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NASA to Host Briefings, Interviews for Agency’s SpaceX Crew-4 Mission


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    • By NASA
      NASA’s VIPER – short for the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover – sits assembled inside the cleanroom at the agency’s Johnson Space Center.Credit: NASA Following a comprehensive internal review, NASA announced Wednesday its intent to discontinue development of its VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) project.
      NASA stated cost increases, delays to the launch date, and the risks of future cost growth as the reasons to stand down on the mission. The rover was originally planned to launch in late 2023, but in 2022, NASA requested a launch delay to late 2024 to provide more time for preflight testing of the Astrobotic lander. Since that time, additional schedule and supply chain delays pushed VIPER’s readiness date to September 2025, and independently its CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) launch aboard Astrobotic’s Griffin lander also has been delayed to a similar time. Continuation of VIPER would result in an increased cost that threatens cancellation or disruption to other CLPS missions. NASA has notified Congress of the agency’s intent.
      “We are committed to studying and exploring the Moon for the benefit of humanity through the CLPS program,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters in Washington. “The agency has an array of missions planned to look for ice and other resources on the Moon over the next five years. Our path forward will make maximum use of the technology and work that went into VIPER, while preserving critical funds to support our robust lunar portfolio.”
      Moving forward, NASA is planning to disassemble and reuse VIPER’s instruments and components for future Moon missions. Prior to disassembly, NASA will consider expressions of interest from U.S. industry and international partners by Thursday, Aug. 1, for use of the existing VIPER rover system at no cost to the government. Interested parties should contact HQ-CLPS-Payload@mail.nasa.gov after 10 a.m. EDT on Thursday, July 18. The project will conduct an orderly close out through spring 2025.
      Astrobotic will continue its Griffin Mission One within its contract with NASA, working toward a launch scheduled for no earlier than fall 2025. The landing without VIPER will provide a flight demonstration of the Griffin lander and its engines.
      NASA will pursue alternative methods to accomplish many of VIPER’s goals and verify the presence of ice at the lunar South Pole. A future CLPS delivery – the Polar Resources Ice Mining Experiment-1 (PRIME-1) — scheduled to land at the South Pole during the fourth quarter of 2024, will search for water ice and carry out a resource utilization demonstration using a drill and mass spectrometer to measure the volatile content of subsurface materials.
      Additionally, future instruments as part of NASA’s crewed missions – for example, the Lunar Terrain Vehicle — will allow for mobile observations of volatiles across the south polar region, as well as provide access for astronauts to the Moon’s permanently shadowed regions for dedicated sample return campaigns. The agency will also use copies of three of VIPER’s four instruments for future Moon landings on separate flights.
      The VIPER rover was designed to search Earth’s Moon for ice and other potential resources – in support of NASA’s commitment to study the Moon and help unravel some of the greatest mysteries of our solar system. Through NASA’s lunar initiatives, including Artemis human missions and CLPS, NASA is exploring more of the Moon than ever before using highly trained astronauts, advanced robotics, U.S. commercial providers, and international partners.
      For more information about VIPER, visit:
      https://www.nasa.gov/viper
      -end-
      Karen Fox / Erin Morton
      Headquarters, Washington
      202-358-1600 / 202-805-9393
      karen.c.fox@nasa.gov / erin.morton@nasa.gov
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      Last Updated Jul 17, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
      VIPER (Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover) Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) Earth's Moon Science Mission Directorate View the full article
    • By NASA
      Digital content creators are invited to register to attend the launch of the ninth SpaceX Dragon spacecraft and Falcon 9 rocket that will carry astronauts to the International Space Station for a science expedition mission. This mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. 
      Launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-9 mission is targeted for no earlier than mid-August from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch will carry NASA astronauts Zena Cardman, commander; Nick Hague, pilot; and Stephanie Wilson, mission specialist; along with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Gorbunov, mission specialist. 
      If your passion is to communicate and engage the world online, then this is the event for you! Seize the opportunity to see and share the #Crew9 mission launch. 
      A maximum of 50 social media users will be selected to attend this two-day event and will be given access similar to news media. 
