13 Reasons to Have an Out-of-This-World Friday (the 13th)
1. Not all of humanity is bound to the ground
Since 2000, the International Space Station has been continuously occupied by humans. There, crew members live and work while conducting important research that benefits life on Earth and will even help us eventually travel to deep space destinations, like Mars.
2. We’re working to develop quieter supersonic aircraft that would allow you to travel from New York to Los Angeles in 2 hours
We are working hard to make flight greener, safer and quieter – all while developing aircraft that travel faster, and building an aviation system that operates more efficiently. Seventy years after Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 aircraft, we’re continuing that supersonic X-plane legacy by working to create a quieter supersonic jet with an aim toward passenger flight.
3. The spacecraft, rockets and systems developed to send astronauts to low-Earth orbit as part of our Commercial Crew Program is also helping us get to Mars
Changes to the human body during long-duration spaceflight are significant challenges to solve ahead of a mission to Mars and back. The space station allows us to perform long duration missions without leaving Earth’s orbit.
Although they are orbiting Earth, space station astronauts spend months at a time in near-zero gravity, which allows scientists to study several physiological changes and test potential solutions. The more time they spend in space, the more helpful the station crew members can be to those on Earth assembling the plans to go to Mars.
4. We’re launching a spacecraft in 2018 that will go “touch the Sun”
In the summer of 2018, we’re launching Parker Solar Probe, a spacecraft that will get closer to the Sun than any other in human history. Parker Solar Probe will fly directly through the Sun’s atmosphere, called the corona. Getting better measurements of this region is key to understanding our Sun.
For instance, the Sun releases a constant outflow of solar material, called the solar wind. We think the corona is where this solar wind is accelerated out into the solar system, and Parker Solar Probe’s measurements should help us pinpoint how that happens.
5. You can digitally fly along with spacecraft…that are actually in space…in real-time!
NASA’s Eyes are immersive, 3D simulations of real events, spacecraft locations and trajectories. Through this interactive app, you can experience Earth and our solar system, the universe and the spacecraft exploring them. Want to watch as our Juno spacecraft makes its next orbit around Juno? You can! Or relive all of the Voyager mission highlights in real-time? You can do that too! Download the free app HERE to start exploring.
6. When you feel far away from home, you can think of the New Horizons spacecraft as it heads toward the Kuiper Belt, and the Voyager spacecraft are beyond the influence of our sun…billions of miles away
Our New Horizons spacecraft completed its Pluto flyby in July 2015 and has continued on its way toward the Kuiper Belt. The spacecraft continues to send back important data as it travels toward deeper space at more than 32,000 miles per hour, and is ~3.2 billion miles from Earth.
In addition to New Horizons, our twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft are exploring where nothing from Earth has flown before. Continuing on their more-than-37-year journey since their 1977 launches, they are each much farther away from Earth and the sun than Pluto. In August 2012, Voyager 1 made the historic entry into interstellar space, the region between the stars, filled with material ejected by the death of nearby stars millions of years ago.
7. There are humans brave enough to not only travel in space, but venture outside space station to perform important repairs and updates during spacewalks
Just this month (October 2017) we’ve already had two spacewalks on the International Space Station…with another scheduled on Oct. 20.
Spacewalks are important events where crew members repair, maintain and upgrade parts of the International Space Station. These activities can also be referred to as EVAs – Extravehicular Activities. Not only do spacewalks require an enormous amount of work to prepare for, but they are physically demanding on the astronauts. They are working in the vacuum of space in only their spacewalking suit.
8. Smart people are up all night working in control rooms all over NASA to ensure that data keeps flowing from our satellites and spacecraft
Our satellites and spacecraft help scientists study Earth and space. Missions looking toward Earth provide information about clouds, oceans, land and ice. They also measure gases in the atmosphere, such as ozone and carbon dioxide and the amount of energy that Earth absorbs and emits. And satellites monitor wildfires, volcanoes and their smoke.
9. A lot of NASA-developed tech has been transferred for use to the public
Our Technology Transfer Program highlights technologies that were originally designed for our mission needs, but have since been introduced to the public market. HERE are a few spinoff technologies that you might not know about.
10. We have a spacecraft currently traveling to an asteroid to collect a sample and bring it back to Earth
OSIRIS-REx is our first-ever mission that will travel to an asteroid and bring a sample of it back to Earth. Currently, the spacecraft is on its way to asteroid Bennu where it will survey and map the object before it “high-fives” the asteroid with its robotic arm to collect a sample, which it will send to Earth.
If everything goes according to plan, on Sept. 24, 2023, the capsule containing the asteroid sample will make a soft landing in the Utah desert.
11. There are Earth-sized planets outside our solar system that may be habitable
To date, we have confirmed 3,000+ exoplanets, which are planets outside our solar system that orbit a Sun-like star. Of these 3,000, some are in the habitable zone – where the temperature is just right for liquid water to exist on the surface.
