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NASA

NASA’s Compact Infrared Cameras Enable New Science

NASA - Breaking News - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 2:09pm

A new, higher-resolution infrared camera outfitted with a variety of lightweight filters could probe sunlight reflected off Earth’s upper atmosphere and surface, improve forest fire warnings, and reveal the molecular composition of other planets.

The cameras use sensitive, high-resolution strained-layer superlattice sensors, initially developed at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, using IRAD, Internal Research and Development funding.

Their compact construction, low mass, and adaptability enable engineers like Tilak Hewagama to adapt them to the needs of a variety of sciences.

Goddard engineer Murzy Jhabvala holds the heart of his Compact Thermal Imager camera technology – a high-resolution, high-spectral range infrared sensor suitable for small satellites and missions to other solar-system objects.

“Attaching filters directly to the detector eliminates the substantial mass of traditional lens and filter systems,” Hewagama said. “This allows a low-mass instrument with a compact focal plane which can now be chilled for infrared detection using smaller, more efficient coolers. Smaller satellites and missions can benefit from their resolution and accuracy.”

Engineer Murzy Jhabvala led the initial sensor development at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, as well as leading today’s filter integration efforts.

Jhabvala also led the Compact Thermal Imager experiment on the International Space Station that demonstrated how the new sensor technology could survive in space while proving a major success for Earth science. More than 15 million images captured in two infrared bands earned inventors, Jhabvala, and NASA Goddard colleagues Don Jennings and Compton Tucker an agency Invention of the Year award for 2021.

The Compact Thermal Imager captured unusually severe fires in Australia from its perch on the International Space Station in 2019 and 2020. With its high resolution, detected the shape and location of fire fronts and how far they were from settled areas — information critically important to first responders. Credit: NASA

Data from the test provided detailed information about wildfires, better understanding of the vertical structure of Earth’s clouds and atmosphere, and captured an updraft caused by wind lifting off Earth’s land features called a gravity wave.

The groundbreaking infrared sensors use layers of repeating molecular structures to interact with individual photons, or units of light. The sensors resolve more wavelengths of infrared at a higher resolution: 260 feet (80 meters) per pixel from orbit compared to 1,000 to 3,000 feet (375 to 1,000 meters) possible with current thermal cameras.

The success of these heat-measuring cameras has drawn investments from NASA’s Earth Science Technology Office (ESTO), Small Business Innovation and Research, and other programs to further customize their reach and applications.

Jhabvala and NASA’s Advanced Land Imaging Thermal IR Sensor (ALTIRS) team are developing a six-band version for this year’s LiDAR, Hyperspectral, & Thermal Imager (G-LiHT) airborne project. This first-of-its-kind camera will measure surface heat and enable pollution monitoring and fire observations at high frame rates, he said.

NASA Goddard Earth scientist Doug Morton leads an ESTO project developing a Compact Fire Imager for wildfire detection and prediction.

“We’re not going to see fewer fires, so we’re trying to understand how fires release energy over their life cycle,” Morton said. “This will help us better understand the new nature of fires in an increasingly flammable world.”

CFI will monitor both the hottest fires which release more greenhouse gases and cooler, smoldering coals and ashes which produce more carbon monoxide and airborne particles like smoke and ash.

“Those are key ingredients when it comes to safety and understanding the greenhouse gases released by burning,” Morton said.

After they test the fire imager on airborne campaigns, Morton’s team envisions outfitting a fleet of 10 small satellites to provide global information about fires with more images per day.

Combined with next generation computer models, he said, “this information can help the forest service and other firefighting agencies prevent fires, improve safety for firefighters on the front lines, and protect the life and property of those living in the path of fires.”

Probing Clouds on Earth and Beyond

Outfitted with polarization filters, the sensor could measure how ice particles in Earth’s upper atmosphere clouds scatter and polarize light, NASA Goddard Earth scientist Dong Wu said.

This applications would complement NASA’s PACE — Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem — mission, Wu said, which revealed its first light images earlier this month. Both measure the polarization of light wave’s orientation in relation to the direction of travel from different parts of the infrared spectrum.

“The PACE polarimeters monitor visible and shortwave-infrared light,” he explained. “The mission will focus on aerosol and ocean color sciences from daytime observations. At mid- and long-infrared wavelengths, the new Infrared polarimeter would capture cloud and surface properties from both day and night observations.”

In another effort, Hewagama is working Jhabvala and Jennings to incorporate linear variable filters which provide even greater detail within the infrared spectrum. The filters reveal atmospheric molecules’ rotation and vibration as well as Earth’s surface composition.

That technology could also benefit missions to rocky planets, comets, and asteroids, planetary scientist Carrie Anderson said. She said they could identify ice and volatile compounds emitted in enormous plumes from Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

“They are essentially geysers of ice,” she said, “which of course are cold, but emit light within the new infrared sensor’s detection limits. Looking at the plumes against the backdrop of the Sun would allow us to identify their composition and vertical distribution very clearly.”

By Karl B. Hille

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Share Details Last Updated May 22, 2024 EditorKarl B. HilleContactKarl B. Hillekarl.b.hille@nasa.gov Related Terms Keep Exploring Discover More Topics From NASA Goddard Technology Innovations

Goddard's Office of the Chief Technologist oversees the center's technology research and development efforts and provides updates on the latest…

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Information and links for Goddard's IRAD and CIF technology research and development programs and other NASA tech development sources.

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Categories: NASA

NASA, IBM Research to Release New AI Model for Weather, Climate

NASA - Breaking News - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 1:19pm

4 min read

NASA, IBM Research to Release New AI Model for Weather, Climate With the Privthi-weather-climate foundational model, researchers will be able to support many climate applications that can be used throughout the science community. These applications include detecting and improving models for severe weather patterns or natural disasters such as hurricanes. NASA’s Terra satellite acquired this image of Idalia in August 2023. NASA Earth Observatory

By Jessica Barnett

Working together, NASA and IBM Research have developed a new artificial intelligence model to support a variety of weather and climate applications. The new model – known as the Privthi-weather-climate foundational model – uses artificial intelligence (AI) in ways that could vastly improve the resolution we’ll be able to get, opening the door to better regional and local weather and climate models.  

Foundational models are large-scale, base models which are trained on large, unlabeled datasets and can be fine-tuned for a variety of applications. The Privthi-weather-climate model is trained on a broad set of data – in this case NASA data from NASA’s Modern-Era Retrospective analysis for Research and Applications (MERRA-2)– and then makes use of AI learning abilities to apply patterns gleaned from the initial data across a broad range of additional scenarios.  

“Advancing NASA’s Earth science for the benefit of humanity means delivering actionable science in ways that are useful to people, organizations, and communities. The rapid changes we’re witnessing on our home planet demand this strategy to meet the urgency of the moment,” said Karen St. Germain, director of the Earth Science Division of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. “The NASA foundation model will help us produce a tool that people can use: weather, seasonal and climate projections to help inform decisions on how to prepare, respond and mitigate.”  

With the Privthi-weather-climate model, researchers will be able to support many different climate applications that can be used throughout the science community. These applications include detecting and predicting severe weather patterns or natural disasters, creating targeted forecasts based on localized observations, improving spatial resolution on global climate simulations down to regional levels, and improving the representation of how physical processes are included in weather and climate models.

“These transformative AI models are reshaping data accessibility by significantly lowering the barrier of entry to using NASA’s scientific data,” said Kevin Murphy, NASA’s chief science data officer, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters. “Our open approach to sharing these models invites the global community to explore and harness the capabilities we’ve cultivated, ensuring that NASA’s investment enriches and benefits all.” 

Privthi-weather-climate was developed through an open collaboration with IBM Research, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and NASA, including the agency’s Interagency Implementation and Advanced Concepts Team (IMPACT) at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. 

