Showing posts with label Environment Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Environment Related. Show all posts

25 February 2020

"The Way of the Rain - Hope For Earth" to World Premiere at Earthx2020

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The Way of the Rain – Hope For Earth is a multidisciplinary environmental performance created and directed by Sibylle Szaggars Redford, in collaboration with Music Composer Tim Janis, Performance Film Artist Floyd Thomas McBee, with a special narration – spoken word by Robert Redford. It interprets nature’s powerful beauty while calling attention to the Earth’s vulnerability brought on by climate change.
The Way of the Rain – Hope For Earth is a multidisciplinary environmental performance created and directed by Sibylle Szaggars Redford, in collaboration with Music Composer Tim Janis, Performance Film Artist Floyd Thomas McBee, with a special narration – spoken word by Robert Redford. It interprets nature’s powerful beauty while calling attention to the Earth’s vulnerability brought on by climate change.
EarthX will host The Way of the Rain – Hope For Earth, a multidisciplinary environmental performance created and directed by Sibylle Szaggars Redford, in collaboration with Music Composer Tim Janis, Performance Film Artist Floyd Thomas McBee, with a special narration – spoken word by Robert Redford. The performance will be held on April 25 at Music Hall, Fair Park in Dallas for Earthx2020. Capping off the week of events, the performance interprets nature's powerful beauty while calling attention to the Earth's vulnerability brought on by climate change.
"We were struck by the beauty of Sibylle Szaggars Redford's powerful piece and knew that we had to include this in our 50th Celebration of Earth Day Week festivities," said EarthX Founder Trammell S. Crow.
"We are honored The Way of the Rain - Hope for Earth was chosen to premiere in Dallas and to be a part of the important celebration for our Planet this coming April at EarthX," said Sibylle Szaggars Redford, Founder, President & Artistic Director of The Way of the Rain. "The future of Earth and our well-being lies in our hands, only together - like raindrops - will we be able to nourish the river of life! Let's raise our voices together in these crucial times for Earth - the Mother of All!"
The Way of the Rain - Hope for Earth tells the artistic story about the formation of the Universe, the evolution of all galaxies, and eventually the birth of our unique and beautiful Planet Earth with all its elements. 

This version of The Way of the Rain is a creation for Symphony, Choir, Film, Art and Spoken Word. This iteration of the performance will feature a performance by a youth choir comprised of students from several high schools in the Dallas area and a Dallas/Fort Worth local combined symphony, that will also include a number of student musicians.

  • Performance Film: Mother Earth
  • Storyline and Direction: Sibylle Szaggars Redford
  • Content Research and Film Editing: Floyd Thomas McBee
  • Music composed by: Tim Janis
  • Spoken Word: Written by Robert Redford and Sibylle Szaggars Redford - with narration by Robert Redford
  • Produced by: TCG Entertainment, EarthX and EarthxFilm
Tickets will be available on Ticketmaster on Friday, February 28.

About The Way of the Rain

The Way of the Rain was inspired by the annual monsoon rains that sustain life on the fragile landscape of the high - desert plateaus of the Southwest. This live multidisciplinary performance invites the audience to remember their physical and spiritual connection to our planet's beauty and plight through paintings, music, dance, film, light, and spoken word. Conceived by environmental artist Sibylle Szaggars Redford to explore the issue of climate change resulting in rapidly changing weather patterns, Szaggars Redford collaborates with world-renowned artists to create a piece that illustrates crucial environmental dilemmas through performance art.

23 February 2020

What We Don't Understand About Young People's Motivations

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Young people stand on the steps of the Alberta legislature during the climate strike in Edmonton in 2019. Youth are often seen as problems rather than as people who are creating solutions.
Young people stand on the steps of the Alberta legislature during the climate strike in Edmonton in 2019. Youth are often seen as problems rather than as people who are creating solutions. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Amber Bracken)
Young people are demanding change. In the last few days, young Indigenous activists and their supporters blocked parliamentarians in Victoria, B.C., from accessing the provincial legislature and led waves of protest across the country.

For some young people, climate change is urgent. For others, gun violence is a crisis. From truth and reconciliation to inclusion and diversity and mental health, young people are bringing awareness to societal crises and making headlines along the way.

Historically, this is really nothing new. Young people have long been leaders and catalysts of important movements. Unfortunately, these change-makers are often thought to be outside of what is considered typical of this age group.

Young people are often labelled problematic, selfish or not yet ready to lead. This negative view of young people aligns with the multitude of research studies that frame their questions within a deficit model.

In a deficit model, the standard for healthy development is preventing behavioural or emotional problems. In both cases, there is a failure to acknowledge youth’s capacity or motivation to contribute to something larger. Underestimating youth is a mistake. Of course it is important to acknowledge and study the risks and barriers faced by this age group, but if we do not balance this view with understanding their capacities and contribution, it can lead to some faulty assumptions.

What youth can do

In our Community and Youth (CandY) research lab, we use a positive psychology approach. As such, we examine the positive motivations and capacities of youth. We are especially interested in the role young people play in improving our society, as well as the role communities can play to offer young people contexts that allow them to thrive.

Our research is rooted in the psychosocial model of Erik Erikson developed in the 1950s and 1960s. When boiled down to its simplest form, Erikson’s theory states that we all face a series of crises across our lifespan. How we resolve these crises helps determine our developmental success.

For example, in adolescence we face the crisis of identity versus identity diffusion; in midlife we face generativity versus stagnation. That is, when we’re young, we’re trying to figure out who we are and what matters to us, and as we age, we become more concerned with what we’re leaving behind.

