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This Week @NASA: Delivering Technology to the Moon With Nova-C Lunar Lander, NISAR Satellite, ISS Resupply

A successful liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida as Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft, atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, heads to the International Space Station for the 20th Northrop Grumman resupply mission on January 30, 2024. The spacecraft docked to the space station on February 1, 2024, bringing 8,200 pounds of science investigations, supplies, and equipment for the international crew. Credit: SpaceX

A commercial resupply mission to the space station…

Preparing to make a delivery to the Moon…

And monitoring our changing Earth from space…

A few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASAEstablished in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government that succeeded the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). It is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Its vision is "To discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity." Its core values are "safety, integrity, teamwork, excellence, and inclusion." NASA conducts research, develops technology and launches missions to explore and study Earth, the solar system, and the universe beyond. It also works to advance the state of knowledge in a wide range of scientific fields, including Earth and space science, planetary science, astrophysics, and heliophysics, and it collaborates with private companies and international partners to achieve its goals.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]” tabindex=”0″ role=”link”>NASA!

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Commercial Resupply Mission to the Space Station

On January 30, a Northrop Grumman Cygnus cargo spacecraft launched to the International Space StationThe International Space Station (ISS) is a large spacecraft in orbit around the Earth that serves as a research laboratory and spaceport for international collaboration in space exploration. It was launched in 1998 and has been continuously occupied by rotating crews of astronauts and cosmonauts from around the world since 2000. The ISS is a joint project of five space agencies: NASA (USA), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA (Japan), ESA (Europe), and CSA (Canada). It orbits the Earth at an altitude of approximately 400 kilometers (250 miles), and provides a unique platform for scientific research, technological development, and human space exploration.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]” tabindex=”0″ role=”link”>International Space Station atop a SpaceXCommonly known as SpaceX, Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is a private American aerospace manufacturer and space transport services company that was founded by Elon Musk in 2002. Headquartered in Hawthorne, California, the company designs, manufactures, and launches advanced rockets and spacecraft. SpaceX's ultimate goal is to reduce space transportation costs and enable the colonization of Mars.” data-gt-translate-attributes=”[{“attribute”:”data-cmtooltip”, “format”:”html”}]” tabindex=”0″ role=”link”>SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Two days later, the Cygnus, loaded with 8,200 pounds of scientific investigations and cargo, safely arrived at the station.

This is Northrop Grumman’s 20th commercial resupply services mission to the space station for NASA.

Intuitive Machines Nova C Lander Rendering

Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lander, shown in this artist’s rendering, uses a liquid methane propulsion system, one of a handful of similarities between this commercial lunar lander and the experimental Morpheus lander that several of the company’s engineers helped build when they worked for NASA. Credit: Intuitive Machines LLC

Delivering Science and Technology to the Moon

NASA partner, Intuitive Machines will use the company’s Nova-C lunar lander to carry a variety of NASA science and technology demonstrations to the Moon’s South Pole region for the benefit of all. The IM-1 mission, which is part of our CLPS initiative and Artemis campaign, is targeted for launch from our Kennedy Space Center during a multi-day launch window, which opens no earlier than mid-February.

NISAR Illustration

The NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) Mission will measure Earth’s changing ecosystems, dynamic surfaces, and ice masses providing information about biomass, natural hazards, sea level rise, and groundwater, and will support a host of other applications. Credit: JPL/NASA

Tracking’s Earth’s Changes From Space

The NISAR Earth-observing satellite mission is a joint effort between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation that will deepen our understanding of deforestation, shrinking glaciers and sea ice loss, natural hazards, climate change, and other global vital signs. The satellite’s advanced radar system will monitor motions of the planet’s surface down to fractions of an inch, along with changes in other characteristics.

NISAR is expected to launch from India in early 2024.

NASA Spinoff 2024

The 2024 Spinoff book highlights NASA’s role in developing technologies for space that have transformative applications on Earth, including in healthcare, transportation, and renewable energy, underlining the agency’s contribution to societal advancement and economic development. Credit: NASA

NASA’s 2024 Spinoff Publication

NASA’s 2024 Spinoff publication features many commercialized technologies that use NASA research and development expertise to impact everyday lives. From “squishy” robots that can be sent into dangerous situations before first responders, to aircraft-routing technology that enables increased fuel efficiency and smoother flights, to medical technologies for diagnosing illnesses like the coronavirus, hepatitis, and cancer.

Learn more at

That’s what’s up this week @NASA.

Source: SciTechDaily