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Our Artemis I Mega Moon Rocket is Rolled to the Launch Pad on This Week @NASA – June 10, 2022


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    • By NASA
      20 Min Read The Marshall Star for June 18, 2024
      California Teams Win $1.5 Million in NASA’s Break the Ice Lunar Challenge
      By Savannah Bullard
      After two days of live competitions, two teams from southern California are heading home with a combined $1.5 million from NASA’s Break the Ice Lunar Challenge. 
      Since 2020, competitors from around the world have competed in this challenge with the common goal of inventing robots that can excavate and transport the icy regolith on the Moon. The lunar South Pole is the targeted landing site for crewed Artemis missions, so utilizing all resources in that area, including the ice within the dusty regolith inside the permanently shadowed regions, is vital for the success of a sustained human lunar presence.
      The husband-and-wife duo of Terra Engineering, Valerie and Todd Mendenhall, receive the $1 million prize June 12, for winning the final phase of NASA’s Break the Ice Lunar Challenge at Alabama A&M’s Agribition Center in Huntsville. With the Terra Engineering team at the awards ceremony are from left, Daniel K. Wims, Alabama A&M University president; Joseph Pelfrey, NASA Marshall Space Flight center director; NASA’s Break the Ice Challenge Manager Naveen Vetcha, and Majed El-Dweik, Alabama A&M University’s vice president of Research & Economic Development.NASA/Jonathan Deal On Earth, the mission architectures developed in this challenge aim to help guide machine design and operation concepts for future mining and excavation operations and equipment for decades.
      “Break the Ice represents a significant milestone in our journey toward sustainable lunar exploration and a future human presence on the Moon,” said Joseph Pelfrey, center director of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. “This competition has pushed the boundaries of what is possible by challenging the brightest minds to devise groundbreaking solutions for excavating lunar ice, a crucial resource for future missions. Together, we are forging a future where humanity ventures further into the cosmos than ever before.”
      The final round of the Break the Ice competition featured six finalist teams who succeeded in an earlier phase of the challenge. The competition took place at the Alabama A&M Agribition Center in Huntsville on June 11 and 12, where each team put their diverse solutions to the test in a series of trials, using terrestrial resources like gravity-offloading cranes, concrete slabs, and a rocky track with tricky obstacles to mimic the environment on the Moon.
      The husband-and-wife duo of Terra Engineering took home the top prize for their “Fracture” rover. Team lead Todd Mendenhall competed in NASA’s 2007 Regolith Excavation Challenge, facilitated through NASA’s Centennial Challenges, which led him and Valerie Mendenhall to continue the pursuit of solutions for autonomous lunar excavation.
      A small space hardware business, Starpath Robotics, earned the second-place prize for its four-wheeled rover that can mine, collect, and haul material. The team, led by Saurav Shroff and lead engineer Mihir Gondhalekar, developed a robotic mining tool that features a drum barrel scraping mechanism for breaking into the tough lunar surface. This allows the robot to mine material quickly and robustly without sacrificing energy.
      “This challenge has been pivotal in advancing the technologies we need to achieve a sustained human presence on the Moon,” said Kim Krome, the Acting Program Manager for NASA’s Centennial Challenges. “Terra Engineering’s rover, especially, bridged several of the technology gaps that we identified – for instance, being robust and resilient enough to traverse rocky landscapes and survive the harsh conditions of the lunar South Pole.”
      Starpath Robotics earned the second place prize for its four-wheeled rover that can mine, collect, and haul material during the final phase of NASA’s Break the Ice Lunar Challenge. From left, Matt Kruszynski, Saurav Shroff, Matt Khudari, Alan Hsu, David Aden, Mihir Gondhalekarl, Joshua Huang, and Aakash Ramachandran.NASA/Jonathan Deal Beyond the $1.5 million in prize funds, three teams will be given the chance to use Marshall Space Flight Center’s thermal vacuum (TVAC) chambers to continue testing and developing their robots. These chambers use thermal vacuum technologies to create a simulated lunar environment, allowing scientists and researchers to build, test, and approve hardware for flight-ready use.
      The following teams performed exceptionally well in the excavation portion of the final competition, earning these invitations to the TVAC facilities:
      Terra Engineering (Gardena, California) Starpath Robotics (Hawthorne, California) Michigan Technological University – Planetary Surface Technology Development Lab (Houghton, Michigan) “We’re looking forward to hosting three of our finalists at our thermal vacuum chamber, where they will get full access to continue testing and developing their technologies in our state-of-the-art facilities,” said Break the Ice Challenge Manager Naveen Vetcha, who supports NASA’s Centennial Challenges through Jacobs Space Exploration Group. “Hopefully, these tests will allow the teams to take their solutions to the next level and open the door for opportunities for years to come.”
