Heart Tissue On a Chip is Going Back to The International Space Station for Additional Research

A chip with heart tissue is returning to the International Space Station (ISS) for more research. Two projects by teams from Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University will be part of the payload on the SpaceX CRX-27 resupply mission to the ISS on March 14. The researchers hope to leverage microgravity’s aging effects on heart muscle cells. This will ultimately help identify new treatments for cardiovascular disease.

The Johns Hopkins scientists will reexamine how microgravity affects heart cell mitochondria. Also, they will examine whether pre-treating the cells with three different medications reduces the issues related to space travel and how inflammation affects how proteins are activated. The Stanford team will investigate if heart failure can be modeled using cardiac tissue grown in microgravity for medication testing.

Microgravity and radiation may prematurely age an astronaut’s organ systems and DNA. This is according to studies on people who spend months on the ISS. Comparing this to animal models on Earth has implications for quickly understanding how aging functions.

The Tissue Chips in Space effort was created by NCATS and the National Institutes of Health. The purpose was to make use of the unique testing environment by combining it with organ-on-a-chip technology. Cardiac tissue research is one of the nine projects financed by the program. Cell cultures of organ tissue are grown inside microfluidic chips. These are tiny plates having channels and grooves that let the cells travel across them. The chips are made to regulate the microenvironment. This allows the cells inside to continue performing the same physiological tasks as the tissues they are imitating.

The Stanford and Johns Hopkins heart chip initiatives have now launched for the second time. To ensure that the cardiac muscle cells would survive the launch and that the studies could produce results, the first flight was a proof-of-concept mission. The flight taught the scientists about effective packing and automation to make the experiments as easy to handle as feasible for astronauts. In addition, it also taught them about how microgravity affects the mitochondria and contractility of heart cells.

The studies involving heart tissue will stay on the space station for 30 days before being sent down on a different SpaceX spaceship for investigation. In order to help the majority of people on Earth, researchers are working to identify some of the molecular changes that cause the impacts of aging. This will help in creating treatments or countermeasures that would either delay or lessen those effects.

Deployment and Demonstration of Lunar Navigation Aids

The development of lunar navigation beacons by NASA is progressing significantly. These beacons will let future spacecraft localize themselves and identify position, velocity, and time with great accuracy. There is a growing human presence in the vicinity of the Moon, as activities on, near, and around its surface continue to increase. These navigational aids are crucial for allowing spacecraft and people to find their way. Similar to how the Global Positioning System (GPS) on Earth provides navigation signals, the lunar navigation beacons are made to do the same.

The S-band navigation beacon known as Lunar Node 1 (LN-1) was created for lunar uses. As a part of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) effort, it was recently constructed at the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). The mission is presently slated to launch in Q1 2023. The NOVA-C lunar lander, developed by Intuitive Machines, will deliver LN-1 to the Moon’s surface.

LN-1’s objective is to show navigational systems that can enable nearby surface and orbital operations around the Moon. In addition, they will promote autonomy and reduce reliance on heavily used Earth-based communication resources like NASA’s Deep Space Network. The transmission of state and timing data back to Earth will be conducted by LN-1 throughout the mission. The data will be recorded by DSN ground stations to assess performance. Several references need to be visible to users at once to give a real-time solution similar to GPS. Hardware and capabilities from LN-1 could be included in a much bigger infrastructure once this lunar communication network is established.

The LN-1’s design takes advantage of CubeSat parts and Multi-spacecraft Autonomous Positioning System (MAPS) algorithms. Through this, the design enables autonomous spacecraft positioning utilizing navigational measurements. LN-1’s radio will be utilized to perform several things. They include pseudo-noise (PN)-based, one-way, non-coherent range and Doppler tracking in addition to showcasing the MAPS algorithms. The objective is to provide alternative navigation methods and comparisons for assessing performance. The LN-1 CAD models show the LN-1 payload’s small size, and its modular construction enables it to be easily incorporated into a range of host vehicles.

