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Liftoff! NASA’s Artemis I Mega Rocket Launches Orion to Moon

Following a successful launch of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket in the world, the agency’s Orion spacecraft is on its way to the Moon as part of the Artemis program.

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NASA’s Space Launch System rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft launches on the Artemis I flight test, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, from Launch Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA’s Artemis I mission is the first integrated flight test of the agency’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and ground systems. SLS and Orion launched at 1:47 a.m. EST, from Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Following a successful launch of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), the most powerful rocket in the world, the agency’s Orion spacecraft is on its way to the Moon as part of the Artemis program. Carrying an uncrewed Orion, SLS lifted off for its flight test debut at 1:47 a.m. EST Wednesday from Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.  

The launch is the first leg of a mission in which Orion is planned to travel approximately 40,000 miles beyond the Moon and return to Earth over the course of 25.5 days. Known as Artemis I, the mission is a critical part of NASA’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, in which the agency explores for the benefit of humanity. It’s an important test for the agency before flying astronauts on the Artemis II mission. 

“What an incredible sight to see NASA’s Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft launch together for the first time. This uncrewed flight test will push Orion to the limits in the rigors of deep space, helping us prepare for human exploration on the Moon and, ultimately, Mars,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.  

 
NASA’s Space Launch System rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft launches on the Artemis I flight test, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022, from Launch Complex 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. NASA’s Artemis I mission is the first integrated flight test of the agency’s deep space exploration systems: the Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and ground systems. SLS and Orion launched at 1:47 a.m. EST, from Launch Pad 39B at the Kennedy Space Center.Credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky

After reaching its initial orbit, Orion deployed its solar arrays and engineers began performing checkouts of the spacecraft’s systems. About 1.5 hours into flight, the rocket’s upper stage engine successfully fired for approximately 18 minutes to give Orion the big push needed to send it out of Earth orbit and toward the Moon.  

Orion has separated from its upper stage and is on its outbound coast to the Moon powered by its service module, which is the propulsive powerhouse provided by ESA (European Space Agency) through an international collaboration. 

“It’s taken a lot to get here, but Orion is now on its way to the Moon,” said Jim Free, NASA deputy associate administrator for the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate. “This successful launch means NASA and our partners are on a path to explore farther in space than ever before for the benefit of humanity.”

Over the next several hours, a series of 10 small science investigations and technology demonstrations, called CubeSats, will deploy from a ring that connected the upper stage to the spacecraft. Each CubeSat has its own mission that has the potential to fill gaps in our knowledge of the solar system or demonstrate technologies that may benefit the design of future missions to explore the Moon and beyond. 

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Orion’s service module will also perform the first of a series of burns to keep Orion on course toward the Moon approximately eight hours after launch. In the coming days, mission controllers at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston will conduct additional checkouts and course corrections as needed. Orion is expected to fly by the Moon on Nov. 21, performing a close approach of the lunar surface on its way to a distant retrograde orbit, a highly stable orbit thousands of miles beyond the Moon.  

“The Space Launch System rocket delivered the power and performance to send Orion on its way to the Moon,” said Mike Sarafin, Artemis I mission manager. “With the accomplishment of the first major milestone of the mission, Orion will now embark on the next phase to test its systems and prepare for future missions with astronauts.”  

The SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft arrived at Kennedy’s Launch Pad 39B on Nov. 4 where they rode out Hurricane Nicole. Following the storm, teams conducted thorough assessments of the rocket, spacecraft, and associated ground systems and confirmed there were no significant impacts from the severe weather.

Engineers previously rolled the rocket back to the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) Sept. 26 ahead of Hurricane Ian and after waving off two previous launch attempts Aug. 29 due to a faulty temperature sensor, and Sept. 4 due to a liquid hydrogen leak at an interface between the rocket and mobile launcher. Prior to rolling back to the VAB, teams successfully repaired the leak and demonstrated updated tanking procedures. While in the VAB, teams performed standard maintenance to repair minor damage to the foam and cork on the thermal protection system and recharge or replace batteries throughout the system. 

