NASA’s X-59 QueSST Airplane Takes Shape at Lockheed Martin Skunk Works

October 10, 2019 – In the high desert of California, some of the most important aircraft in aviation history have been built and flown. NASA’s X-59 QueSST (short for Quiet SuperSonic Technology) is an experimental piloted aircraft designed to fly faster than sound without producing the annoying – if not alarming – sonic booms of previous supersonic aircraft. It is the latest craft to take shape at Skunk Works, a renowned Lockheed Martin division that for the past 76 years has used a unique approach to design and manufacturing that…

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Collaboration Between U.S. Navy, NOAA, and Global Space Agency Scientists Advances Monitoring and Forecasting of Tropical Cyclones

June 24, 2019 – On the morning of October 7, 2018, forecasters at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Florida, began issuing advisories on the newly formed tropical depression Michael. Armed with an impressive observation network comprised of aircraft, radars, buoys, and state-of-the-art sensing technologies to monitor the system’s position, intensity and size, the NHC’s forecast track had Tyndall Air Force Base directly in its crosshairs. Thanks to these advisories, base commanders had sufficient time to evacuate all personnel and many aircraft to safe locations. Unfortunately, they would soon…

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How Atmospheric Sounding Transformed Weather Prediction

May 2, 2019 – Each day, weather satellites take hundreds of thousands of atmospheric soundings to gather data for forecasting. The groundbreaking idea of using this method dates to the late 1950’s, when Earth-observing satellites were a brand-new technology. Scientist Lewis Kaplan, who worked at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland and Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, developed a way to calculate temperature in the atmosphere for weather forecasting: by measuring the vibration of molecules at different altitudes. Fast forward 60 years, and the ideas that Kaplan laid…

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Navy, NASA Complete Underway Recovery Test 7

November 6, 2018 – USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) successfully completed test recovery operations of NASA’s mock Orion capsule, Nov. 5. The Underway Recovery Test-7 (URT-7) is part of a U.S. government interagency effort to safely retrieve the Orion crew module, which is capable of carrying humans into deep space. This marks the first completion of a URT aboard John P. Murtha. NASA engineers worked alongside Sailors from the John P. Murtha, Special Boat Team 12, and Navy divers from Mobile Diving Salvage Unit 11 and Explosive Ordnance Disposal…

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USS John P. Murtha underway for NASA Orion mission testing

October 30, 2018 – USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26) is underway to conduct Underway Recovery Test (URT) 7 in conjunction with NASA off the coast of Southern California. URT is part of a U.S. government interagency effort to safely practice and evaluate recovery processes, procedures, hardware and personnel in an open ocean environment that will be used to recover the Orion spacecraft upon its return to Earth. This will be the first time John P. Murtha will conduct a URT mission with NASA. Throughout the history of the program,…

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Summer Ship Tracks in the Pacific

September 4, 2018 – In August 2018, long, narrow clouds stood out against the backdrop of marine clouds blanketing much of the North Pacific Ocean. Known as ship tracks, the distinctive clouds form when water vapor condenses around the tiny particles emitted by ships in their exhaust. Ship tracks typically form in areas where thin, low-lying stratus and cumulus clouds are present. Some particles generated by ships (especially sulfates) are soluble in water and serve as the seeds around which cloud droplets form. Clouds infused with ship exhaust have more…

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NOAA’s GOES-S to boost weather forecast accuracy for western U.S., Alaska, Hawaii

NOAA is one month away from launching GOES-S, its newest geostationary weather satellite that will begin providing faster, more accurate data to track storm systems, lightning, wildfires, dense fog, and other hazards that threaten the western U.S., Hawaii, and Alaska. “The GOES-S satellite will join GOES-16 and NOAA-20 as NOAA continues to upgrade its satellite fleet,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The latest GOES addition will provide further insight and unrivaled accuracy into severe weather systems and wildfires in the western United States.” In tandem with GOES-16, the first…

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Navy, NASA complete underway recovery test in Pacific

USS Anchorage (LPD 23) successfully completed test recovery operations of NASA’s Orion test article (module), Jan. 23. Underway Recovery Test-6 (URT-6) is part of a U.S. government interagency effort to safely retrieve the Orion crew module, which is capable of carrying humans into deep space. This marks the fourth completion of a URT aboard Anchorage. NASA engineers worked alongside Sailors from the Anchorage, USS New Orleans (LPD 18), Special Boat Team 12, and Navy divers from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3 to test recovery operations of the Orion test…

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USS Anchorage departs for NASA’s Orion mission

USS Anchorage (LPD 23) departed from Naval Base San Diego to conduct an Underway Recovery Test (URT) in conjunction with NASA off the coast of Southern California, Jan. 17. URT-6 is part of a U.S. government interagency effort to safely practice and evaluate recovery processes, procedures, hardware and personnel in an open ocean environment that will be used to recover the Orion spacecraft upon its return to Earth. This will mark the fourth time Anchorage will conduct a URT mission with NASA. Throughout the history of the program, a variety…

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NASA astronaut candidate has ties to NAWCWD

Marine Corps Maj. Jasmin Moghbeli, who was a test pilot with Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 31 from March 2014 to August 2015, was recently selected for NASA’s 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. NASA received a record-breaking 18,300 applicants for the 2017 class, and it was the largest class selected since the year 2000, with 12 slots. Moghbeli, who always dreamed of being an astronaut, credits her vast military test experience, including her time spent with VX-31, as one of the reasons she was…

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U.S. Navy Mission 22 Team Develops ‘Game Changing’ Unmanned Capability

What do NASA space crews and Navy Sly Fox mission engineers have in common? Both leave the comforts of the ordinary to explore a higher, unfamiliar realm while testing possibilities and expanding capabilities. Their dispatches about discoveries, innovations, and experiences continue to fascinate people from all walks of life. ”As we move forward into the future, unmanned systems will allow for less operator involvement with features such as autonomous navigation, flight, and obstacle avoidance,” was one transmission among a slew of dispatches that tell the latest story. “CANARES is a…

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