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NASA Tech Contributes to Soft Moon Landing, Agency Science Underway

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For the first time in more than 50 years, new NASA science instruments and technology demonstrations are operating on the Moon following the first successful delivery of the agency’s CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) initiative.

On Feb. 22, 2024, Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus lunar lander captures a wide field of view image of Schomberger crater on the Moon approximately 125 miles (200 km) uprange from the intended landing site, at approximately about 6 miles (10 km) altitude.
Credit: Intuitive Machines

Intuitive Machines’ Nova-C lander, called Odysseus, completed a seven-day journey to lunar orbit and executed procedures to softly land near Malapert A in the South Pole region of the Moon at 5:24 p.m. CST on Feb. 22. The lander is healthy, collecting solar power, and transmitting data back to the company’s mission control in Houston. The mission marks the first commercial uncrewed landing on the Moon.

Carrying six NASA science research and technology demonstrations, among other customer payloads, all NASA science instruments completed transit checkouts en route to the Moon. A NASA precision landing technology demonstration also provided critical last-minute assistance to ensure a soft landing. As part of NASA’s Artemis campaign, the lunar delivery is in the region where NASA will send astronauts to search for water and other lunar resources later this decade.

“For the first time in more than half a century, America returned to the Moon. Congratulations to Intuitive Machines for placing the lunar lander Odysseus carrying NASA scientific instruments to a place no person or machine has gone before, the lunar South Pole,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “This feat from Intuitive Machines, SpaceX, and NASA demonstrates the promise of American leadership in space and the power of commercial partnerships under NASA’s CLPS initiative. Further, this success opens the door for new voyages under Artemis to send astronauts to the Moon, then onward to Mars.” 

During the journey to the Moon, NASA instruments measured the quantity of cryogenic engine fuel as it has been used, and while descending toward the lunar surface, teams collected data on plume-surface interactions and tested precision landing technologies.

Odysseus’ surface operations are underway and expected to take place through Thursday, Feb. 29.

New lunar science, technology

NASA’s Navigation Doppler Lidar for Precise Velocity and Range Sensing (NDL) guidance system for descent and landing ultimately played a key role in aiding the successful landing. A few hours ahead of landing, Intuitive Machines encountered a sensor issue with their navigation system and leaned on NASA’s guidance system for an assist to precisely land. NASA’s instrument operates on the same principles of radar and uses pulses from a laser emitted through three optical telescopes. It measures speed, direction, and altitude with high precision during descent and touchdown.

“We are thrilled to have NASA on the Moon again, and proud of the agency’s contribution to the successful landing with our NDL technology. Congratulations for completing this first lunar delivery for NASA, paving the way for a bright future for our CLPS initiative,” said Nicky Fox. “Some of the NASA science instruments on this mission will bring us insight on lunar plume interactions and conduct radio astronomy. The valiant efforts and innovation demonstrated by Intuitive Machines is exemplary and we are excited for the upcoming lunar deliveries that will follow this first mission.”  

Now that they are on the lunar surface, NASA instruments will focus on investigating lunar surface interactions and radio astronomy. The Odysseus lander also carries a retroreflector array that will contribute to a network of location markers on the Moon for communication and navigation for future autonomous navigation technologies.

Additional NASA hardware aboard the lander includes:

  • Lunar Node 1 Navigation DemonstratorA small, CubeSat-sized experiment that will demonstrate autonomous navigation that could be used by future landers, surface infrastructure, and astronauts, digitally confirming their positions on the Moon relative to other spacecraft, ground stations, or rovers on the move.
  • Laser Retroreflector Array: A collection of eight retroreflectors that enable precision laser ranging, which is a measurement of the distance between the orbiting or landing spacecraft to the reflector on the lander. The array is a passive optical instrument and will function as a permanent location marker on the Moon for decades to come.   
  • Radio Frequency Mass Gauge: A technology demonstration that measures the amount of propellant in spacecraft tanks in a low-gravity space environment. Using sensor technology, the gauge will measure the amount of cryogenic propellant in Nova-C’s fuel and oxidizer tanks, providing data that could help predict fuel usage on future missions.   
  • Radio-wave Observations at the Lunar Surface of the Photoelectron Sheath: The instrument will observe the Moon’s surface environment in radio frequencies, to determine how natural and human-generated activity near the surface interacts with and could interfere with science conducted there.
  • Stereo Cameras for Lunar Plume-Surface Studies: A suite of four tiny cameras to capture imagery showing how the Moon’s surface changes from interactions with the spacecraft’s engine plume during and after descent.

NASA is committed to supporting its U.S. commercial vendors as they navigate the challenges of sending science and technology to the surface of the Moon.

“In daring to confront one of humanity’s greatest challenges, Intuitive Machines created an entire lunar program that has ventured farther than any American mission to land on the Moon in over 50 years,” said Altemus. “This humbling moment reminds us that pursuing the extraordinary requires both boldness and resilience.”