      NASA’s Break the Ice Lunar Challenge is a NASA Centennial Challenge led by the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center, with support from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Centennial Challenges are part of the Prizes, Challenges, and Crowdsourcing program under NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. Ensemble Consultancy supports challenge competitors. Alabama A&M University, in coordination with NASA, supports the final competitions and winner event for the challenge.
      Bullard, a Manufacturing Technical Solutions Inc. employee, supports the Marshall Office of Communications.
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      NASA Announces Winners of 2024 Student Launch Competition
      Over 1,000 students from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico launched high-powered, amateur rockets on April 13, just north of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, as part of the agency’s annual Student Launch competition.
      Teams of middle school, high school, college, and university students were tasked to design, build, and launch a rocket and scientific payload to an altitude between 4,000 and 6,000 feet, while making a successful landing and executing a scientific or engineering payload mission.
      High school and collegiate student teams gathered just north of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center to participate in the agency’s annual Student Launch competition April 13.Credits: NASA/Charles Beason “These bright students rise to a nine-month challenge that tests their skills in engineering, design, and teamwork,” said Kevin McGhaw, director of NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement Southeast Region. “They are the Artemis Generation, the future scientists, engineers, and innovators who will lead us into the future of space exploration.”
      NASA announced the University of Notre Dame is the overall winner of the agency’s 2024 Student Launch challenge, followed by Iowa State University, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. A complete list challenge winners can be found on the agency’s student launch web page. NASA presented the 2024 Student Launch challenge award winners in a virtual award ceremony June 7.
      Each year NASA implements a new payload challenge to reflect relevant missions. This year’s payload challenge is inspired by the Artemis missions, which seek to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon.
      The complete list of award winners are as follows:
      2024 Overall Winners
      First place: University of Notre Dame, Indiana Second place: Iowa State University, Ames Third place: University of North Carolina at Charlotte 3D Printing Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Tennessee Chattanooga Middle/High School Level:
      First place: First Baptist Church of Manchester, Manchester, Connecticut Altitude Award
      College Level:
      First place: Iowa State University, Ames Middle/High School Level:
      First place: Morris County 4-H, Califon, New Jersey Best-Looking Rocket Award:
      College Level:
      First place: New York University, Brooklyn, New York Middle/High School Level:
      First place: Notre Dame Academy High School, Los Angeles American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Reusable Launch Vehicle Innovative Payload Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Colorado Boulder Second place: Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee Third place: Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Judge’s Choice Award:
      Middle/High School Level:
      First place: Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls, Iowa Second place: Young Engineers in Action, LaPalma, California Third place: First Baptist Church of Manchester, Manchester, Connecticut Project Review Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Florida, Gainesville AIAA Reusable Launch Vehicle Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Florida, Gainesville Second place: University of North Carolina at Charlotte Third place: University of Notre Dame, Indiana AIAA Rookie Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Colorado Boulder Safety Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Notre Dame, Indiana Second place: University of Florida, Gainesville Third place: University of North Carolina at Charlotte Social Media Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Colorado Boulder Middle/High School Level:
      First place: Newark Memorial High School, Newark, California STEM Engagement Award:
      College Level:
      First place: University of Notre Dame, Indiana Second place: University of North Carolina at Charlotte Third place: New York University, Brooklyn, New York Middle/High School Level:
      First place: Notre Dame Academy High School, Los Angeles, California Second place: Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls, Iowa Third place: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Virginia Service Academy Award:
      First place: United States Air Force Academy, USAF Academy, Colorado
      Vehicle Design Award:
      Middle/High School Level:
      First place: First Baptist Church of Manchester, Manchester, Connecticut Second place: Explorer Post 1010, Rockville, Maryland Third place: Plantation High School, Plantation, Florida Payload Design Award:
      Middle/High School Level:
      First place: Young Engineers in Action, LaPalma, California Second place: Cedar Falls High School, Cedar Falls, Iowa Third place: Spring Grove Area High School, Spring Grove, Pennsylvania Student Launch is one of NASA’s nine Artemis Student Challenges, activities which connect student ingenuity with NASA’s work returning to the Moon under Artemis in preparation for human exploration of Mars.