Privthi-weather-climate can capture the complex dynamics of atmospheric physics even when there is missing information thanks to the flexibility of the model’s architecture. This foundational model for weather and climate can scale to both global and regional areas without compromising resolution. 

“This model is part of our overall strategy to develop a family of AI foundation models to support NASA’s science mission goals,” said Rahul Ramachandran, who leads IMPACT at Marshall. “These models will augment our capabilities to draw insights from our vast archives of Earth observations.”  

Privthi-weather-climate is part of a larger model family– the Privthi family– which includes models trained on NASA’s Harmonized LandSat and Sentinel-2 data. The latest model serves as an open collaboration in line with NASA’s open science principles to make all data accessible and usable by communities everywhere. It will be released later this year on Hugging Face, a machine learning and data science platform that helps users build, deploy, and train machine learning models. 

“The development of the NASA foundation model for weather and climate is an important step towards the democratization of NASA’s science and observation mission,” said Tsendgar Lee, program manager for NASA’s Research and Analysis Weather Focus Area, High-End Computing Program, and Data for Operation and Assessment. “We will continue developing new technology for climate scenario analysis and decision making.” 

Along with IMPACT and IBM Research, development of Privthi-weather-climate featured significant contributions from NASA’s Office of the Chief Science Data Officer, NASA’s Global Modeling and Assimilation Office at Goddard Space Flight Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, Colorado State University, and Stanford University. 

Learn more about Earth data and previous Privthi models: 
https://www.earthdata.nasa.gov/news/impact-ibm-hls-foundation-model

Jonathan Deal 
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.  
256.544.0034   
jonathan.e.deal@nasa.gov  

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May 22, 2024

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Categories: NASA

Modeling the Hawaiian Shoreline

NASA Image of the Day - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 12:58pm
Present-day Island of Hawai'i coastal flood risk, with higher risk indicated in dark blue, was modeled to help the County of Hawai'i in their shoreline setback plan. Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly data from 2022 Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) indicate low temperatures in the East (red) to high in the West (orange). Inland, high probability locations of wetlands are shown in bright yellow and could aid in climate adaptation planning.
Categories: Astronomy, NASA

Spotted: ‘Death Star’ Black Holes in Action

NASA - Breaking News - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 12:57pm
Abell 478 and NGC 5044.X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Bologna/F. Ubertosi; Insets Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLBA; Wide field Image: Optical/IR: Univ. of Hawaii/Pan-STARRS; Image Processing: NASA/CXC/SAO/N. Wolk

A team of astronomers have studied 16 supermassive black holes that are firing powerful beams into space, to track where these beams, or jets, are pointing now and where they were aimed in the past, as reported in our latest press release. Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) National Radio Astronomical Observatory’s (NRAO) Very Large Baseline Array (VLBA), they found that some of the beams have changed directions by large amounts.

These two Chandra images show hot gas in the middle of the galaxy cluster Abell 478 (left) and the galaxy group NGC 5044 (right). The center of each image contains one of the sixteen black holes firing beams outwards. Each black hole is in the center of a galaxy embedded in the hot gas.

In the images below, labels and the radio images appear. Ellipses show a pair of cavities in the hot gas for Abell 478 (left) and ellipses show two pairs of cavities for NGC 5044 (right). These cavities were carved out by the beams millions of years ago, giving the directions of the beams in the past. An X shows the location of each supermassive black hole.

Abell 478 and NGC 5044 (Labeled)X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Bologna/F. Ubertosi; Insets Radio: NSF/NRAO/VLBA; Wide field Image: Optical/IR: Univ. of Hawaii/Pan-STARRS; Image Processing: NASA/CXC/SAO/N. Wolk

The VLBA images are shown as insets, which reveal where the beams are currently pointing, as seen from Earth. The radio images are both much smaller than the X-ray images. For Abell 478 the radio image is about 3% of the width of the Chandra image and for NGC 5044 the radio image is about 4% of the Chandra image’s width.

A comparison between the Chandra and VLBA images shows that the beams for Abell 478 changed direction by about 35 degrees and the beams for NGC 5044 changed direction by about 70 degrees.

Across the entire sample the researchers found that about a third of the 16 galaxies have beams that are pointing in completely different directions than they were before. Some have changed directions by nearly 90 degrees in some cases, and over timescales between one million years and a few tens of millions of years. Given that the black holes are of the order of 10 billion years old, this represents a relatively rapid change for these galaxies.

Wide Field Views of Abell 478 [Left] and NGC 5044 [Right]. X-ray: NASA/CXC/Univ. of Bologna/F. Ubertosi et al.; Optical/IR: Univ. of Hawaii/Pan-STARRS; IR: NASA/ESA/JPL/CalTech/Herschel Space Telescope

Black holes generate beams when material falls onto them via a spinning disk of matter and some of it then gets redirected outward. The direction of the beams from each of these giant black holes, which are likely spinning, is thought to align with the rotation axis of the black hole, meaning that the beams point along a line connecting the poles.

These beams are thought to be perpendicular to the disk. If material falls towards the black holes at a different angle that is not parallel to the disk, it could affect the direction of the black hole’s rotation axes, changing the direction of the beams.

Scientists think that beams from black holes and the cavities they carve out play an important role in how many stars form in their galaxies. The beams pump energy into the hot gas in and around the galaxy, preventing it from cooling down enough to form huge numbers of new stars. If the beams change directions by large amounts, they can tamp down star formation across much larger areas of the galaxy.

The paper describing these results was published in the January 20th, 2024 issue of The Astrophysical Journal, and is available here. The authors are Francesco Ubertosi (University of Bologna in Italy), Gerritt Schellenberger (Center for Astrophysics | Harvard & Smithsonian), Ewan O’Sullivan (CfA), Jan Vrtilek (CfA), Simona Giacintucci (Naval Research Laboratory), Laurence David (CfA), William Forman (CfA), Myriam Gitti (University of Bologna), Tiziana Venturi (National Institute of Astrophysics—Institute of Radio Astronomy in Italy), Christine Jones (CfA), and Fabrizio Brighenti (University of Bologna).

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center manages the Chandra program. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory’s Chandra X-ray Center controls science from Cambridge Massachusetts and flight operations from Burlington, Massachusetts.

Read more from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

For more Chandra images, multimedia and related materials, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/mission/chandra-x-ray-observatory/

Visual Description:

This image contains two X-ray images presented side by side, separated by a thin, gray line. On the left is an image of galaxy cluster Abell 478, and on the right is an image of galaxy group NGC 5044.

The X-ray image of Abell 478 resembles a gooey, blue substance that has been spilled on a black canvas. Most of the image is covered in this blue goo texture, which is hot gas in X-ray light, however there are cavities where no blue texture is present. At the center of the image is a bright, white region. Within the white region, too small to identify, exists Abell 478’s supermassive black hole.

The X-ray image of NGC 5044, on our right, is more pixelated than the image of Abell 478. It resembles blue television static or noise, that is present on a television when no transmission signal is detected. Most of the image is covered in this blue static, however there are cavities where no blue static is present. At the center of the image is a bright, white region. Within the white region, too small to identify, exists NGC 5044’s supermassive black hole.

News Media Contact

Megan Watzke
Chandra X-ray Center
Cambridge, Mass.
617-496-7998

Jonathan Deal
Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, Ala.
256-544-0034

Categories: NASA

NASA’s Psyche Fires Up Its Sci-Fi-Worthy Thrusters

NASA - Breaking News - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 11:59am

4 min read

Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater) This artist’s concept depicts NASA’s Psyche spacecraft headed to the metal-rich asteroid Psyche in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. The spacecraft launched in October 2023 and will arrive at its destination in 2029.NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU

The spacecraft already is beyond the distance of Mars and is using ion propulsion to accelerate toward a metal-rich asteroid, where it will orbit and collect science data.

