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Julio de 2023 fue el mes más caluroso registrado


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Según los investigadores del Instituto Goddard de Estudios Espaciales (GISS, por sus siglas en inglés) de la NASA, en Nueva York, julio de 2023 fue el mes más caluroso de todos los que se han registrado en el registro de temperaturas mundiales.

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    • By European Space Agency
      Video: 01:00:00 Watch the replay of the media briefing on Ariane 6 during which ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher outlines the progress achieved after the successful hot firing test on 23 November 2023 at Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, as well as the upcoming steps in the Ariane 6 development test campaign, including ESA, CNES and ArianeGroup targeting the first launch of Ariane 6 between mid June and end of July 2024. Participants also includes Martin Sion, CEO, ArianeGroup ; Philippe Baptiste, President of CNES and Stéphane Israël, CEO, Arianespace.
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    • By NASA
      15 Min Read The Marshall Star for November 29, 2023
      Artemis II Crew Enjoys Visit with Marshall Team Members
      By Wayne Smith
      From talking about continuing the legacy of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in space exploration to describing their roles in an upcoming historic mission, Artemis II astronauts enjoyed visiting with center team members Nov. 27.
      The crew will be the first to ride aboard NASA’s SLS (Space Launch System) rocket and Orion spacecraft. They will launch atop the rocket to venture around the Moon on Artemis II, the first crewed flight for Artemis. Their mission around the Moon will verify capabilities for humans to explore deep space and pave the way for long-term exploration and science on the lunar surface. Marshall manages the SLS Program.
      From left, Artemis II astronauts Jeremy Hansen, Christina Koch, and Victor Glover listen as Commander Reid Wiseman talks during an employee event at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center on Nov. 27. NASA/Charles Beason The four-member crew answered questions from a standing-room only crowd for about an hour inside Activities Building 4316 before taking photos with Marshall team members. The crew consists of NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, who will be the Artemis II commander, Victor Glover (pilot) and Christina Koch (mission specialist), and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Jeremy Hansen (mission specialist).
      They even took the time to send a personalized Christmas greeting to the grandmother of Corey Walker, an atmospheric science programmer at Marshall with Jacobs, who said it would be the perfect gift for her. During the question and answer portion of the event, the astronauts had Walker join them on stage and made a short greeting for his grandmother, Brenda Lowery, who lives on Sand Mountain.
      “I can’t wait to give this to her because she loves the space program,” Walker said. “She was young when the astronauts went to the Moon the first time. She has lots of mementos at her house of the space program.”
      After acting Center Director Joseph Pelfrey welcomed team members to the event, SLS Program Manager John Honeycutt talked about Marshall’s reputation of excellence in rocket propulsion and the success of Artemis I before introducing the astronauts.
      Glover, third from left, makes a point during the Artemis II crew event with Marshall team members. NASA/Charles Beason “Since the beginning, NASA astronauts have launched on historic missions and on rockets designed, developed, and built right here at Marshall Space Flight Center and our Michoud Assembly Facility,” Honeycutt said. “… It seems only fitting that when a new era of human space flight launches on a rocket developed here, that that’s the way it should be. We’ve been entrusted not just with an incredibly powerful and capable rocket, but with the lives of four astronauts. Their safety and return are chief among our responsibilities.”
      Wiseman acknowledged Marshall’s rocket excellence, but also pointed out the center’s role in research for future missions to the Moon and working in the lunar environment. The Payload Operations Integration Center at Marshall is the control center for scientific operations on the International Space Station.
      “(Marshall) means a lot more to us than getting us off this planet,’ Wiseman said. “It’s also our human research side when we are off the planet. When we are working sustainably in the lunar area, and we see humans on Mars, it’s built on the shoulders of POIC (Payload Operations Integration Center), of human research in orbit. That is the bread and butter of what we’re doing. We’re launching humans and living in space, and that is built right here at Marshall.”
      Glover, who will be the first African American on a lunar mission, thanked Marshall team members for their work with SLS and the space station. He spent 168 days in space as a flight engineer aboard the space station for Expedition 64.
      SLS Program Manager John Honeycutt, left, and acting Center Director Joseph Pelfrey, right, join the Artemis II crew for a photo at the employee event in Activities Building 4316. NASA/Charles Beason “Thank you for your work supporting our friends who are working on the space station now and for that amazing legacy that we’ve all had the opportunity to be a part of in one facet or another,” Glover said. “We’re here to do the work and be a part of this team. We hope that what we’re doing makes you proud.”
      Koch and Hansen also will make history with the Artemis II mission. Koch will be the first woman on a lunar mission, while Hansen will be the first Canadian.
      Andy Buehler, a rocket propulsion engineer at Marshall with Boeing, asked Koch what her message to young girls is as they see a female going to the Moon for the first time.
      “Surround yourself with people who are encouraging,” Koch said. “Tell yourself you’re going to do great things one day. You can be that voice for yourself. Don’t just strive to be a part of something, strive to be excellent at what you’re doing.”
