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NASA Updates Coverage for Axiom Mission 1 Departure from Space Station


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    • By NASA
      Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft docked to the Harmony module of the International Space Station on the company’s Orbital Flight Test-2 mission (Credits: NASA) NASA and Boeing will discuss Starliner’s mission and departure from the International Space Station as part of the agency’s Boeing Crew Flight Test in a pre-departure media teleconference at 12 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 18.
      NASA, Boeing, and station management teams will evaluate mission requirements and weather conditions at available landing locations in the southwestern U.S. before committing to the spacecraft’s departure from the orbiting laboratory.
      Participants in the news conference include:
      Steve Stich, manager, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Dana Weigel, manager, NASA’s International Space Station Program Mike Lammers, flight director, NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston Mark Nappi, vice president and program manager, Commercial Crew Program, Boeing Media interested in participating must contact the NASA Johnson newsroom no later than 10 a.m., June 18, at 281-483-5111 or jsccommu@mail.nasa.gov. To ask questions, media must dial into the teleconference no later than 15 minutes before the start of the event.
      Audio of the teleconference will stream live on NASA’s website at:
      https://nasa.gov/nasatv
      As part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams lifted off at 10:52 a.m., June 5, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on an end-to-end test of the Starliner system. The crew docked to the forward-facing port of the station’s Harmony module at 1:34 p.m., June 6.
      For NASA’s blog and more information about the mission, visit:
      https://www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew
      -end-
      Josh Finch / Jimi Russell / Claire O’Shea
      Headquarters, Washington
      202-358-1100
      joshua.a.finch@nasa.gov / james.j.russell@nasa.gov / claire.a.o’shea@nasa.gov
      Courtney Beasley / Leah Cheshier
      Johnson Space Center, Houston
      281-483-5111
      courtney.m.beasley@nasa.gov / leah.d.cheshier@nasa.gov
      View the full article
    • By NASA
      2 min read
      Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
      NASA astronaut and Expedition 64 Flight Engineer Victor Glover reviews procedures on a computer for the Monoclonal Antibodies Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) experiment inside the Harmony module. Each year, Black Space Week celebrates the achievements of Black Americans in space-related fields.
      To kick-off Black Space Week 2024, NASA is collaborating with the National Space Council for the Beyond the Color Lines: From Science Fiction to Science Fact forum on Monday, June 17, at 11:30 a.m. EDT at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington.
      Participants include Mr. Chirag Parikh, Deputy Assistant to the President and Executive Director, National Space Council; Dr. Quincy Brown, Director of Space STEM and Workforce Policy, White House National Space Council; and other private-sector and government agency leadership. 
      Current and former NASA astronauts will join the Standing on the Shoulders of Giants panel to discuss the past, present, and future of space exploration. The panel will be moderated by the Honorable Charles F. Bolden Jr.\, former administrator of NASA and a former astronaut who flew on four Space Shuttle missions. Participants include:
      Victor J. Glover, Jr., NASA Astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain Jessica Watkins, NASA Astronaut Yvonne Cagle, NASA Astronaut Leland Melvin, former NASA Astronaut Joan Higginbotham, former NASA Astronaut Additional panels include HERStory, sharing the untold stories of Black women leaders in space, STEM, arts, diplomacy, and business, and a discussion with young leaders, educators, and scientists about education and career paths for the future of space.
      Additional event details, including registration and streaming information, can be found at nmaahc.si.edu.
      View the full article
    • By NASA
      2 min read
      Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
      This summer between June 17 and July 2, NASA will fly aircraft over Baltimore, Philadelphia, parts of Virginia, and California to collect data on air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions.  
      The campaign supports the NASA Student Airborne Research Program for undergraduate interns.
      Two NASA aircraft, including the P-3 shown here, will be flying over Baltimore, Philadelphia, Virginia and California between June 17 and July 2, to collect data on air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. Credit: (NASA/ Zavaleta) The East Coast flights will take place from June 17-26. Researchers and students will fly multiple times each week in Dynamic Aviation’s King Air B200 aircraft at an altitude of 1,000 feet over Baltimore and Philadelphia as well as Norfolk, Hampton, Hopewell, and Richmond in Virginia. Meanwhile, a NASA P-3 aircraft based out of NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia will fly over the same East Coast locations to collect different measurements.
      The West Coast flights will occur from June 29 – July 2. During the period, those same aircraft will conduct similar operations over Los Angeles, Imperial Valley, and Tulare Basin in California.
      The research aircraft will fly at lower altitudes than most commercial planes and will conduct maneuvers including vertical spirals from 1,000 to 10,000 feet, circling over power plants, landfills, and urban areas. They will also occasionally conduct “missed approaches” at local airports, where the aircraft will perform a low-level flyby over a runway to collect samples close to the surface.
      The aircraft carry instruments that will collect data on a range of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide and methane, as well as air pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and ozone. One purpose of this campaign is to validate space-based measurements observed by the TEMPO (Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution) mission. Launched on a commercial satellite in April 2023, the TEMPO instrument provides hourly daytime measurements of air pollutants across the United States, northern Mexico, and southern Canada.
