Home On-Air The 8th Day NASA News – Week Ending December 29 2023

NASA News – Week Ending December 29 2023

NASA News – Week Ending December 29 2023
NASA News – Week Ending December 29 2023

NASA News – Week Ending December 29 2023

  • A new name and new journey for an asteroid mission.
  • Testing the self-flying capabilities of some drones.
  • And test firing a 3D-printed rocket engine.

A few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!


After the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft delivered the sample material it collected from
asteroid Bennu to Earth, the spacecraft still had some fuel left. So, the team
decided to give the spacecraft a new name and a new mission. It is now called
OSIRIS-APEX, and is on its way to study asteroid Apophis, which is expected to
make an extremely rare and extremely close flyby of Earth in April 2029.

Researchers at our Langley Research Center recently flew multiple drones beyond
visual line of sight with no visual observer. The drones flew around obstacles
and each other during takeoff, along a planned route, and while landing – all
without a pilot controlling the flight. This test marks an important step toward
advancing self-flying capabilities for air taxis.

Engineers at our Marshall Space Flight Center successfully tested a novel,
3D-printed Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine. The 251-second test produced more
than 5,800 pounds of thrust. That kind of sustained burn emulates typical
requirements for a lander touchdown or a deep-space burn that could set a
spacecraft on course from the Moon to Mars.

The holiday season has been busy for the crew aboard the International Space
Station. Two spaceships recently departed the station on back-to-back days.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft and Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft left
on Dec. 21 and 22, respectively. But, in the spirit of the season – the astronauts
did find some time to share some cheer with all of us on Earth.

“We wish you happy holidays and a happy New Year.” That’s what’s up this week @NASA.


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