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NASA Science, Cargo Heads to Space Station on Northrop Grumman Resupply Mission – Stockhouse

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WASHINGTON , Oct. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — A Northrop Grumman Cygnus resupply spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station with nearly 8,000 pounds of scientific investigations, technology demonstrations, commercial products, and other cargo after launching at 9:16 p.m. EDT Friday from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia .

The spacecraft launched on an Antares rocket from the Virginia Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad 0A at Wallops and is scheduled to arrive at the space station around 5:20 a.m. Monday , Oct. 5. Coverage of the spacecraft’s approach and arrival will begin at 3:45 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website .

Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA will use the space station’s robotic arm to capture Cygnus, while Ivan Vagner of Roscosmos monitors telemetry during rendezvous, capture, and installation on the Unity module’s Earth-facing port.

Cygnus will remain at the space station until mid-December before it disposes of several thousand pounds of trash as it burns up during a safe re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

This delivery – Northrop Grumman’s 14th contracted cargo flight to the space station and the third under its Commercial Resupply Services 2 contract with NASA – will support dozens of new and existing investigations.

Included aboard Cygnus for delivery to the space station are:

Improving how we ‘go’ in space

A new toilet is headed to the space station. Its features improve on current space toilet operations and help NASA prepare for future missions, including those to the Moon and Mars. The Universal Waste Management System ( UWMS ) demonstrates a compact toilet and the Urine Transfer System that further automates waste management and storage. The smaller footprint of the UWMS supports a possible increase in the number of crew members aboard the space station, as well as planning for future exploration missions.

Energy and water from waste

The investigation Elucidating the Ammonia Electrochemical Oxidation Mechanism via Electrochemical Techniques at the ISS ( Ammonia Electrooxidation ) examines a process for ammonia oxidation in microgravity. An electrochemical ammonia removal system could serve as an innovative water recovery system on long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars and provide vital drinkable water in remote and arid areas on Earth.

Adding radishes to the space salad

A new crop of vegetables is headed to the space station. While previous experiments have grown different types of lettuces and greens aboard the orbiting laboratory, the Assessment of Nutritional Value and Growth Parameters of Space-grown Plants ( Plant Habitat-02 ) investigation adds radishes to the mix, cultivating seeds to see how different light and soil conditions affect growth. Findings could help optimize growth of the plants in space, as well as provide an assessment of their nutrition and taste.

Identifying targeted cancer treatments

The Leveraging Microgravity to Screen Onco-selective Messenger RNAs for Cancer Immunotherapy ( Onco-Selectors ) investigation tests drugs based on messenger ribonucleic acids (mRNA) for treating leukemia. In normal gravity, the drugs to be tested are onco-selective, meaning they can distinguish cancer cells from healthy ones. Researchers expect any drugs that also demonstrate this trait in microgravity could make good candidates for safer, more effective, and affordable medicines to treat leukemia and other cancers. This could improve survival rates for thousands of people every year.

Spacewalks in virtual reality

The International Space Station Experience ( ISS Experience ) is creating an immersive virtual reality series documenting life and research aboard the space station. Partnering with the ISS National Lab and TIME , a team from Felix and Paul Studios launched a customized 360-degree camera to the space station in December 2018 that crew members have used to record a few hours inside the station every week. Felix and Paul and partner NanoRacks further modified an additional camera to withstand the extreme conditions of space and are launching for use in filming a spacewalk. The new camera will be mounted to the Canadarm2 to capture a spacewalk from start to finish as well as footage of Earth and the exterior of the space station.

These are just a few of the hundreds of investigations currently being conducted aboard the orbiting laboratory in the areas of biology and biotechnology, physical sciences, and Earth and space science. Advances in these areas will help to keep astronauts healthy during long-duration space travel and demonstrate technologies for future human and robotic exploration beyond low-Earth orbit to the Moon and Mars through NASA’s Artemis program.

In addition to science and research, this launch will also support commercial space endeavors. Estée Lauder’s New Advanced Night Repair serum will be photographed in the space station’s iconic cupola window as part of NASA’s efforts to enable commercial activities at the space station and develop a robust low-Earth orbit economy . The imagery will be used on the brand’s social media platforms. These opportunities can help catalyze and expand space exploration markets for many businesses.

The Cygnus spacecraft for this resupply mission is named in honor of Kalpana Chawla , who made history at NASA as the first female astronaut of Indian descent. Chawla, who dedicated her life to understanding flight dynamics, lost her life during the STS-107 mission when the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon reentering Earth’s atmosphere.

Learn more about Northrop Grumman’s mission at:

http://www.nasa.gov/northropgrumman/

Get breaking news, images and features from the space station on Instagram , Facebook , and Twitter .

Cision View original content to download multimedia: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nasa-science-cargo-heads-to-space-station-on-northrop-grumman-resupply-mission-301145147.html

SOURCE NASA

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Rare 'blue moon' to appear on Halloween this year – Richmond News

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The year 2020 has brought many surprises and this year’s Halloween is no different.

A rare “blue full moon” will be appearing on Halloween night this year.

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While the moon will not look blue, the term “blue moon” is given when two full moons appear in a single month.

A full moon on Halloween occurs roughly once every 19 years – a pattern known as the Metonic Cycle.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanc, the cycle is uncommon and happens on average every two and a half to three years with the last time two full moons appearing in the same month in 2018.

The next illuminated Halloween full moon, says astronomers, after 2020 will be in the 2039, 2058, 2077 and 2096.

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NASA's OSIRIS-REx catches rocks from asteroid on historic mission | US & Canada – The Queens County Citizen

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NASA spacecraft on Tuesday hit the rough surface of the Bennu asteroid and captured a pattern of rocks dating back to the birth of the solar system to bring home.

This is a first for the United States – only Japan has previously preserved asteroid specimens.

The “touch-and-go” maneuver was carried out by Lockheed Martin Space in Denver, Colorado at 6.12pm (22:12 GMT) on Tuesday, with one announcer saying: “Touchdown announced. The model is in progress, ”and the scientists exploded at the ceremony.

Seconds later, after being introduced by Lockheed mission operator Estelle Church, the spacecraft confirmed that it was away from the rock, “sample collection completed and back-away burn implemented”

The historic mission rested for 12 years and a critical 16-second period of construction, where the minivan-sized OSIRIS-REx spacecraft extended its 11-foot (3.35 m) robotic arm toward a flat patch of gravel near the north pole of Bennu and locked a rock pattern The first few asteroid rocks.

The probe returns images of the sample collection on Wednesday and throughout the week so that scientists can examine how much material has been recovered and determine if the probe needs to make another collection attempt.

This mosaic image of Bennu is composed of 12 polycom images taken on December 2, 2018 by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from a range of 15 miles (24 km). [NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Handout via Reuters]

Scientists want to be at least 2 ounces (60 grams) and, ideally, be black, small pieces, close to 4 pounds (2 kilograms) high in carbon – the building blocks of the solar system. The asteroid is located 200 million miles (321.9 million kilometers) from Earth.

NASA’s science mission chief, Thomas Zurbuchen, likened Ben to Rosetta Stone: “It’s been there for the last billion years and tells the story of our entire planet, the solar system.”

‘Perfectly Perfect’

If successful collection is confirmed, the spacecraft will begin its journey back to Earth in 2023.

Dante Loretta, OSIRIS-REx Principal Investigator from the University of Arizona in Tucson, spoke about the NASA live feed from Lockheed’s Mission Support Building. “We have overcome the tremendous challenges this asteroid has thrown at us and the spacecraft seems to have malfunctioned.”

The collection device of the robotic arm, in the shape of a heavy shower head, is designed to release compressed gas to remove debris.

The spacecraft was launched in 2016 from the Kennedy Space Center for the Bennu voyage. It has been in orbit around the asteroid for almost two years for the touch and go maneuver.

Bennu, more than 4.5 billion years old, was chosen as the target because scientists believe it was the smallest part of a once-large space rock that broke during a collision between two asteroids early in solar history. System.

“Asteroids are like time capsules floating in space that can provide the fossil record of the birth of our solar system,” NASA Planetary Science Director Lori Glaze told Al Jazeera. “They can provide valuable information about how planets like ours came to be.”

Thanks to data collected from orbit, the NASA team determined two key discoveries: first, that water is between 5 and 10 percent of Bennu’s mass, and second, that its surface is filled with carbon – rich molecules. Nuclear-level analysis of samples from Bennu will help scientists better understand what role asteroids have played in bringing water to Earth and planting seeds with the prebiotic substance that provides building blocks for life.

Studying that material will help scientists find out if life exists elsewhere in the solar system.

“If this kind of chemistry was happening in the early solar system, it would probably have happened in other solar systems as well,” Loretta, lead researcher at OSIRIS-Rex, told Al Jazeera in an interview before the breakthrough on Tuesday. “It helps us estimate the probability of a source of life occurring across the galaxy and eventually across the universe.”

Japan expects samples from its second asteroid mission – mostly in milligrams – to land in the Australian desert in December.

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Rare 'blue moon' to appear on Halloween this year – Powell River Peak

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The year 2020 has brought many surprises and this year’s Halloween is no different.

A rare “blue full moon” will be appearing on Halloween night this year.

article continues below

While the moon will not look blue, the term “blue moon” is given when two full moons appear in a single month.

A full moon on Halloween occurs roughly once every 19 years – a pattern known as the Metonic Cycle.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanc, the cycle is uncommon and happens on average every two and a half to three years with the last time two full moons appearing in the same month in 2018.

The next illuminated Halloween full moon, says astronomers, after 2020 will be in the 2039, 2058, 2077 and 2096.

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