      The competition is managed by Marshall’s Office of STEM Engagement (OSTEM). Additional funding and support are provided by NASA’s OSTEM via the Next Gen STEM project, NASA’s Space Operations Mission Directorate, Northrup Grumman, National Space Club Huntsville, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, National Association of Rocketry, Relativity Space, and Bastion Technologies.
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      Keith Savoy Named Deputy Director at Michoud Assembly Facility
      Keith Savoy has been named deputy director of NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility, effective June 16.
      Savoy will assist in managing the day-to-day operations of one of the world’s largest manufacturing facilities, where key elements of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), and Orion spacecraft are built. Michoud, a multi-tenant manufacturing site sitting on 829 acres with over 2 million square feet of manufacturing space, is managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and provides facility infrastructure and capacity for federal, state, academic, and technology-based industry partners.
      Keith Savoy has been named deputy director of NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility.NASA Savoy was the chief operating officer of Michoud Assembly Facility from 2022-2024, where he oversaw the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the NASA-owned facility, helping sustain SLS and Orion production efforts and coordinating requirements and logistics with Michoud tenant leadership for approximately 3,500 Michoud employees.
      He previously served as manager of the Office of Center Operations of Michoud from 2016-2022. His responsibilities included managing the facility’s planning, maintenance, design, construction, and engineering. Savoy also oversaw energy and water conservation, environmental permitting and compliance, industrial hygiene, and medical, security, and logistics services, where he was responsible for managing over $350 million of supplemental funding projects sitewide.
      Savoy also held the position of lead engineer, Logistics and Operation Planning for NASA from 2007-2016 at Michoud as an expert consultant for all engineering aspects of the facility. He managed multi-phase projects and helped advance aerospace manufacturing at Michoud to meet the complex requirements of SLS and Orion multi-purpose crew vehicle programs, ensuring environmental compliance. Savoy worked closely with local, state, and federal environmental regulatory agencies to identify and resolve engineering and environmental issues. His expertise was a key contributor to ensuring NASA’s sustainable and environmental goals were achieved.
      Prior to working for NASA, Savoy held several positions of increasing responsibility with Lockheed Martin from 1988-2007. As manager of Operational Planning and Layout, he was responsible for managing the Construction of Facilities. This required developing and implementing plans, outlining scope-of-work, overseeing large-scale project budgets, and Project Definition Rating assessment/score and 1509 development. Savoy implemented Six Sigma & Lean principles concepts to achieve many successes and identified innovative solutions and best practices to satisfy customer requirements. Savoy was also the manager of the Infrastructure Enhancement Team where he managed over 160 personnel and a $10 million budget.
      Savoy has a Master of Science in environmental management from National Technological University in Fort Collins, Colorado, a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and a technical degree in industrial instrumentation from International Technical Institute in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
      Throughout his career, Savoy has received various awards including the NASA Honor Award Outstanding Leadership Medal, Director’s Commendation Honor Award, Safety Flight Awareness Awards, and several Silver Medal Group Achievement Awards.
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      ‘NASA in the Park’ Returns to Rocket City June 22
      NASA in the Park is coming back to Big Spring Park East in Huntsville, Alabama, on June 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CDT. The event is free and open to the public.
      NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, its partners, and collaborators will fill the park with space exhibits, music, food vendors, and hands-on activities for all ages. Marshall is teaming up with Downtown Huntsville Inc. for this unique celebration of space and the Rocket City.
      “NASA in the Park gives us the opportunity to bring our work outside the gates of Redstone Arsenal and thank the community for their continuing support,” Marshall Director Joseph Pelfrey said. “It’s the first time we’ve held the event since 2018, and we look forward to sharing this experience with everyone.”
      Pelfrey will kick the event off with local leaders on the main stage. NASA speakers will spotlight topics ranging from space habitats to solar sails, and local rock band Five by Five will perform throughout the day.
      “NASA Marshall is leading the way in this new era of space exploration, for the benefit of all humankind,” Pelfrey said. “We are proud members of the Rocket City community, which has helped us push the boundaries of science, technology, and engineering for nearly 65 years.”
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      Mission Success is in Our Hands: Baraka Truss
      By Wayne Smith
      Mission Success is in Our Hands is a safety initiative collaboration between NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and Jacobs. As part of the initiative, eight Marshall team members are featured in testimonial banners placed around the center. This is the last in a Marshall Star series profiling team members featured in the testimonial banners. The Mission Success team also awards the Golden Eagle Award on a quarterly basis to Marshall and contractor personnel who are nominated by their peers or management. Candidates for this award have made significant, identifiable contributions that exceed normal job expectations to advance flight safety and mission assurance. Nominations for 2024 are open now online on Inside Marshall.
