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    • By NASA
      Apollo astronaut Buzz Aldrin poses for a photograph beside the deployed United States flag during an Apollo 11 moonwalk on July 20, 1969. The Lunar Module is on the left, and the footprints of the astronauts are clearly visible in the soil of the moon.Credit: NASA As the agency explores more of the Moon than ever before under the Artemis campaign, NASA will celebrate the 55th anniversary of the first astronauts landing on the Moon through a variety of in-person, virtual, and engagement activities nationwide between Monday, July 15, and Thursday, July 25.
      Events will honor America’s vision and technology that enabled the Apollo 11 crewed lunar landing on July 20, 1969, as well as Apollo-era inventions and techniques that spread into public life, many of which are still in use today. Activities also will highlight NASA’s Artemis campaign, which includes landing the first woman, first person of color, and first international astronaut on the Moon, inspiring great achievements, exploration, and scientific discovery for the benefit of all.
      NASA’s subject matter experts are available for a limited number of interviews about the anniversary. To request an interview virtually or in person, contact Jessica Taveau in the newsroom: jessica.c.taveau@nasa.gov.
      During the week of July 15, the agency also will share the iconic bootprint image and the significance of Apollo 11 to NASA’s mission, as well as use the #Apollo11 hashtag, across its digital platforms online.
      Additional activities from NASA include:
      Monday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 16, NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana: NASA will host the rollout of the agency’s Artemis II SLS (Space Launch System) core stage. Friday, July 19, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston: In a dedication and ribbon cutting, the center will name its building 12 the ‘Dorothy Vaughan Center in Honor of the Women of Apollo.’ Vaughan was a mathematician, computer programmer, and NASA’s first Black manager. Sunday, July 21, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland: NASA Goddard will host a model rocket contest conducted by the National Association of Rocketry Headquarters Astro Modeling Section. This free contest is open to all model rocketeers and the public.  Other activities include:
      Tuesday, July 16 through Wednesday, July 24, Space Center Houston: The center will host pop-up science labs, mission briefings, special tram tours that feature the Mission Control Center at NASA Johnson, and more. Friday, July 19 through Saturday, July 20, National Cathedral in Washington: The cathedral will host a festival marking the 50th anniversary of its Space Window, which contains a piece of lunar rock that was donated by NASA and the crew of Apollo 11. Thursday, July 25, San Diego Comic-Con: NASA representatives will participate in a panel entitled ‘Exploring the Moon: the Artemis Generation.’ Panelists are:Stan Love, NASA astronaut A.C. Charania, NASA chief technologist Dionne Hernandez-Lugo, NASA’s Gateway Program Jackelynne Silva-Martinez, NASA Human Health and Performance For more details about NASA’s Apollo Program, please visit:
      https://www.nasa.gov/the-apollo-program
      -end-
      Cheryl Warner / Jessica Taveau
      Headquarters, Washington
      202-356-1600
      cheryl.m.warner@nasa.gov / jessica.c.taveau@nasa.gov
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      Last Updated Jul 12, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
      Apollo 11 Artemis View the full article
    • By Space Force
      During the event, Bentivegna participated in a panel on stage with the film’s director, Greg Berlanti, among others, discussing the making of the movie and the inspiration drawn from the real-life Apollo 11 moon landing story.

      View the full article
    • By Space Force
      In a groundbreaking NASA study set against the remote backdrop of North Dakota, Spc. 4 William Wallace, 4th Space Operations Squadron payload engineer, played a pivotal role in advancing the science community’s understanding of extraterrestrial agriculture.

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    • By NASA
      When the first humans travel to the Red Planet, they will need to know how to repair and maintain equipment, grow their own food, and stay healthy, all while contending with Earth-to-Mars communication delays. They must also find ways to build comradery and have fun. 

      The first all-volunteer CHAPEA (Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog) crew accomplished all of that and more during their 378-day analog mission on the surface of Mars.  

      Living in the isolated Mars Dune Alpha, a 3D-printed, 1,700-square-foot habitat, crew members Kelly Haston, Ross Brockwell, Nathan Jones, and Anca Selariu faced the rigors of a simulated Mars expedition, enduring stressors akin to those of a real mission to the Red Planet. They also celebrated holidays and birthdays, gave each other haircuts, and found moments of levity in isolation. Their journey will help scientists understand the challenges of deep space missions and offer invaluable insights into the resilience of the human spirit. 
      NASA’s CHAPEA (Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog) crew member Kelly Haston greets Deputy Director of Flight Operations Kjell Lindgren and Johnson Space Center Deputy Director Stephen Koerner at the habitat’s door. NASA/Josh Valcarcel As the crew concluded their journey on July 6, NASA astronaut and Deputy Director of Flight Operations Kjell Lindgren opened the habitat door and welcomed them home. 

      “The crew and their families have committed a year of their lives in service to NASA, the country, and humanity’s exploration of space. Thank you to for committing yourselves to research that will enable our future exploration of space,” he said. “Your fingerprints are going to be an indelible part of those first footprints on Mars.” 

      The CHAPEA crew brought their diverse backgrounds and experiences to the mission, collaborating with NASA’s scientists and engineers to collect data that will provide insight into maintaining crew health and performance for future missions to Mars. 
      PHOTO DATE: July 06, 2024 LOCATION: Bldg. 220 – CHAPEA Habitat SUBJECT: ASA Crew Health and Performance Exploration Analog (CHAPEA) Mars Analog Mission 1 Egress Event with crew Anca Selariu, Nathan Jones, Kelly Haston, Ross Brockwell. PHOTOGRAPHER: NASA/Josh ValcarcelNASA/Josh Valcarcel Kelly Haston: Mission Commander and Pioneering Scientist 

      Haston, the mission commander, is a research scientist who builds human disease models. She has spearheaded innovative stem cell-based projects, deriving multiple cell types for work in infertility, liver disease, and neurodegeneration. Her role was pivotal in maintaining crew morale and ensuring the success of daily operations. 
      She highlighted the importance of teamwork and adaptability in a mission with such high stakes.
      “We had to rely on each other and our training to navigate the challenges we faced,” she said. “Every day brought new obstacles, but also new opportunities for growth and learning.” 

      Nathan Jones: Medical Officer and Expert Communicator 

      Jones, the crew medical officer, used his emergency and international medicine experience to tackle the unique challenges of the Mars mission. His expertise in problem-solving and effective communication in a time-sensitive and resource-limited environment was essential due to the approximately one-hour transmission delay. “Even something as simple as when to communicate is important,” said Jones. The crew had to consider what observations were essential to report to each other or Mission Control to avoid overburdening the team or unnecessarily using the limited bandwidth to Earth. 

      “Everything we do in CHAPEA is touched by the heroes working on the ground at NASA,” he said. “We couldn’t ask for a better experience or better people to work with.” 

      The experience evolved into a journey of personal growth for Jones. “I am constantly looking forward, planning for the future,” he said. “I learned to take time to enjoy the current season and be patient for the coming ones.” 
      He also discovered a new hobby: art. “I have even surprised myself with how well some of my sketches have turned out,” he said. 

      Anca Selariu: Microbiologist and Innovative Thinker 

      Anca Selariu brought expertise as a microbiologist in the U.S. Navy, with a background in viral vaccine discovery, prion transmission, gene therapy development, and infectious disease research management. 

      Selariu expressed that she owes much to the Navy, including her involvement in CHAPEA, as it helped shape her both personally and professionally. “I hope to bring back a fresh perspective, along with a strong inclination to think differently about a problem, and test which questions are worth asking before we set out answering them,” she said.  

      Reflecting on the mission, Selariu said, “Every day seemed to be a new revelation about something; about Earth, about art, about humans, about cultures, about the history of life in the universe – what little we know of it.” 
      She added, “As much as I appreciate having information at my fingertips, I will miss the luxury of being unplugged in a world that now validates humans by their digital presence.”  

      Ross Brockwell: Structural Engineer and Problem Solver 

      Brockwell, the mission’s flight engineer, focused on infrastructure, building design, and organizational leadership. His structural engineering background influenced his approach to problem solving in the CHAPEA habitat. 
      “An engineering perspective leads you to build an understanding of how things will react and interact, anticipate possible failure points, and ensure redundancy and contingency planning,” he said. 

