President Obama Meets With Crew of Apollo 11

Apollo 11 crew with the president, 45 years Apollo 11 anniversary President Barack Obama meets with Apollo 11 astronauts Michael Collins, seated left, Buzz Aldrin, Carol Armstrong, widow of Apollo 11 commander, Neil Armstrong, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, and Patricia “Pat” Falcone, OSTP Associate Director for National Security and International Affairs, far right, Tuesday, July 22, 2014, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, during the 45th anniversary week of the Apollo 11 lunar landing.

Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Apollo 11 crew with the president, 45 years Apollo 11 anniversary

Apollo 11 crew with the president, 45 years Apollo 11 anniversary

Orion Milestone Set for 2014

22 November 2013

A milestone in developing Europe’s contribution to NASA’s Orion crew vehicle, expected to take human crews beyond Earth orbit later this decade, has been set for next May. The period until then will allow for an in depth design analysis for the proposed European hardware.

Using Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) technology proven in flight, Europe will contribute hardware and expertise to the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle.

 The activity highlights the major involvement of ESA and European industry in this cornerstone NASA project, and is based on the long-standing partnership of the two Agencies across many areas of human and robotic spaceflight.

Full View of Asteroid Vesta

Full View of Asteroid Vesta
As NASA’s Dawn spacecraft travels to its next destination, this mosaic synthesizes some of the best views the spacecraft had of the giant asteroid Vesta. Dawn studied Vesta from July 2011 to September 2012. The towering mountain at the south pole – more than twice the height of Mount Everest – is visible at the bottom of the image. The set of three craters known as the “snowman” can be seen at the top left.
These images are the last in Dawn’s Image of the Day series during the cruise to Dawn’s second destination, Ceres. A full set of Dawn data is being archived at http://pds.nasa.gov/ .
The Dawn mission to Vesta and Ceres is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington D.C. UCLA is responsible for overall Dawn mission science. The Dawn framing cameras were developed and built under the leadership of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, with significant contributions by DLR German Aerospace Center, Institute of Planetary Research, Berlin, and in coordination with the Institute of Computer and Communication Network Engineering, Braunschweig. The Framing Camera project is funded by the Max Planck Society, DLR, and NASA/JPL.
Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCAL/MPS/DLR/IDA

LL Ori and the Orion Nebula

NASA, ESA Image of LL Ori and the Orion Nebula

This esthetic close-up of cosmic clouds and stellar winds features LL Orionis, interacting with the Orion Nebula flow. Adrift in Orion’s stellar nursery and still in its formative years, variable star LL Orionis produces a wind more energetic than the wind from our own middle-aged Sun. As the fast stellar wind runs into slow moving gas a shock front is formed, analogous to the bow wave of a boat moving through water or a plane traveling at supersonic speed.

The small, arcing, graceful structure just above and left of center is LL Ori’s cosmic bow shock, measuring about half a light-year across. The slower gas is flowing away from the Orion Nebula’s hot central star cluster, the Trapezium, located off the upper left corner of the picture. In three dimensions, LL Ori’s wrap-around shock front is shaped like a bowl that appears brightest when viewed along the “bottom” edge. The beautiful picture is part of a large mosaic view of the complex stellar nursery in Orion, filled with a myriad of fluid shapes associated with star formation.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA and the Hubble Heritage Team

Hubble Space Telescope Patch

Hubble Anniversary Patch

Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Launches

NASA Image of Tracking and Data Relay Satellite Launches

The umbilical tower drops back from a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket as it lifts off Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Launch, with NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-K or TDRS-K aboard, was at 8:48 p.m. EST on Jan. 30.

The TDRS-K spacecraft is part of the next-generation series in the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System, a constellation of space-based communication satellites providing tracking, telemetry, command and high-bandwidth data return services.

Photo credit: NASA/Tony Gray and Robert Murray

Orion’s Main Parachutes

Orion's Main Parachutes

One of Orion’s main parachutes from the Capsule Parachute Assembly System, or CPAS, is lowered into the water at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL) at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. The Orion CPAS team joined the Exploration Flight Test 1 recovery team and representatives of the U.S. Navy to test recovery procedures for the Orion parachutes.

