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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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Former NASA Acting Administrator Steve Jurczyk delivering remarks during NASA’s 60th anniversary.NASA/Joel Kowsky Former NASA Acting Administrator Steve Jurczyk passed away Nov. 23, at the age of 61, following a battle with pancreatic cancer.
During his career, which spanned more than three decades with the agency, Jurczyk rose in ranks to associate administrator, the highest-ranking civil servant, a position he held from May 2018 until January 2021. He ultimately went on to serve as acting administrator between administration changes, serving in that position from January 2021 until his retirement in May 2021.
“Steve dedicated his life to solving some of the most daring spaceflight challenges and propelling humanity’s reach throughout the solar system. The world lost Steve too soon, but his legacy of kindness and exceptional leadership lives on. My thoughts are with his family and loved ones during this difficult time,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.
Preceding his roles as acting administrator and associate administrator, Jurczyk served as the associate administrator for the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, a position he had held since June 2015. He was responsible for formulating and executing the agency’s space technology portfolio, focusing on the development and demonstration of new technologies supporting human and robotic exploration within the agency, public/private partnerships, and academia.
Jurczyk joined the leadership team at headquarters after serving as director of NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. He was named to that position in May 2014. He previously served as deputy center director from August 2006 until his appointment as director.
His NASA career began in 1988, serving as a design, integration, and test engineer in the Electronic Systems Branch at NASA Langley. There he worked on developing several space-based Earth remote sensing systems. He served in a variety of other roles at Langley including director of engineering, and director of research and technology.
At the time of his retirement, Jurczyk shared the following:
“It has been an honor to lead NASA and see the agency’s incredible growth and transformation throughout my time here. The NASA workforce is what makes this agency so special, and I’m incredibly grateful for their amazing work, especially throughout the coronavirus pandemic. At NASA, we turn dreams into reality, and make the seemingly impossible possible. I am so fortunate to have been a member of the NASA family.”
Among his awards, Jurczyk received a Distinguished Service Medal, Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive, Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Executive, Silver Achievement Medal, Outstanding Leadership Medal, and numerous Group
Achievement Awards. He also was a finalist for Sammie management excellence award for his leadership in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jurczyk is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in electrical engineering in 1984 and 1986. He also was an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
An obituary for Steve Jurczyk is online. For more information about his NASA career, visit:
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Hubble Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Servicing Mission 1
Astronaut F. Story Musgrave works in the space shuttle Endeavour’s cargo bay while the solar array panels on the Hubble Space Telescope are deployed during the final Servicing Mission 1 spacewalk. NASA In the pre-dawn hours on Dec. 2, 1993, the space shuttle Endeavour launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on a critical mission to repair NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
Hubble was designed to be serviced in space with components that astronauts can slide in and out of place. But prior to launch, no one expected the first servicing mission to be of such urgency.
For three years, Hubble had been the punchline of late-night comics and editorial cartoons: the telescope that couldn’t see straight. Since its deployment in 1990, the telescope had been beaming blurry images back to Earth, the result of a flaw in the shape of its primary mirror. Though the mirror was off by only one-fiftieth the width of a human hair, the error had devastating consequences: the light from the mirror didn’t focus quite right. While the images were still better than those taken from Earth and science was still possible, their quality was not what the world expected.
The sense that you got was everybody was looking at the servicing and repair of the Hubble Space Telescope as the mission that could prove NASA’s worth … There was this overarching focus and pressure on the success of this mission.
Servicing Mission 1 Astronaut
Servicing Mission 1 was the solution. Aboard the shuttle were the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) and Corrective Optics Space Telescope Axial Replacement (COSTAR), along with other critical components to upgrade the telescope. WFPC2, responsible for the telescope’s visually impactful images, had built-in corrective optics to compensate for the mirror flaw and would replace the Wide Field/Planetary Camera that Hubble launched with. COSTAR was a refrigerator-sized component containing a constellation of mirrors, some only the size of a U.S. nickel, intended to correct and redirect light to the telescope’s other cameras and spectrographs.
