(AGENPARL) – mar 13 dicembre 2022 December 13, 2022
NASA’s Big 2022: Historic Moon Mission, Webb Telescope Images, More
[NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, left, Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, second from left, Associate Administrator Bob Cabana, second from right, and Michelle Jones of Communications, right, on stage at all hands at NASA Headquarters in Washington. ](https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/nasa_2022_town_hall.jpg)
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, left, NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy, second from left, NASA Associate Administrator Bob Cabana, second from right, and Michelle Jones of NASA Communications, right, are seen Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, during an end-of-the year all hands with senior leadership at the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building in Washington. Nelson, Melroy, and Cabana highlighted the agency’s 2022 accomplishments and looked forward to what is coming in 2023 and beyond. Credits: NASA/Joel Kowsky
2022 is one for the history books as NASA caps off another astronomical year.
NASA launched its mega Moon rocket for the first time, sending its uncrewed Orion spacecraft around the Moon; kicked off a new era in astronomy with the Webb Space Telescope’s record-breaking new imagery from the cosmos; moved an asteroid in humanity’s first ever planetary defense demonstration; working with its partners, sent astronauts on regular missions to the International Space Station, tested new technologies, including an inflatable heat shield for Mars; continued development of quieter supersonic aircraft, and much more.
On Nov. 28, 2022, Orion reached its maximum distance from Earth during the Artemis I mission when it was 268,563 miles away from our home planet.
“There is no doubt that 2022 was out of this world! From the history-making splashdown of the Artemis I mission, to the groundbreaking images from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope to the innovative LOFTID technology demonstration, the smashing success of the DART mission, incredible progress in our aeronautics programs, and the growth of partnerships with commercial and international partners,
2022 will go down in the history books as one of the most accomplished years across all of NASA’s missions,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. “There’s so much to look forward to in 2023 too: More stunning discoveries from Webb telescope, climate missions that will tell us more about how our Earth is changing, continued science on the International Space Station, groundbreaking aeronautics developments with the X-59 and X-57 experimental aircraft, the selection of the first astronauts to go to the Moon in more than 50 years, and more. Space is the place and NASA proves humanity’s reach is limitless!”
In support of the Biden-Harris Administration’s priorities, the agency remained a global leader in providing data related to climate change including unveiling a concept for a new Earth Information Center, and published NASA’s first Equity Action Plan. Congress also passed, for the first time in five years, a NASA Authorization Act. And in 2022, NASA reached a decade of excellence by being named as the Best Place to Work in the federal government among large agencies by the Partnership for Public Service for an unprecedented 10th consecutive time.
Below is a summary of accomplishments, demonstrating how in 2022, NASA explored the unknown in air and space, innovated for the benefit of humanity, and inspired the world through discovery.
Preparing for human lunar exploration
Among the accomplishments for NASA’s human spaceflight programs, the agency [successfully launched](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/liftoff-nasa-s-artemis-i-mega-rocket-launches-orion-to-moon), for the first time, its Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, which put NASA’s Orion spacecraft on a path that traveled farther than any spacecraft built for astronauts has been before. Through Artemis, the agency advanced plans to send the first woman and first of color to the Moon. Leading up to the historic
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.
Nov. 16 launch of Artemis I, as well as a successful Orion splashdown on Dec. 11, NASA completed multiple key milestones for SLS, Orion, and ground systems:
– Worked to assemble [the rocket’s core stage](https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/multimedia/artemis-ii-engine-section-moves-to-final-assembly.html) at the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans and the [crew module](https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/engineers-power-up-crew-module-for-first-artemis-mission-with-astronauts) at Kennedy, [selected the vehicle](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/artemis-astronauts-will-ride-in-style-in-new-crew-transportation-vehicles) that will transport astronauts to the launch pad, and [qualified](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/final-nasa-test-qualifies-orion-s-abort-system-for-crewed-artemis-missions) the final launch abort system engine for the Artemis II mission, the first flight with crew.
– Completed [manufacturing](https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/nasa-supplier-completes-manufacturing-artemis-iii-sls-booster-motors.html) the booster segments and delivered the engine section to Kennedy for the Artemis III mission, which will be humanity’s first return to the lunar surface in more than 50 years and land the first woman on the Moon.
– [Fired](https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/nasa-completes-test-firing-of-future-artemis-booster-motor.html) a ground-based version of a booster in Promontory, Utah, for future missions, completed the [critical design review](https://www.nasa.gov/exploration/systems/sls/nasa-progresses-design-of-more-powerful-sls-rocket.html) for the more powerful evolved configuration of the SLS rocket, known as Block 1B, and began moving toward a [services contract model](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-prepares-for-space-launch-system-rocket-services-contract) for long-term SLS hardware production and operations to reduce costs.
The agency also completed numerous key Artemis milestones that will ensure not only a human return to the lunar surface, but long-term exploration on and around the Moon in preparation for sending the first astronauts to Mars:
– Identified [13 candidate landing regions](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-identifies-candidate-regions-for-landing-next-americans-on-moon) near the lunar South Pole where the next American astronauts on the Moon could land during Artemis III, [selected](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-taps-axiom-space-for-first-artemis-moonwalking-spacesuits) Axiom Space to provide the moonwalking system, including spacesuits, that astronauts will use during Artemis III, as well as [awarded a task order](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-taps-collins-aerospace-to-develop-new-space-station-spacesuits)to Collins Aerospace to develop new spacesuits for the International Space Station.
– Awarded a [contract modification to SpaceX](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-spacex-second-contract-option-for-artemis-moon-landing-0) to further develop its Starship human landing system to meet agency requirements for long-term human exploration of the Moon, including a second crewed landing demonstration mission during Artemis IV, and announced a call to companies to [provide proposals](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-pursues-astronaut-lunar-landers-for-future-artemis-moon-missions) for sustainable lunar lander development as the agency works toward a regular cadence of Moon landings beyond Artemis IV.
– Issued a [draft request for proposals](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-makes-progress-with-new-lunar-terrain-vehicle-moon-rover-services) for Lunar Terrain Vehicle services to solicit companies’ feedback and completed [desert analog mission with crew](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-practices-rover-operations-in-simulated-lunar-environment/index.html) in a simulated lunar environment to test pressurized rover operations and [moonwalks](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/moonwalking-test-mission-daily-field-log) for future Artemis missions.
– Built on past international partnerships for long-term exploration at the Moon with [Japan](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-japan-announce-gateway-contributions-space-station-extension) and [South Africa](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/NASA-SANSA-Renew-Lunar-Exploration-Partnership), as well as added new signatories through the Artemis Accords with [Bahrain](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/bahrain-signs-artemis-accords), [Colombia](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-welcomes-vice-president-of-colombia-for-artemis-accords-signing), [Israel](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/israel-signs-artemis-accords), [Nigeria](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-welcomes-nigeria-rwanda-as-newest-artemis-accords-signatories), [Romania](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/romania-signs-artemis-accords), [Rwanda](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-welcomes-nigeria-rwanda-as-newest-artemis-accords-signatories), and [Singapore](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/singapore-signs-artemis-accords).
– Released a revised set of [Moon to Mars Objectives](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-s-stakeholder-collaborations-help-inform-moon-to-mars-planning), forming a blueprint for shaping human exploration throughout the solar system.
– Researchers from the University of Florida grew Arabidopsis thaliana [plants in lunar soil](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/biological-physical/scientists-grow-plants-in-soil-from-the-moon) gathered during Apollo missions, showing that plants have the potential to grow on the Moon.
Maintaining human presence in low-Earth orbit
The NASA Authorization Act passed by Congress extended America’s participation in the International Space Station through at least Sept. 30, 2030, enabling the U.S. to continue to reap the benefits for the next decade while the agency works with American industry to develop commercial destinations and markets for a thriving space economy.
This was the 22nd continuous year of human presence aboard the orbiting laboratory. Here are some accomplishments in 2022:
– NASA and SpaceX successfully launched and returned crew members to and from the International Space Station from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Regular crew rotation flights to and from station continue to help maximize science in space, including:
– NASA [astronauts](https://www.nasa.gov/astronauts/biographies/active) Kayla Barron, Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kjell Lindgren, Mark Vande Hei, Bob Hines, Jessica Watkins, Frank Rubio, Nicole Mann, and Josh Cassada lived and worked aboard the station.
– This year saw Vande Hei [completing](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/record-setting-nasa-astronaut-crewmates-return-from-space-station-0) the longest single human spaceflight mission by an American with a record-breaking 355 days in space.
– Crew-3 returned to Earth in May with Barron, Chari and Marshburn, as well as ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer. During their science expedition aboard the orbiting laboratory, the Crew-3 astronauts conducted experiments, including a study on [concrete hardening](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=8538) in microgravity, research on [cotton varieties](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=8341) that could help develop drought-resistant plants, and executed a [space archaeology](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=8684) study that could provide information that contributes to the design of future space habitats.
– Crew-4 launched in April and returned in October with Hines, Lindgren, and Watkins, as well as ESA astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti after completing 170 days in orbit. Crew-4 continued work on investigations documenting how [improvements to the space diet](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7870) affect immune function and the gut microbiome, determining the effect of [fuel temperature on the flammability](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=8266) of a material, exploring possible [adverse effects on astronaut hearing](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7898) from equipment noise and microgravity, and studying whether additives [increase or decrease the stability of emulsions](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/explorer/Investigation.html?#id=7963).
– Crew-5 arrived at station in October carrying Mann and Cassada, as well as JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Koichi Wakata and Roscosmos cosmonaut Anna Kikina. Crew-5 is spending several months aboard the space station conducting new [scientific research](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/news/Crew_5_Research_Highlights) in areas such as cardiovascular health, bioprinting, and fluid behavior in microgravity to prepare for human exploration beyond low-Earth orbit and to benefit life on Earth.
– NASA and Boeing successfully launched and returned the company’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and landed in the desert of the western United States, [completing](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-boeing-complete-starliner-uncrewed-flight-test-to-space-station) the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) to the space station to help prove the system is ready to fly astronauts. Starliner and its crew of NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore and Sunita Williams are preparing for the first flight with astronauts in 2023, the final demonstration prior to regular flights to the microgravity complex.
– Crew members welcomed the first NASA-enabled private astronaut mission, Axiom Mission 1, to the orbital complex advancing the agency’s goal of commercializing low-Earth orbit.
– Space station crew members are planned to complete 14 spacewalks to upgrade and conduct maintenance at the orbiting laboratory. NASA astronauts continued work to install the International Space Station Rollout Solar Arrays (iROSA), which will increase power generation capability by up to 30% when fully complete, and its partners continued outfitting the Nauka module and new European robotic arm.
– Northrop Grumman’s Cygnus spacecraft completed its first limited reboost of the International Space Station – the first mission to feature this enhanced capability as a standard service for NASA.
– The International Space Station performed a critical demonstration focused on in-orbit housekeeping by deploying about 172 pounds of trash from the NanoRacks Bishop Airlock for a safe disposal in Earth’s atmosphere.
– Four [commercial cargo missions](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/launch/index.html) delivered more than 30,000 pounds of science investigations, tools, and critical supplies to the space station, and two returned about 8,900 pounds of investigations and equipment to researchers on Earth.
– [Selected](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-introduces-2022-class-of-flight-directors) seven new additions to the team of flight directors to oversee operations of the space station, commercial crew, and Artemis missions to the Moon.
Advancing our understanding of Earth, climate change
In 2022, NASA continued its commitment to understanding impacts of climate change on planet Earth, maintaining its role as a leader in understanding climate and Earth science. Among the accomplishments in this area, the agency:
– Launched NASA’s newest Earth science instrument to the International Space Station — the Earth Surface Mineral Dust Source Investigation, or [EMIT](https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasa-dust-detective-delivers-first-maps-from-space-for-climate-science), which is providing information about how mineral dust affects the heating and cooling of the planet and which has a [capability to detect methane](https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/methane-super-emitters-mapped-by-nasas-new-earth-space-mission).
– Plans to launch the Surface Water Ocean Topography mission in partnership with the French space agency Centre National d’Études Spatiales, which will provide a global survey of nearly all water on Earth’s surface, providing insight into the ocean’s role in how climate change unfolds.
– Announced and released the first concept for [NASA’s Earth Information Center](https://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/earth-information-center), which will allow people to see how our planet is changing. It will also provide easy-to-use information and resources to support decision makers in developing the tools they need to mitigate, adapt, and respond to climate change.
– Celebrated [50 years of the Landsat](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/landsat-legacy-nasa-usgs-program-observing-earth-from-space-turns-50) program in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, continuing to help scientists track both natural and human-caused changes on Earth’s land surface.
– Continued field campaigns that provide information about Earth’s changing climate, including impacts on the [Arctic region](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/nasa-fieldwork-studies-signs-of-climate-change-in-arctic-boreal-regions), the effects of intense summer thunderstorms, and [ocean and atmosphere dynamics](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-s-s-mode-field-campaign-deploys-to-the-pacific-ocean) and their impacts on Earth’s climate
– Along with partners, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, NASA continued to put Earth science data into the hands of America’s farmers to help them increase food security, improve crop resilience, and reduce the volatility of food prices.
– NASA [participated in the Commodity Classic](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-share-tools-resources-at-upcoming-agriculture-conference) conference for the first time, America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused educational and agricultural experience.
– NASA’s [Cynthia Rosenzweig received the 2022 World Food Prize](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/nasa-s-cynthia-rosenzweig-receives-2022-world-food-prize/) from the World Food Prize Foundation for her research to understand the relationship between climate and food systems and forecast how both will change in the future.
– Announced [NASA’s new domestic agriculture consortium](https://appliedsciences.nasa.gov/our-impact/news/university-maryland-selected-lead-nasas-us-agriculture-consortium) at the University of Maryland, which will lead management of $15 million, supporting efforts to increase and enable sustained uses of Earth observations for the advancement of U.S. agricultural practices.
– Worked with national and international partners to collaborate on a global response to climate change, with actions including [participating in](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-leaders-to-participate-in-annual-global-climate-conference/) the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference, issuing a comprehensive [climate action plan with FEMA](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-fema-release-comprehensive-climate-action-guide/), finalizing an [agreement with ESA](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-esa-finalize-agreements-on-climate-artemis-cooperation) to advance global understanding of Earth science and ensure continuity of Earth observation, and continuing a 60-year [successful partnership](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/langley/nasa-australian-space-agency-collaborate-on-earth-science) with the Australian Space Agency to study Earth’s changing climate.
– Conducted, or participated in, a series of climate change studies related to [rising sea level](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-study-rising-sea-level-could-exceed-estimates-for-us-coasts), [global surface temperatures](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/2021-tied-for-6th-warmest-year-in-continued-trend-nasa-analysis-shows/) and melting [Arctic ice](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/nasa-ice-scientists-take-flight-from-greenland-to-study-melting-arctic-ice),
– Continued planning for the next generation of Earth-observing satellites designed to propel us forward in understanding our changing planet — NASA’s [Earth System Observatory](https://science.nasa.gov/earth-science/earth-system-observatory).
– Launched two weather satellites for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, building on a partnership of over 50 years, successfully launching more than 60 satellites to improve weather forecasting, severe storm and hurricane prediction, and climate observations.
Solar system, beyond
While preparing for a robotic return to the lunar surface, NASA advanced its Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiative closer to home. Meanwhile, farther in the solar system, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope deployed and captured new images, Hubble continued to make new discoveries, the agency conducted two Venus flybys, and more:
Behind the curtain of dust and gas in these “Cosmic Cliffs” are previously hidden baby stars, now uncovered by James Webb Space Telescope.
Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, and STScI
– NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope [successfully unfolded](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-s-webb-telescope-reaches-major-milestone-as-mirror-unfolds) into its final configuration in space, including the unprecedented [deployment of its tennis court-sized sunshield](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/sunshield-successfully-deploys-on-nasa-s-next-flagship-telescope). In July, NASA and its partners unveiled Webb’s [first full-color images and spectroscopic data](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-reveals-webb-telescope-s-first-images-of-unseen-universe/). Since then, Webb has drawn back the curtain on some of the [earliest galaxies ever observed](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/nasa-s-webb-draws-back-curtain-on-universe-s-early-galaxies); studied the atmospheres of exoplanets in [more detail than ever before;](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/nasa-s-webb-reveals-an-exoplanet-atmosphere-as-never-seen-before/) and offered new views of planets in our own solar system, capturing the [clearest look at Neptune’s rings](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/new-webb-image-captures-clearest-view-of-neptune-s-rings-in-decades/) in decades. The U.S. Postal Service celebrated Webb’s successes by issuing [a new stamp](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/us-postal-service-celebrates-nasa-s-webb-telescope-with-new-stamp/) featuring an illustration of the telescope.
– NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) [successfully impacted its target asteroid](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-s-dart-mission-hits-asteroid-in-first-ever-planetary-defense-test) in the world’s first-ever test for [planetary defense](https://www.nasa.gov/specials/pdco/index.html). Since then, the mission’s Investigation Team [confirmed DART’s kinetic impact successfully moved its target asteroid](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-confirms-dart-mission-impact-changed-asteroid-s-motion-in-space) into a new orbit, marking the first-time humanity has ever altered a celestial body’s motion in space.
DART’s final look at the asteroid moonlet Dimorphos before impact. The spacecraft’s on board DRACO imager took this final image ~4 miles (~6 kilometers) from the asteroid and only 1 second before impact. DART’s impact occurred during transmission of the image to Earth, resulting in a partial picture. The image shows a patch of the asteroid that is 51 feet 16 meters) across. Ecliptic north is toward the bottom of the image. This image is shown as it appears on the DRACO detector and is mirror flipped across the x-axis from reality.
Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL
Through CLPS, NASA [selected two new science instrument suites](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-new-instruments-for-priority-artemis-science-on-moon) – including one that will study the mysterious Gruithuisen Domes for the first time – for priority Artemis science on the Moon through the agency’s Payloads and Research Investigations on the Surface of the Moon ([PRISM](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-releases-prism-call-for-potential-lunar-surface-investigations/)) call for proposals. NASA also awarded [Draper](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-draper-to-fly-research-to-far-side-of-moon) a contract to deliver Artemis science investigations to the Moon in 2025. The experiments riding on Draper’s SERIES-2 lander are headed to Schrödinger Basin, a large lunar impact crater on the far side of the Moon, close to the lunar South Pole.
– NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope spotted [the farthest individual star ever seen](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/record-broken-hubble-spots-farthest-star-ever-seen), whose light took 12.9 billion years to reach Earth – a huge leap further back in time from the previous record holder. For the first time, Hubble also [provided direct evidence](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/hubble-determines-mass-of-isolated-black-hole-roaming-our-milky-way-galaxy/) for a lone black hole drifting through interstellar space by a precise mass measurement of the phantom object.
– In a cosmic milestone, the total number of confirmed exoplanets in NASA’s Exoplanet Archive [reached 5,000](https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/news/1702/cosmic-milestone-nasa-confirms-5000-exoplanets/), representing a 30-year journey of discovery led by NASA space telescopes.
– NASA’s Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) began its science mission in space. Since then, IXPE has revealed [the shape and orientation of matter around black holes](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ixpe/news/2022/nasa-s-ixpe-reveals-shape-orientation-of-hot-matter-around-black-hole.html), surprised astronomers with [unexpected findings](https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/ixpe/news/nasa-s-ixpe-helps-unlock-the-secrets-of-famous-exploded-star.html) on the magnetic field orientations of supernova remnant Cassiopeia A, and helped solve the [mystery surrounding a black hole jet](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-s-ixpe-helps-solve-black-hole-jet-mystery/).
– Solar Cycle 25 is nearing solar maximum in 2025 and the Sun’s activity is already [exceeding expectations](https://blogs.nasa.gov/solarcycle25/2022/07/27/solar-cycle-25-is-exceeding-predictions-and-showing-why-we-need-the-gdc-mission/).
– When the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha‘apai volcano erupted in January, it sent atmospheric shock waves, sonic booms, and tsunami waves around the world. Scientists analyzed data from NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, mission and ESA’s Swarm satellites to find that [the volcano’s effects also reached space](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/sun/nasa-mission-finds-tonga-volcanic-eruption-effects-reached-space/).
– As Voyager, NASA’s longest-lived mission, [logs 45 years in space](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/voyager-nasa-s-longest-lived-mission-logs-45-years-in-space) and studies the very nature of space far beyond the planets, NASA selected [Geospace Dynamics Constellation](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-investigation-teams-to-join-geospace-dynamics-mission) to help improve our understanding of the dynamics of the Sun, the Sun-Earth connection, and the constantly changing space environment. Multi-slit Solar Explorer and HelioSwarm missions to help improve our understanding of the dynamics of the Sun, the Sun-Earth connection, and the constantly changing space environment.
– Researchers continued to pioneer scientific discovery using NASA’s Cold Atom Lab, the first [quantum physics facility](https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/ultracold-bubbles-on-space-station-open-new-avenues-of-quantum-research) aboard the International Space Station.
– Supporting future Artemis missions and lunar science with [Biological Experiment-01](https://science.nasa.gov/missions/bio-expt-01). Four investigations aboard Artemis I helped pave the way for future missions to the Moon and beyond.
– Celebrated [25 years](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jpl/nasa-marks-25-years-since-pathfinder-touched-down-on-mars) of continuous robotic exploration of Mars, with at least one spacecraft operating at all times, either on the surface or in orbit around the planet.
– The [Ingenuity Mars Helicopter](https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/) now is scouting for a possible landing spot for a future [Mars Sample Return campaign](https://mars.nasa.gov/msr/).
– NASA and ESA entered into a [formal agreement](https://mars.nasa.gov/news/9286/nasa-and-esa-agree-on-next-steps-to-return-mars-samples-to-earth/) on the next step in their campaign to return scientifically selected samples from Mars and are proceeding with the creation of a sample tube depot on the Red Planet.
– After eight successful years of science operations, the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) completed its final science flight. This now-retired mission leaves behind a legacy of scientific accomplishments and engineering ingenuity.
Developing New Technologies for Benefit of All
NASA advances capabilities for space exploration, tapping entrepreneurs, researchers, and innovators across the country for solutions that will enable missions for decades to come. From launching space missions to demonstrating advanced technologies to supporting the development of early-stage concepts, 2022 highlights include:
– CAPSTONE – short for Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment – [launched](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/capstone-launches-to-test-new-orbit-for-nasa-s-artemis-moon-missions) and [entered a unique orbit](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/capstone-forges-new-path-for-nasa-s-future-artemis-moon-missions) at the Moon, beginning its mission to test the orbit planned for Artemis’ Gateway outpost and demonstrate new technologies.
The Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator, or LOFTID, heat shield rests on the deck of the recovery boat after it splashed down and was retrieved from the Pacific Ocean.
Credits: NASA/Greg Swanson
– LOFTID, or the Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator, [successfully demonstrated](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/loftid-inflatable-heat-shield-test-a-success-early-results-show) an inflatable heat shield technology that could be used for human missions to Mars.
– The [Laser Communications Relay Demonstration](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2022/the-future-of-laser-communications) (LCRD) began its in-orbit experiments to test a new way to send data from space.
– Launched [Lunar Flashlight](https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/nasas-lunar-flashlight-has-launched-follow-the-mission-in-real-time) to the Moon, where the small satellite will use lasers to hunt for ice in permanently shadowed regions at the Moon’s South Pole.
– An instrument on the Perseverance rover, [MOXIE](https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/spacecraft/instruments/moxie/) – short for the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment – completed more runs on the Red Planet, producing a total of 140 minutes to date of breathable oxygen from Mars’ carbon dioxide rich atmosphere.
– NASA and the Department of Energy announced fission surface power [concept awards](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-announces-artemis-concept-awards-for-nuclear-power-on-moon) to three companies.
– Awarded a contract for the development of a next-generation [spaceflight computing processor](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-awards-next-generation-spaceflight-computing-processor-contract) to enable future exploration missions.
– [Selected three companies](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/three-companies-to-help-nasa-advance-solar-array-technology-for-moon) to further advance work on deployable vertical solar array systems that will help power the agency’s human and robotic exploration of the Moon under Artemis.
– More than 700 organizations from all 50 U.S. states and 46 countries joined NASA in fostering lunar technology development through the [Lunar Surface Innovation Consortium.](https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/Lunar_Surface_Innovation_Initiative)
– Winners of the inaugural [NASA TechLeap Prize](https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/features/techleap-prize-challenge-winners.html) – Autonomous Observation Challenge No. 1 tested their technologies on high-altitude balloon flights less than a year after the competition was launched.
– NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts fostered early-stage, [futuristic ideas](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-futuristic-space-technology-concepts-for-early-study), such as custom, 3D-printed spacesuits, swimming micro-robots to explore ocean worlds, and a [new kind of solar sail.](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-supported-solar-sail-could-take-science-to-new-heights)
– NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs supported the investment of approximately $230 million to hundreds of U.S. small businesses to foster technology development supporting the agency’s goals.
– NASA transferred [technologies](https://technology.nasa.gov/patents) and [software](https://software.nasa.gov/) to industry and entrepreneurs, executing 164 licensing agreements and 4,772 software usage agreements.
– Agency investments in the development of novel [roll-out solar arrays](https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/Rolling_Out_a_Path_to_Future_Space_Travel/) (ROSAs) were used to power the DART mission and enable a sufficient future power supply for the International Space Station.
– Early career researchers advanced agency capabilities in areas including nanosensor technologies, dynamic visual displays for spacesuit helmets, and modular, reconfigurable robotic arms for in-space assembly through new and continuing projects under the Early Career Initiative.
– In partnership with multiple agencies, NASA issued a [joint solicitation](https://science.nasa.gov/science-news/biological-physical/miniature-avatars-take-on-nasas-biggest-challenge) to extend the lifespan of 3D tissue chips.
Progressing toward new era of air travel
NASA worked with its partners and the private sector to advance sustainable aviation by developing and testing new green technologies that will revolutionize air transportation. The knowledge and technology generated by the agency will provide regulators and industry with new ways to integrate sustainable solutions. Over the past year, the agency:
– Supported research to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 through its [Sustainable Flight National Partnership](https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/sustainable-aviation-np/), including composite material testing under [Hi-Rate Composite Aircraft Manufacturing](https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/nasa-to-increase-sustainable-aircraft-manufacturing-with-hicam) and the development of a smaller engine core through [Hybrid Thermally Efficient Core](https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/nasas-hytec-to-help-jets-burn-less-fuel).
– Reached new milestones in its [Quesst mission](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/new-name-same-great-supersonic-mission) with its centerpiece, the X-59 quiet supersonic demonstrator aircraft, starting with [critical ground tests](https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/image-feature/x59-ground-testing.html) and ending the year with the [installation of the aircraft’s engine](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/jet-engine-installed-on-nasa-s-x-59). Other progress included wind tunnel tests at [NASA’s Glenn](https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/x-59-wind-tunnel-testing-at-nasa-glenn) Research Center in Cleveland and [in Japan](https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/x-59-model-tested-in-wind-tunnel-in-japan).
– Tested the [high-voltage systems](https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/features/x-57-high-voltage-testing-concludes.html) and [batteries](https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/feature/X-57_battery_major_milestone.html) for the all-electric X-57 Maxwell aircraft before [installing its 400-pound battery packs](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-s-x-57-maxwell-powers-up), paving the way for future ground and flight tests. The project will share its knowledge to advance U.S. development of smaller sustainable all-electric vehicles.
– Issued a [call for private sector proposals](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-to-industry-let-s-develop-flight-tech-to-reduce-carbon-emissions) under its Sustainable Flight Demonstrator project for an aircraft and technologies that can help inform the design of low-emission, single-aisle commercial airliners in the near future. NASA will issue an award in early 2023.
– [Completed ground tests](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-boeing-gather-data-to-aid-sustainable-aviation-fuel-adoption) with the Boeing ecoDemonstrator program to compare the levels of soot particles in sustainable aviation fuel versus traditional jet fuel burning in a 777-200ER aircraft’s engines.
– Formalized [an international research agreement](https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/nasas-international-collaboration-furthers-progress-in-advanced-air-mobility) and [added new partners](https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/features/aam-adds-new-partners.html) to its Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) mission. AAM projects explored how to integrate [autonomous drones](https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/features/aam-looks-toward-automation.html) and other future aircraft into [emergency response](https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/features/aam-for-emergencies.html), [healthcare](https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/features/aam-for-healthcare.html), and [perimeter surveillance](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/autonomous-drones-assist-security-team). Research also addressed the [noise new aircraft may generate](https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/features/science-of-sound-aam-noise.html) and [vertiports](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-vertiport-research-takes-flight/) they’ll need to take off and land.
– [Unveiled upgrades](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-s-upgraded-mobile-mission-control-center-to-analyze-advanced-air-mobility-flight-tests) to the AAM National Campaign’s Mobile Operations Facility, which be used to support AAM flight testing.
– Tested Transonic Truss-Braced Wing aircraft technology designed to burn 8-10% less fuel than traditional winged aircraft.
– Conducted research for the agency and private sector using its Electric Aircraft Testbed including [tests of a hybrid electric propulsion system](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/glenn/2022/nasa-ge-complete-historic-hybrid-electric-propulsion-tests/) powerful enough for a single-aisle commercial airliner.
– Advanced development of an innovative, solid-state [battery pack](https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/nasa-solid-state-battery-research-exceeds-initial-goals-draws-interest) that would be lighter, safer, and more suited to aviation than today’s batteries.