NASA’s Psyche spacecraft passed its six-month checkup with a clean bill of health, and there’s no holding back now. Navigators are firing its futuristic-looking electric thrusters, which emit a blue glow, nearly nonstop as the orbiter zips farther into deep space.

The spacecraft launched from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida atop a SpaceX Falcon Heavy on Oct. 13, 2023. After leaving our atmosphere, Psyche made the most of its rocket boost and coasted beyond the orbit of Mars.

For the next year, the spacecraft will be in what mission planners call “full cruise” mode, when its electric thrusters take over and propel the orbiter toward the asteroid belt. The thrusters work by expelling charged atoms, or ions, of xenon, emitting a brilliant blue glow that trails behind the spacecraft.

They are part of Psyche’s incredibly efficient solar electric propulsion system, which is powered by sunlight. The thrust created by the ionized xenon is gentle, but it does the job. Even in full cruise mode, the pressure exerted by the thrusters is about what you’d feel holding three quarters in your hand.

This photo captures an operating electric thruster identical to those being used to propel NASA’s Psyche spacecraft. The blue glow comes from the charged atoms, or ions, of xenon.NASA/JPL-Caltech

The orbiter is now more than 190 million miles (300 million kilometers) away and moving at a clip of 23 miles per second (37 kilometers per second), relative to Earth. That’s about 84,000 mph (135,000 kph). Over time, with no atmospheric drag to slow it down, Psyche will accelerate to speeds of up to 124,000 mph (200,000 kph).

The spacecraft will arrive at the metal-rich asteroid Psyche in 2029 and will make observations from orbit for about two years. The data it collects will help scientists better understand the formation of rocky planets with metallic cores, including Earth. Scientists have evidence that the asteroid, which is about 173 miles (280 kilometers) across at its widest point, may be the partial core of a planetesimal, the building block of an early planet.  

Clean Bill of Health

The flight team used Psyche’s first 100 days in space to conduct a full checkout of all spacecraft systems. All of the engineering systems are working just as expected, and the three science instruments have been operating without a hitch. The magnetometer is working so well that it was able to detect an eruption of charged particles from the Sun, as did the gamma-ray and neutron spectrometer. And this past December, the twin cameras on the imaging instrument captured their first images.

“Until this point, we have been powering on and checking out the various pieces of equipment needed to complete the mission, and we can report they are working beautifully,” said Henry Stone, Psyche project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, which manages the mission. “Now we are on our way and looking forward to an upcoming close flyby of Mars.”

This graphic depicts the path NASA’s Psyche spacecraft is following as it travels to the asteroid Psyche. The key milestones of the prime mission are labeled, including the Mars gravity assist in May 2026.NASA/JPL-Caltech

That’s because the spacecraft’s trajectory will bring it back toward the Red Planet in the spring of 2026. The spacecraft will power down the thrusters as it coasts toward Mars, using the planet’s gravity to slingshot itself out. From there, the thrusters return to full cruise mode. Next stop: the asteroid Psyche.

In the meantime, the Deep Space Optical Communications technology demonstration aboard the spacecraft will keep on testing its mettle. The experiment already surpassed expectations when, in April, it transmitted test data from over 140 million miles (226 million kilometers) away at a rate of 267 megabits per second to a downlink station on Earth — a bit rate comparable to broadband internet download speeds.

More About the Mission

Arizona State University leads the Psyche mission. A division of Caltech in Pasadena, JPL is responsible for the mission’s overall management, system engineering, integration and test, and mission operations. Maxar Technologies in Palo Alto, California, provided the high-power solar electric propulsion spacecraft chassis.

JPL manages DSOC for the Technology Demonstration Missions program within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and the Space Communications and Navigation program within the Space Operations Mission Directorate.

Psyche is the 14th mission selected as part of NASA’s Discovery Program, which is managed by the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. NASA’s Launch Services Program, based at Kennedy, managed the launch service.

Get the Psyche press kit

For more information about NASA’s Psyche mission go to:

http://www.nasa.gov/psyche

News Media Contacts

Gretchen McCartney
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
818-287-4115
gretchen.p.mccartney@jpl.nasa.gov 

Karen Fox / Charles Blue
NASA Headquarters, Washington
301-286-6284 / 202-802-5345
karen.c.fox@nasa.gov / charles.e.blue@nasa.gov

2024-069

Share Details Last Updated May 22, 2024 Related Terms Explore More 7 min read NASA Tool Gets Ready to Image Faraway Planets Article 2 days ago 5 min read 5 Things to Know About NASA’s Tiny Twin Polar Satellites Article 1 week ago 5 min read NASA’s Juno Provides High-Definition Views of Europa’s Icy Shell Article 1 week ago Keep Exploring Discover Related Topics

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Categories: NASA

Sols 1151-1152: Rocky Roads in the Margin Unit

NASA - Breaking News - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 11:24am

2 min read

Sols 1151-1152: Rocky Roads in the Margin Unit Mars Perseverance Sol 1150 – Left Navigation Camera: Perseverance’s afternoon view looking towards the northwest. The rocky terrain in the foreground is part of the margin unit that is currently being investigated by the team. Beyond lies Nereteva Vallis, an ancient river channel that the team hopes to explore in the coming weeks. NASA/JPL-Caltech

Earth planning date: Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Recently, our intrepid rover has been channeling its namesake while navigating through difficult terrain as we march on through the margin unit. Despite the shorter drives, the team continues to make good progress investigating the rocks around us while scouting our traverse ahead.

On Wednesday, we took advantage of being parked during a routine flight software update to take a closer look at the local rocks with our proximity science instruments. While there was limited outcrop in the vicinity of the rover, the team surveyed some options within reach and selected to abrade a target named “Old Faithful Geyser.” Such abrasion will allow us to look at a fresh and clean rock surface unobscured by dust or rock coatings. Since our last abrasion at the Bunsen Peak workspace almost 1 km to the east, the team has been working hard to understand the potential textural and compositional variability across the margin unit that may give important insight into the geologic history of these rocks. Following abrasion, the team will plan detailed chemical measurements with the PlXL instrument over the weekend.

In addition to our abrasion activities, we planned some remote science observations on nearby rocks with the SuperCam and Mastcam-Z instruments. Mastcam-Z was also used to acquire longer distance imaging looking east down into Neretva Vallis, an ancient river valley carved by water over 3 billion years ago. After wrapping up our investigations of the abrasion patch, Perseverance will head a short distance northwest to a high point named Overlook Mountain. There the team will assess a potential traverse path down into Neretva Vallis to take advantage of more benign terrain and investigate outcrops and boulders within the valley. Such investigations will hopefully reveal important clues about the timing of geologic events in Jezero and the relationship of the margin unit rocks with the surrounding units.

Written by Bradley Garczynski, Postdoctoral Scientist at Western Washington University

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May 22, 2024

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Sols 4191-4192: Communication

NASA - Breaking News - Wed, 05/22/2024 - 11:16am

2 min read

Sols 4191-4192: Communication This image was taken by Left Navigation Camera onboard NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity on Sol 4190 (2024-05-20 07:37:47 UTC). NASA/JPL-Caltech

Earth planning date: Monday, May 20, 2024

A number of national holidays are taking place around the world this week and next, unofficially marking the start of summer for residents of the northern hemisphere. Holidays and extended weekends are seen as a time to catch up with family and friends, often centered around food and meaningful conversation. As a Canadian, my family, friends, and several of my Curiosity colleagues back in Canada may be doing exactly that for Victoria Day right now as I write today’s blog from St. Louis Missouri, where I am currently engulfed by the steady and deafening drone of a double brood of both 13-year and 17-year periodical cicadas communicating with each other, something that hasn’t happened since 1803.

