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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)
      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 European Space Agency
      ESA’s Hera asteroid mission and its two CubeSats interacted as if they were in space, within the foam pyramid-lined walls of the Agency’s Maxwell test chamber in the Netherlands. The trio communicated together, sharing data and ranging information at the same time as their Hera mothership received commands from its mission controllers at the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany.
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    • By NASA
      Researchers are diving into a synthetic universe to help us better understand the real one. Using supercomputers at the U.S. DOE’s (Department of Energy’s) Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, scientists have created nearly 4 million simulated images depicting the cosmos as NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope and the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, jointly funded by NSF (the National Science Foundation) and DOE, in Chile will see it.
      Michael Troxel, an associate professor of physics at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, led the simulation campaign as part of a broader project called OpenUniverse. The team is now releasing a 10-terabyte subset of this data, with the remaining 390 terabytes to follow this fall once they’ve been processed.
      “Using Argonne’s now-retired Theta machine, we accomplished in about nine days what would have taken around 300 years on your laptop,” said Katrin Heitmann, a cosmologist and deputy director of Argonne’s High Energy Physics division who managed the project’s supercomputer time. “The results will shape Roman and Rubin’s future attempts to illuminate dark matter and dark energy while offering other scientists a preview of the types of things they’ll be able to explore using data from the telescopes.”
      This graphic highlights part of a new simulation of what NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope could see when it launches by May 2027. The background spans about 0.11 square degrees (roughly equivalent to half of the area of sky covered by a full Moon), representing less than half the area Roman will see in a single snapshot. The inset zooms in to a region 300 times smaller, showcasing a swath of brilliant synthetic galaxies at Roman’s full resolution. Having such a realistic simulation helps scientists study the physics behind cosmic images –– both synthetic ones like these and future real ones. Researchers will use the observations for many types of science, including testing our understanding of the origin, evolution, and ultimate fate of the universe.C. Hirata and K. Cao (OSU) and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center A Cosmic Dress Rehearsal
      For the first time, this simulation factored in the telescopes’ instrument performance, making it the most accurate preview yet of the cosmos as Roman and Rubin will see it once they start observing. Rubin will begin operations in 2025, and NASA’s Roman will launch by May 2027.
      The simulation’s precision is important because scientists will comb through the observatories’ future data in search of tiny features that will help them unravel the biggest mysteries in cosmology.
      Roman and Rubin will both explore dark energy –– the mysterious force thought to be accelerating the universe’s expansion. Since it plays a major role in governing the cosmos, scientists are eager to learn more about it. Simulations like OpenUniverse help them understand signatures that each instrument imprints on the images and iron out data processing methods now so they can decipher future data correctly. Then scientists will be able to make big discoveries even from weak signals.
      “OpenUniverse lets us calibrate our expectations of what we can discover with these telescopes,” said Jim Chiang, a staff scientist at DOE’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California, who helped create the simulations. “It gives us a chance to exercise our processing pipelines, better understand our analysis codes, and accurately interpret the results so we can prepare to use the real data right away once it starts coming in.”
      Then they’ll continue using simulations to explore the physics and instrument effects that could reproduce what the observatories see in the universe.
      This photo displays Argonne Leadership Computing Facility’s now-retired Theta supercomputer. Scientists use supercomputers to simulate experiments they can’t conduct in real life, such as creating new universes from scratch. Argonne National Laboratory Telescopic Teamwork
      It took a large and talented team from several organizations to conduct such an immense simulation.
      “Few people in the world are skilled enough to run these simulations,” said Alina Kiessling, a research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California and the principal investigator of OpenUniverse. “This massive undertaking was only possible thanks to the collaboration between the DOE, Argonne, SLAC, and NASA, which pulled all the right resources and experts together.”
      And the project will ramp up further once Roman and Rubin begin observing the universe.
      “We’ll use the observations to make our simulations even more accurate,” Kiessling said. “This will give us greater insight into the evolution of the universe over time and help us better understand the cosmology that ultimately shaped the universe.”
      The Roman and Rubin simulations cover the same patch of the sky, totaling about 0.08 square degrees (roughly equivalent to a third of the area of sky covered by a full Moon). The full simulation to be released later this year will span 70 square degrees, about the sky area covered by 350 full Moons.
      Overlapping them lets scientists learn how to use the best aspects of each telescope –– Rubin’s broader view and Roman’s sharper, deeper vision. The combination will yield better constraints than researchers could glean from either observatory alone.
      “Connecting the simulations like we’ve done lets us make comparisons and see how Roman’s space-based survey will help improve data from Rubin’s ground-based one,” Heitmann said. “We can explore ways to tease out multiple objects that blend together in Rubin’s images and apply those corrections over its broader coverage.”
      This pair of images showcases the same region of sky as simulated by the Vera C. Rubin Observatory (left, processed by the Legacy Survey of Space and Time Dark Energy Science Collaboration) and NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope (right, processed by the Roman High-Latitude Imaging Survey Project Infrastructure Team). Roman will capture deeper and sharper images from space, while Rubin will observe a broader region of the sky from the ground. Because it has to peer through Earth’s atmosphere, Rubin’s images won’t always be sharp enough to distinguish multiple, close sources as separate objects. They’ll appear to blur together, which limits the science researchers can do using the images. But by comparing Rubin and Roman images of the same patch of sky, scientists can explore how to “deblend” objects and implement the adjustments across Rubin’s broader observations. J. Chiang (SLAC), C. Hirata (OSU), and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Scientists can consider modifying each telescope’s observing plans or data processing pipelines to benefit the combined use of both.
      “We made phenomenal strides in simplifying these pipelines and making them usable,” Kiessling said. A partnership with Caltech/IPAC’s IRSA (Infrared Science Archive) makes simulated data accessible now so when researchers access real data in the future, they’ll already be accustomed to the tools. “Now we want people to start working with the simulations to see what improvements we can make and prepare to use the future data as effectively as possible.”
      OpenUniverse, along with other simulation tools being developed by Roman’s Science Operations and Science Support centers, will prepare scientists for the large datasets expected from Roman. The project brings together dozens of experts from NASA’s JPL, DOE’s Argonne, IPAC, and several U.S. universities to coordinate with the Roman Project Infrastructure Teams, SLAC, and the Rubin LSST DESC (Legacy Survey of Space and Time Dark Energy Science Collaboration). The Theta supercomputer was operated by the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, a DOE Office of Science user facility.
      The Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope is managed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, with participation by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Caltech/IPAC in Southern California, the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, and a science team comprising scientists from various research institutions. The primary industrial partners are BAE Systems, Inc. in Boulder, Colorado; L3Harris Technologies in Rochester, New York; and Teledyne Scientific & Imaging in Thousand Oaks, California.
      The Vera C. Rubin Observatory is a federal project jointly funded by the National Science Foundation and the DOE Office of Science, with early construction funding received from private donations through the LSST Discovery Alliance.
      Download high-resolution video and images from NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio
      By Ashley Balzer
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
      Media Contact:
      Claire Andreoli
      301-286-1940
      claire.andreoli@nasa.gov
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
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      Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope Astrophysics Dark Energy Dark Matter Galaxies, Stars, & Black Holes Galaxies, Stars, & Black Holes Research Goddard Space Flight Center High-Tech Computing Missions Science & Research Science-enabling Technology Stars Technology Technology Research The Universe 6 Min Read NASA’s Roman Mission Gets Cosmic ‘Sneak Peek’ From Supercomputers
      This synthetic image is a slice of a much larger simulation depicting the cosmos as NASA's Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope will see it when it launches by May 2027. Every blob and speck of light represents a distant galaxy (except for the urchin-like spiky dots, which represent foreground stars in our Milky Way galaxy). Credits: C. Hirata and K. Cao (OSU) and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center View the full article
    • By NASA
      5 min read
      Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Visits Partners in Spain, United Kingdom, Greece, and France
      A few weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of engaging with several of our strategic partners and friends across Europe. It was a full European tour: two weeks in Spain, the United Kingdom, Greece and France. Throughout the trip, I had many opportunities to discuss our exciting upcoming missions and the incredible impact NASA Science has on the world. 
      In Madrid, I met with the U.S. Ambassador to Spain to discuss how scientific discovery is a global endeavor and how the Science Mission Directorate empowers the scientific community worldwide. I also met with the Director of the Madrid Deep Space Communications Complex to thank the team for their exceptional efforts in providing the vital communication link between Earth and our deep space explorers. The team is critical in supporting our NASA Science missions like Voyager, STEREO, New Horizons, Perseverance, James Webb, and Psyche just to name a few. They are also gearing up to support Europa Clipper which is launching  in October to study Jupiter’s icy moon for the first time.
      In a historic first, all six radio frequency antennas at the Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex carried out a test to receive data from the agency’s Voyager 1 spacecraft at the same time on April 20, 2024. Credits: MDSCC/INTA, Francisco “Paco” Moreno Next, I toured the Leicester Space Park in the UK to discuss our ongoing collaborations with the University of Leicester and the United Kingdom Space Agency. In London, I presented at the Codex International Technology Leaders Network about our ongoing search for life in our solar system and beyond. I shared how our hunt for exoplanets and technosignurates are built upon the great legacy of telescopes like Keppler, Chandra, and Hubble. These telescopes, and the incredibly powerful James Webb Space Telescope, are laying the groundwork for the eventual launch of the Habitable Worlds Observatory, the first space telescope that would be designed to find life as we know it outside our solar system, while exploring broader secrets of the universe. It was a unique opportunity also talk about the intersections between the search for life and our own work here at home to understand our changing climate and accessible science. I also got the chance to explore the British Interplanetary Society’s extensive collection of space artifacts before taking off for Greece.
      In Greece, I visited the sacred island of Delos – the birthplace of the mythical twin gods Apollo and Artemis – to participate in the Alpha Mission Delos Global Gathering. The mission of Alpha Mission Delos is to raise awareness around the climate crisis and calls to action people from all walks of life. What is incredibly special about Delos is that it is an open museum with history all around, and allowed us to see first-hand the effects climate change and rising sea levels have had on the ancient ruins that were once the cosmopolitan epicenter in the Mediterranean. I also witnessed archaeological sites that are now being re-buried so that they may be preserved for future generations to study. It reminded me of the need to preserve environments, here at home, but also as we go back to the Moon and on to Mars. The Artemis Accords, of which Greece is a signatory, will help us do just that.
      NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Nicky Fox speaks at the World Human Forum on the island of Delos, Greece on May 15 2024. Credits: World Human Forum Throughout my days at the Gathering, we discussed the intersections between science, art, and the humanities. I shared how the Artemis program gives us the unique opportunity to understand that humanity will not succeed in addressing the challenges we are faced with today unless we combine the wisdom of the past with the knowledge and possibilities of today. With the Apollo program, we went to the Moon as a single nation, but with Artemis, we go together. To tackle challenges like Artemis and the impacts of a changing climate, we know how important it is to engage audiences and stakeholders that are not just scientists and engineers, and make them feel part of the mission. I noted the importance of inclusive teams and inclusive science. Science is for everyone, and the whole-of-self approach is valuable for putting a mission into space, and using the data here on Earth, to understand our home and solar system and our place in it. We all have a unique role to play in humanity’s exploration of the cosmos and beyond. It was a powerful reminder that science and space truly connect us all. 
      In France, it was a fitting to end my trip when I formally signed a new Memorandum of Understanding to expand NASA’s work on the ESA-led ExoMars Rosalind Franklin rover mission launching in 2028. The Rosalind Franklin rover’s unique drilling capabilities and onboard samples laboratory have outstanding scientific value in humanity’s search for evidence of past life on Mars. NASA supports the Rosalind Franklin mission to continue the strong partnership between the United States and Europe to explore the unknown in our solar system and beyond.
      NASA’s Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Nicky Fox and ESA’s Director of Human and Robotic Exploration Daniel Neuenschwander sign an agreement on the Rosalind Franklin mission at ESA’s headquarters in Paris, France on May 16, 2024. Credits: ESA/Damien Dos Santos It was a whirlwind of a trip, but I learned so much about how we, together as countries, partners and friends, use the vantage point of space to achieve humanity’s journey in discovery about our home planet, our solar system neighborhood, and the unknown beyond to better understand our place in the cosmos from a scientific perspective. Together, let us remember to merge the experiences and talents from all walks of life and foster inclusion to conquer such an audacious goal.
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      Last Updated Jun 11, 2024 Related Terms
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