Tag Archive for space

Five NASA Astronauts Assigned to Upcoming Spaceflights

Five NASA astronauts have been assigned to upcoming spaceflights.

Joe Acaba

NASA astronaut Joe Acaba
Credit: NASA

Joe Acaba (@astroacaba) will be the first to launch, assigned to the Expedition 53 and 54 crews that already include Mark Vande Hei of NASA and Alexander Misurkin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. They will launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in September.

This will be Acaba’s third trip to the space station and his second long-duration mission. He was selected as an astronaut in 2004, and flew on space shuttle Discovery’s STS-119 station assembly mission in 2009, before returning for a longer stay in 2012, as part of the Expedition 31 and 32 crews.

Born in Inglewood, California, and raised in Anaheim, California, Acaba earned a bachelors’ degree in geology at University of California in Santa Barbara, one master’s in geology from the University of Arizona, and one in education, curriculum and instruction from Texas Tech University. Before coming to NASA, he spent time in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves and the Peace Corps, worked as a hydro-geologist and taught high school and middle school.

Shannon Walker

NASA astronaut Shannon Walker
Credit: NASA

Shannon Walker will train as a dedicated backup for Acaba.

Walker spent 163 days as a flight engineer for Expedition 24 and 25 in 2010. She was born in Houston and began her career at NASA’s Johnson Space Center as a robotics flight controller for the space station with Rockwell Space Operations Co. in 1987. In 1995, she became a NASA employee, working on robotics and hardware for the station with the program’s international partners. She also coordinated on-orbit problem resolution in the Mission Evaluation Room at Johnson and in Moscow, and served as deputy manager of the On-Orbit Engineering Office before being selected for the 2004 astronaut class.

Walker earned a bachelor’s in physics, a master’s in science and a doctorate in space physics, all from Rice University.

Ricky Arnold

NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold
Credit: NASA

Ricky Arnold (@astro_ricky) will join NASA’s Drew Feustel and a Russian cosmonaut for Expeditions 55 and 56 to launch in March 2018.

Arnold will be visiting the space station for the second time, but this trip will be much longer than his last. He also was selected in the 2004 class and flew with Acaba on STS-119. On that mission, he conducted two spacewalks, spending 12 hours and 34 minutes outside the space station.

Arnold was raised in Bowie, Maryland. He earned a bachelo’s in science from Frostburg State University, and a master’s in marine, estuarine and environmental science from the University of Maryland. He has taught school in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Romania. He also served as an oceanographic technician for the U.S. Naval Academy and a marine scientist at the Cape Cod National Seashore.

Arnold and Acaba’s assignments were enabled by the recent agreement to add additional crew members in 2017 and 2018 to boost space station science and research.

Nick Hague and Serena Auñón-Chancellor

NASA astronaut Nick Hague
Credit: NASA

First-time fliers Nick Hague and Serena Auñón-Chancellor (@AstroSerena) will fall into the standard rotation for NASA astronauts.

Hague will launch in September 2018 on Expeditions 57 and 58 with two Russian cosmonauts.

Selected as a member of the 2013 astronaut class, Hague is a native of Hoxie, Kansas, and a colonel in the U.S. Air Force. Prior to his selection, he was part of the Air Force Fellows program in Washington, where he worked as an adviser to the U.S. Senate on matters of national defense and foreign policy.

Hague earned a bachelor’s degree in astronautical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master’s in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor
Credit: NASA

Auñón-Chancellor will join the Expedition 58 and 59 crews in November 2018, along with Canadian Space Agency astronaut David Saint-Jacques and a Russian cosmonaut.

Auñón-Chancellor, from Fort Collins, Colorado, joined the astronaut corps in 2009, and has been at NASA since 2006, when she became a flight surgeon. She also served as the deputy lead for medical operations for NASA’s Orion spacecraft before being selected as an astronaut.

In addition to a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from George Washington University, Auñón-Chancellor holds a doctorate in medicine from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, and is board certified in internal and aerospace medicine.

She also earned a master’s in public health from the University of Texas Medical Branch.

Nick Hague and Shannon Walker will post social media updates on Twitter via @NASA_Astronauts.

Space Training Time!

“It’s great to get to announce so many assignments at once,” said Chris Cassidy, chief of the Astronaut Office at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “There’s plenty of work to be done at the space station, and the research opportunities are almost limitless. These folks are all going to do great work and bring a lot of value to their crewmates.”

Between now and their launches, each of the astronauts will undergo a busy regimen of training on space station systems and the experiments they’ll work with while in space.

“The addition of these extra crew members will be a boon to the entire scientific community doing research on station, and especially those who have been waiting for access to the platform” said Julie Robinson, NASA’s chief scientist for the International Space Station. “We’ll be capable of undertaking more complex research activities, which will in turn prepare NASA for the journey to Mars, unearth new markets for research in microgravity and deliver benefits back to Earth.”

These astronauts will join a long and distinguished line of astronauts who have crewed the International Space Station since November 2000. With the help of the more than 200 astronauts who have visited, the space station enables us to demonstrate new technologies and make research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. Its convergence of science, technology and human innovation provide a springboard to NASA’s next giant leap in exploration.


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NASA Has Launched New Public Multimedia Library

AS16-113-18339 (21 April 1972) — Astronaut John W. Young, commander of the Apollo 16 lunar landing mission, leaps from the lunar surface as he salutes the United States flag at the Descartes landing site during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity (EVA). Astronaut Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot, took this picture. The Lunar Module (LM) “Orion” is on the left. The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) is parked beside the LM. The object behind Young (in the shade of the LM) is the Far Ultraviolet Camera/Spectrograph (FUC/S). Stone Mountain dominates the background in this lunar scene. While astronauts Young and Duke descended in the LM to explore the Descartes highlands landing site on the moon, astronaut Thomas K. Mattingly II, command module pilot, remained with the Command and Service Modules (CSM) “Casper” in lunar orbit.

Do you like space related photos, audio & video? Then stop what you’re doing and visit images.nasa.gov now!

NASA Image and Video Library allows users to search, discover and download a treasure trove of more than 140,000 NASA images, videos and audio files from across the agency’s many missions in aeronautics, astrophysics, Earth science, human spaceflight, and more. Users now can embed content in their own sites and choose from multiple resolutions to download.

Visitors can browse NASA’s most recently uploaded files, as well as discover historic and the most popularly searched images, audio files and videos.

Additional features include:

  • Automatically scales the interface for mobile phones and tablets
  • Displays the EXIF/camera data that includes exposure, lens used, and other information, when available from the original image
  • Allows for easy public access to high resolution files
  • All video includes a downloadable caption file

NASA Image and Video Library’s Application Programmers Interface (API) allows automation of imagery uploads for NASA, and gives members of the public the ability to embed content in their own sites and applications. (That’s geekspeak for a pretty cool feature.)

The library is not comprehensive, but rather provides the best of what NASA makes publicly available from a single point of presence on the web. Additionally, it is a living website, where new and archival images, video and audio files continually will be added.

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NASA Selects Two New Discovery Missions

NASA has selected two missions that have the potential to open new windows on one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system – a time less than 10 million years after the birth of our sun. The missions, known as Lucy and Psyche, were chosen from five finalists and will proceed to mission formulation, with the goal of launching in 2021 and 2023, respectively.

“Lucy will visit a target-rich environment of Jupiter’s mysterious Trojan asteroids, while Psyche will study a unique metal asteroid that’s never been visited before,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “This is what Discovery Program missions are all about – boldly going to places we’ve never been to enable groundbreaking science.”

The Psyche mission will explore one of the most intriguing targets in the main asteroid belt – a giant metal asteroid, known as 16 Psyche, about three times farther away from the sun than is the Earth. This asteroid measures about 130 miles (210 kilometers) in diameter and, unlike most other asteroids that are rocky or icy bodies, is thought to be comprised mostly of metallic iron and nickel, similar to Earth’s core. Scientists wonder whether Psyche could be an exposed core of an early planet that could have been as large as Mars, but which lost its rocky outer layers due to a number of violent collisions billions of years ago.

Read more about NASA’s Discovery Program and missions at:



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