Category Archives: NASA Releases

NASA Release Notices

NASA Television to Air Launch of Next Record-Breaking U.S. Astronaut

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March 10, 2016
MEDIA ADVISORY M16-026
NASA Television to Air Launch of Next Record-Breaking U.S. Astronaut

Expedition 47 crew members NASA astronaut Jeff Williams, and cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexei Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos pose for a photograph before their Soyuz qualification exams Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia.

Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

On a second American record-breaking mission for 2016, NASA astronaut Jeff Williams is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station at 5:26 p.m. EDT Friday, March 18, with cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka of the Russian space agency Roscosmos from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. NASA Television launch coverage will begin at 4:30 p.m.

During his six-month mission, Williams will become the new American record holder for cumulative days in space — 534 — surpassing Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly, who wrapped up his one-year mission on March 1. Williams will take command of the station on June 4 for Expedition 48. This will be his third space station expedition — another record.

The three will travel in a Soyuz spacecraft, rendezvousing with the space station six hours after launch. They’ll dock to the station’s Poisk module at 11:12 p.m. NASA TV coverage of docking will begin at 10:30 p.m.

The hatches between the Soyuz and station will be opened less than two hours later at about 12:55 a.m. Saturday, March 19, when the newly arrived crew members will be greeted by Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra of NASA and Flight Engineers Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos and Tim Peake of ESA (European Space Agency). NASA TV coverage of the hatch opening will begin at 12:30 a.m.

Together, the Expedition 47 crew members will continue the several hundred experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science currently underway and scheduled to take place aboard humanity’s only orbiting laboratory. Williams, Ovchinin and Skripochka are scheduled to spend six months on the station, returning to Earth in early September 2016.

For the full schedule of prelaunch, launch and docking coverage, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

Follow the space station crew members on Instagram and Twitter at:

http://instagram.com/iss

and

http://www.twitter.com/Space_Station 

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NASA news releases are written and distributed by NASA and reprinted here by USA in Space to allow easy access to the content and to provide an archive of the information.

NASA Selects Instruments to Study Air Pollution, Tropical

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March 10, 2016
RELEASE 16-025
NASA Selects Instruments to Study Air Pollution, Tropical Cyclones

The Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) investigation, 12 CubeSats about a foot long each, will study the development of tropical cyclones by taking measurements of temperature, precipitation and cloud properties as often as every 21 minutes.

Credits: MIT Lincoln Laboratory

NASA has selected two proposals for new Earth science investigations that will put new instruments in low-Earth orbit to track harmful particulate air pollutants and study the development of tropical cyclones.

Observations of small atmospheric aerosols from the Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols (MAIA) will be combined with health information to determine the toxicity of different particulate matter types in airborne pollutants over the world’s major cities. David Diner of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, is the principal investigator.

The Time-Resolved Observations of Precipitation structure and storm Intensity with a Constellation of Smallsats (TROPICS) investigation will develop and launch a constellation of CubeSats to study the development of tropical cyclones through rapid-revisit sampling. William Blackwell of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington is the principal investigator.

The instruments were competitively selected from 14 proposals submitted to NASA’s Earth Venture Instrument-3 program. Earth Venture investigations are small, targeted science investigations that complement NASA’s larger missions. The National Research Council recommended in 2007 that NASA undertake this type of regularly solicited, quick-turnaround project.

“We are excited to make selections that expand the use of CubeSats for Earth sciences and that make measurements and perform analyses that will have direct societal benefit,” said Geoffrey Yoder, deputy associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “These innovative Earth Venture Instruments will join and expand our growing suite of NASA Earth-observing sensors.”

MAIA uses a twin-camera instrument that will make radiometric and polarimetric measurements needed to characterize the sizes, compositions, and quantities of particulate matter in air pollution. As part of the MAIA investigation, researchers will combine MAIA measurements with population health records to better understand the connections between aerosol pollutants and health problems such as adverse birth outcomes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and premature deaths.