      NASA Social participants will have the opportunity to: 
      View a crewed launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft  Tour NASA facilities at Kennedy Space Center  Meet and interact with Crew-9 subject matter experts  Meet fellow space enthusiasts who are active on social media  Registration for this event opens on Wednesday, July 17, and the deadline to apply is at 10 a.m. EDT on Monday, July 22. All social applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
      APPLY NOW 
      Do I need to have a social media account to register? 
       Yes. This event is designed for people who: 
      Actively use multiple social networking platforms and tools to disseminate information to a unique audience.  Regularly produce new content that features multimedia elements.  Have the potential to reach a large number of people using digital platforms, or reach a unique audience, separate and distinctive from traditional news media and/or NASA audiences.  Must have an established history of posting content on social media platforms.  Have previous postings that are highly visible, respected and widely recognized.  Users on all social networks are encouraged to use the hashtag #NASASocial and #Crew9. Updates and information about the event will be shared on X via @NASASocial and @NASAKennedy, and via posts to Facebook and Instagram. 
      How do I register? 
      Registration for this event opens on Wednesday, July 17, and the deadline to apply is at 10 a.m. EDT on Monday, July 22. All social applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
      Can I register if I am not a U.S. citizen? 
      Because of the security deadlines, registration is limited to U.S. citizens. If you have a valid permanent resident card, you will be processed as a U.S. citizen. 
      When will I know if I am selected? 
      After registrations have been received and processed, an email with confirmation information and additional instructions will be sent to those selected. We expect to send the acceptance notifications by August 7.
      What are NASA Social credentials? 
      All social applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Those chosen must prove through the registration process they meet specific engagement criteria. 
      If you do not make the registration list for this NASA Social, you still can attend the launch offsite and participate in the conversation online. Find out about ways to experience a launch here. 
      What are the registration requirements? 
      Registration indicates your intent to travel to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and attend the two-day event in person. You are responsible for your own expenses for travel, accommodations, food, and other amenities. 
      Some events and participants scheduled to appear at the event are subject to change without notice. NASA is not responsible for loss or damage incurred as a result of attending. NASA, moreover, is not responsible for loss or damage incurred if the event is cancelled with limited or no notice. Please plan accordingly. 
      Kennedy is a government facility. Those who are selected will need to complete an additional registration step to receive clearance to enter the secure areas. 
      IMPORTANT: To be admitted, you will need to provide two forms of unexpired government-issued identification; one must be a photo ID and match the name provided on the registration. Those without proper identification cannot be admitted. 
      For a complete list of acceptable forms of ID, please visit: NASA Credentialing Identification Requirements. 
      All registrants must be at least 18 years old. 
      What if the launch date changes? 
      Many different factors can cause a scheduled launch date to change multiple times. If the launch date changes, NASA may adjust the date of the NASA Social accordingly to coincide with the new target launch date. NASA will notify registrants of any changes by email. 
      If the launch is postponed, attendees will be invited to attend a later launch date. NASA cannot accommodate attendees for delays beyond 72 hours. 
      NASA Social attendees are responsible for any additional costs they incur related to any launch delay. We strongly encourage participants to make travel arrangements that are refundable and/or flexible. 
      What if I cannot come to the Kennedy Space Center? 
      If you cannot come to the Kennedy Space Center and attend in person, you should not register for the NASA Social. You can follow the conversation online using #NASASocial.  
      You can watch the launch on NASA+ or plus.nasa.gov. NASA will provide regular launch and mission updates on @NASA, @NASAKennedy, and @Commercial_Crew, as well as on NASA’s Commercial Crew Program blog. 
      If you cannot make this NASA Social, don’t worry; NASA is planning many other Socials in the near future at various locations! 
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    • By NASA
      Official NASA’s SpaceX Crew-9 portraits with Zena Cardman, Nick Hague, Stephanie Wilson and Aleksandr Gorbunov. Credit: NASA Media accreditation now is open for the launch of NASA’s ninth rotational mission of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft that will carry astronauts to the International Space Station for a science expedition. This mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
      Launch of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-9 mission is targeted for no earlier than mid-August from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, pending completion of the company’s ongoing Falcon 9 investigation. Crew safety and mission assurance are top priorities for NASA and its partners.
