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In Search of Cleaner Fuel for Aviation on Earth on This Week @NASA – December 1, 2023
NASA During a ceremony in Washington Nov. 30, Angola became the 33rd country to sign the Artemis Accords.
The Artemis Accords establish a practical set of principles to guide space exploration cooperation among nations, including those participating in NASA’s Artemis program.
NASA, in coordination with the U.S. Department of State, established the Artemis Accords in 2020 together with seven other original signatories. Since then, the Accords signatories have held focused discussions on how best to implement the Artemis Accords principles.
The Artemis Accords reinforce and implement key obligations in the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. They also strengthen the commitment by the United States and signatory nations to the Registration Convention, the Rescue and Return Agreement, as well as best practices and norms of responsible behavior NASA and its partners have supported, including the public release of scientific data.
More countries are expected to sign the Artemis Accords in the months and years ahead, as NASA continues to work with its international partners to establish a safe, peaceful, and prosperous future in space. Working with both new and existing partners adds new energy and capabilities to ensure the entire world can benefit from our journey of exploration and discovery.
Learn more about the Artemis Accords at:
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Google’s ‘A Passage of Water’ Brings NASA’s Water Data to Life
As part of the long-standing partnership between NASA and Google, NASA worked with Google Arts & Culture and artist Yiyun Kang to create an interactive digital experience around global freshwater resources titled “A Passage of Water.” This immersive experience leverages data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites and new high-resolution data from the Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) mission to illustrate how climate change is impacting Earth’s water cycle.
A digital version of “A Passage of Water” will be released online on Thursday, Nov. 30, ahead of the beginning of the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP 28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Google also will host a physical installation of the visualization project in the Blue Zone at COP 28.
“NASA is the U.S. space agency that provides end-to-end research about our home planet, and it is our job to inform the world about what we learn,” said Kate Calvin, NASA’s chief scientist and senior climate advisor in Washington. “Highlighting our Earth science data in the installation of ‘A Passage of Water’ is a unique way to share information, in a digestible way, around the important connection between climate change and the Earth’s water cycle.”
The international Surface Water and Ocean Topography (SWOT) satellite, as shown in this illustration, is the first global mission surveying Earth’s surface water. SWOT’s high-resolution data helps scientists measure how Earth’s bodies of water change overtime. Credit: CNES. For six decades, NASA has been collecting data on Earth’s land, water, air, and climate. This data is used to inform decision-makers on ways to mitigate, adapt and respond to climate change. All of NASA’s Earth science data is available for scientists and the public to access in a variety of ways.
“NASA studies our home planet and its interconnected systems more than any other planet in our universe,” said Karen St. Germain, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division. “’A Passage of Water’ provides an opportunity to highlight the public availability of SWOT data and other NASA Earth science data to tell meaningful stories, improve awareness, and help everyday people who have to make real decisions in their homes, businesses, and communities.”
A collaboration between NASA and the French space agency CNES (Centre National d’Études Spatiales), SWOT is measuring the height of nearly all water on Earth’s surface, providing one of the most detailed, comprehensive views yet of the planet’s freshwater bodies. SWOT provides insights into how the ocean influences climate change and how a warming world affects lakes, rivers, and reservoirs.
NASA studies our home planet and its interconnected systems more than any other planet in our universe.
Karen St. Germain
Director, NASA’s Earth Science Division
“The detail that SWOT is providing on the world’s oceans and fresh water is game-changing. We’re only just getting started with respect to data from this satellite and I’m looking forward to seeing where the information takes us,” said Ben Hamlington, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
The Google project also uses data from the GRACE and GRACE Follow-On missions –the former is a joint effort between NASA and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), while the latter is a collaboration between NASA and the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ). GRACE tracked localized changes to Earth’s mass distribution, caused by phenomena including the movement of water across the planet from 2002 to 2017. GRACE-FO came online in 2018 and is currently in operation.
As with GRACE before it, the GRACE-FO mission monitors changes in ice sheets and glaciers, near-surface and underground water storage, the amount of water in large lakes and rivers, as well as changes in sea level and ocean currents, providing an integrated view of how Earth’s water cycle and energy balance are evolving.
“A Passage of Water” is the most recent digital experience created under NASA’s Space Act Agreement with Google, with resulting content to be made widely available to the public free of charge on Google’s web platforms. This collaboration is part of a six-project agreement series that aims to share NASA’s content with audiences in new and engaging ways.
Learn more about SWOT, GRACE, GRACE-FO, and NASA’s Earth Science missions at:
To learn more about NASA Partnerships, visit:
Last Updated Nov 30, 2023 Editor Contact Related Terms
Earth GRACE (Gravity Recovery And Climate Experiment) GRACE-FO (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-on) SWOT (Surface Water and Ocean Topography) Water on Earth Keep Exploring Discover More Topics From NASA
Your home. Our Mission. And the one planet that NASA studies more than any other.
