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NASA has selected Dana Weigel as the International Space Station Program manager, based at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Weigel succeeds Joel Montalbano, who has accepted a position as deputy associate administrator for the agency’s Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.Credits: NASA NASA has selected Dana Weigel as the International Space Station Program manager, based at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Weigel succeeds Joel Montalbano, who has accepted a position as deputy associate administrator for the agency’s Space Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. Both positions will be effective April 7.
“Dana is an excellent choice to lead the space station program during this remarkably busy time in human spaceflight, especially aboard humanity’s home in orbit,” said Ken Bowersox, NASA’s associate administrator for space operations. “With Dana continuing her contributions to space station, Joel will bring his experience to the Space Operations directorate. NASA will continue to benefit from their human spaceflight knowledge as we maintain our unique capabilities in orbit and prepare for the future of the agency’s operations in space.”
Weigel will bring 20 years of NASA experience to her new role. She’s currently serving as the agency’s deputy program manager for the International Space Station since 2021. As program manager, Weigel will be responsible for the overall management, development, integration, and operation of the orbital complex. She also has served in a number of key positions at NASA, including as the manager of the Space Station Vehicle Office from 2014 to 2021, where she was responsible for sustaining, sparing and developing systems and payload facility hardware, managing the risks, and integrating commercial and international partner elements into the International Space Station. She served as deputy chief of the Flight Director Office from 2012 through 2014 and was a flight director from 2004 to 2014. Weigel began her career with Barrios Technology in 1994 and became a NASA civil servant in 2004.
A native of Baltimore, Weigel holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University. Throughout her career, Weigel has been recognized for achievements including the Astronauts’ Silver Snoopy Award in 2002; NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal in 2006, 2010 and 2011; Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2008; Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2010; Silver Achievement Medal in 2014; and Distinguished Service Medal in 2022. She was also recognized as a Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Stellar award recipient in 2000 and 2007.
“Dana’s depth of expertise and International Space Station Program experience will be instrumental as we continue to explore low Earth orbit for the benefit of all humanity,” said Johnson Center Director Vanessa Wyche. “On behalf of NASA Johnson, we are proud of Joel’s contributions and dedication to mission excellence and look forward to his accomplishments as Space Operations Mission Directorate’s deputy associate administrator.”
Montalbano will lend his vast experience to meet the nation’s goals of establishing a low Earth orbit economy and to maintain America’s leadership space. He has served as International Space Station Program manager since 2020. Prior to that, he was the deputy program manager since 2012. Montalbano began his career at Rockwell in June 1988 and became a NASA civil servant in August 1998, serving in a number of roles, including as a NASA flight director from 2000 to 2008.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. Throughout his career, Montalbano has earned multiple NASA awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal in 2018. He received NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal in 2003 and 2007, Outstanding Leadership Medal in 2004, and the Superior Accomplishment Award in 2007. He also was awarded the Astronauts’ Silver Snoopy Award and the American Astronomical Society’s Advancement of International Cooperation Award. In 2012, he was awarded Rank of Meritorious Executive, conferred by the President of the United States. Montalbano also has earned the Boy Scouts of America rank of Eagle Scout.
The International Space Station is a hub for scientific research and technology demonstration. NASA and its partners continue to maximize use of the space station for research, where astronauts have lived and worked continuously for more than 23 years.
The Space Operations Mission Directorate, which oversees the International Space Station Program, helps maintain a continuous human presence in space for the benefit of people on Earth. The programs within the directorate are the heart of NASA’s exploration efforts, enabling Artemis, commercial space, science, and other agency missions through communication, launch services, research capabilities, and crew support.
For more information about the International Space Station, visit:
Last Updated Feb 26, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
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By European Space Agency
Video: 00:03:29 Mission complete. ESA’s second European Remote Sensing (ERS-2) satellite has reentered Earth’s atmosphere over the North Pacific Ocean. The satellite returned at 18:17 CET (17:17 UTC) between Alaska and Hawaii.
ERS-2 was launched almost 30 years ago, on 21 April 1995. Together with ERS-1, it provided invaluable long-term data on Earth’s land surfaces, ocean temperatures, ozone layer and polar ice extent that revolutionised our understanding of the Earth system.
ERS-2’s reentry was ‘natural’. ESA used the last of its fuel, emptied its batteries and lowered the satellite from its altitude of 785 km to 573 km. This reduced the risk of collision with other satellites and space debris. As a result, it was not possible to control ERS-2 at any point during its reentry and the only force driving its descent was unpredictable atmospheric drag.
