NASA, University Hospitals Join Forces in Response to COVID-19

Doctors Amrita John and Shine Raju at UH Cleveland Medical Center with the device that decontaminates masks using atomic oxygen. (Credit: University Hospitals)

CLEVELAND (NASA PR) — NASA’s Glenn Research Center and University Hospitals (UH) in Cleveland have collaborated to develop new methods and technologies for decontaminating personal protective equipment (PPE) for aerospace applications and for safeguarding the health of workers caring for patients with coronavirus (COVID-19).

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Working Remotely at the German Space Operations Center – New Plasma Crystal Experiments on ISS

PK-4 – a neon tube as an experimental reactor (Credit: MPE)
  • Important milestone – successful completion of the 10th measurement campaign with the PK-4 plasma crystal laboratory on the ISS.
  • For the first time, the German Space Operations Center has taken over the scientific support of the PK experiments.
  • COVID-19 protection measures – DLR scientists from Oberpfaffenhofen maintain contact with the PK-4 Control Centre in Toulouse and the ISS.
  • Unique insights using PK-4 – plasma crystals can form in microgravity. The plasma particles behave like atoms and can be observed individually with the naked eye.

OBERFAFFENHOFEN, Germany (DLR PR) — Under normal circumstances, the researchers would have gone to Toulouse, as only from there can they control the PK-4 plasma crystal laboratory, which has been on board the International Space Station (ISS) since 2015. However, the Coronavirus pandemic has made travelling from Oberpfaffenhofen to the CADMOS Control Centre in France impossible. The experiments under microgravity conditions, which had taken months of preparation, were at risk of being cancelled.

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Keep GPS Working Coalition Launched Following FCC’s Controversial Ligardo Approval

Global Positioning System (Credit: DOT&E)

Coalition’s first action is to endorse Inhofe-Reed legislation forcing Ligado to provide financial relief to consumers, industries and other end users

WASHINGTON (June 23)—Five organizations representing thousands of companies and millions of Americans have launched a new coalition to protect end users of GPS following the Federal Communications Commission’s April 22 decision to permit Ligado Networks to operate a terrestrial wireless network using its satellite spectrum.

Ligado’s planned use of its so called “L-Band”spectrum, which is closely adjacent to bands used by GPS, would threaten the reception capability of hundreds of millions of GPS devices.

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NASA, Partner Space Agencies to Release Global View of COVID-19 Impacts

A unique collection of data from Earth-observing spacecraft managed by NASA, the European Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will track the environmental and socioeconomic impacts caused by the global response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) will unveil a dashboard of satellite data showing impacts on the environment and socioeconomic activity caused by the global response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic during a media teleconference at 9 a.m. EDT Thursday, June 25.

The COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard is a tri-agency collaboration that brings together current and historical satellite observations with analytical tools to create a user-friendly information resource for the public and researchers. The dashboard tracks key indicators of changes in air and water quality, climate, economic activity, and agriculture.

The teleconference participants are:

  • Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington
  • Josef Aschbacher, director of ESA Earth observation programmes, Frascati, Italy
  • Koji Terada, vice president and director general for the Space Technology Directorate at JAXA, Tsukuba, Japan
  • Shin-ichi Sobue, project manager for JAXA’s Advanced Land Observing Satellite-2, Tsukuba, Japan
  • Ken Jucks, upper atmosphere research program manager at NASA’s Earth Science Division, Washington
  • Marie-Helene Rio, ocean applications scientist at the ESA Centre for Earth Observation, Frascati, Italy

Members of the media and the public can also submit questions before and during the briefing via social media with the hashtag #AskNASA.

Audio of the teleconference with supporting graphics will stream live at:

http://www.nasa.gov/live

A link to the COVID-19 Earth Observation Dashboard along with supporting graphics for the briefing will become available at approximately 8 a.m. Thursday, June 25 at:

https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/13647

For more information about NASA’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/coronavirus

For more information on NASA’s Earth Science programs, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/earth

SMC Announces Plan to Award Contracts for 12 Rideshare Launches to 6 Companies

LauncherOne operated in powered flight for only seconds before an anomaly shut it down after being dropped from the Cosmic Girl Boeing 747. (Credit; Virgin Orbit)

In an effort to support its industrial based during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) has announced its intention to award 12 small satellite rideshare launches to six companies.

The awards will be made to:

  • Aevum
  • Astra
  • Rocket Lab USA
  • Space Vector
  • VOX Space
  • X-Bow.
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The Launch Is Approaching for NASA’s Next Mars Rover, Perseverance

In a clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, engineers observed the first driving test for NASA’s Mars 2020 rover on Dec. 17, 2019. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The Red Planet’s surface has been visited by eight NASA spacecraft. The ninth will be the first that includes gathering Mars samples for future return to Earth. 