NASA is a global leader in studying Earth’s changing climate.
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Earth Science Data
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Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
The six satellites that make up NASA’s SunRISE mission are each only about the size of a cereal box, flanked by small solar panels. This fleet of six SmallSats will work together to effectively create a much larger radio antenna in space. Space Dynamics Laboratory/Allison Bills Most NASA missions feature one spacecraft or, occasionally, a few. The agency’s Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment (SunRISE) is using half a dozen. This month, mission members completed construction of the six identical cereal box-size satellites, which will now go into storage and await their final testing and ride to space. SunRISE will launch as a rideshare aboard a United Launch Alliance Vulcan rocket, sponsored by the United States Space Force (USSF)’s Space Systems Command (SSC).
Once launched, these six small satellites, or SmallSats, will work together to act like one giant radio antenna in space. The mission will study the physics of explosions in the Sun’s atmosphere in order to gain insights that could someday help protect astronauts and space hardware from showers of accelerated particles.
“This is a big moment for everyone who has worked on SunRISE,” said Jim Lux, the SunRISE project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which manages the mission for the agency. “Challenges are expected when you’re doing something for the first time, and especially when the space vehicles are small and compact. But we have a small team that works well together, across multiple institutions and companies. I’m looking forward to the day when we receive the first images of the Sun in these radio wavelengths.”
Monitoring Solar Radio Bursts
They may be small, but the six satellites have a big job ahead of them studying solar radio bursts, or the generation of radio waves in the outer atmosphere of the Sun. These bursts result from electrons accelerated in the Sun’s atmosphere during energetic events known as coronal mass ejections and solar flares.
Particles accelerated by these events can damage spacecraft electronics – including on communications satellites in Earth orbit – and pose a health threat to astronauts. Scientists still have big questions about how solar radio bursts, coronal mass ejections, and solar flares are created and how they are linked. SunRISE may shed light on this complex question. Someday, tracking solar radio bursts and pinpointing their location could help warn humans when the energetic particles from coronal mass ejections and solar flares are likely to hit Earth.
This type of monitoring isn’t possible from the ground. Earth’s atmosphere blocks the range of radio wavelengths primarily emitted by solar radio bursts. For a space-based monitoring system, scientists need a radio telescope bigger than any previously flown in space. This is where SunRISE comes in.
To look out for solar radio events, the SmallSats will fly about 6 miles (10 kilometers) apart and each deploy four radio antennas that extend 10 feet (2.5 meters). Mission scientists and engineers will track where the satellites are relative to one another and measure with precise timing when each one observes a particular event. Then they will combine the information collected by the satellites into a single data stream from which images of the Sun will be produced for scientists to study – a technique called interferometry.
“Some missions put multiple scientific instruments on a single spacecraft, whereas we use multiple small satellites to act as a single instrument,” said JPL’s Andrew Romero-Wolf, the deputy project scientist for SunRISE.
More About the Mission
SunRISE is a Mission of Opportunity under the Heliophysics Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD). Missions of Opportunity are part of the Explorers Program, managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. SunRISE is led by Justin Kasper at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California. Utah State University’s Space Dynamics Laboratory built the SunRISE spacecraft. JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, provides the mission operations center and manages the mission for NASA.
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NASA Headquarters, Washington
Last Updated Nov 30, 2023 Related Terms
SunRISE (Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment) Earth Explore More
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“I want to help the Native community get better representation and show that we can help Native citizens get into aerospace engineering, mathematics, or [other STEM career fields]. And the Cherokee and Choctaw Nations are trying to do the same thing on their reservations. They have amazing education networks, so when I realized what they were doing, I wanted to help them be successful [in their efforts] so that they could inspire other tribes to do the same thing.
“When I was talking with the Principal Chiefs of the Cherokee and Choctaw Nations, they said, ‘We need to start making decisions for our people seven generations from now.’ So, they started looking at emerging technologies, and aviation [with a focus on] advanced air mobility was one of those areas. They said, ‘We want to make sure our youth are enabled and equipped to start fielding some of these areas,’ and that’s how I want to help inspire people too.
“Everyone needs an anchor from their community to motivate and inspire them to move forward. I want to be a motivational anchor for the next generation of minorities. You look at minorities, and we often don’t have as many anchors from our past to make us believe [our big dreams are possible]. Providing that legacy now and saying, ‘Hey, I can be an emotional anchor to somebody in my community or with my background [in] two, three, four generations from now,’ and building something outside of myself – that’s what motivates me. I think that’s how we inspire, by leaving those anchors in our timeline.”
— David Zahn, NASA Research Pilot, Ames Research Center
Image Credit: NASA / Dominic Hart
Interviewer: NASA / Tahira Allen
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