Astronaut Kathryn C. Thornton grips a tool to perform servicing mission tasks on the Hubble Space Telescope during the fourth spacewalk of Servicing Mission 1. NASA The shuttle’s crew of seven astronauts was aware that not only Hubble’s fate was on their shoulders, but the public perception of NASA and its space program as well.
“If the Hubble repair is a failure, we can write off space science for the foreseeable future,” John Bahcall, the late astrophysicist who advocated for the telescope and a member of its science working group, told the New York Times in 1993.
Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center; Lead Producer: Grace Weikert On Dec. 2, 2023, NASA commemorates the 30th anniversary of Servicing Mission 1 and its success in transforming Hubble into one of NASA’s greatest triumphs: a shining example of human ingenuity in the face of adversity.
During one of the most complex spacewalking missions ever attempted, astronauts conducted five extravehicular activities, totaling over 35 hours. They removed the High Speed Photometer instrument to add COSTAR and swapped out the original Wide Field/Planetary Camera for the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. They also installed other critical components to upgrade the telescope.
The crew of Servicing Mission 1 poses for a portrait on the space shuttle. In the front row from left to right are Swiss scientist Claude Nicollier, mission specialist; Kenneth D. Bowersox, pilot; and Richard O. Covey, mission commander. In the back row are the spacewalkers on this flight: F. Story Musgrave, payload commander; Jeffrey A. Hoffman, mission specialist; Kathryn D. Thornton, mission specialist; and Thomas D. Akers, mission specialist. NASA At 1 a.m. on December 18, 1993, about a week after the mission had ended, astronomers gathered around computers at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore to witness the first new image from the telescope: a star, shining clear and pristine in the image without the hazy effects of Hubble’s flawed mirror. The new images were so dramatically different that even though the telescope needed around 13 weeks for adjustment to reach its full capabilities, NASA released them early. “It’s fixed beyond our wildest expectations,” said Ed Weiler, Hubble chief scientist during SM1, at a January 1994 press conference.
The look on people’s faces as this picture came up – this was an old [cathode ray] tube-type TV. It took a while for it to build up, but it got clearer and clearer and clearer. Everybody starts shouting.
Hubble chief scientist during SM1
Images of spiral galaxy M100 show the improvement in Hubble’s vision between Wide Field/Planetary Camera and its replacement instrument, the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. NASA, STScI Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, who had advocated diligently for Hubble, was the first to show off the new images to the public at the Jan. 13 press conference. “I’m happy to announce today that after its launch in 1990 and some of its earlier disappointments, the trouble with Hubble is over,” she said.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski displays a picture showing the difference between a star image taken before COSTAR’s installation and the same star after Servicing Mission 1 during the Jan. 13, 1993 press conference announcing the success of the mission. NASA Though Servicing Mission 1 is best remembered for its resolution of Hubble’s blurry vision, it accomplished a host of additional tasks that helped transform the telescope into the astronomical powerhouse it remains today.
By the time Servicing Mission 1 launched, the telescope’s gyroscopes – delicate pieces of equipment required to steer and point Hubble – were already breaking down. Three of the six gyroscopes, or gyros, aboard Hubble had failed. The other three – typically kept as backups – were in operation, the minimum number needed to keep Hubble collecting science data. Astronauts replaced four gyroscopes, a fix that would help keep the telescope running smoothly for several years.
Early in Hubble’s time in orbit, NASA discovered that the telescope’s solar arrays would expand and contract excessively in the alternating heat and cold of space as the telescope traveled in and out of sunlight, causing them to vibrate. This forced engineers to use Hubble’s computing capacity to compensate for the “jitter” and reduced observation time. Astronauts replaced Hubble’s solar arrays with new versions that brought the natural jitter down to acceptable levels.