While Curiosity may not know a holiday, it too is transitioning to summer, with perihelion only just recently passed and (southern) summer solstice a mere couple weeks ahead. Curiosity’s operations are not only supported by a number of team members located all over the world, but also by multiple spacecraft orbiting Mars (as well as their respective teams). These orbital assets provide vital communication relays, primarily from Mars to Earth. 

It was a pretty standard Monday plan for our intrepid rover, with the science team electing to utilize the rover’s contact science instruments before a drive in the first sol of a two-sol plan. Activities focused primarily on the “Pine Creek” target, located roughly in the center of the prominent bedrock block just above the aptly designed QR code on Curiosity’s arm. Post-brush compositional analyses by APXS and ChemCam were complemented by images acquired by MAHLI and Mastcam. Prior to a ~30 m dogleg drive, Mastcam also acquired images of “Fairview Dome,” “Pika Lake,” “Whitebark Pass,” and “Wilkerson Butte.” A lengthy DAN passive activity also featured prominently on the first sol. The second sol of the plan included ChemCam AEGIS, a Navcam suprahorizon movie, and SAM cleaning activity following up its atmospheric analysis over the weekend.

Written by Scott VanBommel, Planetary Scientist at Washington University

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May 22, 2024

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2024 Dream with Us Design Challenge Winners

NASA - Breaking News - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 7:20pm

3 min read

Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater) Congratulations! Our 2024 Dream with Us challenge has concluded, and we are pleased to share the winning projects: Middle School 1st Place: The Unstoppable Changemakers Team (Anika J. and Aidan R.)

Fire Drones is a system of drones that battle wildfires. They use solar power for sustainability, machine learning technology for early detection of potential wildfires, and use biodegradable spheres called Fire Bombs to help extinguish wildfires. This system of firefighting drones actively communicates with emergency personnel to work until issues are marked “Resolved”.  

2nd Place: Aerial Disaster Response Association Team (Adhavan B., Sanat N., Ganesh P., Carl S.)

The Seismic Series is a drone system to assist with earthquake disasters. The Seismic Sentry, Lifeline, Atlas, and The Phoenix help to mitigate earthquake risks, save lives, and expedite recovery efforts. They detect problem areas, communicate with emergency personnel, civilians and other drones, deliver supplies, and one of them is large enough to carry up to 10 humans during an evacuation. Each drone has a different job, and they can also help in other disaster responses. 

3rd Place: J.A.N.S. Team (Jason P., Aditya B., Nathan V., Sai Niranjan S.)

A drone system that uses several drones with different jobs to help during storm-type disasters. They are housed in a crewed mothership that helps to power and deploy the drones. The system includes airlift drones, flying battery drones, vine-dropper drones, assistance drones, sensor drones, inflatable raft drones, and warning drones. Each one is key in helping to monitor, warn, help, and save humans from storm catastrophe. 

High School 1st Place: PUSHPAK Team (Devin W. and Isabel R.)

PushPak is a wildfire fighting drone. Thermal cameras detect hotspots and missing persons while the LiDAR camera maps the area, assesses the health of vegetation providing data for preventative and rebuilding efforts. It’s equipped with a holding tank that can be filled with extinguishing substances and fire retardant for prevention, planting seeds and a distributor for rebuilding after the wildfire. Solar-power recharges the drone when flying and the Dynamos (power-generating propellers) generate energy while flying. PushPak also has input/output capabilities to assist emergency personnel with powering needed devices. Variable wings allow this drone to be interchangeable, a comprehensive communication system lets it talk to humans and warn animals in the affected areas, plus a data collection system for early detection. 

2nd Place: AirRescue Team (Sarthak K. and Advaith S.)

The SkyWarden is a drone that helps to preserve innocent lives during earthquake disasters. It uses LiDAR to create a digital map used to find safe routes and find people. Equipped with a thermal sensor, it can locate life under the rubble and send information to emergency personnel. Its computer vision could recognize faces, bones, and blood to find human-life.  

3rd Place: Flight Fusion Team (Emily A. and Zahraa A.)

ResQGuard is an enhanced UAV that helps during severe weather such as thunderstorms, hurricanes and tornadoes and hydrological disasters such as floods, tsunamis, and drought. It has a swept wing design for 20% faster travel, weather radar system, sensors for hydro hazards, single-board computers, an essential medical kit, a camera with a 360 view, and fast processing software.

Dream with Us

Facebook logo @NASA@NASAaero@NASA_es @NASA@NASAaero@NASA_es Instagram logo @NASA@NASAaero@NASA_es Linkedin logo @NASA Explore More 3 min read System-Wide Safety Collaborations Article 2 days ago 4 min read NASA, Industry to Start Designing More Sustainable Jet Engine Core Article 5 days ago 4 min read Aviary: A New NASA Software Platform for Aircraft Modelling Article 6 days ago Keep Exploring Discover More Topics From NASA

Missions

Humans In Space

Aeronautics STEM

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Share Details Last Updated May 22, 2024 EditorLillian GipsonContactJim Bankejim.banke@nasa.gov Related Terms
Categories: NASA

Modeling the Hawaiian Shoreline

NASA - Breaking News - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 4:18pm
NASA/Lisa Tanh, Matilda Anokye, Ian Lee, Connor Racette

The island of Hawai’i and surrounding waters glow in unusual shades in this 2022 model made through NASA DEVELOP. The model was created to help the County of Hawai’i in their shoreline setback plan. The image shows areas of high flood risk (blue), as well as sea surface temperatures. Orange in the west indicates high temperatures, while red in the east represents low temperatures.

NASA DEVELOP projects bridge the gap between NASA’s Earth science data and society, addressing environmental concerns and enhancing decision-making to improve life here on Earth. Learn more about NASA’s Capacity Building Programs and applied Earth science at NASA.

Image Credit: NASA/Lisa Tanh, Matilda Anokye, Ian Lee, Connor Racette

Categories: NASA

NASA’s Heliophysics Experiment to Study Sun on European Mission

NASA - Breaking News - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 4:11pm
The Joint EUV coronal Diagnostic Investigation (JEDI) will fly aboard the European Space Agency’s Vigil space weather mission and capture new views that will help researchers connect features on the Sun’s surface to those in the Sun’s outer atmosphere, the corona.Credits: NASA

NASA announced Tuesday it selected a new instrument to study the Sun and how it creates massive solar eruptions. The agency’s Joint EUV coronal Diagnostic Investigation, or JEDI, will capture images of the Sun in extreme ultraviolet light, a type of light invisible to our eyes but reveals many of the underlying mechanisms of the Sun’s activity.

Once integrated aboard the ESA’s (European Space Agency’s) Vigil space weather mission, JEDI’s two telescopes will focus on the middle layer of the solar corona, a region of the Sun’s atmosphere that plays a key role in creating the solar wind and the solar eruptions that cause space weather.

The Vigil space mission, planned to launch in 2031, is expected to provide around-the-clock space weather data from a unique position at Sun-Earth Lagrange point 5 – a gravitationally stable point about 60 degrees behind Earth in its orbit. This vantage point will give space weather researchers and forecasters a new angle to study the Sun and its eruptions. NASA’s JEDI will be the first instrument to provide a constant view of the Sun from this perspective in extreme ultraviolet light – giving scientists a trove of new data for research, while simultaneously supporting Vigil’s ability to monitor space weather. 

“JEDI’s observations will help us link the features we see on the Sun’s surface with what we measure in the solar atmosphere, the corona,” said Nicola Fox, associate administrator, Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Combined with Vigil’s first-of-its-kind, eagle eye view of the Sun, this will change the way we understand the Sun’s drivers of space weather – which in turn can lead to improved warnings to mitigate space weather effects on satellites and humans in space as well as on Earth.”

