суббота, 27 июля 2019 г.

Dragon Captured With New Science Experiments

SpaceX — Dragon CRS-18 Mission patch.

July 27, 2019

Image above: The SpaceX Dragon is in the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm shortly after it was captured over southern Chile. Image Credit: NASA.

While the International Space Station was traveling more than 260 miles over southern Chile, astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch of NASA grappled Dragon at 9:11 a.m. EDT using the space station’s robotic arm Canadarm2.

Ground controllers will now send commands to begin the robotic installation of the spacecraft on bottom of the station’s Harmony module. NASA Television coverage of installation is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Watch online at http://www.nasa.gov/live

SpaceX CRS-18 Dragon capture

The Dragon lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Thursday, July 25 with more than 5,000 pounds of research, equipment, cargo and supplies that will support dozens of investigations aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Here’s some of the research arriving at station:

Bio-Mining in Microgravity

The Biorock investigation will provide insight into the physical interactions of liquid, rocks and microorganisms under microgravity conditions and improve the efficiency and understanding of mining materials in space. Bio-mining eventually could help explorers on the Moon or Mars acquire needed materials, lessening the need to use precious resources from Earth and reducing the amount of supplies that explorers must take with them.

Printing Biological Tissues in Space

Using 3D biological printers to produce usable human organs has long been a dream of scientists and doctors around the globe. However, printing the tiny, complex structures found inside human organs, such as capillary structures, has proven difficult to accomplish in Earth’s gravity. To overcome this challenge, Techshot designed their BioFabrication Facility to print organ-like tissues in microgravity – a stepping stone in a long-term plan to manufacture whole human organs in space using refined biological 3D printing techniques.

Improving Tire Manufacturing from Orbit

The Goodyear Tire investigation will use microgravity to push the limits of silica fillers for tire applications. A better understanding of silica morphology and the relationship between silica structure and its properties could improve the silica design process, silica rubber formulation and tire manufacturing and performance. Such improvements could include increased fuel efficiency, which would reduce transportation costs and help to protect Earth’s environment.

Related articles:

Dragon Reaches Orbit, Astronauts Prepare for Saturday Capture

SpaceX Falcon 9 Successfully Launches CRS-18

Related links:

Canadarm2: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/tag/canadarm2/

NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/live

Biorock: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7566

BioFabrication Facility: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=7599

Goodyear Tire: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7716

Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html

International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Image (mentioned), Video, Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia/NASA TV/SciNews.

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Chandra X-Ray Observatory, We Appreciate You

On July 23, 1999, the Space Shuttle Columbia blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center carrying the Chandra X-ray Observatory. In the two decades that have passed, Chandra’s powerful and unique X-ray eyes have contributed to a revolution in our understanding of the cosmos.


Since its launch 20 years ago, Chandra’s unrivaled X-ray vision has changed the way we see the universe.

Chandra has captured galaxy clusters – the largest gravitationally bound objects in the universe – in the process of merging.


Chandra has shown us the powerful wind and shock fronts that rumble through star-forming systems.


And a star school, so to speak – home to thousands of the Milky Way’s biggest and brightest.


Carl Sagan said, “We are made of star-stuff." It’s true. Most of the elements necessary for life are forged inside stars and blasted into interstellar space by supernovas. Chandra has tracked them.


Thank you Chandra X-Ray! To more adventures with you!


Check out Chandra’s 20th anniversary page to see how they are celebrating.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

‘Merry Maidens’ Prehistoric Stone Circle, Cornwall, 22.7.19.

‘Merry Maidens’ Prehistoric Stone Circle, Cornwall, 22.7.19.

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2019 July 27 Chandrayaan 2 Launch Image Credit &…

2019 July 27

Chandrayaan 2 Launch
Image Credit & Copyright: Neeraj Ladia

Explanation: On July 22nd this GSLV (Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle) MkIII rocket vanished from sight into a cloud bank an instant after this dramatic snapshot was taken. Launched from India’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre it carried the Chandrayaan 2 mission spacecraft into Earth orbit. The spacecraft’s orbiter, lander, and rover are destined for the Moon, though. In the coming weeks it will perform a series of orbit raising maneuvers, eventually transferring to lunar orbit in early September. Carrying the solar-powered rover, the lander is scheduled to separate and attempt its autonomous soft landing at high latitudes near the lunar south pole. It should arrive on the lunar nearside near local sunrise and the start of a two Earth-week long lunar day on September 7.

∞ Source: apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap190727.html

Gun Rith Prehistoric Standing Stone, Cornwall, 22.7.19.