      Corey Walker, an atmospheric science programmer at Marshall with Jacobs, smiles with the astronauts as they record a video wishing Walker’s grandmother, Brenda Lowery, merry Christmas. During a question and answer session with the astronauts, Walker asked if he could get a video of them for his grandmother as a Christmas gift for her. Walker said his grandmother loves the space program. At far left is Lance D. Davis, Marshall’s news chief, who served as moderator for the event. NASA/Charles Beason Hansen said he is excited about the future of Artemis. He told Marshall team members they are part of something that brings value to the world with NASA’s leadership.
      “You’re doing that with partners around the world because you’re choosing to lead,” Hansen said. “We need that kind of leadership and that vision more than ever. We really need to be focused on things that lift up humanity. We have a lot of reason for hope for our future.”
      Learn more about the Artemis II crew.
      Smith, a Media Fusion employee and the Marshall Star editor, supports the Marshall Office of Communications.
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      Artemis II Crew Signs NASA Moon Rocket Hardware at Marshall
      Brent Gaddes, lead for the Orion stage adapter in the Spacecraft Payload Integration & Evolution Office in the SLS Program at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, far left, talks with NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, center, and Christina Koch near the SLS Orion stage adapter for the Artemis II mission during their visit to Marshall on Nov. 27.NASA/Charles Beason Artemis II astronauts Victor Glover, Reid Wiseman, and Christina Koch of NASA, and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen signed the Orion stage adapter for the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center on Nov. 27. The hardware is the topmost portion of the SLS rocket that they will launch atop during Artemis II when the four astronauts inside NASA’s Orion spacecraft will venture around the Moon.
      The Orion stage adapter is a small ring structure that connects NASA’s Orion spacecraft to the SLS rocket’s interim cryogenic propulsion stage and fully manufactured at Marshall. At five feet tall and weighing 1,800 pounds, the adapter is the smallest major element of the SLS rocket. During Artemis II, the adapter’s diaphragm will serve as a barrier to prevent gases created during launch from entering the spacecraft.

      From left, Artemis II astronauts Jeremy Hansen, Christina Koch, Victor Glover, and Reid Wiseman sign the SLS Orion stage adapter for the Artemis II mission.
      NASA/Charles Beason
      In addition to signing the Orion stage adapter, Wiseman and Koch also visited the Systems Integration Lab at Marshall prior to an employee event.
      Dan Mitchell, lead SLS integrated avionics and software engineer, talks with Wiseman and Koch as they visit the Systems Integration Lab at Marshall. NASA/Charles Beason NASA is working to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon under Artemis. SLS is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration, along with the Orion spacecraft, advanced spacesuits and rovers, the Gateway in orbit around the Moon, and commercial human landing systems. SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon in a single mission. Through Artemis, NASA will explore more of the lunar surface than ever before and prepare for the next giant leap: sending astronauts to Mars.
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      Monthly Brown Bag Seminars Shine Spotlight on Marshall’s Business Units
      By Jessica Barnett
      With thousands of employees across hundreds of departments and teams, there’s no shortage of cool things happening at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. To help keep Marshall team members up to date, the center recently started a series of monthly brown bag seminars aimed at highlighting its business units.
      Each month features a different business unit. On Nov. 7, nearly 300 Marshall team members attended the first seminar, which focused on Marshall’s Moon/Mars Surface Technologies and Systems. In doing so, the participants learned more about the center’s strategy.
      Geologist Jennifer Edmunson, from right, discusses lunar regolith and infrastructure plans during a brown bag seminar Nov. 7 at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center that highlighted the center’s Moon/Mars Surface Technologies and Systems business unit. NASA/Charles Beason “We’re in between the hopes and dreams of what you might find out there or what the vision of the future on the lunar surface might look like, and what is actually practical,” said Michael Zanetti, a lunar and planetary geologist at Marshall who was also one of the speakers during the Nov. 7 seminar.
      Zanetti discussed GPS-denied LiDAR navigation systems, including KNaCK (Kinematic Navigation and Cartography Knapsack), a proof-of-concept 3D terrain mapping, navigation, and algorithm development tool that can be used to determine the layout of portions of the lunar or Martian surface even when there is no light source or GPS to guide it.
      He also talked about Marshall’s Lunar Regolith Terrain Facility – a 125-by-125-foot area covered in 500 tons of lunar regolith simulant that can be quickly modified as needed for robotics testing.
      “If we’re going to send anything to the lunar surface, we need to make sure that technology is going to be able to function when it gets there,” said Jennifer Edmunson, project manager for Marshall’s Moon-to-Mars Planetary Autonomous Construction Technology Project, or MMPACT. “Testing with regolith is important to do that, but since we don’t have enough regolith material from the Apollo missions, we rely on simulants.”
      Materials test engineer Annette Gray, far left at table, explains how participants in Marshall’s MERCRII (Metallic Environmentally Resistant Coatings Rapid Innovation Initiative) worked with other centers and NASA partners to develop a radiation-resistant coating to improve the wear resistance of mechanism joints on the lunar or Martian surface. MMPACT is currently working to determine how best to build infrastructure on the lunar surface using the regolith and resources already available there. Edmunson shared how the project aims to build landing pads and even habitats on the Moon, but that it’s important to find ways of building that can withstand the extreme temperature variations, lengthy moonquakes, and other challenges that would be faced on the lunar surface.
      Joining Edmunson and Zanetti at the seminar was Annette Gray, a materials test engineer who was part of MERCRII (Metallic Environmentally Resistant Coatings Rapid Innovation Initiative). Gray explained how the early career initiative project worked with other centers and NASA partners to develop a radiation-resistant coating to improve the wear resistance of mechanism joints on the lunar or Martian surface.
      Part of the initiative included acquiring a Planetary, Lunar, and Asteroid Natural Environment Testbed, or PLANET. Gray said the PLANET was a 2-meter-by-3-meter chamber with up to 1 ton of regolith simulant inside that could test high vacuum, low-density plasma, and various atmospheric conditions.
      Attendees at Marshall’s first brown bag seminar check out lunar regolith samples, view informational displays, and further discuss the featured topics following the seminar.NASA/Ray Osorio The seminar ended with a question-and-answer session and a chance for in-person attendees to check out regolith simulant samples.
      “It was an excellent way to showcase how the varied work we do at Marshall is enabling future NASA missions and addressing critical gaps,” said MMSTS Strategy Lead Shawn Maynor. “The excitement was palpable, and the discussion was lively. I truly feel that Marshall is in a unique position to capitalize on the evolving space industry.”
      The next brown bag seminar is set for January 2024, after the winter holiday season.
      Barnett, a Media Fusion employee, supports the Marshall Office of Communications.
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      NASA Releases Its First International Space Station Tour in Spanish
      Lee esta nota de prensa en español aquí.
      Record-breaking NASA astronaut Frank Rubio provides the agency’s first Spanish-language video tour of humanity’s home in space – the International Space Station.
      Rubio welcomes the public aboard the microgravity science laboratory in a behind-the-scenes look at living and working in space recorded during his 371-day mission aboard the space station, the longest single spaceflight in history by an American.
      The station tour is available to watch on the agency’s NASA+ streaming platform, NASA app, NASA Television, YouTube, and the agency’s website.
      Continuously inhabited for more than 23 years, the space station is a scientific platform where crew members conduct experiments across multiple disciplines of research, including Earth and space science, biology, human physiology, physical sciences, and technology demonstrations that could not be performed on Earth.
      The Payload Operations Integration Center at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center operates, plans, and coordinates the science experiments onboard the space station 365 days a year, 24 hours a day.
      The crew living aboard the station are the hands of thousands of researchers on the ground conducting more than 3,300 experiments in microgravity. During his record-breaking mission, Rubio spent many hours contributing to scientific activities aboard the orbiting laboratory, conducting everything from human health studies to plant research.
      Rubio returned to Earth in September, having completed approximately 5,936 orbits of the Earth and a journey of more than 157 million miles during his first spaceflight, roughly the equivalent of 328 trips to the Moon and back.
      Get the latest NASA space station news, images and features on Instagram, Facebook, and X.
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      NASA’s Dragonfly to Proceed with Final Mission Design Work
      NASA’s Dragonfly mission has been authorized to proceed with work on final mission design and fabrication – known as Phase C – during FY (fiscal year) 2024. The agency is postponing formal confirmation of the mission (including its total cost and schedule) until mid-2024, following the release of the FY 2025 President’s Budget Request.
      Earlier this year, Dragonfly – a mission to send a rotorcraft to explore Saturn’s moon Titan – passed all the success criteria of its Preliminary Design Review. The Dragonfly team conducted a re-plan of the mission based on expected funding available in FY 2024 and estimate a revised launch readiness date of July 2028. The agency will officially assess the mission’s launch readiness date in mid-2024 at the agency Program Management Council.
      Artist’s impression of Dragonfly heading off toward its next landing spot on Titan.NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Steve Gribben “The Dragonfly team has successfully overcome a number of technical and programmatic challenges in this daring endeavor to gather new science on Titan,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. “I am proud of this team and their ability to keep all aspects of the mission moving toward confirmation.”
      Dragonfly takes a novel approach to planetary exploration, for the first time employing a rotorcraft-lander to travel between and sample diverse sites on Titan. Dragonfly’s goal is to characterize the habitability of the moon’s environment, investigate the progression of prebiotic chemistry in an environment where carbon-rich material and liquid water may have mixed for an extended period, and even search for chemical indications of whether water-based or hydrocarbon-based life once existed on Titan.
      Dragonfly is being designed and built under the direction of the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, which manages the mission for NASA. The team includes key partners at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado; Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company; NASA’s Ames Research Center; NASA’s Langley Research Center; Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania; Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, California; Honeybee Robotics in Pasadena, California; NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales), the French space agency, in Paris, France; DLR (German Aerospace Center) in Cologne, Germany; and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) in Tokyo, Japan.
