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Posts Tagged ‘NASA’

Earth Smash!

Way to go, NASA, you did good!

NASA’s DART mission successfully crashes spacecraft into asteroid

It was a cosmic smash-up watched around the world.

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Sorry not sorry! (Image credit: NASA/JHUAPL)

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Today is the first test of humanity’s nascent planetary defense system. Like Armageddon, except scientists are the heroes.

NASA will hit an asteroid with a spacecraft to change its course : NPR

“It’s just a spacecraft that is going to go and smack an asteroid.” Oh, is that all?

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NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) is scheduled to crash a spacecraft into an asteroid to test our ability to nudge potentially dangerous near-Earth objects into safer trajectories. That is excellent, and we can watch it.

How to Livestream NASA Smashing an Asteroid to Test Planetary Defense Plan

The impact day broadcast of the actual test will start on Monday, September 26 at 6 p.m. EDT, which you can watch on NASA TV, a livestream on NASA’s YouTube channel.

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What will happen and how will we know? 

Ground-based telescopes are key to DART asteroid mission success | Space

On Monday (Sept. 26), the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) spacecraft will slam into a small space rock called Dimorphos — on purpose, at a staggering 4 miles (6.6 kilometers) per second. The exercise comes in the name of planetary defense, which aims to protect human civilization from any large asteroid that may be on a collision course. For the mission to succeed, scientists need to measure exactly how much the orbit of Dimorphos around its larger companion, Didymos, speeds up. And the DART spacecraft won’t be in any shape to make that measurement itself, so mission personnel are relying on ground-based telescopes to track the aftermath of impact.

If this trial run works, terrific, but even failure would better prepare us to defend Earth. 

Si vis pacem, para [asteroides].

Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus (with minor paraphrasing)

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Photo by Senad Palic on Unsplash

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You may have heard that NASA scrubbed the Artemis moon launch for technical reasons. The good news is that the launch will be rescheduled. 

NASA could again try to launch Artemis moon mission as soon as late September : NPR

Until then, we wait.

Why Is NASA’s Hold Music So Catchy? – The Atlantic

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Photo by Arno Senoner on Unsplash

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This morning at 8:33 a.m. EDT (12:33 GMT), NASA’s Artemis rocket is set to launch for the moon. 

Watch NASA’s Artemis 1 moon launch online today | Space

The space agency will host Artemis 1 launch webcast on Aug. 29 to showcase the uncrewed launch on NASA’s first Space Launch System megarocket from Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

As of this writing, live updates have begun. Weather forecasts are good but there is an engine issue. Engineers are working the problem but some delays are expected. 

The fact that humanity has been going into space, and to the moon, for decades doesn’t mean it’s easy. And that’s ok.

“I don’t need easy. I just need possible.”

Katie Bone, 16-year old nationally-ranked athlete and Type 1 diabetic

Follow launch live updates or watch it on NASA’s livestream now.

Update: Today’s launch has been scrubbed. More later!

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Photo by Riley on Unsplash

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Lieutenant Uhura is now with the stars.

Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Nichelle Nichols, Lt. Uhura on ‘Star Trek,’ dead at 89
Nichols was one of the first Black women featured in a major television series, and her role as Lt. Nyota Uhura on the original TV series was groundbreaking: an African American woman whose name came from Uhuru, the Swahili word for “freedom.”

“For the first time, we are being seen the world over as we should be seen.”

— Martin Luther King Jr., Star Trek’s Uhura Reflects On MLK Encounter

Nichelle Nichols showed us all that the future belonged to more than just white men, and then she helped NASA build that future.

“After Apollo 11, Nichelle made it her mission to inspire women and people of color to join this agency, change the face of STEM and explore the cosmos. Nichelle’s mission is NASA’s mission. Today, as we work to send the first woman and first person of color to the Moon under Artemis, NASA is guided by the legacy of Nichelle Nichols.”

— NASA Administrator Bill Nelson
NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

She demonstrated, with talent, conviction, determination and grace, that the future is brighter when all of us are in it.

“If they let me in the door, I will open it so wide that they will see the world.”

— Woman in Motion tells story of how Star Trek’s Uhura changed NASA forever | Ars Technica

She did. We did. And humanity is so much better for it.

“If you can see it, you can be it,” the saying goes. Nichelle Nichols gave millions of people the opportunity to see themselves on the frontiers of science and exploration, boldly expanding human understanding.

She inspired so many of us to reach for the stars. What a legacy.

— Hillary Clinton

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(NASA/Bill Ingalls) NASA Identifier: nasahqphoto-5161637425

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First Images from the James Webb Space Telescope | NASA

The dawn of a new era in astronomy has begun as the world gets its first look at the full capabilities of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope…

NASA has begun to roll out new images from the Webb Telescope. They are (insert understatement here) impressive. This is one example, of the Carina Nebula:

Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

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Would you like to know more?

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Need to take a quick break, maybe get off the planet for a bit? Now’s a great time to visit the Moon!

Send your name to the Moon with NASA’s Artemis mission!

Send Your Name to Space

Add your name here to have it included on a flash drive that will fly aboard Artemis I.

You could even do a little public service and cleanup litter once you’re up there, because Space Junk Just Crashed Into the Far Side of the Moon at 5,800 MPH.

While we’re talking space, you can also check out the current Location Map for Perseverance Rover.

Because sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of the good that humans can do, too.

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Photo by Silas van Overeem on Unsplash

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I feel more relaxed already.

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Photo by Chris Curry on Unsplash

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I accumulate a lot of random facts. Here’s one I found interesting: Spiders can’t spidey so well when they’re on drugs.

Just say no, spiders, just say no!*

* Unless you have a constant source of delicious insects supplied by your organization’s graduate students and no pressing engagements, in which case, you do you, spideys.

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NASA Tech Briefs, April 1995 – NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS), file p. 106, document p. 82

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What am I reading with lunch? How about a graphic novel about a woman, space, and a spunky little robot? App and interactivity are optional (but could be fun).

NASA – First Woman (read onlinedownload PDF)

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NASA

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