The project is led by Don Hassler at the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. The instrument is funded by the NASA Heliophysics Space Weather Program with a total cost not to exceed $45 million. Management oversight will be provided by the Living With a Star Program of the Explorers & Heliophysics Projects Division at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

For more information on NASA heliophysics missions, visit:

https://science.nasa.gov/heliophysics

-end-

Karen Fox
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1600
karen.fox@nasa.gov

Sarah Frazier
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
202-853-7191
sarah.frazier@nasa.gov

Share Details Last Updated May 21, 2024 LocationNASA Headquarters Related Terms
Categories: NASA

Go Back to the Future with NASA at Comicpalooza 2024

NASA - Breaking News - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 2:59pm

Celebrate your pop-culture fandom and uncover the latest science, technology, and discoveries of human spaceflight and exploration with NASA’s Johnson Space Center at Comicpalooza 2024 from May 24 to 26 at George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston. Engage with a fully immersive NASA exhibit, touch the only mobile Moon rock in the world, join exclusive panels, meet a NASA astronaut, scientists, and experts, and hear about NASA’s plans for human exploration to the Moon and Mars.

NASA Showcase and Stage

NASA’s Johnson Space Center booth and exclusive panel stage is in Hall A of George R. Brown Convention Center! Stop by to talk with NASA experts and scientists from the Extravehicular Activity and Human Surface Mobility (EHP) Program, Exploration Architecture, Integration, and Science Directorate, Human Health and Performance Directorate, and STEM engagement programs.

Fans can take photos with numerous photo ops and artifacts including a full-size space suit, take the controls of a Lunar Terrain Vehicle (LTV) in a state-of-the-art simulator, and discover how astronauts are training and preparing to return to the Moon.

All times shown below are Central.

NASA astronaut Stan Love speaks to Comicpalooza 2023 attendees about his experiences as an astronaut. NASA Panel Schedule

Development of Lunar Base Camp

Friday, May 24, 3:30 p.m.

Join NASA scientists as we break down the development of a Lunar Base Camp with future Artemis Missions.

Panelists:

  • Ian Galloway, Systems Engineer, Avionics Sub-System Manager for Pressurized Rover
  • Ben Sim, Systems Engineer, Avionics Sub-System Manager for Pressurized Rover

Driving On the Moon One Day
Friday, May 24, 5 p.m.

Preview the latest technology and partnerships that will develop the next mobility systems on the Moon!

Panelists:

  • Tim Hall, EHP Strategic Communications Manager
  • Michael Interbartolo, Engineering Integration Lead for Pressurized Rover Team

Another One Bites the Dust: Lunar Dust, Hardware Damage, and Why It Matters on the Moon
Saturday, May 25, 11 a.m.


Learn from lunar dust mitigation engineers and scientists as they talk about the risks of working on the Moon, what happened during the Apollo missions, and what they plan to do about hardware damage, which threatens their efforts to keep astronauts safe and ensure mission success.

Panelists:

  • Brian Troutman, Human Landing System Crew Compartment Lunar Dust Mitigation Discipline Lead
  • Amy Fritz, Gateway Intravehicular Activity (IVA) Dust System Manager
  • Josh Litofsky, Crew Co IVA Dust System Manager
  • Jackie Black, Crew Co IVA Dust System Manager

Meet NASA Astronaut Marcos Berríos
Saturday, May 25, 12:30 p.m.


Hear NASA astronaut Marcos Berríos’ journey to becoming an astronaut and the excitement of the future of human spaceflight! Following his presentation, Marcos will meet and pose for photos with fans!

Marcos Gabriel Berríos was selected by NASA to join the 2021 astronaut candidate class. He reported for duty in January 2022. The Air Force test pilot holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and a doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University. Born in Fort Campbell, Tennessee, Berríos considers Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, to be his hometown. An experienced pilot, Berríos has accumulated more than 110 combat missions and 1,400 hours of flight time in more than 21 different aircraft.

Technically Correct, The Best Kind of Correct: What Hollywood Gets Right (and Wrong) About Space Exploration
Saturday, May 25, 1:30 p.m.

Tune in for a fun discussion about what Hollywood gets right (and wrong) about NASA and space exploration. We’ll share some of our favorite examples and what we do at NASA along the way!

Panelists:

  • Brian Troutman, Human Landing System Crew Compartment Lunar Dust Mitigation Discipline Lead
  • Scott Stokes, Integration Services Manager
  • Amy Fritz, Aerospace Flight Systems
  • Todd Fox, Active Thermal Control Sub-System Manager
  • Robert Howard, Human/Machine Systems
  • Michael Interbartolo, Engineering Integration Lead for Pressurized Rover Team

Why Is It So Hard to Get to Mars?

Saturday, May 25, 3:30 p.m.


Mars seems so close, yet so far away. Join our discussion on why it is so difficult to get to the “Red Planet” and what technologies and strategies NASA is developing to accomplish this goal.

Panelist:

  • Mike Rodriggs, Automation and Robotics Systems

Landing on the Moon
Saturday, May 25, 5 p.m.

A flurry of lunar landings took place in the 60s and 70s, but following Luna 24 in 1976, there were no successful soft landings until Chang’e 3 in 2013. Recently we have seen a significant increase in lunar landings with many more planned. Why does landing on the Moon remain a challenge? What are the future plans for additional lunar landings and how will that enable future lunar activities?

Panelists:

  • Ron Sostaric, Aerospace Vehicle Design and Mission Analyst
  • Jenny Gruber, Operations Integration Branch Chief

International Space Station MIMIC – See the Mini Station Work Real-Time

Saturday, May 25, 6 p.m.


Learn from space engineers and educators about this exciting 1:100 scale 3D printed, robotic model of the International Space Station that syncs to live telemetry streaming from the real space station in real-time. It is open source and uses familiar STEM components like Arduino and Raspberry Pi and was designed to be built by students and space geeks everywhere!

Panelists:

  • Bryan Murphy, Associate Chief Engineer, International Space Station and Deep Space Exploration

My NASA Story
Sunday, May 26, 11:30 a.m.

What does it take to launch a career at NASA’s Johnson Space Center? Learn from our panelists and gain perspective on how they got to where they are today and what their jobs look like day-to-day!

Panelists:

  • Krishna Kapadia, Gateway Software and Data Integration
  • Margaret Kennedy, Human Health and Performance Systems Engineer
  • Ashley Craig, Gateway Human Factors Engineer
  • Dillyn Mumme, Operations Planner in International Space Station Mission Planning & Flight Activities Officer in Gateway Mission Planning

Artemis Overview
Sunday, May 26, 1 p.m.

Artemis is NASA’s new lunar exploration program, which includes landing the first woman and first person of color on the Moon. Through the Artemis missions, NASA will use new technology to study the Moon in new and better ways and prepare for human missions to Mars.

Panelists:

  • Roland Martinez, Technical Management
  • Kathryn Hilton, Pressurized Rover SE&I Lead 
  • James Geffre Orion Vehicle Integration Manager
  • Elisa Riveria, flight design and integration team

Tesla Coil Demonstration
Sunday, May 26, 2 p.m.

Experience the electrifying spectacle of a Tesla coil demonstration where science meets superhero magic in a dazzling display of lightning and sound.

Panelist:

  • Ryan Ogilvie, Development Engineer, Space Suite Personal Life Support System Team

Draw Artemis: LIVE!
Sunday, May 26, 3 p.m.