      Dragonfly is the fourth mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center for the Science Mission Directorate.
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      Webb Telescope: A Prominent Protostar in Perseus
      A new Picture of the Month from the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope reveals intricate details of the Herbig Haro object 797, known as HH 797.
      Herbig-Haro objects are luminous regions surrounding newborn stars (known as protostars), and are formed when stellar winds or jets of gas spewing from these newborn stars form shockwaves colliding with nearby gas and dust at high speeds. HH 797, which dominates the lower half of the image, is located close to the young open star cluster IC 348, which is located near the eastern edge of the Perseus dark cloud complex. The bright infrared objects in the upper portion of the image are thought to host two further protostars.
      The NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope reveals intricate details of the Herbig Haro object 797, or HH 797. HH 797, which dominates the lower half of this image, is located close to the young open star cluster IC 348, which is located near the eastern edge of the Perseus dark cloud complex. The bright infrared objects in the upper portion of the image are thought to host two further protostars. This image was captured with Webb’s Near-InfraRed Camera (NIRCam).ESA/Webb, NASA & CSA, T. Ray (Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies) The image was captured with Webb’s NIRCam (Near-InfraRed Camera). Infrared imaging is powerful in studying newborn stars and their outflows, because the youngest stars are invariably still embedded within the gas and dust from which they are formed. The infrared emission of the star’s outflows penetrates the obscuring gas and dust, making Herbig-Haro objects ideal for observation with Webb’s sensitive infrared instruments. Molecules excited by the turbulent conditions, including molecular hydrogen and carbon monoxide, emit infrared light that Webb can collect to visualize the structure of the outflows. NIRCam is particularly good at observing the hot (thousands of degree Celsius) molecules that are excited as a result of shocks.
      Using ground-based observations, researchers have previously found that for cold molecular gas associated with HH 797, most of the red-shifted gas (moving away from us) is found to the south (bottom right), while the blue-shifted gas (moving towards us) is to the north (bottom left). A gradient was also found across the outflow, such that at a given distance from the young central star, the velocity of the gas near the eastern edge of the jet is more red-shifted than that of the gas on the western edge. Astronomers in the past thought this was due to the outflow’s rotation. In this higher resolution Webb image, however, we can see that what was thought to be one outflow is in fact made up of two almost parallel outflows with their own separate series of shocks (which explains the velocity asymmetries). The source, located in the small dark region (bottom right of center), and already known from previous observations, is therefore not a single but a double star. Each star is producing its own dramatic outflow. Other outflows are also seen in this image, including one from the protostar in the top right of center along with its illuminated cavity walls.
      HH 797 resides directly north of HH 211 (separated by approximately 30 arcseconds), which was the feature of a Webb image release in September 2023.
      The James Webb Space Telescope is the world’s premier space science observatory. Webb is solving mysteries in our solar system, looking beyond to distant worlds around other stars, and probing the mysterious structures and origins of our universe and our place in it. Webb is an international program led by NASA with its partners, ESA (European Space Agency) and the Canadian Space Agency. Several NASA centers contributed to the project, including NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
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      View the full article
    • By NASA
      Artemis II Astronauts Check Out Some Flight Hardware on This Week @NASA – November 24, 2023
    • By European Space Agency
      Week in images: 20-24 November 2023
      Discover our week through the lens
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    • By NASA
      19 Min Read The Marshall Star for November 22, 2023
      Artemis II Astronauts View SLS Core Stage at Michoud
      Artemis II NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman and Christina Koch of NASA, and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen viewed the core stage for the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket at the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility on Nov. 16. The three astronauts, along with NASA’s Victor Glover, will launch atop the rocket stage to venture around the Moon on Artemis II, the first crewed flight for Artemis.
      From left, Artemis II NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen, NASA astronaut Christina Koch, and Boeing’s Amanda Gertjejansen view the core stage for the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket at the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility on Nov. 16.NASA / Michael DeMocker The SLS core stage, towering at 212 feet, is the backbone of the Moon rocket and includes two massive propellant tanks that collectively hold 733,000 gallons of propellant to help power the stage’s four RS-25 engines. NASA, Boeing, the core stage lead contractor, along with Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies company and the RS-25 engines lead contractor, are in the midst of conducting final integrated testing on the fully assembled rocket stage. At launch and during ascent to space, the Artemis astronauts inside NASA’s Orion spacecraft will feel the power of the rocket’s four RS-25 engines producing more than 2 million pounds of thrust for a full eight minutes. The mega rocket’s twin solid rocket boosters, which flank either side of the core stage, will each add an additional 3.6 million pounds of thrust for two minutes.
      Artemis II NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman and Christina Koch of NASA, and CSA (Canadian Space Agency) astronaut Jeremy Hansen view the core stage for the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket at the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans on Nov. 16. NASA / Michael DeMocker The astronauts’ visit to Michoud coincided with the first anniversary of the launch of Artemis I. The uncrewed flight test of SLS and Orion was the first in a series of increasingly complex missions for Artemis as the agency works to return humans to the lunar surface and develop a long-term presence there for discovery and exploration.
      NASA is working to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon under Artemis. SLS is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration, along with the Orion spacecraft, advanced spacesuits and rovers, the Gateway in orbit around the Moon, and commercial human landing systems. SLS is the only rocket that can send Orion, astronauts, and supplies to the Moon in a single mission.
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      Mission Success is in Our Hands: Jeramie Broadway
      Mission Success is in Our Hands is a safety initiative collaboration between NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and Jacobs. As part of the initiative, eight Marshall team members are featured in new testimonial banners placed around the center. This is the first in a Marshall Star series profiling team members featured in the testimonial banners.
      Jeramie Broadway is the center strategy lead for the Office of the Center Director.
      Jeramie Broadway is center strategy lead at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.NASA/Charles Beason Before assuming this role, Broadway was senior technical assistant to the Marshall associate director, technical, from September 2021 to October 2022. In that capacity, he supported the development, coordination, and implementation of Marshall strategic planning and partnering within NASA and across industry and academia. Prior to that detail, he was the assistant manager of Marshall’s Partnerships and Formulation Office, providing strategic planning and business development support and creating new partnering and new mission opportunities for the center.
      Broadway, a Dallas, Texas, native who joined NASA full-time in 2008, began his career in Marshall’s Materials and Processes Laboratory, supporting and leading production operations for the Ares I and Space Launch System program. Over the years, he served as project engineer or deputy project manager for a variety of work, including the Nuclear Cryogenic Propulsion Stage Project, for which he led development of advanced, high-temperature nuclear fuel materials. He was assistant chief engineer for launch vehicles for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and assistant chief engineer for NASA’s Technology Demonstration Mission Program, managed for the agency at Marshall.
      Question: What are some of your key responsibilities?
      Broadway: Leading and implementing the center director’s strategic vision, leveraging, and integrating the strategic business units across the Marshall Center, one of NASA’s largest field installations, with nearly 7,000 on-site and near-site civil service and contractor employees and an annual budget of approximately $4 billion. Working closely in coordination and collaboration with every center organization to ensure Marshall’s planning, workflow, and business tactics align with the agency’s strategic priorities.
      Question: How does your work support the safety and success of NASA and Marshall missions?
      Broadway: My work as the center strategy lead is focused on the success and viability for the Marshall of the future. I work to pursue and capture programs, projects, and opportunities for Marshall to maintain ourselves as an engineering center of excellence. We work hard capturing opportunities to develop the skills, capabilities, and expertise to safely deliver on the vision and mission of the agency.
      Question: What does the Mission Success Is In Our Hands initiative mean to you?
      Broadway: Mission success is the responsibility of every single person at Marshall Space Flight Center, regardless of grade, position, or civil servant or support contractor. Everyone has a vital role in the success of Marshall and our ability to deliver on our mission. We all have the ability to lean forward, break down barriers, and strive for a culture that that says ‘yes, and…’.
      Question: How can we work together better to achieve mission success?
      Broadway: In this pursuits culture, it will take all of us to achieve the goals and objectives set forward by the agency and center leadership. We have a vibrant future with many opportunities coming our way and it will take all of us to make that vision a reality. It will take both our mission execution and our mission support organizations to get us there.
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      Marshall Makes Impact at University of Alabama’s 8th Annual Space Days
      By Celine Smith
      Team members from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center participated in the 8th annual Space Days at UA (University of Alabama) on Nov 14-16, where more than 500 students met with experts from NASA and aerospace companies to learn more about the space industry.
      During the three-day program, Marshall team members conducted outreach presentations and updates about the Artemis missions, HLS (Human Landing System), and other NASA programs, as well as how students can get involved in NASA’s internship program.
      NASA astronaut Bob Hines delivers a presentation entitled, “An Astronaut’s Journey,” during the 8th annual Space Days at the UA on Nov. 16.Matthew Wood Kicking off the event was Aaron Houin, an engineer on the aerospace vehicle design and mission analysis team at Marshall. Houin delivered a detailed presentation on orbital mechanics and vehicle properties. Houin is no stranger to the classroom, as he is currently earning his doctorate at UA’s Astrodynamics and Space Research Laboratory and was eager to give back to his alma mater.
      “Having been in their position studying the same theories, I emphasized how their coursework directly applies to physics-based modeling and trajectory design,” Houin said. “I’m hopeful sharing my experiences of transitioning from the classroom to the workplace will help others find similar success.”
      The Marshall team also conducted an hour-long panel discussion and Q&A segment allowing students to learn more about the fields of aerospace and aeronautic research. Panelists included Christy Gattis, cross-program integration lead, and Kent Criswell, lead systems engineer, both representing the HLS team, as well as Tim Smith, senior mission manager of the TDM (Technology Demonstration Missions) program.
