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NASA Releases Photo of Crescent Moon Behind Saturn’s Rings

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#Saturn’s icy moon Enceladus poses above the gas giant’s icy rings in this Cassini spacecraft image. The dramatic scene was captured on July 29, while #Cassini cruised just below the ring plane, its cameras looking back in a nearly sunward direction about 1 million kilometers from the moon’s bright crescent. At 500 kilometers in diameter, Enceladus is a surprisingly active moon though, its remarkable south polar geysers are visible venting beyond a dark southern limb. In fact, data collected during Cassini’s flybys and years of images have recently revealed the presence of a global ocean of liquid water beneath this moon’s icy crust. Demonstrating the tantalizing liquid layer’s global extent, the careful analysis indicates surface and core are not rigidly connected, with Enceladus rocking slightly back and forth in its orbit.

CubeSat: NASA to Launch Satellite Built by Elementary School Students

CubeSat: NASA to Launch Satellite Built by Elementary School Students
The STMSat-1 was built by students at the St. Thomas More Cathedral School in Arlington, Va., and is to be launched with two other #CubeSats from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

NASA releases new images A Day on Pluto, a Day on Charon

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Pluto’s day is 6.4 Earth days long. The images were taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) and the Ralph/Multispectral Visible Imaging Camera as the distance between New Horizons and Pluto decreased from 5 million miles (8 million kilometers) on July 7 to 400,000 miles (about 645,000 kilometers) on July 13. The more distant images contribute to the view at the 3 o’clock position, with the top of the heart-shaped, informally named Tombaugh Regio slipping out of view, giving way to the side of Pluto that was facing away from New Horizons during closest approach on July 14.  The side New Horizons saw in most detail – what the mission team calls the “encounter hemisphere” – is at the 6 o’clock position.

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These images and others like them reveal many details about Pluto, including the differences between the encounter hemisphere and the so-called “far side” hemisphere seen only at lower resolution. Dimples in the bottom (south) edge of Pluto’s disk are artifacts of the way the images were combined to create these composites.

These images and others like them reveal many details about Charon, including how similar looking the encounter hemisphere is to the so-called “far side” hemisphere seen only at low resolution – which is the opposite of the situation at Pluto. Dimples in the bottom (south) edge of Charon’s disk are artifacts of the way the New Horizons images were combined to create these composites.

SOURCE : NASA

 

SpaceX: Space Program Receives 1st Order From NASA to Take Crew to International Space Station

                  Opportunities aboard the International Space Station with its first mission order from Hawthorne, California based-company #SpaceX to launch astronauts from U.S. soil.

This is the second in a series of four guaranteed orders NASA will make under the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contracts. The Boeing Company of Houston received its first crew mission order in May.

“It’s really exciting to see SpaceX and Boeing with hardware in flow for their first crew rotation missions,” said Kathy Lueders, manager of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. “It is important to have at least two healthy and robust capabilities from U.S. companies to deliver crew and critical scientific experiments from American soil to the space station throughout its lifespan.”

Expedition 46/47 crew members Timothy Kopra of NASA, Yuri Malenchenko of Roscosmos and Timothy Peake of the European Space Agency conducted final qualification training in Star City, Russia Nov. 19 and 20. They are scheduled to launch Dec. 15, Kazakh time, for a six-month mission on the International Space Station.

 
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NASA Releases Enhanced #Image of Dwarf Planet PLUTO

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In order to highlight the many subtle color differences between Pluto’s distinct regions, scientists made this false color image of the dwarf planet. A technique called principal component analysis was used to achieve this effect.

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NASA Offers Media Access to Cygnus Cargo Module

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Media will have the opportunity to view the Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft filled with cargo and research for the International Space Station on Friday, Nov.13, at NASA’s Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility (PHSF) at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Photos will be permitted, and representatives from Orbital ATK, United Launch Alliance, and the International Space Station office at Kennedy will be available for interviews at the facility. Media will depart from Kennedy’s Press Site at 1 p.m. EST, returning by 4:30 p.m.

The unpiloted Cygnus will be Orbital ATK’s fourth cargo mission to the space station for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract, and the first flight of the enhanced variant of the Cygnus pressurized cargo module, which will deliver more than 7,000 pounds to the station. Cygnus consists of a pressurized cargo module for crew supplies, scientific experiments and equipment, together with an associated service module providing solar power and propulsion.

The launch is currently targeted for Thursday, Dec. 3 during a 30-minute window that opens at approximately 6 p.m., aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Full clean room attire will be provided and must be worn during the PHSF tour. Long pants and closed-toe shoes are required. No shorts, skirts or high heels will be permitted. To be consistent with clean room protocol, journalists are asked not to wear perfume, cologne or makeup.

NASA security will verify the integrity of camera equipment and associated items to be taken inside the facility. Prior to entering the high bay, photographers must clean camera equipment under the supervision of contamination control specialists. Alcohol wipes will be provided.

All camera equipment must be self-contained. No portable lights can be permitted. Flash photography will be allowed, but the facility has adequate high pressure sodium lighting (orange cast) for pictures. Wireless microphones will be permitted inside the high bay.

Nonessential equipment such as camera bags or other carrying cases, cellular phones, pencils, food, tobacco, chewing gum, lighters, matches or pocket knives are prohibited inside the clean room.

Media accreditation requests for this event should be submitted online at:

https://media.ksc.nasa.gov

This event is open only to media who are United States citizens. The deadline to apply for accreditation is 4 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 12. Two forms of unexpired legal, government identification is required to access Kennedy Space Center. One form must include a photo, such as a driver’s license or passport. Badges will be available for pick up at the Kennedy badging office located on State Road 405 east of the Kennedy Visitor Complex. Hours for the Kennedy Badging Office are 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Questions about accreditation should be directed to Jennifer Horner at jennifer.p.horner@nasa.gov or by calling 321-867-6598.

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

For more information about the Orbital ATK resupply mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/orbital

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

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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