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Nasa 2023 New Projects

by Anib
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NASA launched its mega Moon rocket for the first time, sending its uncrewed Orion spacecraft around the Moon; kicked off a new era in astronomy with the Webb Space Telescope’s record-breaking new imagery from the cosmos; moved an asteroid in humanity’s first ever planetary defense demonstration; working with its partners, sent astronauts on regular missions to the International Space Station, tested new technologies, including an inflatable heat shield for Mars; continued development of quieter supersonic aircraft, and much more.

On Nov. 28, 2022, Orion reached its maximum distance from Earth during the Artemis I mission when it was 268,563 miles away from our home planet. On Nov. 28, 2022, Orion reached its maximum distance from Earth during the Artemis I mission when it was 268,563 miles away from our home planet.Credits: NASA

“There is no doubt that 2022 was out of this world! From the history-making splashdown of the Artemis I mission, to the groundbreaking images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to the innovative LOFTID technology demonstration, the smashing success of the DART mission, incredible progress in our aeronautics programs, and the growth of partnerships with commercial and international partners,

2022 will go down in the history books as one of the most accomplished years across all of NASA’s missions,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “There’s so much to look forward to in 2023 too: More stunning discoveries from Webb telescope, climate missions that will tell us more about how our Earth is changing, continued science on the International Space Station, groundbreaking aeronautics developments with the X-59 and X-57 experimental aircraft, the selection of the first astronauts to go to the Moon in more than 50 years, and more. Space is the place and NASA proves humanity’s reach is limitless!”

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In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities, the agency remained a global leader in providing data related to climate change including unveiling a concept for a new Earth Information Center, and published NASA’s first Equity Action Plan. Congress also passed, for the first time in five years, a NASA Authorization Act. And in 2022, NASA reached a decade of excellence by being named as the Best Place to Work in the federal government among large agencies by the Partnership for Public Service for an unprecedented 10th consecutive time.

Below is a summary of accomplishments, demonstrating how in 2022, NASA explored the unknown in air and space, innovated for the benefit of humanity, and inspired the world through discovery.

Preparing for human lunar exploration

Among the accomplishments for NASA’s human spaceflight programs, the agency successfully launched, for the first time, its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which put NASA’s Orion spacecraft on a path that traveled farther than any spacecraft built for astronauts has been before. Through Artemis, the agency advanced plans to send the first woman and first of color to the Moon. Leading up to the historic

NASA’s Space Launch System rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft launches on the Artemis I flight test, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, from Launch Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.NASA’s Space Launch System rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft launches on the Artemis I flight test, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, from Launch Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.Credits: NASA

Nov. 16 launch of Artemis I, as well as a successful Orion splashdown on Dec. 11, NASA completed multiple key milestones for SLS, Orion, and ground systems:

  • Worked to assemble the rocket’s core stage at the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and the crew module at Kennedy, selected the vehicle that will transport astronauts to the launch pad, and qualified the final launch abort system engine for the Artemis II mission, the first flight with crew.
  • Completed manufacturing the booster segments and delivered the engine section to Kennedy for the Artemis III mission, which will be humanity’s first return to the lunar surface in more than 50 years and land the first woman on the Moon.
  • Fired a ground-based version of a booster in Promontory, Utah, for future missions, completed the critical design review for the more powerful evolved configuration of the SLS rocket, known as Block 1B, and began moving toward a services contract model for long-term SLS hardware production and operations to reduce costs.

The agency also completed numerous key Artemis milestones that will ensure not only a human return to the lunar surface, but long-term exploration on and around the Moon in preparation for sending the first astronauts to Mars:

  • Identified 13 candidate landing regions near the lunar South Pole where the next American astronauts on the Moon could land during Artemis III, selected Axiom Space to provide the moonwalking system, including spacesuits, that astronauts will use during Artemis III, as well as awarded a task order to Collins Aerospace to develop new spacesuits for the International Space Station.
  • Awarded a contract modification to SpaceX to further develop its Starship human landing system to meet agency requirements for long-term human exploration of the Moon, including a second crewed landing demonstration mission during Artemis IV, and announced a call to companies to provide proposals for sustainable lunar lander development as the agency works toward a regular cadence of Moon landings beyond Artemis IV.
  • Issued a draft request for proposals for Lunar Terrain Vehicle services to solicit companies’ feedback and completed desert analog mission with crew in a simulated lunar environment to test pressurized rover operations and moonwalks for future Artemis missions.
  • Built on past international partnerships for long-term exploration at the Moon with Japan and South Africa, as well as added new signatories through the Artemis Accords with Bahrain, Colombia, Israel, Nigeria, Romania, Rwanda, and Singapore.
  • Released a revised set of Moon to Mars Objectives, forming a blueprint for shaping human exploration throughout the solar system.
  • Researchers from the University of Florida grew Arabidopsis thaliana plants in lunar soil gathered during Apollo missions, showing that plants have the potential to grow on the Moon.

Maintaining human presence in low-Earth orbit

The NASA Authorization Act passed by Congress extended America’s participation in the International Space Station through at least Sept. 30, 2030, enabling the U.S. to continue to reap the benefits for the next decade while the agency works with American industry to develop commercial destinations and markets for a thriving space economy.

This was the 22nd continuous year of human presence aboard the orbiting laboratory. Here are some accomplishments in 2022:

  • NASA and SpaceX successfully launched and returned crew members to and from the International Space Station from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Regular crew rotation flights to and from station continue to help maximize science in space, including:
    • NASA astronauts Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kjell Lindgren, Mark Vande Hei, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins, Frank Rubio, Nicole Mann, and Josh Cassada lived and worked aboard the station.
    • This year saw Vande Hei completing the longest single human spaceflight mission by an American with a record-breaking 355 days in space.
    • Crew-3 returned to Earth in May with Barron, Chari and Marshburn, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer. During their science expedition aboard the orbiting laboratory, the Crew-3 astronauts conducted experiments, including a study on concrete hardening in microgravity, research on cotton varieties that could help develop drought-resistant plants, and executed a space archaeology study that could provide information that contributes to the design of future space habitats.
    • Crew-4 launched in April and returned in October with Hines, Lindgren, and Watkins, as well as ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti after completing 170 days in orbit. Crew-4 continued work on investigations documenting how improvements to the space diet affect immune function and the gut microbiome, determining the effect of fuel temperature on the flammability of a material, exploring possible adverse effects on astronaut hearin
    •  from equipment noise and microgravity, and studying whether additives increase or decrease the stability of emulsions.
    • Crew-5 arrived at station in October carrying Mann and Cassada, as well as JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina. Crew-5 is spending several months aboard the space station conducting new scientific research in areas such as cardiovascular health, bioprinting, and fluid behavior in microgravity to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and to benefit life on Earth.
  • NASA and Boeing successfully launched and returned the company’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and landed in the desert of the western United States, completing the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) to the space station to help prove the system is ready to fly astronauts. Starliner and its crew of NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Sunita Williams are preparing for the first flight with astronauts in 2023, the final demonstration prior to regular flights to the microgravity complex.
  • Crew members welcomed the first NASA-enabled private astronaut mission, Axiom Mission 1, to the orbital complex advancing the agency’s goal of commercializing low-Earth orbit.
  • Space station crew members are planned to complete 14 spacewalks to upgrade and conduct maintenance at the orbiting laboratory. NASA astronauts continued work to install the International Space Station Rollout Solar Arrays (iROSA), which will increase power generation capability by up to 30% when fully complete, and its partners continued outfitting the Nauka module and new European robotic arm.
  • Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft completed its first limited reboost of the International Space Station – the first mission to feature this enhanced capability as a standard service for NASA.
  • The International Space Station performed a critical demonstration focused on in-orbit housekeeping by deploying about 172 pounds of trash from the NanoRacks Bishop Airlock for a safe disposal in Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Four commercial cargo missions delivered more than 30,000 pounds of science investigations, tools, and critical supplies to the space station, and two returned about 8,900 pounds of investigations and equipment to researchers on Earth.
  • Selected seven new additions to the team of flight directors to oversee operations of the space station, commercial crew, and Artemis missions to the Moon.

Advancing our understanding of Earth, climate change

In 2022, NASA continued its commitment to understanding impacts of climate change on planet Earth, maintaining its role as a leader in understanding climate and Earth science. Among the accomplishments in this area, the agency:

  • Launched NASA’s newest Earth science instrument to the International Space Station — the Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation, or EMIT, which is providing information about how mineral dust affects the heating and cooling of the planet and which has a capability to detect methane.
  • Plans to launch the Surface Water Ocean Topography mission in partnership with the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales, which will provide a global survey of nearly all water on Earth’s surface, providing insight into the ocean’s role in how climate change unfolds.
  • Announced and released the first concept for NASA’s Earth Information Center, which will allow people to see how our planet is changing. It will also provide easy-to-use information and resources to support decision makers in developing the tools they need to mitigate, adapt, and respond to climate change.
  • Celebrated 50 years of the Landsat program in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, continuing to help scientists track both natural and human-caused changes on Earth’s land surface.
  • Continued field campaigns that provide information about Earth’s changing climate, including impacts on the Arctic region, the effects of intense summer thunderstorms, and ocean and atmosphere dynamics and their impacts on Earth’s climate
  • Along with partners, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, NASA continued to put Earth science data into the hands of America’s farmers to help them increase food security, improve crop resilience, and reduce the volatility of food prices.
    • NASA participated in the Commodity Classic conference for the first time, America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused educational and agricultural experience.
    • NASA’s Cynthia Rosenzweig received the 2022 World Food Prize from the World Food Prize Foundation for her research to understand the relationship between climate and food systems and forecast how both will change in the future.
    • Announced NASA’s new domestic agriculture consortium at the University of Maryland, which will lead management of $15 million, supporting efforts to increase and enable sustained uses of Earth observations for the advancement of U.S. agricultural practices.
  • Worked with national and international partners to collaborate on a global response to climate change, with actions including participating in the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference, issuing a comprehensive climate action plan with FEMA, finalizing an agreement with ESA  to advance global understanding of Earth science and ensure continuity of Earth observation, and continuing a 60-year successful partnership with the Australian Space Agency to study Earth’s changing climate.
  • Conducted, or participated in, a series of climate change studies related to rising sea level, global surface temperatures and melting Arctic ice,
  • Continued planning for the next generation of Earth-observing satellites designed to propel us forward in understanding our changing planet — NASA’s Earth System Observatory.
  • Launched two weather satellites for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, building on a partnership of over 50 years, successfully launching more than 60 satellites to improve weather forecasting, severe storm and hurricane prediction, and climate observations.

Solar system, beyond

While preparing for a robotic return to the lunar surface, NASA advanced its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative closer to home. Meanwhile, farther in the solar system, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope deployed and captured new images, Hubble continued to make new discoveries, the agency conducted two Venus flybys, and more:

Behind the curtain of dust and gas in these “Cosmic Cliffs” are previously hidden baby stars, now uncovered by Webb. Behind the curtain of dust and gas in these “Cosmic Cliffs” are previously hidden baby stars, now uncovered by James Webb Space Telescope.Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI

  • NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope successfully unfolded into its final configuration in space, including the unprecedented deployment of its tennis court-sized sunshield. In July, NASA and its partners unveiled Webb’s first full-color images and spectroscopic data. Since then, Webb has drawn back the curtain on some of the earliest galaxies ever observed; studied the atmospheres of exoplanets in more detail than ever before; and offered new views of planets in our own solar system, capturing the clearest look at Neptune’s rings in decades. The U.S. Postal Service celebrated Webb’s successes by issuing a new stamp featuring an illustration of the telescope.
  • NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) successfully impacted its target asteroid in the world’s first-ever test for planetary defense. Since then, the mission’s Investigation Team confirmed DART’s kinetic impact successfully moved its target asteroid into a new orbit, marking the first-time humanity has ever altered a celestial body’s motion in space.
    DART’s final look at the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos before impact, showing a deep red color.DART’s final look at the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos before impact. The spacecraft’s on board DRACO imager took this final image ~4 miles (~6 kilometers) from the asteroid and only 1 second before impact. DART’s impact occurred during transmission of the image to Earth, resulting in a partial picture. The image shows a patch of the asteroid that is 51 feet 16 meters) across. Ecliptic north is toward the bottom of the image. This image is shown as it appears on the DRACO detector and is mirror flipped across the x-axis from reality.Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL

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