The first graduating class of Artemis astronauts …
Getting ready to Green Run our SLS rocket …
And intriguing discoveries in our solar system – and beyond … a few of the stories to
tell you about – This Week at NASA!
We held a ceremony on Jan. 10 to honor the first class of astronaut candidates to graduate
under our Artemis program.
After completing more than two years of basic training, the graduating class – which includes
eleven NASA astronauts and two Canadian Space Agency astronauts – will become eligible
for spaceflights – including to the International Space Station, Artemis missions to the Moon,
and ultimately missions to Mars.
On Jan. 8, teams at our Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans loaded the first Space Launch
System or SLS rocket core stage for our Artemis program onto the agency’s Pegasus barge.
The core stage is headed to our Stennis Space Center, near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, for
its Green Run test campaign – a comprehensive evaluation targeted to start later this year
that will verify it is ready for launch ahead of our uncrewed Artemis 1 mission around the
Moon and back.
News highlighted in conjunction with the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society
includes several mentions about our TESS satellite.
The observatory discovered its first Earth-size planet in a star’s habitable zone in a system
just over 100 light-years away from us.
TESS also discovered its first circumbinary planet – a planet that orbits two stars.
That planet is about 1,300 light-years from Earth.
Meanwhile, our Hubble Space Telescope has surveyed a spiral galaxy that is two-and-a-half
times wider than our Milky Way and has 10 times as many stars.
It may be the largest known galaxy in the local universe.
And the SOFIA flying observatory captured a very detailed infrared panoramic image of
the center of our Milky Way that could help inform future research on the formation of
massive stars and supermassive black holes.
A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft that left the International Space Station on Jan. 7
is back on Earth with almost 3,600 pounds of science experiments and cargo.
The returned items include the faulty battery charge-discharge unit replaced during a spacewalk
in October, a microgravity study on tiny aquatic animals that are highly resistant to radiation
on Earth, and research on rodents that could help develop therapies to treat bone and muscle
loss on Earth.
Conducting science aboard the orbiting laboratory is helping us learn how to keep astronauts
healthy during long-duration spaceflights to the Moon and eventually to Mars.
During a Jan. 7 event at our Armstrong Flight Research Center in Southern California, we
highlighted some of the aircraft, scientific equipment, and personnel involved in five
new NASA airborne campaigns that we will deploy this year across the U.S.
The campaigns will look at a variety of Earth processes that affect human lives and the
That’s what’s up this week @NASA …
For more on these and other stories, follow us on the web at nasa.gov/twan.