Artemis I is supported by thousands of people around the world, from contractors who built Orion and SLS, and the ground infrastructure needed to launch them, to international and university partners, to small businesses supplying subsystems and components.  

Through Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the surface of the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a steppingstone for astronauts on the way to Mars. 

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View more photos of Artemis I at:

https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzG1pG

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A greener internet of things with no wires attached

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Credit: 2022 KAUST; Heno Hwang
Wirelessly powered electronics developed by KAUST researchers could help to make internet of things technology more environmentally friendly.
« A greener internet of things with no wires attached

Newswise — Emerging forms of thin-film device technologies that rely on alternative semiconductor materials, such as printable organics, nanocarbon allotropes and metal oxides, could contribute to a more economically and environmentally sustainable internet of things (IoT), a KAUST-led international team suggests.

The IoT is set to have a major impact on daily life and many industries. It connects and facilitates data exchange between a multitude of smart objects of various shape and size — such as remote-controlled home security systems, self-driving cars equipped with sensors that detect obstacles on the road, and temperature-controlled factory equipment — over the internet and other sensing and communications networks.

This burgeoning hypernetwork is projected to reach trillions of devices by next decade, boosting the number of sensor nodes deployed in its platforms.

Current approaches used to power sensor nodes rely on battery technology, but batteries need regular replacement, which is costly and environmentally harmful over time. Also, the current global production of lithium for battery materials may not keep up with the increasing energy demand from the swelling number of sensors.

Wirelessly powered sensor nodes could help achieve a sustainable IoT by drawing energy from the environment using so-called energy harvesters, such as photovoltaic cells and radio-frequency (RF) energy harvesters, among other technologies. Large-area electronics could be key in enabling these power sources.

KAUST alumni Kalaivanan Loganathan, with Thomas Anthopoulos and coworkers, assessed the viability of various large-area electronic technologies and their potential to deliver ecofriendly, wirelessly powered IoT sensors.

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Large-area electronics have recently emerged as an appealing alternative to conventional silicon-based technologies thanks to significant progress in solution-based processing, which has made devices and circuits easier to print on flexible, large-area substrates. They can be produced at low temperatures and on biodegradable substrates such as paper, which makes them more ecofriendly than their silicon-based counterparts.

Over the years, Anthopoulos’ team has developed a range of RF electronic components, including metal-oxide and organic polymer-based semiconductor devices known as Schottky diodes. “These devices are crucial components in wireless energy harvesters and ultimately dictate the performance and cost of the sensor nodes,” Loganathan says.

Key contributions from the KAUST team include scalable methods for manufacturing RF diodes to harvest energy reaching the 5G/6G frequency range. “Such technologies provide the needed building blocks toward a more sustainable way to power the billions of sensor nodes in the near future,” Anthopoulos says.

The team is investigating the monolithic integration of these low-power devices with antenna and sensors to showcase their true potential, Loganathan adds.

Journal Link: Nature Electronics

Source: King Abdullah University of Science & Technology (KAUST)

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Luxury Travel Advisors, Partners Applaud the Success of Inaugural Internova PLUS Event in San Diego

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Part strategic meeting, part celebration, Internova Travel Group’s three-day program focused on collaboration, imagination and connection

NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ — Top luxury travel advisors, travel agencies and providers have new opportunities to work together as a result of Internova Travel Group’s inaugural Internova PLUS event, held Jan. 17-20 in San Diego, California.

Internova, one of the world’s largest travel services companies, handpicked 125 luxury travel advisors from across each of its brands, including ALTOUR, Global Travel Collection, Nexion Travel Group and Travel Leaders Network.

At Internova PLUS in San Diego, Calif. (l-r): Jonas Schneider, Assistant Director of Sales, Grand Resort Bad Ragaz; Albert Herrera, Executive Vice President, Partner Relations, Internova Travel Group; Lauren Beall, Luxury Travel Advisor, Protravel International, Global Travel Collection; Sven Flory, Director of Sales, The Bürgenstock Collection; and J.D. O’Hara, Chief Executive Officer, Internova Travel Group

Participants were selected based on a range of criteria, including advisors who are in the top 20 percent of luxury bookers, with average annual sales exceeding $2.5 million; contribute to elevating the industry through collaboration and sharing knowledge; take an innovative approach to their business development; and are rising stars who have been in the industry for less than five years.

The 85 supplier partners represented an airline, cruise lines and hotel brands, as well as tour operators from destinations around the world.

The event won raves from travel advisors.

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“Internova PLUS is a big deal,” said Leah Iudice, a luxury travel advisor with Nexion Travel Group. “It was an honor to be part of this select group of travel advisors. I learned an incredible amount and I’m returning home with fresh ideas for my business. I’m so excited to offer my clients even more high-end travel options in partnership with Internova.”

“The vibe at Internova PLUS was so relaxed, and that was incredibly conducive to building new relationships,” said Jeffrey Brothers, a luxury travel advisor with Global Travel Collection.

“Anyone can talk about how much they appreciate their travel advisors but at Internova, they show it,” said luxury travel advisor Caryl Halpin from Global Travel Collection. “Internova PLUS is a perfect example of the high level of personal attention and tremendous support that Internova provides its travel advisors. Everything about this event was carefully curated to help us grow our businesses and strengthen our relationships with some of the most important brands in luxury travel.”

Diane Frisch, a luxury travel advisor with Nexion Travel Group, noted that Internova PLUS is the latest in a series of company events that are geared toward supporting luxury travel advisors. “Internova has made a commitment to the luxury category unlike any I have ever seen,” said Frisch. “This event proves that if you’re a luxury travel advisor, you need to be affiliated with Internova. It’s not only the most valuable conference I have ever been to, it’s my favorite.”

Likewise, travel suppliers were also impressed with the event.

“Internova PLUS proved that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” said Tristan Dowell, Global Vice President, Luxury, Lifestyle and Leisure for Hyatt Hotels. “Not only did we have important conversations with travel advisors, we were also able to connect with friendly competitors in an impactful way.”

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“The size, the professionalism and variety of the advisors, as well the quality of the content, were all incredible,” said Ludovic Cayacy, Director of Sales at the Four Seasons Hotel George V, in Paris. “Internova PLUS ticked all the boxes.”

“I received an inquiry from every appointment I had,” said Rebecca Slater, owner of Rebecca Recommends, one of the leading luxury travel representation companies in the United States. “I can’t remember that ever happening at a meeting before.”

Internova PLUS, held at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, was designed to push the boundaries of traditional event programming by bringing together participants through an intimate, innovative approach. Attendees tackled critical industry topics in “Think Tank” sessions, met one-on-one, enjoyed small group dinners and engaged in structured networking that fostered creativity and collaboration. There were opportunities to bond informally through activities like hiking, bocce, pickleball, beer and wine tasting and a sustainability tour.

“We are proud of what we put together for our partners and advisors,” said Albert Herrera, Executive Vice President, Partner Relations at Internova. “The discussions that happened at Internova PLUS will shape the next year of luxury travel.” 

Herrera announced that the next Internova PLUS event will take place Jan. 16-19, 2024, at the soon-to-be-opened Pendry Newport Beach, in Orange County, California.

To learn more about Internova and its portfolio of travel agency brands, please visit https://internova.com.

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About Internova Travel Group 
Internova Travel Group is one of the largest travel services companies in the world with a collection of leading brands delivering high-touch, personal travel expertise to leisure and corporate clients. Internova manages leisure, business and franchise firms through a portfolio of distinctive divisions. Internova represents more than 100,000 travel advisors in over 6,000 company-owned and affiliated locations predominantly in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, with a presence in more than 80 countries.

SOURCE Internova Travel Group

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NASA to Test Nuclear Engine Soon for Future Mars Missions

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NASA and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or “DARPA,” announced Tuesday a collaboration to demonstrate a nuclear thermal rocket engine in space, an enabling capability for NASA crewed missions to Mars.

https://stmdailynews.com/nasa-darpa-will-test-nuclear-engine-for-future-mars-missions/

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