      From left, Tim Smith, senior mission manager of the Technology Demonstration Missions Program, joins Human Landing System team members Christy Gattis, cross-program integration lead, and Kent Criswell, lead systems engineer, in speaking with attendees following a NASA panel discussion at the University of Alabama Space Days on Nov. 16.NASA/Christopher Blair During the panel discussion, attendees were treated with a surprise guest speaker as Eric Vanderslice, stages structures sub element lead with SLS (Space Launch System), connected virtually from the Michoud Assembly Facility. Vanderslice shared insight about “America’s Rocket Factory” and progress for the agency’s Artemis II missions, including the recent installation of all four RS-25 engines onto the 212-ft-tall SLS core stage.
      UA students also received a Tech Talk presentation focused on the SCaN (Space Communications and Navigation) program and related internship opportunities from team members from NASA’s Glenn Research Center and NASA Headquarters. Panelists included Dawn Brooks, program specialist at NASA Headquarters; Timothy Gallagher, senior project lead, and Molly Kearns, digital media specialist, all three representing SCaN’s Policy and Strategic Communications office.
      And in true “One NASA” collaboration, joining the Glenn contingency for this Tech Talk was once again, Tim Smith, providing related updates on the Deep Space Optical Communications and the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration experiments.
      Holly Ellis, communication specialist, and Tim Smith, senior mission manager, both of the Technology Demonstration Missions Program, speak with students during Space Days at the University of Alabama on Nov. 15. NASA/Christopher Blair The annual Space Days event concluded with NASA astronaut Bob Hines delivering a special presentation entitled, “An Astronaut’s Journey” to nearly 100 students, staff and industry partners. Hines completed his first spaceflight as a mission specialist for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-4 mission, serving as flight engineer of Expedition 67/68 aboard the International Space Station. 
      Space Days is hosted by the UA College of Engineering and their staff shared how crucial it is to have support from aerospace industry partners willing to visit campus and meet students. Key partners exhibiting and presenting included Lockheed Martin, United Launch Alliance, Alabama Space Grant Consortium, and others.
      “By the time our students attend a career fair, apply for an internship, or pursue cooperative education, they will have learned about these companies in a smaller setting and begin to consider the many pathways to success,” said Tru Livaudais, director of external affairs for UA College of Engineering. “This event offers all UA students – regardless of majors and specialties – a chance to explore future career possibilities and how to be a part of the cutting-edge research and opportunities in the space industry.”
      Smith, a Media Fusion employee, supports the Marshall Office of Communications.
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      NASA Telescope Data Becomes Music You Can Play
      For millennia, musicians have looked to the heavens for inspiration. Now a new collaboration is enabling actual data from NASA telescopes to be used as the basis for original music that can be played by humans.
      Since 2020, the “sonification” project at NASA’s Chandra X-ray Center has translated the digital data taken by telescopes into notes and sounds. This process allows the listener to experience the data through the sense of hearing instead of seeing it as images, a more common way to present astronomical data.
      The Galactic Center sonification, using data from NASA’s Chandra, Hubble, and Spitzer space telescopes, has been translated into a new composition with sheet music and score. Working with a composer, this soundscape can be played by musicians. The full score and sheet music for individual instruments is available at: https://chandra.si.edu/sound/symphony.htmlComposition: NASA/CXC/SAO/Sophie Kastner A new phase of the sonification project takes the data into different territory. Working with composer Sophie Kastner, the team has developed versions of the data that can be played by musicians.
      “It’s like a writing a fictional story that is largely based on real facts,” said Kastner. “We are taking the data from space that has been translated into sound and putting a new and human twist on it.”
      This pilot program focuses on data from a small region at the center of our Milky Way galaxy where a supermassive black hole resides. NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope, and retired Spitzer Space Telescope have all studied this area, which spans about 400 light-years across.
      “We’ve been working with these data, taken in X-ray, visible, and infrared light, for years,” said Kimberly Arcand, Chandra visualization and emerging technology scientist. “Translating these data into sound was a big step, and now with Sophie we are again trying something completely new for us.”
      In the data sonification process, computers use algorithms to mathematically map the digital data from these telescopes to sounds that humans can perceive. Human musicians, however, have different capabilities than computers.
      Kastner chose to focus on small sections of the image in order to make the data more playable for people. This also allowed her to create spotlights on certain parts of the image that are easily overlooked when the full sonification is played.
      “I like to think of it as creating short vignettes of the data, and approaching it almost as if I was writing a film score for the image,” said Kastner. “I wanted to draw listener’s attention to smaller events in the greater data set.”
      A musical ensemble performs soundscape that composer Sophie Katsner created using data sonifications from NASA’s Chandra, Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. Based in Montreal, Ensemble Éclat is dedicated to the performance of contemporary classical music and promoting the works of emerging composers. (NASA/CXC/A. Jubett & Priam David) The result of this trial project is a new composition based upon and influenced by real data from NASA telescopes, but with a human take.
      “In some ways, this is just another way for humans to interact with the night sky just as they have throughout recorded history,” says Arcand. “We are using different tools but the concept of being inspired by the heavens to make art remains the same.”
      Kastner hopes to expand this pilot composition project to other objects in Chandra’s data sonification collection. She is also looking to bring in other musical collaborators who are interested in using the data in their pieces.
      Sophie Kastner’s Galactic Center piece is entitled “Where Parallel Lines Converge.” If you are a musician who wants to try playing this sonification at home, check out the sheet music at: https://chandra.si.edu/sound/symphony.html.
      The piece was recorded by Montreal based Ensemble Éclat conducted by Charles-Eric LaFontaine on July 19, 2023, at McGill University.
      NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center manages the Chandra program. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Chandra X-ray Center controls science operations from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and flight operations from Burlington, Massachusetts.
      Read more from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.
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      Dietitian Rachel Brown Speaker for Nov. 28 Marshall Association Event
      Rachel Brown, registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist, will be the guest speaker for the Marshall Association Speaker Series on Nov. 28.
      The event will be 12-1 p.m. The event is free to attend and open to everyone via Teams. NASA Marshall Space Flight Center team members can attend in Building 4221, Conference Room 1103. The meeting topic follows this year’s theme of Breaking Boundaries.
      Rachel Brown, registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist, will be the guest speaker for the Marshall Association Speaker Series on Nov. 28. NASA A mom of two and a Huntsville resident since 2016, Brown is the owner of Rocket City Dietitian social media channels, where she focuses on promoting local food, fun, and fitness available in the Rocket City. She has a monthly TV segment on TN Valley Living promoting the local food scene and is a regular contributor to Huntsville Magazine, We Are Huntsville, and VisitHuntsville.org.
      Email the Marshall Association for questions about the event. For more information on the Marshall Association and how to join, team members can visit their page on Inside Marshall.
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      Cube Quest Concludes: Wins, Lessons Learned from Centennial Challenge
      By Savannah Bullard
      Artemis I launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Nov. 16, 2022, penning a new era of space exploration and inching the agency closer to sending the first woman and first person of color to the lunar surface.
      Aboard the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket were 10 small satellites, no bigger than shoeboxes, whose goal was to detach and capably perform operations near and beyond the Moon. One of those satellites was a product of the Cube Quest Challenge, a NASA-led prize competition that asked citizen innovators to design, build, and deliver flight-qualified satellites called CubeSats that could perform its mission independently of the Artemis I mission.
      Small satellites, called CubeSats, are shown secured inside NASA’s Orion stage adapter at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Aug. 5, 2021. One of these CubeSats belonged to Team Miles, one of the three finalists in the Cube Quest Centennial Challenge. The ring-shaped stage adapter was connected to the Space Launch System’s Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, with the Orion spacecraft secured on top. The CubeSats’ mission was to detach from the stage adapter, then fly near and beyond the Moon to conduct a variety of science experiments and technology demonstrations to expand our knowledge of the lunar surface during the Artemis I mission.NASA/Cory Huston Cube Quest is the agency’s first in-space public prize competition. Opened in 2015, the challenge began with four ground-based tournaments, which awarded almost $500,000 in prizes. Three finalists emerged from the ground competition with a ticket to hitch a ride aboard the SLS as a secondary payload – and win the rest of the competition’s $5 million prize purse, NASA’s largest-ever prize offering to date – in 2022.
      Of the three finalists, Team Miles was the sole team to make the trip on Artemis I successfully. Shortly after a successful deployment in space, controllers detected downlink signals and processed them to confirm whether the CubeSat was operational. This remains the latest update for the Team Miles CubeSat.
      “We’re still celebrating the many wins that were borne out of Cube Quest,” said Centennial Challenges Program Manager Denise Morris. “The intent of the challenge was to reward citizen inventors who successfully advance the CubeSat technologies needed for operations on the Moon and beyond, and I believe we accomplished this.”
      Innovation rarely comes without error, but according to Challenge Manager Naveen Vetcha, who supports Centennial Challenges through Jacobs Space Exploration Group, even after everything goes as expected, there is no guarantee that scientists will reach their desired outcomes.
      “Given the magnitude of what we can and do accomplish every day at NASA, it comes with the territory that not every test, proposal, or idea will come out with 100 percent success,” Vetcha said. “We have set ambitious goals, and challenging ourselves to change what’s possible will inevitably end with examples of not meeting our stretch goals. But, with each failure comes more opportunities and lessons to carry forward. In the end, our competitors created technologies that will enable affordable deep space CubeSats, which, to me, is a big win.”
      Although Team Miles may have made it furthest in the Cube Quest Challenge, having launched its CubeSat as a secondary payload aboard Artemis I, the team continues to participate in the challenge long after launch.
      “From Team Miles, Miles Space LLC was created and is still in business,” said Jan McKenna, Team Miles’ project manager and safety lead. “Miles Space is developing and selling the propulsion system designed for our craft to commercial aerospace companies, and we’ve expanded to be able to create hardware for communications along with our CubeSat developments.”