      Baraka Truss is the Avionics and Software Branch chief at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. NASA/Charles Beason Baraka Truss is the Avionics and Software Branch chief in the Safety and Mission Assurance Organization, Vehicle Systems Department, at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. Her key responsibilities include being viewed as a leadership role model, “demonstrating commitment to the mission and NASA’s core values, creating the most impact for the greater agency, and engaging in activities that promote supervisory excellence and value beyond the immediate organization.”
      Truss has worked at Marshall for 28 years. Her previous roles have been software engineer, Software Engineering Process Group lead, special assistant to the center director, Independent Assessment Team lead, Software Quality Discipline lead engineer, Software Assurance Team lead, and     SLS (Space Launch System) Software chief safety officer.
      A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Truss earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer science from Alabama A&M University in Huntsville.
      Question: How does your work support the safety and success of NASA and Marshall missions?
      Truss: My work involves daily managing and interactions with the avionics and software team members whose mission is to ensure the safety of hardware and software for various programs and projects at Marshall and NASA.
      Question: What does the initiative campaign “Mission Success is in Our Hands” mean to you?
      Truss: That when risks arise, we should be sure to listen to all sides and make informed decisions, be held accountable, and speak up for what is safe when we need to do so.
      Question: Do you have a story or personal experience you can share that might help others understand the significance of mission assurance or flight safety? What did you learn from it?
      Truss: In my experience, mission assurance requires you to “believe the unlikely.” I have learned that believing what you have never seen requires you to stretch your imagination, because we are prone to discount and devalue things that we have not seen. We are skeptical about things that have never been seen, never been done, never been achieved, or never been accomplished.
      Because according to our limited logic if it’s never been seen, never been done, never been achieved, or never been accomplished, then it’s not likely to be seen, not likely to be done, not likely to be achieved, and not likely to be accomplished. Therefore, we see no need to attempt it, try it, believe it, or invest in it because while we’ll acknowledge that it’s possible, we quickly add it’s not probable, because our idea of likelihood is limited by our experience. My experiences working for NASA have stretched me to an amazing place of accountability, assurance, and mission success.
      Question: How can we work together better to achieve mission success?
      Truss: Again, by listening to all sides and making informed decisions, being held accountable, and speaking up for what is safe when we need to do so.
      Smith, a Media Fusion employee and the Marshall Star editor, supports the Marshall Office of Communications.
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      That’s the Spirit: Marshall Team Members Show Support at Community Softball Game
      NASA shows its team spirit during the Armed Forces Celebration Community Softball Game on June 12 at Toyota Field. Marshall Space Flight Center’s Robert Champion and Jason Adam joined Team Redstone to take on the North Alabama Rockets, made up of community leaders. (Huntsville Sports Commission)
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      Coming in Hot: NASA’s Chandra Checks Habitability of Exoplanets
      This graphic shows a three-dimensional map of stars near the Sun. These stars are close enough that they could be prime targets for direct imaging searches for planets using future telescopes. The blue haloes represent stars that have been observed with NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and ESA’s XMM-Newton. The yellow star at the center of this diagram represents the position of the Sun. The concentric rings show distances of 5, 10, and 15 parsecs (one parsec is equivalent to roughly 3.2 light-years).
      Astronomers are using these X-ray data to determine how habitable exoplanets may be based on whether they receive lethal radiation from the stars they orbit, as described in a press release. This type of research will help guide observations with the next generation of telescopes aiming to make the first images of planets like Earth.
      To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video
      This video shows a three-dimensional map of stars near the Sun on the left side of the screen and a dramatic illustration of a star with a planet orbiting around it on the right side.Movie: Cal Poly Pomona/B. Binder; Illustration: NASA/CXC/M.Weiss Researchers examined stars that are close enough to Earth that telescopes set to begin operating in the next decade or two – including the Habitable Worlds Observatory in space and Extremely Large Telescopes on the ground – could take images of planets in the stars’ so-called habitable zones. This term defines orbits where the planets could have liquid water on their surfaces.
      There are several factors influencing what could make a planet suitable for life as we know it. One of those factors is the amount of harmful X-rays and ultraviolet light they receive, which can damage or even strip away the planet’s atmosphere.
