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NASA's CAPSTONE: Flying a New Path to the Moon


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    • By NASA
      2 min read
      NASA Releases Hubble Image Taken in New Pointing Mode
      This NASA Hubble Space Telescope features the galaxy NGC 1546. NASA, ESA, STScI, David Thilker (JHU) NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has taken its first new images since changing to an alternate operating mode that uses one gyro.
      The spacecraft returned to science operations June 14 after being offline for several weeks due to an issue with one of its gyroscopes (gyros), which help control and orient the telescope.
      This new image features NGC 1546, a nearby galaxy in the constellation Dorado. The galaxy’s orientation gives us a good view of dust lanes from slightly above and backlit by the galaxy’s core. This dust absorbs light from the core, reddening it and making the dust appear rusty-brown. The core itself glows brightly in a yellowish light indicating an older population of stars. Brilliant-blue regions of active star formation sparkle through the dust. Several background galaxies also are visible, including an edge-on spiral just to the left of NGC 1546.
      Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 captured the image as part of a joint observing program between Hubble and NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. The program also uses data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, allowing scientists to obtain a highly detailed, multiwavelength view of how stars form and evolve.
      The image represents one of the first observations taken with Hubble since transitioning to the new pointing mode, enabling more consistent science operations. The NASA team expects that Hubble can do most of its science observations in this new mode, continuing its groundbreaking observations of the cosmos.
      “Hubble’s new image of a spectacular galaxy demonstrates the full success of our new, more stable pointing mode for the telescope,” said Dr. Jennifer Wiseman, senior project scientist for Hubble at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “We’re poised now for many years of discovery ahead, and we’ll be looking at everything from our solar system to exoplanets to distant galaxies. Hubble plays a powerful role in NASA’s astronomical toolkit.”
      Launched in 1990, Hubble has been observing the universe for more than three decades, recently celebrating its 34th anniversary. Read more about some of Hubble’s greatest scientific discoveries.
      Resources

      Download the image above


      NASA’s Hubble Restarts Science in New Pointing Mode


      Operating Hubble with Only One Gyroscope


      Hubble Pointing and Control


      Hubble Science Highlights


      Hubble Images

      Facebook logo @NASAHubble @NASAHubble Instagram logo @NASAHubble Media Contact:
      Claire Andreoli
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD
      claire.andreoli@nasa.gov
      Share








      Details
      Last Updated Jun 18, 2024 Editor Andrea Gianopoulos Location NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Related Terms
      Astrophysics Astrophysics Division Galaxies Goddard Space Flight Center Hubble Space Telescope Missions The Universe Keep Exploring Discover More Topics From NASA’s Hubble
      Hubble Space Telescope


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


      Hubble Design



      Hubble Science



      Hubble’s Galaxies


      View the full article
    • By NASA
      The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) launched together from Cape Canaveral Air Force, now Space Force, Station on June 18, 2009, atop an Atlas V launch vehicle. The primary mission of the LRO, managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, involved imaging the entire Moon’s surface to create a 3-D map with ~50-centimeter resolution to aid in the planning of future robotic and crewed missions. In addition, LRO would map the polar regions and search for the presence of water ice. Although its primary mission intended to last only one year, it continues to operate after 15 years in lunar orbit. The LCROSS, managed by NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, planned to further investigate the presence of water ice in permanently shaded areas of the Moon’s polar regions. The two components of LCROSS, the Centaur upper stage of the launch vehicle and the Shepherding Satellite, planned to deliberately crash into the Moon. Instruments on Earth and aboard LRO and the LCROSS Shepherding Satellite would observe the resulting plumes and analyze them for the presence of water.

      Left: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), top, silver, and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS), bottom, gold, spacecraft during placement inside the launch shroud. Right: Launch of LRO and LCROSS on an Atlas V rocket.
      The LRO spacecraft carries seven scientific instruments:
      the Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation (CRaTER) to characterize the lunar radiation environment; the Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment (DLRE) to identify areas cold enough to trap ice; the Lyman-Alpha Mapping Project (LMAP) to search for ice in the lunar polar regions; the Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) to create a map of hydrogen distribution and to determine the neutron component of the lunar radiation environment; the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) to measure slopes and roughness of potential landing sites; the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC) consisting of two-narrow angle and one wide-angle camera to take high-resolution images of the lunar surface; and the Mini Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) experiment, an advanced radar system to image the polar regions and search for water ice.
      Left: Illustration of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and its scientific instruments. Right: Illustration of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite and its scientific instruments on panel at left.
      The LCROSS Shepherding Satellite carried nine instruments – five cameras (one visible, two near-infrared, and two mid-infrared); three spectrometers (one visible and two near-infrared); and a photometer. They monitored the plume sent up by the impact of the Centaur upper stage.