Testing with the expected operational ground stations started after the LN-1 payload was finished and delivered. With these tests, the RF compatibility between the DSN and the LN-1 payload was successfully established. The demonstration confirmed that the DSN is capable of receiving S-band telecommunication signals in all intended operational modes. These modes are necessary to analyze telemetry and range data from LN-1.

Future autonomous lunar asset navigation may be made possible by this new technology and the MAPS algorithms that LN-1 has proven. Future versions of LN-1 are being developed by the MSFC team. They will provide extensive lunar surface coverage. As this is happening, NASA will be investing in communication and navigation facilities in the Moon’s orbit and nearby areas. The development of this subsequent payload will focus on three vital functions: conducting a demonstration of inter-spacecraft navigation, ensuring lunar night survival aboard the payload, and enhancing the signal’s maturity to meet the LunaNet Interoperability Standard for integration, operation, and compatibility with NASA’s planned assets.

Aurora-Palooza and Solar Storm Delay SpaceX Launch, Affect Oil Rigs in Canada

The launch of Starlink satellites by SpaceX and the operation of multiple oil rigs in Canada were both delayed and disrupted on February 27. The delay was caused by a powerful solar storm. The storm was recognized by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a severe G3 geomagnetic storm. It was brought on by two coronal mass ejections  (CMEs) and streams of fast solar wind moving in Earth’s direction. Due to the storm, aurora displays could be seen in North America and Europe.

In order to prevent future occurrences like the one in February 2022, SpaceX has been collaborating with NOAA. As a result, the company postponed the Starlink satellites launch until the storm passed. This would allow them to be launched about four and a half hours beyond the original plan. The G3 storm made GPS signals unreliable, temporarily interfering with drilling operations on several Canadian oil rigs.

The interruption of drilling operations was brought on by the storm’s interference with GPS signals. The drilling rigs depend on GPS signals for accurate navigation. The disruption was caused by geomagnetically induced currents found in the ground. This assessment was given by Tamitha Skov. Tamitha is a U.S. solar physicist and expert on space weather. As solar maximum draws closer, the probability of these interruptions happening more frequently is foreseen. As the solar cycle approaches its maximum, it is likely that auroras and disruptions will become more frequent over the next two years. These disruptions are like those experienced by SpaceX and the Canadian oil companies 

The 25th solar cycle on record is already proving to be significantly stronger than what NASA and NOAA had initially forecast. Strong G4 and G5 storms have not yet occurred during this cycle. However, some low-orbiting satellites have already started dropping in altitude as a result of the inflated atmosphere.

There are only around four G5 storms per cycle. These four G5 storms per cycle are capable of damaging power transformers and causing severe power outages. Experts are concerned about the environment’s vulnerability to a G5 storm. Their concern arises from the rapidly expanding number of operational satellites and space debris fragments. Lack of knowledge about the locations of space debris and the loss of control over operational satellites could cause collisions. These collisions would increase the amount of debris in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The recent solar storm had an impact on operations at SpaceX and an oil rig in Canada. This demonstrates the necessity of collaboration between the scientific community, governments as well as businesses. The collaboration will aim to lessen the space weather effects on Earth. After an incident in February 2022, SpaceX has paid closer attention to space weather predictions. In addition, it has been giving NOAA data from Starlink’s onboard sensors. This data aims to help them enhance their space weather forecasting models.

It is essential to keep tracking and predicting space weather events’ effects on Earth and its infrastructure. The anticipation is that these events will occur more frequently in the coming years, which is why this is happening. By doing this, we can make sure that we are equipped to reduce the risks brought on by these occurrences. Also, we can keep using space-based technology to our advantage.

Astronaut Launch to ISS By SpaceX, NASA Delayed Due to Technical Glitch

A technical issue was found in the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket’s ground system. Due to this, the launch of four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on March 1, 2023, by SpaceX and NASA had to be delayed. With just two minutes left in the countdown, the launch was aborted. This is because there was a problem with the ignition fluid that ignites the rocket engines during takeoff.

