What NASA Revealed In 2016

Posted: Dec 27 2016, 12:23pm CST | by , Updated: Dec 27 2016, 12:25pm CST, in News | Latest Science News

 
What NASA Reveals in 2016
This artist's concept depicts select planetary discoveries made to date by NASA's Kepler space telescope. Credits: NASA/W. Stenzel
  • NASA Reveals the Unknown in 2016

NASA made huge development in 2016 in space, technology, aeronautics, and science that created innovation and knowledge for the world.

NASA made a huge progress in exploring space and claims that the scientists can now travel far in the space. The scientists have now more knowledge about how to survive and work in space. NASA’s progress in 2016 would inspire new generation who would take up the Mars journey for new discoveries.

Solar System and Beyond

NASA’s Juno Spacecraft entered Jupiter on 4th July 2016 after 5 years of its mission. Jono will observe auroras to learn planet’s magnetosphere atmosphere, and its structure. The data collected by Juno will make researchers busy in 2017 and beyond.

NASA’s first asteroid mission started on Sep 8 that was a great thing in understanding the initial solar system that’s called OSIRIS-RE (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security-Regolith Explorer). The spacecraft was designed to observe asteroid Bennu, returning its sample to Earth in 2023.

NASA Administrator Bolden discussed with engineers and scientists the future steps involving the James Webb Space Telescope. The administrator also provided rare view of telescopes mirrors, and the final primary mirror will complete in February. This would be the biggest and powerful telescope so far designed by NASA. The telescope is now ready for transport to Johnson space center in 2017 to test it before its final launch in 2018.

NASA studied for years, and now it’s able to unlock the mysteries of the universe. The WFIRST, i.e. Wild Field Infrared Survey telescope would help researchers unlock the secrets of dark energy and will explore the cosmos. The telescope will also help in discovering exoplanets that exist outside the solar system.

The kepler mission of NASA discovered 1284 planets in May, and the number is double the amount so far. From this discovery the scientists are hopeful that they will find a new earth around the star. An analysis of Kepler’s space telescope in July showed 4302 planets.

The astronomers from NASA also took images with Hubble space telescope, and claimed that the images are of water vapors that erupted from Jupiter’s moon Europa. The scientists stated that Europa has a big ocean that contains twice as much water as it is on earth’s oceans. Europa is the most promising spot that is suitable for life in the solar system.

NASA also had newresearch in May that showed solar explosions. NASA did not only send sensors into a hurricane, but also sent MMS spacecraft though a hidden maelstrom in space, named magnetic re-connection. MMS also got Gunnies world record for fixing GPS signal at 43, 5000 miles above the surface that’s the highest altitude fix so far.

Another spacecraft known Cassini has entered its final year of great journey. In 2017, Cassini will complete its two-part endgame. Cassini started a series of 20 weekly F-ring orbits on Nov 30, and just flew to the outer parts of the main rings. Cassini will have its grand finale in April 2017.

Another NASA’s mission named Horizons took data from Plutoflyby through its digital recorders from 2015 till now. It has reached the Earth safely.

The spacecraft will fly to another mission in 2019 deep in the Kuiper Belt called 2014 MU69. NASA also announced in January that it is working on a program that would detect NEOs as the PDCO. The office also heads NASA’s projects to detect comets near earth’s orbit. In October NASA discovered NEAs after crossing 15000 threshold making 30 new discoveries each week.

Updates of International Space Station

Another NASAs mission returned in March with astronaut and Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly, and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Kornienko. The mission continued for 340 days. The mission helped scientists find ways that would help in long term stay on Mars.

The International Space Station is considered the biggest orbiting laboratory in the world where the scientists have been researching for 16 years and more. The aim of the research is to find new technologies that can benefit the earth. Recently, a new astronaut joined the space station crew, here name is Peggy and she is the first woman who will command the orbiting outpost. She would also become the second astronaut who will spend long time in the space crossing Jeff Williams’s record of 534 days.

