Monday, August 2

Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston
Gateway to NASA Johnson Space Center

Space Center Houston adds new lunar sample
<p><img loading=”lazy” width=”1200″ height=”900″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-46215″ src=”” alt srcset=” 1200w,×225.jpg 300w,×768.jpg 1024w,×576.jpg 768w,×719.jpg 958w,×450.jpg 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 1200px) 100vw, 1200px”></p>
<p class=”lead”>Space Center Houston has a new lunar sample on display! Sample no. 76015 is displayed in our <a href=””>Lunar Vault</a>, pictured above in his home, our display case.</p>
<p>What is it? What makes it special? Where did it come from? We’re glad you asked.</p>
<h3><strong>A lunar meteorite</strong></h3>
<p>Sample no. 76015 is a piece of lunar breccia. That means it’s a rock made from material fragmented by meteoroid impacts. The boulder from which this sample was taken consisted of minerals and rock cemented together in glassy matrix.</p>
<p>Why glass? There are two possibilities. The heat from the meteoroid’s impact is so hot that it turns any silica in the materials into glass. That impact could have formed the glassy matrix. Of course, the glass may be volcanic in origin, essentially being “frozen” lava.</p>
<h3><strong>Where did it come from?</strong></h3>
<p>This sample was collected as part of the Apollo 17 mission. The last Apollo mission to land on the Moon, Apollo 17 brought back the most tonnage of lunar samples of any mission to date. Astronauts Gene Cernan and Jack Schmidt landed in the Taurus-Littrow Valley near the edge of Mare Serenitatis, which means “Sea of Serenity.”</p>
<p>This is a geologically diverse area surrounded by mountains and an ancient lava flow in the valley. It was helpful then that the Apollo 17 mission had its own geologist on board. Schmidt studied as a geologist and became the first scientist to venture into space for NASA.</p>
<p>The boulder from which Sample no. 76015 came seems to have rolled down the side of a nearby hill .</p>
<p><img loading=”lazy” width=”1280″ height=”965″ class=”alignnone size-full wp-image-46213″ src=”” alt srcset=” 1280w,×226.jpg 300w,×772.jpg 1024w,×579.jpg 768w,×722.jpg 958w,×452.jpg 600w” sizes=”(max-width: 1280px) 100vw, 1280px”></p>
<h3><strong>Why is it special?</strong></h3>
<p><img loading=”lazy” width=”217″ height=”300″ class=”alignright size-medium wp-image-46212″ src=”×300.jpg” alt=”PHOTO MICROGRAPH – LUNAR SAMPE 10022″ srcset=”×300.jpg 217w,×1024.jpg 739w,×1064.jpg 768w,×831.jpg 600w, 924w” sizes=”(max-width: 217px) 100vw, 217px”></p>
<p>Between 1969 and 1972, six Apollo missions brought back 382 kilograms (842 pounds) of lunar rocks, core samples, pebbles, sand and dust from the lunar surface.</p>
<p>That seems like a lot, but relatively speaking, scientists have a very small amount of lunar materials to study. Even all these years later, they’re still finding new information out about the Moon.</p>
<p>Study of rock and soil samples from the Moon continues to yield useful information about the early history of the Moon, the Earth, and the inner solar system. Nearly 400 samples are distributed each year for research and teaching projects.</p>
<p>Recent computer models indicate that the Moon could have been formed from the debris resulting from the Earth being struck a glancing blow by a planetary body about the size of Mars.</p>
<p>NASA Johnson Space Center is the home for most of the lunar samples on Earth. <a href=””>Learn more about the research being done there here.</a></p>
<p><strong><a href=””></a></strong> <a href=””>(Why?)</a></p>
Fri, 02 Apr 2021 18:45:00 +0000 David Coleman

