NASA’s Robonaut 2 which costs $2.5 million is the first humanoid ever to fly in space. Robonaut 2 was launched on STS-133 on February 24, 2011. NASA indicates “Robonauts are essential to NASA’s future as we go beyond low Earth orbit”, and Robonaut 2 will provide performance data about how a robot may work side-by-side with astronauts”. Robonaut is expected to come back at the end of this spring as early as May.
NASA Hammer spacecraft is going to save our lives. Asteroid Bennu has a 1 in 2,700 chance of hitting Earth the 21th of September in 2135. But don’t worry NASA has a plan to destroy it using nuclear bombs before it reaches here. The chances of Bennu actually making contact with Earth is highly unlikely, but the US government wants to make sure that this threat is neutralized. Bennu is currently about 54 million miles from Earth and orbits Sun.
Twins astronauts have lived a year separate from each other. One of the twins astronauts Scott Kelly has recently spent one year in space, while his identical twin brother Mark (a former NASA astronaut himself) stayed on Earth. The mission was part of an important health experiment, looking at how being in space affects our bodies. “Mark and Scott Kelly are still identical twins; Scott’s DNA did not fundamentally change,” wrote NASA news chief Kelly Humphries in an email. “What researchers did observe are changes in gene expression, which is how your body reacts to your environment”.
NASA is inviting you from all over the world to submit your names online to be placed on a microchip aboard NASA’s historic Parker Solar Probe mission which will launch in summer 2018. This was the first time a NASA spacecraft was named after a living person, honoring physicist Eugene Parker. At closest approach, Parker Solar Probe will be touching around the sun at approximately 450,000 miles per hour. That is fast enough to get from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., in one second. The mission will travel through the Sun’s atmosphere, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions and your name will go along for the ride.
NASA’s Juno probe has been discovering more about Jupiter Internal Structure than ever before. It is about its internal structure. The $1.1 billion spacecraft, which arrived in orbit around Jupiter in 2016, has been studying variations in the gas giant’s gravitational pull. The probe’s latest discoveries point out that Jupiter’s wind-sculpted bands extend down over 3,000km. That’s on a planet which is 140,000km wide. “This solves a long-time mystery,” said Juno scientist Tristan Guillot. According to him that was all really important for understanding atmospheric dynamics, not just on Jupiter but on other gaseous planets like Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and also the exoplanets they were at that moment discovering.
There is something new to realize a great idea. A startup that is called SpinLaunch in California wants to send payloads into space, and SpinLaunch raised $30 million found to develop operation. SpaceX spends approximately $62 million to launch its Falcon 9 rocket, while more powerful Falcon Heavy costs $90 million per launch. However, the price of single launch would be reduced to under $500,000. The company is planning to utilize large centrifuge spinning rate. All of its momentum will be harnessed to catapult cargo into space. If the momentum is high enough, the payload would be able to leave the atmosphere of Earth (probably at a speed of 4,800 km/h or more) on its own.
The Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft parachutes down to Earth on April 10, 2017 with 3 members of Expedition 50 on beard. On Tuesday February 27, 3 Expedition 54 crewmembers came back from the International Space Station in the Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft. They came back to Earth yesterday after spending 168 days abroad the International Space Station(ISS). NASA astronauts Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonaut departed the ISS at 6:00.
The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway was one of several projects funded in President Donald Trump’s $19.9 billion NASA budget proposal for 2019. It would work similarly to the International Space Station. The lunar platform will orbit the moon not the Earth. It is going to finish by 2023. Robert Lightfoot, NASA’s acting administrator, said “The platform would “help us further explore the moon and its resources and translate that experience toward human missions to Mars”. The power and propulsion element is going to lunch in 2022. This element would use solar electric propulsion to keep the gateway in the appropriate position in space. It also would provide space to Earth, space to lunar and spacecraft to spacecraft communications, as well as support communication for spacewalks. Lasers would be transferred according to a Feb. 13 NASA web post.
Hubble watches Neptune’s Mysterious Shrinking Storm. Three billion miles away on the farthest known main planet in our solar system, an ominous, dark storm – once big enough to stretch across the Atlantic Ocean from Boston to Portugal – is shrinking out of existence as seen in pictures of Neptune taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Immense dark storms on Neptune were first discovered in the late 1980s by NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft. Since then, only Hubble has had the sharpness in blue light to track these elusive features that have played a game of peek-a-boo over the years. Hubble found two dark storms that appeared in the mid-1990s and then vanished.