[Spacetalk] https://www.nasa.gov/index.html

Gabe Gabrielle gabe at educatemotivate.com
Thu Sep 27 14:51:58 UTC 2018


hi all,

I am back from such an amazing week in Australia…I have concluded kids are the same all over the world…it was so interesting as we were getting ready for the first presentation in Australia I was wondering how the kids would respond…I looked at the audience of around 200 8 & 9 year olds sitting on a gym floor…it struck me how the kids are all the same…they sit the same way, they interface with their friends the same way, they really could have been any 8 & 9 year olds from any country…it was almost surreal... the kids new allot about space and were such a wonderful audience…

I’ve often shared with kids how the rovers get their names…we spoke about the Mars 2020 needs a name…now is theme to involve your students in a fun contest…I am sorry this is only open to kids in the US but there is also a contest for the European Rover…hopefully many of you will be able to participate in this...wishing you a wonderful day...we have to always remember to do our best, enjoy everything we do, live in the present, be appreciative of the good in our lives, let those we care about most know, make each day special, smile & have fun! hugs & love ya, Gabe
 A Schoolkid Will Name NASA's Next Mars Rover


This artist's illustration depicts NASA's Mars 2020 rover studying its surroundings. Mars 2020 is targeted for launch in July or August 2020 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA's next Mars rover will be named by a schoolkid, just like the agency's previous wheeled Red Planet explorers. The agency plans to run a naming competition for the vehicle, which is currently known as the Mars 2020 rover <https://www.space.com/26701-nasa-mars-2020-rover-explained-infographic.html>, during the 2019 school year, NASA officials announced today (Sept. 24). The contest will be open to U.S. students from kindergarten to 12th grade, who will be asked to write an essay explaining their choice. But the agency won't be running this operation by itself. NASA is asking "corporations, nonprofits and educational organizations involved in science and space exploration" to sponsor the contest. (If you work for one such group, you can read the proposal announcement here <https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=ca395f8321213396568a1cd9a2968dc3&tab=core&_cview=1>.) [NASA's Mars Rover 2020 Mission in Pictures (Gallery) <https://www.space.com/21900-nasa-mars-rover-2020-images.html>] We’ve been doing naming contests since the very first Mars rover back in 1997," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for the Science Mission Directorate at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., said in a statement <https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7242>. "Thousands of kids participate, and their enthusiasm for the contest and Mars is infectious.” That first Mars rover, Sojourner, was named by Vallery Ambroise, a Connecticut 12-year-old who wanted to honor 19th-century abolitionist and activist Sojourner Truth. Arizona third-grader Sofi Collis won the contest to name the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which landed on Mars three weeks apart in January 2004. And Kansas sixth-grader Clara Ma submitted the name "Curiosity" <https://www.space.com/13735-nasa-mars-rover-curiosity-clara-ma.html> for the car-size rover that has been exploring Mars' huge Gale Crater since August 2012. The Mars 2020 rover is based heavily on Curiosity, sharing the same chassis and the sky-crane landing system. Like Curiosity, Mars 2020 will assess ancient Mars' ability to host life. But the new robot will go a step further as well and hunt for signs of past life. Mars 2020 also carries some fancy new gadgets, including a technology demonstration that will generate oxygen from the Martian atmosphere <https://www.space.com/26705-nasa-2020-rover-mars-colony-tech.html> and a mini-helicopter that will fly scouting sorties. As its name suggests, Mars 2020 is scheduled to launch in 2020 — specifically, in July or August of that year.


Europe's Life-Hunting Mars Rover Needs a Name


Artist’s illustration of the ExoMars rover, which is expected to launch in 2020.
Credit: ESA
You can help name Europe's life-hunting Mars rover, if geography smiles upon you. The UK Space Agency has launched a public competition to name the U.K.-built ExoMars rover <https://www.space.com/39299-exomars-rover-could-discover-life-on-mars.html>, which is scheduled to launch toward the Red Planet on a life-hunting mission in 2020.  "Mars is a fascinating destination, a place where humans will one day work alongside robots to gather new knowledge and search for life in our solar system," European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Tim Peake, who announced the contest today (July 20) at the Farnborough International Airshow in England, said in a statement from ESA. [Photos: Europe's ExoMars Missions to Mars in Pictures <https://www.space.com/14564-exomars-missions-mars-exploration-images.html>] A European life-hunting rover will also launch toward the Red Planet in 2020, and that vehicle needs a name as well. The UK Space Agency is running a naming competition for the ExoMars rover <https://www.space.com/41242-europe-exomars-rover-naming-contest.html>; that contest, which runs through Oct. 10, is open to residents of European Space Agency (ESA) member states and "associate members." The European rover is the second phase of the two-part ExoMars program, which is led by ESA in partnership with Russia. Phase one delivered the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and a landing demonstrator called Schiaparelli to the Red Planet in 2016. Schiaparelli crashed, but TGO made it safely and is now hunting for methane and other potentially biologically interesting gases from Mars orbit.  "The ExoMars rover is a vital part of this journey of exploration, and we are asking you to become part of this exciting mission and name the rover that will scout the Martian surface," Peake added <http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/Name_Europe_s_robot_to_roam_and_search_for_life_on_Mars>. The contest is open only to residents of ESA member states and "associate members." So, you're eligible if you live in Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland or the U.K. The competition runs through Oct. 10. The person who submits the winning moniker (which, hopefully, won't be Rovey McRoverface <https://www.livescience.com/54112-boaty-mcboatface-poll-polar-research-vessel.html>) gets a tour of the Airbus facility in Stevenage, England, where the ExoMars rover is being built. To learn more or to enter, go to the contest site <https://events.airbus.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=200179103&>. https://events.airbus.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=200179103&