Did you know NASA needs artists? Join a NASA panel of experts and “draw along” as we talk about humanity’s voyage back to the Moon, the key role art plays in exploration, and learn about the otherworldly environment of the Moon’s South Pole. Our featured artist will be Mark Kistler, the prolific art educator behind the beloved 80s and 90s TV shows, “The Secret City,” “Draw Squad,” and “Imagination Station.” Learn to draw a fleet of sophisticated space hardware that will take us on Artemis missions – similar to the way NASA engineers and technicians sketched out early concepts for spacesuits, rockets, spaceships, ground systems, and orbiting platforms that have allowed us to explore other worlds. Pencil, paper, and handouts will be provided!

Panelist:

  • Jack Moore, NASA Community Engagement
  • Patricia Moore, Communications Strategist, Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate
  • Daniel O’Neal, Graphic Designer, Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate
  • Mark Kistler, Artist

Worn to Perfection: The Art of Aging and Weathering Props for Narrative Depth
Sunday, May 26, 4 p.m.

Do your cosplay and props look too pristine? Level up your creations with expert techniques that add that perfect touch of authenticity, using budget-friendly and easily accessible materials and techniques. Dive into the art of distressing and fine detailing to achieve a weathered, lifelike appearance that imbues your props with character and history. Join us for an interactive panel and personalized guidance from seasoned propmaster, Adam Burnett, to add realistic flair to your favorite props.

Categories: NASA

Kan Yang: Translating Science Ideas into Engineering Concepts

NASA - Breaking News - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 2:24pm

As team lead of the Instrument Design Laboratory, Kan Yang turns science concepts into engineering reality.

Name: Kan Yang
Title: Team Lead of the Instrument Design Laboratory
Formal Job Classification: Technical Manager
Organization: Instrument Systems and Technology Division, Engineering and Technology Directorate (Code 550)

“I have spent the bulk of my career working on thermal analyses for the James Webb Space Telescope.”Courtesy of Kan Yang

What do you do and what is most interesting about your role here at Goddard?

I work with a team of scientists and engineers to design space flight instrument concepts. I love seeing the newest ideas from scientists and having a say in a technical design that matches their scientific vision.

What is your educational background?

In 2008, I got a bachelor’s in science and engineering from the University of Michigan. In 2010, I got a master’s in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland.

Why did you come to Goddard?

I came to Goddard in 2010 because I always wanted to work for NASA. When I was a kid, I watched documentaries about the Hubble Space Telescope being assembled. I saw the people working in the clean room and wanted to be one of the technicians in clean room suits assembling the telescope. Also, I’ve always been fascinated by astronomy, ever since my parents took me to an observatory at a young age to see Comet Hale-Bopp hanging in the sky.

What are the highlights of your initial thermal work at Goddard?

I started at Goddard as a thermal engineer doing thermal analysis of the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite. I moved on to the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission where I analyzed the temperatures of the satellite sitting within the rocket at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. We launched at the end of summer, which can get hot, so we were concerned about whether the HVAC system could keep the satellite cool enough on the launch pad. After LADEE launched, we noticed a specific instrument heating up more than expected so we had to analyze how to change our operational methods at the Moon to prevent overheating, all while the satellite was already on the way from the Earth to the Moon. This also occurred during the 2013 government shut down: a no-pressure-at-all type of situation!

What was one of your most exciting moments working on the James Webb Space Telescope?

I have spent the bulk of my career working on thermal analyses for the James Webb Space Telescope. For six years, I had one task: to take the “cold” half of the telescope, which contained the large mirrors and sensitive instruments, and figure out how to cool it down to the temperatures it would see in space, about minus 240 degrees Celsius (or about minus 400 degrees Fahrenheit), so that we could test it here on Earth in the conditions it would see in space.

We tested James Webb at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston in the largest thermal vacuum chamber in the world. It is eight stories tall and 55 feet wide. It took about 100 days to execute this test, including cooling it to negative 240 degrees Celsius, doing our optical and thermal check-outs at this temperature, then heating it back to room temperature. During our testing, we were hit by Hurricane Harvey. We rode out the storm for five days, including all 51 inches of rain: the most rain Houston had ever had. We worried about losing power. Our tests are under vacuum, like in space, and if we had lost power, the vacuum pumps would no longer work and the rapid increase in pressure would have damaged the telescope. We very luckily we did not lose power! We were also worried because we use liquid nitrogen to cool the thermal vacuum chamber and we constantly needed trucks to deliver and replenish the liquid nitrogen, since there was only a limited amount that could be stored next to the test chamber. Truck drivers heroically drove through the flooded streets to deliver us the necessary liquid nitrogen before we ran out.

How do you handle such on the job pressure?

I always work with a great team. You can make much better decisions when you can talk with your team and listen to their perspectives. Once we have good technical judgement and can develop a plan for a way forward, it gives everyone a sense of calm. I was also fortunate to have been mentored by some incredible individuals at Goddard, and to have worked on projects with great leadership and project management, like on James Webb. Receiving valuable advice from these mentors and observing great leadership in action has allowed me to grow as an individual and more easily handle on-the-job pressures.

You became deputy team lead of the Instrument Design Laboratory (IDL) in 2019. How did you maintain the IDL’s collaborative dynamic through the pandemic?

In 2019, I became the deputy team lead because I wanted to expand my horizons into a more systems engineering-type role, and the IDL offered a great opportunity to do so. In 2022, I became the team lead. The IDL began in 1999 at Goddard and gives engineering realism to scientists’ ideas. We can accomplish this through instrument design studies, where the scientists and engineers dedicate time to closely collaborate with each other and design an instrument which can make the scientist’s intended measurement from space.

Until 2020, the IDL did everything in-person, performing conceptual design studies sort of like a “Skunk Works.” We had a team of up to 30 people working in a room on the same design and engineering solution to realize the scientists’ vision. When the pandemic hit, the then-team lead and I had to figure out how to do the same work virtually. Virtual collaborative engineering is hard. We spent a lot of time on video chats discussing what processes would work best to effectively communicate the information among all the engineers.

We had two challenges. First, how do you replace hallway conversations and in-person interactions with something as regimented as a virtual meeting, where only one person can talk effectively at a time? Second, how do you make sure that each engineering discipline engineer’s concerns are heard by everyone?

We set up a lot of channels and virtual chat rooms for engineers to communicate directly with each other. We had to carefully plan times where we would speak about a particular topic, and make sure the discussions didn’t overlap or that the same engineer had to be in two different conversations at the same time. I felt like a wedding planner. Our IDL leadership team had to listen to everyone’s concerns and capture their design decisions, and then relay those effectively to the entire team so that we were all on the same page. We found new ways of working with each other that we had never thought about in the 21-year history of the laboratory before the pandemic. Since we are now working in a hybrid environment, our new tools still apply.  

What are some of your proudest moments as team lead of the IDL?

I am very proud of the sheer variety of instruments we have been able to design for Goddard, ranging from astronaut-deployed instruments for the Artemis Moon missions, to the next generation of large space-based telescopes, instruments that monitor Earth’s changing climate, and an astronaut-operated instrument within the International Space Station.

One of the coolest instruments we developed was a chemical sensor for a probe that will drop into Saturn’s atmosphere. Another fascinating instrument will measure the ice particles shooting out of geysers from one of Saturn’s ice-covered moons, Enceladus, which is a candidate destination for the search for life elsewhere in the solar system.

What are your goals as the vice-chair of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Employee Resource Group?

