To prepare for OSIRIS-REx’s pending touchdown onto the surface of Bennu, NASA used the spacecraft to photograph every nook and cranny of the weirdly shaped asteroid. The purpose of this exercise was to catalogue potentially hazardous geological features, but a side benefit is that we have a gorgeous new view of the asteroid’s tortured surface.
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A host of companies, including IBM, Microsoft, and Google, along with universities and national labs have teamed up to form the COVID-19 High Performance Computing (HPC) Consortium. This new partnership is designed to provide scientists with supercomputing resources as they figure out how to combat the coronavirus-caused disease known as covid-19.
Every wrencher knows that sometimes the only cure for a misbehaving machine is to just hit the damn thing. The finely tuned machines of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration are no exception. Even a whole planet away, with different gravity and no magnetic field, machines just work better with the application of a little bit of brute force.
Effective immediately, NASA is halting the production and testing of its next-gen rocket and crew module in response to the covid-19 pandemic. The space agency wants to use both pieces of hardware in 2024, when it hopes to land American astronauts to the Moon—a target date that now appears to be in serious jeopardy.
NASA and SpaceX are still planning on conducting the first manned commercial crew program launch to space as early as May, indicating that the timetable for the mission has not shifted despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
With COVID-19 now spreading widely in the U.S., it’s no surprise that normal operations at NASA are being disrupted as well. Two NASA workers have already tested positive for the new coronavirus, and officials at the space agency are having to prioritise only the most essential missions. Here’s what we’re learning about how NASA plans to move forward with its projects during this unprecedented health crisis.
Despite not actually getting to walk on its surface, the Apollo 13 astronauts were still able to visit the moon from a distance of around 254 kilometres which is closer than most of their fellow Earth dwellers will ever get to it. You can, however, see exactly what those astronauts saw while encircling the moon thanks to a stunning new visualisation NASA has released in 4K.
Katherine Johnson, who has died at the age of 101, was an amazing woman. But up until a few years ago, hardly anyone had heard of her or her achievements. She was a mathematician and she worked for NASA. But on paper neither of those facts would make her stand out from the crowd. Add a few more facts – she was a woman, she was black and working in the US in the 1950s to early 1960s – and the scale of her success becomes more apparent.
NASA mathematician and subject of the 2016 movie “Hidden Figures” Katherine G. Johnson passed away today at age 101.