The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the executive branch of the United States federal government responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.
NASA is offering a behind-the-scenes look Thursday, Aug. 18, at its Journey to Mars, including the test of a rocket engine that will launch the agency to the Red Planet, with live coverage on social media, NASA Television and the agency's website.
NASA's mission to Mars is one of the most anticipated and talked-about space explorations in the world.
The Red Planet has been space agencies' biggest target when it comes to space exploration, to find out its habitability and NASA has been working tirelessly toward a 2020 mission to fulfill it.
In another move which will contribute toward shaping plans for the mission, the American space agency has opened registrations for a new competition – the Space Robotics Challenge.
Nasa is competition challenges innovators to program a R5 with skills for aligning a communications array, repairing a broken solar array and identifying and repairing a habitat leak – all in a virtual environment.
Nasa has developed these cutting-edge capabilities in Earth-based robotic systems using hydraulics, but these technologies were not designed for the below-freezing temperatures and the harsh environment of planetary surfaces.
NASA then will bring its online audience live views of exhibits at Michaud, where work is underway on the core stage of the agency's Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and parts of its Orion spacecraft.
The final virtual competition will be held in June 2017, and winners will be announced at the end of June at Space Center Houston.
The competition will be in partnership with Space Center Houston, the Official Visitor Center of NASA Johnson Space Center, and NineSigma, a global innovation consultant organization.