      Left: Illustration of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in lunar orbit. Right: Illustration of the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite’s Shepherding Satellite at left and Centaur upper stage at right prior to lunar impact.
      On June 23, 2009, after a four-and-a-half-day journey from Earth, LRO entered an elliptical polar orbit around the Moon. Over the next four days, four engine burns refined the spacecraft’s orbit and engineers on the ground began commissioning its instruments. The LROC returned its first image of the Moon on June 30 of an area near the Mare Nubium. On Sept. 15, 2009, LRO began its primary one-year mission to map the lunar surface from its science orbit 31 miles above the Moon.  
      On Oct. 9, 2009, first the Centaur upper stage followed five minutes later by the LCROSS Shepherding Satellite crashed into the Moon’s Cabeus Crater near the lunar south pole. Although the impacts created smaller plumes than anticipated, instruments detected signs of water in the ejected debris.
      In September 2010, LRO completed its primary mapping mission and began an extended science mission around the Moon. On Dec. 17, NASA released the most detailed topographic map covering more than 98 percent of the Moon’s surface based on data from LRO’s LOLA instrument. The map continues to be updated as new data are received from the spacecraft. On March 15, 2011, LRO had made available more than 192 terabytes of data from its primary mission to the NASA Planetary Data System, or PDS, to make the information available to researchers, students, media, and the general public. LRO  continues to deliver data to the PDS, having generated the largest volume of data from a NASA planetary science mission ever.

      Left: First high-resolution image of the Moon taken by Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Middle: Mosaic of LRO images of the Moon’s near side. Right: Mosaic of LRO images of the Moon’s far side.

      Left: Mosaic of Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) images of the lunar north pole. Right: Mosaic of LRO images of the lunar south pole.
      The LCROSS data showed that the lunar soil within shadowy craters is rich in useful materials, such as hydrogen gas, ammonia, and methane, which could be used to produce fuel for space missions. Large amounts of light metals, such as sodium, mercury, and silver, were discovered. The data revealed that there is perhaps as much as hundreds of millions of tons of frozen water on the Moon, enough to make it an effective oasis for future explorers.
      Thanks to its unique vantage point in a low altitude lunar orbit, LRO’s camera has taken remarkably detailed images of all six Apollo landing sites. The detail is such that not only can the Lunar Module (LM) descent stages be clearly identified, but disturbances of the lunar soil by the astronauts’ boots, the shadows of the American flag are visible at five of the landing sites, and the Lunar Rovers from the last three missions are even visible. The scientific instruments, and in at least three of the landing sites, the U.S. flag left by the astronauts can be discerned. The flag at the Apollo 11 site cannot be seen because it most likely was blown over by the exhaust of the LM’s ascent stage engine when the astronauts lifted off. In addition to the Apollo landing sites, LRO has also imaged crash and soft-landing sites of other American, Soviet, Chinese, Indian, and Israeli spacecraft, including craters left by the deliberate impacts of Apollo S-IVB upper stages. It also imaged a Korean satellite in lunar orbit as the two flew within a few miles of each other at high speed. LRO also turned its camera Earthward to catch stunning Earthrise views, one image with Mars in the background, and the Moon’s shadow on the Earth during the total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024.

      Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of the Apollo 11, left, 12, and 14 landing sites.

      Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter images of the Apollo 15, left, 16, and 17 landing sites.

      Left: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) image of Luna 17 that landed on the Moon on Nov. 17, 1970, and the tracks of the Lunokhod 1 rover that it deployed. Middle: LRO image of the Chang’e 4 lander and Yutu 2 rover that landed on the Moon’s far side on Jan. 3, 2019. Right: LRO image of the Chandrayaan 3 lander taken four days after it landed on the Moon on Aug. 23, 2023.