As well as leaving a remarkable legacy of data that still continue to advance science, this outstanding mission set the stage for many of today’s satellites and ESA’s position at the forefront of Earth observation.
The ERS-2 reentry is part of ESA's wider efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability of space activities. These include ESA's Clean Space initiative which promotes the development of new technologies for more sustainable space missions in collaboration with the wider European space community, as well as the Zero Debris Approach, which will even further reduce the debris left in both Earth and lunar orbits by future missions.
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Meet the Creators, Part 4: Two New 2024 Total Eclipse Posters
Total solar eclipses reveal the Sun’s outer atmosphere – the corona – a white, wispy halo of solar material that flows out from around the Sun. This atmosphere is breathtaking as it glows in the sky for viewers on Earth, surrounding the dark disk of the Moon. In addition to revealing this normally hidden part of our Sun, the eclipse also darkens the sky, changes shadows, and cools the air. It can feel like living inside a piece of art.
Artists have captured the magical appearance of eclipses for over a thousand years. For the upcoming total solar eclipse crossing North America on April 8, 2024, two artists have contributed new posters to NASA’s eclipse poster series.
Dongjae “Krystofer” Kim
Download the poster here. NASA/Dongjae “Krystofer” Kim Dongjae “Krystofer” Kim is a Senior Science Animator at the Conceptual Image Lab at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design and a Master of Business Administration and Master of Arts from the Design Leadership program at the Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art and the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. He combines various art and design disciplines, including fine arts, graphic design, creative coding, animation, and design research to help tell NASA’s story.
Where did you get inspiration for the eclipse poster?
“I was contemplating how the eclipse is an event that is beyond human scale physically and chronologically. It will look differently outside of my myopic view from this planet and it will occur after I am gone for many years to come. With this perspective, I thought of how future space explorations with permanent settlements on the Moon will view this event. While searching for scientific references, I remembered a video piece by our own NASA Goddard media team ‘An EPIC View of the Moon’s Shadow During the June 10 Solar Eclipse’ in 2021 and used it as a visual reference.”
What inspired you to become an artist?
“My inspiration came via Pixar and Ghibli animated films and shows I watched as a child. Despite being a little dyslexic Korean kid, I was welcomed into the world of each story. I found it magical that artists could seemingly create everything from nothing or something fantastical from mundane ideas and objects. And I loved that art enables you to communicate your own ideas as well as learn about others creating common ground.”
Want to explore this artwork more? An animated version of this poster is available to download.
Download the poster here. NASA/Genna Duberstein Genna Duberstein is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated multimedia producer and graphic designer who specializes in both making and marketing content. Her work has been shown internationally, aired on PBS, and has been featured in many outlets, including The New York Times, Vanity Fair, WIRED, The Atlantic, and National Geographic. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from American University and a Bachelor of Arts from The Ohio State University.
Where did you get inspiration for the eclipse poster?
“During the 2017 total solar eclipse, my parents sent me a picture of themselves, smiling in eclipse glasses and sitting on their front stoop with their dog. It was such a goofy, happy picture, I wanted to capture that same spirit for the poster. I have a dog of my own now – a goofy, happy American foxhound mix – and he proved to be the perfect model for the total eclipse poster. There’s no denying an eclipse can be an awe-inspiring event, but it can be just plain fun too!”
What inspired you to become an artist?
“I can’t help it! I’ve always made things, and I’ve been very fortunate to have had support along the way. My parents enrolled me in my first art class at four, and they encouraged me to submit work to art contests all through elementary and high school. Portfolio-based scholarships and commissioned portrait work helped me pay for college. To this day, I’m incredibly lucky to have had a career where I can be creative, and I am thankful for all the people who have made it possible.”
Have an idea for how to put your own spin on this poster? This artwork is also available as a downloadable coloring sheet.
By Abbey Interrante
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
Shadow Notes Blog
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Teams at NASA’s Stennis Space Center install a new RS-25 engine nozzle in early February in preparation for continued testing on the Fred Haise Test Stand. NASA is conducting a series of tests to certify production of new RS-25 engines for future (Space Launch System) missions, beginning with Artemis V.NASA/Danny Nowlin NASA will conduct an RS-25 hot fire Friday, Feb. 23, moving one step closer to production of new engines that will help power the agency’s SLS (Space Launch System) rocket on future Artemis missions to the Moon and beyond.
Teams at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, are set to begin the second half of a 12-test RS-25 certification series on the Fred Haise Test Stand, following installation of a second production nozzle on the engine.