Astronauts also performed an augmentation whose vital importance would become clear a year later: upgrading Hubble’s flight computer with a co-processor and associated memory. Just weeks before the disintegrating comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 collided with Jupiter in 1994, Hubble went into a protective “safe mode” due to a memory unit problem in the main computer. Engineers were able to use that co-processor’s memory to fix the problem, capturing stunning images of the gas giant being pummeled by comet fragments.
Hubble Memorable Moments: Comet Impact
Find out more about Servicing Mission 1 and its accomplishments
Servicing Mission 1’s impact echoed far beyond Hubble. The mission was a showcase for tasks that could be done in space, proving humanity’s ability to perform highly complex work in orbit. The lessons learned from training for Hubble and from the servicing work itself would be built upon for other astronaut missions, including the four subsequent servicing visits to Hubble between 1997-2009. These additional missions to Hubble would enable the installation of new, cutting-edge instruments, repair of existing science instruments, and the replacement of key hardware, keeping Hubble at the forefront of astrophysics exploration.
Further, the lessons learned from Servicing Mission 1 were a guiding force for work on the International Space Station, and for missions yet to occur. “A lot of the knowledge that was developed there transferred directly to construction of the International Space Station and it’ll transfer to the things we do with [the future orbiting lunar space station] Gateway someday,” said Kenneth Bowersox, associate administrator for NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate, who was also astronaut on Servicing Mission 1. “And it’ll apply to things we do on the Moon and in deep space, going to Mars and beyond. It all links.”
To celebrate Servicing Mission 1, NASA is releasing a series of videos over the next two weeks featuring key players – astronauts, scientists, engineers, and more – as they reflect on the struggles and triumphs of that time, as well as the emotional and personal impact that Hubble and SM1 had on their lives. Follow @NASAHubble on X, Instagram, and Facebook, or go to nasa.gov/hubble to watch as the series kicks off this weekend.
Last Updated Dec 01, 2023 Editor Andrea Gianopoulos Contact Location Goddard Space Flight Center Related Terms
Astrophysics Astrophysics Division Goddard Space Flight Center Hubble Space Telescope Missions Science & Research Science Mission Directorate Keep Exploring Discover More Topics From NASA
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Architecture Concept Review attendees listen to welcome remarks from NASA leadership on Nov. 14, 2023, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Attendees included representatives from all of NASA’s centers, leaders from all of NASA’s mission directorates, various technical authorities, and other stakeholders across the agency. NASA/Kim Shifflett NASA hosted its second annual Architecture Concept Review in mid-November, bringing together leaders from across the agency to discuss progress on and updates to NASA’s Moon to Mars architecture since NASA released outcomes from its first such review in April.
As NASA builds a blueprint for human exploration throughout the solar system for the benefit of humanity, the agency has established the internal Architecture Concept Review process to help align NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration strategy and codify the supporting architecture through robust analysis. Through this evolutionary process, NASA continuously updates its roadmap for crewed exploration, setting humanity on a path to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
NASA leadership gives opening remarks at the review. From left to right: Casey Swails, deputy associate administrator; Catherine Koerner, deputy associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate; Jim Free, associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate; and Pam Melroy, deputy administrator. NASA/Kim Shifflett “Our yearly strategic analysis cycle informs architecture decisions by identifying technology gaps, performing trade studies, and soliciting feedback from industry, academia, and the international community,” said Catherine Koerner, deputy associate administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate. “This year’s review focused on identifying the foundational decisions needed for a crewed mission to Mars and adding more detail to how we break down our objectives for long-term lunar exploration into specific architectural elements.”
During the review, NASA also began to define potentially viable and affordable opportunities for new programs and projects that close capability gaps.
NASA will share the results of this year’s Architecture Concept Review cycle early next year. This will include an update to the agency’s Architecture Definition Document and associated white papers, which provide additional detail on results from this year’s strategic analysis cycle.
Both the updated Architecture Definition Document and white papers will be made available on NASA’s Moon to Mars architecture webpages.
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