Gun Rith Prehistoric Standing Stone, Cornwall, 22.7.19.

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Hubble Snaps a Galactic Potpourri of Particles

NASA — Hubble Space Telescope patch.

July 26, 2019

Every now and then, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope glimpses a common object — say, a spiral galaxy — in an interesting or unusual way. A sharply angled perspective, such as the one shown in this Hubble image, can make it seem as if we, the viewers, are craning our necks to see over a barrier into the galaxy’s bright center.

In the case of NGC 3169, this barrier is the thick dust embedded within the galaxy’s spiral arms. Cosmic dust comprises a potpourri of particles, including water ice, hydrocarbons, silicates and other solid material. It has many origins and sources, from the leftovers of star and planet formation to molecules modified over millions of years by interactions with starlight.

NGC 3169 is located about 70 million light-years away in the constellation of Sextans (the Sextant). It is part of the Leo I Group of galaxies, which, like the Local Group that houses our home galaxy, the Milky Way, is part of a larger galactic congregation known as the Virgo Supercluster.

Hubble Space Telescope (HST)

For more information about Hubble, visit:




Text Credits: ESA (European Space Agency)/NASA/Rob Garner/Image, Animation, Credits: ESA/Hubble & NASA, L. Ho.

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Space Station Science Highlights: Week of July 22, 2019

ISS — Expedition 60 Mission patch.

July 26, 2019

Scientific investigations conducted aboard the International Space Station last week included work on radiation, flying robots, space plasma, and DNA damage and repair in space. The Expedition 60 crew also made preparations for the Saturday arrival of the 18th SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) and its cargo of supplies and additional scientific investigations. The orbiting lab provides a platform for commercial research and development and many of its investigations support Artemis, NASA’s program to return humans to the Moon as a stepping stone to Mars.

Image above: The Soyuz MS-13 crew ship approaches the International Space Station carrying three new Expedition 60 members: Drew Morgan of NASA, Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency and Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos. The Soyuz docked to the station on July 20, the 50th anniversary of NASA landing humans on the Moon for the first time. Image Credit: NASA.

Here are details on some of the science conducted on the space station during the week of July 22:

Detecting and mapping radiation dose

Last week, the crew deployed the eleven dosimeters for the DOSIS-3D experiment, which uses active and passive detectors to determine the radiation doses in different locations inside the space station. It provides documentation of the actual nature and distribution of the radiation fields, used to develop a three-dimensional map of the dose distribution in all segments of the space station. Continual exposure to varying levels of radiation in space can be harmful to the health of astronauts and learning more about that exposure is key to protecting crew members.

Examining plasma crystal formation

The crew initiated a run that will catch particle clouds inside the Plasma chamber for PK 4. This investigation, a collaboration between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), studies complex plasmas or low temperature gaseous mixtures composed of ionized gas, neutral gas, and micron-sized particles. These particles become highly charged and interact with each other, which can lead to formation of self-organized structures called plasma crystals. Understanding how these structures form in microgravity could shed light on plasma phenomena in space and lead to new research methods and improved spacecraft designs.

New robot assistants flying on the station

Image above: NASA astronaut Christina Koch monitors a mobility test of an Astrobee, the blue, black and white box floating in front of her. Astronauts are currently testing three of these free-flying robotic assistants on the space station. Image Credit: NASA.

Astrobee is a demonstration of three free-flying robots designed to help scientists and engineers develop and test technologies that can assist astronauts with routine chores and give ground controllers additional eyes and ears on the space station The autonomous robots, powered by fans and vision-based navigation, perform crew monitoring, sampling, and logistics management, and accommodate up to three investigations. The crew collected data for use in calibration and localization for future mobility testing of the robots.

Real-time analysis of DNA repair

Damage to deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) caused by increased exposure to radiation in space can affect the long-term health of astronauts. Genes in Space-6 determines the optimal DNA repair mechanisms that cells use in the spaceflight environment. The investigation evaluates the entire process in space for the first time by inducing DNA damage in cells and assessing mutation and repair at the molecular level using the miniPCR and the Biomolecule Sequencer tools aboard the space station. Last week, crew members swabbed samples for this inflight analysis.

Other investigations on which the crew performed work:

— Photobioreactor tests whether the biological processes of microalgae work together with existing systems to create a hybrid life support system. This approach could reduce the amount of consumables required from Earth for future long-duration missions:

Image above: NASA astronaut Nick Hague services the Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR), which supports safe flame and fuel research with potential benefit for fire safety on Earth and in space as well as applications in the design of advanced combustion systems for spacecraft and Earth-bound vehicles. Image Credit: NASA.

— ACME Flame Design, which studies the production and control of soot to optimize oxygen-enriched combustion and the design of robust, soot-free flames, is part of a series of independent ACME experiments using the space station’s Combustion Integrated Rack (CIR):

— The ISS Experience creates short virtual reality videos from footage taken during the yearlong investigation covering different aspects of crew life, execution of science, and the international partnerships involved on the space station:

— Space Moss determines how microgravity affects the growth, development, and other features of moss. Tiny plants without roots, mosses need only a small area for growth, an advantage for their potential use in space and future bases on the Moon or Mars:

— The Actiwatch is a wristwatch-like monitor containing an accelerometer to measure motion and color sensitive photodetectors for monitoring ambient lighting to help analyze the crew’s circadian rhythms, sleep-wake patterns, and activity:

— Food Acceptability examines changes in the appeal of food aboard the space station during long-duration missions. “Menu fatigue” from repeatedly consuming a limited choice of foods may contribute to the loss of body mass often experienced by crew members, potentially affecting astronaut health, especially as mission length increases:

— ISS HAM or Amateur Radio on the International Space Station lets students around the world talk directly with crew members on the space station, inspiring them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, and engaging them with radio science technology through amateur radio:

Space to Ground: Gateway to the Future: 07/26/2019

Related links:

Expedition 60: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition60/index.html

Artemis: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/what-is-artemis/

DOSIS-3D: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=177

PK 4: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=1192

Astrobee: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Facility.html?#id=1891

Genes in Space-6: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7893

Spot the Station: https://spotthestation.nasa.gov/

Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html

International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Images (mentioned), Video (NASA), Text, Credits: NASA/Michael Johnson/Vic Cooley, Lead Increment Scientist Expedition 60.

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NASA’s TESS Mission Completes First Year of Survey, Turns to Northern Sky

NASA — Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) logo.

July 25, 2019

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has discovered 21 planets outside our solar system and captured data on other interesting events occurring in the southern sky during its first year of science. TESS has now turned its attention to the Northern Hemisphere to complete the most comprehensive planet-hunting expedition ever undertaken.

Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite or TESS. Image Credit: NASA

TESS began hunting for exoplanets (or worlds orbiting distant stars) in the southern sky in July of 2018, while also collecting data on supernovae, black holes and other phenomena in its line of sight. Along with the planets TESS has discovered, the mission has identified over 850 candidate exoplanets that are waiting for confirmation by ground-based telescopes.

“The pace and productivity of TESS in its first year of operations has far exceeded our most optimistic hopes for the mission,” said George Ricker, TESS’s principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge. “In addition to finding a diverse set of exoplanets, TESS has discovered a treasure trove of astrophysical phenomena, including thousands of violently variable stellar objects.”

To search for exoplanets, TESS uses four large cameras to watch a 24-by-96-degree section of the sky for 27 days at a time. Some of these sections overlap, so some parts of the sky are observed for almost a year. TESS is concentrating on stars closer than 300 light-years from our solar system, watching for transits, which are periodic dips in brightness caused by an object, like a planet, passing in front of the star.

Highlight From TESS’s First Year

Video above: Here are highlights from TESS’s first year of science operations. All exoplanet animations are illustrations. Video Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

On July 18, the southern portion of the survey was completed and the spacecraft turned its cameras to the north. When it completes the northern section in 2020, TESS will have mapped over three quarters of the sky.

“Kepler discovered the amazing result that, on average, every star system has a planet or planets around it,” said Padi Boyd, TESS project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “TESS takes the next step. If planets are everywhere, let’s find those orbiting bright, nearby stars because they’ll be the ones we can now follow up with existing ground and space-based telescopes, and the next generation of instruments for decades to come.”

Here are a few of the interesting objects and events TESS saw during its first year.


To qualify as an exoplanet candidate, an object must make at least three transits in the TESS data, and then pass through several additional checks to make sure the transits were not a false positive caused by an eclipse or companion star, but may in fact be an exoplanet. Once a candidate is identified, astronomers deploy a large network of ground-based telescopes to confirm it.

“The team is currently focused on finding the best candidates to confirm by ground-based follow-up,” said Natalia Guerrero, who manages the team in charge of identifying exoplanet candidates at MIT. “But there are many more potential exoplanet candidates in the data yet to be analyzed, so we’re really just seeing the tip of the iceberg here. TESS has only scratched the surface.”

The planets TESS has discovered so far range from a world 80% the size of Earth to ones comparable to or exceeding the sizes of Jupiter and Saturn. Like Kepler, TESS is finding many planets smaller in size than Neptune, but larger than Earth.

Image above: Illustration of L 98-59b, the smallest exoplanet discovered by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. Image Credits: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Ravyn Cullor.

While NASA is striving to put astronauts on some of our nearest neighbors — the Moon and Mars — in order to understand more about the planets in our own solar system, follow-up observations with powerful telescopes of the planets TESS discovers will enable us to better understand how Earth and the solar system formed.

With TESS’s data, scientists using current and future observatories, like the James Webb Space Telescope, will be able to study other aspects of exoplanets, like the presence and composition of any atmosphere, which would impact the possibility of developing life.


Before science operations started, TESS snapped clear images of a newly discovered comet in our solar system. During on-orbit instrument testing, the satellite’s cameras took a series of images that captured the motion of C/2018 N1, a comet found on June 29 by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE).

TESS captured data on similar objects outside the solar system as well.


Data from the mission were also used to identify transits by comets orbiting another star:   Beta Pictoris, located 63 light-years away. Astronomers were able to find three comets that were too small to be planets and had detectable tails, the first identification of its type in visible light.


Because TESS spends nearly a month looking in the same location, it can capture data on stellar events, like supernovae, as they begin. During its first months of science operations, TESS spotted six supernovae occurring in distant galaxies that were later discovered by ground-based telescopes.

Scientists hope to use these types of observations to better understand the origins of a specific kind of explosion known as a Type Ia supernova.

Type Ia supernovae occur either in star systems where one white dwarf draws gas from another star or when two white dwarfs merge. Astronomers don’t know which case is more common, but with data from TESS, they’ll have a clearer understanding of the origins of these cosmic blasts.

Type Ia supernovae are a class of objects called a “standard candle,” meaning astronomers know how luminous they are and can use them to calculate quantities like how quickly the universe is expanding. TESS data will help them understand differences between Type Ia supernovae created in both circumstances, which could have a large impact on how we understand events happening billions of light-years away and, ultimately, the fate of the universe.

TESS is a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission led and operated by MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Dr. George Ricker of MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research serves as principal investigator for the mission. Additional partners include Northrop Grumman, based in Falls Church, Virginia; NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley; the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts; MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts; and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore. More than a dozen universities, research institutes and observatories worldwide are participants in the mission.

TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite): http://www.nasa.gov/tess

Images (mentioned), Video (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Rob Garner/Goddard Space Flight Center, by Ravyn Cullor.

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Station Gets Ready to Receive Dragon Cargo Craft Saturday Morning

ISS — Expedition 60 Mission patch.

July 26, 2019

The SpaceX Dragon space freighter is on its way to the International Space Station following a Thursday launch from Florida. The six-member Expedition 60 crew will be waiting for the commercial cargo craft’s arrival Saturday morning.

Dragon will rendezvous with the station Saturday morning reaching a point about 10 meters from the station. Flight Engineer Nick Hague will then command the Canadarm2 robotic arm to grapple the resupply ship about 10 a.m. EDT. Fellow NASA astronaut Christina Koch will back him up inside the cupola as NASA Flight Engineer Drew Morgan monitors Dragon’s approach and rendezvous. NASA TV begins its live capture and installation coverage Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

Image above: The last SpaceX Dragon cargo craft to visit the space station is pictured in the grips of the Canadarm2 robotic arm moments before its release on June 3, 2019. Image Credit: NASA.

The three NASA astronauts continued robotics training today and practiced techniques to capture the commercial space freighter. The trio conducted simulation capture runs on a computer today preparing for a variety of Dragon approach and rendezvous scenarios.

Dragon is delivering over 5,000 pounds of science experiments, crew supplies and vehicle hardware. This includes the International Docking Adapter-3 for installation during an upcoming spacewalk on the Harmony module’s space-facing Pressurized Mating Adapter.

International Space Station (ISS). Image Credit: NASA

The Dragon-capturing trio later joined new crewmates Luca Parmitano and Alexander Skvortsov in the afternoon reviewing the spacecraft’s payload configuration. They will be unpacking time-critical research samples for stowage in station science freezers and incubators to analyze microgravity’s effect on biology.

Station Commander Alexey Ovchinin started Friday briefing his three newest crewmembers, who have been in space six days, on emergency hardware locations and procedures. The veteran cosmonaut then packed obsolete gear and trash inside a Russian resupply ship that is departing on Monday.

Related articles:

Dragon Reaches Orbit, Astronauts Prepare for Saturday Capture

SpaceX Falcon 9 Successfully Launches CRS-18

Related links:

NASA TV: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Expedition 60: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition60/index.html

Canadarm2: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/mobile-servicing-system.html

International Docking Adapter-3: https://www.nasa.gov/feature/meet-the-international-docking-adapter

Harmony module: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/elements/harmony

Space Station Research and Technology: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/index.html

International Space Station (ISS): https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/index.html

Images (mentioned), Text, Credits: NASA/Mark Garcia.

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Out of the Lab and Into the Air

As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo Moon landing, remember that many Apollo astronauts, including Neil Armstrong, the first person on the Moon, were test pilots who flew experimental planes for NASA in our earliest days. Since long before we landed on the Moon, aeronautics has been a key piece of our mission.


The U.S. founded the National Advisory Committee on Aeronautics (NACA), our predecessor, in 1914. NACA, collaborating with the U.S. Air Force, pioneered the X-1 aircraft, the first crewed plane to achieve supersonic speeds. NACA was largely responsible for turning the slow, cloth-and-wood biplanes of the early 1900s into the sleek, powerful jets of today.

When NACA was absorbed by the newly formed NASA in 1958, we continued NACA’s mission, propelling American innovation in aviation. Today, our portfolio of aeronautics missions and new flight technologies is as robust as ever. Below are seven of our innovations flying out of the lab and into the air, getting you gate-to-gate safely and on time while transforming aviation into an economic engine!

1. X-59 QueSST


Our X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST) flies faster than the speed of sound without the window-shattering sonic boom. This innovation may kick off a new generation of quiet, supersonic planes that can fly over land without disturbing those below. Once adopted, QueSST’s technologies could drastically reduce the time it takes to fly across the U.S. and even to other countries worldwide!

2. X-57 Maxwell 


Our X-57 Maxwell will be the first all-electric X-plane, demonstrating the benefits distributed electric propulsion may have for future aviation. The Maxwell is named for Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell, who is known for his theories on electricity and electromagnetism. The name is also a play on words because, as X-57 engineer Nick Borer said, “It has the maximum number of propellers.”

3. Airborne Science


Our airborne science program provides Earth scientists and astrophysicists with the unique insights that can be gleaned from the air and above the clouds. By flying aircraft with Earth science instruments and advanced telescopes, we can gather high resolution data about our changing Earth and the stars above. Airborne science outreach specialist (and champion aerobatics pilot) Susan Bell highlights Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments Experiment – Air Quality (FIREX-AQ), a joint mission with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“FIREX-AQ will investigate the impact of wildfires and agricultural fires on air quality,” Susan said. “Living in the Western U.S., I witness firsthand the impact that smoke can have on the communities we live in and up in the air as a pilot.”

4. Search and Rescue


Our Search and Rescue (SAR) office serves as the technology development arm of the international satellite-aided search and rescue program, Cospas-Sarsat. Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration adopted SAR’s guidance regarding the testing and installation of the NASA-developed beacons required for planes. These recommendations will greatly improve aviation beacon performance and, ultimately, save more lives.

SAR developed the recommendations through crash test research at our Langley Research Center’s gantry in Hampton, Virginia, where Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin trained for the Apollo Moon landing!



Our Mission Adaptive Digital Composite Aerostructure Technologies (MADCAT) team at our Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley uses strong, lightweight carbon fiber composites to design airplane wings that can adapt on the fly. The composite materials are used to create “blocks,” modular units that can be arranged in repeating lattice patterns — the same crisscrossing patterns you might see in a garden fence!



Our Revolutionary Vertical Lift Technology (RVLT) project leverages the agency’s aeronautics expertise to advance vertical flight capabilities in the U.S. The RVLT project helps design and test innovative new vehicle designs, like aircraft that can take off like a helicopter but fly like a plane. Additionally, the project uses computer models of the complex airflow surrounding whirring rotors to design vehicles that make less noise!

7. Moon to Mars


We’re with you when you fly — even on Mars! The 1958 law that established the agency charged us with solving the problems of flight within the atmosphere… but it didn’t say WHICH atmosphere. We’re applying our aeronautics expertise to the thin atmosphere of Mars, developing technologies that will enable flight on the Red Planet. In fact, a small, robotic helicopter will accompany the Mars 2020 rover, becoming the first heavier-than-air vehicle to fly on — err, above — Mars!

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

Tregiffian Prehistoric Entrance Grave, Cornwall, 22.7.19.A prehistoric tomb that occupies...

Tregiffian Prehistoric Entrance Grave, Cornwall, 22.7.19.

A prehistoric tomb that occupies the space also taken by a road requires sensitive support and this type of tomb is unusual in that it is usually only found in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The rock art found at the front of the chamber is a recreation with the original in a local museum.

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