      The next steps for Miles Space LLC include seeing through their active patent applications, establishing relationships with potential clients, and continuing to hunt for a connection with their flying CubeSat. Another finalist team, Cislunar Explorers, is currently focused on using their lessons learned to benefit the global small satellite community.
      “I utilized the contacts I made through Cube Quest and the other Artemis Secondary Payloads for my thesis research,” said Aaron Zucherman, Cislunar Explorers’ project manager. “This has enabled me to find partnerships and consulting work with other universities and companies where I have shared my experiences learning the best ways to build interplanetary CubeSats.”
      This challenge featured teams from diverse educational and commercial backgrounds. Several team members credited the challenge as a catalyst in their graduate thesis or Ph.D. research, but one young innovator says Cube Quest completely redirected his entire career trajectory.
      Project Selene team lead, Braden Oh, competed with his peers at La Cañada High School in La Cañada, California. Oh’s team eventually caught the attention of Kerri Cahoy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the designs were similar enough that Cahoy invited the two teams to merge. The exposure gained through this partnership was a powerful inspiration for Oh and his peers.
      “I originally intended to apply to college as a computer science major, but my experiences in Cube Quest inspired me to study engineering instead,” Oh said. “I saw similar stories unfold for a number of my teammates; one eventually graduated from MIT and another now works for NASA.”
      Cube Quest is managed out of NASA’s Ames Research Center. The competition is a part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges, which is housed at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Centennial Challenges is a part of NASA’s Prizes, Challenges, and Crowdsourcing program in the Space Technology Mission Directorate.
      Bullard, a Manufacturing Technical Solutions Inc. employee, supports the Marshall Office of Communications.
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      The Heat is On! NASA’s ‘Flawless’ Heat Shield Demo Passes the Test
      A little more than a year ago, a NASA flight test article came screaming back from space at more than 18,000 mph, reaching temperatures of nearly 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit before gently splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. At that moment, it became the largest blunt body – a type of reentry vehicle that creates a heat-deflecting shockwave – ever to reenter Earth’s atmosphere.
      The Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator, or LOFTID, launched Nov. 10, 2022, aboard a ULA (United Launch Alliance) Atlas V rocket and successfully demonstrated an inflatable heat shield. Also known as a Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator, or HIAD, aeroshell, this technology could allow larger spacecraft to safely descend through the atmospheres of celestial bodies like Mars, Venus, and even Saturn’s moon, Titan.
      The Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator, or LOFTID, spacecraft is pictured after its atmospheric re-entry test in November 2022.NASA/Greg Swanson “Large-diameter aeroshells allow us to deliver critical support hardware, and potentially even crew, to the surface of planets with atmospheres,” said Trudy Kortes, director of Technology Demonstrations at NASA Headquarters. “This capability is crucial for the nation’s ambition of expanding human and robotic exploration across our solar system.”
      NASA has been developing HIAD technologies for over a decade, including two smaller scale suborbital flight tests before LOFTID. In addition to this successful tech demo, NASA is investigating future applications, including partnering with commercial companies to develop technologies for small satellite reentry, aerocapture, and cislunar payloads.
      “This was a keystone event for us, and the short answer is: It was highly successful,” said LOFTID Project Manager Joe Del Corso. “Our assessment of LOFTID concluded with the promise of what this technology may do to empower the exploration of deep space.”
      Due to the success of the LOFTID tech demo, NASA announced under its Tipping Point program that it would partner with ULA to develop and deliver the “next size up,” a larger 12-meter HIAD aeroshell for recovering the company’s Vulcan engines from low Earth orbit for reuse.
      The LOFTID team recently held a post-flight analysis assessment of the flight test at NASA’s Langley Research Center. Their verdict?
      Upon recovery, the team discovered LOFTID appeared pristine, with minimal damage, meaning its performance was, as Del Corso puts it, “Just flawless.”
      View some interesting visual highlights from LOFTID’s flight test.
      LOFTID splashed down in the Pacific Ocean several hundred miles off the east coast of Hawaii and only about eight miles from the recovery ship’s bow – almost exactly as modeled. A crew got on a small boat and retrieved and hoisted LOFTID onto the recovery ship.
      “The LOFTID mission was important because it proved the cutting-edge HIAD design functioned successfully at an appropriate scale and in a relevant environment,” said Tawnya Laughinghouse, manager of the TDM (Technology Demonstrations Missions) program office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.
      Marshall supported the Langley-led LOFTID project, providing avionics flight hardware, including the data acquisition system, the inertial measurement unit, and six camera pods. Marshall engineers also performed thermal and fluids analyses and modeling in support of the LOFTID re-entry vehicle inflation system and aeroshell designs.
      The LOFTID demonstration was a public private-partnership with ULA funded by STMD and managed by the Technology Demonstration Mission Program, executed by NASA Langley with contributions from across NASA centers. Multiple U.S. small businesses contributed to the hardware. NASA’s Launch Services Program was responsible for NASA’s oversight of launch operations.
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