Teams at NASA’s Stennis Space Center install a new RS-25 engine nozzle in early February in preparation for continued testing on the Fred Haise Test Stand. NASA is conducting a series of tests to certify production of new RS-25 engines for future (Space Launch System) missions, beginning with Artemis V.NASA/Danny Nowlin Teams at NASA’s Stennis Space Center install a new RS-25 engine nozzle in early February in preparation for continued testing on the Fred Haise Test Stand. NASA is conducting a series of tests to certify production of new RS-25 engines for future (Space Launch System) missions, beginning with Artemis V.NASA/Danny Nowlin The six remaining hot fires are part of the second, and final, test series collecting data to certify an updated engine production process, using innovative manufacturing techniques, for lead engines contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne, an L3Harris Technologies company.
As NASA aims to establish a long-term presence on the Moon for scientific discovery and exploration, and prepare for future missions to Mars, new engines will incorporate dozens of improvements to make production more efficient and affordable while maintaining high performance and reliability.
Four RS-25 engines, along with a pair of solid rocket boosters, launch NASA’s powerful SLS rocket, producing more than 8.8 million pounds of thrust at liftoff for Artemis missions.
During the seventh test of the 12-test series, operators plan to fire the certification engine for 550 seconds and up to a 113% power level.
“NASA’s commitment to safety and ‘testing like you fly’ is on display as we plan to fire the engine beyond 500 seconds, which is the same amount of time the engines must fire to help launch the SLS rocket to space with astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft,” said Chip Ellis, project manager for RS-25 testing at Stennis.
The Feb. 23 test features a second certification engine nozzle to allow engineers to gather additional performance data on the upgraded unit. The new nozzle was installed on the engine earlier this month while it remained at the test stand. Using specially adapted procedures and tools, the teams were able to swap out the nozzles with the engine in place.
Teams at NASA’s Stennis Space Center install a new RS-25 engine nozzle in early February in preparation for continued testing on the Fred Haise Test Stand. NASA is conducting a series of tests to certify production of new RS-25 engines for future (Space Launch System) missions, beginning with Artemis V.NASA/Danny Nowlin In early February 2024, teams at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, completed an RS-25 nozzle remove-and-replace procedure as part of an ongoing hot fire series on the Fred Haise Test Stand. The new nozzle will allow engineers to collect and compare performance data on a second production unit. The RS-25 nozzle, which directs engine thrust, is the most labor-intensive component on the engine and the hardest to manufacture, said Shawn Buckley, Aerojet Rocketdyne’s RS-25 nozzle integrated product team lead.
Aerojet Rocketdyne has focused on streamlining the nozzle production process. Between manufacture of the first and second production units, the company reduced hands-on labor by 17%.
“The nozzle is a work of machinery and work of art at the same time,” Buckley said. “Our team sees this nozzle as more than a piece of hardware. We see the role we play in the big picture as we return humans to the Moon.”
With completion of the certification test series, all systems will be “go” to produce the first new RS-25 engines since the space shuttle era. NASA has contracted with Aerojet Rocketdyne to produce 24 new RS-25 engines using the updated design for missions beginning with Artemis V. NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne modified 16 former space shuttle missions for use on Artemis missions I through IV.
Through Artemis, NASA will establish the foundation for long-term scientific exploration at the Moon, land the first woman, first person of color, and first international partner astronaut on the lunar surface, and prepare for human expeditions to Mars for the benefit of all.
Last Updated Feb 22, 2024 EditorNASA Stennis CommunicationsContactC. Lacy Thompsoncalvin.email@example.com / (228) 688-3333LocationStennis Space Center Related Terms
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By European Space Agency
Video: 00:15:00 Tracking ice lost from the world’s glaciers, ice sheets and frozen land shows that Earth is losing ice at an accelerating rate. Monitoring the cryosphere is crucial for assessing, predicting and adapting to climate change.
The Copernicus Polar Ice and Snow Topography Altimeter (CRISTAL) mission will provide a full picture of the changes taking place in some of the most inhospitable regions of the world. It will carry – for the first time – a dual-frequency radar altimeter, and microwave radiometer, that will measure and monitor sea-ice thickness, overlying snow depth and ice-sheet elevations.
These data will support maritime operations in the polar oceans and contribute to a better understanding of climate processes. CRISTAL will also support applications related to coastal and inland waters, as well as providing observations of ocean topography.
CRISTAL is one of six Copernicus Sentinel Expansion missions that ESA is developing on behalf of the EU. The missions will expand the current capabilities of the Copernicus Space Component – the world’s biggest supplier of Earth observation data.
This video features interviews with Kristof Gantois, CRISTAL Project Manager and Paolo Cipollini, CRISTAL Mission Scientist.
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