NASA Selects Two Missions to Explore the Early Solar System; JPL is “Delighted” by News About Psyche Program

first_img Business News Artist’s concept of the Psyche spacecraft, which will conduct a direct exploration of an asteroid thought to be a stripped planetary core. Image credit: SSL/ASU/P. Rubin/NASA/JPL-CaltechNASA has selected two missions that have the potential to open new windows on one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system – a time less than 10 million years after the birth of our sun. The missions, known as Lucy and Psyche, were chosen from five finalists and will proceed to mission formulation, with the goal of launching in 2021 and 2023, respectively.“JPL is delighted with the news that Psyche will be moving forward and for the additional support for the development of NEOCam. These two exciting and important missions will provide far greater understanding of the role asteroids play in our solar system,” said JPL Director Mike Watkins.“Lucy will visit a target-rich environment of Jupiter’s mysterious Trojan asteroids, while Psyche will study a unique metal asteroid that’s never been visited before,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “This is what Discovery Program missions are all about – boldly going to places we’ve never been to enable groundbreaking science.”Lucy, a robotic spacecraft, is scheduled to launch in October 2021. It’s slated to arrive at its first destination, a main belt asteroid, in 2025. From 2027 to 2033, Lucy will explore six Jupiter Trojan asteroids. These asteroids are trapped by Jupiter’s gravity in two swarms that share the planet’s orbit, one leading and one trailing Jupiter in its 12-year circuit around the sun. The Trojans are thought to be relics of a much earlier era in the history of the solar system, and may have formed far beyond Jupiter’s current orbit.“This is a unique opportunity,” said Harold F. Levison, principal investigator of the Lucy mission from the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. “Because the Trojans are remnants of the primordial material that formed the outer planets, they hold vital clues to deciphering the history of the solar system. Lucy, like the human fossil for which it is named, will revolutionize the understanding of our origins.”Lucy will build on the success of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt, using newer versions of the RALPH and LORRI science instruments that helped enable the mission’s achievements. Several members of the Lucy mission team also are veterans of the New Horizons mission. Lucy also will build on the success of the OSIRIS-REx mission to asteroid Bennu, with the OTES instrument and several members of the OSIRIS-REx team.The Psyche mission will explore one of the most intriguing targets in the main asteroid belt – a giant metal asteroid, known as 16 Psyche, about three times farther away from the sun than is the Earth. This asteroid measures about 130 miles (210 kilometers) in diameter and, unlike most other asteroids that are rocky or icy bodies, is thought to be comprised mostly of metallic iron and nickel, similar to Earth’s core. Scientists wonder whether Psyche could be an exposed core of an early planet that could have been as large as Mars, but which lost its rocky outer layers due to a number of violent collisions billions of years ago.The mission will help scientists understand how planets and other bodies separated into their layers – including cores, mantles and crusts – early in their histories.“This is an opportunity to explore a new type of world – not one of rock or ice, but of metal,” said Psyche Principal Investigator Lindy Elkins-Tanton of Arizona State University in Tempe. “16 Psyche is the only known object of its kind in the solar system, and this is the only way humans will ever visit a core. We learn about inner space by visiting outer space.”Psyche, also a robotic mission, is targeted to launch in October of 2023, arriving at the asteroid in 2030, following an Earth gravity assist spacecraft maneuver in 2024 and a Mars flyby in 2025.In addition to selecting the Lucy and Psyche missions for formulation, the agency will extend funding for the Near Earth Object Camera (NEOCam) project for an additional year. The NEOCam space telescope is designed to survey regions of space closest to Earth’s orbit, where potentially hazardous asteroids may be found.“These are true missions of discovery that integrate into NASA’s larger strategy of investigating how the solar system formed and evolved,” said NASA’s Planetary Science Director Jim Green. “We’ve explored terrestrial planets, gas giants, and a range of other bodies orbiting the sun. Lucy will observe primitive remnants from farther out in the solar system, while Psyche will directly observe the interior of a planetary body. These additional pieces of the puzzle will help us understand how the sun and its family of planets formed, changed over time, and became places where life could develop and be sustained – and what the future may hold.”Discovery Program class missions like these are relatively low-cost, their development capped at about $450 million. They are managed for NASA’s Planetary Science Division by the Planetary Missions Program Office at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. The missions are designed and led by a principal investigator, who assembles a team of scientists and engineers, to address key science questions about the solar system.The Discovery Program portfolio includes 12 prior selections such as the MESSENGER mission to study Mercury, the Dawn mission to explore asteroids Vesta and Ceres, and the InSight Mars lander, scheduled to launch in May 2018.NASA’s other missions to asteroids began with the NEAR orbiter of asteroid Eros, which arrived in 2000, and continues with Dawn, which orbited Vesta and now is in an extended mission phase at Ceres. The OSIRIS-REx mission, which launched on Sept. 8, 2016, is speeding toward a 2018 rendezvous with the asteroid Bennu, and will deliver a sample back to Earth in 2023. Each mission focuses on a different aspect of asteroid science to give scientists the broader picture of solar system formation and evolution.Read more about NASA’s Discovery Program and missions at:https://discovery.nasa.gov/missions.cfmlJet Propulsion Laboratory manages the Psyche mission, as well as NEOCAM, Dawn and InSight for the agency. More Cool Stuff Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m. Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Name (required)  Mail (required) (not be published)  Website  Subscribe Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * Community News Pasadena’s ‘626 Day’ Aims to Celebrate City, Boost Local Economy Community Newscenter_img 0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Science and Technology NASA Selects Two Missions to Explore the Early Solar System; JPL is “Delighted” by News About Psyche Program From NASA/JPL Published on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 | 5:37 pm Herbeauty8 Easy Exotic Meals Anyone Can MakeHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyCostume That Makes Actresses Beneath Practically UnrecognizableHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeauty9 Of The Best Family Friendly Dog BreedsHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHere Are Indian Women’s Best Formulas For Eternal BeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyWant To Seriously Cut On Sugar? You Need To Know A Few TricksHerbeautyHerbeautyHerbeautyJennifer Lopez And Alex Rodriguez’s Wedding DelayedHerbeautyHerbeauty First Heatwave Expected Next Week Make a comment Top of the News EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes Home of the Week: Unique Pasadena Home Located on Madeline Drive, Pasadenalast_img read more