      The launch will carry NASA astronauts Zena Cardman, commander; Nick Hague, pilot; and Stephanie Wilson, mission specialist; along with Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Gorbunov, mission specialist. This is the first spaceflight for Cardman and Gorbunov, the second mission to the orbiting laboratory for Hague, and fourth spaceflight for Wilson, who has spent 42 days in space aboard three space shuttle Discovery missions – STS-120, STS-121, and STS-131.
      U.S. media, international media without U.S. citizenship, and U.S. citizens representing international media organizations must apply by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 31. All accreditation requests must be submitted online at:
      https://media.ksc.nasa.gov
      NASA’s media accreditation policy is online. For questions about accreditation or special logistical requests, email: ksc-media-accreditat@mail.nasa.gov. Requests for space for satellite trucks, tents, or electrical connections are due by Thursday, Aug. 1.
      For other questions, please contact NASA Kennedy’s newsroom at: 321-867-2468.
      Para obtener información sobre cobertura en español en el Centro Espacial Kennedy o si desea solicitar entrevistas en español, comuníquese con Antonia Jaramillo: 321-501-8425, o Messod Bendayan: 256-930-1371.
      For launch coverage and more information about the mission, visit:
      https://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew
      -end-
      Joshua Finch / Claire O’Shea
      Headquarters, Washington
      202-358-1100
      joshua.a.finch@nasa.gov / claire.a.o’shea@nasa.gov
      Steve Siceloff / Danielle Sempsrott / Stephanie Plucinsky
      Kennedy Space Center, Florida
      321-867-2468
      steven.p.siceloff@nasa.gov / danielle.c.sempsrott@nasa.gov / stephanie.n.plucinsky@nasa.gov
      Leah Cheshier
      Johnson Space Center, Houston
      281-483-5111
      leah.d.cheshier@nasa.gov
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      Last Updated Jul 17, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
      Humans in Space Commercial Crew Commercial Space International Space Station (ISS) ISS Research Johnson Space Center Kennedy Space Center View the full article
    • By NASA
      2 min read
      Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
      An image of a new lodge on Anishnaabe lands in Ontario, Canada, 2023. NASA NASA has been selected by the International Astronautical Federation to receive its 2024 “3G” Diversity Award, which recognizes organizations for their contributions to fostering geographic, generational, and gender diversity in the space sector.
      NASA’s Indigenous Community-Based Education (CBE) Program is a consortium of partnerships between NASA and numerous, diverse Indigenous communities which co-create unique educational programs for the youth. Through these partnerships, which have been cultivated for the past two decades, Indigenous Knowledge and Western science come together in a community-based way to support the development of learners’ cultural and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) identities.
      The Indigenous CBE Program is part of NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) American Indian and Alaska Native STEM Engagement activity and is supported by NASA’s Astrobiology Program and Planetary Science Division.
      The Indigenous CBE Program also works toward more equitable practices in science and supports a diverse workforce by offering working groups that connect Indigenous and Western scientists and educators, as well as mentoring for emerging Indigenous STEM scholars.
      “Relationships and collaboration are at the heart of this work,” said Daniella Scalice, NASA lead for the Indigenous CBE Program. “This award is shared with all my community-based partners. The women I work with who are serving their youth and community every day – they are the real heroes.”
      “NASA has had a longstanding commitment to equity in STEM education and research.” said Torry Johnson, deputy associate administrator of STEM Engagement Programs at NASA Headquarters. “MUREP American Indian and Alaska Native STEM Engagement provides avenues for NASA to build and nurture relationships, new partnerships, and collaborations with Indigenous communities, and to empower the next generation of Indigenous STEM leaders.”
      Starting in January, awardees were nominated to the International Astronautical Federation by representatives from other member organizations. NASA will receive the award during the International Astronautical Federation’s annual conference in October.
