A commercial crew spacecraft’s historic test mission …
Recognizing the leadership of our James Webb Space Telescope team …
And a small spacecraft prepares for a unique mission around the Moon … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!
Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner’s Historic Test Mission
“Approaching the International Space Station …”—Commentator
“Soft capture confirmed.”—Mission Audio
“Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft completes its historic first docking to the International Space Station, opening a new avenue of access for crews to the orbiting laboratory.”—Commentator
The next day – another first for Starliner, thanks to the efforts of NASA astronauts Kjell Lindgren and Bob Hines.
“All right – and it looks like the hatch is open to the Starliner. Bob Hines is the first astronaut to enter Starliner in orbit.”—Commentator
The Starliner spent several days at the station, during which time teams conducted a series of planned tests, and the station crew transferred several hundred pounds of cargo and supplies. Starliner undocked from the station on May 25 and returned to Earth later the same day, making a landing at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico. The OFT-2 mission was designed to test the end-to-end capabilities of the Starliner system to safely transport astronauts to and from the space station.
NASA’s Webb Program Director Named to TIME100 List
Gregory Robinson, the program director for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, was named to the TIME100 – the magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people and leaders. Robinson began his career at NASA in 1989 and joined the Webb team in 2018. In his current role, he oversees what will be the premier space observatory for the next decade. The Webb telescope will explore every phase of 13.5 billion years of cosmic history to help us understand our place in the universe.
CAPSTONE CubeSat Prepares for Lunar Flight
The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment, or CAPSTONE mission is targeted for launch no earlier than June 6. It is a collaboration between NASA and industry that will use a microwave oven-sized CubeSat to test a unique elliptical orbit around the Moon, formally known as a near rectilinear halo orbit. The mission will help reduce risk for future spacecraft, including Gateway, a Moon-orbiting outpost for NASA’s Artemis program, by validating innovative navigation technologies and verifying the dynamics of this halo-shaped orbit.
NASA-Supported Solar Sail Could Take Science to New Heights
The NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts, or NIAC program selected a new solar sail concept for development toward a demonstration mission. The solar sail, which uses a property of light called diffraction to make more efficient use of sunlight, could carry science to new destinations.
Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Captures Video of Record Flight
Our Ingenuity helicopter on Mars captured this black-and-white footage during its record-breaking 25th flight. The flight, which took place on April 18, was also Ingenuity’s longest and fastest flight to date. The rotorcraft traveled over 2,300 feet and reached a speed of 12 mph.
That’s what’s up this week @NASA …