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    • By NASA
      3 min read
      NASA Mission to Study Mysteries in the Origin of Solar Radio Waves
      NASA’s CubeSat Radio Interferometry Experiment, or CURIE, is scheduled to launch July 9, 2024, to investigate the unresolved origins of radio waves coming from the Sun.
      CURIE will investigate where solar radio waves originate in coronal mass ejections, like this one seen in 304- and 171-angstrom wavelengths by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientists first noticed these radio waves decades ago, and over the years they’ve determined the radio waves come from solar flares and giant eruptions on the Sun called coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, which are a key driver of space weather that can impact satellite communications and technology at Earth. But no one knows where the radio waves originate within a CME.
      The CURIE mission aims to advance our understanding using a technique called low frequency radio interferometry, which has never been used in space before. This technique relies on CURIE’s two independent spacecraft — together no bigger than a shoebox — that will orbit Earth about two miles apart. This separation allows CURIE’s instruments to measure tiny differences in the arrival time of radio waves, which enables them to determine exactly where the radio waves came from.
      “This is a very ambitious and very exciting mission,” said Principal Investigator David Sundkvist, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. “This is the first time that someone is ever flying a radio interferometer in space in a controlled way, and so it’s a pathfinder for radio astronomy in general.”
      CURIE team members work on integrating the satellites into the CubeSat deployer. ExoLaunch The spacecraft, designed by a team from UC Berkeley, will measure radio waves ranging 0.1 to 19 megahertz to pinpoint the radio waves’ solar origin. These wavelengths are blocked by Earth’s upper atmosphere, so this research can only be done from space.
      CURIE will launch aboard an ESA (European Space Agency) Ariane 6 rocket in early July from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. The rocket will take CURIE to 360 miles above Earth’s surface, where it can get a clear view of the Sun’s radio waves.
      Once in its circular orbit, the two adjoined CURIE spacecraft will establish communication with ground stations before orienting and separating. When the separated satellites are in formation, their dual eight-foot antennas will deploy and start collecting data.
      CURIE is sponsored by NASA’s Heliophysics Flight Opportunities for Research and Technology (H-FORT) Program and is the sole mission manifested on the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative’s ELaNa (Educational Launch of Nanosatellites) 43 mission. As a pathfinder, CURIE will demonstrate a proof-of-concept for space-based radio interferometry in the CubeSat form factor. CURIE will also pave the way for the upcoming Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment, or SunRISE, mission. SunRISE will employ six CubeSats to map the region where the solar radio waves originate in 2-D.
      By Mara Johnson-Groh
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
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      Last Updated Jul 08, 2024 Editor Abbey Interrante Related Terms
      CubeSat Launch Initiative CubeSats ELaNa (Educational Launch of Nanosatellites) Goddard Space Flight Center Heliophysics Heliophysics Division Heliophysics Research Program Science Mission Directorate Small Satellite Missions SunRISE (Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment) The Sun The Sun & Solar Physics Explore More
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    • By NASA
      Curiosity Navigation Curiosity Mission Overview Where is Curiosity? Mission Updates Science Overview Instruments Highlights Exploration Goals News and Features Multimedia Curiosity Raw Images Mars Resources Mars Missions Mars Sample Return Mars Perseverance Rover Mars Curiosity Rover MAVEN Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mars Odyssey More Mars Missions All Planets Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto & Dwarf Planets 2 min read
      Sols 4236-4238: One More Time… for Contact Science at Mammoth Lakes
      NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity acquired this image using its Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), located on the turret at the end of the rover’s robotic arm, on July 4, 2024, Sol 4234 of the Mars Science Laboratory Mission, at 16:38:50 UTC. This image of the Mammoth Lakes 2 drill fines and drill hole was taken from about 25 centimeters (about 10 inches) above the surface. Earth planning date: Friday, July 5, 2024
      Curiosity will drive away from the Mammoth Lakes drill location on the second sol of this three-sol weekend plan, but before she does, the team will take the opportunity for one last chance at contact science in this interesting region of the Gediz Vallis deposit. The team have noticed distinct troughs surrounding many of the bright-toned, pitted blocks in this area and have been wanting to get closer imaging with MAHLI before driving away. We were unable to do this with powdered Mammoth Lakes still in the drill stem but, having dumped any remaining material in the previous plan, Curiosity is free to use her arm again for contact science, and hence the MAHLI camera. We will take images from about 30 centimeters (about 12 inches) away from the block (“Glacier Notch”) with MAHLI. Unfortunately, “Glacier Notch” was too close to the rover to be able to fit the turret in for APXS to examine the chemistry, so we had to choose a different target: “Lake Ediza” is an example of gray material that rims the Mammoth Lakes drill block.
      We also have one last chance for ChemCam and Mastcam in this immediate area. We will acquire ChemCam passive spectra of the Mammoth Lakes powdered material surrounding the drill hole (we collected APXS data and MAHLI images of the drill fines in the previous plan) and LIBS on a darker-toned target, “Zumwalt Meadow.” These targets will be documented by Mastcam. The long-distance imaging capabilities of ChemCam will also be utilized to examine nearby ridge and trough-like forms.
      There are also a slew of atmospheric/environmental observations planned. Before we drive away, we will take advantage of being parked in the same spot while drilling to monitor any changes in the immediate environment by re-imaging a couple of areas previously captured on multiple occasions by Mastcam. Other atmospheric observations include a Navcam line-of-sight mosaic, Navcam dust devil, zenith, and suprahorizon movies, a ChemCam passive sky, and Mastcam taus.
      After the drive, MARDI will image the terrain beneath the wheels and ChemCam will autonomously select a target to analyze with LIBS. Standard REMS, DAN and RAD activities round out the plan.
