Sat. May 18th, 2024
On platforms suspended from the top of the 525-foot-high VAB, workers use rollers and brushes to repaint the U.S. flag on the southwest side of the Vehicle Assembly Building. The flag spans an area 209 feet by 110 feet, or about 23, 437 square feet. Each stripe is 9 feet wide and each star is 6 feet in diameter. The logo is also being painted. Known as the "meatball," the logo measures 110 feet by 132 feet, or about 12,300 square feet. The flag and logo were last painted in 1998, honoring NASA's 40th anniversary.

In this week’s newsletter, experience what it would be like to fly toward a supermassive black hole, update your calendars for the launch of NASA’s Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test, and apply to be part of the GOES-U NASA Social event. Plus, more stories you might have missed.


Beyond the Brink

Ever wonder what happens when you fall into a black hole? Now, thanks to a new, immersive visualization produced on a NASA supercomputer, viewers can plunge into the event horizon, a black hole’s point of no return.



Hunting Primordial Black Holes

A group of scientists has predicted that NASA’s Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope could find a class of elusive “featherweight” black holes.



Cooler than Expected

Researchers using NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope may have detected atmospheric gases surrounding 55 Cancri e, a rocky exoplanet 41 light-years from Earth. While 55 Cancri e is far too hot to be habitable, researchers think it could provide a unique window for studying interactions between atmospheres, surfaces, and interiors of rocky planets.



Improving Flood Prediction

Scientists and water managers have a new tool to predict flooding: freshwater data from the Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite. The satellite provides a more comprehensive, 3D look at floods, measuring their height, width, and slope.



Breaking the Scaling Limits

A team of researchers has recently developed a superconducting camera that could be used to detect faint astronomical signals in a wide range of wavelengths—from the ultraviolet to the infrared. This ultralow-noise camera could be useful in the search for Earth-like planets outside of our solar system.



NASA’s Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test

NASA’s Boeing Crew Flight Test is now targeted to launch no earlier than 6:16 p.m. EDT Friday, May 17, to the International Space Station.  

Following a thorough data review completed on May 7, United Launch Alliance decided to replace a pressure regulation valve on the liquid oxygen tank on the Atlas V rocket’s Centaur upper stage. The oscillating behavior of the valve during prelaunch operations ultimately resulted in mission teams calling a launch scrub on May 6.  

NASA astronauts Butch Wilmore and Suni Williams will remain in quarantine at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida until the next launch opportunity. The duo will be the first to launch aboard Starliner to the Space Station as part of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. 


More NASA News

The Japan-led X-ray Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission has captured a detailed spectrum of the monster black hole at the center of galaxy NGC 4151.

Fifteen years ago, human hands touched the Hubble Space Telescope for the last time. As astronauts performed finishing tasks on the telescope during its final servicing mission in May 2009, they knew they had successfully concluded one of the most challenging and ambitious series of spacewalks ever conducted.

Registration is open for digital content creators to attend the launch of NOAA’s GOES-U satellite, a mission to help improve weather observing and environmental monitoring capabilities on Earth.


From the Archives

In the 1960s, Helen Ling became a supervisor for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s computing group, a team responsible for performing trajectory calculations. Throughout her time at the center, Ling developed software for the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS), Magellan, TOPEX/Poseidon, and Mars Observer missions and retired in 1994.

Helen Ling was influential in the inclusion of women in STEM positions at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Ling encouraged women within the computing group to attend night school to obtain degrees that would allow them more professional opportunities within the center. A pioneer for women’s rights in the workplace, Ling was so admired in the computing group that those who worked under her lovingly referred to themselves as “Helen’s girls.” Many of “Helen’s girls” went on to become computer scientists and engineers within the center, thanks to the mentorship and guidance of Helen Ling.


Note: This is a NASA Publication. Formatted to fit this screen.

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By editor

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