Commercial Crew Providers Believe They Now Meet NASA Safety Requirements

Officials with both Boeing and SpaceX believe their CST-100 Starliner (left) and Crew Dragon vehicles meet NASA safety thresholds they have been struggling to achieve for years.
Credit: Boeing/Space
ORLANDO — Boeing and SpaceX, who have been struggling to meet safety thresholds established by NASA for commercial crew vehicles, now believe <https://spacenews.com/commercial-crew-providers-believe-they-now-meet-nasa-safety-requirements/> their vehicles can meet those requirements as they prepare for test flights scheduled in the next several months. A key issue in the development of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and SpaceX's Crew Dragon has been their ability to meet a "loss-of-crew" requirement <https://www.space.com/37041-commercial-crew-vehicles-may-fall-short-of-> — a measure of the probability of death or permanent disability of one or more people on a spacecraft during a mission — of 1 in 270. The companies have faced problems meeting that requirement, significantly more stringent than that of the space shuttle. "The number one safety-related concern for the program is the current situation with respect to the estimate of loss of crew," Donald McErlean, a member of NASA's Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel, said at a meeting of the panel last year. The U.S. Government Accountability Office has also warned in reports that the companies were having problems meeting that loss-of-crew requirement. [Boeing's CST-100 Starliner: A 21st  <https://www.space.com/13309-cst-100-photos-boeing-private-space-capsule.html>Century Space Capsule in Photos <https://www.space.com/13309-cst-100-photos-boeing-private-space-capsule.html>]


Here Comes the Sun! Parker Solar Probe Instruments See 'First Light

These images, taken with Parker Solar Probe's WISPER inner and outer telescopes, show a view of the universe about 13 degrees off of that seen from Earth.
Credit: NASA/Naval Research Laboratory/Parker Solar Probe
As Parker Solar Probe prepares for an unprecedented close-up of the sun, the new spacecraft sent data home showing that all is well in the mission. The probe's instruments showed the band of the Milky Way and picked up evidence of the solar wind, the constant stream of particles emanating from the sun. The spacecraft will swoop close to the sun in November of 2018 and, over the course of seven years and many orbits, will take periodic close-ups of the sun <https://www.space.com/40437-parker-solar-probe.html> and zoom by Venus several times. Parker will come within 4 million miles (6.4 million kilometers) of the sun on its closest orbit; that's more than eight times closer than the planet Mercury gets to the sun. One big mystery that Parker may help shed light on, so to speak, is why the sun's corona (or upper atmosphere) is so much hotter <https://www.space.com/41398-how-hot-is-sun-corona.html> than the layers below. The corona's temperature ranges from 1.7 million degrees Fahrenheit (1 million degrees Celsius) to more than 17 million degrees F (10 million degrees C), according to the National Solar Observatory <https://eclipse2017.nso.edu/corona/>. By contrast, the photosphere or "surface" of the sun <https://www.space.com/17137-how-hot-is-the-sun.html> reaches roughly 10,000 degrees F (5,500 degrees C). [In Photos: NASA's Parker Solar Probe in the Clean Room <https://www.space.com/40189-parker-solar-probe-photos.html>]

Astronauts Going to Mars Will Absorb Crazy Amounts of Radiation. Now We Know How Much

An artist's depiction of ESA's Trace Gas Orbiter at work around Mars.
Credit: D. Ducros/ESA

