NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and Northrup Grumman
– The Webb Space Telescope reaches its new home.
– Remembering our fallen heroes.
– And testing a VIPER in the sand.
…a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!
On January 24, our James Webb Space Telescope team commanded the spacecraft to make a planned mid-course correction burn that placed it into its final orbit around the second Sun-Earth Lagrange point, or L2 – Webb’s final science destination.
From this vantage point, the telescope will have a wide view of the cosmos and be able to perform optimal science.
It will be several more months before the observatory’s optics and systems are ready to begin science operations.
Webb, the world’s largest, most powerful, and most complex space science telescope ever built, will reveal new and unexpected discoveries and help humanity understand the origins of the universe and our place in it.
On January 27, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and other agency officials attended the Day of Remembrance observance at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
The annual event is one of several around the agency in tribute to the fallen astronauts of Apollo 1, space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, and other members of the NASA family who lost their lives in support of the agency’s mission of exploration and discovery.
The date also marked 55 years since the Apollo 1 tragedy that claimed the lives of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee.
The three of us want to share with you some of the experiences that we’ve had over the course of remembering back about these three crews.
The observance at Arlington was followed by a panel discussion at our Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters Building in Washington, during which Nelson, Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, Associate Administrator Bob Cabana and others reflected on how these three accidents have impacted the history of American space flight and how NASA approaches safety.
We recently conducted mobility testing with a prototype of our Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, or VIPER lunar robot at our Glenn Research Center’s Simulated Lunar Operations Laboratory.
The testing will help ensure the rover is ready for its 2023 mission to the Moon’s South Pole to search for ice and other resources there.
VIPER is one of several missions that will be delivered to the Moon as part of our Commercial Lunar Payload Services, or CLPS, initiative to help NASA explore the Moon and prepare for future human missions to the lunar surface.
The newest edition of NASA’s Spinoff publication is available. The publication, which is part of our Technology Transfer program, highlights NASA technologies that benefit life on Earth in the form of commercial products.
Spinoff 2022 features more than 45 companies using NASA technology to advance manufacturing techniques, detoxify polluted soil, improve weather forecasting, and even clean the air to slow the spread of viruses, including coronavirus.
Print and digital versions of the latest issue of Spinoff are available at spinoff.nasa.gov.
That’s what’s up this week @NASA!