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The Space Shuttle Discovery takes one last flight over the Space Center before heading to its new home at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Chantilly Virginia.

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Kennedy Space Center: A New Era

Click for 7 minute video KSC update.
NASA's Kennedy Space Center is midway through its transition from government-focused launch facility to multi-user spaceport capable of handling the needs of NASA's space exploration ambitions as well as commercial companies.
Published on Feb 18, 2015
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STS-135: Atlantis — The Final Voyage – A NASA Overview


Kennedy Space Center 2012 and Beyond
Kennedy Space Center 2012 and Beyond - You Tube video.

KSC - Its legacy and future.


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alligator Wildlife at the Kennedy Space Center


April 19, 2018

NASA Planet Hunter on Its Way to Orbit

NASA's next planet-hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), successfully launched
NASA's next planet-hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), successfully launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 on April 18, 2018. TESS will search for new worlds outside our solar system for further study.
Credits: NASA Television

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) launched on the first-of-its-kind mission to find worlds beyond our solar system, including some that could support life.

TESS, which is expected to find thousands of new exoplanets orbiting nearby stars, lifted off at 6:51 p.m. EDT Wednesday on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. At 7:53 p.m., the twin solar arrays that will power the spacecraft successfully deployed.

"We are thrilled TESS is on its way to help us discover worlds we have yet to imagine, worlds that could possibly be habitable, or harbor life," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington. "With missions like the James Webb Space Telescope to help us study the details of these planets, we are ever the closer to discovering whether we are alone in the universe."

Over the course of several weeks, TESS will use six thruster burns to travel in a series of progressively elongated orbits to reach the Moon, which will provide a gravitational assist so that TESS can transfer into its 13.7-day final science orbit around Earth. After approximately 60 days of check-out and instrument testing, the spacecraft will begin its work.

"One critical piece for the science return of TESS is the high data rate associated with its orbit," said George Ricker, TESS principal investigator at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research in Cambridge. "Each time the spacecraft passes close to Earth, it will transmit full-frame images taken with the cameras. That's one of the unique things TESS brings that was not possible before."

For this two-year survey mission, scientists divided the sky into 26 sectors. TESS will use four unique wide-field cameras to map 13 sectors encompassing the southern sky during its first year of observations and 13 sectors of the northern sky during the second year, altogether covering 85 percent of the sky.

TESS will be watching for phenomena called transits. A transit occurs when a planet passes in front of its star from the observer's perspective, causing a periodic and regular dip in the star's brightness. More than 78 percent of the approximately 3,700 confirmed exoplanets have been found using transits.

NASA's Kepler spacecraft found more than 2,600 exoplanets, most orbiting faint stars between 300 and 3,000 light-years from Earth, using this same method of watching for transits. TESS will focus on stars between 30 and 300 light-years away and 30 to 100 times brighter than Kepler's targets.

The brightness of these target stars will allow researchers to use spectroscopy, the study of the absorption and emission of light, to determine a planet's mass, density and atmospheric composition. Water, and other key molecules, in its atmosphere can give us hints about a planets' capacity to harbor life.

"The targets TESS finds are going to be fantastic subjects for research for decades to come," said Stephen Rinehart, TESS project scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "It's the beginning of a new era of exoplanet research."

Through the TESS Guest Investigator Program, the worldwide scientific community will be able to conduct research beyond TESS's core mission in areas ranging from exoplanet characterization to stellar astrophysics, distant galaxies and solar system science.

TESS is a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission led and operated by MIT and managed by Goddard. George Ricker, of MIT's Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research, serves as principal investigator for the mission. TESS's four wide-field cameras were developed by MIT's Lincoln Laboratory. Additional partners include Orbital ATK, NASA's Ames Research Center, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and the Space Telescope Science Institute. More than a dozen universities, research institutes and observatories worldwide are participants in the mission.

For more information on TESS, go to: https://www.nasa.gov/tess


April 13, 2018

Kennedy Space Center Traffic and Road Closures for April 14-16

Heavy traffic on and around the Kennedy Space Center and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is expected April 14-16 due to center activities surrounding the upcoming launch of NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Liftoff is planned for no earlier than 6:32 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 16.

PUBLIC ACCESS ROAD CLOSURES

  • State Road 3 from the Gate 2 News Media Pass and Identification Building to State Road 405 (NASA Causeway) including Space Commerce Way will be closed to unauthorized vehicles once the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex parking lot reaches capacity on Saturday, April 14 through Monday, April 16. The roads will reopen after launch.
  • NASA Causeway between U.S. 1 and the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex also will close once capacity is reached at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex parking lot. The roads will reopen after launch.
  • The A. Max Brewer Causeway bridge on S.R. 406 in Titusville (north bridge) east to State Road 3 will be open to all motor vehicle traffic. Gate 1 will be open to badged personnel.
Learn more about TESS at http://www.nasa.gov/tess.


April 11, 2018

NASA Television to Air Launch of Next Planet-Hunting Mission

NASA's next Planet-Hunting Mission - TESS
NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is set to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida no earlier than April 16, 2018. Once in orbit, TESS will spend about two years surveying 200,000 of the brightest stars near the sun to search for planets outside our solar system.
Credits: NASA

On a mission to detect planets outside of our solar system, NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is scheduled to launch no earlier than 6:32 p.m. EDT Monday, April 16. Prelaunch mission coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency's website Sunday, April 15, with three live briefings.

TESS is NASA's next step in the search for planets outside of our solar system, known as exoplanets, including those that could support life. The mission is expected to catalog thousands of planet candidates and vastly increase the current number of known exoplanets. TESS will find the most promising exoplanets orbiting relatively nearby stars, giving future researchers a rich set of new targets for more comprehensive follow-up studies, including the potential to assess their capacity to harbor life.

NASA TV coverage is as follows:

Sunday, April 15

11 a.m. — NASA Social Mission Overview

  • Martin Still, TESS program scientist at NASA Headquarters
  • Tom Barclay, TESS scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
  • Jenn Burt, Torres postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Zach Berta-Thompson, assistant professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Natalia Guerrero, TESS researcher at MIT
  • Robert Lockwood, TESS spacecraft program manager with Orbital ATK
  • Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of Build and Flight Reliability at SpaceX
  • Jesse Christiansen, staff scientist with the NASA Exoplanet Science Institute at Caltech
  • Elisa Quintana, TESS scientist at Goddard
1 p.m. — Prelaunch news conference
  • Sandra Connelly, deputy associate administrator of programs for NASA's Science Mission Directorate
  • Omar Baez, launch director for NASA's Launch Services Program
  • Jeff Volosin, TESS project manager at Goddard
  • Mike McAleenan, weather officer with the U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron
  • Robert Lockwood
  • Hans Koenigsmann
3 p.m. — Science news conference
  • Paul Hertz, Astrophysics division director at NASA Headquarters
  • George Ricker, TESS principal investigator at MIT
  • Padi Boyd, TESS Guest Investigator Program lead at Goddard
  • Stephen Rinehart, TESS project scientist at Goddard
  • Diana Dragomir, postdoctoral fellow at MIT

Monday, April 16

10 a.m. — NASA EDGE: TESS

  • This half-hour live show will discuss the TESS spacecraft, the science of searching for planets outside our solar system, and the launch from Cape Canaveral.

6 p.m. — Launch coverage begins

6:32 p.m. — Launch

TESS will launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

For the latest schedule of prelaunch briefings, events and NASA TV coverage, visit:
https://www.nasa.gov/content/tess-prelaunch-briefings-and-events

Learn more about TESS at: https://www.nasa.gov/tess


April 02, 2018

New Research Heading to Space Station Aboard 14th SpaceX Resupply Mission

SpaceX Dragon launch 4/2/18
A SpaceX Dragon launched at 4:30 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida delivering more than 5,800 pounds of equipment and research to the International Space Station.
Credits: NASA

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station soon will receive a delivery of experiments dealing with how the human body, plants and materials behave in space following the 4:30 p.m. EDT launch Monday of a SpaceX commercial resupply mission.

A SpaceX Dragon lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida with more than 5,800 pounds of research investigations and equipment, cargo and supplies that will support dozens of the more than 250 investigations aboard the space station.

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Norishige Kanai and NASA astronaut Scott Tingle will use the space station's robotic arm to capture Dragon when it arrives at the station Wednesday, April 4. Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture will air on NASA Television and the agency's website beginning at 5:30 a.m. April 4. Installation coverage is set to begin at 8:30 a.m.

Among the research arriving on Dragon is a new facility to test materials, coatings and components, or other large experiments, in the harsh environment of space. Designed by Alpha Space and sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, the Materials ISS Experiment Flight Facility (MISSE-FF) provides a platform for testing how materials react to exposure to ultraviolet radiation, atomic oxygen, ionizing radiation, ultrahigh vacuum, charged particles, thermal cycles, electromagnetic radiation, and micro-meteoroids in the low-Earth orbit environment.

The Canadian Space Agency's study Bone Marrow Adipose Reaction: Red or White (MARROW) will look at the effects of microgravity on bone marrow and the blood cells it produces — an effect likened to that of long-term bed rest on Earth. The extent of this effect, and bone marrow's ability to recover when back on Earth, are of interest to space researchers and healthcare providers alike.

Understanding how plants respond to microgravity also is important for future long-duration space missions and the crews that will need to grow their own food. The Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System (PONDS) arriving on Dragon uses a newly-developed passive nutrient delivery system and the Veggie plant growth facility currently aboard the space station to cultivate leafy greens. These greens will be harvested and eaten by the crew, with samples also being returned to Earth for analysis.

Dragon also is carrying an Earth observatory that will study severe thunderstorms and their role in the Earth's atmosphere and climate, as well as upgrade equipment for the station's carbon dioxide removal system, external high-definition camera components, and a new printer for the station's crew.

This is SpaceX's 14th cargo mission to the space station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract. Dragon is scheduled to depart the station in May and return to Earth with more than 3,500 pounds of research, hardware and crew supplies.

For more than 17 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A global endeavor, more than 200 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 2,300 research investigations from researchers in more than 100 countries.

Get breaking news, images and features from the space station on social media at: https://instagram.com/iss and https://www.twitter.com/Space_Station


March 30, 2018

NASA Kennedy Announces Recipients of 2018 Chroniclers Awards

Journalists & PR people honored on Nasa's Chroniclers wall of fame.
Broadcasters, journalists, authors, contractor public relations representatives and NASA public affairs officers are honored on the Chroniclers wall of fame in the newsroom at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Credits: NASA

NASA will honor three veteran space chroniclers who have excelled at sharing U.S. space exploration news from the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Brass strips engraved with each awardee's name will be added to "The Chroniclers" wall in the Kennedy Space Center Press Site during a ceremony at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 4, 2018.

The honorees, each of whom covered the U.S. space program from Kennedy for 10 years or more and are no longer working full-time in the field, were selected by a committee of working media, and current and former representatives of NASA Kennedy's Office of Communication, March 21.

They are:

  • Jay Barbree, veteran NBC News correspondent and only member of the media to have witnessed every NASA crewed launch at Kennedy Space Center, from Alan Shepard's Freedom 7 mission in 1961, to the final liftoff (and landing) of Space Shuttle Atlantis on STS-135 in 2011. Barbree retired from NBC News in 2017 in his 60th year with the network stationed at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Kennedy.
  • Craig Covault, writer and reporter with Aviation Week & Space Technology who authored an estimated 4,000 news and feature stories on space and aeronautics during his 48-year career. Covault covered some 100 space shuttle launches and missions. He was to be the first journalist in space (on STS-7 with Sally Ride), but was replaced by physician astronaut Dr. Norm Thagard to study space motion sickness after its effect on the STS-5 crew. Covault retired in 2017.
  • George Diller, a 37-year veteran of NASA Public Affairs at Kennedy known by many as "The Voice of Kennedy Launch Control." Among his many missions, Diller is most proud of providing commentary for the space shuttle launch of the Hubble Space Telescope in 1990, and all five of its servicing missions. Diller retired in 2017 after his final on-air launch commentary in April for the Orbital ATK's seventh commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.
The award ceremony falls one day prior to the 57th anniversary of Alan Shepard's historic flight as America's first human in space. Coincidentally, it was Shepard from whom the first Chronicler honorees received their award certificates in 1995.

The recipients join a distinguished list of broadcasters, journalists, authors, contractor public relations representatives and NASA public affairs officers honored as Kennedy "Chroniclers," including Walter Cronkite of CBS News, ABC News' Jules Bergman and two-time Pulitzer winner, John Noble Wilford of the New York Times.

For a list of "The Chroniclers" and their bios, see: https://go.nasa.gov/2GiEtg9


March 26, 2018

NASA Television to Air Launch of Next Space Station Resupply Mission

NASA Television will cover the 14th ISS resupply mission.
NASA Television will cover the 14th resupply mission of commercial cargo provider SpaceX to the International Space Station.
Credits: NASA
NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX now is targeting its 14th resupply mission to the International Space Station for no earlier than 4:30 p.m. EDT Monday, April 2. Live coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency's website Sunday, April 1, with pre-launch events.

Packed with almost 5,800 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit, at which point it will deploys its solar arrays and begins a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings to reach the International Space Station.

Grapple and berthing to the space station is targeted for April 4. Expedition 55 Flight Engineers Norishege Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, backed up by NASA astronaut Scott Tingle, will supervise the operation of the Canadarm2 robotic arm for Dragon's capture. After Dragon capture, ground commands will be sent from mission control in Houston for the station's arm to rotate and install it on the bottom of the station's Harmony module.

Full mission coverage is as follows:

Sunday, April 1

  • 2:30 p.m. - What's on Board science briefing, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This briefing will highlight the following research:
  • Dan Close, chief scientific officer at 490 BioTech, will discuss the company's Metabolic Tracking investigation to evaluate the use of a new method to test, in microgravity, the metabolic impacts of pharmaceutical drugs. This could lead to more effective, less expensive medicines on Earth.
  • Torsten Neubert of the National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark, and principal investigator for the Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor, will discuss how this Earth observatory will study severe thunderstorms and their role in the Earth's atmosphere and climate.
  • The Multi-use Variable-g Platform (MVP), developed, owned and operated by Techshot Inc., will serve as a new test bed aboard the space station, able to host 12 separate experiment modules with samples such as plants, cells, protein crystals and fruit flies. Rich Boling, vice president for corporate advancement at Techshot, will discuss the platform, and Sharmila Bhattacharya, a senior scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, will talk about the value of the research that will be conducted on it.
  • Howard Levine, chief scientist in the Utilization and Life Science Office at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, will discuss continuing research on growing food in space, as the Veggie Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System experiment tests a new way to deliver nutrients to plants.
  • 4 p.m. - Prelaunch news conference at Kennedy with representatives from NASA's International Space Station Program, SpaceX and the U.S. Air Force's 45th Space Wing.
Monday, April 2
  • 4 p.m. - Launch coverage begins for the 4:30 p.m. launch
  • 6:30 p.m. - Postlaunch news conference at Kennedy with representatives from NASA's International Space Station Program and SpaceX.
Wednesday, April 4
  • 5:30 a.m. - Dragon rendezvous and capture. Capture is scheduled for 7 a.m.
  • 8:30 a.m. - Dragon installation to the nadir port of the Harmony module of the station
The Dragon spacecraft will spend approximately one month attached to the space station, returning to Earth in May with results of completed experiments.

For the latest schedule of prelaunch briefings, events and NASA TV coverage, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/content/spacex-crs-14-briefings-and-events/

Learn more about the SpaceX resupply mission at: https://www.nasa.gov/spacex


March 23, 2018

InSight Mars Lander to launch from West Coast

Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport spacecraft (InSight)
The Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport spacecraft (InSight) will launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Credits: NASA

NASA's next mission to Mars is the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport spacecraft (InSight) will be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The launch period runs May 5 through June 8.

InSight will be the first mission to look deep beneath the Martian surface, studying the planet's interior by measuring its heat output and listening for marsquakes. It will use the seismic waves generated by marsquakes to develop a map of the planet's deep interior. The resulting insight into Mars' formation will help us better understand how other rocky planets, including Earth, were and are created.

The spacecraft will launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket lifting off from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg, making it also the first planetary mission to take off from the West Coast.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, manages the InSight mission for the agency's Science Mission Directorate. InSight is part of NASA's Discovery Program, managed by its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The spacecraft, including cruise stage and lander, was built and tested by Lockheed Martin Space in Denver. Several European partners, including France's space agency, the Centre National d'Étude Spatiales, and the German Aerospace Center, are supporting the mission. United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colorado, is providing the Atlas V launch service. NASA's Launch Services Program, based at its Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management.

For more information about InSight, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/insight


March 19, 2018

NASA's Mission to Study Mars Interior

NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander
NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander will be the first mission to look deep beneath the Martian surface and study the planet's interior by measuring its heat output and listening for marsquakes.
Credits: NASA

NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander Friday is at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where it's currently undergoing final tests for its May launch.

InSight will be the first mission to look deep beneath the Martian surface, studying the planet's interior by measuring its heat output and listening for marsquakes. It will use the seismic waves generated by marsquakes to develop a map of the planet's deep interior. The resulting insight into Mars' formation will help us better understand how other rocky planets, including Earth, are created.

InSight also will be the first planetary spacecraft to take off from the West Coast, launching aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg. Currently scheduled for May 5, the two-hour launch window opens at 4:05 a.m. PDT (7:05 a.m. EDT).

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, manages the InSight mission for the agency's Science Mission Directorate. InSight is part of NASA's Discovery Program, managed by its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The spacecraft, including cruise stage and lander, was built and tested by Lockheed Martin Space in Denver. Several European partners, including France's space agency, the Centre National d'Étude Spatiales, and the German Aerospace Center, are supporting the mission. United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colorado, is providing the Atlas V launch service. NASA's Launch Services Program, based at its Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management.


March 12, 2018

NASA Kennedy Seeks Media Nominations for 2018 'Chroniclers'

NASA Kennedy Seeks Media Nominations
Brass plaques engraved with the names of "The Chroniclers" create a roll of honor on the wall at the NASA News Center at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett
NASA is soliciting members of the working news media for names of former colleagues they deem worthy of designation as a space program "Chronicler" at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

"The Chroniclers" program honors broadcasters, journalists, authors, contractor public relations representatives and NASA public affairs officers who excelled in sharing news from Kennedy about U.S. efforts in space exploration with the American public and the world.

Past honorees, all of whose names are displayed on "The Chroniclers" wall in the Kennedy Press Site, include Walter Cronkite of CBS News, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, John Noble Wilford of the New York Times, and Reuters' Mary Bubb, the first female reporter of the space program. Nominees must have covered the U.S. space program primarily from the Kennedy Space Center for 10 years or more and are no longer working full-time in the field.

Each nomination must include a brief paragraph with rationale for its submission.

Email nominations to Al Feinberg, Kennedy Office of Communication, at al.feinberg@nasa.gov. Please make "Chroniclers Nomination(s)" the subject line.

Deadline for submissions is close of business Monday, March 19.

Awardees will be selected by a committee of working broadcasters, journalists, public relations professionals, and present and former representatives of Kennedy's Office of Communication.

Selections will be announced on or about March 26.

Brass strips engraved with each awardee's name will be added to "The Chroniclers" wall in Kennedy's Press Site during a ceremony at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 4. The following day, May 5, will be the 57th anniversary of Alan Shepard's historic flight as America's first human in space. Shepard awarded the first Chronicler honorees their award certificates during a similar ceremony in 1995.

For a current list of Chroniclers, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/about/history/chroniclers/chronos-index.html


March 06, 2018

Planned Launch of NASA's Newest Planet-Hunting Spacecraft

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite is targeted to launch no earlier than April 16, 2018, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The satellite will find planets outside the solar system that periodically block part of the light from their host stars as they pass by, or transit.
Credits: Goddard Space Flight Center/Chris Meaney

NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is targeted to launch no earlier than 6:32 p.m. EDT April 16 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. The mission will find planets outside our solar system, known as exoplanets, that periodically block part of the light from their host stars as they pass by, or transit.

TESS will search for thousands of exoplanets in orbit around the brightest and nearest stars outside our solar system during a two-year period of surveying our solar neighborhood. In its mission to identify new worlds, the spacecraft will monitor more than 200,000 stars, looking for a telltale sign: a decrease in a star"s brightness that occurs when an orbiting planet transits between its star and an observing spacecraft, temporarily blocking the star's light.

TESS is a NASA Astrophysics Explorer mission led and operated by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and managed by NASA"s Goddard Space Flight Center. George Ricker of MIT's Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research serves as principal investigator for the mission.

Additional partners include Orbital ATK, NASA's Ames Research Center, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Space Telescope Science Institute. More than a dozen universities, research institutes and observatories worldwide are participating in the mission.

NASA's Launch Services Program is responsible for launch management of TESS.

For more information on TESS, go to: https://www.nasa.gov/tess


March 02, 2018

NASA, ULA Launch Advanced NOAA Weather Satellite

Atlas 5 rocket launching te GEOS-S satellite.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying the NOAA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, or GOES-S. Liftoff was at 5:02 p.m. EST. GOES-S is the second satellite in a series of next-generation weather satellites.
Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett

NASA successfully launched the second in a series of next-generation weather satellites for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at 5:02 p.m. EST Thursday.

NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) lifted off on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

GOES-S mission managers confirmed at 8:58 p.m. the spacecraft's solar arrays successfully deployed and the spacecraft was operating on its own power.

The satellite will provide faster, more accurate and more detailed data, in near real-time, to track storm systems, lightning, wildfires, coastal fog and other hazards that affect the western United States.

