Whenever humans finally touch down on Mars, they’ll be following in the footsteps of many brave robotic pioneers. Right now there are two NASA robots exploring the Martian surface — the Curiosity rover and its older cousin, Opportunity — while a fleet of orbiters from NASA and the European Space Agency circle above. More probes are on the way, too.
This isn’t a real-life recreation of “Armageddon.” There’s no clear and present threat to Earth. But NASA says it’s working on plans to send astronauts into space to land on an asteroid. The NASA mission isn’t planned to take place until the 2020s. That isn’t stopping astronauts from simulating an asteroid landing in a 40-foot-deep swimming pool at a Space Center in Houston.
Panelists were a European astronaut and experts from NASA Johnson Space Center, Moon Express, World View, NASA Ames Research Center and Mars One.
Now that we’re this close to sending humans to Mars, NASA thought it best to start preparing for one of its biggest goals: deep space exploration. Three NASA Ames Research Center studies that aim to explore the effects of deep space exploration on astronauts’ health just got a total of $17 million in funding.
Breaking Ground: Making History: Space Launch System Structural Test Stands to be Built at Marshall Space Flight CenterMay 6th, 2014
NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) will have the largest cryogenic fuel tanks ever used on a rocket. Stands to test the tanks and other hardware to ensure that these huge structures can withstand the incredible stresses of launch will be built at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
Technicians install Developmental Flight Instrumentation Data Acquisition Units in Marshall’s Systems Integration and Test Facility. The units are part of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) core stage avionics, which will guide the biggest, most powerful rocket in history to deep space missions.