NASA unveils new spacesuits for moon mission

Jeck Deocampo   •   October 17, 2019   •   563

NASA unveiled two new spacesuits designed for the space agency’s Artemis moon mission to take Americans back to the moon by 2024.

One of the spacesuits, called Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit, or xEMU for short, will be worn by astronauts while exploring the surface of the moon’s South Pole.

The second spacesuit, the orange-hued Orion Crew Survival System, is designed to be worn during the launch to the moon and then re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere aboard the agency’s Orion spacecraft.

Both suits are designed for improved mobility and comfort.

A decade after NASA sent a rocket crashing into the moon’s south pole, spewing a plume of debris that revealed vast reserves of ice beneath the barren lunar surface, the space agency is racing to pick up where its little-remembered project left off.

Vice President Mike Pence in March 2019 ordered NASA to land humans on the lunar surface by 2024, accelerating a goal to colonize the moon as a staging ground for eventual missions to Mars.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the moon holds billions of tons of water ice, although the exact amount and whether it’s present in large chunks of ice or combined with the lunar soil remains unknown.

To find out before astronauts arrive on the moon, NASA is working with a handful of companies to put rovers on the lunar surface by 2022. (REUTERS)

(Production: Greg Savoy, Pavithra George)

Lunar Loo Challenge: Design the new toilet for NASA

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 30, 2020

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has launched the Lunar Loo Challenge to call on the global community to design compact toilets that can operate in both microgravity and lunar gravity.

The new design may be adapted for use in the Artemis lunar landers as NASA prepares to return to the moon by 2024.

“Although space toilets already exist and are in use (at the International Space Station, for example), they are designed for microgravity only. NASA is looking for a next-generation device that is smaller, more efficient, and capable of working in both microgravity and lunar gravity,” according to NASA.

NASA’s Lunar Loo challenge has a total prize purse of $35,000 that will be shared among the teams submitting the top three designs in the Technical category.

NASA is also encouraging the next generation of space explorers, engineers, and scientists, to also design new concepts through the Junior Category. For all the details, visit https://www.herox.com/LunarLoo. AAC

Stargazers watch peak of Lyrid meteor shower

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 23, 2020

People looked up to skies on Wednesday (April 22) to witness the peak of the Lyrid meteor shower.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Lyrids are bright and fast meteors that are active from April 16 to 25 every year.

Several stargazers were able to witness this spectacle while others just enjoyed watching the stars.

“The Lyrid meteor shower has been observed for more than 2,600 years. Chinese records show that ‘stars fell like rain’ during the meteor shower of 687 B.C.,” according to PAGASA.

However, they also reported that in recent times, the Lyrids have generally been weak.

“The shower typically generates a dozen meteors per hour under optimal conditions with a brief maximum that lasts for less than a day,” PAGASA stated. AAC

LOOK: NASA’s 50-year observation of Earth from space

Aileen Cerrudo   •   April 23, 2020

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) released a compilation of images of their observations of the Earth in a span of 50 years.

“From the Apollo 8 “Earthrise” image to a growing fleet of satellites, these missions enhanced our understanding of our home planet,” according to NASA’s Twitter post.

This is in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

The video showed bits of what earth looks like from space. The video also covered Earth’s changes over the years. AAC

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