Generativity — defined as concern for future generations as a legacy of the self — is well-studied. Most studies on generativity only consider people in middle age, even though there is evidence to suggest that this concern for the future and one’s own legacy is important earlier in the lifespan.

In fact, young people do share a concern for the future and their contribution to it. Our research shows that young people between the ages of 14 and 29 show levels of generative motivation that are as high or even higher than adults. Early generativity is also associated with caring friendships, community involvement and healthy identity development in adolescence and young adulthood. So not only are young people interested and capable of caring for future generations, but doing so is likely good for them.


Autumn Peltier, a young water defender from Wikwemikong First Nation, is an advocate for climate change policy.

Beyond the research, Autumn Peltier, a young activist advocating for clean water, has said, “We are the keepers of the generations yet to come.” She leaves little room for doubt that young people can be motivated by generativity.

Changing how we work with youth

Our team has seen first hand the generativity of youth at the Students Commission of Canada (SCC), a not-for-profit organization that is working towards a world “where all young people transition successfully into adulthood.”

At their Canada We Want” conferences, we have witnessed early generativity in action. Young people from across Canada with a diversity of experience, expertise and identities work together to develop a plan to create the change that they want to see in their community, tackling issues such as poverty, employment, prejudice and substance abuse. This work is then presented to politicians, policy-makers and other leaders and has helped inform Canada’s first national youth policy


Taking IT Global is another organization that capitalizes on young people’s generativity. It works to “empower young people to become agents of positive change in their local and global communities.” It has given out more than 2,500 grants to youth, and also provides education and online resources for adults. The grants have helped youth educate boys about mental health, and prompted a $15-million cleanup of a river in Nova Scotia.

So how can we incorporate these ideas in our everyday interactions with young people? Whether we are parents, teachers, coaches or community leaders, it is worth reflecting on whether our assumptions of youth stem solely from a deficit model, or whether we account for the capacities and motivations of young people. Rather than focusing on what they lack, much more focus can be placed on their capacity and desire to have a positive and lasting impact. At the same time that we are asking young people who they want to be, we should be asking young people what kind of world they want to leave behind.

Greater awareness of the importance of generativity in youth will contribute to a more pervasive narrative of young people as capable, and motivated to contribute, thus combating some useless and inaccurate stereotypes about youth.

So the next time you see a young person in the news, or in your community, making the world a bit better for the next generation, you might smile to yourself and think, “Typical.”

About Today's Contributors:

Heather Lawford, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, Bishop's University and Heather L. Ramey, Adjunct Professor, Child & Youth Studies, Brock University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. 

3 February 2020

Citizens Regeneration Lobby - Group Representing U.S. Consumers, Farmers & Ranchers - Endorses Bernie Sanders

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Citizens Regeneration Lobby - Group Representing U.S. Consumers, Farmers & Ranchers - Endorses Bernie Sanders
Citizens Regeneration Lobby - Group Representing U.S. Consumers, Farmers & Ranchers - Endorses Bernie Sanders (jmage via berniesanders.com)
The Board of Directors for Citizens Regeneration Lobby (CRL), representing about 2 million U.S. consumers and thousands of farmers and ranchers, today announced its endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Ronnie Cummins, president of the board, issued the following statement:
"Sen. Sanders, the first of the 2020 Democratic presidential contenders to back the Green New Deal, has outlined a $16.3-trillion plan that includes $841 billion to transform the U.S. industrial agriculture system into an organic regenerative food and farming system that supports independent family farmers, guarantees access to healthy, locally produced food for all, cleans up our waterways, restores soil health and biodiversity and promotes climate stability.

Industrial agriculture's monopolistic approach to food and farming has all but destroyed America's family farms and rural communities. And the industry's reliance on toxic chemicals and degenerative farming practices makes it one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gas pollution. Sanders' Green New Deal, in addition to holding the fossil fuel industry legally and financially accountable for its pollution and climate-destructive behavior, also takes on Big Ag by, among other things, enforcing anti-trust laws and declaring a moratorium on factory farms.

Sanders' Green New Deal is the only plan in the industrialized world that sets a goal high enough to actually reverse global warming and eliminate economic injustice, environmental destruction, deteriorating public health and global conflict, while also offering the first realistic assessment and timeline for what needs to be done in the limited timeframe left to avoid climate catastrophe."
In September 2019, CRL, along with Regeneration International, Organic Consumers Association, the Sunrise Movement and other organizations, launched the national coalition of U.S. Farmers & Ranchers for a Green New Deal

The coalition represents about 20,000 independent farmers, ranchers and members of food and farming organizations committed to overhauling U.S. agriculture policies in order to advance organic regenerative agriculture and land-management practices.
Citizens Regeneration Lobby is the 501(c)(4) sister lobbying organization of the Organic Consumers Association. The nonprofit grassroots organization lobbies on behalf of millions of consumers and farmers for safe, healthful food and a clean, biodiverse, climate-stable ecosystem. 

28 January 2020

Oceana Report: Soft Drink Industry Can Stop Billions Of Plastic Bottles From Polluting The Ocean By Switching To Refillables

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Oceana Report: Soft Drink Industry Can Stop Billions Of Plastic Bottles From Polluting The Ocean By Switching To Refillables (jmage via oceana.org)
Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation, released a report today finding that the beverage industry could decrease marine plastic pollution by 4.5 billion to 7.6 billion bottles each year, a 22% decrease, by increasing the market share of soft drinks and water sold in refillable bottles by just 10% (in place of single-use throwaway PET bottles).