      Left: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) image of Odysseus that landed on the Moon on Feb. 22, 2024. Middle: LRO image taken on March 5, 2024, of the Danuri lunar orbiting satellite as the two passed within 3 miles of each other at a relative velocity of 7,200 miles per hour. Right: LRO image of the Chang’e 6 lander on the Moon’s farside, taken on June 7, 2024.

      Left: Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) image of Earthrise over Compton Crater taken Oct. 12, 2015. Middle: LRO image of Earth and Mars taken Oct. 2, 2014. Right: LRO image of the total solar eclipse taken on April 8, 2024.
      The LRO mission continues with the spacecraft returning images and data from its instruments. LRO has enough fuel on board to operate until 2027. The spacecraft can support new robotic lunar activities and the knowledge from the mission will help aid in the return of humans to the lunar surface. 
      View the full article
    • By USH
      Over the years, much has been published about the strange things that happen on the dark side of the moon. 

      The far side of the moon has been a mystery since the dawn of the space age. But is it just a barren, crater-filled wasteland? 
      Shocking claims from astronauts, whistleblowers, and classified documents suggest there's more to the story. Eerie sounds, inexplicable sightings, and covert missions point to something astounding hidden from public view. 
      Before delving into the evidence, which ranges from Apollo-era transcripts to insights from modern military insiders, it's worth noting an intriguing paper recently released by Harvard. Titled "The Cryptoterrestrial Hypothesis. This paper proposes among other themes that UAPs (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) might be the result of activities by intelligent beings hidden here on Earth eventually underground or in nearby areas such as the moon. (Notion: The dark of the side of the moon could be an excellent place to hide.) 
      But the Harvard paper has suddenly disappeared... though we saved you a copy: https://bit.ly/4b1xk11 
      The implications are staggering, hinting at a secret history beyond our world.
        View the full article
    • By Space Force
      Col. Phoenix Hauser took command of Space Delta 7 - Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance.

      View the full article
    • By NASA
      NASA’s Pegasus barge delivers the SLS (Space Launch System) rocket’s core stage for the 2022 Artemis I mission to the turn basin at Kennedy Space Center in Florida in April 2021. Credits: NASA/Michael Downs Media are invited in late July to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to see progress on the agency’s SLS (Space Launch System) Moon rocket as preparations continue for the Artemis II test flight around the Moon.
      Participants joining the multi-day events will see the arrival and unloading of the 212-foot-tall SLS core stage at the center’s turn basin before it is transported to the nearby Vehicle Assembly Building. The stage will arrive on NASA’s Pegasus barge from the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, where it was manufactured and assembled.
      Media also will see the twin pair of solid rocket boosters inside the Rotation, Processing, and Surge Facility at the spaceport, where NASA’s Exploration Ground Systems Program is processing the motor segments in preparation for rocket assembly. NASA and industry subject matter experts will be available to answer questions. At launch, the SLS rocket’s two solid rocket boosters and four RS-25 engines, located at the base of its core stage, will produce 8.8 million pounds of thrust to send the first crewed mission of the Artemis campaign around the Moon.
      Media interested in participating must apply for credentials at:
      https://media.ksc.nasa.gov
      To receive credentials, international media must apply by Friday, June 28, and U.S. citizens must apply by Thursday, July 5.
      Credentialed media will receive a confirmation email upon approval, along with additional information about the specific date for the activities when they are finalized. NASA’s media accreditation policy is available online. For questions about accreditation, please email ksc-media-accreditat@mail.nasa.gov. For other questions, please contact 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 o Messod Bendayan a: antonia.jaramillobotero@nasa.gov o messod.c.bendayan@nasa.gov.
      The approximately 10-day Artemis II flight will test NASA’s SLS rocket, Orion spacecraft, and ground systems for the first time with astronauts and will pave the way for lunar surface missions, including landing the first woman, first person of color, and first international partner astronaut on the Moon.
      Learn more about Artemis at:
      www.nasa.gov/artemis/
      -end-
      Rachel Kraft 
      Headquarters, Washington 
      281-358-1100  
      rachel.h.kraft@nasa.gov  
      Tiffany Fairley/Antonia Jaramillo
      Kennedy Space Center, Florida
      321-867-2468
      tiffany.l.fairley@nasa.gov/antonia.jaramillobotero@nasa.gov
      Share
      Details
      Last Updated Jun 14, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
      Artemis 2 Artemis Humans in Space Kennedy Space Center Space Launch System (SLS) View the full article
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