NASA’s Parker Solar Probe shares first up-close look at sun’s atmosphere

NASA's Parker Solar Probe has made the closest-ever approach to a star (the sun) and shared an image of the sun's atmosphere on Twitter on Wednesday. NASA's image, captured Nov. 8, shows the corona, which is the sun's outer atmosphere, when the spacecraft was just 16.9 million miles from the star. The Parker Solar Probe's WISPR instrument took … Continue reading “NASA’s Parker Solar Probe shares first up-close look at sun’s atmosphere”

NASA's Parker Solar Probe has made the closest-ever approach to a star (the sun) and shared an image of the sun's atmosphere on Twitter on Wednesday.

NASA's image, captured Nov. 8, shows the corona, which is the sun's outer atmosphere, when the spacecraft was just 16.9 million miles from the star.

The Parker Solar Probe's WISPR instrument took the photo, in which Jupiter is seen as the bright object, according to NASA.

The spacecraft also broke records for the fastest space probe, as it sends data back from its first solar encounter, Science News reported.

Scientists gathered Wednesday at the American Geophysical Union meeting in Washington, D.C., to speak about the data, the report said.

NASA'S INSIGHT MARS LANDER SNAPS ITS FIRST STUNNING SELFIE 

“What we are looking at now is completely brand new,” solar physicist Nour Raouafi said at a news conference, according to Science News.

“Nobody looked at this before,” said Raouafi, who also works at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.

The spacecraft launched Aug. 12 and will make 24 close passes by the sun over the next seven years, Science News reported.

The mission's goal is to help solve the mystery of why the corona is about 300 times as hot as the sun's surface, the report said.

NASA MAKES AMAZING DISCOVERY ON ASTEROID BENNU

The outer atmosphere could reach temperatures of millions of degrees, while the sun's surface or photosphere could be around 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit, according to BBC Science, but the mechanisms that produce the super-heating are not fully understood, the report said.

"We need to go into this region to be able to sample the new plasma, the newly formed material, to be able to see what processes, what physics, is taking place in there," said Nicola Fox, director of the Heliophysics Division at NASA in Washington D.C., according to the BBC.

Raouafi also said of the Parker Space Probe that, "We are almost certain we'll make new discoveries."

Earlier this month, NASA's InSight Mars Lander snapped its first selfie from the surface of the Red Planet.

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

Newt Gingrich: A huge week for the future of the commercial space economy, the US and more than 200 kids

This week, a group of more than 200 middle and high school students got to see what they can achieve when they work hard and dream big in America.

Students at The Weiss School in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and students from six public high schools in Irvine, California, gathered around their respective computer monitors Monday to watch their hard work blastoff into space aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base.

Along with 62 other commercial and government satellites from 17 countries, the rocket carried WeissSat-1 and IRVINE02 – two small satellites that the student groups had separately conceptualized, designed, built, programmed, and rigorously tested for three years. Both successfully deployed from the rocket’s second stage and are now orbiting our planet.

These join a growing number of satellites built by young Americans (the first elementary school-built satellite launched into space in December 2015).

Stop for a moment to consider just how remarkable these achievements really are – and what they mean for the future of our country and humanity.

I remember science projects in middle and high school. They were miniature volcanoes that belched steam from dry ice – or in my case, assortments of fossils that I had meticulously collected and identified. Despite my enthrallment with space – and the many issues of Missiles and Rockets magazine I read as a young person – I never had the technical expertise, resources, or opportunity to actually design and build a satellite that could be put into orbit.

This achievement becomes even more amazing when you learn what these CubeSats will do. The Weiss School satellite is studying how and whether bacteria trapped in ice could potentially transfer to other planetary environments. The IRVINE02 CubeSat will capture images with a wide-field macro lens and beam data back to Earth via an optical laser downlink– which can send information much faster than traditional radio communications.

Not only have these projects pushed these students to learn things they never could have in a traditional classroom setting – their projects will no doubt provide the scientific community with very useful data. This project, which is a part of NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative, is the perfect example of a new way to approach education (so that it incentivizes learning and doing things rather than passing tests) and the way in which we can introduce and develop the people who will lead in the growing space economy.

As the mother of one of the students at The Weiss School told me, “it was a good day for our future.” She also correctly remarked that these are “exactly the kind of students who will be leading President Trump's Space Force someday.”

In addition to these amazing accomplishments by the young rocket scientists of the future, the rocket scientists of today also had a tremendous achievement. SpaceX (working with a company called Spaceflight Industries that bought and organized the launch) broke four records on Monday.

