This Week @NASA: SpaceX Crew-7 Mission Launches, Storm From Space, Lunar Exploration

Artemis Astronaut on Moon

During a recent training session for the Artemis II astronauts, data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) was utilized to acquaint them with the lunar views they’ll encounter on their forthcoming mission around the Moon. (Illustration of an Artemis astronaut on the Moon.) Credit: NASA

A new crew heads to the space station …

A major storm spotted from space …

And a robotic spacecraft enabling human missions to the Moon …

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

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 Mission Launches to the Space Station

On August 26, a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft launched to the International Space Station on NASA’s SpaceX Crew-7 mission. The next day, the four-person crew, including NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, arrived at the orbital outpost and were welcomed aboard as part of the station’s Expedition 69 crew. They will spend about six months conducting research and technology demonstrations on the space station to benefit life on Earth and future Artemis human exploration missions to the Moon and eventually to Mars.

Hurricane Idalia From International Space Station

Astronaut photograph of Hurricane Idalia acquired on August 30, 2023. Credit: NASA

Hurricane Idalia Seen from the Space Station

External cameras on the space station captured views of major Hurricane Idalia on August 30, not long after the storm made landfall near Keaton Beach, Florida as a Category 3 storm with winds of about 125 miles an hour. At the time, Idalia was moving north-northeast at about 18 miles an hour toward the southeast United States. Prior to landfall, the system had reached Category 4 storm status with winds of about 130 miles an hour.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter

Illustration of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Credits: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Moon Orbiter Preparing Artemis Astronauts for Lunar Exploration

Data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter or LRO was used during a recent training session to help familiarize the Artemis II astronauts with what they can expect to see from lunar orbit on their upcoming mission around the Moon. The training involved scientific visualizations to help them identify lunar landmarks, geological features, and areas of interest for future Artemis Moon landings. LRO has returned a treasure trove of scientific data during its fourteen years of observing the Moon.

Guion “Guy” Bluford

In this image from September 5, 1983, Guion “Guy” Bluford checks out the sample pump on the continuous flow electrophoresis system (CFES) experiment in the middeck of the Earth-orbiting space shuttle Challenger. Credit: NASA

August 30, 1983 – Bluford Becomes First African American in Space

August 30 marked the forty-year anniversary of NASA astronaut Guy Bluford becoming the first African American to fly in space. He flew aboard the space shuttle Challenger on the STS-8 mission – the first night launch and night landing of the space shuttle program. Bluford was a member of NASA’s 1978 astronaut class, which included the first African Americans, the first Asian American, and the first women astronauts.

That’s what’s up this week @NASA!

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