THIS WEEK @NASA: Upcoming SpaceX Launch on Aug. 28 from KSC, Testing Umbrella-Like Heat Shield

latest happenings around NASA

ABOVE VIDEO: Highlighting an upcoming Earth-observing mission, the science on the next resupply mission to the space station, and testing a new material to help future spacecraft land on distant worlds … a few of the stories to tell you about – This Week at NASA!

Interactive Website Highlights Upcoming Landsat 9 Mission

We launched a new interactive website highlighting Landsat 9. The joint NASA and U.S. Geological Survey satellite mission is targeted for launch Sept. 16 from California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base.

Landsat 9 will continue the program’s critical role in monitoring, understanding, and managing land resources – such as agricultural crops, water, and forests – needed to sustain human life. For more details, visit

Science on Upcoming Space Station Resupply Mission

The next SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station will carry a variety of NASA science investigations, including a study on preventing and treating bone density loss, an investigation aimed at detecting and mitigating vision disorders, and a new robotic arm demonstration that has potential uses on Earth, including for disaster relief.

The mission is currently targeted for launch Aug. 28 from our Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Spiderweave Material Tested for Umbrella-Like Heat Shield

The team working on the “umbrella-like” Adaptable, Deployable, Entry and Placement Technology or ADEPT heat shield design to deliver science payloads on future missions to Mars and beyond is testing out a new material called Spiderweave. It is a woven fabric they think will improve the integrity of the heat shield and make it safer for larger vehicles to safely pass through the atmospheres of more distant locations.

Celebrating Star Trek Creator Gene Roddenberry’s Centennial

On Aug. 19, we observed the 100th birthday of late Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry with a panel discussion about the ground-breaking show’s legacy of inspiration, hope, and diversity. His son, Rod Rodenberry moderated the panel, which included Star Trek actor, and activist George Takei, as well as members of NASA’s diverse workforce.

Opening remarks for the event were provided by NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. It also featured a 1976 recording in which Gene Roddenberry talked about the impact he hoped the show would have on diversity and inclusion.

“The whole show was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins, not just to tolerate, but to take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms.”0151—Voice of Gene Roddenberry/Star Trek Creator

We transmitted Roddenberry’s recorded remarks into space through the agency’s Deep Space Network as the panel discussion was happening.

Astronomers Find a ‘Break’ in One of the Milky Way’s Spiral Arms

Astronomers have spotted a group of young stars and star-forming gas clouds sticking out of one of our Milky Way galaxy’s spiral arms like a splinter from a piece of lumber. This previously unrecognized feature of the galaxy’s Sagittarius Arm stretches some 3,000 light-years and was found with help from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope prior to its retirement in January 2020.

Celebrating National Aviation Day

We invited you to join us in celebrating National Aviation Day on Aug. 19 by using the hashtag #NationalAviationDay to share your celebrations online.

The annual observance also falls on the birthday of Orville Wright, the very first pilot of an airplane. Every U.S. aircraft and air traffic control facility uses NASA-developed technology. Learn more about our groundbreaking aeronautics research at

That’s what’s up this week @NASA

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