The MAIA team has extensive experience in polarimetry, air pollution, and human health. Diner has led numerous polarimetry observations from sub-orbital platforms throughout his career. The team includes partnerships with NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, and Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, as well as several universities, federal research organizations and international partners.

TROPICS will consist of 12 CubeSats, each about one foot long and weighing just 8.5 pounds, that use scanning microwave radiometers to measure temperature, humidity, precipitation and cloud properties. The CubeSats will be launched into three separate orbital planes to enable the overall constellation to monitor changes in tropical cyclones as frequently as every 21 minutes.

The TROPICS team has previous experience developing CubeSats and analyzing satellite measurements of storms, and includes partnerships with NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia, Goddard, several universities and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The two investigations were selected from NASA’s third Earth Venture Instrument competition. The first Earth Venture Instrument investigation, selected in 2012, the Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) mission, will be the first space-based sensor to monitor major chemical air pollutants across North American hourly during daytime. It will share a ride on a commercial satellite as a hosted payload and orbit about 22,000 miles above the equator.

The second set of investigations selected in 2014 were the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) and ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS). These instruments will measure changes in global vegetation from the International Space Station, illuminating how forests and ecosystems are affected by changes in climate and land use.

Earth Venture missions are managed by NASA’s Earth System Science Pathfinder program located at Langley for the Science Mission Directorate. The missions in this program provide an innovative approach to address Earth science research with periodic windows of opportunity to accommodate new scientific priorities. For more information, visit:

http://go.nasa.gov/MKvgJO

NASA uses the vantage point of space to increase our understanding of our home planet, improve lives, and safeguard our future. NASA develops new ways to observe and study Earth’s interconnected natural systems with long-term data records. The agency freely shares this unique knowledge and works with institutions around the world to gain new insights into how our planet is changing.

For more information about NASA’s Earth science activities, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/earth

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NASA news releases are written and distributed by NASA and reprinted here by USA in Space to allow easy access to the content and to provide an archive of the information.

NASA Announces Winning Concepts to Further its Journey to Mars

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March 09, 2016
RELEASE 16-028
NASA Announces Winning Concepts to Further its Journey to Mars

NASA has announced the winners of two challenges to create new concepts for construction and human habitation on future space exploration missions, including the agency’s journey to Mars.

The Space Suit Textile Testing and In-Situ Materials Challenges, managed for NASA by NineSigma, launched in October 2015 under the umbrella of the NASA Tournament Lab, yielded innovative concepts for spacesuit testing and in-situ building materials use for habitat construction.

“These two challenges offered the opportunity to think about two basic needs of exploration – protective suits and building materials – in a new way,” said Steve Rader, deputy manager of NASA’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI). “Our journey to Mars will require innovations in design and technology; opening our process up to the public gives us more creative paths to follow.”

The Space Suit Textile Testing Challenge offered three prizes of $5,000 for winning ideas on how to test the outer protective layer of spacesuit material for performance in different kinds of planetary environments, such as like Mars or large asteroids.

Winners for the Space Suit Textile Testing Challenge are:

  • Evaluating Space Suit Textile Abrasion in Planetary Environments — Ahilan Anantha Krishnan
  • Cylindrical Abrasion Method — Himel Barua, Thomas L. Collins, Riniah Foor, Evan Hess, Joey Stavale, Christopher Daniels, Heather Oravec, Janice Mather and M.J. Braun
  • Point-of-Failure Based System Using High Velocity Abrasives — John Holler

The In-Situ Challenge sought solutions using surface materials like regolith — crushed basalt rock — for Earth and space fabrication and construction applications and offered a first-place prize of $10,000 and two second-place prizes of $2,500 for top submissions.

Using native materials for construction is tremendously beneficial for space exploration because in-situ regolith utilization (ISRU) reduces the need for materials to be shipped from Earth, along with the expense and resources this requires. ISRU could potentially save the agency more than $100,000 per kilogram to launch, making space pioneering more cost-effective and feasible.

