THIS WEEK @NASA: Rocket Boosters for Artemis I Stacked Up at Kennedy Space Center

By  //  March 13, 2021

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Latest Happenings around NASA

ABOVE VIDEO: Perseverance sends more sounds from Mars, the rocket boosters for Artemis I are all stacked up, and preview of a weekend spacewalk … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

Perseverance Sends More Sounds from Mars

Our Mars Perseverance rover has beamed back more sounds it has collected since landing on the Red Planet on Feb. 18.

The first acoustic recording of a rock on Mars being struck by a laser. The rock was given the name “Máaz,” the Navajo word for Mars. Some of the zapping sounds from the laser impacts are slightly louder than others.

The variations in the intensity of the sounds can give researchers clues about the physical structure of the target.

The SuperCam also recorded sounds of Martian wind noise captured while the mast that holds the rover’s microphone was still stowed. The muffled sounds are reminiscent of what one might hear listening into a seashell at the beach, or with a hand cupped over an ear. You can check out these sounds for yourself, along with other sounds of exploration at

Stacking Complete for Artemis I Rocket Boosters

Engineers at our Kennedy Space Center have completed stacking the Space Launch System, or SLS, solid rocket boosters for our uncrewed Artemis I mission around the Moon and back. The twin booster segments were stacked onto the mobile launcher over the course of several weeks.

Following a successful hot-fire test at our Stennis Space Center, now targeted for March 18, the SLS’s core stage will be shipped to Kennedy and stacked with the boosters and our Orion spacecraft in preparation for Artemis I.

Fifth Station Spacewalk of the Year

The International Space Station’s fifth spacewalk of the year is slated for March 13. During the outing, NASA’s Michael Hopkins and Victor Glover are scheduled to service and relocate some jumper cables of the station’s thermal control system, continue some work from a Jan. 27 spacewalk, and work on some other tasks. The outing is the fourth spacewalk for Glover and the fifth for Hopkins.

Vande Hei Assigned to Space Station Crew

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei has been assigned to the International Space Station’s Expedition 64/65 crew. He and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, are scheduled to launch April 9 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

NASA Data Powers New Soil Moisture Tool

A collaboration between NASA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and George Mason University is making high-resolution NASA data on soil moisture available to agricultural and natural resources professionals, who use soil moisture and other data to plan crop planting, forecast yields, track droughts or floods, and improve weather forecasts.

The Crop Condition and Soil Moisture Analytics tool makes data from our Soil Moisture Active Passive mission and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument available in a user-friendly format.

Simulated Aerial Gas Pipeline Inspection

We teamed with American Aerospace Technologies Inc. for a recent demonstration flight to simulate aerial inspections of gas and petroleum pipelines. NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration, and three industry partners are working together on demonstrations like this, to show potential commercial applications of different sized unmanned aircraft systems used in various locations and airspace classes.

This research aims to accelerate the safe integration of these aerial vehicles for commercial applications into the national airspace system.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA