August 27th, 2018
PASADENA, Calif. — NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine paid a go to to the house company’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory right now, Monday Aug. 27, 2018 and was supplied a assessment of NASA’s efforts to explore the Red Planet.
Guided by JPL’s officers, the brand new head of the company was given a tour of current and future Mars exploration missions. The significance of the work being completed at JPL, in addition to the attainable discoveries that there are to be made, was famous by Bridenstine himself.
“My mission at JPL today is to talk about if there’s life on other planets,” Bridenstine mentioned.
Part of that his go to included a cease by JPL’s in-situ instrumentation lab, the place a full scale mannequin of the Mars InSight lander, which is itself primarily based on the Mars Phoenix lander spacecraft (which touched down on the Vastitas Borealis area of Mars on Nov. 2, 2008) resides. InSight is scheduled to contact down on the dusty Martian plains on Nov. 26 (2018).
The subsequent a part of the tour was, in some methods, a two-parter on condition that Bridenstine was taken via the Spacecraft Assembly Facility in addition to the Space Simulator Chamber.
The Assembly Facility is the place NASA’s 2020 Mars Rover is being ready for its mission to the Red Planet. While the one-ton rover was spectacular, the subsequent a part of the tour helped spotlight one of many extra modern parts of the upcoming mission – an plane despatched to fly the Martian skies.
A reproduction of a drone helicopter that’s being readied to fly with the rover when it travels to Mars was on outstanding show throughout the tour and was on the Simulator Chamber so as to take a look at it in a “Mars-like” environment.
The Mars Helicopter Team even introduced Bridenstine with one of many car’s blades in honor of his go to, denoting the significance of this portion of the Mars 2020 mission.
Bridenstine was nominated by the President of the United States, Donald Trump, for the position of NASA Administrator on Sept. 1, 2017. He was confirmed for the place by the U.S. Senate on April 19, 2018.
Jason Rhian spent a number of years honing his expertise with internships at NASA, the National Space Society and different organizations. He has supplied content material for retailers reminiscent of: Aviation Week & Space Technology, Space.com, The Mars Society and Universe Today.