NASA and the U.S. Department of Education signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday, strengthening the collaboration between the two agencies, including efforts to increase access to high-quality STEM and space education to students and schools across the nation.
Specifically, the agreement enhances and expands the agencies’ longstanding partnership that promotes science, technology, engineering, and math to students from diverse backgrounds to pursue an interest and a career in STEM and space industries. It reinforces the importance of Biden-Harris Administration and NASA priorities for STEM, climate, space exploration, and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility.
“The first humans who will walk on Mars and the innovators who will help humanity reach the Red Planet are students in America’s classrooms today. NASA and the Department of Education know we need the whole of the Artemis Generation – young people from all parts of America and all walks of life – to achieve big goals, overcome our greatest challenges, and inspire the world through science and discovery,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “Today’s signing, with the support of Vice President Harris and the National Space Council, continues NASA’s collaborative efforts with the Department of Education to amplify the excitement of space to all students across our country, allowing every young person to know they are a part of the Artemis Generation – today and for decades to come.”
“I am excited for this partnership with NASA that will inspire and prepare young people from all backgrounds to become our next generation of leaders in STEM fields and to propel our nation and our workforce into the future,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “From the groundbreaking Apollo mission to today’s Artemis program, which will land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon, NASA’s work has long galvanized the world to raise the bar and reach for new heights. I am proud that our agencies will continue to intentionally collaborate to enrich STEM teaching and learning in America’s classrooms; expand access to high-quality, hands-on career, technical, and space education; increase the capacity and diversity of our nation’s STEM educator workforce; and so much more.”
Both agencies participate on the White House National Science and Technology Council Committee on STEM Education, and the White House National Space Council.
NASA and the U.S. Department of Education are currently working on upcoming collaborations which include the development of an agreement to provide NASA STEM content and technical assistance for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. This initiative funds afterschool programming across the nation. NASA also is providing content for both U.S. Department of Education’s YOU Belong in STEM initiative and Your Place in Space student challenge.
Learn more about how NASA’s Office of STEM Engagement is inspiring the next generation of explorers at:
NASA’s First Asteroid Sample Has Landed, Now Secure in Clean Room
After years of anticipation and hard work by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification and Security – Regolith Explorer) team, a capsule of rocks and dust collected from asteroid Bennu finally is on Earth. It landed at 8:52 a.m. MDT (10:52 a.m. EDT) on Sunday, in a targeted area of the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range near Salt Lake City.
Within an hour and a half, the capsule was transported by helicopter to a temporary clean room set up in a hangar on the training range, where it now is connected to a continuous flow of nitrogen.
Getting the sample under a “nitrogen purge,” as scientists call it, was one of the OSIRIS-REx team’s most critical tasks today. Nitrogen is a gas that doesn’t interact with most other chemicals, and a continuous flow of it into the sample container inside the capsule will keep out earthly contaminants to leave the sample pure for scientific analyses.
The returned samples collected from Bennu will help scientists worldwide make discoveries to better understand planet formation and the origin of organics and water that led to life on Earth, as well as benefit all of humanity by learning more about potentially hazardous asteroids.
“Congratulations to the OSIRIS-REx team on a picture-perfect mission – the first American asteroid sample return in history – which will deepen our understanding of the origin of our solar system and its formation. Not to mention, Bennu is a potentially hazardous asteroid, and what we learn from the sample will help us better understand the types of asteroids that could come our way,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “With OSIRIS-REx, Psyche launch in a couple of weeks, DART’s one year anniversary, and Lucy’s first asteroid approach in November, Asteroid Autumn is in full swing. These missions prove once again that NASA does big things. Things that inspire us and unite us. Things that show nothing is beyond our reach when we work together.”
The Bennu sample – an estimated 8.8 ounces, or 250 grams – will be transported in its unopened canister by aircraft to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston on Monday, Sept. 25. Curation scientists there will disassemble the canister, extract and weigh the sample, create an inventory of the rocks and dust, and, over time, distribute pieces of Bennu to scientists worldwide.
Today’s delivery of an asteroid sample – a first for the U.S. – went according to plan thanks to the massive effort of hundreds of people who remotely directed the spacecraft’s journey since it launched on Sept. 8, 2016. The team then guided it to arrival at Bennu on Dec. 3, 2018, through the search for a safe sample-collection site between 2019 and 2020, sample collection on Oct. 20, 2020, and during the return trip home starting on May 10, 2021.
“Today marks an extraordinary milestone not just for the OSIRIS-REx team but for science as a whole,” said Dante Lauretta, principal investigator for OSIRIS-REx at the University of Arizona, Tucson. “Successfully delivering samples from Bennu to Earth is a triumph of collaborative ingenuity and a testament to what we can accomplish when we unite with a common purpose. But let’s not forget – while this may feel like the end of an incredible chapter, it’s truly just the beginning of another. We now have the unprecedented opportunity to analyze these samples and delve deeper into the secrets of our solar system.”
After traveling billions of miles to Bennu and back, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft released its sample capsule toward Earth’s atmosphere at 6:42 a.m. EDT (4:42 a.m. MDT). The spacecraft was 63,000 miles (102,000 kilometers) from Earth’s surface at the time – about one-third the distance from Earth to the Moon.