      “The goal is that this data we collect will feed into policy decisions that affect air quality and climate in the region,” said Glenn Wolfe, a research scientist and the principal investigator for the campaign at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
      The B-200 aircraft is owned by Dynamics Aviation, an aircraft company contracted by NASA.
      For more information about Student Airborne Research Program, visit:
      https://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/early-career-opportunities/student-airborne-research-program/
      By Tayler Gilmore
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland
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      Last Updated Jun 14, 2024 EditorJennifer R. MarderContactJeremy EggersLocationGoddard Space Flight Center Related Terms
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    • By NASA
      4 min read
      Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
      A Terrier-Improved Orion sounding rocket carrying students experiments for the RockOn! mission successfully launched from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility Aug. 17, 2023 at 6 a.m. EDT.NASA/ Kyle Hoppes More than 50 student and faculty teams are sending experiments into space as part of NASA’s RockOn and RockSat-C student flight programs. The annual student mission, “RockOn,” is scheduled to launch from Wallops Island, Virginia, on a Terrier-Improved Orion sounding rocket Thursday, June 20, with a launch window that opens at 5:30 a.m. EDT.
      An introduction to rocketry for college students
      The RockOn workshop is an introductory flight opportunity for community college and university students. RockOn participants spend a week at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, where they are guided through the process of building and launching an experiment aboard a sounding rocket.
      “RockOn provides students and faculty with authentic, hands-on experiences tied to an actual launch into space from a NASA facility,” said Chris Koehler, on contract with NASA as RockOn’s principal investigator. “These experiences are instrumental in the creation of our next STEM workforce.”
      RockOn student experiments are placed into canisters to be integrated into the payload.NASA/ Madison Olson Unique & advanced experiments
      In addition to the RockOn workshop experiments, the rocket will carry student team experiments from six different institutions as part of the RockSat-C program. The RockSat-C experiments are unique to each institution and were created off site.
      RockSat-C “has been an incredible introduction into the world of NASA and how flight missions are built from start to finish,” said TJ Tomaszewski, student lead for the University of Delaware. “The project started as just a flicker of an idea in students’ minds. After countless hours of design, redesign, and coffee, the fact that we finished an experiment capable of going to space and capable of conducting valuable scientific research makes me so proud of my team and so excited for what’s possible next. Everybody dreams about space, and the fact that we’re going to launch still doesn’t feel real.”
      Students participating in the 2024 RockSat-C program were able to see the RockOn rocket in the testing facility at Wallops Flight Facility.NASA/ Berit Bland RockSat-C participants include:
      Temple University, Philadelphia Experiments will utilize X-ray spectrometry, muon detection, and magnetometry to explore the interplay among cosmic phenomena, such as X-rays, cosmic muons, and Earth’s magnetic field, while also quantifying atmospheric methane levels as a function of altitude.
      Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond The ION experiment aims to measure the plasma density in the ionosphere. This will be achieved by detecting the upper hybrid resonant frequency using an impedance probe mounted on the outside of the rocket and comparing the results to theoretical models. The secondary experiment, known as the ACC experiment, aims to record the rocket’s re-entry dynamics and measure acceleration in the x, y, and z directions.
      Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia The Monarch3D team will redesign and improve upon a pre-existing experiment from the previous year’s team that will print in suborbital space. This project uses a custom-built 3D printer made by students at Old Dominion.
      University of Delaware, Newark Project UDIP-4 will measure the density and temperature of ionospheric electrons as a function of altitude and compare the quality of measurements obtained from different grounding methods. Additionally, the project focuses on developing and testing new CubeSat hardware in preparation for an orbital CubeSat mission named DAPPEr.
      Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey The Atmospheric Inert Gas Retrieval project will develop a payload capable of demonstrating supersonic sample collection at predetermined altitudes and investigating the noble gas fractionation and contamination of the acquired samples. In addition, their payload will test the performance of inexpensive vibration damping materials by recording and isolating launch vibrations using 3D-printed components.
      Cubes in Space, Virginia Beach, Virginia The Cubes in Space (CiS) project provides students aged 11 to 18 with a unique opportunity to conduct scientific and engineering experiments in space. CiS gives students hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of scientific and engineering principles, preparing them for more complex STEM studies and research in the future. Students develop and design their unique experiments to fit into clear, rigid plastic payload cubes, each about 1.5 inches on a side. Up to 80 of these unique student experiments are integrated into the nose cone of the rocket.
      Approximately 80 small cubes will be launched as part of the RockOn sounding rocket mission.Courtesy Cubes in Space/Jorge Salazar; used with permission Watch the launch
      The launch window for the mission is 5:30-9:30 a.m. EDT, Thursday June 20, with a backup day of June 21. The Wallops Visitor Center’s launch viewing area will open at 4:30 a.m. A livestream of the mission will begin 15 minutes before launch on the Wallops YouTube channel. Launch updates also are available via the Wallops Facebook page.
      These circular areas show where and when people may see the rocket launch in the sky, depending on cloud cover. The different colored sections indicate the time (in seconds) after liftoff that the sounding rocket may be visible.NASA/ Christian Billie NASA’s Sounding Rocket Program is conducted at the agency’s Wallops Flight Facility, which is managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NASA’s Heliophysics Division manages the sounding rocket program for the agency.