      That mindset helped the crew develop creative solutions to mission challenges, such as using a 3D printer to design part adapters and tools and find ways to connect as a team. “Several things we wanted to do for fun required innovation, one being developing a bracket so we could safely and securely mount our mini-basketball hoop,” he said. 
      He advises Artemis Generation members interested in contributing to future analog missions to think about systems engineering theory and learn to develop and integrate whole systems while solving individual challenges.  

      Brockwell believes the most important attributes for a CHAPEA crew member are imagination and a strong sense of wonder. “Of course, one needs to have patience, self-control, emotional regulation, and a sense of humor,” he said. “I would also add perspective, which means understanding the importance of exploration missions on behalf of humankind and appreciating being part of something greater than oneself.” 
      The CHAPEA crew is “back on Earth” after their 378-day mission inside the simulated Martian habitat. NASA /Josh Valcarcel A Vision for the Future 
      As the first CHAPEA mission concludes, the data collected and experiences shared by the crew will pave the way for future explorations, bringing humanity one step closer to setting foot on Mars.  
      “One of the biggest things I have learned on this long-duration mission is that we should never underestimate the effects of small gains over time,” said Jones. “Be willing to do the hard things now and it may make all the difference for the future.” 
      Selariu emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in upcoming space missions. “What everyone at CHAPEA seems to have in common is passion for space and drive to pursue it no matter the challenges, inconvenience, and personal sacrifices.” 
      Brockwell looks forward to missions to the Red Planet becoming a reality. “It still fills me with awe and excitement to think that one day there will be people on the surface of other worlds, overcoming immense challenges and expanding the existence and awareness of life from Earth.” 
      View the full article
    • By NASA
      5 Min Read NASA’s Hubble Traces Dark Matter in Dwarf Galaxy Using Stellar Motions
      This NASA Hubble Space Telescope image reveals a section of the Draco dwarf galaxy. Credits:
      NASA, ESA, Eduardo Vitral, Roeland van der Marel, and Sangmo Tony Sohn (STScI); Image processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI) The qualities and behavior of dark matter, the invisible “glue” of the universe, continue to be shrouded in mystery. Though galaxies are mostly made of dark matter, understanding how it is distributed within a galaxy offers clues to what this substance is, and how it’s relevant to a galaxy’s evolution.
      While computer simulations suggest dark matter should pile up in a galaxy’s center, called a density cusp, many previous telescopic observations have indicated that it is instead more evenly dispersed throughout a galaxy. The reason for this tension between model and observation continues to puzzle astronomers, reinforcing the mystery of dark matter.
      A team of astronomers has turned toward NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to try and clarify this debate by measuring the dynamic motions of stars within the Draco dwarf galaxy, a system located roughly 250,000 light-years from Earth. Using observations that spanned 18 years, they succeeded in building the most accurate three-dimensional understanding of stars’ movements within the diminutive galaxy. This required scouring nearly two decades of Hubble archival observations of the Draco galaxy.
      A team of astronomers analyzed observations by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope taken over a span of 18 years to measure the dynamic motions of stars within the Draco dwarf galaxy. The telescope’s extensive baseline and data archive enabled the team to build the most accurate three-dimensional map of the stars’ movements within the system. These improved measurements are helping to shed “light” on the mysterious qualities and behavior of dark matter, the universe’s invisible “glue.” The left image is from the Digitized Sky Survey (DSS). It presents a wider view of the region. The two right-side images are Hubble views. NASA, ESA, Eduardo Vitral, Roeland van der Marel, and Sangmo Tony Sohn (STScI), DSS; Image processing: Joseph DePasquale (STScI)
      Download this image