The winners for the In Situ Challenge are:

  • 1st place: Planetary Fabrication of Complex Metallic/Ceramic Objects with In-Situ Resources — Behrokh Khoshnevis
  • 2nd place: Cold Spray Technology Applied to Building and Repair — David Espinosa and David Orlebeke
  • 2nd place: Simultaneous Exhaust-Enabled Ore Reduction, Separation and Processing — Patrick Donovan

“We are proud to have connected NASA with innovators that have immediately viable technical solutions in a variety of disciplines to accelerate NASA’s goals,” said NineSigma CEO, Andy Zynga. We are also pleased to have created opportunities for winners of these challenges to collaborate with NASA in shaping the future of space exploration.”

CoECI was established with support from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to assist NASA and other federal agencies in using new tools – such as challenges – to solve tough, mission-critical problems. The center launches challenges under the umbrella of the NASA Tournament Lab and offers a variety of open innovation platforms that engage the crowdsourcing community in challenges to create the most innovative, efficient and optimal solutions for specific, real-world challenges.

For more information on NASA challenges, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/solve

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NASA news releases are written and distributed by NASA and reprinted here by USA in Space to allow easy access to the content and to provide an archive of the information.

NASA Targets May 2018 Launch of Mars InSight Mission

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16-026March 09, 2016
RELEASE 16-026
NASA Targets May 2018 Launch of Mars InSight Mission

 

NASA has set a new launch opportunity, beginning May 5, 2018, for the InSight mission to Mars. This artist’s concept depicts the InSight lander on Mars after the lander’s robotic arm has deployed a seismometer and a heat probe directly onto the ground. InSight is the first mission dedicated to investigating the deep interior of Mars. The findings will advance understanding of how all rocky planets, including Earth, formed and evolved.

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission to study the deep interior of Mars is targeting a new launch window that begins May 5, 2018, with a Mars landing scheduled for Nov. 26, 2018.

InSight’s primary goal is to help us understand how rocky planets – including Earth – formed and evolved. The spacecraft had been on track to launch this month until a vacuum leak in its prime science instrument prompted NASA in December to suspend preparations for launch.

InSight project managers recently briefed officials at NASA and France’s space agency, Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES), on a path forward; the proposed plan to redesign the science instrument was accepted in support of a 2018 launch.

“The science goals of InSight are compelling, and the NASA and CNES plans to overcome the technical challenges are sound,” said John Grunsfeld, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “The quest to understand the interior of Mars has been a longstanding goal of planetary scientists for decades. We’re excited to be back on the path for a launch, now in 2018.”

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, will redesign, build and conduct qualifications of the new vacuum enclosure for the Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS), the component that failed in December. CNES will lead instrument level integration and test activities, allowing the InSight Project to take advantage of each organization’s proven strengths. The two agencies have worked closely together to establish a project schedule that accommodates these plans, and scheduled interim reviews over the next six months to assess technical progress and continued feasibility.

The cost of the two-year delay is being assessed. An estimate is expected in August, once arrangements with the launch vehicle provider have been made.

The seismometer instrument’s main sensors need to operate within a vacuum chamber to provide the exquisite sensitivity needed for measuring ground movements as small as half the radius of a hydrogen atom. The rework of the seismometer’s vacuum container will result in a finished, thoroughly tested instrument in 2017 that will maintain a high degree of vacuum around the sensors through rigors of launch, landing, deployment and a two-year prime mission on the surface of Mars.

The InSight mission draws upon a strong international partnership led by Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt of JPL. The lander’s Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package is provided by the German Aerospace Center (DLR). This probe will hammer itself to a depth of about 16 feet (five meters) into the ground beside the lander.

SEIS was built with the participation of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, with support from the Swiss Space Office and the European Space Agency PRODEX program; the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, supported by DLR; Imperial College, supported by the United Kingdom Space Agency; and JPL.

“The shared and renewed commitment to this mission continues our collaboration to find clues in the heart of Mars about the early evolution of our solar system,” said Marc Pircher, director of CNES’s Toulouse Space Centre.

The mission’s international science team includes researchers from Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.

JPL manages InSight for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. InSight is part of NASA’s Discovery Program, managed by the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The InSight spacecraft, including cruise stage and lander, was built and tested by Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver. It was delivered to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, in December 2015 in preparation for launch, and returned to Lockheed Martin’s Colorado facility last month for storage until spacecraft preparations resume in 2017.

NASA is on an ambitious journey to Mars that includes sending humans to the Red Planet, and that work remains on track. Robotic spacecraft are leading the way for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, with the upcoming Mars 2020 rover being designed and built, the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers exploring the Martian surface, the Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft currently orbiting the planet, along with the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN) orbiter, which is helping scientists understand what happened to the Martian atmosphere.

NASA and CNES also are participating in ESA’s (European Space Agency’s) Mars Express mission currently operating at Mars. NASA is participating on ESA’s 2016 and 2018 ExoMars missions, including providing telecommunication radios for ESA’s 2016 orbiter and a critical element of a key astrobiology instrument on the 2018 ExoMars rover.

For addition information about the mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/insight

More information about NASA’s journey to Mars is available online at:

http://www.nasa.gov/journeytomars

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NASA news releases are written and distributed by NASA and reprinted here by USA in Space to allow easy access to the content and to provide an archive of the information.

NASA Begins Work to Build a Quieter Supersonic Passenger Jet

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February 29, 2016
RELEASE 16-022
NASA Begins Work to Build a Quieter Supersonic Passenger Jet

This is an artist’s concept of a possible Low Boom Flight Demonstration Quiet Supersonic Transport (QueSST) X-plane design. The award of a preliminary design contract is the first step towards the possible return of supersonic passenger travel – but this time quieter and more affordable.

Credits: Lockheed Martin

The return of supersonic passenger air travel is one step closer to reality with NASA’s award of a contract for the preliminary design of a “low boom” flight demonstration aircraft. This is the first in a series of ‘X-planes’ in NASA’s New Aviation Horizons initiative, introduced in the agency’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden announced the award at an event Monday at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia.

“NASA is working hard to make flight greener, safer and quieter – all while developing aircraft that travel faster, and building an aviation system that operates more efficiently,” said Bolden. “To that end, it’s worth noting that it’s been almost 70 years since Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 as part of our predecessor agency’s high speed research. Now we’re continuing that supersonic X-plane legacy with this preliminary design award for a quieter supersonic jet with an aim toward passenger flight.”

NASA selected a team led by Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company of Palmdale, California, to complete a preliminary design for Quiet Supersonic Technology (QueSST). The work will be conducted under a task order against the Basic and Applied Aerospace Research and Technology (BAART) contract at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.

After conducting feasibility studies and working to better understand acceptable sound levels across the country, NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology Project asked industry teams to submit design concepts for a piloted test aircraft that can fly at supersonic speeds, creating a supersonic “heartbeat” — a soft thump rather than the disruptive boom currently associated with supersonic flight.

“Developing, building and flight testing a quiet supersonic X-plane is the next logical step in our path to enabling the industry’s decision to open supersonic travel for the flying public,” said Jaiwon Shin, associate administrator for NASA’s Aeronautics Research Mission.

Lockheed Martin will receive about $20 million over 17 months for QueSST preliminary design work. The Lockheed Martin team includes subcontractors GE Aviation of Cincinnati and Tri Models Inc. of Huntington Beach, California.

The company will develop baseline aircraft requirements and a preliminary aircraft design, with specifications, and provide supporting documentation for concept formulation and planning. This documentation would be used to prepare for the detailed design, building and testing of the QueSST jet. Performance of this preliminary design also must undergo analytical and wind tunnel validation.

In addition to design and building, this Low Boom Flight Demonstration (LBFD) phase of the project also will include validation of community response to the new, quieter supersonic design. The detailed design and building of the QueSST aircraft, conducted under the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate’s Integrated Aviation Systems Program, will fall under a future contract competition.

NASA’s 10-year New Aviation Horizons initiative has the ambitious goals of reducing fuel use, emissions and noise through innovations in aircraft design that departs from the conventional tube-and-wing aircraft shape.

The New Aviation Horizons X-planes will typically be about half-scale of a production aircraft and likely are to be piloted. Design-and-build will take several years with aircraft starting their flight campaign around 2020, depending on funding.

For more information about NASA’s aeronautics research, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/aero

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NASA news releases are written and distributed by NASA and USA in Space reprinted here to allow all access to it and to provide an archive of the information.

NASA, UN Announce Final Winner of #whyspacematters Photo Competition

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February 23, 2016
RELEASE 16-021
NASA, UN Announce Final Winner of #whyspacematters Photo Competition

Each month, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly will announce the winning photo of the #whyspacematters competition by posting it to his Instagram account @StationCDRKelly.

Credits: UNOOSA

As astronaut Scott Kelly’s one-year mission aboard the International Space Station draws to a close, NASA and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) are announcing the final winner of a global photography competition highlighting how the vantage point of space helps us better understand our home planet and provide benefits to humanity.

NASA and UNOOSA invited the public to submit photos depicting why space matters to us all in our daily lives as a way to highlight the application of space-based science and technologies. In response, hundreds of participants from around the world posted pictures on Instagram using the hashtag #whyspacematters.

Kelly, who is scheduled to depart the space station and return to Earth on March 1, announced winning photos each month by posting them from his Instagram account @StationCDRKelly.

“Of course, I think space matters in a multitude of ways, but it’s been inspiring to see this proof that you don’t have to be an astronaut to recognize that,” Kelly said. “Space technology and research is impacting the lives of people around the world. Over the past year, I’ve been able to play a personal role in some of that research, and by speaking up about why it’s important, everyone who participated has played a part of their own.”

The winning photos for each month, from June 2015 to January, ranged from a striking Earth-bound, long-exposure image of the night sky in December to a view of solar panels on a roof in Mexico in September, to a photo of a female Nigerian firefighter using a NASA-developed breathing apparatus in June.

To view all of the winning photos, and read the associated stories from the #whyspacematters competition, visit:

http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/contests/whyspacematters/

Kelly and Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko have spent nearly a year in space to improve our understanding of the medical, psychological and biomedical challenges faced by astronauts during long-duration spaceflight, an important step in research into the effects of long-term space habitation as part of NASA’s Journey to Mars.

“It was an honor to have Scott Kelly share his experience in space with the United Nations. This campaign helped to promote the use of space science and technologies in such areas as disaster risk reduction, tracking the effects of climate change and in the equality of access to education and telemedicine,” said UNOOSA Director Simonetta Di Pippo.

Scientists worldwide use NASA data to tackle some of the biggest questions about how our planet is changing now and how Earth could change in the future. From rising sea levels to the changing availability of freshwater, NASA enables studies that unravel the complexities of our planet from the highest reaches of Earth’s atmosphere to its core.

The International Space Station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that enables us to demonstrate new technologies and make research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. It has been continuously occupied since November 2000 and, since then, has been visited by more than 200 people and a variety of international and commercial spacecraft. The space station remains the springboard to NASA’s next giant leap in exploration, including future missions to an asteroid and Mars.

For more information about the International Space Station and its crews and research, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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NASA news releases are written and distributed by NASA and USA in Space reprinted here to allow all access to it and to provide an archive of the information.

NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly Talks One-Year Mission in Final In-Space News Conference

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February 22, 2016
MEDIA ADVISORY M16-014
NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly Talks One-Year Mission in Final In-Space News Conference

Scott Kelly

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly inside the cupola of the International Space Station, a special module that provides a 360-degree viewing of the Earth and the station. Kelly will return to Earth on March 1, marking completion of a 340-day mission in space.

Credits: NASA

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s final news conference from orbit will air live on NASA Television at 12:05 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 25.

The 30-minute news conference will take place less than a week before Kelly returns to Earth from the International Space Station, marking the completion of a 340-day mission. Media may ask questions from NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston or Kennedy Space Center in Florida, as well as by phone.

To attend the briefing at Johnson, media must request credentials from the Johnson newsroom at 281-481-5111 no later than 9 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25. To ask questions by phone, media must call the Johnson newsroom no later than 11:45 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25. Accreditation for international media is closed for this event.

All media accreditation requests for Kennedy must be submitted by 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24 online at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

All media representatives must present two forms of unexpired legal, government identification to access Kennedy. One form must include a photo, such as a passport or driver’s license. Questions about accreditation should be directed to Jennifer Horner at jennifer.p.horner@nasa.gov or 321-867-6598.

Kelly launched to the space station March 27, 2015, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and is set to return on Tuesday, March 1. He will land in Kazakhstan at 11:27 p.m. (10:27 a.m. Kazakhstan time on March 2) with his one-year crewmate, cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and cosmonaut Sergey Volkov, also of Roscosmos. Kelly will return to Houston’s Ellington Field on Wednesday, March 2.

After landing, Kelly will hold the record among U.S. astronauts for cumulative time in space, with 520 days. During their record-setting mission, Kelly and Kornienko participated in a number of studies to provide new insights into how the human body adjusts to weightlessness, isolation, radiation and the stress of long-duration spaceflight, which will include the Journey to Mars. Kelly’s twin brother, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, participated in parallel twin studies on Earth to help scientists compare the effects on the body and mind in space.

For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv 

For more information about the International Space Station and its crew, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/station  

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NASA news releases are written and distributed by NASA and USA in Space reprinted here to allow all access to it and to provide an archive of the information.

Media Accreditation Open for Next Commercial Space Station Cargo Mission

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January 29, 2016
MEDIA ADVISORY M16-007
Media Accreditation Open for Next Commercial Space Station Cargo Mission

A transporter carries the Orbital ATK Cygnus pressurized cargo module, sealed inside a shipping container, to the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The module will soon begin preflight preparations for its upcoming mission to carry hardware and supplies on the company’s Commercial Resupply Services flight to the International Space Station.

Credits: NASA/Charles Babir

NASA has opened media accreditation for the next launch of a commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station. The launch of Orbital ATK’s Cygnus spacecraft is scheduled for Thursday, March 10, during a 30-minute window that opens at approximately 3 a.m. EST.

Cygnus will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. The spacecraft will carry crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory to support the Expedition 47 and 48 crews.

Media prelaunch and launch activities will take place at CCAFS and NASA’s nearby Kennedy Space Center. For media only, the deadline to apply for access to CCAFS is 5 p.m. Feb. 18 for U.S. citizens and Feb. 5 for non-citizens. The deadline to apply for media access to Kennedy is 5 p.m. on March 1 for U.S. citizens and Feb. 22 for non-citizens.

All media accreditation requests for Kennedy must be submitted online at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

International media are required to upload a scanned copy of their visa and passport or green card when submitting their online accreditation request.

All media representatives must present two forms of unexpired legal, government identification to access Kennedy. One form must include a photo, such as a passport or driver’s license. Questions about accreditation should be directed to Jennifer Horner at jennifer.p.horner@nasa.gov or 321-867-6598.

For other questions or additional information, contact the Kennedy newsroom at 321-867-2468.

This launch is the fifth contracted mission by Orbital ATK under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract and will be followed later this year by an Orbital ATK resupply mission launching from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia.

Science payloads heading to the space station on this launch include:

  • the second generation of a portable onboard printer to demonstrate 3-D printing;
  • an instrument for first space-based observations of the chemical composition of meteors entering Earth’s atmosphere; and
  • an experiment to ignite and study a large-scale fire inside an empty Cygnus resupply vehicle after it leaves the space station and before it re-enters Earth’s atmosphere to improving understanding of fire growth in microgravity and safeguarding future space missions.

The International Space Station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. The space station has been occupied continuously since November 2000. In that time, more than 200 people and a variety of international and commercial spacecraft have visited the orbiting laboratory. The space station remains the springboard to NASA’s next great leap in exploration, including future missions to an asteroid and Mars.

For NASA TV schedule and video streaming information, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

For launch countdown coverage, NASA’s launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/orbitalatk

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NASA news releases are written and distributed by NASA and USA in Space reprinted here to allow all access to it and to provide an archive of the information.