      Based on X-ray observations of some of these stars using data from Chandra and XMM-Newton, the research team examined which stars could have hospitable conditions on orbiting planets for life to form and prosper. They studied how bright the stars are in X-rays, how energetic the X-rays are, and how much and how quickly they change in X-ray output, for example, due to flares. Brighter and more energetic X-rays can cause more damage to the atmospheres of orbiting planets.
      The researchers used almost 10 days of Chandra observations and about 26 days of XMM observations, available in archives, to examine the X-ray behavior of 57 nearby stars, some of them with known planets. Most of these are giant planets like Jupiter, Saturn or Neptune, while only a handful of planets or planet candidates could be less than about twice as massive as Earth.
      These results were presented at the 244th meeting of the American Astronomical Society meeting in Madison, Wisconsin, by Breanna Binder (California State Polytechnic University in Pomona).
      NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center manages the Chandra program. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Chandra X-ray Center controls science from Cambridge, Massachusetts and flight operations from Burlington, Massachusetts.
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      NASA Announces New System to Aid Disaster Response
      In early May, widespread flooding and landslides occurred in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul, leaving thousands of people without food, water, or electricity. In the following days, NASA teams provided data and imagery to help on-the-ground responders understand the disaster’s impacts and deploy aid.
      Building on this response and similar successes, on June 13, NASA announced a new system to support disaster response organizations in the U.S. and around the world.
      Members of the Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue team in Adiyaman, Turkey, conducting rescue efforts in the wake of powerful earthquakes that struck the region in February 2023. NASA provided maps and data to support USAID and other regional partners during these earthquakes.USAID “When disasters strike, NASA is here to help – at home and around the world,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “As challenges from extreme weather grow, so too does the value of NASA’s efforts to provide critical Earth observing data to disaster-response teams on the frontlines. We’ve done so for years. Now, through this system, we expand our capability to help power our U.S. government partners, international partners, and relief organizations across the globe as they take on disasters – and save lives.”
      The team behind NASA’s Disaster Response Coordination System gathers science, technology, data, and expertise from across the agency and provides it to emergency managers. The new system will be able to provide up-to-date information on fires, earthquakes, landslides, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other extreme events.
      “The risk from climate-related hazards is increasing, making more people vulnerable to extreme events,” said Karen St. Germain, director of NASA’s Earth Science Division. “This is particularly true for the 10% of the global population living in low-lying coastal regions who are vulnerable to storm surges, waves and tsunamis, and rapid erosion. NASA’s disaster system is designed to deliver trusted, actionable Earth science in ways and means that can be used immediately, to enable effective response to disasters and ultimately help save lives.”
      Agencies working with NASA include the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Agency for International Development – as well as international organizations such as World Central Kitchen.
      “With this deliberate and structured approach, we can be even more effective in putting Earth science into action,” said Josh Barnes, at NASA’s Langley Research Center. Barnes manages the Disaster Response Coordination System.
      NASA Administrator Bill Nelson delivers remarks June 13 during an event launching a new Disaster Response Coordination System that will provide communities and organizations around the world with access to science and data to aid disaster response. NASA/Bill Ingalls NASA Disasters Team Aiding Brazil
      When the floods and landslides ravaged parts of Brazil in May, officials from the U.S. Southern Command – working with the U.S. Space Force and Air Force, and regional partners – reached out to NASA for Earth-observing data.
      NASA’s response included maps of potential power outages from the Black Marble project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Disaster response coordinators at NASA Goddard also reviewed high-resolution optical data – from the Commercial Smallsat Data Acquisition Program – to map more than 4,000 landslides.
      Response coordinators from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology produced flood extent maps using data from the NASA and U.S. Geological Survey Landsat mission and from ESA’s (the European Space Agency) Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite. Response coordinators at NASA’s Johnson Space Center also provided photographs of the flooding taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
      Building on Previous Work
      The Brazil event is just one of hundreds of responses NASA has supported over the past decade. The team aids decision-making for a wide range of natural hazards and disasters, from hurricanes and earthquakes to tsunamis and oil spills. 
      “NASA’s Disasters Program advances science for disaster resilience and develops accessible resources to help communities around the world make informed decisions for disaster planning,” said Shanna McClain, manager of NASA’s Disasters Program. “The new Disaster Response Coordination System significantly expands our efforts to bring the power of Earth science when responding to disasters.”
