THIS WEEK @NASA: Preparing for Starliner Launch, Perseverance Mars Rover to Acquire First Sample

By  //  July 24, 2021

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latest happenings around NASA

ABOVE VIDEO: Relocating a commercial spacecraft at the space station, while another one gets ready to launch to the station, and Perseverance prepares for a mission milestone on Mars … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

Crew Dragon Port Relocation on Space Station

On July 21, our SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts moved their Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft from the forward port of the International Space Station’s Harmony module to the station’s space-facing port.

The relocation sets the stage for an historic first when two different U.S. commercial spacecraft built for crew will be docked to the station at the same time.

NASA, Boeing Prepare for Starliner Launch

Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner will be the other spacecraft of this anticipated and historic docked duo. The Starliner is expected to join the Crew Dragon at the space station on our uncrewed Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2 or (OFT-2) mission. OFT-2 is targeted for launch July 30 and will provide valuable data toward certifying Boeing’s crew transportation system for regular flights with astronauts to and from the space station.

NASA Perseverance Mars Rover to Acquire First Sample

The Perseverance Mars rover is preparing to collect its first-ever sample of Martian rock, which future planned missions will transport to Earth for study. This important mission milestone is expected to begin within the next two weeks. The rover will be looking for a scientifically interesting target in a part of Jezero Crater called the “Cratered Floor Fractured Rough.” The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission is part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, which includes Artemis missions to the Moon that will help prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet.

NASA’s InSight Reveals the Deep Interior of Mars

Data captured by our InSight spacecraft of seismic activity on Mars – or marsquakes – were used in three papers published in Science detailing the depth and composition of Mars’ crust, mantle, and core, including confirmation that the planet’s center is molten. Part of InSight’s mission was to measure the depth, size, and structure of these three layers. The mission can help improve our understanding of how all rocky planets formed, including Earth.

Hubble Returns to Full Science Observations

The science instruments on our Hubble Space Telescope have returned to full operation, after recovering from a computer anomaly that suspended the telescope’s observations for more than a month. The telescope’s first observations since resuming its 32nd year of discovery included a large spiral galaxy with unusual extended arms, and the first high-resolution glimpse at an intriguing pair of colliding galaxies in the southern hemisphere. Keep up with Hubble and its mission at nasa.gov/hubble.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA