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Highlighting Artemis with Help from Hollywood on This Week @NASA – September 20, 2019


Highlighting Artemis with help from Hollywood
… Preparing to launch to the only laboratory
in microgravity … And testing new lunar landing technology … a
few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA! NASA provided some technical expertise and
imagery for 20th Century Fox’s new film, “Ad Astra” – a fictional space thriller
starring actor Brad Pitt. While the film does not have a NASA storyline,
we continued the collaboration leading up to its release by participating in activities
to generate awareness about space and our Artemis program – the next step in human
exploration. “What are the repercussions on your body
in zero-g?” On Sept. 16, Pitt stopped by our headquarters
for a space to ground question and answer session with astronaut Nick Hague. They talked about a number of topics, including
the work being done on the International Space Station. “Some of the experiments we’re doing here
are technology demonstrations to prove out a concept that we hope to apply as we go back
to the Moon and as part of the Artemis program.” In early September we hosted Pitt during a
tour of our Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. He received a boarding pass as part of the
Mars 2020 Rover Mission’s Send Your Name to Mars campaign. That mission is scheduled to launch next summer. We also participated in red carpet events
with Pitt and other cast members of the film – which presented opportunities to not only
highlight our efforts to return humans to the Moon by 2024, but to also explain why. “We’re not just going to stay at the Moon
though – we’re developing the capability for an eventual mission to Mars. Human physiology is a big piece of that, and
we’ve got to make sure we get that right for everybody to be safe.” “There’s a real excitement for possibilities
– what we can learn about beyond, what we can learn about ourselves. I think films like this just contribute to
that.” You can learn more about Artemis and our Moon
to Mars exploration approach at nasa.gov/artemis. The next crew headed to the International
Space Station, including our Jessica Meir, is conducting final training for its upcoming
launch at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Meir – Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos, and
Spaceflight Participant Hazzaa Ali Almansoori of the United Arab Emirates – are scheduled
to launch to the station on Sept. 25. Our Flight Opportunities and Game Changing
Development programs supported a test near our Armstrong Flight Research Center, in California
of a developmental vision-aided terrain relative navigation system. The system could help a future lunar lander
target a desired landing location and know exactly where it is by using a camera and
preloaded satellite maps that include unique terrain features. This was the first test of the system with
both a descent altitude and a landing trajectory similar to what is expected on a lunar mission. A high-speed rocket sled test at California’s
Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake was used to test a new landing technology designed
to avoid hazards and help perform extremely safe and precise landings on planetary surfaces. The technology, which is being developed by
our Langley Research Center, uses laser beams reflected off the ground to help a sensor
provide ultra-precise measurements that identify exactly how high a human or robotic lander
is and how fast it is traveling. NASA has been recognized for Emmy Award winning
coverage of two space missions. Team multimedia coverage of Demonstration
Mission 1 by our Kennedy Space Center, Johnson Space Center, and commercial partner, SpaceX
won an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Interactive Program. The March 2019 mission was an uncrewed test
flight of SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. Meanwhile, an Emmy also went to our Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in the Outstanding Original Interactive Program category, for coverage — including
news, web, education, television and social media efforts — of NASA’s InSight mission
to Mars, which launched in May 2018. Congratulations to all for well-deserved honors. That’s what’s up this week @NASA … For more on these and other stories follow
us on the web at nasa.gov/twan.

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