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover is just over a month from its July 20 targeted launch date. The rover’s astrobiology mission will seek signs of past microscopic life on Mars, explore the geology of the Jezero Crater landing site, and demonstrate key technologies to help prepare for future robotic and human exploration. And the rover will do all that while collecting the first samples of Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust) for return to Earth by a set of future missions.

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Space-enabled Mobile Bio-lab to Test Key Workers for COVID-19

Space-enabled mobile bio-lab in Belgium (Credit: UCLouvain)

OTTIGNIES-LOUVAIN-LA-NEUVE, Belgium (ESA PR) — A deployable laboratory that can test front-line healthcare staff, civil protection volunteers and police forces for the coronavirus has left Belgium and is on its way to Piedmont, Italy.

Italy has been badly affected by the pandemic. In response ESA has been working to identify how space can help.

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Major Space Agency Heads Hold Virtual Meeting

Translated from French by Google Translate

PARIS (CNES PR) — Tuesday, June 9, fifteen heads of space agencies from around the world (European Space Agency (ESA), Germany, Australia, Canada, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, France, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, News – Zealand, Russia, United Kingdom) participated, at the invitation of NASA, in a virtual meeting to exchange their points of view on the progress of human and robotic exploration. 

Because of COVID-19, this meeting could not be held, as every year, at the time of the Colorado Springs Space Symposium initially scheduled for the end of March. 

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Tower Extension Test a Success for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

Technicians inspect a critical part of the James Webb Space Telescope known as the Deployable Tower Assembly after fully extending it in the same maneuver it will perform in once in space. (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — To test the James Webb Space Telescope’s readiness for its journey in space, technicians successfully commanded it to deploy and extend a critical part of the observatory known as the Deployable Tower Assembly. 

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SpaceX Ends Lease at Port of Los Angeles

SpaceX’s plan to build components for its Starship and Super Heavy boosters at the Port of Los Angeles is dead — again.

Elon Musk’s company gave notice to the port on March 27 that it was backing out of a lease to locate a research, development, manufacturing and recovery facility at a dilapidated structure on Terminal Island.

SpaceX gave notice just over a month after harbor commissioners approved a 10-year lease with two 10-year extensions on Feb. 21. The agreement was later approved by the Los Angeles City Council.

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Space Exploration in a Time of Social Turmoil

The Expedition 63 crew welcomes Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA/Bill Stafford)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

The contrast was jarring. In one browser window, two NASA astronauts were making their way to the International Space Station (ISS) after the first orbital launch of a crew from U.S. soil in nearly 9 years.

In another window, scenes of chaos played out as protests over the death of George Floyd after his arrest by Minneapolis police erupted into violent clashes across the country.

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NASA Supercomputers Power COVID-19 Research

Pleiades’ rack-based architecture allows NASA to continually increase the system’s computing capability through hardware upgrades without needing to expand its physical footprint. The current configuration of Pleiades is nearly 15 times more powerful than it was when the system was originally installed in 2008. (Credits: NASA’s Ames Research Center)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA is flexing its supercomputing muscle to help crack some of the most pressing questions surrounding COVID-19, from basic science on how the virus interacts with cells in the human body to genetic risk factors to screening for potential therapeutic drugs.

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Eight US Manufacturers Selected to Make NASA COVID-19 Ventilator

Some of the dozens of engineers involved in creating a ventilator prototype specially targeted to coronavirus disease patients at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — After receiving more than 100 applications, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California has selected eight U.S. manufacturers to make a new ventilator tailored for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.

The prototype, which was created by JPL engineers in just 37 days, received an Emergency Use Authorization  from the Food and Drug Administration on April 30.

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Indian Pilots Resume Astronaut Training in Russia

Indian astronaut in training. (Credit: Roscosmos)

STAR CITY, Russia (Roscosmos PR) — The Gagarin Research & Test Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) on May 12 resumed training of the Indian cosmonauts under the contract between Glavkosmos, JSC (part of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos) and the Human Spaceflight Center of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

All four Indian cosmonauts undergoing training in Russia are in good health and feel fine. The health of Indian cosmonauts is carefully protected: GCTC continues to observe anti-epidemic regulations according to which sanitary and hygienic measures are carried out at all the GCTC facilities, social distancing measures are applied and the presence of unauthorized persons is restricted; all employees and cosmonauts must wear medical masks and gloves.

This week, the GCTC specialists are giving theoretical classes on the basics of astrogation, the basics of manned spacecraft control and the Russian language to the Indian cosmonauts.

The contract for the training of Indian cosmonauts between Glavkosmos and the Human Spaceflight Center of the Indian Space Research Organisation was signed on June 27, 2019.

Their training in Russia started on February 10, 2020. Since the end of this March, due to the global pandemic of a new coronavirus infection, a lockdown was recommended for the Indian cosmonauts which they carefully observed.