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воскресенье, 7 января 2018 г.

13 Reasons to Have an Out of This World Friday (the 13th)

1. Know that not all of humanity is bound to the

ground


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Since 2000, the International

Space Station has been continuously occupied by humans. There, crew members

live and work while conducting important research that benefits life on Earth

and will even help us eventually travel to deep space destinations, like Mars.


2. Smart people are up all night working in control

rooms all over NASA to ensure that data keeps flowing from our satellites and

spacecraft


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Our satellites and spacecraft help scientists study Earth

and space. Missions looking toward Earth provide information about clouds,

oceans, land and ice. They also measure gases in the atmosphere, such as ozone

and carbon dioxide, and the amount of energy that Earth absorbs and emits. And

satellites monitor wildfires, volcanoes and their smoke.


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Satellites and spacecraft that

face toward space have a variety of jobs. Some watch for dangerous rays coming

from the sun. Others explore asteroids and comets, the history of stars, and

the origin of planets. Some fly near or orbit other planets. These spacecraft

may look for evidence of water on Mars or capture close-up pictures of Saturn’s

rings.


3. The spacecraft, rockets and systems developed to

send astronauts to low-Earth orbit as part our Commercial Crew Program is also

helping us get to Mars


Changes to the human body during

long-duration spaceflight
are significant challenges to solve ahead of a

mission to Mars and back. The space station allows us to perform long duration

missions without leaving Earth’s orbit.


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Although they are orbiting

Earth, space station astronauts spend months at a time in near-zero gravity,

which allows scientists to study several physiological changes and test

potential solutions. The more time they spend in space, the more helpful the

station crew members can be to those on Earth assembling the plans to go to

Mars.


4. Two new science missions will travel where no

spacecraft has gone before…a Jupiter Trojan asteroid and a giant metal

asteroid!


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We’ve selected

two missions
that have the potential to open new windows on one of the earliest

eras in the history of our solar system
– a time less than 10 million years

after the birth of our sun!


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The first mission, Lucy, will

visit six of Jupiter’s mysterious Trojan asteroids. The Trojans are thought to

be relics of a much earlier era in the history of the solar system, and may

have formed far beyond Jupiter’s current orbit.


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The second mission, Psyche,

will study a unique metal asteroid that’s never been visited before. This giant

metal asteroid, known as 16 Psyche, is about three times farther away from the

sun than is the Earth. Scientists wonder whether Psyche could be an exposed

core of an early planet that could have been as large as Mars, but which lost

its rocky outer layers due to a number of violent collisions billions of years

ago.


5. Even astronauts eat their VEGGIES’s


NASA astronaut Shane

Kimbrough

collected the third and final harvest
of the latest round of the Veggie

investigation, testing the capability to grow fresh vegetables on the

International Space Station.


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Understanding how plants respond to microgravity

is an important step for future long-duration space missions, which will require

crew members to grow their

own food
. Crew members have previously grown

lettuce
and flowers

in the Veggie

facility
. This new series of the study expands on previous validation

tests.


6. When you feel far away from home, you can think of

the New Horizons spacecraft as it heads toward the Kuiper Belt, and the Voyager

spacecrafts are beyond the influence of our sun…billions of miles away


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Our New Horizons spacecraft completed its Pluto flyby in

July 2015 and has continued on its way toward the Kuiper Belt. The spacecraft continues to send back

important data as it travels toward deeper space at more than 32,000 miles per

hour, and is nearly 3.2 billion miles from Earth.


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In addition to New Horizons,

our twin Voyager

1 and 2 spacecraft
are exploring where nothing from Earth has flown before.

Continuing on their more-than-37-year journey since their 1977 launches, they

are each much farther away from Earth and the sun than Pluto. In August 2012, Voyager

1 made the historic entry into interstellar space, the region between the

stars, filled with material ejected by the death of nearby stars millions of

years ago.


7. Earth has a magnetic field that largely protects it

from the solar wind stripping away out atmosphere…unlike Mars


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Findings from our MAVEN mission have identified the process that appears

to have played a key role in the transition of the Martian climate from an early, warm

and wet environment to the cold, arid planet Mars is today. MAVEN data have

enabled researchers to determine the rate at which the Martian atmosphere

currently is losing gas to space via stripping by the solar wind. Luckily,

Earth has a magnetic field that largely protects it from this process.


8. There are humans brave enough to not only travel in

space, but venture outside space station to perform important repairs and

updates during spacewalks


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Spacewalks

are
important events where crew members repair, maintain and upgrade parts

of the International Space Station. These activities can also be referred to as

EVAs – Extravehicular Activities. Not only do spacewalks require an enormous

amount of work to prepare for, but they are physically demanding on the

astronauts. They are working in the vacuum of space in only their spacewalking

suit.


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When on a spacewalk,

astronauts use safety tethers to stay close to their spacecraft. One end of the

tether is hooked to the spacewalker, while the other end is connected to the

vehicle. Spacewalks typically last around 6.5 hours, but can be extended to 7

or 8 hours, if necessary.


9. We’re working to create new aircraft that will dramatically

reduce fuel use, emissions and noise…meaning we could change the way you fly! 


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The nation’s airlines could

realize more than $250

billion dollars in savings
in the near future thanks to green-related

technologies that we are developing and refining. These new technologies could

cut airline fuel use in half, pollution by 75% and noise to nearly one-eighth

of today’s levels!


10. You can see a global image of your home planet…EVERY

DAY


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Once a day, we will post at

least a dozen new color images of Earth acquired from 12 to 36 hours

earlier. These images are taken by our EPIC camera from one million miles away

on the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR). Take a look HERE.


11. Employees of NASA have always been a mission

driven bunch, who try to find answers that were previously unknown


The film “Hidden Figures,”

focuses on the stories of Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan,

African-American women who were essential to the success of early spaceflight.



Today, we embrace their

legacy and strive to include everyone who wants to participate in our ongoing

exploration. In the 1960’s, we were on an ambitious journey to the moon, and

the human computers portrayed in Hidden Figures helped get us there. Today, we

are on an even more ambitious journey to Mars. We are building a vibrant,

innovative workforce that reflects a vast diversity of discipline and thought,

embracing and nurturing all the talent we have available, regardless of gender,

race or other protected status. Take a look at our Modern Figures HERE.


12. A lot of NASA-developed tech has been transferred

for use to the public



Our Technology Transfer Program highlights technologies

that were originally designed for our mission needs, but have since been

introduced to the public market. HERE are a few spinoff technologies that you might not

know about.


13. If all else fails, here’s an image of what we

(Earth) and the moon look like from Mars  


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From the most powerful

telescope orbiting Mars comes a new

view of Earth and its moon
, showing continent-size detail on the planet and

the relative size of the moon. The image combines two separate exposures taken

on Nov. 20 by our High

Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE)
camera on our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.


In the image, the reddish feature near the

middle of the face of Earth is Australia.


Source NASA blog


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