– Used a 3D printing process to [develop a new metal alloy](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/glenn/2022/nasa-s-new-material-built-to-withstand-extreme-conditions), known as GRX-810, that can be used for applications including the insides of aircraft and rocket engines. The alloy can endure temperatures over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and survive 2,000 times longer than existing alloys.
– Partnered with Boeing to [create shape-shifting devices](https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/sustainable-aviation-np/) that can raise or lower an airplane’s vortex generators, wing components that cut down on drag a save on fuel consumption.
– Provided researchers from the [Scalable Traffic Management for Emergency Response Operations](https://www.nasa.gov/ames/stereo) with training from the U.S. Forest Service and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection to understand controlled burns and aerial firefighting strategies.
– [Broke ground](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-langley-breaks-ground-for-new-wind-tunnel/) for the Flight Dynamics Research Facility at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. This new wind tunnel will have new capabilities and lower maintenance costs.
– Conducted crash tests at Langley of a [model of a midsize jet](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-langley-drops-aircraft-section) and a [full-scale urban air mobility-style passenger vehicle](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/full-scale-drop-test-of-urban-air-passenger-vehicle-model), generating data about the resilience of composite materials and the likelihood of injuries in crashes.
– [Selected new participants](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-four-university-teams-for-aviation-projects) for the University Leadership Initiative, with students and researchers taking on some of the toughest challenges in aeronautics.
– [Launched](https://www.nasa.gov/aeroresearch/nasa-competition-seeks-student-data-crunchers-for-runway-solutions) its newest competition for university students, Runway Functions: Predict Reconfigurations at U.S. Airports.
Prioritizing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA)
This year, NASA developed and launched an agencywide DEIA Strategic Plan to recruit, hire, support, engage, and retain the most talented and promising individuals, from all backgrounds and life experiences, to be part of the NASA family. NASA also:
– [Launched its first Equity Action Plan](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-releases-equity-action-plan-to-make-space-more-accessible-to-all) to expand opportunities for traditionally underserved, underrepresented, and untapped communities to work with and learn from NASA.
– Through its Spanish-language outreach, NASA continued to translate many of its products, particularly those related to the agency’s science missions. As part of the Equity Action Plan, NASA is committed to growing its Spanish-language communications team and translation capabilities.
– Ensured accessibility of NASA collected Earth science information, by making 54 of the most requested environmental data sets available on the cloud, with full transfer of NASA Earth science data to the cloud by 2025.
– Supported ongoing efforts to advance racial equity and expand research opportunities for historically underserved and underrepresented communities in the federal government through [Earth science research grants](https://www.nasa.gov/esnt/2022/nasa-awards-earth-science-research-grants-to-minority-serving-institutions) for Minority Serving Institutions.
– NASA awarded 39 proposals ($6.9 million for up to three years) focused on advancing progress on equity and environmental justice in the U.S. through the application of Earth science, geospatial, and socioeconomic information.
– Developed a 360-degree, interactive Artemis exhibit for nationwide events that includes excerpts from NASA’s [First Woman](https://www.nasa.gov/specials/calliefirst/) graphic novel and underscores the agency’s plans to land the first woman and first person of color on the Moon.
– NASA astronaut [Nicole Mann](https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/nasa_deia_strategic_plan-fy22-fy26-final_tagged.pdf) was the first Indigenous woman for NASA to go to space as part of Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station, and NASA astronaut Jessica Watkins became the [first Black woman to serve a long duration mission](https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-s-spacex-crew-4-astronauts-launch-to-international-space-station) aboard the orbiting laboratory.
– Produced and released a documentary, [The Color of Space](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-s-the-color-of-space-documentary-celebrates-black-space-explorers), featuring a conversation between seven current and former Black astronauts, each of whom were selected to become part of NASA’s astronaut corps and train for missions to space.
– Launched the [SMD Bridge Program](https://science.nasa.gov/smd-bridge-program) to foster collaboration and partnerships between NASA centers and Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Minority-Serving Institutions, Primarily Undergraduate Institutions, and high research universities. The program focuses on paid research and engineering internships, apprenticeships, and research experiences for faculty.
– Hosted a [series of dialogues](https://www.nasa.gov/feature/nasa-talks-equity-artemis-more-at-annual-black-caucus-conference) with agency leaders and other subject matter experts during the 51st Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference in Washington.
(AGENPARL) – mar 13 dicembre 2022 December 13, 2022