"We at NASA Science are proud to support our joint agency partner NOAA on today's launch of GOES-S, a national asset that will impact lives across the Western Hemisphere each and every day," said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, who attended today's launch.

Once GOES-S is positioned in a geostationary orbit 22,300 miles above Earth, in approximately two weeks, it will be renamed GOES-17. Later this year, after undergoing a full checkout and validation of its six high-tech instruments, the new satellite will move to the GOES-West position and become operational. From there, it constantly will provide advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements, real-time mapping of lightning activity, and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather.

In addition to improving weather forecasts, GOES-17 will help forecasters locate and track wildfires - invaluable information that emergency response teams need to fight fires and evacuate people out of harm's way. GOES-17 also will be an important tool for forecasters to track and predict the formation and dissipation of fog, which can disrupt airport operations.

GOES-17 will work in tandem with GOES-16, the first satellite in NOAA's new geostationary series, now at the GOES-East position. GOES-17 will extend observational high-resolution satellite coverage of the revolutionary new technology aboard GOES-16 to most of the Western Hemisphere, from the west coast of Africa to New Zealand, and from near the Arctic Circle to near the Antarctic Circle. The satellite will provide more and better data than is currently available over the northeastern Pacific Ocean, the birthplace of many weather systems that affect the continental U.S.

NOAA manages the GOES-R Series program through an integrated NOAA/NASA office at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. NASA also oversees the acquisition of the spacecraft, instruments and launch vehicles. Lockheed Martin Space of Littleton, Colorado, built the spacecraft and is responsible for spacecraft development, integration and testing.

Mission operations will be performed by NOAA at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland. Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Florida, provided the main instrument payload, the Advanced Baseline Imager, and the ground system, which includes the antenna system for data receipt. NASA's Launch Services Program, based at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, is responsible for launch management. ULA of Centennial, Colorado, is the provider of the Atlas V launch service.


February 21, 2018

NASA Women Take Part in Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day

Female scientists and technical experts from across NASA will celebrate Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day on Feb. 22 by taking to the agency's Digital Expansion to Engage the Public (DEEP) network and connecting with thousands of students throughout the U.S. and elsewhere.

Anchored by NASA's Kennedy Space Center, DEEP will provide classrooms with live access to women from around the agency who are leaders in their fields. In 30-minute blocks, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST, they'll speak about their NASA careers and experiences as women in STEM fields, then answer questions from students.

Among the NASA experts making presentations will be Janet Petro, KSC's deputy director; Dr. Gioia Massa, life science project scientist for the Vegetable Production System (Veggie); and Janet Gobaira, Kennedy flight systems engineer (en Espanol).

Last year, more than 13,000 students participated or observed the day's programming via NASA live streaming.

NASA's participation in Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is one of many events highlighting National Engineers Week (Feb. 18-24) and coincides with the worldwide celebration of Girl Day on Feb. 22.

To watch via the NASA DEEP live stream, go to http://bit.ly/NASASpeakersBureau. Tweet questions using #NASADEEP or use the chat window next to the video player.

For more information about NASA Kennedy, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/kennedy


February 20, 2018

NOAA's GOES-S

NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S
Technicians and engineers at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, prepare NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) for encapsulation in its payload fairing on Jan. 16, 2018.
Photo credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) is scheduled to launch on Thursday, March 1, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 is targeted for 5:02 p.m. EST at the opening of a two-hour launch window. Launch coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency's website at 4:30 p.m.

GOES-S is the second in the GOES-R Series of weather satellites that includes GOES-R (now GOES-16), -S, -T and -U. GOES-S will be renamed GOES-17 when it reaches geostationary orbit. Once the satellite is declared operational late this year, it will occupy NOAA's GOES-West position and provide faster, more accurate data for tracking wildfires, tropical cyclones, fog and other storm systems and hazards that threaten the western United States, Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, Central America and the Pacific Ocean all the way to New Zealand.

NOAA manages the GOES-R Series program through an integrated NOAA/NASA office collocated at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center that oversees the acquisition of the program ground system. NASA oversees the acquisition of the spacecraft, instruments and launch vehicles. Lockheed Martin Space of Littleton, Colorado, built the spacecraft and is responsible for spacecraft development, integration and testing.

Mission operations will be performed by NOAA at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland. Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Florida, provided the main instrument payload, the Advanced Baseline Imager, and the ground system, which includes the antenna system for data receipt. NASA's Launch Services Program is responsible for launch management. United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colorado, is the provider of the Atlas V launch service.