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    • By NASA
      3 min read
      Artemis, Architecture, and Lunar Science: SMD and ESDMD Associate Administrators visits Tokyo
      June 18, 2024
      At NASA we always say that exploration enables science, and science enables exploration. During a recent, quick trip to Tokyo, Japan with our Associate Administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate (ESDMD), Cathy Koerner, I had an opportunity to share this message with our partners at the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
      We explore for several reasons but primarily to benefit humanity. How exactly does exploration benefit humanity? By accepting audacious challenges like retuning to the Moon and venturing on to Mars, we inspire and motivate current and future generations of scientists, engineers, problem solvers, and communicators to contribute to our mission and other national priorities. By conducting scientific investigations in deep space, on the Moon, and on Mars, we enhance our understanding of the universe and our place in it. And finally, what we achieve when we explore, how it’s accomplished, and who participates benefits international partnerships and global cooperation that are essential for enhancing the quality of life for all.
      NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, Dr. Nicky Fox, and Associate Administrator for the Exploration systems Development Mission Directorate, Cathy Koerner, meet with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in Tokyo, Japan on June 11, 2024. Credits: NASA In addition to bi-lateral meetings with our JAXA partners, Cathy and I co-presented at the International Space Exploration Symposium where I shared how every NASA Science division has a stake in Artemis. Cathy provided updates on the Orion spacecraft, SLS rocket, Gateway, human landing systems, and advanced spacesuits, and I talked about all of the incredible science we will conduct along the way. The Artemis campaign is a series of increasingly complex missions that provide ever-growing capabilities for scientific exploration of the Moon. From geology to solar, biological, and fundamental physics phenomena, exploration teaches about the earliest solar system environment: whether and how the bombardments of nascent worlds influenced the emergence of life, how the Earth and Moon formed and evolved, and how volatiles (like water) and other potential resources were distributed and transported throughout the solar system.
      Together with our partners like JAXA, NASA is working towards establishing infrastructure for long-term exploration in lunar orbit and on the surface. For example, on Artemis III, JAXA will provide the Lunar Dielectric Analyzer instrument, which once installed near the lunar South Pole, will help collect valuable scientific data about the lunar environment, it’s interior, and how to sustain a long-duration human presence on the Moon. In April, the U.S. and Japan were proud to make a historic announcement for cooperation on the Moon. Japan will design, develop, and operate a pressurized rover for crewed and uncrewed exploration on the Moon. NASA will launch and deliver the rover, and provide two opportunities for Japanese astronauts to travel to the lunar surface. This historic agreement was highlighted by President Biden and Prime Minister Kishida and is an example of the strong relationship between the United States and Japan. The enclosed and pressurized rover will be able to accommodate two astronauts on the lunar surface for 30 days, and will have a lifespan of about 10 years, enabling it to be used for multiple missions. It will enable longer-duration expeditions, so that astronauts can conduct more moonwalks and perform more science in geographically diverse areas near the lunar South Pole.
      Artemis is different than anything humanity has ever done before. The Artemis campaign will bring the world along for this historic journey, forever changing humanity’s perspective of our place in the universe. This is the start of a lunar ecosystem, where we’ll do more science than we can dream of, together.
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    • By NASA
      Crews transport NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES-U) from the Astrotech Space Operations facility to the SpaceX hangar at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida beginning on Friday, June 14, 2024, with the operation finishing early Saturday, June 15, 2024. The fourth and final weather-observing and environmental monitoring satellite in NOAA’s GOES-R Series will assist meteorologists in providing advanced weather forecasting and warning capabilities. The two-hour window for liftoff opens 5:16 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 25, aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA/Ben Smegelsky) NASA will provide live coverage of prelaunch and launch activities for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) GOES-U (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite U) mission. The two-hour launch window opens at 5:16 p.m. EDT Tuesday, June 25, for the satellite’s launch on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. 
      The GOES-U satellite, the final addition to GOES-R series, will help to prepare for two kinds of weather — Earth and space weather. The GOES satellites serve a critical role in providing continuous coverage of the Western Hemisphere, including monitoring tropical systems in the eastern Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This continuous monitoring aids scientists and forecasters in issuing timely warnings and forecasts to help protect the one billion people who live and work in the Americas. Additionally, GOES-U carries a new compact coronagraph that will image the outer layer of the Sun’s atmosphere to detect and characterize coronal mass ejections. 
      The deadline for media accreditation for in-person coverage of this launch has passed. NASA’s media credentialing policy is available online. For questions about media accreditation, please email: ksc-media-accreditat@mail.nasa.gov. 