The Crew Dragon capsule, which was mounted atop the rocket, was used to safely evacuate the astronauts who were scheduled to fly on this mission. According to NASA, the SpaceX Crew-6 mission would now launch on March 2, 2023, at 12:34 a.m. EST, barring any technical difficulties that may have stopped the Monday launch. Moreover, NASA announced that due to an unfavorable weather outlook, they would forgo a launch opportunity on Tuesday.

Since 2020, SpaceX’s scheduled astronaut flight for NASA had been postponed seven times, the latest being this one. The Crew-6 crew consists of two NASA astronauts, Stephen Bowen, and Warren Hoburg, as well as Sultan Alneyadi, from the United Arab Emirates and Russian cosmonaut Andrey Fedyaev. Stephen has completed three space shuttle missions. Warren is a first-time space traveler. Sultan is the second astronaut from the United Arab Emirates to reach orbit.

The team will take over running of the ISS from the SpaceX Crew-5 astronauts who got there in October 2022 once they are on board. Science experiments will be operated and the twenty-year-old station will be maintained by the four astronauts. They will do this for up to six months while they are aboard the orbiting laboratory.

The astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS) were occupied with a different transportation problem at the time of this launch delay. A Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which had ferried two cosmonauts and one NASA astronaut to the space station, encountered a coolant leak in December 2022. The launch of a replacement spacecraft was carried out by the Russian space agency Roscosmos on February 23, 2023. This was after the crew’s return in the capsule was considered risky. On Saturday, February 25, 2023, it made its way to the ISS.

In a blog post, Bill Nelson, the administrator of NASA, expressed pride in the teams’ commitment to keeping Crew-6 safe and noted that human spaceflight is an essentially risky activity. He added that they would launch when they are ready. In order to protect the crew’s safety and the mission’s success, the delay was implemented.

The has been delay in the launch of a SpaceX and NASA astronaut to the International Space Station due to a technical fault that demonstrates that the agencies put safety above all else. In the event that the technical issue which delayed the launch on March 1 of 2023 can be resolved, the mission is now scheduled to launch on March 2, 2023. During their six-month stay in space, the astronauts are expected to conduct significant scientific research and keep the ISS running.

NASA continues testing new engines for redesigned Artemis Moon rocket

NASA is moving on with its Artemis program, which aims to send people back to the Moon while also testing new rocket engines for the Space Launch System (SLS). At NASA’s Stennis Space Center facility based in Mississippi on February 22, engineers hot-fired tested a modified RS-25 engine. The test is a component of a certification program for Aerojet Rocketdyne. Aerojet Rocketdyne is the lead SLS engine contractor, to enable the manufacturing of new RS-25 engines.

The RS-25 engine was run at 111% power for 10 minutes. This is longer than the 500 seconds needed for it to reach space. Operators can test the boundaries of engine performance. In addition, they can offer a margin of safety for flight operations by using longer-duration hot burns. The hot fire is the most recent in a test series being conducted. These tests are meant to approve new production methods and procedures for the RS-25 engine.

The RS-25 engine is among the most advanced and tried-and-true engines in the world. NASA opted to upgrade the 16 main engines it still had after the Space Shuttle Program ended. This was meant to allow usage with the SLS rocket. In order to construct new RS-25 engines for SLS missions after Artemis IV, NASA signed a contract with Aerojet Rocketdyne in 2019. These engines will be produced using cutting-edge techniques including 3D printing to cut down on production time and costs.

In order to get performance data for the new processes, NASA started developmental testing in May 2020. Last year, NASA Stennis updated its Fred Haise Test Stand. This was in order to get ready for the new round of testing. The first test of an RS-25 engine with a new design was carried out by NASA on February 8. The next 12-test series will show that Aerojet Rocketdyne is equipped to create engines for upcoming missions.

NASA wants to establish a long-lasting presence on the Moon with its ongoing Artemis missions. In addition, NASA intends to build the skills and equipment required for trips to other deep space locations. The organization intends to build an orbiting Gateway home around the Moon to enable lunar missions and get ready for Martian missions.

An essential part of the SLS rocket, that will make it the most powerful rocket in existence, is the RS-25 engine. NASA Stennis will conduct tests on each RS-25 engine that contributes to the SLS’s propulsion. NASA, Aerojet Rocketdyne, and Syncom Space Services operators work together to conduct RS-25 testing at the location.

The RS-25 engine modification represents a significant advancement for NASA’s Artemis program. The first Artemis mission is set to debut in 2024. The mission has reached a crucial turning point with the hot fire test completion. The upgraded engines will aid in supporting future Artemis missions. Also, it will enable human exploration of the Moon and beyond as NASA continues to discover the mysteries of the universe.

NASA captures elaborate imagery of elongated asteroids using planetary radar

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to conduct in-depth observations of the long space rock on February 3, 2023. This was when an asteroid known as 2011 AG5 safely passed by Earth. In terms of size, the asteroid measures over 1,600 feet long and over 500 feet wide. This bears a resemblance to the Empire State Building. It traveled nearly five times as far from Earth as the Moon did as it passed Earth. The distance was around 1.1 million miles.

The Deep Space Network facility near Barstow, California is home to the potent 230-foot Goldstone Solar System Radar antenna dish. It is employed by researchers to take precise pictures of the asteroid. Among the most elongated asteroids ever seen, the highly elongated object’s measurements were revealed by this radar. “Of the 1,040 near-Earth objects seen by planetary radar that were too far, this is among the most elongated we have observed,” said Lance Benner. Lance serves as the principal scientist at JPL and assisted lead the observations.

The asteroid’s characteristics were revealed by the Goldstone radar measurements, which were made between January 29 and February 4. One of its two hemispheres has a massive, broad concavity, and subtle dark and light areas may be small-scale surface features a few dozen meters across. With no equipment to assist the observation, the asteroid would have an appearance as dark as charcoal. The observations also demonstrated that 2011 AG5 rotates slowly, taking nine hours to complete one full circle.

The Goldstone radar scans helped to improve the understanding of the asteroid features. This included a close-up appearance as well as the asteroid’s orbital mechanics around the Sun. Radar offers accurate distance readings. These readings can be used to fine-tune the asteroid’s orbital route by researchers at NASA’s Center for Near Earth Object Studies (CNEOS). The asteroid does one circuit around the Sun every 621 days. It will not approach Earth closely until 2040. At a distance of roughly 670,000 miles, it will safely pass our planet when it reaches that point. The distance is equal to about three times the Earth-Moon distance.

It’s interesting to note that the 2011 AG5 quickly gained fame as the “poster child” asteroid. This was after it was determined that there was little risk of an impact in the future. However, further observations of this object eliminated any possibility of an impact. In addition, the planetary radar team’s new ranging measurements will further hone its orbit for a very long time to come. To analyze the risk of an impact, CNEOS computes the orbits of all known near-Earth asteroids. The Planetary Defense Coordination Office at NASA’s headquarters in Washington houses the Near-Earth Object Observations Program. It provides assistance to both CNEOS and the Goldstone Solar System Radar Group.

The elongated asteroid 2011 AG5’s size, shape, and orbit have all been revealed by studies done by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory employing the Goldstone radar. Our knowledge of the potential dangers posed by near-Earth asteroids has been advanced by these discoveries. NASA is taking significant steps to protect our planet. In addition, it has undertaken measures to guarantee our continued astronomical exploration by monitoring these objects and fine-tuning their orbital routes.

Blue Origin and NASA Team Up to Aim for Mars with Twin Spacecraft by 2024

With a new mission being carried out in conjunction with NASA, Jeff Bezos’ aerospace company Blue Origin is aiming for Mars. The project is dubbed Escape and Plasma Acceleration and Dynamics Explorers (ESCAPADE). It intends to investigate the magnetic region of the Red Planet’s atmosphere and the magnetosphere. In addition, it will investigate how the solar wind has changed the planet’s atmosphere through time. If the booster is finished in time, the twin spacecraft that will conduct this research will launch in late 2024 aboard Blue Origin’s next New Glenn rocket.

