Saturday January 19, 2019
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Submit your name to go onboard NASA’s new solar mission

The spacecraft -- about the size of a small car -- will travel directly into the Sun's atmosphere about four million miles from the star's surface

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NASA Seeks Partnership With US Industry to Develop First Gateway Element
NASA seeks US partners to develop reusable systems for Moon mission, Pixabay
  • NASA is inviting names from all over the world
  • Now you can have your name placed on a microchip
  • This chip would be in NASA’s historic Parker Solar Probe mission

NASA is inviting people around the world to submit their names online to be placed on a microchip aboard NASA’s historic Parker Solar Probe mission, to be launched this summer.

The mission will travel through the Sun’s atmosphere, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions — and your name will go along for the ride. The submissions of names will be accepted until April 27, the US space agency said in a statement on Thursday.

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This mission will be launched to know more about sun’s atmosphere.

“This probe will journey to a region humanity has never explored before. This mission will answer questions scientists have sought to uncover for more than six decades,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for Science Mission Directorate at NASA.

The spacecraft — about the size of a small car — will travel directly into the Sun’s atmosphere about four million miles from the star’s surface. The primary goals for the mission are to trace how energy and heat move through the solar corona and to explore what accelerates the solar wind as well as solar energetic particles.

Also Read: NASA delays launch of next-gen space telescope until 2020

To perform the investigations, the spacecraft and instruments will be protected from the Sun’s heat by a 4.5-inch-thick carbon-composite shield. The state-of-the-art heat shield will keep the four instrument suites designed to study magnetic fields, plasma and energetic particles, and image the solar wind at room temperature. In May 2017, NASA renamed the spacecraft from the Solar Probe Plus to the Parker Solar Probe in honour of astrophysicist Eugene Parker. IANS

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Partial Shutdown of US Delays Space Missions, But NASA Not Grounded

Other active space missions includes NASA probes OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons spacecraft that continue to gather data in Earth orbit and the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and beyond, the report said

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People rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown in Detroit, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. VOA

The partial shutdown of the US federal government has had a serious impact on the country’s space agency NASA and development work on most future space missions has been slowed or suspended.

However, NASA has not been totally grounded by the partial government shutdown that began on December 22, after last-minute negotiations in Congress failed to end a budget standoff.

Over 95 per cent of the space agency’s employees have been furloughed. As a result, various research projects, including the Hubble Space Telescope has been put on hold, the Space.com reported on Wednesday.

Hubble suffered a mechanical problem that only furloughed NASA employees could repair.

Many workers also gathered outside the Johnson Space Center in Houston to protest the shutdown and its deleterious effects on their lives and the nation’s space programmes.

The Telescope facilities that have so far remained open during the shutdown will soon run out of money and cease operations.

This includes the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), a federally funded organization that operates the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), the Green Bank Telescope and the Very Large Array (VLA), the report noted.

The partial shutdown become the longest on record after January 12, overtaking the previous record of the 21-day impasse in 1995-96 under then President Bill Clinton.

NASA, tissue
US shutdown delays space missions but NASA not grounded: Report,

President Donald Trump and the Congress have been at loggerheads over his demand to include in the budget $5.7 billion funding for building a border wall along the Mexico border. Democratic leaders have rejected his call.

NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), also called the “flying telescope” has also ceased operations since the shutdown.

The telescope, which is mounted to the fuselage of a Boeing 747 aircraft, has not flown since the shutdown began, the report said.

However, despite the shutdown some “excepted” employees remained at work, assisting astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and other space missions, the report said.

Also Read- National Clean Air Programme Should Set Higher Targets

Last week, astronauts aboard the ISS conducted a range of scientific experiments and public-outreach work. They engaged in an orbital Q&A with school kids and answered a variety of questions, from the nature of the research performed aboard the ISS to the type of training astronauts receive to whether your ears pop in space.

On January 13, a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule departed the orbiting lab for Earth, eventually splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. The robotic Dragon brought down important scientific research and hardware for examination here on terra firma.

Other active space missions includes NASA probes OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons spacecraft that continue to gather data in Earth orbit and the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and beyond, the report said.  (IANS)