Members Can Post Anonymously On This Site
By Amazing Space
NASA LIVE Views From The International Space Station ISS
An Historic Delivery to the Moon’s South Pole on This Week @NASA – March 1, 2024
NASA Science Live: Our First Commercial Science Delivery to the Moon
For the first time in more than 50 years, NASA was able to collect data from new science instruments and technology demonstrations on the Moon. The data comes from the first successful landing of a delivery through NASA’s CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) initiative and Artemis campaign.
The six instruments ceased science and technology operations eight days after landing in the lunar South Pole region aboard Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus, meeting pre-launch projected mission operations. Known as IM-1, this was the first U.S. soft landing on the Moon in decades, touching down on Feb. 22, proving commercial vendors can deliver instruments designed to expand the scientific and technical knowledge on the Moon.
Aboard the lunar lander, NASA science instruments measured the radio noise generated by the Earth and Sun. Technology instruments, aided Intuitive Machines in navigating to the Moon and gathered distance and speed (velocity) of the lander as touched down on the lunar surface.
“This mission includes many firsts. This is the first time in over 50 years that an American organization has landed instruments on the surface of the Moon,” said Joel Kearns, deputy association administrator for exploration of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “This mission also provides evidence of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services model, that NASA can purchase the service of sending instruments to the Moon and receiving their data back. Congratulations to the entire Intuitive Machines team and our NASA scientists and engineers for this next leap to advance exploration and our understanding of Earth’s nearest neighbor.”
During transit from Earth to the Moon, all powered NASA instruments received data and completed transit checkouts.
During descent, the Radio Frequency Mass Gauge and Navigation Doppler Lidar collected data during the lander’s powered descent and landing. After landing, NASA payload data was acquired consistent with the communications and other constraints resulting from the lander orientation. During surface operations, the Radio-wave Observations at the Lunar Surface of the Photoelectron Sheath and Lunar Node-1 were powered on, performed surface operations, and have received data. The Stereo Cameras for Lunar Plume-Surface Studies was powered on and captured images during transit and several days after landing but was not successfully commanded to capture images of the lander rocket plume interaction with the lunar surface during landing. The Laser Retroreflector Array is passive and initial estimates suggest it is accessible for laser ranging from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter to create a permanent location marker on the Moon. “The bottom line is every NASA instrument has met some level of their objectives, and we are very excited about that,” said Sue Lederer, project scientist for CLPS. “We all worked together and it’s the people who really made a difference and made sure we overcame challenges to this incredible success – and that is where we are at today, with successes for all of our instruments.”
NASA and Intuitive Machines co-hosted a news conference non Feb. 28 to provide a status update on the six NASA instruments that collected data on the IM-1 mission. Mission challenges and successes were discussed during the briefing, including more than approximately 500 megabytes of science, technology, and spacecraft data downloaded and ready for analysis by NASA and Intuitive Machines.
The first images from this historical mission are now available and showcase the orientation of the lander along with a view of the South Pole region on the Moon. Odysseus is gently leaning into the lunar surface, preserving the ability to return scientific data. After successful transmission of images to Earth, Intuitive Machines continues to gain additional insight into Odysseus’ position on the lunar surface. All data gathered from this mission will aid Intuitive Machines in their next two CLPS contracts that NASA has previously awarded.
For more information about the agency’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative, visit:
Odysseus’ landing captured a leg, as it performed its primary task, absorbing first contact with the lunar surface. With the lander’s liquid methane and liquid oxygen engine still throttling, it provided stability.Credit: Intuitive Machines Taken on Tuesday, Feb. 27, Odysseus captured an image using its narrow-field-of-view camera.Credit: Intuitive Machines Keep Exploring Discover More Topics From NASA
Commercial Lunar Payload Services
Humans In Space
View the full article
Some 74,000 years ago, the Toba volcano in Indonesia exploded with a force 1,000 times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. The mystery is what happened after that – namely, to what degree that extreme explosion might have cooled global temperatures.
Crew aboard the International Space Station photographed the eruption of Mount Etna in Sicily in October 2002. Ashfall was reported more than 350 miles away. When it comes to explosive power, however, no eruption in modern times can compare with a super eruption – which hasn’t occurred for tens of thousands of years. NASA When it comes to the most powerful volcanoes, researchers have long speculated how post-eruption global cooling – sometimes called volcanic winter – could potentially pose a threat to humanity. Previous studies agreed that some planet-wide cooling would occur but diverged on how much. Estimates have ranged from 3.6 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit (2 to 8 degrees Celsius).
In a new study in the Journal of Climate, a team from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and Columbia University in New York used advanced computer modeling to simulate super-eruptions like the Toba event. They found that post-eruption cooling would probably not exceed 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 degrees Celsius) for even the most powerful blasts.
“The relatively modest temperature changes we found most compatible with the evidence could explain why no single super-eruption has produced firm evidence of global-scale catastrophe for humans or ecosystems,” said lead author Zachary McGraw, a researcher at NASA GISS and Columbia University.
To qualify as a super eruption, a volcano must release more than 240 cubic miles (1,000 cubic kilometers) of magma. These eruptions are extremely powerful – and rare. The most recent super-eruption occurred more than 22,000 years ago in New Zealand. The best-known example may be the eruption that blasted Yellowstone Crater in Wyoming about 2 million years ago.
Small Particles, Big Questions
McGraw and colleagues set out to understand what was driving the divergence in model temperature estimates because “models are the main tool for understanding climate shifts that happened too long ago to leave clear records of their severity.” They settled on a variable that can be difficult to pin down: the size of microscopic sulfur particles injected miles high into the atmosphere.
In the stratosphere (about 6 to 30 miles in altitude), sulfur dioxide gas from volcanoes undergoes chemical reactions to condense into liquid sulfate particles. These particles can influence surface temperature on Earth in two counteracting ways: by reflecting incoming sunlight (causing cooling) or by trapping outgoing heat energy (a kind of greenhouse warming effect).
Over the years, this cooling phenomenon has also spurred questions about how humans might turn back global warming – a concept called geoengineering – by intentionally injecting aerosol particles into the stratosphere to promote a cooling effect.
The researchers showed to what extent the diameter of the volcanic aerosol particles influenced post-eruption temperatures. The smaller and denser the particles, the greater their ability to block sunlight. But estimating the size of particles is challenging because previous super eruptions have not left reliable physical evidence. In the atmosphere, the size of the particles changes as they coagulate and condense. Even when particles fall back to Earth and are preserved in ice cores, they don’t leave a clear-cut physical record because of mixing and compaction.
By simulating super-eruptions over a range of particle sizes, the researchers found that super-eruptions may be incapable of altering global temperatures dramatically more than the largest eruptions of modern times. For instance, the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines caused about a half-degree drop in global temperatures for two years.
Luis Millán, an atmospheric scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California who was not involved in the study, said that the mysteries of super-eruption cooling invite more research. He said the way forward is to conduct a comprehensive comparison of models, as well as more laboratory and model studies on the factors determining volcanic aerosol particle sizes.
Given the ongoing uncertainties, Millán added, “To me, this is another example of why geoengineering via stratospheric aerosol injection is a long, long way from being a viable option.”
The study, titled “Severe Global Cooling After Volcanic Super-Eruptions? The Answer Hinges on Unknown Aerosol Size,” was published in the Journal of Climate.
By Sally Younger
Earth Science News Team
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
Last Updated Mar 01, 2024 LocationJet Propulsion Laboratory Related Terms
Earth Earth's Atmosphere General View the full article
Check out these Videos