July 25, 2017

NASA, Techshot And Tupperware Brands Team Up To Improve Plant Growth Aboard ISS

July 25, 2017 – The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Techshot Inc., and Tupperware Brands Corporation (Tupperware) are jointly developing an improved system for growing plants aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Since 2014, astronaut farmers aboard the ISS have been growing a variety of leafy vegetables and colorful flowers inside the Vegetable Production System, otherwise known as the ‘Veggie’ facility. However, NASA is always seeking to improve upon existing technologies, while reducing its need for resources such as crew time. Read More


Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

July 25, 2017 – Although the rings lack the many colors of the rainbow, they arc across the sky of Saturn. From equatorial locations on the planet, they’d appear very thin since they would be seen edge-on. Closer to the poles, the rings would appear much wider; in some locations (for parts of the Saturn’s year), they would even block the sun for part of each day. Read More

Large, Distant Comets More Common Than Previously Thought

This illustration shows how scientists used data from NASA’s WISE spacecraft to determine the nucleus sizes of comets. They subtracted a model of how dust and gas behave in comets in order to obtain the core size. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

July 25, 2017 – Comets that take more than 200 years to make one revolution around the Sun are notoriously difficult to study. Because they spend most of their time far from our area of the solar system, many “long-period comets” will never approach the Sun in a person’s lifetime. In fact, those that travel inward from the Oort Cloud — a group of icy bodies beginning roughly 186 billion miles (300 billion kilometers) away from the Sun — can have periods of thousands or even millions of years. Read More

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Three Up, Three Down – NASA Tests RS-25 Flight Controller
Source: NASA

In the heart of baseball season, NASA completed its equivalent of a clean inning, successfully testing the third RS-25 flight controller for use on the new Space Launch System (SLS) deep space rocket. Engineers conducted a 500-second test of RS-25 Engine Controller Unit No. 5 on the A-1 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, July 25, 2017.

NASA’s Venus Chamber Breaks Record With Completion Of 80-Day Test
Source: NASA

After an 80-day test at Venus surface conditions and a two-week cooling period, samples were removed from Glenn’s Extreme Environments Rig (GEER) at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, July 13, nearly doubling the facility’s previous duration record of 42 days. This new record puts researchers one step closer to understanding the effect a long-duration exposure to Venus’ atmosphere has on materials. With this knowledge, technology can be developed to allow for future missions to our sister planet.

Landsat ‘Sees In The Dark’ The Evolution Of Antarctica’s Delaware-Sized Iceberg
Source: NASA

As Antarctica remains shrouded in darkness during the Southern Hemisphere winter, the Thermal Infrared Sensor (TIRS) on Landsat 8 captured a new snap of the 2,240-square-mile iceberg that split off from the Antarctic Peninsula’s Larsen C ice shelf on July 10-12. The satellite imagery is a composite of Landsat 8 as it passed on July 14 and July 21 and shows that the main berg, A-68, has already lost several smaller pieces. The A-68 iceberg is being carried by currents northward out of its embayment on the Larsen C ice shelf. The latest imagery also details a group of three small, not yet released icebergs at the north end of the embayment.

Investigation Tests New Methods Of Water Recycling In Space
Source: NASA

Sometimes the best solution to a complex problem is the simplest one. That’s the approach that the Capillary Structures for Exploration Life Support (Capillary Structures) team took when designing the fluid physics investigation aboard the International Space Station. The Capillary Structures investigation uses capillary action, or the ability for a liquid to flow through a narrow spaces, such as small tubes, to move liquids and gases in microgravity, a task that can’t be tested in Earth’s gravity environment.

Looking Back At Viking, The First Mission To Mars
Source: New Scientist

Forty years ago, the Viking mission set the stage for real science in space – and without a human in sight. The Smithsonian pays tribute.

Art Richmond Honored At The 2017 CEDAR Summer Workshop
Source: UCAR/HAO

Art Richmond was awarded the 2017 Coupling Energetic Dynamics Atmospheric Research (CEDAR) Distinguished lecture for his fundamental contributions to upper atmosphere and ionosphere science over several decades. Art is a world-leading expert on ionospheric electrodynamics, and made key contributions to the CEDAR community through his work on the disturbance dynamo, electrodynamical coupling of the thermosphere and ionosphere system, wind dynamo effects at mid- and low-latitudes, the equatorial electrojet, the development of an empirical model of daytime electric fields, and the study of evening low-latitude electrodynamics.

Video: Space Station Crew Member Discusses Life In Space With Media Outlets
Source: NASA

Aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 52 Flight Engineer Jack Fischer of NASA discussed life and research on the complex during a pair of in-flight interviews July 25 with KOA Radio, Denver and KFI Radio, Los Angeles. Fischer is in the final weeks of a four and a half month mission on the outpost, headed for a return to Earth Sept. 3 aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

RS-25 Preparing For Another Hot Fire As SLS Flight Engines Line Up For EM-1
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

The RS-25 engine team is counting down to the next engine controller unit (ECU) hot-fire acceptance test on Tuesday in the A-1 test stand at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi. NASA, RS-25 prime contractor Aerojet Rocketdyne, and Stennis facilities contractor Syncom Space Services (S3) will perform a flight-duration test firing of Development Engine 0528 (E0528) with the third of four ECUs that are planned to fly on the first launch of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) launch vehicle.

NASA Downplaying Earth Science Cuts While Hoping For Reversal
Source: SpaceNews

As Senate appropriators prepare to mark up a NASA spending bill, agency officials are both downplaying the effects of proposed cuts on its Earth science program while also hoping the Senate reverses them.