In 1960, the United States put its first Earth-observing environmental satellite into orbit around the planet. Over the decades, these satellites have provided invaluable information, and the vantage point of space has provided new perspectives on Earth.
The beauty of Earth is clear, and the artistry ranges from the surreal to the sublime.
13. We’re building a telescope that will be able to see the first stars ever formed in the universe
Wouldn’t it be neat to see a period of the universe’s history that we’ve never seen before? That’s exactly what the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be able to do…plus more!
Specifically, Webb will see the first objects that formed as the universe cooled down after the Big Bang. We don’t know exactly when the universe made the first stars and galaxies – or how for that matter. That is what we are building Webb to help answer.
Happy Friday the 13th! We hope it’s out-of-this-world!
“If your dream only includes you, it’s too small.”
On her birthday, here is the infallible, authentic, and pioneering Queen Ava DuVernay collaborating on her many sets.
“Let Ava DuVernay tell the stories she wants to tell in the way she wants to tell them. If one of these stories just so happens to center around a man in spandex, then DuVernay has already exhibited the necessary skill and strength to make this movie, free of studio mandates, legacy liabilities, and fanboy entitlements. At this point, I’d watch her direct a drivers ed tutorial. Like the great cinematic genre-hoppers who came before her, DuVernay’s directorial print contains multitudes, and the future of cinema suddenly seems a hell of a lot brighter knowing that her inimitably unpredictable vision is a part of it.” — Matthew Eng
Tread lightly today, friends, for long before the 13th of February was known as Galentine’s Day, it was the cursed Valentine’s the 13th—a day of romantic horror and devilish disappointment. Every aching heart who finally expressed their true feelings on this day was fantastically rejected. Partners fought. Sometimes, to the death. Once, a couple who decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day one day earlier to better accommodate their schedules, had their fancy French dinner turn into a talking rhinoceros with a backwards baseball cap who bullied them for 9 years. Luckily, they used a local Denny’s for refuge. It was open 24/7 and the rhino couldn’t fit through the door oh and also we don’t serve rhino food. Anyway. You’ve been warned, lonely hearts to be.
Lemonade (dir. Kahlil Joseph and Beyoncé Knowles Carter)
Certain Women (dir. Kelly Reichardt)
Little Men (dir. Ira Sachs)
Elle (dir. Paul Verhoeven)
13th (dir. Ava Duvernay)
American Honey (dir. Andrea Arnold)
The Fits (dir. Anna Rose Holmer)
Green Room (dir. Jeremy Saulnier)
88:88 (dir. Isiah Medina)
Toni Erdmann (dir. Maren Ade)
20th Century Women (dir. Mike Mills)
Pete’s Dragon (dir. David Lowery)
Personal Shopper (dir. Olivier Assayas)
The Handmaiden (dir. Park Chan-wook)
Paterson (dir. Jim Jarmusch)
Neon Bull (dir. Gabriel Mascaro)
The Invitation (dir. Karyn Kusama)
10 Cloverfield Lane (dir. Dan Trachtenberg)
La La Land (dir. Damien Chazelle)
Mountains May Depart (dir. Jia Zhangke)
Wiener-Dog (dir. Todd Solondz)
The Love Witch (dir. Anna Biller)
Everybody Wants Some!! (dir. Richard Linklater)
The Eyes of My Mother (dir. Nicolas Pesce)
Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order):Arrival (dir. Denis Villeneuve) |Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (dir. Zack Snyder) |A Bigger Splash (dir. Luca Guadagnino) |Don’t Breathe (dir. Fede Alvarez) |Jackie (dir. Pablo Larraín) | Julieta (dir. Pedro Almodóvar)| Krisha (dir. Trey Edward Shults) |Kubo and the Two Strings (dir. Travis Knight) |Louder Than Bombs (dir. Joachim Trier) |Manchester by the Sea (dir. Kenneth Lonergan) | No Home Movie (dir. Chantal Akerman) | Things to Come (dir. Mia Hansen-Løve) |Train to Busan (dir. Yeon Sang-ho) |The Wailing (dir. Na Hong-jin) |The Witch (dir. Robert Eggers)
Films I Missed:Aquarius|Cameraperson|Cosmos|The Edge of Seventeen | Embrace of the Serpent | Fences | Fire at Sea | Henry Gamble’s Birthday Party | Hidden Figures | I Am Not Your Negro | A Monster Calls | Neruda |Nocturama | O.J.: Made in America | The Ornithologist | Right Now, Wrong Then| Shin Godzilla | The Woman Who Left
People say all the time, ‘Well, I don’t understand how people could have tolerated slavery?’ 'How could they have made peace with that?’ 'How could people have gone to a lynching and participated in that?’ 'That’s so crazy, if I was living in that time I would never have tolerated anything like that.’ And the truth is we are living in this time, and we are tolerating it.