Members Can Post Anonymously On This Site
By European Space Agency
Delegates from around 200 countries are convened at the United Nations COP28 summit in Dubai to assess the action they are taking to combat the climate crisis. With satellites fundamental to understanding and monitoring climate change, ESA has awarded a contract to Airbus to take the TRUTHS satellite mission to its next development phase.
TRUTHS is set to provide the gold reference for climate measurements, thereby giving decision-makers more confidence in the data they use for climate action.
View the full article
2 min read
NASA One Step Closer to Fueling Space Missions with Plutonium-238
Close-up of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover as it looks back at its wheel tracks on March 17, 2022, the 381st Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Credit: NASA The recent shipment of heat source plutonium-238 from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory to its Los Alamos National Laboratory is a critical step toward fueling planned NASA missions with radioisotope power systems.
This shipment of 0.5 kilograms (a little over 1 pound) of new heat source plutonium oxide is the largest since the domestic restart of plutonium-238 production over a decade ago. It marks a significant milestone toward achieving the constant rate production average target of 1.5 kilograms per year by 2026.
Radioisotope power systems, or RPS, enable exploration of some of the deepest, darkest, and most distant destinations in the solar system and beyond. RPS use the natural decay of the radioisotope plutonium-238 to provide heat to a spacecraft in the form of a Light Weight Radioisotope Heater Unit (LWRHU), or heat and electricity in the form of a system such as the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG).
The DOE has produced the heat source plutonium oxide required to fuel the RPS for missions such as NASA’s Mars 2020. The first spacecraft to benefit from this restart, the Perseverance rover, carries some of the new plutonium produced by DOE. An MMRTG continuously provides the car-sized rover with heat and about 110 watts of electricity, enabling the exploration of the Martian surface and the gathering of soil samples for possible retrieval.
“NASA’s Radioisotope Power Systems Program works in partnership with the Department of Energy to enable missions to operate in some of the most extreme environments in our solar system and interstellar space,” said Carl Sandifer, RPS program manager at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland.
For over sixty years, the United States has employed radioisotope-based electrical power systems and heater units in space. Three dozen missions have explored space for decades using the reliable electricity and heat provided by RPS.
NASA and DOE are continuing their long-standing partnership to ensure the nation can enable future missions requiring radioisotopes for decades to come.
NASA’s Glenn Research Center
5 min read Indigenous Student Brings Skills, Perspective to NASA Internship
Article 1 week ago 1 min read NASA’s new streaming service is here. More space. More science. More NASA.
Article 2 weeks ago 1 min read Purdue University Honors Dr. Kenyon
Article 2 weeks ago View the full article
4 min read
NASA Completes Key Step in Aviation Safety Research
NASA’s transformational vision for the skies above our communities includes enabling safer and more efficient air travel. Part of this goal involves using advanced new technology to prevent safety risks long before they have a chance to arise.MTSI / NASA NASA’s aeronautical innovators have completed a significant step in their pursuit of safer, more efficient aviation technologies that spot hazards before they occur.
Through its System-Wide Safety project, NASA and its partners in government, industry, and academia are exploring new technologies and techniques to improve current aviation safety and potentially enable widespread use of new types of aircraft such as drones or air taxis.
The project recently completed Technical Challenge 1 (TC-1), Terminal Area Risk Management, the first step towards achieving what is known as an In-Time Aviation Safety Management System. This new type of aviation safety technology can effectively address potential hazards expected with the rise in demand for the number and types of aircraft flying in the National Airspace System.
As aviation operations continue to grow in scale and diversity, and with new modes of flight expected to rise in the near future, keeping the skies safe becomes increasingly complex and drives the need to transform the way order is maintained above our communities.
“What we’ve accomplished with TC-1 is really just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible,” said Kyle Ellis, NASA’s project manager for System-Wide Safety. “Developing these systems enables a new economy for aviation uses that will benefit us all in the future.”
In a busy aviation environment, an In-Time Aviation Safety Management System can efficiently identify and predict safety issues a human would be hard tasked to keep up with.
In today’s airspace safety system, let’s say an air traffic manager is looking at their screen and guiding 10 airplanes towards their destinations. This person would use a combination of established safety rules and pattern recognition to make sure those aircraft remain a safe distance apart. If this person saw a hazard that posed a safety risk, they would work with the pilots aboard the aircraft and resolve the issue.
Now, let’s think about the airspace of tomorrow. Instead of 10 airplanes total, 10 air taxis, 10 ultra-efficient airliners, and 10 commercial supersonic jets might be sharing the same confined airspace. Preventing and addressing hazards would become a more complex issue nearly impossible for a person to identify in time to prevent an accident.
An In-Time Aviation Safety Management System is designed to identify these events much more rapidly than human operators, then quickly deliver actionable safety procedures to prevent the dangerous situation long before it develops.
Furthermore, preventing these situations from ever arising in the first place increases the efficiency of the airspace overall, since not as much time and effort would be spent by managers keeping things running smoothly.
Laying the Foundation
TC-1 contributed several important pieces of technology working towards the development of such a system. These contributions improve aviation safety not just for tomorrow – but also for today.
For example, part of the research included using new machine learning algorithms to analyze data gathered from major airlines, which use existing aviation safety management systems, to discover potential safety risks that had previously been undefined – overall making things safer.
Researchers also gathered information on exact ways human safety managers, pilots, air traffic controllers, and others interact with safety procedures. The team identified useful, efficient practices, as well as those that could potentially lead to safety risks. Their work contributes substantially to improving training and safety operations.
Additionally, researchers studied human performance and fatigue, partnering with pilots to study how various factors such as flight scheduling, certain short-haul routes, and even the COVID-19 pandemic affect operations.
Other results include prototype safety tools and surveys on human performance.
With this more comprehensive understanding of the safety landscape, NASA and its partners can more effectively continue ushering in new safety technologies.
“We focused on gathering data on current-day operations, but always have an eye for the near future,” said Nikunj Oza, subproject manager for TC-1. “We can use the lessons learned about current aviation safety to best inform new systems.”
Facebook logo @NASA@NASAaero@NASA_es @NASA@NASAaero@NASA_es Instagram logo @NASA@NASAaero@NASA_es Linkedin logo @NASA Explore More
4 min read NASA, Partners Explore Sustainable Fuel’s Effects on Aircraft Contrails
Article 3 days ago 4 min read NASA C-130 Makes First-Ever Flight to Antarctica for GUSTO Balloon Mission
Article 3 days ago 4 min read NASA Technologies Receive Multiple Nods in TIME Inventions of 2023
Article 6 days ago Keep Exploring Discover More Topics From NASA
Humans In Space
Solar System Exploration
Solar System Overview Our solar system has one star, eight planets, five officially recognized dwarf planets, at least 290 moons,…
Explore NASA’s History
Last Updated Nov 02, 2023 Editor Lillian Gipson Contact Jim Bankejim.firstname.lastname@example.org Related Terms
Aeronautics Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate Air Traffic Solutions Airspace Operations and Safety Program Drones & You System-Wide Safety View the full article
iss070e001602 (Oct. 2, 2023) — NASA astronaut and Expedition 70 Flight Engineer Jasmin Moghbeli works with the Advanced Resistive Exercise Device, or ARED, removing and replacing cables. The device uses adjustable resistive mechanisms to provide crew members a weight load while exercising to maintain muscle strength and mass in microgravity.NASAView the full article
Check out these Videos