      NASA’s mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern and subject to change based on real-time operations): 
      Monday, June 24 
      9:30 a.m. – NASA EDGE GOES-U prelaunch show on NASA+, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. 
      11 a.m. – GOES-U science briefing with the following participants: 
      Charles Webb, deputy director, Joint Agency Satellite Division, NASA  Ken Graham, director, NOAA’s National Weather Service  Dan Lindsey, chief scientist, GOES-R Program, NOAA  Elsayed Talaat, director, NOAA’s Office of Space Weather Observations  Chris Wood, NOAA Hurricane Hunter pilot  Coverage of the science news conference will stream live on NASA+, the NASA app, YouTube, and the agency’s website. 
      Media may ask questions in person and via phone. Limited auditorium space will be available for in-person participation. For the dial-in number and passcode, media should contact the Kennedy newsroom no later than one hour before the start of the event at ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov. 
      3:15 p.m. – NASA Social panel at Kennedy with the following participants: 
      Jade Zsiros, telemetry engineer, NASA’s Launch Services Program  Ellen Ramirez, deputy division chief, Mission Operations Division, National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service Office of Satellite and Product Operations, NOAA  Dakota Smith, satellite analyst and communicator, NOAA’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere  Allana Nepomuceno, senior manager, GOES-U Assembly, Test, and Launch Operations, Lockheed Martin  Chris Reith, program manager, Advanced Baseline Imager, L3Harris Technologies  The panel will stream live on NASA Kennedy’s YouTube, X and Facebook accounts. Members of the public may ask questions online by posting to the YouTube, X, and Facebook live streams or using #AskNASA. 
      5 p.m. – Prelaunch news conference at Kennedy (following completion of the Launch Readiness Review), with the following participants: 
      Denton Gibson, launch director, Launch Services Program, NASA  Steve Volz, assistant administrator, NOAA’s Satellite and Information Service  Pam Sullivan, director, GOES-R Program, NOAA  John Gagosian, director, Joint Agency Satellite Division  Julianna Scheiman, director, NASA Science Missions, SpaceX  Brian Cizek, launch weather officer, 45th Weather Squadron, U.S. Space Force  Coverage of the prelaunch news conference will stream live on NASA+, the NASA app, YouTube, and the agency’s website. 
      Media may ask questions in person and via phone. Limited auditorium space will be available for in-person participation. For the dial-in number and passcode, media should contact the Kennedy newsroom no later than one hour before the start of the event at ksc-newsroom@mail.nasa.gov. 
      Tuesday, June 25 
      1 p.m. – Media one-on-one interviews with the following: 
      Michael Morgan, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Environmental Observation and Prediction, NOAA  Michael Brennan, director, NOAA’s National Hurricane Center  James Spann, senior scientist, Office of Space Weather Observations, NOAA  John Gagosian, director, Joint Agency Satellite Division  Krizia Negron, language program lead, National Weather Service Office of Science and Technology Integration, NOAA (bilingual, available for Spanish interviews)  Dan Lindsey, chief scientist, GOES-R Program, NOAA  Jagdeep Shergill, program director, GEO Weather, Lockheed Martin  Chris Reith, program manager, Advanced Baseline Imager, L3Harris Technologies  4:15 p.m. – NASA launch coverage begins on NASA+, the agency’s website, and other digital channels.  
      5:16 p.m. – Two-hour launch window opens 
      Audio Only Coverage 
      Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA “V” circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240 or -7135. On launch day, “mission audio,” countdown activities without NASA Television media launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135. 
      Live Video Coverage Prior to Launch 
      NASA will provide a live video feed of Launch Complex 39A approximately 24 hours prior to the planned liftoff of the mission on NASA Kennedy’s YouTube: https://youtube.com/kscnewsroom. The feed will be uninterrupted until the prelaunch broadcast begins on NASA Television media channel. 
      NASA Website Launch Coverage 
      Launch day coverage of the mission will be available on the agency’s website. Coverage will include live streaming and blog updates beginning no earlier than 3 p.m., June 25, as the countdown milestones occur. On-demand streaming video and photos of the launch will be available shortly after liftoff. 
      For questions about countdown coverage, contact the Kennedy newsroom at 321-867-2468. Follow countdown coverage on the GOES blog. 