SpaceX broke an American record for the number of satellites carried and deployed into space at one time. Elon Musk’s rocket company also surpassed its previous record for the number of launches in one year.

So far in 2018, the company successfully completed the inaugural launch of its Falcon Heavy rocket and completed 18 Falcon 9 missions. Importantly, the company also successfully launched and returned the same booster rocket for the third time – and that booster became the first to fly from Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and Vandenberg Air Force Base.

These records are important. As Vice President Mike Pence told Robert Costa at The Washington Post Space Summit on October 23, there is an “American aspiration that we are in a very real sense, a nation of pioneers. We’ve always, throughout our history been pushing the outer envelope.  We’ve been pushing into the undiscovered country.  I think the American people are excited to see us do that again.”

Monday was a tremendously important day for the students in Florida and California, the future of the commercial space economy, and our country. These students – and the teachers, scientists, and companies that enabled them to do this remarkable work – deserve tremendous congratulations.

Newt Gingrich is a Fox News contributor. A Republican, he was speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. Follow him on Twitter @NewtGingrich. His latest book is “Trump’s America: The Truth About Our Nation’s Great Comeback.”

Newly-released images offer first glimpse of next-generation Marine One prototype

Newly-released images show the prototype of the next-generation Marine One helicopter landing on the White House South Lawn.

A spokesman for the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), which is overseeing development of the new presidential helicopter, told Fox News that the pictures were taken during testing on Sep. 22.

The images show the Sikorsky-built VH-92A helicopter painted in the traditional presidential airlift colors.

TRUMP'S NEW 'BEAST' LIMOUSINE SPOTTED ROAMING NEW YORK CITY

“There isn’t a part of this helicopter that isn’t tested – down to the paint,” explained the NAVAIR spokesman. “We took delivery from Sikorsky in August and began testing.”

The new helicopter is expected to be ready for deployment in late 2020. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Hunter Helis)

The images were first reported by The Drive website.

The aircraft is the first of six test aircraft developed under the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the project, according to NAVAIR. This includes the design, certification and testing of a replacement helicopter “to support the presidential world-wide vertical-lift mission.”

ARMY AND AIR FORCE CRAFT NEW JOINT COMBAT ATTACK PLAN

The landing and take-offs were part of a comprehensive test plan designed to ensure the aircraft meets all operational specifications, NAVAIR said.

Citing a GAO report, The Drive notes that the helicopter’s impact on the White House lawn is an important part of the testing process.

The prototype, known as Engineering Design Model (EDM 1) is the result of a years-long effort to build the new Marine One helicopters.

“The whole program is going exceptionally well,” the NAVAIR spokesman told Fox News.

ARMY SETS SIGHTS ON NEW SNIPER CAMOUFLAGE

The new helicopter is expected to be ready for deployment in late 2020. The White House Military Office will make the decision on when it will actually be used by the President, according to NAVAIR.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

NASA’s InSight beams back breathtakingly clear photo of Mars

NASA’s spacecraft that landed on Mars Monday has beamed back its first clear photo of the desolate Red Planet.

“There’s a quiet beauty here. Looking forward to exploring my new home,” NASA tweeted late Monday, hours after its new InSight lander touched down.

The image came after the rover had earlier sent back a somewhat blurry photo. The space agency said that in the interim the spacecraft had opened its solar panels, which allowed it to recharge its batteries for the mission.

“Our Mars Odyssey orbiter phoned home, relaying news from @NASAInSight indicating its solar panels are open & collecting sunlight on the Martian surface,” NASA wrote in the tweet. “Also in the dispatch: this snapshot from the lander’s arm showing the instruments in their new home.”

The InSight spacecraft landed on Mars on Monday after six-month journey to the planet. The dispatch that included the first clear photo of Mars from the mission were relayed to Earth by the Mars Odyssey orbiter.

“The InSight team can rest a little easier tonight now that we know the spacecraft solar arrays are deployed and recharging the batteries,” Tom Hoffman, a project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which leads the mission, said in a statement.

More pictures of the Red Planet may be beamed back in the coming days.

Soon, the mission team will unfurl InSight’s robotic arm and use the attached camera to snap photos of the ground for scientists to determine where to place the spacecraft’s instruments, NASA said.

Click here for more from The New York Post.

Newly-released images offer first glimpse of next-generation Marine One prototype

Newly-released images show the prototype of the next-generation Marine One helicopter landing on the White House South Lawn.

A spokesman for the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), which is overseeing development of the new presidential helicopter, told Fox News that the pictures were taken during testing on Sep. 22.