There are plenty of challenges <https://www.space.com/28557-how-to-live-on-mars.html> to putting people on Mars, whether you look at the rocket, the astronaut or the planet itself. New data from one of the many spacecraft at work around Mars confirm just how dangerous a round-trip human journey <https://www.space.com/21353-space-radiation-mars-mission-threat.html> would be by measuring the amount of radiation an astronaut would experience <https://www.space.com/40006-space-radiation-worse-than-expected.html>. Cosmic radiation is made up of incredibly tiny particles moving incredibly fast, nearly at the speed of light — the sort of phenomenon a human body isn't very well equipped to withstand <https://www.space.com/34361-cosmic-radiation-may-damage-brains.html>. That radiation travels across all of space, but Earth's atmosphere buffers us from the worst of its impacts. That means the farther away from Earth's surface you go, the more cosmic radiation your body absorbs. [Space Radiation Threat to Astronauts Explained (Infographic) <https://www.space.com/21353-space-radiation-mars-mission-threat.html>]. By the time you're traveling to and from Mars, that gets to be a very big problem. "Radiation doses accumulated by astronauts in interplanetary space would be several hundred times larger than the doses accumulated by humans over the same time period on Earth, and several times larger than the doses of astronauts and cosmonauts working on the International Space Station," Jordanka Semkova, a physicist at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and lead scientist on the new research, said in a statement <http://www.europlanet-eu.org/epsc-2018-exomars-highlights-radiation-risk-for-mars-astronauts-and-watches-as-dust-storm-subsides/>. "Our results show that the journey itself would provide very significant exposure for the astronauts to radiation.” Those results are based on data from the European Space Agency's Trace Gas Orbiter, a spacecraft that has been circling the Red Planet since 2016. One of the instruments it carries is a dosimeter, which has been taking measurements throughout the orbiter's journey. According to the team behind the new research, those measurements show that just getting to and from Mars would expose astronauts to at least 60 percent of the current recommended maximum career exposure. What precisely that recommended maximum is varies with sex and age <https://www.nasa.gov/pdf/284273main_Radiation_HS_Mod1.pdf>, but it ranges from 1 sievert for a 25-year-old woman to 4 sieverts for a 55-year-old man. (The measurement of sieverts already accounts for differences in weight.) But 60 percent just for the round-trip is particularly concerning, since presumably the point of going to Mars is to spend at least a little time on the planet's surface — ideally, without overdosing on radiation. Email Meghan Bartels at mbartels at space.com <mailto:mbartels at space.com> or follow her @meghanbartels <https://twitter.com/meghanbartels>. Follow us @Spacedotcom <http://twitter.com/spacedotcom>, Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spacecom/17610706465> and Google+ <https://plus.google.com/b/109556515093730290049/109556515093730290049>. Original article on Space.com <https://www.space.com/41887-mars-radiation-too-much-for-astronauts.html>.

Planet Earth Wobbles As It Spins, and Now Scientists Know Why

Credit: Volodymyr Goinyk/Shutterstock
Humans are responsible for some of the wobble in Earth's spin. Since 1899, the Earth's axis of spin has shifted about 34 feet (10.5 meters). Now, research quantifies the reasons why and finds that a third is due to melting ice and rising sea levels, particularly in Greenland — placing the blame on the doorstep of anthropogenic climate change <https://www.livescience.com/37003-global-warming.html>. Another third of the wobble is due to land masses expanding upward as the glaciers retreat and lighten their load. The final portion is the fault of the slow churn of the mantle, the viscous middle layer of the planet.


NASA's New Planet-Hunting Telescope Spots Its Second Possible World Already

An artist's depiction of the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite at work spotting exoplanets.
Credit: NASA
Scientists poring over data from NASA's newest planet-hunting telescope have announced that they've spotted a second possible planet, just three days after <https://www.space.com/41882-nasa-tess-first-exoplanet-evaporating-super-earth.html> many of the same team members announced their first find. The two potential planets are the beginning of a discovery bonanza that scientists have calculated may hit 10,000 worlds <https://www.space.com/41414-how-many-exoplanets-will-tess-discover.html> within just two years. Both come from the first month of observation time from the instrument — called the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) — which changes position each month to better survey the sky. "A second @NASA_TESS candidate planet has been discovered!" scientists with the mission announced on Twitter Thursday <https://twitter.com/NASA_TESS/status/1042773553777664000> (Sept. 20). Slightly bigger than Earth, this planet orbits LHS 3844, a M dwarf star 49 light-years away, every 11 hours. This find is being reviewed by other scientists, and we're looking forward to studying this cool "hot Earth." [NASA's TESS Exoplanet-Hunting Mission in Pictures <https://www.space.com/40182-nasa-tess-exoplanet-mission-images.html>]. TESS works by staring at a field of stars to monitor their brightness. If those stars host planets that line up in just the right way to slip between the telescope and a star, the instrument registers a slight dip in brightness as the planet blocks the star. By watching several of those events, called transits, scientists can calculate the size of the planet and the length of its year. The newly spotted planet candidate is orbiting a star called LHS 3844, a small, faint star called a red dwarf. That makes the new world one of the closest known exoplanets to Earth, as LHS 3844 is 49 light-years away, the scientists reported in a new study. On this strange world <https://www.space.com/40357-nasa-tess-mission-habitable-exoplanets-kavli-roundtable.html>, which is about a third again as large as Earth, a year lasts just 11 hours. That short year means the planet is uncomfortably close to its star, so it likely experiences too much radiation and solar flares for the planet to be habitable, the authors wrote.



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