The report, entitled "Just one word: Refillables. How the soft drink industry can reduce marine plastic pollution by billions of bottles each year," also estimates that between 20 billion and 34 billion plastic PET bottles produced and sold by the soft drink or Non-Alcoholic Ready to Drink (NARTD) industry enter the ocean each year.

"Beverage companies are major ocean polluters and are producing billions of plastic bottles every year that end up in the sea essentially forever," said Oceana CEO Andy Sharpless. "They need to take responsibility and make commitments to reduce plastic production and waste."
The report was announced at investor and media briefings held at HSBC USA headquarters in New York. Attendees also heard about HSBC Global Research reports detailing how prominent bottlers in Latin America are leading the trend toward refillables.
"As public awareness of plastic waste in the world's oceans grows, the global beverage industry is grappling with the risk of brand damage and higher regulatory costs from its outsized reliance on disposable plastic bottles. Oceana's report brings much-needed insight into the scale of the environmental problem and an emerging solution in a transition to refillables," said Carlos Laboy, Global Beverage Head and Latin American Food Analyst, HSBC Securities (USA) Inc.
The report notes that studies have found that refillable bottles have a lower carbon footprint than single-use throwaway plastic bottles, citing recent life cycle analysis studies in Germany and Chile. Dr. Henning Wilts of the Wuppertal Institute writes in the report that "looking at the specific case of refillable PET bottles as compared to single-use bottles, (lifecycle) analyses found that refillables save up to 40% of raw materials and 50% of greenhouse gas emissions."

Recycling rates are declining in the U.S., and only 9% of all plastic ever produced has been recycled, Oceana's report notes. In addition, single-use throwaway bottles with recycled content still become pollution in the ocean because the companies don't recover these bottles after selling them. In contrast, 95% to 99% of refillables are returned to beverage companies for re-use.

Studies have found that plastic pollution is dramatically impacting life in the oceans. A recent report found that 90% of all seabird species have ingested plastic, and even zooplankton – the base of the food chain – has been found to be ingesting plastic. Oceana is campaigning around the world to reduce throwaway plastic production and address this problem at its source.

"Just one word: Refillables. How the soft drink industry can reduce marine plastic pollution by billions of bottles each year,"
"Just one word: Refillables. How the soft drink industry can reduce marine plastic pollution by billions of bottles each year"


SOURCE: Oceana

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25 January 2020

Ruckify Launches T-Shirt Fundraiser To Help Support The Australian Wildfire Relief Efforts

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The 'Support Australia' t-shirts from Ruckify have a list of organisations you can help during and after the bushfire crisis
The 'Support Australia' t-shirts from Ruckify have a list of organisations you can help during and after the bushfire crisis (image via Ruckify.com)
Ruckify, the global peer-to-peer marketplace for all things rentals, has launched a t-shirt fundraising campaign to support those affected by the devastating Australian bushfires.

The shirts, which will be available on a dedicated RuckifyStore, list a number of organisations people can donate to both during and after the fire crisis that has devastated communities and destroyed large tracts of wilderness in recent months.

All proceeds will be donated to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service (RFS) for firefighting equipment and training as Australia's bushfire season continues, while anyone who purchases a shirt will receive $5 off a Ruckify rental of their choice.

The idea and design for the shirts came from Ruckify staff, after a company-wide conversation about feelings of helplessness as news of the disaster flowed in.

Ruckify founder and CEO Steve Cody said staff had helped communities inundated near the company's headquarters during the Ottawa River floods in April 2019, and wanted to find a way to lend support to others in need on the other side of the world.
"Since Ruckify's founding two years ago, community, environmentalism, and sustainability have been at the heart of our values," Mr Cody said. "These fires have dealt a blow to the Australian people, and the environment, that will be felt for years to come.

These disasters affect us all, and will continue to do so as the effects of climate change become more apparent. Australians help North Americans every year with funding and resources during wildfire season, and we want to contribute in any way we can."
The fundraising campaign complements Ruckify's ongoing TreeProject, the company's commitment to plant a tree for every sign-up, transaction, and review at ruckify.com.
"It's time for all of us to step up and acknowledge the status quo will no longer work in the face of climate change and the resulting natural disasters," Mr Cody said.

Through both our shirt fundraising campaign and TreeProject campaign, we want to be part of the solution."
The front and back of the Ruckify 'Support Australia' shirts
The front and back of the Ruckify 'Support Australia' shirts (CNW Group/Ruckify)
  • Those interested in the $30 shirts can order them at the dedicated RuckifyStore, where they will be shipped for free.

About Ruckify

Ruckify is the world's largest online peer-to-peer rental marketplace, empowering its members to embrace the sharing economy and leave unnecessary purchases behind. Designed with both people and businesses in mind, anyone can post their items and spaces on Ruckify for people in their community to rent. 

Founded in Ottawa, Canada in 2018 on a foundation of community building, environmentalism, education, and freedom, Ruckify is dedicated to changing the world and curtailing the spread of unsustainable consumerism. 

