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By European Space Agency
Video: 00:12:34 Almost 200 countries are gathering in Dubai to attend the biggest climate event of the year. COP28 – the 2023 United Nations climate change summit – isn’t just another conference though. For the first time, country representatives will assess the progress they’ve made towards cutting their greenhouse gas emissions through a process called the ‘global stocktake’.
Satellites are critical in the quest to tackle climate change as they give the robustness and transparency needed to monitor progress towards a lower-emissions and more resilient world. If undertaken effectively, the global stocktake can provide an opportunity to leverage decisions and accelerate ambition in climate action plans.
This video contains interviews with ESA Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Simonetta Cheli, Antony Delavois, ESA Junior Professional, Atmospheric Composition and Yasjka Meijer, CO2M Mission Scientist.
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NASA Administrator Bill Nelson delivers remarks before the ribbon cutting ceremony to open NASA’s Earth Information Center, Wednesday, June 21, 2023, at the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building in Washington. The Earth Information Center is new immersive experience that combines live data sets with cutting-edge data visualization and storytelling to allow visitors to see how our planet is changing. NASA/Joel Kowsky NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and other agency leaders will participate in the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) beginning Thursday, Nov. 30, through Tuesday, Dec. 12, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
This global conference brings together countries committed to addressing climate change, which is a key priority for the Biden-Harris Administration and NASA. For the first time, a NASA administrator will attend, joining an expected 70,000 participants, world leaders, and representatives from nearly 200 countries.
Throughout the conference, parties will review the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and, also for the first time, provide a comprehensive assessment of progress since adopting the Paris Agreement.
In addition to Nelson, NASA participants in the conference include:
Kate Calvin, NASA’s chief scientist and senior climate advisor Susie Perez Quinn, NASA’s chief of staff Karen St. Germain, director, NASA Earth Science Division Nadya Vinogradova Shiffer, program scientist, ocean physics, NASA Earth Science Division Laura Rogers, associate program manager, ecological conservation, NASA Langley Research Center Wenying Su, senior research scientist, climate science, NASA Langley Research Center Ben Hamlington, research scientist, sea level and ice, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory During the conference, Nelson will participate in the first Space Agency Leaders’ Summit, which aims to demonstrate a collective commitment toward strengthening global climate initiatives and promoting sustainable space operations.
Throughout the conference, NASA leaders also will participate in additional events and presentations at the NASA Hyperwall, a main attraction at the U.S. Center showing how the agency’s climate science and research helps model and predict ocean health, heat waves, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and droughts, among its other Earth-related research. NASA will provide a hyperwall presentation every day, some with interagency partners, between Sunday, Dec. 3, and Monday, Dec. 11.
Climate adaptation and mitigation efforts require robust climate observations and research. NASA’s unique vantage point from space provides critical information to advance understanding of our changing planet. With more than two dozen satellites and instruments in orbit, NASA’s climate data – which is openly and freely available to anyone – provides insight on how the planet is changing and measure key climate indicators, such as greenhouse gas emissions, rising sea level and clouds, and precipitation.
A full schedule of U.S. Center events at COP28 is available at:
Last Updated Nov 27, 2023 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
Climate Change Bill Nelson Earth View the full article
NASA Selects 11 Space Biology Research Projects to Inform Biological Research During Future Lunar Exploration MissionsBy NASA
4 min read
NASA Selects 11 Space Biology Research Projects to Inform Biological Research During Future Lunar Exploration Missions
NASA announces the award of eleven grants or cooperative agreements for exciting new Space Biology research that will advance NASA’s understanding of how exposure to lunar dust/regolith impact both plant and animal systems.
As human exploration prepares to go beyond Earth Orbit, Space Biology is advancing its research priorities towards work that will enable organisms to Thrive In DEep Space (TIDES). The ultimate goal of the TIDES initiative is to enable long-duration space missions and improve life on Earth through innovative research. Space Biology supported research will enable the study of the effects of environmental stressors in spaceflight on model organisms, that will both inform future fundamental research, as well as provide valuable information that will better enable human exploration of deep space.
Proposals for these eleven projects were submitted in response to ROSES-2022 Program Element E.9 “Space Biology Research Studies” (NNH22ZDA001N-SBR). This funding opportunity solicited ground studies using plant or animal models (or their associated microbes) to characterize the responses of these organisms to lunar regolith simulant similar to that found at NASA candidate landing sites for future lunar exploration missions. This funding opportunity represents a collaboration between the Space Biology Program and NASA’s Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division within the Exploration Architecture, Integration, and Science (EAIS) Directorate at the NASA Johnson Space Center, who will be supplying the lunar regolith simulant required for these studies.