      The team are looking forward to a new workspace when we return for planning on Monday, and continued investigation of the Gediz Vallis deposit.
      Written by Lucy Thompson, Planetary Geologist at University of New Brunswick
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      Last Updated Jul 06, 2024 Related Terms
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      NASA Science Activation Teams Present at National Rural STEM Summit
      NASA Science Activation (SciAct) teams participated in the National Rural STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics) Summit held June 4-7, 2024 in Tucson, Arizona. Hosted by Kalman Mannis of the Rural Activation and Innovation Network (Arizona Science Center) and the SciTech Institute, the summit fostered learning and sharing among organizations dedicated to creating partnerships and pathways for authentic STEM learning in rural communities.
      Participants included:
      Matt Cass and Randi Neff from SciAct’s Smoky Mountains STEM Collaborative, who presented “A sense of place: Crafting authentic experiences for rural STEM learners”; Tina Harte from NASA (Science Systems and Applications, Inc), who presented “Nature explorations with NASA”; Kalman Mannis from the SciAct STEM Ecosystems project and the Rural Activation and Innovation Network, who presented “Building leaders in STEM through coaching, connections, and camaraderie”; and members of the SciAct Rural Committee. SciAct STEM Ecosystems is supported by NASA under cooperative agreement award number 80NSSC210007 and is part of NASA’s Science Activation Portfolio. Learn more about how Science Activation connects NASA science experts, real content, and experiences with community leaders to do science in ways that activate minds and promote deeper understanding of our world and beyond: https://science.nasa.gov/learn
      Randi Neff of the NASA SciAct-funded Smoky Mountains STEM Collaborative presents at the National Rural STEM Learning Summit. Arizona Science Center Share








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    • By NASA
      NASA astronaut Andre Douglas poses for a portrait at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.Credits: NASA/Josh Valcarcel NASA has selected astronaut Andre Douglas as its backup crew member for the agency’s Artemis II test flight, the first crewed mission under NASA’s Artemis campaign.
      Douglas will train alongside NASA astronauts Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, and Christina Koch, and Canadian Space Agency (CSA) astronaut Jeremy Hansen.
      In the event a NASA astronaut is unable to take part in the flight, Douglas would join the Artemis II crew.
      “Andre’s educational background and extensive operational experience in his various jobs prior to joining NASA are clear evidence of his readiness to support this mission,” said Joe Acaba, chief astronaut at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “He excelled in his astronaut candidate training and technical assignments, and we are confident he will continue to do so as NASA’s backup crew member for Artemis II.”  
      The CSA announced Jenni Gibbons as its backup crew member in November 2023. Gibbons would step into the mission to represent Canada should Hansen not be available.
      “Canada’s seat on the historic Artemis II flight is a direct result of our contribution of Canadarm3 to the lunar Gateway. Jenni Gibbons’ assignment as backup is of utmost importance for our country,” said CSA President Lisa Campbell. “Since being recruited, Jenni has distinguished herself repeatedly through her work with NASA and the CSA. She is also a tremendous role model for Canada’s future scientists, engineers, and explorers.”
      The selection of Douglas and Gibbons as backup crew members for Artemis II is independent of the selection of crew members for Artemis III. NASA has not yet selected crew members for Artemis flights beyond Artemis II. All active NASA astronauts are eligible for assignment to any human spaceflight mission.
      The approximately 10-day Artemis II test flight will launch on the agency’s powerful SLS (Space Launch System) rocket, prove the Orion spacecraft’s life-support systems, and validate the capabilities and techniques needed for humans to live and work in deep space.
      More on Artemis II backup crew
      Douglas graduated from NASA’s astronaut candidate training program in March 2024. He is a Virginia native and earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, as well as four post-graduate degrees from various institutions, including a doctorate in Systems Engineering from George Washington University in Washington. Douglas served in the U.S. Coast Guard as a naval architect, salvage engineer, damage control assistant, and officer of the deck. He also worked as a staff member at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, working on maritime robotics, planetary defense, and space exploration missions for NASA. Douglas participated in the Joint EVA and Human Surface Mobility Test Team 5, working with a specialized group that develops, integrates, and executes human-in-the-loop tests, analog missions, and Moonwalks. Most recently, Douglas worked with teams on the development of the lunar terrain vehicle, pressurized rover, lunar Gateway and lunar spacesuit.
      Gibbons was recruited as a CSA astronaut in 2017 and completed her basic training in 2020. Since then, Gibbons has continued to serve Canada’s space program and has worked in different positions, including Mission Control as a capsule communicator (CAPCOM) during spacewalks, and commercial spacecraft and daily International Space Station operations. Gibbons holds an honors bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University in Montreal. While at McGill, she conducted research on flame propagation in microgravity in collaboration with CSA and Canada’s National Research Council Flight Research Laboratory in Ontario. She holds a doctorate in engineering from Jesus College at the University of Cambridge, England.
      Under NASA’s Artemis campaign, the agency is establishing the foundation for long-term scientific exploration at the Moon, land the first woman, first person of color, and its first international partner astronaut on the lunar surface, and prepare for human expeditions to Mars for the benefit of all. 
      Learn more about NASA’s Artemis campaign at:
      https://www.nasa.gov/artemis
      -end-
      Rachel Kraft/Madison Tuttle
      Headquarters, Washington
      202-358-1100
      rachel.h.kraft@nasa.gov/madison.e.tuttle@nasa.gov
      Courtney Beasley
      Johnson Space Center, Houston
      281-483-5111
      courtney.m.beasley@nasa.gov
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      Last Updated Jul 03, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
      Artemis 2 Andre Douglas Artemis Astronauts Humans in Space View the full article
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