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      Official NASA’s SpaceX Crew-9 portraits with Zena Cardman, Nick Hague, Stephanie Wilson and Aleksandr Gorbunov. Credit: NASA Media accreditation now is open for the launch of NASA’s ninth rotational mission of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft that will carry astronauts to the International Space Station for a science expedition. This mission is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
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      U.S. media, international media without U.S. citizenship, and U.S. citizens representing international media organizations must apply by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, July 31. All accreditation requests must be submitted online at:
      https://media.ksc.nasa.gov
      NASA’s media accreditation policy is online. For questions about accreditation or special logistical requests, email: ksc-media-accreditat@mail.nasa.gov. Requests for space for satellite trucks, tents, or electrical connections are due by Thursday, Aug. 1.
      For other questions, please contact NASA 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: 321-501-8425, o Messod Bendayan: 256-930-1371.
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      Joshua Finch / Claire O’Shea
      Headquarters, Washington
      202-358-1100
      joshua.a.finch@nasa.gov / claire.a.o’shea@nasa.gov
      Steve Siceloff / Danielle Sempsrott / Stephanie Plucinsky
      Kennedy Space Center, Florida
      321-867-2468
      steven.p.siceloff@nasa.gov / danielle.c.sempsrott@nasa.gov / stephanie.n.plucinsky@nasa.gov
      Leah Cheshier
      Johnson Space Center, Houston
      281-483-5111
      leah.d.cheshier@nasa.gov
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      Video: 00:45:00 Replay of the press conference held in Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana with ESA, ArianeGroup, CNES and Arianespace representatives providing updates on the first mission of Ariane 6. 
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      Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)
      NASA’s Break the Ice Lunar Challenge will conclude with a final competition, open to the public and media, this June in Huntsville, Alabama.NASA NASA will announce the winners of the final phase of its Break the Ice Lunar Challenge on Wednesday, June 12 at Alabama A&M University’s (AAMU) Agribition Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The challenge aims to develop new technologies that could support a sustained human presence on the Moon by the end of the decade.
      Media and the public are invited to watch the six finalists test their robots in live competitions. Opening remarks from NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center leadership in Huntsville will begin at 8 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, June 11. Teams will compete from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day during the two-day event, with the winner announcement at 5 p.m. in a ceremony on June 12 at the Agribition Center.
      Media interested in covering the event should confirm their attendance with Jonathan Deal by 3 p.m. Monday, June 10, at jonathan.e.deal@nasa.gov.
      Each team will focus on mastering two components during the two-day event: excavation and transportation. Six identically sized concrete slabs, measuring about 300 cubic feet, will be placed inside the arena for the finalists’ robots to dig. The slabs will have qualities like the icy regolith found in permanently shadowed craters at the Moon’s South Pole. A gravity-offloading crane system will apply the counterweights on the excavating robots to simulate the one-sixth gravity experienced on the Moon.
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      The awards ceremony will be livestreamed on Marshall YouTube and NASA Prize Facebook.
      Since 2020, competitors have worked to design, build, and test icy regolith excavation and transportation technologies for near-term lunar missions that address key operational elements and environmental constraints. The six finalists who succeeded in Phase 2: Level 2 of the challenge were announced in December 2023.
      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.
      Located a few miles east of the AAMU campus, the Agribition (“agriculture” plus “exhibition”) Center is managed by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System with support from AAMU and its College of Agricultural, Life, and Natural Sciences.
      The Break the Ice Lunar Challenge is a NASA Centennial Challenge led by the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center, supported by NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Centennial Challenges are part of the Prizes, Challenges, and Crowdsourcing program led by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and managed at NASA Marshall. Ensemble Consultancy supports the management of competitors for this challenge.
      Learn more about Break the Ice.
      Jonathan Deal
      Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala. 
      256-544-0034  
      jonathan.e.deal@nasa.gov 
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