During a televised presentation to NASA employees, on May 25 from NASA Headquarters, Deputy Administrator Dava Newman and retired NASA astronaut Scott Kelly reflected on Kelly’s historic one-year mission aboard the International Space Station, which he and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko completed in March.
The planet Mercury’s transit of the sun on May 9 provided an opportunity for sky-watchers throughout the U.S. to witness a rare celestial event that happens only about 13 times a century.
Around 13 times per century, Mercury passes between Earth and the sun in a rare astronomical event known as a planetary transit. The 2016 Mercury transit occurred on May 9, between roughly 7:12 a.m. and 2:42 p.m. EDT.
On May 3, NASA's Wallops Flight Facility hosted Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden and others for an employee town hall and a tour of the Virginia facility - including Pad 0A at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport. Preparations are underway there to conduct an engine test of Orbital ATK’s Antares rocket in anticipation of returning Antares to flight operations this summer following a launch mishap in 2014.
An April 19 event at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, showcased the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Traffic Management (UTM) prototype the agency is developing for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft launched aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on April 8, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida to resupply the International Space Station. Among the almost 7,000 pounds of science research, crew supplies and hardware being delivered is the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM.
Engineers at Johnson Space Center in Houston are using a mockup of NASA’s Orion spacecraft to evaluate how well astronauts are able to operate Orion’s rotational hand controller and cursor control device, while dressed in spacesuits.
The enormous solid rocket boosters on the Orion launch system generate 3.6 million pounds of thrust! That's the equivalent of 14 jumbo jets operating at maximum power. NASA plans to increase this incredible performance to enable future missions to Mars.
Future astronauts will require highly reliable habitation systems to keep them healthy and productive during missions that take them farther from Earth than humans have ever gone before. Through public-private partnerships with U.S. industry, NASA is investigating habitation concepts that can support astronauts who are living and working in the harsh environment of deep space.
NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden was back on Capitol Hill during the week of March 13 for more Congressional hearings on the agency’s $19 billion dollar Fiscal Year 2017 budget proposal.