Monday, July 22

NASA

Hubble goes to single-gyro operating mode as NASA passes on private servicing mission
NASA

Hubble goes to single-gyro operating mode as NASA passes on private servicing mission

WASHINGTON — NASA will extend the life of the Hubble Space Telescope by switching to a mode where the spacecraft operates on a single gyroscope, having rejected for now commercial proposals to reboost or repair it. The agency announced June 4 that one of three remaining gyros used to control pointing of the telescope had failed and could not be restored. The telescope had been out of service since that gyro failed May 24 after several previous cases where the gyro malfunctioned but was put back into service. “After completing a series of tests and carefully considering our options, we have made the decision that we will transition Hubble to operate using only one of its three remaining gyros,” Mark Clampin, director of NASA’s astrophysics division, said in a call with reporte...
Three Tips to Prepare for the Total Solar Eclipse
NASA

Three Tips to Prepare for the Total Solar Eclipse

On Monday, April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will cross North America, passing over Mexico, the United States and Canada. This will be the last total solar eclipse visible from the contiguous United States until 2044.  Experience this cosmic phenomenon with other eclipse chasers and make Space Center Houston your eclipse viewing destination! Learn about the science of solar eclipses with three days of interactive programming at our Total Solar Eclipse Celebration—all included in general admission from Saturday, April 6 through Monday, April 8.   If you’ve already marked your calendar, here are some helpful tips if you’re planning on watching the eclipse: 1. Prioritize eye safety during the eclipse  When watching the partial phases of the solar eclipse directly with ...
Meteor Showers to Bookend Overnight Skywatching Opportunities in May
NASA

Meteor Showers to Bookend Overnight Skywatching Opportunities in May

As the spring season continues, May could prove to be of great interest for stargazers and space enthusiasts – with a pair of potentially active meteor showers opening and closing the month. “Meteors aren’t uncommon,” Bill Cooke said, who leads NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “Earth is bombarded every day by millions of bits of interplanetary detritus speeding through our solar system.” A meteor mosaic comprised of 99 images, using a blue filter, of the Eta Aquariids observed during the early morning hours from April 30 to May 8, 2013.Credits: NASA All Sky Fireball Network Most particles are no bigger than dust and sand. Hitting the upper atmosphere at speeds up to 45 miles per second, they flare and burn up. On any give...
NASA — What We Learned from Flying a Helicopter on Mars
NASA

NASA — What We Learned from Flying a Helicopter on Mars

ALTALTThe Ingenuity Mars Helicopter made history – not only as the first aircraft to perform powered, controlled flight on another world – but also for exceeding expectations, pushing the limits, and setting the stage for future NASA aerial exploration of other worlds.Built as a technology demonstration designed to perform up to five experimental test flights over 30 days, Ingenuity performed flight operations from the Martian surface for almost three years. The helicopter ended its mission on Jan. 25, 2024, after sustaining damage to its rotor blades during its 72nd flight.So, what did we learn from this small but mighty helicopter?We can fly rotorcraft in the thin atmosphere of other planets.Ingenuity proved that powered, controlled flight is possible on other worlds when it took to the ...
NASA defends Artemis cost and schedule amid planning of possible changes
NASA

NASA defends Artemis cost and schedule amid planning of possible changes

WASHINGTON — NASA Administrator Bill Nelson defended the cost and schedule performance of the agency’s Artemis lunar exploration effort even as officials hinted as the possibility for changes in one upcoming mission. At a May 23 hearing, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s commerce, justice and science subcommittee, pressed Nelson on costs associated with Artemis and suggested that the agency convene an independent review of those costs. She asked Nelson to describe “what NASA is doing to hold contractors accountable for cost overruns and scheduling delays” including whether the agency withheld payments to contractors for those overruns. She did not cite specific cases with Artemis but rather past studies on the overall costs of the pr...