For more information about CLPS, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/clps

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News

Quick, Delicious Breakfasts to Start Your Day with a Bang

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(Family Features) If you’re looking for a little motivation to take on a busy day or fueling up for an adventurous weekend with the family, there’s no better way to start the morning than with a filling breakfast. However, not everyone takes full advantage of this ever-important opportunity to prepare for the day ahead.

Start Your Day

For some, skipping breakfast is due to a lack of time in the morning. For others, it isn’t about a lack of hunger or time; it’s boredom from quick solutions like cereal or a bagel.

Take your breakfast to a whole new level – without sacrificing too many precious morning minutes – with recipes you can get excited about like Basmati with Apricots, Walnuts, Yogurt and Honey. Jam-packed with flavor, it takes 5 minutes to prepare so you can serve your whole family a nutritious, filling meal even if you’re in a rush.

A long-grain rice that’s common in India, basmati is fragrant with a nutty flavor and fluffy texture that pairs well with the sweetness of dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, apricots and dates for a combination of flavor and nutrition at the breakfast table. Better yet, you can enjoy it during busy mornings with Minute Instant Basmati Rice, which is ready in just 5 minutes on the stove or in the microwave for quick, delicious, aromatic dishes.

When you’re in need of a single-serve meal that’s big on flavor but short on prep time before heading to the office, it’s hard to top a comforting breakfast scramble. This Tomato, Bacon, Onion and Cheddar Scramble is sure to awaken your taste buds while providing the energy you need to take on the day.

Fully cooked Minute Chicken & Herb Seasoned Rice Cups offer homestyle taste with carrots, onion and garlic. Ready in only 1 minute, the delicious combination of chicken, vegetables and herbs with hearty rice serves as a perfect base for savory omelets and scrambles. Plus, the BPA-free cups are a great option for an on-the-go power-up. For an even easier solution, you can eat the flavored rice right out of the cup so the breakroom or kitchen will stay clean while you enjoy a pick-me-up.

Discover more recipes that can fuel your mornings at MinuteRice.com.

Basmati with Apricots, Walnuts, Yogurt and Honey

Prep time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 2 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup Minute Instant Basmati Rice
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, diced
  • 1/3 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup fresh apples, diced (optional)
  1. Heat rice according to package directions.
  2. In cereal bowl, mix rice with apricots, walnuts and yogurt. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Top with diced apples, if desired, and serve.

Tomato, Bacon, Onion and Cheddar Scramble

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1 Minute Chicken & Herb Seasoned Rice Cup
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/8 cup diced onion
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • sliced scallions or parsley, for garnish (optional)
  1. Heat rice according to package directions.
  2. In medium, nonstick saute pan over medium heat, heat butter. Add onion and saute 1 minute.
  3. Add egg to pan and cook, stirring frequently, until scrambled and cooked through.
  4. Add rice, bacon and tomato to pan; stir to combine until heated through. Stir in cheese. Garnish with scallions or parsley, if desired, and serve.


SOURCE:
Minute Rice

At our core, we at STM Daily News, strive to keep you informed and inspired with the freshest content on all things food and beverage. From mouthwatering recipes to intriguing articles, we’re here to satisfy your appetite for culinary knowledge.

Visit our Food & Drink section to get the latest on Foodie News and recipes, offering a delightful blend of culinary inspiration and gastronomic trends to elevate your dining experience.

https://stmdailynews.com/category/food-and-beverage

You can also find food and beverage-related videos on our YouTube channel, where we regularly post new content and share tips, recipes, and demonstrations. https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEhXBupt8tVynuUhpQZMxQt4lvPmOiAtQ&si=InDwc7YaB0KIwmxy

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Science

NASA Mourns the Loss of a Legendary Astronaut and Pilot, Maj. Gen. Joe Engle

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Joe Engle
Portrait of retired NASA astronaut Joe Engle wearing flight suit in front of an X-15 fighter circa 1963.

NASA has announced with deep sorrow the passing of retired astronaut and U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Joe Engle, who died at the age of 91. Surrounded by his loving family at his home in Houston, Engle’s death marks the end of an era in American space exploration history. Engle was celebrated not only for his service as an Air Force pilot but also for his unique achievement as the only astronaut to have piloted both the hypersonic X-15 and the space shuttle.

Joe Engle

Born in Dickinson County, Kansas, in 1932, Joe Engle’s journey into the skies started at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, where he obtained his degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1955. His flying career took off rapidly, earning his pilot wings from the Air Force in 1958. Engle’s skills propelled him to the forefront of aeronautical innovation when, at the age of 32, he became the youngest pilot ever to qualify as an astronaut while flying the X-15 for the U.S. Air Air Force.

NASA’s Administrator, Bill Nelson, remembered Engle as a natural pilot whose passion and skill helped humanity’s dreams take flight. From the X-15 program, which reached the edge of space, to the pioneering days of the Apollo and Space Shuttle programs, Engle’s influence was profound. Not only was he the last surviving pilot of the formidable X-15 program, but he also commanded several key missions in the era of the space shuttles, including the maiden voyage of the shuttle Columbia’s second flight in 1981 and a critical mission aboard the Discovery in 1985.

Across these spaceflights, Engle demonstrated exceptional skill and bravery, particularly noted for being the first and only pilot to manually fly an aerospace vehicle from Mach 25 to landing, showcasing not just technical prowess but unparalleled courage.

Engle’s illustrious career spanned over various facets of aviation and space exploration. He logged more than 14,000 flight hours across 180 different aircraft types, earning numerous honors, including the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal among others.

His achievements transcended his military and spaceflight accolades. In 1992, Engle was inducted into the Aerospace Walk of Honor, a testament to a lifetime of dedication and excellence in aviation and space. Beyond these public accolades, Engle was a family man, remembered lovingly by his wife, Jeanie, as a devoted husband, father, and grandfather who was happiest when in the cockpit.

The NASA community, along with the nation, mourns the loss of a true American hero. Engle’s legacy lives on, inspiring new generations of astronauts, pilots, and engineers who look to the stars. His remarkable life reminds us of the profound impact one individual can have on the advancement of human spaceflight.

With Engle’s passing, we are reminded of the fleeting nature of human endeavors and the enduring spirit of exploration that propels humanity forward. Let us honor Joe Engle by continuing to reach for the stars with courage, determination, and a smile, just as he would have wanted.

Learn more about Engle’s life as an astronaut and pilot:

https://www.nasa.gov/aeronautics/the-x-15-the-pilot-and-the-space-shuttle/

The science section of our news blog STM Daily News provides readers with captivating and up-to-date information on the latest scientific discoveries, breakthroughs, and innovations across various fields. We offer engaging and accessible content, ensuring that readers with different levels of scientific knowledge can stay informed. Whether it’s exploring advancements in medicine, astronomy, technology, or environmental sciences, our science section strives to shed light on the intriguing world of scientific exploration and its profound impact on our daily lives. From thought-provoking articles to informative interviews with experts in the field, STM Daily News Science offers a harmonious blend of factual reporting, analysis, and exploration, making it a go-to source for science enthusiasts and curious minds alike. https://stmdailynews.com/category/science/

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  • Rod Washington

    Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

    View all posts

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Urbanism

Amtrak’s Borealis Route: Turning a Profit in Record Time

Amtrak’s Borealis route between St. Paul and Chicago turns a profit in just 11 days, setting a new standard for state-supported lines.

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Borealis route

In a recent article published by Newsweek, it was reported that Amtrak’s new Borealis route between St. Paul and Chicago achieved a remarkable feat by turning a profit in just 11 days of operation. This achievement is particularly significant as it is one of the few state-supported lines within Amtrak’s network to do so.

The Borealis route managed to generate $600,000 in operating revenue during the month of May, while keeping operating expenses at $500,000. This resulted in a notable operating profit of $100,000 within a very short timeframe. The route, which officially launched on May 21, served a total of 6,600 passengers during its initial days of operation.

This success story highlights the potential for profitability and sustainability within the realm of rail transportation, showcasing the demand for efficient and reliable intercity travel options. The rapid profitability of the Borealis route not only reflects well on Amtrak’s strategic expansion efforts but also underscores the importance of investing in and improving public transportation infrastructure.

As Amtrak continues to innovate and adapt to changing travel demands, the success of the Borealis route serves as a testament to the viability of rail travel as a competitive and lucrative mode of transportation. The positive reception and financial performance of this new route signal a promising future for Amtrak and the broader landscape of rail transportation in the United States.

For further insights and comments on this remarkable achievement, Newsweek has reached out to Amtrak for additional information. Stay tuned for updates on this groundbreaking development in the world of rail travel.

Read the article in Newsweek titled New US Rail Route Makes Profit in Less Than Two Weeks. The piece dives into the remarkable success story of a newly inaugurated rail route that has managed to break even and move into profitability in a surprisingly short span. It explores the factors contributing to this rapid financial turnaround, such as the strategic planning, advanced technology implemented, high passenger demand, and efficiency in operations. Additionally, the article provides insights from industry experts and passengers, shedding light on the broader implications for the future of rail transportation in the United States. For an in-depth understanding, visit https://www.newsweek.com/new-us-rail-route-makes-profit-less-two-weeks-1922298.


For more articles about transportation in the US and abroad, visit our Urbanism section of STM Daily News. You’ll find a wealth of information on the latest developments in urban planning, sustainable transportation initiatives, and innovative mobility solutions. Stay informed about how cities are evolving to accommodate growing populations and new technologies. https://stmdailynews.com/category/the-bridge/urbanism/

Authors

  • Rod Washington

    Rod: A creative force, blending words, images, and flavors. Blogger, writer, filmmaker, and photographer. Cooking enthusiast with a sci-fi vision. Passionate about his upcoming series and dedicated to TNC Network. Partnered with Rebecca Washington for a shared journey of love and art.

    View all posts
  • Daily News Staff

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