The platform has also launched TreeProject, a commitment from Ruckify to plant a tree for every transaction made on the app. 
The Ruckify Tree Project
The Ruckify Tree Project (image via Ruckify.com)
SOURCE: Ruckify

18 January 2020

The Net-Zero Challenge: Fast-Forward to Decisive Climate Action

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The Net-Zero Challenge: Fast-Forward to Decisive Climate Action
The Net-Zero Challenge: Fast-Forward to Decisive Climate Action (image via World Economic Forum)
The World Economic Forum (WEF), in collaboration with Boston Consulting Group (BCG), recently released a report that examines the current state of climate action by companies and governments and provides insights about the actions that corporations, governments, and civil society can take now, both collectively and individually, to limit global warming. 

The report, which will be presented at the WEF annual meeting in Davos-Klosters, is titled, The Net Zero Challenge, in recognition of the need to move to net-zero emissions globally by 2050.

The year 2020 marks the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, which committed world leaders to limiting global warming to well below 2°C. However, greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise at a rate of 1.5% per annum over the past decade. A reduction of >5% per annum is now needed through 2030 to limit the worst impacts of global warming and net-zero carbon emissions must be reached by 2050.

Business and Investors Should Accelerate Action—in Their Own Interest

All 20-plus CEOs and 14 climate experts who were interviewed for the report highlighted the need to accelerate climate action—both as a moral imperative and as a business opportunity. The analysis, based on the responses of nearly 7,000 companies to the CDP climate questionnaire, shows that not enough is being done by companies today, with only a small minority disclosing their emissions and even fewer setting any kind of emission reduction target.

The Net Zero Challenge examines the ways in which climate action can be seen as a source of competitive advantage for companies—as a means of reducing costs by increasing efficiency, fulfilling the needs of increasingly climate-conscious customers, and attracting the best possible talent. It emphasizes that businesses should be accelerating efforts to reduce the carbon intensity of their operations and that of their supply chains, to manage their climate-related investment risks, and to innovate to refocus their business models for growth in a decarbonized world.

The report shows how investors, too, need to play a pivotal role in triggering and facilitating climate action, as they have an inherent interest to "de-risk" the terminal value of their investments by pushing for more transparency and disclosure and by supporting longer-term corporate decarbonization plans.

Where financial or structural barriers prevent businesses from moving forward, ecosystem initiatives can enable collaboration among industry peers or along value chains to provide risk-sharing mechanisms and help accelerate the speed and scale of change.
"A Paris-compatible pathway implies a significant, sometimes existential, transformation for many companies. Innovation is needed, and many businesses can look for growth in new markets for lower-carbon products and services," said Cornelius Pieper, a BCG partner and coleader of the firm's Center for Climate Action.

A Call for Unilateral Government Action and Individual Leadership

Progress among policymakers has been limited to date. While 121 countries now have an ambition to be carbon-neutral by 2050, they together account for less than 25% of global emissions. None is among the top five emitters, and very few have enacted policies that are robust enough to produce the desired effects.

The report calls for accelerated unilateral policy action from governments to set the context needed for companies to decarbonize, such as by implementing carbon pricing and other sector-specific regulations and incentives.
"The good news is that governments can act unilaterally to reduce emissions, as many countries can benefit economically from carbon abatement investments. What is needed is an ambitious policy context that includes a meaningful carbon price, supported by incentives and other measures," said Patrick Herhold, a BCG partner and coleader of the Center for Climate Action.
The report also stresses that educated voters and consumers are a crucial enabler of the low-carbon transition - better information is needed across all channels about what it will take to achieve net-zero emissions, and communications need to focus on solutions and the benefits of change.

We each have a responsibility to deliver a safer world as leaders in business and in policy, and as parents.
"Climate action is still too often perceived as a cost or a tradeoff with other priorities," said Michel Fredeau, a BCG senior partner and leader of the firm's work in climate and the environment. "It should be viewed as an opportunity for businesses, countries, and individuals to create an advantage in building a better, more sustainable world."
The Net Zero Challenge concludes with actions that companies, governments, investors, and individuals can take to start reducing emissions in 2020.

The Net-Zero Challenge: Fast-Forward to Decisive Climate Action
The Net-Zero Challenge: Fast-Forward to Decisive Climate Action 

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10 January 2020

DHL to Host Jessica Minh Anh's Sustainable Catwalk at the JFK International Airport in New York [Preview Video Included]

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Jessica Minh Anh chose DHL facility for the iconic J Winter Fashion Show 2020
Jessica Minh Anh chose DHL facility for the iconic J Winter Fashion Show 2020 (PRNewsfoto/DHL)
Fashion show producer and supermodel Jessica Minh Anh will make history with the first ever catwalk centered on the globally sustainable supply chain.

Powered by DHL Express U.S., J Winter Fashion Show 2020 will premiere the most exquisite fashion collections, while highlighting the modern upcycling and delivery process in a creative and sustainable way. 



  • Part of Jessica's iconic Fashion x Sustainability series, the high-profile event will be held February 6 at the DHL Express John F. Kennedy Gateway and follows the international successes of previous enviro-fashion phenomena atop Hoover Dam, Gemasolar power plant, and the Race For Water solar-wind-hydro powered vessel.
"Since shipping and logistics is such a big part of the fashion industry, I believe it is crucial to minimize environmental impacts by using green logistics solutions. What drew me to DHL is its great commitment to sustainability. From optimizing transport routes and rolling out alternative fuel vehicles, to operating energy efficient warehouses, DHL is reducing transport related CO2 emissions. It is important for me to partner with a company that prioritizes the health of our planet," said Jessica Minh Anh.
In preparation for the grand outdoor catwalk, Jessica Minh Anh visited DHL facilities and met with top executives at John F. Kennedy airport earlier this week to outline the vision of the show. The fashion icon also modeled exclusive haute couture designs by Rami Kadi, Kujta & Meri, Pnina Tornai, VUNGOC&SON, Ella Gafter and Cristina Sabatini against the epic backdrop. No stranger to mind-blowing catwalks at the most challenging locations, Jessica will not only present innovative fashion and luxury collections, but also explore how fashion and the global supply chain can be more sustainable. Like her previous iconic productions, J Winter Fashion Show 2020 will celebrate diversity, unity, creativity and sustainability alongside fashion from Europe, Asia, Australia, and America. 