The NBL is 202 feet in length, 102 feet in width, and 40 feet in depth (20 feet above ground level and 20 ft below) and holds 6.2 million gallons of water. In addition to the current parachute recovery test the facility has been used by the Orion program to test the Crew Module Uprighting system on a full size Orion mockup known as PORT.

Image Credit: NASA/James Blair

NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory – Cosmic Cocoon

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory - Chandra observation of SN 2010jl

 

Using observations from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, researchers have obtained the first X-ray evidence of a supernova shock wave breaking through a cocoon of gas surrounding the star that exploded. This discovery may help astronomers understand why some supernovas are much more powerful than others.

On Nov. 3, 2010, a supernova was discovered in the galaxy UGC 5189A, located about 160 million light years away. Using data from the All Sky Automated Survey telescope in Hawaii taken earlier, astronomers determined this supernova exploded in early October 2010.

This composite image of UGC 5189A shows X-ray data from Chandra in purple and optical data from Hubble Space Telescope in red, green and blue. SN 2010jl is the very bright X-ray source near the top of the galaxy.

A team of researchers used Chandra to observe this supernova in December 2010 and again in October 2011. The supernova was one of the most luminous that has ever been detected in X-rays.

In the first Chandra observation of SN 2010jl, the X-rays from the explosion’s blast wave were strongly absorbed by a cocoon of dense gas around the supernova. This cocoon was formed by gas blown away from the massive star before it exploded.

In the second observation taken almost a year later, there is much less absorption of X-ray emission, indicating that the blast wave from the explosion has broken out of the surrounding cocoon. The Chandra data show that the gas emitting the X-rays has a very high temperature — greater than 100 million degrees Kelvin – strong evidence that it has been heated by the supernova blast wave.

In a rare example of a cosmic coincidence, analysis of the X-rays from the supernova shows that there is a second unrelated source at almost the same location as the supernova. These two sources strongly overlap one another as seen on the sky. This second source is likely to be an ultraluminous X-ray source, possibly containing an unusually heavy stellar-mass black hole, or an intermediate mass black hole.

Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Royal Military College of Canada/P.Chandra et al); Optical: NASA/STScI

NASA’S Orion Arrives At Kennedy, Work Underway For First Launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — More than 450 guests at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida welcomed the arrival of the agency’s first space-bound Orion spacecraft Monday, marking a major milestone in the construction of the vehicle that will carry astronauts farther into space than ever before.

“Orion’s arrival at Kennedy is an important step in meeting the president’s goal to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and to Mars in the 2030s,” NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said. “As NASA acquires services for delivery of cargo and crew to the International Space Station and other low-Earth destinations from private companies, NASA can concentrate its efforts on building America’s next generation space exploration system to reach destinations for discovery in deep space. Delivery of the first space-bound Orion, coupled with recent successes in commercial spaceflight, is proof this national strategy is working.”

Orion will be the most advanced spacecraft ever designed. It will provide emergency abort capability, sustain astronauts during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space.

NASA’S Orion Arrives At Kennedy, Work Underway For First Launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — More than 450 guests at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida welcomed the arrival of the agency’s first space-bound Orion spacecraft Monday, marking a major milestone in the construction of the vehicle that will carry astronauts farther into space than ever before.”Orion’s arrival at Kennedy is an important step in meeting the president’s goal to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and to Mars in the 2030s,” NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver said. “As NASA acquires services for delivery of cargo and crew to the International Space Station and other low-Earth destinations from private companies, NASA can concentrate its efforts on building America’s next generation space exploration system to reach destinations for discovery in deep space. Delivery of the first space-bound Orion, coupled with recent successes in commercial spaceflight, is proof this national strategy is working.”

Orion will be the most advanced spacecraft ever designed. It will provide emergency abort capability, sustain astronauts during space travel and provide safe re-entry from deep space.