NASA chose Blue Origin from a shortlist of 13 companies for its Venture-Class Acquisition of Dedicated and Rideshare (VADR) program. This program was created in 2022. Blue Origin was among a small group of businesses that were being considered for the project. NASA withheld the contract’s financial information, but SpaceNews estimated it to be $20 million based on federal procurement documents. The goal of the VADR effort is to expand the market for commercial launches in the United States. In addition, it aims in opening up new options for science and technological payloads.

The ESCAPADE mission is particularly intriguing because it might provide more information on how Mars grew to be so dry throughout time. On the surface of Mars, it appears that water flowed abundantly millions of years ago. However, the planet is now exceedingly dry. The twin spacecraft could shed light on the process that led to Mars’ present climate. This is through observing the magnetosphere and how the solar wind has changed the atmosphere over time.

Blue Origin is renowned for its New Shepard suborbital rocket, which has been employed to launch both passengers and payloads. The New Glenn rocket, which the company is developing, will be able to travel beyond suborbital space. When ready, the two-stage and three-stage New Glenn rockets will be available to travel to orbit and beyond. It is anticipated to attain an altitude of 95 meters (313 feet). This is five times more than New Shepard’s 59 feet (18 m).

However, there have been difficulties in the development of New Glenn. All launches were halted in September 2022 when the rocket experienced an uncrewed anomaly during launch. Five months after the issue was discovered, Blue Origin hasn’t given any information regarding the inquiry.

Blue Origin seems to be moving forward with its plans for Mars despite these difficulties. The company’s aspirations to go beyond suborbital space and explore the universe continue with the ESCAPADE mission. NASA is a valuable supporter of Blue Origin as it works to explore the mysteries of the universe.

The Artemis program seeks to take humans back to the moon by the year 2024. Blue Origin has been chosen to create a lunar lander in addition to the ESCAPADE mission. The company’s Blue Moon lunar lander is intended to deliver supplies and eventually people to the moon’s surface.

Blue Origin is placing itself as a significant player in the next space race with its concentration on both Mars and the moon. The corporation is prepared to push the limits of what is feasible in space travel. This is through creating cutting-edge technologies and collaborating with governmental organizations like NASA. The ESCAPADE mission is simply the most recent example of Blue Origin’s vision for the future of space travel.

The 418,000-Beast Rocket Engine for NASA’s Moon Rocket Has Been Successfully Fired Up

NASA just completed a full-duration hot fire test of an improved RS-25 rocket engine. The Space Launch System (SLS) rockets used in the Artemis program will be propelled by this engine. In November 2022, the Orion spacecraft was launched by Artemis for the first time, entering lunar orbit. The agency is currently getting ready for upcoming launches. Crew members will be transported by these launches to lunar orbit and subsequently back.

After attempting a full-duration run in the middle of December of last year, NASA and Aerojet Rocketdyne conducted today’s test. The Space Shuttle’s RS-25 engine made its debut flight in 1981, so it has been in use for a while. However, NASA has made various changes to it over the years, and it has been preserved since the conclusion of the Shuttle program. The RS-25E engine is being put to the test. It was created in accordance with the specifications for the SLS rocket and is a reduced version of the initial design.

Since the spaceship could land after each flight, the previous engines employed by the Shuttle had to be reused. The SLS rocket, which is not recyclable, will now be propelled by the new engines. Consequently, a less expensive engine allows NASA to save money because the four engines that power the rocket are inefficient once it has launched.

The powerhead, nozzle, and controllers of this upgraded engine are just a few of the new parts. In its manufacturing process, Aerojet incorporates cutting-edge innovations like 3D printing. The new engine was put through its tests for the first time during the test, which took place at the same time as when it will turn on for its SLS rocket mission.

An engine monitoring system stopped NASA’s test run in December at the 209.5-second point. The evaluation is one of several certification tests to confirm that the engine can carry people to the Moon. In a full-duration test, the RS-25 engine produces a massive 418,000 pounds of thrust while firing continuously for 500 seconds. In terms of human-rated liquid rocket engines, the RS-25 is the most powerful one in the United States.

