THIS WEEK @NASA: James Webb Space Telescope Characterizes Rocky Exoplanet, Asteroid Sample Has New Home in Houston

By  //  June 24, 2023

latest happenings around NASA

ABOVE VIDEO: Showcasing our new Earth Information Center, in search of an atmosphere around a rocky exoplanet, and getting ready for an important delivery … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

Showcasing the New Earth Information Center

On June 21, we hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at our headquarters in Washington to showcase NASA’s new Earth Information Center.

The center is part physical space and part virtual experience.

It shows how data from Earth-monitoring satellites and instruments that we make available to researchers and others can help improve life on Earth in the face of disasters, environmental challenges, and climate change. NASA created the Earth Information Center with several partner agencies. Learn more at

Webb Characterizes Rocky Exoplanet

An international team of researchers has used our James Webb Space Telescope to calculate the amount of heat energy coming from the exoplanet TRAPPIST-1 c. The result suggests that if there is an atmosphere around the rocky exoplanet, it is extremely thin.

This result marks another step in determining whether planets orbiting small red dwarfs like the host star in the TRAPPIST system – can sustain atmospheres needed to support life as we know it.

OSIRIS-REx Mission Asteroid Sample Will Have New Home in Houston

A new curation facility at our Johnson Space Center will eventually house the sample material from asteroid Bennu that is being returned to Earth by our OSIRIS-REx mission. The new facility will enable researchers to preserve, protect, handle, and examine the rock and dust samples – or regolith. The samples could provide insight into what role ancient asteroids like Bennu may have played in the formation of planets and other processes that may have ultimately led to life on Earth. The O-REx return capsule is scheduled to land in the Utah desert in late September.

40 Years Ago: STS-7 and the Flight of Sally Ride

On June 18, we marked the 40-year anniversary of the late Sally Ride becoming the first American woman in space. Ride journeyed to orbit on that date in 1983 aboard space shuttle Challenger on STS-7 as part of NASA’s first five-person crew. The six-day mission also featured the first release and retrieval of a satellite using the Canadian robotic arm, and the launches of two other satellites.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA