THIS WEEK @NASA: New Research Findings about Jupiter’s Moon Europa, New Set of Earth-Focused Missions

By  //  May 29, 2021

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ABOVE VIDEO: The release of NASA’s budget request, a new set of Earth-focused missions, and new research findings about Jupiter’s moon Europa … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

NASA Briefs President’s Fiscal Year 2022 Funding Request

On May 28, NASA Administrator Senator Bill Nelson and other senior officials briefed the media on the Biden-Harris Administration’s fiscal year 2022 funding request for the agency, following the White House’s release of the full funding request.

Details and supporting information about the $24.8 billion funding request are available online at

New NASA Earth System Observatory

NASA’s Earth System Observatory will be a new set of Earth-focused missions using individual satellites to provide key, next-generation data to help mitigate climate change, protect communities in the face of natural disasters, and improve real-time agricultural processes.

The satellites will complement each other and work in tandem to create a 3D, holistic view of Earth and an unprecedented understanding of the planet’s climate system. For more information visit:

Seafloor Volcanoes on Europa?

New research and 3D computer modeling show that in the recent past, volcanic activity may have occurred on the seafloor of Jupiter’s moon Europa – and it may still be happening. This new work shows how there may be enough internal heat from within the moon to partially melt its rocky layer, a process that could feed volcanoes on the ocean floor.

NASA’s upcoming Europa Clipper mission, targeted for launch in 2024, may shed light on these recent findings.

60 Years Ago: Kennedy’s “Urgent National Needs” Speech

May 25 marked the 60th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s “Urgent National Needs” speech to a joint session of Congress, during which he sought support of a bold endeavor to put the U.S. undisputedly in the lead of the space race with the Soviet Union.

“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.”—Kennedy Speech Excerpt

Just a little more than 8 years later, Kennedy’s vision was realized when the U.S. became the first nation to land humans on the Moon and safely return them to Earth with Apollo 11.

A Triple Treat Total Lunar Eclipse

On May 26 there was a triple celestial treat in the skies for some of us on Earth. There was a total lunar eclipse – the first in nearly two and a half years. Added to that was the Moon’s reddish tint caused by the eclipse, and to top it off, it all occurred during a full Moon at its closest approach to Earth this year – commonly referred to as a supermoon. We haven’t had a total lunar eclipse occur with a supermoon in almost six years.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA