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International Space Station 25 Years in Orbit: Crew Q&A
(Nov. 8, 2021) — The International Space Station is pictured from the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour during a fly around of the orbiting lab that took place following its undocking from the Harmony module’s space-facing port on Nov. 8, 2021.NASA/SpaceX NASA is celebrating the 25th anniversary of International Space Station operations during a live conversation with crew aboard the microgravity laboratory for the benefit of humanity. During a space-to-Earth call at 12:25 p.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 6, the Expedition 70 crew will speak with NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana and Joel Montalbano, space station program manager.
Watch on the NASA+ streaming service at no cost on demand. The discussion also will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, YouTube, and the agency’s website. Learn how to stream NASA TV through a variety of platforms including social media.
On Dec. 6, 1998, the first two elements of the orbital outpost, Unity and Zarya, were attached by crew members of space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-88 mission. Cabana was the commander of the mission and the first American to enter the space station.
Through this global endeavor, astronauts have continuously lived and worked aboard the space station for more than 23 years, testing technologies, performing science, and developing the skills needed to explore farther from Earth. It has been visited by 273 people from 21 countries.
More than 3,300 research and educational investigations have been conducted on station from 108 countries and areas. Many of these research and technology investigations benefit people on Earth, and many lay the groundwork for future commercial destinations in low Earth orbit and exploration farther into the solar system. Together with Artemis missions to the Moon, these proving grounds will help prepare NASA for future human exploration of Mars.
Learn more about the International Space Station at:
Last Updated Dec 05, 2023 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
Humans in Space International Space Station (ISS) View the full article
Students participate in the 21st annual Disability Mentoring Day on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The visiting students paired with mentors from Kennedy based on interests spanning from public affairs to engineering, shadowing them to learn about their respective day-to-day duties at the spaceport. Mentors shared experiences and insight on their path to NASA and provided learning opportunities to students looking to kickstart their career development.NASA/Glenn Benson By Matina Douzenis
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center
Meeting members of the Artemis generation often inspires NASA’s workforce as much as it encourages the students themselves. For one recent group of students, a visit to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida brought mentorship, new experiences, and inspiration for answering the profound questions of our universe.
The 22 students traveled to the world’s preeminent spaceport on Nov. 14 for the 21st annual Disability Mentoring Day hosted at Kennedy by the Disability Awareness and Action Working Group (DAAWG). Students were paired with a mentor based on interests spanning communication to engineering. Mentors shared experiences and insight on their path to NASA and provided learning opportunities to students hoping to kickstart their career development.
“As a first-year mentor, it’s hard to capture the spirit of Disability Mentoring Day with words,” said NASA Public Affairs Officer Danielle Sempsrott. “Seeing how excited these kids were to be here at Kennedy, learning what we do, was amazing. One of the students asked us to keep them in mind for any job openings in the future. It’s really cool knowing we made them feel welcome and maybe sparked an interest that may not have been there before.”
At Kennedy, teams of diverse people collaborate to do groundbreaking work across a wide range of programs. Event organizers hope that mentoring day will inspire the Artemis generation, who are still in school today, to enter the NASA orbit in any number of career fields.
“When I was a young kid, I didn’t have this opportunity to participate in any disability mentoring day,” said DAAWG Co-Chair Nicole Delvesco and NASA cost accountant who has a cochlear implant. “If I had, I know I would have felt better about myself, would have had a lot more confidence to achieve a lot more than I already have.”
The mentoring day is just one activity that helps further NASA Kennedy’s diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion goals. DAAWG also serves as an advocate for the center’s employees with disabilities and disabled veterans, advises the Center Director on matters relating to employees with disabilities, and serves as a resource to the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity and other directorates.
Other programs like National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which occurs every October, celebrates the accomplishments and achievements of all individuals with disabilities. The U.S. Congress created the observance in 1988 to raise awareness of disability employment needs and to celebrate the many and varied contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities.
“It is important for people to learn about different disabilities – hidden or visible,” said Paul Spann, the Disability Mentoring Day event lead who is a NASA accountant with a cochlear implant. “Most individuals with disabilities that I know will work harder to show their capabilities and always look for ways to prove themselves – I personally have had to do this throughout my career to remove doubts from people. It’s important that everyone understand how to focus on the strengths of individuals with disabilities in the workplace.”
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NASA Administrator Bill Nelson participated in the first-ever Space Agencies Leaders’ Summit at COP 28 in Dubai, UAE, on Dec. 4, 2023, where he underscored the importance of sharing climate data transparently and openly with the world.
Leaders from two dozen space agencies discussed enhancing data sharing between established and emerging space nations, strengthening climate research by allocating resources and funding towards climate research initiatives within the space sector, supporting climate monitoring initiatives by establishing new programs, and promoting sustainable space operations by minimizing the environmental impact of space operations.
The summit ended with participants adopting a pledge to enhance space-based climate initiatives to transform and accelerate climate action to meet the commitments outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement.
Image Credit: COP 28/Stuart Wilson
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5 Min Read Webb Study Reveals Rocky Planets Can Form in Extreme Environments
An international team of astronomers has used NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to provide the first observation of water and other molecules in the highly irradiated inner, rocky-planet-forming regions of a disk in one of the most extreme environments in our galaxy. These results suggest that the conditions for terrestrial planet formation can occur in a possible broader range of environments than previously thought.
Image: Protoplanetary Disk (Artist Concept)
This is an artist’s impression of a young star surrounded by a protoplanetary disk in which planets are forming. ESO/L. Calçada These are the first results from the eXtreme Ultraviolet Environments (XUE) James Webb Space Telescope program, which focuses on the characterization of planet-forming disks (vast, spinning clouds of gas, dust, and chunks of rock where planets form and evolve) in massive star-forming regions. These regions are likely representative of the environment in which most planetary systems formed. Understanding the impact of environment on planet formation is important for scientists to gain insights into the diversity of the different types of exoplanets.
The XUE program targets a total of 15 disks in three areas of the Lobster Nebula (also known as NGC 6357), a large emission nebula roughly 5,500 light-years away from Earth in the constellation Scorpius. The Lobster Nebula is one of the youngest and closest massive star-formation complexes, and is host to some of the most massive stars in our galaxy. Massive stars are hotter, and therefore emit more ultraviolet (UV) radiation. This can disperse the gas, making the expected disk lifetime as short as a million years. Thanks to Webb, astronomers can now study the effect of UV radiation on the inner rocky-planet forming regions of protoplanetary disks around stars like our Sun.
“Webb is the only telescope with the spatial resolution and sensitivity to study planet-forming disks in massive star-forming regions,” said team lead María Claudia Ramírez-Tannus of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany.
Astronomers aim to characterize the physical properties and chemical composition of the rocky-planet-forming regions of disks in the Lobster Nebula using the Medium Resolution Spectrometer on Webb’s Mid-Infrared Instrument (MIRI). This first result focuses on the protoplanetary disk termed XUE 1, which is located in the star cluster Pismis 24.
“Only the MIRI wavelength range and spectral resolution allow us to probe the molecular inventory and physical conditions of the warm gas and dust where rocky planets form,” added team member Arjan Bik of Stockholm University in Sweden.
Image: XUE 1 spectrum detects water
This spectrum shows data from the protoplanetary disk termed XUE 1, which is located in the star cluster Pismis 24. The inner disk around XUE 1 revealed signatures of water (highlighted here in blue), as well as acetylene (C2H2, green), hydrogen cyanide (HCN, brown), and carbon dioxide (CO2, red). As indicated, some of the emission detected was weaker than some of the predicted models, which might imply a small outer disk radius.NASA, ESA, CSA, M. Ramírez-Tannus (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy), J. Olmsted (STScI) Due to its location near several massive stars in NGC 6357, scientists expect XUE 1 to have been constantly exposed to high amounts of ultraviolet radiation throughout its life. However, in this extreme environment the team still detected a range of molecules that are the building blocks for rocky planets.
“We find that the inner disk around XUE 1 is remarkably similar to those in nearby star-forming regions,” said team member Rens Waters of Radboud University in the Netherlands. “We’ve detected water and other molecules like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, and acetylene. However, the emission found was weaker than some models predicted. This might imply a small outer disk radius.”
“We were surprised and excited because this is the first time that these molecules have been detected under these extreme conditions,” added Lars Cuijpers of Radboud University. The team also found small, partially crystalline silicate dust at the disk’s surface. This is considered to be the building blocks of rocky planets.
These results are good news for rocky planet formation, as the science team finds that the conditions in the inner disk resemble those found in the well-studied disks located in nearby star-forming regions, where only low-mass stars form. This suggests that rocky planets can form in a much broader range of environments than previously believed.
Image: XUE 1 Spectrum detects CO
This spectrum shows data from the protoplanetary disk termed XUE 1, which is located in the star cluster Pismis 24. It features the observed signatures of carbon monoxide spanning 4.95 to 5.15 microns. NASA, ESA, CSA, M. Ramírez-Tannus (Max Planck Institute for Astronomy), J. Olmsted (STScI)
The team notes that the remaining observations from the XUE program are crucial to establish the commonality of these conditions.
“XUE 1 shows us that the conditions to form rocky planets are there, so the next step is to check how common that is,” said Ramírez-Tannus. “We will observe other disks in the same region to determine the frequency with which these conditions can be observed.”
These results have been published in The Astrophysical Journal.
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.
Laura Betz – email@example.com, Rob Gutro– firstname.lastname@example.org
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, , Greenbelt, Md.
Bethany Downer – Bethany.Downer@esawebb.org
ESA/Webb Chief Science Communications Officer
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Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.
Download full resolution images for this article from the Space Telescope Science Institute.
Research results published in The Astrophysical Journal.
LIfe and Death of Planetary Systems
Webb Mission – https://science.nasa.gov/mission/webb/
Webb News – https://science.nasa.gov/mission/webb/latestnews/
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