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Around the Schools: Faculty of Arts & Sciences

first_imgSwimming after eating may be a dubious decision, but a film series about food in a pool? That’s another story.On Monday (Feb. 8) at 6 p.m., Food at 24fps presents a screening of “Tampopo” at the Adams House Pool Theater. This little-known Japanese film from 1985 is widely loved by foodies and focuses on a single mother’s obsessive pursuit of the perfect ramen noodles. Tom Levenson, professor of writing and humanistic studies at MIT, will offer a brief informal introduction to the film.The screening is part of a new semi-regular series about movies that feature food, organized by Harvard students, filmmakers, and food and film lovers from the Cambridge area.The Adams House Pool Theater is an unusual venue for a film series — it was originally a swimming pool, built at the turn of the 20th century when that area of campus housed Harvard’s most affluent students. After an eclectic history throughout the 20th century, the space was converted to a theater in the mid-1990s. Seats fill what was the shallow end of the pool, and a state-of-the-art projector and screen make film screenings possible.The screening is free and open to the public, but space is limited. To learn more and to check out the schedule of upcoming films, go to www.food24fps.com.— Amy Lavoielast_img read more

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Odion Ighalo has big future at Watford, says boss Quique Sanchez Flores

first_img Press Association The Nigerian striker’s incredible form in the Championship last season, when he scored 20 goals in 38 appearances, prompted big-money interest from Hebei China Fortune. But Ighalo opted instead to sign a new five-year contract with the newly promoted Hornets. And the 26-year-old has transferred that form to the Barclays Premier League, with his double in the 2-0 win over West Ham on Saturday taking his tally to seven goals so far this term. Hornets boss Quique Sanchez Flores said: ” Ighalo took a very important decision to stay at Watford. It was a brilliant idea. “He is a wonderful man who stayed here because his future here at Watford is really big. He is already an important player for us.” Ighalo opened the scoring shortly before half-time when he got a toe onto Nathan Ake’s cross, although the ball was helped on its way by Hammers defender Aaron Cresswell. But if there was any doubt over that goal, there was none about the second after the break when he controlled Ikechi Anya’s ball into the area and crashed his shot high into the West Ham net. A second win on the bounce lifted Watford up to ninth in the table, and Ighalo is more than happy with their progress. “We know (West Ham) are a very good team but we stuck to our game-plan and what the gaffer told us to do, and it really worked,” he told Hornets PlayerHD. “We really pushed ourselves and we took the chances that came, so we are very happy about the game. Odion Ighalo turned down a lucrative move to China in the summer – and his decision is paying dividends for Watford. “I’m happy about my goals, but I’m most pleased about the team performance. We played very well and we deserved the win and the three points. “We’ve been performing great this season and we’ve been working hard together. “The team have been pushing. We run for each other, we fight for each other, and it’s been great.” The Hammers looked a shadow of the side who have beaten Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea this season, and manager Slaven Bilic is demanding an immediate response against Everton next Saturday. “That is what we have to do,” he said. “Nobody likes to be beaten, and not like this. We gave them a hand and they took the opportunity. “We paid the price, but let’s be sure we can work as hard as them to win a Premier League game.” last_img read more

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