NASA TV Launch Coverage
NASA TV live coverage will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET. Coverage will conclude after solar array deploy. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor's countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135.

NASA Web Prelaunch and Launch Coverage
Prelaunch and launch day coverage of GOES-S will be available on http://www.nasa.gov. Coverage will include live streaming and blog updates beginning at 4:30 p.m. ET as the countdown milestones occur. You can follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at http://blogs.nasa.gov/goes/.

Learn more about the GOES-R Series Program by visiting: http://www.goes-r.gov


February 19, 2018

NASA to Host National Space Council Meeting at Kennedy Space Center

NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida will host a meeting of the National Space Council, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

NASA Television and the agency's website will provide live coverage of the meeting beginning at 10 a.m. EST.

After his arrival on Tuesday, Vice President Pence will tour Cape Canaveral Air Force Station launch facilities and participate in a commercial spaceflight federal reception. On Wednesday, Vice President Pence will lead the National Space Council meeting inside Kennedy's Space Station Processing Facility. "Moon, Mars, and Worlds Beyond: Winning the Next Frontier" will include testimonials from leaders in the civil, commercial, and national security sectors about the importance of the United States' space enterprise. The Vice President will conclude his visit with a tour of Kennedy Space Center.

This will be the second meeting of the National Space Council, which President Trump re-established last year.

Images and video highlights from the meeting and tours will be available at: https://www.nasa.gov/mediaresources
For more information about NASA's Kennedy Space Center, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/kennedy


February 15, 2018

Upcoming Space Station Cargo Launch

SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, on a Falcon 9 rocket, is positioned for launch to the International Space Station.
SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft, on a Falcon 9 rocket, is positioned for launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 40 on Dec. 15, 2017, for the company's 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.
Credits: NASA/Bob Granath

A Dragon cargo spacecraft, previously flown on SpaceX's eighth commercial resupply mission to the station for NASA, will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.

Highlights of space station research that will be facilitated by Dragon's arrival are:

  • The Atmosphere-Space Interactions Monitor, an Earth observatory that will study severe thunderstorms and their role in the Earth's atmosphere and climate.
  • An investigation that seeks to better understand how the lack of gravity affects a process used to produce high-performance products from metal powders. This research could lead to improved manufacturing techniques.
  • Continuing research on growing food in space, as the Veggie Passive Orbital Nutrient Delivery System experiment tests a new way to deliver nutrients to plants.

Among the cargo that will enable National Laboratory research, which is managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, is a platform that will enable testing of materials, coatings, and components in the harsh environment of space, and investigations into the process of antibiotic release and technology for the evaluation of drug safety and effectiveness.

This is the 14th SpaceX mission under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract.

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 220 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 the Moon and eventually to Mars.

For launch countdown coverage, NASA's launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/spacex


February 14, 2018

NASA's TESS Spacecraft

Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
The fully integrated Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) will launch in 2018 to find thousands of new planets orbiting other stars.
Credits: Orbital ATK

TESS is the next step in the search for planets outside of the solar system orbiting other nearby, bright stars. The mission will find these planets (e.g., "exoplanets") that periodically block part of the light from stars while transiting across the star. The media event is an opportunity to photograph the spacecraft and interview project and program team members.

TESS is targeted to launch this spring on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force (CCAFS) Station in Florida.

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 Orbital ATK, NASA's Ames Research Center, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the Space Telescope Science Institute. More than a dozen universities, research institutes and observatories worldwide are participants in the mission. NASA's Launch Services Program is responsible for launch management. SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, is the provider of the Falcon 9 launch service.


January 29, 2018

Upcoming NOAA GOES-S Satellite Launch

NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S)
This illustration depicts NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S), which is scheduled to launch March 1 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA oversees the acquisition of the spacecraft, instruments and launch vehicles for the GOES-R Series program.
Credits: Lockheed Martin

Scheduled launch Thursday, March 1, of the second in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) series of next-generation geostationary weather satellites.

NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) is scheduled to launch at 5:02 p.m. EST on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. GOES-S is the second in the GOES-R Series of weather satellites that includes GOES-R (now GOES-16), -S, -T and -U.

GOES-S will be renamed GOES-17 when it reaches geostationary orbit. Once the satellite is declared operational late this year, it will occupy NOAA's GOES-West position and provide faster, more accurate data for tracking wildfires, tropical cyclones, fog and other storm systems and hazards that threaten the western United States, Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico, Central America and part of South America.

NOAA manages the GOES-R Series program through an integrated NOAA/NASA office and oversees the acquisition of the program ground system. NASA oversees the acquisition of the spacecraft, instruments and launch vehicles. Lockheed Martin Space of Littleton, Colorado, built the spacecraft and is responsible for spacecraft development, integration and testing.

Mission operations will be performed by NOAA at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland. Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Florida, provided the main instrument payload, the Advanced Baseline Imager, and the ground system, which includes the antenna system for data receipt. NASA's Launch Services Program is responsible for launch management. United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colorado, is the provider of the Atlas V launch service.


January 23, 2018

NASA, 45th Space Wing discuss the 60-Year Anniversary of Explorer 1 Launch

The United States' first satellite, Explorer 1, launches
The United States' first satellite, Explorer 1, is launched into orbit by a Jupiter C rocket on Jan. 31, 1958. Explorer 1 confirmed existence of high-radiation bands above the Earth's atmosphere.
Credits: NASA

The successful launch of Explorer 1 on Jan. 31, 1958, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, marked the beginning of U.S. space exploration. The primary science instrument on board was a cosmic ray detector, which led to Explorer principal investigator James Van Allen's discovery of Earth's radiation belts, later named the Van Allen belts in his honor. The Air Force Space and Missile Museum is located at the launch site where this pioneering mission began.

A new NASA website provides extensive historical information about Explorer 1, including archival imagery and videos: https://explorer1.jpl.nasa.gov

America's space program continues to build on 60 years of scientific exploration and discovery that followed Explorer 1 with new missions that will expand our view of the universe, our solar system, and our home planet. For more information about NASA programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov


January 09, 2018

NASA Invites Media to View Orion Test Capsule, Recovery Hardware

NASA and the U.S. Navy conduct test for recovery of the agency's Orion spacecraft from the sea
U.S. Navy divers and other personnel in a Zodiac boat secure a harness around a test version of the Orion crew module during Underway Recovery Test (URT) 5 in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. NASA and the U.S. Navy will conduct its sixth test Jan. 17-23 for recovery of the agency's Orion spacecraft from the sea in preparation for its first uncrewed flight on the Space Launch System rocket.
Credits: NASA/Bill White

NASA's Orion spacecraft and the hardware that will be used to recover the spacecraft upon its return from space.

In preparation for Exploration Mission-1, NASA and the U.S. Navy will conduct testing Jan. 17-23 for recovery of the agency's Orion spacecraft from the sea following its first uncrewed flight on the Space Launch System rocket. This test is part of a series to demonstrate and evaluate the processes, procedures and hardware for recovery operations.

Orion is America's exploration spacecraft designed to carry astronauts to deep space destinations, including the Moon, Mars and beyond.

For more information about Exploration Ground Systems, visit: https://go.nasa.gov/groundsystems
For more information about Orion, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/orion


January 08, 2018

NASA: NOAA Weather Spacecraft — March Launch Scheduled

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S)
At Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida, technicians and engineers move NOAA's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) into a clean room for further processing.
Credits: NASA/Leif Heimbold

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S), the second in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) series of next-generation geostationary weather satellites.

The spacecraft is at the Astrotech Space Operations payload processing facility in Titusville, Florida.

The GOES-R satellite series, which includes GOES-R, -S, -T and -U, is the nation's most advanced fleet of geostationary weather satellites that will extend the availability of the operational GOES satellite system through 2036.

GOES-S is scheduled to launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket at 5:02 p.m. EST Thursday, March 1, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The spacecraft will significantly improve the detection and observation of environmental phenomena that directly affect public safety, protection of property and the nation's economic health and prosperity.

NOAA manages the GOES-R Series Program through an integrated NOAA-NASA office and is responsible for the science and data applications. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, provides spacecraft project management, systems engineering, and safety and mission assurance. Lockheed Martin Space of Littleton, Colorado, built the spacecraft and is responsible for spacecraft development, integration and testing.

Mission operations will be performed by NOAA at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility in Suitland, Maryland. Harris Corp., of Melbourne, Florida, provided the main instrument payload, the Advanced Baseline Imager, the antenna system for data receipt and the ground segment. NASA's Launch Services Program is responsible for launch management. United Launch Alliance of Centennial, Colorado, is the provider of the Atlas V launch service.

For more information about the GOES-R Series Program, visit: https://www.goes-r.gov





 


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