Selected studies include (but are not limited to) efforts to 1) test the ability of lunar regolith to act as a growth substrate for crop-producing plants including grains, tomatoes and potatoes, 2) understand how growth in lunar regolith influences plant and microbial interactions, and how in turn, these interactions affect plant development and health, 3) identify and test bioremediation methods/techniques to enhance the ability of regolith to act as a growth substrate, and 4) understand how lunar dust exposure impacts host/microbial interactions in human-analogous model systems under simulated microgravity conditions.
Eleven investigators will conduct these Space Biology investigations from ten institutions in nine states. Eight of these awards are to investigators new to the Space Biology Program. When fully implemented, approximately $2.3 million will be awarded in fiscal years 2024-2027.
Plant Research Investigations
Simon Gilroy, Ph.D. University of Wisconsin, Madison
Tailoring Lunar Regolith to Plant Nutrition
Aymeric Goyer, Ph.D. Oregon State University
Growth, physiology and nutrition dynamics of potato plants grown on lunar regolith
Christopher Mason, Ph.D. Weill Medical College of Cornell University
Leveraging the microbes of Earth’s extreme environments for sustainable plant growth
in lunar regolith
Thomas Juenger, Ph.D. University of Texas, Austin
Engineering plant-microbial interactions for improved plant growth on simulated lunar regolith
Plant Early Career Research Investigations
Miranda Haus, Ph.D. Michigan State University
The sources and extent of root stunting during growth in lunar highland regolith and its impact on legume symbioses
Joseph Lynch, Ph.D. West Virginia University
The metabolomic impact of lunar regolith-based substrate on tomatoes
Jared Broddrick, Ph.D. NASA Ames Research Center
Phycoremediation of lunar regolith towards in situ agriculture
Shuyang Zhen, Ph.D. Texas A&M AgriLife Research
Investigating the impact of foliar and root-zone exposure to lunar regolith simulant on lettuce growth and stress physiology in a hydroponic system
Plant Small Scale Research Investigations
Kathryn Fixen, Ph.D. University of Minnesota
The impact of lunar regolith on nitrogen fixation in a plant growth promoting rhizobacterium
Animal Research Investigations
Cheryl Nickerson, Arizona State University
Effects of Lunar Dust Simulant on Human 3-D Biomimetic Intestinal Models, Enteric Microorganisms, and Infectious Disease Risks
Afshin Beheshti, Ph.D. NASA Ames Research CenterSpaceflight and Regolith Induced Mitochondrial Stress Mitigated by miRNA-based Countermeasures
Last Updated Nov 21, 2023 Related Terms
Biological & Physical Sciences Space Biology View the full article
2 min read
NASA One Step Closer to Fueling Space Missions with Plutonium-238
Close-up of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover as it looks back at its wheel tracks on March 17, 2022, the 381st Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Credit: NASA The recent shipment of heat source plutonium-238 from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory to its Los Alamos National Laboratory is a critical step toward fueling planned NASA missions with radioisotope power systems.
This shipment of 0.5 kilograms (a little over 1 pound) of new heat source plutonium oxide is the largest since the domestic restart of plutonium-238 production over a decade ago. It marks a significant milestone toward achieving the constant rate production average target of 1.5 kilograms per year by 2026.
Radioisotope power systems, or RPS, enable exploration of some of the deepest, darkest, and most distant destinations in the solar system and beyond. RPS use the natural decay of the radioisotope plutonium-238 to provide heat to a spacecraft in the form of a Light Weight Radioisotope Heater Unit (LWRHU), or heat and electricity in the form of a system such as the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG).
The DOE has produced the heat source plutonium oxide required to fuel the RPS for missions such as NASA’s Mars 2020. The first spacecraft to benefit from this restart, the Perseverance rover, carries some of the new plutonium produced by DOE. An MMRTG continuously provides the car-sized rover with heat and about 110 watts of electricity, enabling the exploration of the Martian surface and the gathering of soil samples for possible retrieval.
“NASA’s Radioisotope Power Systems Program works in partnership with the Department of Energy to enable missions to operate in some of the most extreme environments in our solar system and interstellar space,” said Carl Sandifer, RPS program manager at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.
For over sixty years, the United States has employed radioisotope-based electrical power systems and heater units in space. Three dozen missions have explored space for decades using the reliable electricity and heat provided by RPS.
NASA and DOE are continuing their long-standing partnership to ensure the nation can enable future missions requiring radioisotopes for decades to come.
NASA’s Glenn Research Center
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NASA / Michael DeMocker 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. 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.
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.
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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Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
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