      For more information on NASA’s MUREP American Indian and Alaska Native STEM Engagement program, visit:
      https://go.nasa.gov/3vEyhOp
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      Last Updated Jul 17, 2024 Related Terms
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    • By NASA
      Move teams with NASA and Boeing, the SLS (Space Launch System) core stage lead contractor, position the massive rocket stage for NASA’s SLS rocket on special transporters to strategically guide the flight hardware the 1.3-mile distance from the factory floor onto the agency’s Pegasus barge on July 16. The core stage will be ferried to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where it will be integrated with other parts of the rocket that will power NASA’s Artemis II mission. Pegasus is maintained at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility. Credit: NASA NASA rolled out the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket’s core stage for the Artemis II test flight from its manufacturing facility in New Orleans on Tuesday for shipment to the agency’s spaceport in Florida. The rollout is key progress on the path to NASA’s first crewed mission to the Moon under the Artemis campaign.
      Using highly specialized transporters, engineers maneuvered the giant core stage from inside NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans to the agency’s Pegasus barge. The barge will ferry the stage more than 900 miles to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where engineers will prepare it in the Vehicle Assembly Building for attachment to other rocket and Orion spacecraft elements.
      “With Artemis, we’ve set our sights on doing something big and incredibly complex that will inspire a new generation, advance our scientific endeavors, and move U.S. competitiveness forward,” said Catherine Koerner, associate administrator for NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “The SLS rocket is a key component of our efforts to develop a long-term presence at the Moon.”
      Technicians moved the SLS rocket stage from inside NASA Michoud on the 55th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11 on July 16, 1969. The move of the rocket stage for Artemis marks the first time since the Apollo Program that a fully assembled Moon rocket stage for a crewed mission rolled out from NASA Michoud.
      The SLS rocket’s core stage is the largest NASA has ever produced. At 212 feet tall, it consists of five major elements, including two huge propellant tanks that collectively hold more than 733,000 gallons of super-chilled liquid propellant to feed four RS-25 engines. During launch and flight, the stage will operate for just over eight minutes, producing more than 2 million pounds of thrust to propel four astronauts inside NASA’s Orion spacecraft toward the Moon.
      “The delivery of the SLS core stage for Artemis II to Kennedy Space Center signals a shift from manufacturing to launch readiness as teams continue to make progress on hardware for all major elements for future SLS rockets,” said John Honeycutt, SLS program manager at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “We are motivated by the success of Artemis I and focused on working toward the first crewed flight under Artemis.”
      After arrival at NASA Kennedy, the stage will undergo additional outfitting inside the Vehicle Assembly Building. Engineers then will join it with the segments that form the rocket’s twin solid rocket boosters. Adapters for the Moon rocket that connect it to the Orion spacecraft will be shipped to NASA Kennedy this fall, while the interim cryogenic propulsion stage is already in Florida. Engineers continue to prepare Orion, already at Kennedy, and exploration ground systems for launch and flight.
      All major structures for every SLS core stage are fully manufactured at NASA Michoud. Inside the factory, core stages and future exploration upper stages for the next evolution of SLS, called the Block 1B configuration, currently are in various phases of production for Artemis III, IV, and V. Beginning with Artemis III, to better optimize space at Michoud, Boeing, the SLS core stage prime contractor, will use space at NASA Kennedy for final assembly and outfitting activities.
      Building, assembling, and transporting the SLS core stage is a collaborative effort for NASA, Boeing, and lead RS-25 engines contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies company. All 10 NASA centers contribute to its development with more than 1,100 companies across the United States contributing to its production. 
      NASA is working to land the first woman, first person of color, and its first international partner astronaut on the Moon under Artemis. SLS is part of NASA’s backbone for deep space exploration, along with the Orion spacecraft, supporting ground systems, 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 launch.
      For more on NASA’s Artemis campaign, visit: 
      http://www.nasa.gov/artemis
      -end- 
      Madison Tuttle/Rachel Kraft
      Headquarters, Washington
      202-358-1600
      madison.e.tuttle@nasa.gov/rachel.h.kraft@nasa.gov
      Corinne Beckinger 
      Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. 
      256-544-0034  
      corinne.m.beckinger@nasa.gov
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      Last Updated Jul 16, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
      Space Launch System (SLS) Artemis Artemis 2 Common Exploration Systems Development Division Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate Marshall Space Flight Center Michoud Assembly Facility View the full article
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