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      Last Updated Jun 14, 2024 EditorAmy BarraContactAmy Barraamy.l.barra@nasa.govLocationWallops Flight Facility Related Terms
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    • By NASA
      Lakita Lowe is at the forefront of space commercialization, seamlessly merging scientific expertise with visionary leadership to propel NASA’s commercial ambitions and ignite a passion for STEM in future generations. As a project integrator for NASA’s Commercial Low Earth Orbit Development Program (CLDP), Lowe leverages her extensive background in scientific research and biomedical studies to bridge the gap between science and commercial innovation. 

      Lowe recently supported both planning and real-time operations contributing to the successful completion of the Axiom-3 private astronaut mission which launched in January 2024 and is gearing up to serve as CLDP’s Axiom-4 private astronaut mission lead. Her responsibilities include managing commercial activity requests to ensure they align with NASA’s policies, supporting real-time mission operations from CLDP’s console station, and working with various stakeholders to ensure commercial policy documentation is updated to align with the agency’s current guidelines. 

      “The commercially owned and operated low Earth orbit destinations will offer services that NASA, along with other customers, can purchase, thereby stimulating the growth of commercial activities,” said Lowe.  
      Official portrait of Lakita Lowe. Credit: NASA/Bill Stafford Initially set to attend pharmacy school, a chance encounter at a career fair led her to NASA. Seventeen years later, Lowe now supports the enablement of NASA’s goal to transition human presence in low Earth orbit from a government-run destination to a sustainable economy.  

      Lowe’s work has spanned various NASA programs, including the Human Health and Performance Directorate in the Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences (BRES) Division. Lowe’s role in BRES supported NASA research involving the understanding of human adaptation to spaceflight and planetary environments, the development of effective countermeasures, and the development and dissemination of scientific and technological knowledge.  

      “The efforts that go into preparing crew members for spaceflight and ensuring they maintain good health upon their return to Earth is amazing,” she said, highlighting their rigorous pre-flight and post-flight testing.
      Lakita Lowe prepares samples for analysis in a microbiology laboratory at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Lowe’s passion for science was ignited in high school by her biology teacher, whose teaching style captivated her curiosity. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s in chemistry from Southern University and A&M College in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. With five publications completed during her tenure at NASA (two of which were NASA-related), Lowe has contributed to our understanding of the agency’s vision for human spaceflight and commercial research and development on the orbiting laboratory. 

      Lowe is in the process of completing her Ph.D. in Education (Learning, Design, and Technology) from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, with a dissertation involving the establishment of telesurgery training programs at medical institutions. She is exploring a field that holds significant promise for space exploration and remote medical care. This technology will enable surgical procedures to be performed remotely, a vital capability for astronauts on long-duration missions. 
      Lakita Lowe at the 2022 International Space Station Research & Development Conference (ISSRDC) in Washington D.C. Lowe dedicated 14 years of her career to integrating science payloads for the International Space Station Program. Early in her career, she worked as a payloads flight controller as a lead increment scientist representative, a dual position between NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston and Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. After two years supporting real-time console operations, Lowe served as a research scientist with NASA’s Program Scientist’s Office, where she assessed individual science priorities for the agency’s sponsoring organizations’ portfolio to be implemented on the space station.  

      Later in her career, she worked as a research portfolio manager in the International Space Station Program’s Research Integration Office where she managed the feasibility and strategic planning for investigations involving remote sensing, technology development, STEM, and commercial utilization. She worked closely with researchers sending their experiments to the orbiting laboratory, tracking their progress from start to finish.  

      Now, in the commercial sector, her focus has shifted toward policy and compliance, ensuring commercial activities align with NASA’s regulations and guidance. 
      Lakita Lowe (second to left) at a NSBE SCP (National Society of Black Engineers – Space City Professionals) Chapter membership drive on May 23, 2023. Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz For Lowe, one of the most rewarding aspects of her job is the ability to inspire young minds. Her advice to young Black women interested in STEM is to not limit themselves and to explore the vast opportunities NASA offers beyond engineering and science roles. She emphasizes the importance of NASA engaging with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and minority-serving institutions to spread awareness about the opportunities within the agency.  

      “Considering my busy schedule, I try to make myself available for speaking engagements and mentoring early-career individuals when possible,” she said. 

      Lowe actively participates in organizations like the National Society of Black Engineers and serves as a mentor to interns at Johnson. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, and Johnson’s African American Employee Resource Group. 
      Lowe poses for a selfie at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Lowe’s relentless pursuit of knowledge and her unwavering dedication to STEM education continue to inspire generations and pave the way for a more dynamic future in human spaceflight.  

      “As an African American woman at NASA, I am excited about the future of space exploration, where diversity and inclusion will drive innovative solutions and inspire the next generation to reach for the stars.” 
      View the full article
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