Latest News

Gas Insulation Could Be Protecting An Ocean Inside Pluto

Natural color image of Pluto taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft in 2015. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Alex Parker

May 22, 2019 – A gassy insulating layer beneath the icy surfaces of distant celestial objects could mean there are more oceans in the universe than previously thought. Computer simulations provide compelling evidence that an insulating layer of gas hydrates could keep a subsurface ocean from freezing beneath Pluto’s icy exterior, according to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Read More


ULA Completes Final Design Review For New Vulcan Centaur Rocket

Image Credit: United Launch Alliance (ULA)

May 22, 2019 – United Launch Alliance leaders and engineers completed an important milestone with the conclusion of the system Critical Design Review (CDR) for the company’s new Vulcan Centaur rocket. The system-level CDR is the final review of the design for the overall rocket. Read More


18 Earth-Sized Exoplanets Discovered

Image Credit: NASA/JPL (Neptun), NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring (Erde), MPS/René Heller

May 22, 2019 – Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), the Georg August University of Göttingen, and the Sonneberg Observatory have discovered 18 Earth-sized planets beyond the solar system. The worlds are so small that previous surveys had overlooked them. One of them is one of the smallest known so far; another one could offer conditions friendly to life. Read More


NASA’s Juno Finds Changes In Jupiter’s Magnetic Field

This animation illustrates Jupiter’s magnetic field at a single moment in time. The Great Blue Spot, an-invisible-to-the-eye concentration of magnetic field near the equator, stands out as a particularly strong feature. The gray lines (called field lines) show the field’s direction in space, and the deepness of the color corresponds to the strength of the magnetic field (with dark red and dark blue for regions with strongly positive and strongly negative fields, respectively). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard/Moore et al.

May 20, 2019 – NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter made the first definitive detection beyond our world of an internal magnetic field that changes over time, a phenomenon called secular variation. Juno determined the gas giant’s secular variation is most likely driven by the planet’s deep atmospheric winds. Read More


Maxar Selected By NASA To Study Future Space Communications Architecture And Services

May 20, 2019 – Maxar Technologies has been selected by NASA to study future systems that could revolutionize NASA’s space-based communications architecture through innovative technologies and commercial partnerships. The future architecture would be used for scientific and human exploration missions in Earth orbit, at the Moon, and throughout the solar system beginning in the mid-2020s. Read More


New Horizons Team Publishes First Kuiper Belt Flyby Science Results

Aside from the scientific results it contains, the New Horizons Science paper summarizing early findings from the flyby of Ultima Thule is noteworthy for another reason: it has more than 200 co-authors, representing more than 40 institutions. Principal Investigator Alan Stern, as mission head and lead author, thought it important to give authorship to the full range of team members who had role on the successful flyby. As a result, Stern’s paper includes authors from the science, spacecraft, operations, mission design, management and communications teams, as well as collaborators, such as contributing scientist and stereo imaging specialist (and legendary Queen guitarist) Brian May, NASA Planetary Division Director Lori Glaze, NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green, and NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen. Image Credit: AAAS/Science

May 20, 2019 – NASA’s New Horizons mission team has published the first profile of the farthest world ever explored, a planetary building block and Kuiper Belt object called 2014 MU69. Read More


NOAA Awards Harris Corporation $284 Million GOES-R Series Ground Segment Contract Extension

Image Credit: Harris Corporation

May 20, 2019 – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded Harris Corporation a three-year, $284 million sole-source extension on the ground segment contract supporting Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) -R Series weather satellites – bringing new technologies that support increased capabilities. Read More


NASA’s MRO Completes 60,000 Trips Around Mars

This still from an animation shows NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter soaring over Mars. The spacecraft has been in Mars orbit for 13 years, and just completed 60,000 trips around the planet. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

May 20, 2019 – NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter hit a dizzying milestone on May 15: It completed 60,000 loops around the Red Planet at 11:39 a.m. MDT (1:39 p.m. EDT). On average, MRO takes 112 minutes to circle Mars, whipping around at about 2 miles per second (3.4 kilometers per second). Read More


NASA Taps 11 American Companies To Advance Human Lunar Landers

Illustration of a human landing system. Image Credit: NASA

May 20, 2019 – NASA has selected 11 companies to conduct studies and produce prototypes of human landers for its Artemis lunar exploration program. This effort will help put American astronauts — the first woman and next man — on the Moon’s south pole by 2024 and establish sustainable missions by 2028. Read More


York Space Systems Successfully Completes Bus Commissioning Of S-CLASS Spacecraft with Unprecedented Rapid Deployment

York Space Systems’ S-CLASS captures its first sunrise shot from orbit. Image Credit: York Space Systems

May 20, 2019 – York Space Systems, an aerospace company specializing in complete space segment customer solutions and the manufacture of standardized spacecraft platforms, announced that it has successfully completed bus commissioning of its S-CLASS spacecraft platform from its Multi-Mission Operations Center (M-MOC) located in Denver, Colorado. The commissioning process occurred at a rapid pace and concluded less than five days after the S-CLASS platform established first contact. Read More


More News

Space Travel And Your Joints
Source: Henry Ford Health System


NASA Plum Brook Station Gets Ready For EM-1 Orion Testing
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com


Stellar Waltz With Dramatic Ending
Source: University of Bonn


General Atomics Orbital Test Bed Satellite Arrives At Cape Canaveral
Source: General Atomics


Astrobotic Signs Lunar Payload Agreement With Canadensys Aerospace
Source: Astrobotic


Former Ambassador Barbara Barrett Tapped To Replace Heather Wilson As Air Force Secretary
Source: SpaceNews


SpaceX Files Bid Protest In Federal Court
Source: SpaceNews


ULA Begins Stacking Atlas 5 Rocket For Late June Launch
Source: Spaceflight Now


Indian Radar Reconnaissance Satellite Set For Launch
Source: Spaceflight Now


Raytheon And JFK Library Inspire “Moonshot Thinking” With New STEM Challenge At Boys & Girls Clubs
Source: Raytheon Company


BlackBird Partners With Bye Aerospace To Make On-Demand Flying More Affordable Than Driving
Source: Bye Aerospace


China’s Chang’E 4 Mission Discovers New “Secrets” From The Far Side Of The Moon
Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences


NASA Selects Studies For Future Space Communications And Services
Source: NASA


NASA And Peanuts Celebrate Apollo 10’s 50th Anniversary
Source: NASA


NASA Testing Method To Grow Bigger Plants In Space
Source: NASA


EchoStar Selling Broadcast Business, Including Nine Satellites, To Dish For $800 Million
Source: SpaceNews


Giant Impact Caused Difference Between Moon’s Hemispheres
Source: American Geophysical Union (AGU)


Plans Move Ahead For New U.S. Space Command
Source: The Gazette


Proton Launch Provider ILS Embraces Closer Relationship With Roscosmos
Source: Spaceflight Now


Long March 3C Rocket Launches Beidou Satellite Toward Geostationary Orbit
Source: Spaceflight Now


House Appropriators Do Not Approve Funding To Establish Space Force, Call On DoD To Study Alternatives
Source: SpaceNews


Troubleshooting Of Mars InSight Instrument Continues
Source: SpaceNews


Blended Team Receives Award For Historic Engine Test Series At Stennis
Source: NASA


Mars 2020 Is Coming Together
Source: NASA/JPL


Shedding Light On White Dwarfs – The Future Of Stars Like Our Sun
Source: ESA


Inside Swamp Works, The NASA Lab Learning To Mine The Moon
Source: WIRED


Moondust Could Cloud Our Lunar Ambitions
Source: WIRED


ULA CEO Tory Bruno: US Should Embrace Space Innovation
Source: ExecutiveBiz


House Issues $74B FY20 Funding Bill For Commerce, DOJ, NASA
Source: ExecutiveGov


Planet-Hunter CubeSat Images Los Angeles
Source: NASA


Here’s Looking At You! Astrobee’s First Robot Completes Initial Hardware Checks In Space
Source: NASA


Smead Aerospace Is Moving To A New Building
Source: University of Colorado Boulder


Sedimentary, Dear Johnson: Is NASA Looking At The Wrong Rocks For Clues To Martian Life?
Source: Frontiers In Earth Science


Vanderbilt University Wins NASA’s 2019 Student Launch Competition
Source: NASA