WASHINGTON (NASA HQ PR) — NASA has selected four mission proposals submitted to the agency’s Explorers Program for further study. The proposals include missions that would study exploding stars, distant clusters of galaxies, and nearby galaxies and stars.
Two Astrophysics Medium Explorer missions and two Explorer Missions of Opportunity have been selected to conduct mission concept studies. After detailed evaluation of those studies, NASA plans to select one Mission of Opportunity and one Medium Explorer in 2024 to proceed with implementation. The selected missions will be targeted for launch in 2027 and 2028, respectively.
WASHINGTON (NASA HQ PR) — NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California has selected Microchip Technology Inc. of Chandler, Arizona, to develop a High-Performance Spaceflight Computing (HPSC) processor that will provide at least 100 times the computational capacity of current spaceflight computers. This key capability would advance all types of future space missions, from planetary exploration to lunar and Mars surface missions.
Next generation zero-trust cybersecurity software eliminates network-wide device hacks and defends against critical IoT vulnerabilities
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (NXM Labs, Inc. PR) — NXM Labs, Inc., a leader in advanced cybersecurity software for connected devices, today unveiled its NXM Autonomous Security™platform that prevents hackers from gaining unauthorized access to commercial, industrial, medical, or consumer internet of things (IoT) devices. Tested in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology (Caltech), NXM successfully demonstrated the ability of its ground-breaking technology to enable future Mars rovers to automatically defend themselves and recover from cyberattacks. Caltech manages JPL on behalf of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA announced Friday the Psyche asteroid mission, the agency’s first mission designed to study a metal-rich asteroid, will not make its planned 2022 launch attempt.
Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft’s flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on Oct. 11. The mission team needs more time to ensure that the software will function properly in flight.
Over 100 participants from 18 countries – including NASA scientists and the agency’s NEOWISE mission – took part in the international exercise.
PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Watching the skies for large asteroids that could pose a hazard to the Earth is a global endeavor. So, to test their operational readiness, the international planetary defense community will sometimes use a real asteroid’s close approach as a mock encounter with a “new” potentially hazardous asteroid. The lessons learned could limit, or even prevent, global devastation should the scenario play out for real in the future.
The Surface Water and Ocean Topography mission will explore how the ocean absorbs atmospheric heat and carbon, moderating global temperatures and climate change.
PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Though climate change is driving sea level rise over time, researchers also believe that differences in surface height from place to place in the ocean can affect Earth’s climate. These highs and lows are associated with currents and eddies, swirling rivers in the ocean, that influence how it absorbs atmospheric heat and carbon.
Eyeing some of the components that enabled the rover to get safely to the Martian surface could provide valuable insights for future missions.
PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter recently surveyed both the parachute that helped the agency’s Perseverance rover land on Mars and the cone-shaped backshell that protected the rover in deep space and during its fiery descent toward the Martian surface on Feb. 18, 2021. Engineers with the Mars Sample Return program asked whether Ingenuity could provide this perspective. What resulted were 10 aerial color images taken April 19 during Ingenuity’s Flight 26.
Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, the newest addition to a long line of ocean-monitoring satellites, becomes the reference satellite for sea level measurements.
PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — On March 22, the newest U.S.-European sea level satellite, named Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich, became the official reference satellite for global sea level measurements. This means that sea surface height data collected by other satellites will be compared to the information produced by Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich to ensure their accuracy.
The count of confirmed exoplanets just ticked past the 5,000 mark, representing a 30-year journey of discovery led by NASA space telescopes.
PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Not so long ago, we lived in a universe with only a small number of known planets, all of them orbiting our Sun. But a new raft of discoveries marks a scientific high point: More than 5,000 planets are now confirmed to exist beyond our solar system.
Self-assembling technology for future space habitats, cancer research, and devices to purify air on space stations are among investigations headed to the International Space Station on first all-private astronaut mission to the orbiting laboratory
HOUSTON, 17 March 2022 (Axiom Space PR) – Axiom Space, a leader in human spaceflight now building the first commercial space station, announced today further details on the groundbreaking research planned for the upcoming Ax-1 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) – including self-assembling technology for satellites and future space habitats, cancer stem cell study, and air purification.
Science instruments and other hardware for the spacecraft will come together in the mission’s final phase before a launch to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa in 2024.
PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — When it’s fully assembled, NASA’s Europa Clipper will be as large as an SUV with solar arrays long enough to span a basketball court – all the better to help power the spacecraft during its journey to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa. And just about every detail of the spacecraft will have been hand-crafted.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded nearly $1.2 million to seven university teams through the 2022 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challengeto design, develop, and demonstrate innovative and cost-effective robotic systems that go beyond traditional wheeled rovers and move in different ways – including rovers that hop, slither, and roll.
As NASA expands its space exploration to more extreme terrain on the Moon, solutions to moving in harsh environments are integral. The BIG Idea Challenge spurs development of innovative technologies to meet the agency’s Artemis program goals to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before and use what we learn on the Moon to send humans to Mars.
The ability to move in different ways, or adaptive locomotive modality, is vital to enabling extreme terrain exploration. The capability to explore areas that are currently inaccessible will open new opportunities for science and in-situ resource utilization operations. The selected teams will develop integrated robotic solutions, with prototypes incorporating a minimal level of sensing, autonomy, and other necessary elements needed for a relevant test.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Bill Nelson on the appointment of Dr. Laurie Leshin as director of the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California.
“NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has a storied history of defying what was once thought impossible in the field of space exploration. In this new era of groundbreaking discoveries and constant innovation, it is clear that Dr. Laurie Leshin has a track record of scholarship and leadership needed to serve as director of JPL and cement the center’s status as a global leader in the 21st century.
“Under Dr. Leshin, the technology invented at JPL will continue to allow humans to explore the places in our universe that we cannot yet reach and spark the imaginations of future mathematicians, engineers, and pioneers in classrooms across America. I want thank Mike Watkins and Gen. Larry James for their contributions that the JPL team will build on for decades to come.”
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The distinguished geochemist and space scientist brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in academic and government service to JPL.
PASADENA, Calif. (Caltech PR) — Laurie Leshin, president of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), has been appointed director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and vice president of Caltech. Leshin will formally assume her position on May 16, 2022, succeeding Michael Watkins, who retired in August 2021, and Lt. Gen. Larry D. James USAF (Ret.), who currently serves as JPL interim director.