Eyes Up – April
<p><a href=””><img src=””></a></p>
<p class=”lead”>The night sky offers a show unlike anything else. In this monthly series, we will explore some of the top viewing experiences for backyard astronomers.</p>
<h3><strong>April 2 – Antares</strong></h3>
<p>The bright star Antares will make an appearance tonight to the right of the waning gibbous Moon, which will rise around 11:33 p.m. CT in the east-southeast. </p>
<h3><strong>April 6 – Saturn and Jupiter</strong></h3>
<p>This morning, catch Saturn rise in the east-southeast at 3:03 a.m. CT, followed by the Moon (at 3:22 a.m. CT) and Jupiter (at 3:39 a.m. CT). Saturn will appear to the upper left of the waning crescent Moon, with Jupiter farther to the left. </p>
<h3><strong>April 15 – Aldebaran</strong></h3>
<p>Look above the western horizon this evening at 7:46 p.m. CT to observe the bright star Aldebaran, which will appear to the left of the waxing crescent Moon. </p>
<h3><strong>April 16 – Mars</strong></h3>
<p>Take the opportunity to see Mars this evening around 7:47 p.m. CT, when the planet appears above the waxing crescent Moon over the western horizon. </p>
<h3><strong>April 20 – Venus makes an appearance</strong></h3>
<p>This evening marks the first evening to see Venus in the night sky. This bright planet will appear faintly above the horizon in the west-northwest 30 minutes after sunset. </p>
<h3><strong>April 21-22 – Regulus</strong></h3>
<p>The bright star Regulus makes an appearance Wednesday evening into Thursday morning, where it can be observed to the lower left of the waxing gibbous Moon. Regulus will appear to shift closer to the Moon into the morning, with the star setting at approximately 2:57 a.m. CT in the west-northwest. </p>
<h3><strong>April 22 – Annual Lyrid meteor shower</strong></h3>
<p>Don’t miss your opportunity to see the annual Lyrid meteor shower! This year, there will only be a short window to catch it (between 3:07 a.m. CT and 3:44 a.m. CT) due to light interference from the Moon. </p>
<p>The Lyrids are pieces of space debris that originate from the comet C/1861 G1 Thatcher. They are one of the oldest known meteor showers, having been observed for over 2,700 years. Their radiant, or point in the sky from which they appear and where they get their name, is in the constellation Lyra. The Lyrids appear to come from the vicinity of one of the brightest stars in the night sky – Vega. Vega is one of the easiest stars to spot, even in light-polluted areas.</p>
<p><strong>Viewing Tips</strong>: The Lyrids are best viewed in the Northern Hemisphere during the dark hours (after moonset and before dawn). Find an area well away from city or street lights. Come prepared with a sleeping bag, blanket or lawn chair. Lie flat on your back with your feet facing east and look up, taking in as much of the sky as possible. After about 30 minutes in the dark, your eyes will adapt and you will begin to see meteors. Be patient—the show will last until dawn, so you have plenty of time to catch a glimpse.</p>
<h3><strong>April 24 – Mercury joins Venus in the evening sky</strong></h3>
<p>Tonight will be the first evening that Mercury will join Venus in the evening sky, appearing just above the horizon in the west-northwest roughly 30 minutes after sunset. </p>
<h3><strong>April 25-26 – Spica</strong></h3>
<p>See the bright star Spica in the night sky as it makes an appearance to the lower right of the full Moon around 7:58 p.m. CT above the horizon in the east-southeast. Into the morning, Spica will appear below the Moon, which can be observed above the horizon in the west-southwest. </p>
<h3><strong>April 26 – Full Moon</strong></h3>
<p>Tonight is a full Moon! It will appear opposite the Sun around 10:31 p.m. CT, and will appear full for three days, from Sunday evening through Wednesday morning. </p>
<p>Watch the video below to find out what constellations you can see in April. This video is produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute, home of science operations for the Hubble Space Telescope, in partnership with NASA’s Universe of Learning. </p>
<p><iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”” title=”YouTube video player” frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen>[embedded content]</iframe></p>
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<h2><strong>Spot the Station</strong></h2>
<p>Watch the International Space Station pass overhead from several thousand worldwide locations. It is the third brightest object in the sky and easy to spot if you know when to look up. Visible to the naked eye, it looks like a fast-moving plane only much higher and traveling thousands of miles an hour faster! <a href=””>Find out when you can spot the station.</a></p>
<center><a class=”btn btn-primary” href=””>Spot the Station</a></center></div>
<p>For stargazing tips, <a href=””>explore our guide</a>. To learn more information about April 2021 celestial events, visit <a href=””>NASA Solar System Exploration. </a></p>
<p><strong><a href=””></a></strong> <a href=””>(Why?)</a></p>
Thu, 01 Apr 2021 14:29:17 +0000 Katie Gillis

Solving Space: STS-3 landing
<div><img src=”” class=”ff-og-image-inserted”></div><!– ShufflePuzzle Starts Here –>

<!– ShufflePuzzle Ends Here –>

<p class=”lead”><span>After a successful eight-day mission, the space shuttle Columbia (STS-3) made history as the first to end on New Mexico soil when it landed at the Northrup strip on White Sands Missile Range. Solve Space by unscrambling this image and note the two T-38 chase planes escorting it in, learn more about STS-3, and discover how to tour a space shuttle replica at Space Center Houston!</span></p>
<p><strong><span>Learn More About It</span></strong></p>
<li><span>Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-3) launched March 22, 1982 at 11:00:00 a.m. EST.</span></li>
<li><span>STS-3 Crew included Commander Jack R. Lousma and Pilot C. Gordon Fullerton. Back-up crew members for this mission were Thomas K. Mattingly II and Henry W. Hartsfield, Jr.</span></li>
<li><span>The launch was delayed one hour due to failure of a heater on the nitrogen gas ground support line. </span></li>
<li><span>The mission’s objectives were: demonstrate safe re-launch and safe return of the orbiter and crew and verify the combined performance of the entire shuttle vehicle – orbiter, solid rocket boosters and external tank.</span></li>
<li><span>The STS-3 flight was the longest of the Shuttle test flights.</span></li>
<li><span>NASA’s Office of Space Sciences-1 (OSS-1) payload were carried in the Shuttle’s payload bay; they were designed to obtain data on the near-Earth space environment, including contamination (gases, dust, etc.) introduced into space by the orbiter itself.</span></li>
<li><span>STS-3 crew also experimented on plant growth; they tested the ability of the Plant Growth Unit (PGU) to support plant growth in space, to determine the effect of microgravity on lignin synthesis and to observe the overall development of young seedlings exposed to the conditions of space flight.</span></li>
<li><span>During the STS-3 mission, the crew experienced space sickness, a malfunctioning toilet, thermostat difficulty, and unexplained static that interfered with crew sleep.</span></li>
<p><strong><span>Discover Firsts</span></strong></p>
<p><span>After the Shuttle’s landing was delayed by one day because of high winds at the White Sands landing site, rains flooded the dry lakebed at the primary landing site in California. That’s why the Space Shuttle landing was diverted to White Sands, New Mexico. Touchdown finally occurred at White Sands after a 194-hour mission.</span></p>
<p><strong><span>Experience More</span></strong></p>

<p><strong><a href=””></a></strong> <a href=””>(Why?)</a></p> Tue, 30 Mar 2021 13:35:18 +0000 Julie Pippert
Space History
Trivia, Puzzles & Pop Culture

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