      “Our models tend to agree more with a cusp-like structure, which aligns with cosmological models,” said Eduardo Vitral of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore and lead author of the study. “While we cannot definitively say all galaxies contain a cusp-like dark matter distribution, it’s exciting to have such well measured data that surpasses anything we’ve had before.”
      Charting the Movements of Stars
      To learn about dark matter within a galaxy, scientists can look to its stars and their movements that are dominated by the pull of dark matter. A common approach to measure the speed of objects moving in space is by the Doppler Effect – an observed change of the wavelength of light if a star is approaching or receding from Earth. Although this line-of-sight velocity can provide valuable insight, only so much can be gleaned from this one-dimensional source of information.
      Besides moving closer or further away from us, stars also move across the sky, measured as their proper motion. By combining line-of-sight velocity with proper motions, the team created an unprecedented analysis of the stars’ 3D movements.
      “Improvements in data and improvements in modeling usually go hand in hand,” explained Roeland van der Marel of STScI, a co-author of the paper who initiated the study more than 10 years ago. “If you don’t have very sophisticated data or only one-dimensional data, then relatively straightforward models can often fit. The more dimensions and complexity of data you gather, the more complex your models need to be to truly capture all the subtleties of the data.”
      A Scientific Marathon (Not a Sprint)
      Since dwarf galaxies are known to have a higher proportion of dark matter content than other types of galaxies, the team honed in on the Draco dwarf galaxy, which is a relatively small and spheroidal nearby satellite of the Milky Way galaxy.
      “When measuring proper motions, you note the position of a star at one epoch and then many years later measure the position of that same star. You measure the displacement to determine how much it moved,” explained Sangmo Tony Sohn of STScI, another co-author of the paper and the principal investigator of the latest observational program. “For this kind of observation, the longer you wait, the better you can measure the stars shifting.”
      The team analyzed a series of epochs spanning from 2004 to 2022, an extensive baseline that only Hubble could offer, due to the combination of its sharp stable vision and record time in operation. The telescope’s rich data archive helped decrease the level of uncertainty in the measurement of the stars’ proper motions. The precision is equivalent to measuring an annual shift a little less than the width of a golf ball as seen on the Moon from Earth.
      With three dimensions of data, the team reduced the amount of assumptions applied in previous studies and considered characteristics specific to the galaxy – such as its rotation, and distribution of its stars and dark matter – in their own modeling efforts.
      An Exciting Future
      The methodologies and models developed for the Draco dwarf galaxy can be applied to other galaxies in the future. The team is already analyzing Hubble observations of the Sculptor dwarf galaxy and the Ursa Minor dwarf galaxy.
      Studying dark matter requires observing different galactic environments, and also entails collaboration across different space telescope missions. For example, NASA’s upcoming Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will help reveal new details of dark matter’s properties among different galaxies thanks to its ability to survey large swaths of the sky.
      “This kind of study is a long-term investment and requires a lot of patience,” reflected Vitral. “We’re able to do this science because of all the planning that was done throughout the years to actually gather these data. The insights we’ve collected are the result of a larger group of researchers that has been working on these things for many years.”
      These results are accepted for publication in The Astrophysical Journal.
      The Hubble Space Telescope has been operating for over three decades and continues to make ground-breaking discoveries that shape our fundamental understanding of the universe. Hubble is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope and mission operations. Lockheed Martin Space, based in Denver, Colorado, also supports mission operations at Goddard. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, conducts Hubble science operations for NASA.
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      All image products for this article

      Facebook logo @NASAHubble @NASAHubble Instagram logo @NASAHubble Media Contacts:
      Claire Andreoli
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
      claire.andreoli@nasa.gov
      Abigail Major and Ray Villard
      Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD
      Science Contacts:
      Eduardo Vitral, Roeland van der Marel, and Sangmo Tony Sohn
      Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD
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      Last Updated Jul 11, 2024 Editor Andrea Gianopoulos Location NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Related Terms
      Astrophysics Astrophysics Division Dark Matter Dark Matter & Dark Energy Goddard Space Flight Center Hubble Space Telescope Missions The Universe Keep Exploring Discover More Topics From NASA
      Hubble Space Telescope


      Since its 1990 launch, the Hubble Space Telescope has changed our fundamental understanding of the universe.


      Shining a Light on Dark Matter



      Dark Matter & Dark Energy



      Roman


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