Its specific impulse of 452 seconds makes it one of the most efficient engines in operation. The engine also holds the distinction of being the world’s most efficient first-stage liquid rocket engine.

The site of the test held today was the Fred Haise Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center. The engine’s test produced clouds of steam that dwarfed even this enormous facility, which was formerly identified as the A-1 test stand and stands 200 feet tall. The RS-25 engine’s exhaust can reach temperatures of more than 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit, according to NASA. As a result, water is flown underneath the engine to cool things off, creating enormous steam clouds in the process.

Along with testing the engines, NASA is also expanding its facilities at the Florida-based Kennedy Space Center and producing the following three Artemis rockets at Michoud simultaneously. With tests like this one going well, NASA will soon be able to send people to the Moon and other planets.

Iridium 9575 Extreme – review

The Iridium 9575, also known as the Iridium Extreme, is a satellite phone that has been specifically designed for use in extreme environments. Whether you are a mountaineer scaling a remote peak, a sailor navigating the high seas, or a military personnel deployed to a remote location, the Iridium 9575 is a reliable communication tool that you can count on.

One of the key features of the Iridium 9575 is its rugged design, which has been built to withstand the toughest conditions. The phone is both dustproof and waterproof, and can operate in temperatures ranging from -10 to 55 degrees Celsius. Its military-grade durability ensures that it can survive even the harshest environments, making it an essential tool for those working in extreme conditions.

The Iridium 9575 also provides global coverage, thanks to Iridium’s constellation of 66 low-earth orbiting (LEO) satellites. This means that you can make and receive calls, send and receive text messages, and even access the internet, no matter where you are in the world. This makes the Iridium 9575 an invaluable tool for those who work in remote areas, or in situations where traditional communication methods are unavailable.

The phone’s advanced features also make it an ideal communication tool for military personnel. The Iridium 9575 offers secure voice and data communication capabilities, which are essential for those working in defense and security environments. It also features an integrated GPS, which can be used for location tracking and emergency services.

In addition to its durability and global coverage, the Iridium 9575 also offers long battery life, with up to 30 hours of standby time and up to 4 hours of talk time. This means that you can stay connected for longer periods of time, without needing to recharge the phone.

Overall, the Iridium 9575 is a reliable and durable satellite phone that is perfect for use in extreme environments. Its global coverage, secure communication capabilities, and long battery life make it an essential tool for those working in remote areas, or in situations where traditional communication methods are unavailable. Whether you are a mountaineer, sailor, or military personnel, the Iridium 9575 is a communication tool that you can trust to keep you connected, no matter where you are in the world.

Get Connected Anywhere with the Iridium GO! exec

Stay connected wherever you go with the innovative Iridium GO! exec. This portable, touchscreen-enabled satellite access device is designed to provide reliable Wi-Fi connectivity for select email, chat, social media, weather, and light web-browsing apps on smartphones, laptops and tablets. Powered by the Iridium Certus® 100 midband service, users can make phone calls directly from the device using its built-in speakerphone and microphone or connect wirelessly to it from their smartphone within a range of up to 30m (100ft).

The Iridium GO! exec is an ideal solution for business travelers who need reliable communication when on the road. With its compact design and lightweight construction, it’s easy to take along on any trip. And because it combines both a Wi-Fi access device and an Iridium satellite phone in one unit, users no longer have to manage multiple devices while they’re away from home.

The Iridium GO! exec offers a seamless user experience that allows users to stay connected anywhere in the world. It features an intuitive user interface that makes setup and use simple. Plus, its powerful battery provides up to 8 hours of use time so users can stay connected even longer. And with two high-quality voice lines available simultaneously, users can easily stay in touch with colleagues or family while they’re traveling.

“Iridium GO! exec is truly revolutionary in that it offers portable personal and office connectivity without compromising on quality or reliability,” says CEO Jason McGowan. “We are confident that this product will be a game-changer for those who rely heavily on being connected at all times.”

The Iridium GO! exec is available now for purchase online or through select retailers worldwide. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to stay connected no matter where life takes you – get your very own Iridium GO! exec today!