragon, looking at its future destination, its future home for the next six months, the International Space Station.”

The next day, Resilience and its crew closed in on the space station, successfully docking to the orbiting outpost at 11:01 p.m. EST.

Michael Hopkins, NASA Astronaut:
“This is Resilience. Excellent job, right down the center. SpaceX and NASA, congratulations, this is a new era of operational flights to the International Space Station from the Florida Coast.”

A while later, the Expedition 64 crew aboard the station welcomed its four newest members, whose arrival increases the space station’s long-duration expedition crew size from six to seven crew members for the first time ever. They will conduct science and maintenance during their six-month stay, which is scheduled to be the longest human space mission launched from the United States.

Continuing the Legacy of Global Sea Level Observations

The Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite launched Nov. 21 from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base. It is the first of two identical satellites scheduled to make global sea level observations for at least the next decade, as part of a U.S.-European collaboration. Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich’s twin, Sentinel-6B, is scheduled to launch in 2025.

Engineers Moving Forward with SLS Green Run Testing

Engineers at our Stennis Space Center successfully repaired a valve inside the core stage of our Space Launch System rocket and are now preparing for a wet dress rehearsal the week of Dec. 7. The wet dress is part of the rocket’s Green Run test series in preparation for launches of Artemis missions to the Moon. A hot fire test, where all four of the rocket’s engines will be fired to simulate a launch, is currently targeted to wrap up the testing series the week of Dec. 21.

Spacewalk Prepares for New Space Station Research Module

On Nov. 18, Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov ventured outside the International Space Station to prepare for the arrival of a new Russian research module. The new module, named “Nauka,” Russian for “science,” is being prepared for launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

NASA Model Reveals How Much COVID-related Pollution Levels Deviated from Norm

NASA researchers, using computer models to create a COVID-free 2020 scenario for comparison, found that since February, fewer amounts of some pollutants have been found in Earth’s atmosphere than usual. The exercise attempted to examine how much of this was a result of changes in human activity due to pandemic-related restrictions. The diminished pollutants include a nearly 20% reduction in nitrogen dioxide, which is primarily produced by the burning of fossil fuels used by industry and transportation.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA