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SwRI’s Alan Stern Awarded 2018 Lowell Thomas Award In Engineering Exploration

SwRI’s Dr. Alan Stern was selected by The Explorers Club to receive the 2018 Lowell Thomas Award in Engineering Exploration. Image Credit: Southwest Research Institute

September 24, 2018 – The Explorers Club has selected Dr. Alan Stern to receive the 2018 Lowell Thomas Award in Engineering Exploration. Stern, associate vice president of the Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute, serves as principal investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission, which made headlines worldwide when the spacecraft made the first exploration of the Pluto system and set a record for the most distant worlds ever explored at more than 3 billion miles from the Sun. The spacecraft is now set to break that record on January 1, 2019, when it explores Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule — a billion miles past Pluto. Read More

DigitalGlobe Selected To Create A Geospatial Cloud Analytics Hub For DARPA

September 24, 2018 – DigitalGlobe, a Maxar Technologies company, announced today that it has been awarded a contract valued at $3.2 million by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to provide an unclassified environment with multi-source content for geospatial cloud analytics. This platform, called the Geospatial Cloud Analytics Hub (GCA Hub), will enable military and intelligence end users to leverage machine learning to extract insights at scale and make critical decisions. MDA, also a Maxar company, will provide RADARSAT-2 synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data and SAR data curation and processing tools to help DARPA users detect features and change faster and more accurately within GCA Hub. Read More

MAVEN Selfie Marks Four Years In Orbit At Mars

This image identifies the various parts of the MAVEN spacecraft selfie, with an artist’s sketch of the spacecraft for comparison. Individual components are identified in both the selfie and the computer image. Notice that the computer-generated image shows the IUVS instrument, but that it is not visible in the actual selfie (because that’s what’s taking the picture!). Image Credit: University of Colorado/NASA

September 24, 2018 – NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft is celebrating four years in orbit studying the upper atmosphere of the Red Planet and how it interacts with the Sun and the solar wind. To mark the occasion, the team has released a selfie image of the spacecraft at Mars. Read More

Dust Storms On Titan Spotted By Cassini For The First Time

Artist’s impression of a dust storm on Titan. Researchers believe that huge amounts of dust can be raised on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, by strong wind gusts that arise in powerful methane storms. Such methane storms, previously observed in images from the international Cassini spacecraft, can form above dune fields that cover the equatorial regions of this moon especially around the equinox, the time of the year when the Sun crosses the equator. Image Credit: IPGP/Labex UnivEarthS/University Paris Diderot – C. Epitalon & S. Rodriguez

September 24, 2018 – Data from the international Cassini spacecraft that explored Saturn and its moons between 2004 and 2017 has revealed what appear to be giant dust storms in equatorial regions of Titan. Read More

More News

Ancient Mars Had Right Conditions For Underground Life, New Research Suggests
Source: Brown University

MINERVA-II1: Successful Image Capture, Landing On Ryugu And Hop!
Source: JAXA

Martian Moon May Have Come From Impact On Home Planet, New Study Suggests
Source: American Geophysical Union (AGU)

A New Look At The Solar Corona
Source: AAS Nova

Four Extremely Young Asteroid Families Identified
Source: São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

Partnership Enables Landmark Science Glovebox Launch To Space Station
Source: NASA

NASA, BOEM To Study Technology For Next Generation Animal Tracking
Source: NASA

What’s The Recipe For A Habitable Planet?
Source: EarthSky Communications, Inc.

Japan Conducts HTV-7 Launch To Space Station, Test Of New Recoverable Capsule

Where No Commercial Satellite Bus Has Gone Before
Source: SpaceNews

Commanders In Chief: The Women Building America’s Military Machine
Source: Fortune

Lockheed Preps Ground System To Support GPS III Launches
Source: GPS World