      Para obtener información sobre cobertura en español en el Centro Espacial Kennedy o si desea solicitar entrevistas en español, comuníquese con Antonia Jaramillo: antonia.jaramillobotero@nasa.gov o Messod Bendayan: messod.c.bendayan@nasa.gov 
      Attend the Launch Virtually 
      Members of the public can register to attend this launch virtually. NASA’s virtual guest program for this mission also includes curated launch resources, notifications about related opportunities or changes, and a stamp for the NASA virtual guest passport following launch. 
      Watch, Engage on Social Media 
      Let people know you’re following the mission on X, Facebook, and Instagram by using the hashtags #ReadyToGOES and #NASASocial. You can also stay connected by following and tagging these accounts: 
      X: @NASA, @NASA_LSP, @NASAKennedy, @NOAASatellites, @NASAGoddard 
      Facebook: NASA, NASA LSP, NASA Kennedy, NOAA Satellites, NASA Goddard 
      Instagram: NASA, NASA Kennedy, NOAA Satellites 
      For more information about the mission, visit: 
      https://www.nasa.gov/goes-u
      -end- 
      Liz Vlock 
      Headquarters, Washington 
      202-358-1600 
      elizabeth.a.vlock@nasa.gov 
      Peter Jacobs 
      Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland 
      301-286-0535 
      peter.jacobs@nasa.gov 
      Leejay Lockhart 
      Kennedy Space Center, Florida 
      321-747-8310 
      leejay.lockhart@nasa.gov 


      View the full article
    • By NASA
      NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission has been immortalized at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington as the latest awardee of the Robert J. Collier Trophy. Bestowed annually by the National Aeronautic Association, the trophy recognizes groundbreaking aerospace achievements.
      Members of the OSIRIS-REx team at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., with the Collier trophy on June 13, 2024. From left to right: Nayi Castro, mission operations manager, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.; Nicole Lunning, curator, NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston; Anjani Polit, mission implementation systems engineer, University of Arizona, Tucson; Coralie Adam, OSIRIS-REx optical navigation lead, KinetX Inc.; Michael Moreau, OSIRIS-REx deputy project manager, NASA Goddard; Dennis Reuter, OVIRS instrument scientist, NASA Goddard; Ronald Mink, OSIRIS-REx missions systems engineer, NASA Goddard; Joshua Wood, system design lead, Lockheed Martin Space; Peter Antreasian, OSIRIS-REx navigation team chief, KinetX Inc.; Sandy Freund, program manager, Lockheed Martin Space; Eric Sahr, optical navigation engineer, KinetX Inc.NASA/Rani Gran OSIRIS-REx, formally the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security – Regolith Explorer, was honored “for successfully executing the first American retrieval of an asteroid sample and its return to Earth,” according to the award citation. The award was announced in March, and the OSIRIS-REx team visited the museum on June 13, 2024, to see the mission’s name engraved in brass at the base of the statue.
      “It just blows me away to see the OSIRIS-REx team engraved on the Collier trophy, next to names like Orville Wright, the Apollo 8 crew, and the Voyager Mission Team,” said Michael Moreau, OSIRIS-REx deputy project manager at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.  “I’m so proud of our amazing team that their excellence and sacrifice to make the OSIRIS-REx mission so successful have been recognized with this prestigious award.”
      While NASA’s accomplishments have been honored with the Collier award many times, this is one of just a handful of instances that NASA Goddard has been a major partner on a winning team. NASA Goddard most recently claimed a share of the award in 2022 for the James Webb Space Telescope. Previous wins also include 1993 honors for the Hubble Space Telescope and the 1974 prize for a NASA–U.S. Geological Survey satellite that began the long-running Landsat program that studies and monitors changes to Earth’s land masses.
      The OSIRIS-REx team includes NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland; Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado; the University of Arizona, Tucson; and KinetX in Tempe, Arizona. NASA’s Johnson Space Center is responsible for the curation of the Bennu sample material that OSIRIS-REx returned to Earth in September 2023.
      The Collier Trophy resides in a glass case in the “America by Air” section on the museum’s first floor. The century-old trophy stands at over 7 feet tall and weighs 525 pounds. The bronze sculpture depicts a globe, with three figures emerging from it. The sculpture rests on two walnut bases, each adorned with an engrave brass plaque bearing the names of the recipients.
      Baltimore sculptor Ernest Wise Keyser designed the Trophy in 1910 for Robert J. Collier, the publisher of Collier’s Weekly magazine and president of the Aero Club of America.
      By Rani Gran
      NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
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      Last Updated Jun 18, 2024 EditorRob GarnerContactRani Gran Related Terms
      Goddard Space Flight Center OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer) 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
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