Our major goals for AANHPI Employee Resource Group (ERG) are threefold: we aim to increase diversity in leadership, tackle specific issues and challenges affecting AANHPI employees, and showcase our pride in our heritage with events and celebrations. Regarding leadership, we encourage our AANHPI workforce to join leadership programs and have invited leaders within the AANHPI community to speak to their career journey, one of whom was a former state senator from Hawaii. Regarding challenges, we work to eradicate barriers which prevent diverse candidates from advancing in their careers, and recommend focus areas to senior leadership to address AANHPI-specific concerns. Regarding events, we host a few celebrations and educational offerings at Goddard and across NASA each year. This may take the form of inviting chefs to give cooking demonstrations, planning dance performances, or welcoming speakers to share their stories and traditions. We feel this is a wonderful way to connect with our colleagues and honor the cultural richness of our NASA workforce. I feel very fortunate to be working with an amazing ERG chair to achieve these goals, as well as with outstanding individuals in our leadership team and ERG membership. 

“What’s truly important is that you are passionate about what you do. You do not have to be an engineer or scientist to work at NASA.”Courtest of Kan Yang

When you do outreach, what is your message?

I do outreach at elementary schools, high schools, middle schools, and colleges. I tell them that even though the emphasis is on STEM, NASA needs all sorts of people from diverse backgrounds. What’s truly important is that you are passionate about what you do. You do not have to be an engineer or scientist to work at NASA. Also, not everyone at NASA looks or thinks the same. We need different opinions to make NASA effective.

Is there anyone you want to thank?

I’d like to thank my parents. When I was 3, my parents and I immigrated to this country from China. We came with hardly anything. It is through their extreme hard work that I was able to pursue my dreams and have the life that I have right now.

I’d also like to thank my wife. She is always diligent and supportive of our family, and encourages us to become our best, authentic selves. Our family continues to thrive because of the sacrifices that she makes.

What do you do for fun?

I have a 5-year-old and really enjoy being a dad. I love seeing things from his perspective.

I also enjoy traveling and cooking many different foods. I make some pretty good pasta sauce, and after years of tweaking my fried rice recipe, I think I’ve found the key to a delicious one. My wife, who is of Colombian heritage, is also teaching me how to cook Colombian food.

What is your “six-word memoir”? A six-word memoir describes something in just six words.

Be kind and do great things.

By Elizabeth M. Jarrell
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Conversations With Goddard is a collection of Q&A profiles highlighting the breadth and depth of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center’s talented and diverse workforce. The Conversations have been published twice a month on average since May 2011. Read past editions on Goddard’s “Our People” webpage.

Share Details Last Updated May 21, 2024 EditorMadison OlsonContactRob Garnerrob.garner@nasa.govLocationGoddard Space Flight Center Related Terms Explore More 10 min read Ken Carpenter: Ensuring Top-Tier Science from Moon to Stars Article 2 weeks ago 6 min read Kiyun Kim: From Intern to Accessibility Advocate Article 4 weeks ago 6 min read Kate A. McGinnis: Ready to “Go” with PACE Testing Article 1 month ago
Categories: NASA

NASA Glenn Joins COSI’s Big Science Celebration

NASA - Breaking News - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 1:53pm

1 min read

Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater) NASA Glenn’s Dennis Stocker explains microgravity research aboard the International Space Station. He was one of several experts who shared information on NASA science during COSI’s Big Science Celebration. Credit: NASA/John Oldham 
 

NASA’s Glenn Research Center joined Center for Science and Industry, or COSI’s, Big Science Celebration event on the museum’s front lawn in Columbus, Ohio, on May 4. This event was centered around STEM careers and building a diverse STEM workforce by exposing individuals to science and technology where they live, learn, and lounge. Glenn experts shared information on the Power and Propulsion Element for NASA’s Gateway lunar outpost, interactives from Glenn’s Graphics and Visualization Lab, details about internships and careers, and spinoff technologies that benefit the public. 

NASA Glenn Research Center’s astronaut mascot during COSI’s Big Science Celebration in Columbus, Ohio. Credit: NASA/John Oldham  Return to Newsletter Explore More 7 min read Go Back to the Future with NASA at Comicpalooza 2024 Article 17 hours ago 1 min read NASA Glenn Research Highlighted in Tape Exhibit Article 18 hours ago 2 min read Glenn Digital Specialists Earn NASA Awards Article 18 hours ago
Categories: NASA

NASA Glenn Research Highlighted in Tape Exhibit

NASA - Breaking News - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 1:52pm

1 min read

Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater) Encompassing an impressive 10,000 square feet, the exhibit’s focal point is a play-scape structure crafted from packing tape, mirroring the iconic design of the space station. Credit: Great Lakes Science Center

Beginning May 24, Great Lakes Science Center, home of the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, will welcome guests aboard TapeScape: International Tape Station.  

The unique exhibit focuses on the dynamic intersection of materials science and the groundbreaking research at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. The exhibit showcases the Cleveland-driven innovations aboard the International Space Station. Encompassing 10,000 square feet, the exhibit’s focal point is a play-scape structure crafted from packing tape, mirroring the iconic design of the space station. Equipped with state-of-the-art lighting and projection mapping technologies, this structure fully immerses guests in their experience. 

Credit: Great Lakes Science Center Return to Newsletter Explore More 7 min read Go Back to the Future with NASA at Comicpalooza 2024 Article 17 hours ago 1 min read NASA Glenn Joins COSI’s Big Science Celebration Article 18 hours ago 2 min read Glenn Digital Specialists Earn NASA Awards Article 18 hours ago
Categories: NASA

Glenn Digital Specialists Earn NASA Awards

NASA - Breaking News - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 1:52pm

2 min read

Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater)

Four of NASA Glenn Research Center’s digital specialists were selected as 2023 NASA Photographers and Videographers of the Year. The winning photos and videos showcased NASA’s people, places, and projects, as captured by NASA’s talented photographers and videographers. There were numerous submissions from all NASA centers for several categories. The following four winners from NASA Glenn stood out for their outstanding work: 

Jim Zunt and Dennis Brown: First  Place Videographer Award in the Production Category

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads… but we still need tires! In this episode, we rolled on over to NASA’s Glenn Research Center where engineer Heather Oravec is reinventing the wheel – literally! Heather explains her work in creating wheels intended for use on other celestial bodies, such as the Moon, and how she got traction in this unique career.
Credit: NASA/Jim Zunt and Dennis Brown

Jordan Salkin: Third Place Photographer Award in the Portrait Category 

Curtis Flack, left, and Paul Von Hardenberg inspect the ice formation on the spinner of an Advanced Air Mobility proprotor model. The data from the test will be used by icing researchers to better understand the risks of icing on electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles, which will assist with the design and certification of new aircraft. Credit: NASA/Jordan Salkin 

Jordan Salkin: Third  Place Videographer Award in the Time Warp Category 

NASA has demonstrated a breakthrough in 3-D printable high-temperature materials that could lead to stronger, more durable parts for airplanes and spacecraft. NASA Alloy GRX-810, an oxide-dispersion-strengthened alloy, can endure temperatures over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, is more malleable, and can survive more than 1,000 times longer than existing state-of-the-art alloys. Credit: NASA/Jordan Salkin

Jef JanisSecond Place Photographer Award in the Places Category 

NASA Glenn’s Flight Research Building. The hangar has been home to many unique and innovative aircraft over the years. Credit: NASA/Jef Janis 

Jef Janis: Third Place Photographer Award in the People Category 

“Astro,” a robotic dog, helps prevent hearing loss by assisting NASA employees with inspections in noisy Glenn test facilities. Able to be operated remotely, Astro serves as their eyes and ears, keeping employees out of harm’s way while machines and compressors are running. Credit: NASA/Jef Janis  Return to Newsletter Explore More 7 min read Go Back to the Future with NASA at Comicpalooza 2024 Article 17 hours ago 1 min read NASA Glenn Joins COSI’s Big Science Celebration Article 18 hours ago 1 min read NASA Glenn Research Highlighted in Tape Exhibit Article 18 hours ago
Categories: NASA

Team NEO Views NASA Glenn Properties for Lease 

NASA - Breaking News - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 1:52pm

1 min read

Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater) While on tour, Team NEO representatives stop to take a photo by the dedication plaque for NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky, Ohio. Left to right: Nico Samaniego, Christine Nelson, Peter Zahirsky, Kathleen Meehan, Bryce Sylvester, David Ebersole, and Camille Billups.Credit: NASA/Erin Bukach 

Representatives from Team NEO toured several facilities at NASA’s Glenn Research Center on April 24. Team NEO is the designated Northeast Ohio JobsOhio Network Partner that works to expand business, establish partnerships, and create jobs. The visitors toured facilities at NASA’s Neil Armstrong Test Facility in Sandusky and Lewis Field in Cleveland, including the Space Environments Complex, Cryogenics Component Lab, Altitude Combustion Stand, Administration Building, and Flight Research Building (hangar) with the intent to learn more about Enhanced Use Lease opportunities at NASA Glenn. Team NEO can assist NASA Glenn in finding potential occupants for underutilized facilities that would benefit the center and boost economic growth in Northeast Ohio.  