Jessica Minh Anh
Jessica Minh Anh
"We are very excited to join forces with Jessica Minh Anh in this historic project," said Reiner Wolfs, Vice President and General Manager, Northeast Area, DHL Express U.S. "Her powerful message of motivating the younger generation to take action for a better future aligns perfectly with our vision for zero emission logistics."
The official list of participating fashion houses will be revealed closer to the show. With an environmentally conscious approach, Jessica has selected official partners who put sustainability as a priority, including IWG's brand Spaces, Veestro, Warren Tricomi, scheimpfl├╝g, Cream Ridgewood, Tone House, and Gotham Hotel among others.

A TEDx keynote speaker and a representative of the environmentally engaged younger generation, Jessica's passion cuts to the heart of the global challenge, making sustainable living a lifestyle choice. More than a modern fashion statement, J Winter Fashion Show 2020 will stimulate a global conversation about sustainability triggered by a unique and visually impressive experience. 

Jessica Minh Anh -  Fashion x Sustainability
Jessica Minh Anh - Fashion x Sustainability
SOURCE: DHL

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28 December 2019

NASA's Moon to Mars Plans, Artemis Lunar Program Gets Fast Tracked in 2019 [Video Included]

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NASA spacesuit engineer Amy Ross and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine introduce spacesuit engineer Kristine Davis, wearing a ground prototype of NASA’s new Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU), and Orion Crew Survival Systems Project Manager Dustin Gohmert, wearing the Orion Crew Survival System suit
NASA spacesuit engineer Amy Ross and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine introduce spacesuit engineer Kristine Davis, wearing a ground prototype of NASA’s new Exploration Extravehicular Mobility Unit (xEMU), and Orion Crew Survival Systems Project Manager Dustin Gohmert, wearing the Orion Crew Survival System suit, Oct. 15, 2019 at NASA Headquarters in Washington. (Credit: NASA)
In 2019, NASA celebrated the 50th anniversary of the agency's Apollo 11 Moon landing, the most historic moment in space exploration, while also making significant progress toward putting the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 under the Artemis program.

Through America's Moon to Mars exploration approach, Artemis gained bipartisan support this year among members of Congress, the U.S aerospace industry, as well as with international partners, including Canada, Australia, and Japan, and member states of the European Space Agency.
"2019 will be remembered as the year the Artemis program really became a reality with real spaceflight hardware built, U.S. commercial and international partnerships standing behind it, and hardworking teams across NASA and the world coming together like never before to quickly and sustainably explore the Moon and use what we learn there to enable humanity's next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "While the Artemis program came into sharp focus this year, NASA continued to show what leading in space exploration is all about, whether it was kicking off 2019 with New Horizons' historic Kuiper Belt object flyby, conducting the first all-woman spacewalk outside the International Space Station, or developing the first flying robotic explorer to study Saturn's moon Titan. And wait until you see what we do in 2020!"
The Office of the Chief Financial Officer received a successful clean audit in 2019 – the ninth consecutive clean financial audit opinion for the agency. And for the eighth year in a row, NASA retained its standing as the number one large agency in the Best Places to Work in Government rankings, published by the Partnership for Public Service.
"Throughout this year, as I have visited each of our centers, I have personally witnessed their unparalleled commitment to accomplishing our mission. The daily devotion of our employees makes them well deserving of this award," Bridenstine said. "I am honored to lead such a dedicated team. They are what makes NASA the Best Place to Work in Government."

Moon to Mars

This year, NASA officially named the new lunar exploration program Artemis, for the goddess of the Moon and twin sister of Apollo. Under Artemis, NASA will send new science instruments and technology demonstrations to study the Moon, accelerate plans to send astronauts to the Moon by 2024, and establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028.

Science and technology progress in Artemis includes:
  • Two sets of Moon rocks, sealed since they were collected by Apollo astronauts and returned to Earth nearly 50 years ago, were opened for study.
  • NASA announced it will send a new mobile robot, VIPER, to the lunar South Pole to scout and sample ice in the region.
  • Twelve new lunar science and technology investigations were selected in February and July, 24 total, to fly on early Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) flights to the Moon.
  • The agency awarded initial surface task orders for commercial Moon deliveries.
  • New CLPS contracts were awarded to five companies to support the next generation of lunar landers that can land heavier payloads on the surface of the Moon. A total of 14 companies now are eligible to bid on these deliveries.
  • NASA received a record-breaking 10,932,295 names to travel to Mars on the agency's upcoming Mars 2020 mission.
  • Engineers attached the Mars Helicopter to the Mars 2020 rover. After the rover lands at the Jezero Crater, the helicopter will be deployed to conduct test flights.
  • The international mission team for NASA's Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) lander continues to assess the lander's heat probe, while the lander's seismometer collects data on quakes.
  • NASA selected 14 Tipping Point and 19 Announcement of Collaboration Opportunity proposals from U.S. companies that focus on technologies and capabilities needed for a sustainable presence on the Moon by 2028.
  • The agency partnered with Advanced Space to develop and build a pathfinder CubeSat destined for the same lunar orbit planned for NASA's lunar Gateway.
  • The Sample Analysis at Mars chemistry lab on NASA's Curiosity rover measured seasonal methane and oxygen spikes in Mar's atmosphere.
  • Technology sensors and an in-situ resource utilization experiment were installed on the Mars 2020 entry vehicle and rover.
The Orion spacecraft being lifted onto the truck for transport to NASA's Plum Brook Station
The Orion spacecraft being lifted onto the truck for transport to NASA's Plum Brook Station. (Credit: NASA)
NASA continues to advance development of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, which will send astronauts to deep space.
  • NASA demonstrated that Orion's launch abort system can pull astronauts to safety if an emergency occurs during launch, and assembled the spacecraft for the first Artemis mission, Artemis I. It was delivered to Ohio for final testing for the extreme environment of space before it's returned to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for launch preparation.
  • On the SLS rocket for the first Artemis mission, engineers completed the segments for the boosters and assembled the core stage. The core stage next will ship to NASA's Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, for a Green Run test of the integrated propulsion system before joining Orion at Kennedy for stacking.
  • Teams at Kennedy conducted a series of water flow tests of the sound suppression system at the launch pad and tested the flow of cryogenic fluids through the pad's infrastructure – the systems that will send liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to the rocket at the time of launch.
  • The launch team at Kennedy held its first formal training simulation for Artemis I, and flight controllers at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston simulated part of Orion's uncrewed flight to the Moon.
Work also began on hardware for Artemis II, the first SLS/Orion test flight with astronauts aboard. NASA and Northrop Grumman technicians applied insulation to the final booster motor segment of SLS and completed casting of all 10 booster motor segments. The agency also issued a request for proposals from U.S. small satellite developers to fly their missions as secondary payloads on Artemis II.

Development of the key pieces of NASA's lunar architecture is underway:
  • NASA awarded a contract for the first element of the Gateway, which will provide power, propulsion, and communications to the lunar outpost. The new Gateway Program is based out of Johnson.
  • Negotiations are underway for the Gateway's habitation and logistics outpost (HALO) module, and awards are expected in the future for logistics supply services.
  • NASA announced astronaut spacesuit designs for the Artemis III mission, which will include the return of astronauts to the Moon's surface. The agency is asking industry for input on production for Artemis IV missions and beyond.
  • The agency also announced its Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, will manage its new Human Landing System Program and asked American companies to design, develop, and demonstrate a human lander.
NASA's InSight lander captured audio of the first likely quake on Mars on April 6.

The agency also bid farewell to a veteran Martian science rover on Feb. 13 and captured audio of the first likely quake on Mars. The Mars Opportunity Rover mission stopped communicating with Earth when a severe Mars-wide dust storm blanketed its location in June 2018. Designed to last just 90 Martian days and travel less than 3,300 feet (1,000 meters), Opportunity far surpassed all expectations, exceeding its life expectancy by 60 times, traveling more than 28 miles (45 kilometers), and returning more than 217,000 images.

Solar System and Beyond

It was a great year for astrobiology and the agency's search for life in the universe:
  • Scientists synthesized a molecular DNA-like system in NASA-funded research – a feat that suggests there could be an alternative to DNA-based life as we know it.
  • NASA selected Dragonfly, a rotocraft-lander that will survey locations on Saturn's moon Titan for prebiotic chemical processes common on Titan and Earth.
Other highlights this year include:
  • On New Year's Day 2019, NASA's New Horizons mission flew by the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft and became the first to directly explore an object that holds remnants from the birth of our solar system.
  • NASA launched the Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) spacecraft and announced the first results from the agency's Parker Solar Probe mission.
  • Significant progress was made on the agency's James Webb Space Telescope. The two halves of Webb were assembled into one observatory and the sunshield passed a critical test.
  • After a navigation maneuver to keep NASA's Juno mission out of an eclipse that could have frozen the solar powered spacecraft, it discovered a new cyclone at Jupiter's south pole. The cyclone is the size of Texas, small by Jupiter standards.
  • NASA's next Mars rover, Mars 2020, passed its first driving test as it rolled forward and backward and pirouetted in a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on Dec. 17. The next time the rover drives, it will be rolling over Martian soil.
  • The Europa Clipper mission's next phase was confirmed with a decision in August to allow the mission to progress to completion of final design, followed by the construction and testing of the entire spacecraft and science payload.
  • NASA's Chandra, Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NUSTAR), Fermi, Swift, and Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) telescopes contributed to the first direct imaging of a black hole. Chandra, which celebrated its 20th anniversary, separately spotted three black holes on a collision course.
  • The agency's Hubble Space Telescope observed the first confirmed interstellar comet and found water vapor on a habitable-zone exoplanet for the first time.
  • The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) completed its first year of science, capturing a panorama of the southern sky and finding 29 confirmed planets and more than 1,000 planet candidates. TESS also captured a rare astrophysical event – a black hole tearing apart a star.
  • The Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) detected the universe's first type of molecule, helium hydride.
  • The Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission was selected to help us understand how our universe evolved and to search our galaxy for the ingredients for life.
  • NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) was cleared for the next development phase: finalizing the spacecraft's design.
  • The Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security - Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-Rex) made the first-ever close-up observations of particle plumes erupting from an asteroid's surface, and the mission team announced the site on the asteroid Bennu where the mission will collect samples that will be returned to Earth in 2023.
A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus resupply spacecraft is seen during sunrise on Pad-0A April 16, 2019, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Northrop Grumman’s 12th contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station launched around 8,200 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew
A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket carrying a Cygnus resupply spacecraft is seen during sunrise on Pad-0A April 16, 2019, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Northrop Grumman’s 12th contracted cargo resupply mission with NASA to the International Space Station launched around 8,200 pounds of science and research, crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory and its crew (Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Humans in Space

NASA astronauts Anne McClain, Nick Hague, Christina Koch, Andrew Morgan, and Jessica Meir of the 2013 astronaut class all participated in their first spaceflight missions to the International Space Station. Each also conducted their first spacewalks, including the first all-woman spacewalk with Meir and Koch.

