One of NASA’s four Great Observatories, Spitzer launched on Aug. 25, 2003, and has studied the cosmos in infrared light. Its breathtaking images have revealed the beauty of the infrared universe.
Spitzer made some of the first studies of exoplanet atmospheres (atmospheres of planets around stars other than our Sun). It confirmed two and discovered five of the seven Earth-size exoplanets around the star TRAPPIST-1 – the largest batch of terrestrial planets ever found around a single star. On Thursday, Jan. 30, engineers will decommission the Spitzer spacecraft and bring this amazing mission to a close.
Within the tempestuous Carina Nebula lies “Mystic Mountain.” This three-light-year-tall cosmic pinnacle, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 in 2010, is made up primarily of dust and gas, and exhibits signs of intense star-forming activity. The colors in this composite image correspond to the glow of oxygen (blue), hydrogen and nitrogen (green) and sulfur (red).
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)
Discovered in 2018 by NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Satellite Survey (TESS) mission, planet LHS 3844b is located 48.6 light-years from Earth and has a radius 1.3 times that of Earth. It orbits a small, cool type of star called an M dwarf – especially noteworthy because, as the most common and long-lived type of star in the Milky Way galaxy, M dwarfs may host a high percentage of the total number of planets in the galaxy.
As he prepares to conclude his stay aboard the orbiting laboratory this week, astronaut Nick Hague shared this photo saying: “Today is my last Monday living on this orbiting laboratory and I’m soaking up my final views. The @Space_Station is truly an engineering marvel. #MondayMotivation.”
Hague will return to Earth after a six-month stay aboard the International Space Station. He and Expedition 60 and Soyuz commander Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are completing a 203-day mission, spanning 3,248 orbits of Earth, and a journey of 80.8 million miles. Hague is completing his second flight in space totaling 203 days, while Ovchinin will have logged 375 days in space on his third flight at the time of landing.
From aboard the International Space Station, Expedition 60 astronaut Christina Koch photographed the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft ascending into space after its launch from Kazakhstan on Wednesday, September 25, 2019. After a four-orbit, six-hour journey, the Soyuz docked to the Space Station with NASA astronaut Jessica Meir, Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and spaceflight participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates joining the crew.
When a spacecraft built for humans ventures into deep space, it requires an array of features to keep it and a crew inside safe. Both distance and duration demand that spacecraft must have systems that can reliably operate far from home, be capable of keeping astronauts alive in case of emergencies and still be light enough that a rocket can launch it.
Artemis Missions near the Moon will start when NASA’s Orion spacecraft leaves Earth atop the world’s most powerful rocket, NASA’s Space Launch System. After launch from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Orion will travel beyond the Moon to a distance more than 1,000 times farther than where the International Space Station flies in low-Earth orbit, and farther than any spacecraft built for humans has ever ventured. To accomplish this feat, Orion has built-in technologies that enable the crew and spacecraft to explore far into the solar system.
Systems to Live and Breathe Proper Propulsion The Ability to Hold Off the Heat Radiation Protection Constant Communication and Navigation
From absorbing whole dwarf galaxies to containing the mass of a billion stars – black holes are a cosmic force to be reckoned with. This #BlackHoleWeek NASA is bringing us Hubble Space Telescope’s 5 weirdest black hole discoveries