Return to Newsletter Explore More 1 min read NASA Glenn Joins COSI’s Big Science Celebration Article 18 hours ago 1 min read NASA Glenn Research Highlighted in Tape Exhibit Article 18 hours ago 2 min read Glenn Digital Specialists Earn NASA Awards Article 18 hours ago
Categories: NASA

NASA Glenn Kicks Off Ohio Space Forum

NASA - Breaking News - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 1:52pm

1 min read

Preparations for Next Moonwalk Simulations Underway (and Underwater) NASA’s Glenn Research Center Director Dr. Jimmy Kenyon speaks to a record crowd of public, private, and academic partners at the Ohio Space Forum in downtown Cleveland. Credit: NASA/Susan Valerian 

NASA’s Glenn Research Center kicked off the Ohio Space Forum with a tour of several research facilities at its Cleveland location on April 29. The annual two-day forum brings together federal, military, industry, and academic leaders in space research, operations, intelligence, exploration, and defense. It enables attendees to gather among nationally recognized leaders and benefit from their expertise.  

After the NASA tour, the forum transitioned to the Westin Cleveland Downtown, where NASA Glenn Center Director Dr. Jimmy Kenyon welcomed participants and discussed the leading role NASA Glenn will have in space research, innovation, and exploration, including the Artemis missions to the Moon. NASA Associate Administrator Jim Free provided the NASA keynote address, and other Glenn leaders shared their expertise during breakout sessions and panel discussions.   

The event concluded with a reception at the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, located in Great Lakes Science Center.  

Return to Newsletter Explore More 7 min read Go Back to the Future with NASA at Comicpalooza 2024 Article 17 hours ago 1 min read NASA Glenn Joins COSI’s Big Science Celebration Article 18 hours ago 1 min read NASA Glenn Research Highlighted in Tape Exhibit Article 18 hours ago
Categories: NASA

<p><a href="https://apod.nasa.gov/apod

APOD - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 12:00pm

What did the monster active region that created the recent auroras look like when at the Sun's edge?


Categories: Astronomy, NASA

Welcome Back to Planet Earth, Expedition 70 Crew! 

NASA - Breaking News - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 11:19am

On May 16, 2024, a crowd of more than 500 people gathered at Space Center Houston’s IMAX theater for the Expedition 70 crew debrief and awards ceremony. Crew members from NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 and Soyuz MS-24 missions shared reflections from their voyage aboard the International Space Station and bestowed well-deserved recognition upon Johnson Space Center employees and partners whose dedication and support contributed to the expedition’s success. 

A group photo of participants from the Expedition 70 crew debrief and awards ceremony on May 16, 2024, at Space Center Houston’s IMAX theater. Credit: NASA/David DeHoyos

The special event featured four Expedition 70 astronauts: 

  • Jasmin Moghbeli, Crew-7 commander and Expedition 70 flight engineer, NASA 
  • Loral O’Hara, Soyuz MS-24 and Expedition 70 flight engineer, NASA 
  • Andreas Mogensen, Crew-7 pilot and Expedition 70 commander, ESA (European Space Agency) 
  • Satoshi Furukawa, Crew-7 mission specialist and Expedition 70 flight engineer, JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) 

NASA astronaut Stephen Bowen kicked off the event by striking the ceremonial bell to complete the 70th voyage to the orbiting laboratory. 

Johnson Deputy Director Stephen Koerner honored the crew’s achievements. “Through the Johnson Space Center’s Dare | Unite | Explore initiatives, we are called to unite with our partners to complete these bold missions,” said Koerner. “Tonight, we are celebrating the completion of one of those such missions.” 

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 crew inside the vestibule in between the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft and the International Space Station’s Harmony module. From left are Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa. Credit: NASA

The Crew-7 mission was the first in the history of the Commercial Crew Program to have each seat in the Dragon spacecraft occupied by a different international partner.  

The Expedition 70 crew successfully conducted 286 experiments and received five cargo resupply missions that delivered thousands of pounds of scientific research, supplies, and hardware to the orbital outpost.  

The astronauts performed numerous science experiments and technology demonstrations, including the first robotic surgery (on simulated tissue) in space. The crew also encountered several other notable firsts. O’Hara and Moghbeli undertook their inaugural spacewalk together, while ESA astronaut Andy Mogensen became the first non-US pilot to fulfill that role on the Dragon vehicle. The crew also welcomed the third private astronaut mission, Ax-3, aboard the orbiting laboratory, along with Marina Vasilevskaya, the first female Belarusian in space as a spaceflight participant. 

“Even after more than 25 years of operations, we continue to experience exciting firsts aboard station,” said Dana Weigel, program manager for the International Space Station Program. “On behalf of the ISS Program, I want to thank the crew and the ground teams around the world for your passion and commitment to the International Space Station mission. The incredible advancements we make that benefit life here on Earth and inspire future generations are a direct result of your work.” 

Watch below to recap the Expedition 70 crew members’ unique journey aboard the International Space Station and to celebrate those who helped make the mission a success. 

Categories: NASA

NASA Leaders to Host Agency Town Hall on Artificial Intelligence

NASA - Breaking News - Tue, 05/21/2024 - 10:05am
Credit: NASA

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy are hosting an employee town hall at 1 p.m. EDT Wednesday, May 22, to discuss how the agency is using and developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to advance missions and research.

The event will steam live on NASA+, NASA Television, and the agency’s website.

The town hall also will feature the NASA experts pioneering and leading the use of AI across the agency, including:

  • A.C. Charania, chief technologist
  • David Salvagnini, chief artificial intelligence officer
  • Jeff Seaton, chief information officer
  • Kate Calvin, chief scientist

A wide variety of AI tools are used by NASA to benefit humanity from supporting missions and research projects across the agency, analyzing data to reveal trends and patterns, and developing systems capable of supporting spacecraft and aircraft autonomously.

On May 13, Nelson named Salvagnini as NASA’s first chief artificial intelligence officer. The agency continues developing recommendations on leveraging emerging AI technology for a variety of missions including sifting through Earth science imagery to identifying areas of interest, to searching for data on planets outside our solar system from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, scheduling communications from the Perseverance Mars rover through the Deep Space Network, and more.

Learn more about artificial intelligence at NASA at:

https://www.nasa.gov/artificial-intelligence

-end-

Faith McKie / Jennifer Dooren
Headquarters, Washington
202-358-1600
faith.d.mckie@nasa.gov / jennifer.m.dooren@nasa.gov

Hillary Smith
Ames Research Center, Silicon Valley
650-604-4789
hillary.smith@nasa.gov

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Categories: NASA