Traveling at 27,650 mph (44,500 kph), the capsule pierced the atmosphere at 10:42 a.m. EDT (8:42 a.m. MDT), off the coast of California at an altitude of about 83 miles (133 kilometers). Within 10 minutes, it landed on the military range. Along the way, two parachutes successfully deployed to stabilize and slow the capsule down to a gentle 11 mph (18 kph) at touchdown.
“The whole team had butterflies today, but that’s the focused anticipation of a critical event by a well-prepared team,” said Rich Burns, project manager for OSIRIS-REx at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “For us, this was the World Series, ninth inning, bases-loaded moment, and this team knocked it out of the park.”
Radar, infrared, and optical instruments in the air and on the ground tracked the capsule to its landing coordinates inside a 36-mile by 8.5-mile (58-kilometer by 14-kilometer) area on the range. Within several minutes, the recovery team was dispatched to the capsule’s location to inspect and retrieve it. The team found the capsule in good shape at 9:07 a.m. MDT (11:07 a.m. EDT) and then determined it was safe to approach. Within 70 minutes, they wrapped it up for safe transport to a temporary clean room on the range, where it remains under continuous supervision and a nitrogen purge.
NASA Goddard provides overall mission management, systems engineering, and the safety and mission assurance for OSIRIS-REx. The University of Arizona, Tucson leads the science team and the mission’s science observation planning and data processing. Lockheed Martin Space in Littleton, Colorado, built the spacecraft and provides flight operations. Goddard and KinetX Aerospace are responsible for navigating the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft. Curation for OSIRIS-REx, including processing the sample when it arrives on Earth, will take place at NASA Johnson. International partnerships on this mission include the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter instrument from CSA (the Canadian Space Agency) and asteroid sample science collaboration with JAXA’s (the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) Hayabusa2 mission. OSIRIS-REx is the third mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program, managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washingt on.
To learn more about the asteroid sample recovery mission visit:
Punctuate Your Day with Humor: National Punctuation Day
“Embrace the power of punctuation on National Punctuation Day and let your words dance with clarity and humor. #NationalPunctuationDay”
Attention, grammar nerds and word enthusiasts! Today, we celebrate the unsung heroes of the written word: punctuation marks! It’s National Punctuation Day, a time to pause, take a breath, and appreciate those tiny symbols that bring order to our sentences.
Imagine a world without punctuation. It would be utter chaos! Sentences would blend together, leaving us scratching our heads and desperately searching for meaning. Take a look at this sentence: “Let’s eat grandma.” Now, add a simple comma, and voila! “Let’s eat, grandma.” Crisis averted!
Punctuation marks have the power to change everything. They can turn a statement into a question, add excitement or urgency, and even make us sound sarcastic. Just one exclamation point can transform a dull sentence into an enthusiastic proclamation! “I’m going to the store” becomes “I’m going to the store!”
Let’s not forget the semicolon, the mysterious and underappreciated member of the punctuation family. It’s like the James Bond of punctuation marks—sophisticated, elegant, and capable of connecting two independent clauses with effortless grace.
So, on this National Punctuation Day, let’s raise our pens and give thanks to these unsung heroes. They may be small, but they wield a mighty influence over our words. So, use them wisely, cherish them dearly, and remember: without punctuation, we’d all be lost in a sea of confusion. Happy National Punctuation Day!
2024 Nissan Sentra: Refreshed Styling & Premium Features at $20,630
“Discover the 2024 Nissan Sentra with refreshed styling, improved fuel economy, and premium features starting at $20,630.”
Introducing the 2024 Nissan Sentra: Fresh Style and Enhanced Features at an Affordable Price
Nissan has unveiled the refreshed 2024 Sentra, and it’s better than ever. With updated styling, improved fuel economy, and additional premium features, the new Sentra is ready to impress. Starting at just $20,630, this compact sedan offers great value for money.
One of the first things you’ll notice about the 2024 Sentra is its striking design. The front fascia has been reshaped, featuring a new interpretation of Nissan’s iconic V-motion grille. The headlights have been updated, and there’s a new 16-inch alloy wheel design. For those seeking a sportier look, the SR grade boasts red SR badges, a new 18-inch alloy wheel design, and dark chrome trim for the V-motion grille.
Under the hood, the Sentra is equipped with a smooth and responsive 2.0-liter inline-four engine. Combined with a new Xtronic CVT and the integration of Idle Stop Start technology, the Sentra delivers improved fuel efficiency. The S and SV grades achieve an impressive EPA-rated 30 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, and 34 mpg combined, while the SR grade gets 30 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and 33 mpg combined.
Safety is a top priority for Nissan, and the 2024 Sentra comes equipped with Nissan Safety Shield 360 as standard across all grades. This comprehensive suite of active safety technologies includes features such as Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist, and Rear Automatic Braking.
In terms of premium features, the SV Premium Package now includes an eight-speaker Bose Premium Audio system, Intelligent Around View Monitor, and exterior mirror turn signal indicators. These additions make the package even more appealing to Sentra buyers.
With a starting price of $20,630, the 2024 Nissan Sentra offers a range of options and upgrades to meet individual preferences. Whether you opt for the S, SV, or SR grade, you’ll find a sedan that combines style, efficiency, and advanced safety features.
To learn more about the 2024 Nissan Sentra and explore its full specifications, photos, and videos, visit the official Nissan website. Stay connected with Nissan through their social media channels on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube for the latest updates on their products, services, and commitment to sustainable mobility.
Read the original press release: Sporty refresh and new technology for 2024 Nissan Sentra
Source: NISSAN Motors
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