The space station is facilitating a strong commercial market in low-Earth orbit for research, technology development, and crew and cargo transportation, and remains the sole space-based proving ground and stepping stone for the Artemis program. In 2019:
  • SpaceX's Crew Dragon returned to Earth after a five-day demonstration mission to the space station for NASA's Commercial Crew Program. SpaceX now is preparing for an in-flight abort test in advance of its first flight with astronauts.
  • NASA and Boeing are collecting data and lessons learned from the uncrewed flight test of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner, which launched and landed successfully, but was unable to dock with the space station. Boeing successfully completed a key safety milestone in November with a test of its abort system.
  • NASA astronauts assigned to the first Commercial Crew Program flights trained extensively in preparation for their flight tests on Crew Dragon and Starliner.
  • Koch and Morgan are participating in extended missions to provide further opportunities to observe the effects of long-duration space travel. On Dec. 28, Koch will set a record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman.
  • Results from NASA's landmark Twins Study were published, revealing the resilience of the human body in space.
  • NASA announced a five-point plan to open the space station to U.S. industry to accelerate a thriving commercial economy in low-Earth orbit.
  • Five commercial cargo missions delivered more than 32,000 pounds of science investigations, tools, and critical supplies to the space station and returned more than 10,800 pounds of investigations and equipment to researchers on Earth.
  • Commercial resupply missions enabled the crew to support more than 100 new U.S. science investigations to advance human space exploration and conduct research for the U.S. National Laboratory to benefit life on Earth.
  • Research conducted on station included experiments to better understand: human adaptations to spaceflight; how fluid shifts affect an astronaut's blood flow and regolith behaves in microgravity; black holes and quantum mechanics; and how best to grow and harvest vegetables in space and measure atmospheric carbon dioxide.
  • Also tested on the space station was a free-flying robot system, a new air quality monitoring system, a vest designed to protect astronauts from radiation, a new medical research technology called tissue chips, and a virtual reality camera.
  • NASA astronauts participated in 10 spacewalks to install a new docking port for commercial crew spacecraft, upgrade the station's power system, and repair an instrument that is searching for dark matter, anti-matter, and dark energy.
SpaceX launched its 19th cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station at 12:29 p.m. EST Dec. 5, 2019, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
SpaceX launched its 19th cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station at 12:29 p.m. EST Dec. 5, 2019, from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. (Credit: NASA TV)

Flight

NASA's aeronautics team reached several major milestones in its efforts to enable commercial supersonic air travel over land.
  • NASA tested the eXternal Vision System, a forward-facing camera and display system that lets the pilot see the airspace in front of him or her, for the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology (QueSST).
  • NASA deployed CarpetDiem along a 30-mile-stretch of the Mojave Desert in California to test a specially-configured microphone array that will be used when the X-59 makes a series of acoustic validation flights in 2021.
  • The X-59 project team completed its critical design review and the aircraft was cleared in December for final assembly and systems integration.
NASA's research into electric-powered flight with the X-57 Maxwell made headlines throughout the year.
  • NASA devised a custom-designed skin around the aircraft's motor electronics to cool them without changing the aircraft's shape or design.
  • NASA and General Electric announced a $12 million partnership to further explore electrified aircraft propulsion and received the X-57's Mod II aircraft, paving the way for NASA engineers to put the aircraft through ground, taxi and flight tests.
Another major aeronautics focus was NASA's ongoing work in Urban Air Mobility – a safe and efficient system for passenger and cargo air transportation.
  • NASA selected two organizations to host the final phase of its four-year series of technical demonstrations involving small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), or drones, in Reno, Nevada, and Corpus Christi, Texas.
  • NASA and Uber partnered on computer modeling and simulation of airspace management for small aircraft in crowded city environments. NASA also launched its solicitation for companies to participate in the Urban Air Mobility Grand Challenge.
Continuing other avenues of research in aviation technology, the agency:
  • signed contracts with three industry partners to demonstrate the use of systems for the safe operation of drones in the national airspace;
  • successfully tested an advanced photographic technology that captured the first-ever images of the interaction of shockwaves from two supersonic aircraft in flight;
  • demonstrated a new aircraft wing using advanced carbon fiber composites that can flex in flight to maximize aerodynamic efficiency;
  • brought onboard its newest world-class research facility, the NASA Electric Aircraft Testbed (NEAT), in Sandusky, Ohio, which provides a reconfigurable research platform capable of accommodating power systems for large passenger airplanes with megawatts of power;
  • demonstrated air traffic management tools that manage the movement of aircraft from an airport gate to a spot in the sky after takeoff; and,
  • installed onto a flying testbed small fins made from shape memory alloys to help control airflow during flight.

Space Technology

As NASA embarked on the next era of exploration in 2019, the agency continued to advance technologies needed for a sustainable human presence on the Moon and future human missions to Mars.
  • Two NASA technology demonstrations were launched to improve how spacecraft travel and navigate. The Green Propellant Infusion Mission is successfully demonstrating a low-toxin propellant and NASA's Deep Space Atomic Clock is close to determining how well the clock keeps time, down to the nanosecond.
  • A biology experiment on the space station is testing a method of using microorganisms to produce nutrients usually found in vegetables.
  • Google, in partnership with NASA and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, achieved quantum supremacy by demonstrating the ability to compute in seconds what would take the largest and most advanced supercomputers thousands of years.
  • NASA demonstrated the first coordinated maneuver between two CubeSats in low-Earth orbit, and two CubeSats teamed up for a laser communications pointing experiment.
  • NASA awarded a contract to Made In Space to 3D print and assemble spacecraft parts in low-Earth orbit.
  • NASA helped test a commercial terrain-relative navigation system for precise lunar landings and dozens of other technologies aboard suborbital rockets, spacecraft, planes and balloons.
  • The 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge wrapped up after 30 hours of 3D printing prototype planetary habitats. College students practiced drilling for water on the Moon and Mars using simulated soil and ice stations.
  • NASA established two new space technology research institutes to study smart habitats. NASA-funded university faculty and graduate students researched technologies for robot explorers, spacecraft temperature control and more.
  • Two NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts aimed at exploring lunar craters and mining asteroids received another round of NASA funding
  • The agency licensed to commercial companies NASA technologies and software that can be used to create products and solutions to benefit people everywhere.
  • NASA awarded nearly $180 million, in May, June and November, to hundreds of U.S. small businesses to advance capabilities in aeronautics and space.

Earth

NASA continued to use its perspective of Earth from space to improve lives and revolutionize our understanding of how our planet is changing.
  • After powerful Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas in September, NASA assisted emergency response organizations by creating detailed damage assessment and flood maps based on satellite data.
  • The largest migration of small sea creatures on the planet was studied globally for the first time using the Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations (CALIPSO) satellite.
  • A study showed that the increasing dryness of the atmosphere above the Amazon rainforest is primarily the result of human activities and is increasing the demand for water and leaving ecosystems vulnerable to fires and drought.
  • A new NASA laser instrument on the space station began collecting data to create detailed 3D maps of Earth's forests and topography.

STEM Engagement

NASA provided more than $32 million in financial support to more than 8,000 students participating in internships and fellowships through its: Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP); Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR); Space Grant Project; and Next Gen STEM. Nearly 40% of the opportunities were filled by women, and 30% went to racial or ethnic minorities.

Participating in NASA's Micro-g Neutral Buoyancy Experiment Design Team (Micro-g NExT) program, Team CERO, from Lone Star College-CyFair in Cypress, Texas, became the first team to have their tool sent to the International Space Station, where it was used during a spacewalk on Nov. 22 to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer.


This picture, taken July 12, 2011, shows the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) experiment on the International Space Station. AMS is a state-of-the-art particle physics detector designed to search for antimatter and dark matter.
This picture, taken July 12, 2011, shows the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) experiment on the International Space Station. AMS is a state-of-the-art particle physics detector designed to search for antimatter and dark matter. (Credit: NASA/Ron Garan)
NASA also engaged students, educators and the public in STEM through a series of public events including:
  • Future of Space, a live television event for college students to learn more about NASA's newest mission, Artemis and hear from NASA's leadership
  • Forward to the Moon, a 30-minute show to accompany the Apollo 50th live broadcast to engage the public in STEM activities
  • Space and STEM: Where do you fit in?, a show for college students participating at 2019 International Astronautical Congress

Public Engagement

NASA is dedicated to engaging the public in the excitement, accomplishments and opportunities available only through the nation's space program. The agency hosted and participated in events across the country marking the 50th anniversary of the first Apollo Moon landing in July 1969, including two events in Washington: a concert on July 20 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts co-hosted by former Myth Busters host Adam Savage, and a three-day festival on the National Mall that featured exhibits and talks and had more than 50,000 attendees.

Other public events included:
NASA had a significant exhibit presence at two high-profile annual space policy conferences: Space Symposium, which brought together space industry leaders and entrepreneurs from around the globe to discuss the current and future state of space exploration; and the International Astronautical Congress, hosted this year by NASA and during which more than 6,660 people visited the agency's exhibit.

NASA now has more than 219.7 million social media followers – up from 187 million in 2018. In addition to increasing engagement on various platforms, the agency hosted 10 NASA Social events, bringing together nearly 500 followers for unique, in-person experiences of exploration and discovery. The agency's social media activity was honored in April with two Webby Awards and two People's Voice awards.

The agency's website received its 11th People's Voice Award in the Government & Civil Innovation category. The busiest day for the website was April 10, when NASA shared a black hole image from the National Science Foundation, which had 1.7 million visits. The second-busiest day, with 1.6 million visits, was May 21, when NASA invited to the public to send their names to Mars on the Mars 2020 rover.

The agency launched two new mediums to communicate with the public. In March, NASA debuted a weekly email newsletter that already has more than 1.1 million subscribers. In September, NASA TV launched a new video series called #AskNASA, in which agency experts answer questions from the public about its incredible mission.

The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recognized NASA's engagement efforts in September with two Emmy Awards for its coverage of the landing on Mars of NASA's InSight mission and the agency's first test of a spacecraft that will help bring crewed launches to the International Space Station back to U.S. soil.

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