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NASA to Launch Parachute Test off Virginia Coast March 27

NASA will test a parachute for possible future missions to Mars from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia on Tuesday, March 27. Live coverage of the test is scheduled to begin at 6:15 a.m. EDT on the Wallops Ustream site.

from NASA
http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-launch-parachute-test-off-virginia-coast-march-27
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NASA to Preview Upcoming US Spacewalk, Provide Live Coverage

Two American astronauts will venture outside the International Space Station on Thursday, March 29, for a planned 6.5-hour spacewalk. Experts from NASA will preview this work in a briefing at 2 p.m. EDT Tuesday, March 27, at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

from NASA
http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-preview-upcoming-us-spacewalk-provide-live-coverage
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Media Invited to View NASA’s Mission to Study Mars Interior

Media are invited to view NASA’s Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander Friday, April 6, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where it’s currently undergoing final tests for its May launch.

from NASA
http://www.nasa.gov/press-release/media-invited-to-view-nasas-mission-to-study-mars-interior
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Rotating Moon from LRO

No one, presently, sees the Moon rotate like this. That’s because the Earth’s moon is tidally locked to the Earth, showing us only one side. Given modern digital technology, however, combined with many detailed images returned by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), a high resolution virtual Moon rotation movie has been composed. The above time-lapse video starts with the standard Earth view of the Moon. Quickly, though, Mare Orientale, a large crater with a dark center that is difficult to see from the Earth, rotates into view just below the equator. From an entire lunar month condensed into 24 seconds, the video clearly shows that the Earth side of the Moon contains an abundance of dark lunar maria, while the lunar far side is dominated by bright lunar highlands. Currently, over 20 new missions to the Moon are under active development from four different countries, most of which have expected launch dates either this year or next. via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180318.html
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The Crab from Space

The Crab Nebula is cataloged as M1, the first object on Charles Messier’s famous list of things which are not comets. In fact, the Crab is now known to be a supernova remnant, expanding debris from the death explosion of a massive star. This intriguing false-color image combines data from space-based observatories, Chandra, Hubble, and Spitzer, to explore the debris cloud in X-rays (blue-white), optical (purple), and infrared (pink) light. One of the most exotic objects known to modern astronomers, the Crab Pulsar, a neutron star spinning 30 times a second, is the bright spot near picture center. Like a cosmic dynamo, this collapsed remnant of the stellar core powers the Crab’s emission across the electromagnetic spectrum. Spanning about 12 light-years, the Crab Nebula is 6,500 light-years away in the constellation Taurus. via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180317.html
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The Seagull and The Duck

Seen as a seagull and a duck, these nebulae are not the only cosmic clouds to evoke images of flight. But both are winging their way across this broad celestial landscape, spanning almost 7 degrees across planet Earth’s night sky toward the constellation Canis Major. The expansive Seagull (top center) is itself composed of two major cataloged emission nebulae. Brighter NGC 2327 forms the head with the more diffuse IC 2177 as the wings and body. Impressively, the Seagull’s wingspan would correspond to about 250 light-years at the nebula’s estimated distance of 3,800 light-years. At the lower right, the Duck appears much more compact and would span only about 50 light-years given its 15,000 light-year distance estimate. Blown by energetic winds from an extremely massive, hot star near its center, the Duck nebula is cataloged as NGC 2359. Of course, the Duck’s thick body and winged appendages also lend it the slightly more dramatic popular moniker, Thor’s Helmet. via NASA
https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap180316.html