The images show the Sikorsky-built VH-92A helicopter painted in the traditional presidential airlift colors.

TRUMP'S NEW 'BEAST' LIMOUSINE SPOTTED ROAMING NEW YORK CITY

“There isn’t a part of this helicopter that isn’t tested – down to the paint,” explained the NAVAIR spokesman. “We took delivery from Sikorsky in August and began testing.”

The new helicopter is expected to be ready for deployment in late 2020. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Hunter Helis)

The images were first reported by The Drive website.

The aircraft is the first of six test aircraft developed under the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the project, according to NAVAIR. This includes the design, certification and testing of a replacement helicopter “to support the presidential world-wide vertical-lift mission.”

ARMY AND AIR FORCE CRAFT NEW JOINT COMBAT ATTACK PLAN

The landing and take-offs were part of a comprehensive test plan designed to ensure the aircraft meets all operational specifications, NAVAIR said.

Citing a GAO report, The Drive notes that the helicopter’s impact on the White House lawn is an important part of the testing process.

The prototype, known as Engineering Design Model (EDM 1) is the result of a years-long effort to build the new Marine One helicopters.

“The whole program is going exceptionally well,” the NAVAIR spokesman told Fox News.

ARMY SETS SIGHTS ON NEW SNIPER CAMOUFLAGE

The new helicopter is expected to be ready for deployment in late 2020. The White House Military Office will make the decision on when it will actually be used by the President, according to NAVAIR.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

NASA’s InSight beams back breathtakingly clear photo of Mars

NASA’s spacecraft that landed on Mars Monday has beamed back its first clear photo of the desolate Red Planet.

“There’s a quiet beauty here. Looking forward to exploring my new home,” NASA tweeted late Monday, hours after its new InSight lander touched down.

The image came after the rover had earlier sent back a somewhat blurry photo. The space agency said that in the interim the spacecraft had opened its solar panels, which allowed it to recharge its batteries for the mission.

“Our Mars Odyssey orbiter phoned home, relaying news from @NASAInSight indicating its solar panels are open & collecting sunlight on the Martian surface,” NASA wrote in the tweet. “Also in the dispatch: this snapshot from the lander’s arm showing the instruments in their new home.”

The InSight spacecraft landed on Mars on Monday after six-month journey to the planet. The dispatch that included the first clear photo of Mars from the mission were relayed to Earth by the Mars Odyssey orbiter.

“The InSight team can rest a little easier tonight now that we know the spacecraft solar arrays are deployed and recharging the batteries,” Tom Hoffman, a project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which leads the mission, said in a statement.

More pictures of the Red Planet may be beamed back in the coming days.

Soon, the mission team will unfurl InSight’s robotic arm and use the attached camera to snap photos of the ground for scientists to determine where to place the spacecraft’s instruments, NASA said.

Click here for more from The New York Post.

Newly-released images offer first glimpse of next-generation Marine One prototype

Newly-released images show the prototype of the next-generation Marine One helicopter landing on the White House South Lawn.

A spokesman for the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), which is overseeing development of the new presidential helicopter, told Fox News that the pictures were taken during testing on Sep. 22.

The images show the Sikorsky-built VH-92A helicopter painted in the traditional presidential airlift colors.

TRUMP'S NEW 'BEAST' LIMOUSINE SPOTTED ROAMING NEW YORK CITY

“There isn’t a part of this helicopter that isn’t tested – down to the paint,” explained the NAVAIR spokesman. “We took delivery from Sikorsky in August and began testing.”

The new helicopter is expected to be ready for deployment in late 2020. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Hunter Helis)

The images were first reported by The Drive website.

The aircraft is the first of six test aircraft developed under the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the project, according to NAVAIR. This includes the design, certification and testing of a replacement helicopter “to support the presidential world-wide vertical-lift mission.”

ARMY AND AIR FORCE CRAFT NEW JOINT COMBAT ATTACK PLAN

The landing and take-offs were part of a comprehensive test plan designed to ensure the aircraft meets all operational specifications, NAVAIR said.

Citing a GAO report, The Drive notes that the helicopter’s impact on the White House lawn is an important part of the testing process.

The prototype, known as Engineering Design Model (EDM 1) is the result of a years-long effort to build the new Marine One helicopters.

“The whole program is going exceptionally well,” the NAVAIR spokesman told Fox News.

ARMY SETS SIGHTS ON NEW SNIPER CAMOUFLAGE

The new helicopter is expected to be ready for deployment in late 2020. The White House Military Office will make the decision on when it will actually be used by the President, according to NAVAIR.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers