Rocket Launches and Rising SeasAt NASA, we’re not immune to effects of climate change. The seas are...

Rocket Launches and Rising SeasAt NASA, we’re not immune to effects of climate change. The seas are rising at NASA coastal centers – the direct result of warming global temperatures caused by human activity. Several of our centers and facilities were built near the coast, where there aren’t as many neighbors, as a safety precaution. But now the tides have turned and as sea levels rise, these facilities are at greater risk of flooding and storms.Global sea level is increasing every year by 3.3 millimeters, or just over an eighth of an inch, and the rate of rise is speeding up over time. The centers within range of rising waters are taking various approaches to protect against future damage.Kennedy Space Center in Florida is the home of historic launchpad 39A, where Apollo astronauts first lifted off for their journey to the Moon. The launchpad is expected to flood periodically from now on.Like Kennedy, Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia has its launchpads and buildings within a few hundred feet of the Atlantic Ocean. Both locations have resorted to replenishing the beaches with sand as a natural barrier to the sea.Native vegetation is planted to help hold the sand in place, but it needs to be replenished every few years.At the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, instead of building up the ground, we’re hardening buildings and moving operations to less flood-prone elevations. The center is bounded by two rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.The effects of sea level rise extend far beyond flooding during high tides. Higher seas can drive larger and more intense storm surges – the waves of water brought by tropical storms.In 2017, Hurricane Harvey brought flooding to the astronaut training facility at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Now we have installed flood resistant doors, increased water intake systems, and raised guard shacks to prevent interruptions to operations, which include astronaut training and mission control.Our only facility that sits below sea level already is Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Onsite pumping systems protected the 43-acre building, which has housed Saturn rockets and the Space Launch System, from Hurricane Katrina. Since then, we’ve reinforced the pumping system so it can now handle double the water capacity.Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley is going one step farther and gradually relocating farther south and to several feet higher in elevation to avoid the rising waters of the San Francisco Bay.Understanding how fast and where seas will rise is crucial to adapting our lives to our changing planet.We have a long-standing history of tracking sea level rise, through satellites like the TOPEX-Poseidon and the Jason series, working alongside partner agencies from the United States and other countries.We just launched the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite—a U.S.-European partnership—which will use electromagnetic signals bouncing off Earth’s surface to make some of the most accurate measurements of sea levels to date.Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

Rocket Launches and Rising SeasAt NASA, we’re not immune to effects of climate change. The seas are...

Rocket Launches and Rising Seas

At NASA, we’re not immune to effects of climate change. The seas are rising at NASA coastal centers – the direct result of warming global temperatures caused by human activity. Several of our centers and facilities were built near the coast, where there aren’t as many neighbors, as a safety precaution. But now the tides have turned and as sea levels rise, these facilities are at greater risk of flooding and storms.

Global sea level is increasing every year by 3.3 millimeters, or just over an eighth of an inch, and the rate of rise is speeding up over time. The centers within range of rising waters are taking various approaches to protect against future damage.

image

Kennedy Space Center in Florida is the home of historic launchpad 39A, where Apollo astronauts first lifted off for their journey to the Moon. The launchpad is expected to flood periodically from now on.

image

Like Kennedy, Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia has its launchpads and buildings within a few hundred feet of the Atlantic Ocean. Both locations have resorted to replenishing the beaches with sand as a natural barrier to the sea.

image

Native vegetation is planted to help hold the sand in place, but it needs to be replenished every few years.

image

At the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, instead of building up the ground, we’re hardening buildings and moving operations to less flood-prone elevations. The center is bounded by two rivers and the Chesapeake Bay.

The effects of sea level rise extend far beyond flooding during high tides. Higher seas can drive larger and more intense storm surges – the waves of water brought by tropical storms.

image

In 2017, Hurricane Harvey brought flooding to the astronaut training facility at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Now we have installed flood resistant doors, increased water intake systems, and raised guard shacks to prevent interruptions to operations, which include astronaut training and mission control.

image

Our only facility that sits below sea level already is Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. Onsite pumping systems protected the 43-acre building, which has housed Saturn rockets and the Space Launch System, from Hurricane Katrina. Since then, we’ve reinforced the pumping system so it can now handle double the water capacity.

image

Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley is going one step farther and gradually relocating farther south and to several feet higher in elevation to avoid the rising waters of the San Francisco Bay.

Understanding how fast and where seas will rise is crucial to adapting our lives to our changing planet.

image

We have a long-standing history of tracking sea level rise, through satellites like the TOPEX-Poseidon and the Jason series, working alongside partner agencies from the United States and other countries.

image

We just launched the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich satellite—a U.S.-European partnership—which will use electromagnetic signals bouncing off Earth’s surface to make some of the most accurate measurements of sea levels to date.

Make sure to follow us on Tumblr for your regular dose of space: http://nasa.tumblr.com.

Source : NASA More   

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Orion’s top images of 2020

nasaorion:The Orion program showed its resilience this year during an unprecedented time, racking up several success stories building and testing the spacecraft in preparation for upcoming Artemis missions to the Moon. From hot fire and structural testing, to crew and service module assembly activities, progress on Orion brought the agency closer to sending the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024, and sustainable lunar exploration by 2028. Ensuring crew safety, a hot fire test was conducted on the Northrop Grumman-built attitude control motor – which provides steering for Orion’s  launch abort system in the event of an emergency during ascent – at the company’s facility in Elkton, Maryland. The 30-second hot fire was the third and final test to qualify the motor for human missions, beginning with Artemis II.During a three-month testing campaign at NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, the Orion spacecraft was subjected to the extreme temperatures and electromagnetic environment it will experience on Artemis I – Orion’s first uncrewed test flight to the Moon atop the agency’s  Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. Testing wrapped up early and the vehicle was readied for its journey back to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center aboard the agency’s one-of-a-kind Super Guppy.Before NASA astronauts fly Orion on missions to the Moon and back, testing is necessary to verify the spacecraft’s ability to withstand the stresses of launch, climb to orbit, the harsh conditions of deep space transit, and return to Earth. Engineers from NASA and its prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, completed testing on Orion’s Structural Test Article (STA) for Artemis I. The STA is structurally identical to Orion’s main spacecraft elements: the crew module, service module and launch abort system. The first element machined for the Artemis III Orion crew module – a cone panel with openings for windows, which will provide a spectacular view – was designed by Lockheed Martin, and manufactured by AMRO Fabricating Corp., of South El Monte, California. The completed panel made its way to NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans, where engineers will weld it with other elements as part of Orion’s pressure vessel.Orion’s European Service Module primary structure for the Artemis for the Artemis III mission arrived at the Airbus facility in Bremen, Germany, from its Thales Alenia Space manufacturing site in Turin, Italy. The service module will be equipped with components to power Orion and provide life support to astronauts – such as air, water, heat and cooling – during the mission that will land the first woman and next man on the Moon.Three spacecraft adapter jettison fairing panels were fitted onto Orion’s service module inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy. Once secured, the panels encapsulate the service module to protect it from harsh environments such as heat, wind, and acoustics as the spacecraft is propelled out of Earth’s atmosphere atop the SLS rocket during NASA’s Artemis I mission.

Orion’s top images of 2020

nasaorion:

The Orion program showed its resilience this year during an unprecedented time, racking up several success stories building and testing the spacecraft in preparation for upcoming Artemis missions to the Moon. From hot fire and structural testing, to crew and service module assembly activities, progress on Orion brought the agency closer to sending the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024, and sustainable lunar exploration by 2028.

Ensuring crew safety, a hot fire test was conducted on the Northrop Grumman-built attitude control motor – which provides steering for Orion’s  launch abort system in the event of an emergency during ascent – at the company’s facility in Elkton, Maryland. The 30-second hot fire was the third and final test to qualify the motor for human missions, beginning with Artemis II.

During a three-month testing campaign at NASA’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio, the Orion spacecraft was subjected to the extreme temperatures and electromagnetic environment it will experience on Artemis I – Orion’s first uncrewed test flight to the Moon atop the agency’s  Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. Testing wrapped up early and the vehicle was readied for its journey back to NASA’s Kennedy Space Center aboard the agency’s one-of-a-kind Super Guppy.

Before NASA astronauts fly Orion on missions to the Moon and back, testing is necessary to verify the spacecraft’s ability to withstand the stresses of launch, climb to orbit, the harsh conditions of deep space transit, and return to Earth. Engineers from NASA and its prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, completed testing on Orion’s Structural Test Article (STA) for Artemis I. The STA is structurally identical to Orion’s main spacecraft elements: the crew module, service module and launch abort system.

The first element machined for the Artemis III Orion crew module – a cone panel with openings for windows, which will provide a spectacular view – was designed by Lockheed Martin, and manufactured by AMRO Fabricating Corp., of South El Monte, California. The completed panel made its way to NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans, where engineers will weld it with other elements as part of Orion’s pressure vessel.

Orion’s European Service Module primary structure for the Artemis for the Artemis III mission arrived at the Airbus facility in Bremen, Germany, from its Thales Alenia Space manufacturing site in Turin, Italy. The service module will be equipped with components to power Orion and provide life support to astronauts – such as air, water, heat and cooling – during the mission that will land the first woman and next man on the Moon.

Three spacecraft adapter jettison fairing panels were fitted onto Orion’s service module inside the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at Kennedy. Once secured, the panels encapsulate the service module to protect it from harsh environments such as heat, wind, and acoustics as the spacecraft is propelled out of Earth’s atmosphere atop the SLS rocket during NASA’s Artemis I mission.

Source : NASA More   

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