In 2016 NASA’s cargo partners named Orbital ATK and SpaceX launched more than 24,000 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station. The supplies included new equipment’s to support experiments and technology. The experiments were Safire-I and Safire-II which helped in studying fire on an exploration craft without the crew. The research included billions of pairs of DNA in the space, and it happened for the first time.

The agency made first delivery in April to the station named BEAM, Bigelow Expandable Activity Module and expanded till May. The test helped in determining if the astronauts could use the supplies in deep missions.

In 2016 hundreds of engineers and scientists worked with NASAs Boing, and Space X to finish the designs and manufacturing, as well as testing of commercial space transportation to return spacecraft to American soil.

There was also an international socking adapter that will enable crews to reach space through Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner, and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.

NASA started new contracts to ensure the research, science and technology studies that are regarding agency’s journey to Mars, and will be delivered from 2019 to the International Space Station.

NASA's Journey to Mars

NASA astronauts will reach at NASA in 2017 to start their future training. NASA had the largest recruitment of the astronauts, because more than 18300 people applied for NASAs astronaut class. This number is double the past years’ record.

NASA’s journey to Mars includes plans, like sending new robotic explorers to the Mars by using SLS Space Launch System rocket, and Orion spacecraft that will provide deep space flight in 2018 from the spaceport at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The agency reviewed everything in March, and upgraded several systems to prepare SLS and Orion for its destination to space.

Another mission with 38 crew members photographed NanoRacks CubeSats . It contains several experiments like earth observations and tests of advanced electronics.

SLS’s first flight will launch 13 Cubesats which will investigate technology and science for exploring deep space.

NASA selected 6 companies in August to create prototypes for deep space habitats that will be required in long missions. In these missions,humans will live on Mars for long without any cargo deliveries from the earth.

NASA also approved Asteroid Redirect mission in August that will reach its next stage of designing and developing the robotic segment. Other two robotic missions to Mars will occur in 2018 and 2020.

NASA selected 5 companies in July to study the idea for Mars’s future orbiter which would give high resolution images and telecommunications.

Other discoveries included MRO’s ice deposits on Utopia Planitia region and Curiosity rover’s mission that discovered that mars had oxygen several years before. Curiosities also study sand dunes on other planet.

Both Curiosity and the Opportunity rover are working since 2004, and were successful in testing the radio relay in November through NASA radios.

About the Aeronautics

NASA made a great innovation through its research that would help in using less fuel in the airplanes. The planes will make less noise and will have less emission.

It includes supersonic flight demonstrator called QueSST that started in 2016 to find new methods to design an aircraft that won’t create annoying noise when it would be flying faster than the sound speed.So, when it’s flying faster than the speed of sound it won’t generate an annoying sonic boom.

NASA also took initiative in 2016 to resume designing, building and flying different aircrafts on experimental basis that would demonstrate green technologies, and would also enhance the industry.

NASAs Xplane also received an official number designation this year. The aircraft named X-57 Maxwell is a huge aircraft with 14 propellers, having their own motor that’s incorporated in the wing. The aircraft will have its first flight in March 2018.

About Earth

New discoveries were also made this year about earth and its complexities. NASA studied global sea level rise through its oceanography satellite mission. NASA started this mission with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and European partners. The data will help in weather and climate forecast with accurate forecasts of tropical cyclones.

NASA launched NOAA, the geostationary weather satellite also GOES-R that will help weather department find more accurate readings with timely warnings.

In Dec 15 NASA started another mission named CYGNSS that involves a satellite that would help detect hurricane intensity, its track and storm forecasts.

NASA is also planning to launch two detecting instruments to the International Space Station in 2017. The instruments will collect data to see how the planet earth works.

The Technology

NASA also started its space technology mission with 3 companies that will work on robotic manufacturing and assembling of the projects. NASA also arranged several events for public, so the general public can interact with NASA scientists to understand new technologies.

The events include, the USA Science and Engineering Festival, Essence Festival, Chicago Air and Water Show, Star Trek 50th Anniversary, Mission New York, and Earth Day activities.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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