Progress on the giant SLS moon rocket, the close encounter with Ganymede and a ring of fire eclipse

The center stage of the 188,000 pound Space Launch System (SLS) rocket was lifted onto the mobile launcher, between the two solid rockets. Credit: NASA

Progressing on our Artemis Moon rocket, footage of a close encounter with a Jovian moon and a ring of fire for our moon… some of the stories to tell you – This week at NASA!

Video transcript:

Progress on our Artemis Moon rocket. Images of a close encounter with a Jovian moon. And a ring of fire for our Moon. Some of the stories to tell you about this week at NASA!

Stacking and assembly activities for the agency’s unmanned Artemis I mission continue at our Kennedy Space Center.

These activities consist of lifting the 188,000 pound central stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket onto the mobile launcher, between the two solid rocket thrusters.

SLS in block 1 cargo configuration inside the VAB

This illustration shows NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) in its Block 1 configuration inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. From top to bottom, the entire rocket stands approximately 312 feet high and has the capacity to lift payloads with a mass of over 26 metric tons (57,000 pounds). Credit: NASA

This will be followed by the stacking and integration of other elements, and possibly the addition of the Orion spacecraft.

Twin solid rocket thrusters and center stage will deliver over 8.8 million pounds of thrust when launching NASA’s next-generation Artemis Moon missions.

SLS Big Build stackable rocket

Prior to its launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the agency’s Exploration Ground Systems (EGS) and Jacobs teams at the spaceport stack the various elements of the SLS rocket on the mobile launcher inside the iconic vehicle assembly building. So large that it is a landmark of the Florida Space Coast, the VAB as well as the mobile launcher have been specially equipped to accommodate SLS and Orion. When fully assembled, the upgraded tracked transporter will transport the skyscraper-sized duo to the launch pad for NASA’s next-generation lunar missions. Credit: NASA

Our Juno mission returned images after its June 7 flyby of Jupiter Ganymede’s moon, showing remarkable surface detail including craters, distinct areas of dark and bright terrain, and features possibly related to tectonic faults.

The flyby is expected to provide insight into the make-up and composition of the moon, including measurements of its radiative environment that could benefit future missions in the Jovian system.

Learn more about the mission at:

>> See the first dramatic images of NASA’s Juno spacecraft captured as it sailed through the frozen orb, Ganymede

On June 10, the inhabitants of the northern hemisphere were fortunate enough to experience an annular or partial eclipse of the Sun.

Canada, Greenland, and northern Russia experienced an annular eclipse, during which the alignment of the Moon, Sun, and Earth is such that there appears to be a ring of fire around the Moon. .

Elsewhere, including parts of the eastern United States and northern Alaska, the Moon has blocked only a smaller portion of the Sun.

To learn more about eclipses, visit

A SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft arrived at the International Space Station on June 5, two days after launching from our Kennedy Space Center.

The Dragon delivered more than 7,300 pounds of cargo, including the new ISS Deployment Solar Panels (iROSA) for the station, a science experiment with squid that could help take protective measures to keep astronauts out healthy on long-duration space missions, a study of microscopic organisms called water bears, which may help humans cope with the stressors of human spaceflight, and more.

This is SpaceX’s 22nd contracted commercial refueling mission to the station for NASA.

On June 9, NASA announced that two teams of scientists from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, are the first and second places in the Vascular Tissue Challenge, a competition to develop and maintain functional human tissues. in a laboratory.

On Earth and in space, improved vascularized tissue grown in the laboratory could be used for better disease modeling and could accelerate related research for organ transplants, as well as the development of new therapies for long-term missions. in deep space.

The NASA TechRise Student Challenge is a new STEM education-based competition that will begin in the 2021-22 school year for teams of students in grades 6 to 12.

The competition aims to inspire a deeper understanding of Earth’s atmosphere, space exploration, coding and electronics, as well as a broader understanding of the value of test data.

For details, see

That’s what’s happening this week @NASA. To learn more about these and other stories, follow us on the web at

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