April 10, 2017

Flares In Profile

Image Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA

April 10, 2017 – NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) captured images of an active region at the sun’s edge that produced several M5-class (medium sized) flares over a ten-hour period on April 3, 2017. These were the strongest flares of the year so far. Some coronal mass ejections (which hurled clouds of plasma into space) were also associated with some of the flares. Read More


AFA Announces StellarXplorers III National Champions

April 10, 2017 – The Air Force Association today announced the National Champions of StellarXplorers III, the National High School Space Challenge, held in Colorado, April 6-8, 2017. Ten National Finalist teams representing schools and other organizations from Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Oregon, Texas and Kaiserslautern (Germany) competed in the Space Foundation’s Discovery Center on a challenging space system design problem. Read More


AFSPC Commander Unveils Three Major Space Initiatives At 33rd Space Symposium

Image Credit: USAF

April 10, 2017 – The Air Force unveiled three significant space initiatives at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs last week. During a keynote address, General Jay Raymond, commander of Air Force Space Command, announced a new office for space at the Air Staff, a new warfighting construct for space, and improvements in space battle management command and control. Read More


NASA To Reveal New Discoveries In News Conference On Oceans Beyond Earth

NASA is exploring the ocean worlds in our solar system as part of our search for life outside of Earth. Image Credit: NASA

April 10, 2017 – NASA will discuss new results about ocean worlds in our solar system from the agency’s Cassini spacecraft and the Hubble Space Telescope during a news briefing 12 p.m. MDT on Thursday, April 13. The event, to be held at the James Webb Auditorium at NASA Headquarters in Washington, will include remote participation from experts across the country. Read More


Nap Time For New Horizons: NASA Spacecraft Enters Hibernation

Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

April 10, 2017 – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has eased into a long summer’s nap, entering a hibernation phase on April 7 that will last until early September. Read More


Third Launch Attempt Postponed For Super Pressure Balloon

Image Credit: NASA

April 10, 2017 – NASA postponed the third launch attempt of its super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka, New Zealand, at 4:30 a.m. Monday, April 10 due to poor weather at ground and surface levels. Read More


MAVEN Reveals Mars Has Metal In Its Atmosphere

This artist concept shows the MAVEN spacecraft and the limb of Mars. MAVEN has made the first direct observation of the permanent presence of metal ions in the ionosphere of a planet other than Earth. Image Credit: NASA/GSFC

April 10, 2017 – Mars has electrically charged metal atoms (ions) high in its atmosphere, according to new MAVEN results. The metal ions can reveal previously invisible activity in the mysterious electrically charged upper atmosphere (ionosphere) of Mars. Read More


DigitalGlobe Signs Reseller Agreement With Hitachi

April 10, 2017 – DigitalGlobe, Inc. and Hitachi, Ltd. signed a commercial reseller agreement that designates Hitachi as the exclusive reseller of DigitalGlobe products in Japan. Read More


More News:

Air Force Academy Serious About Cadet-Built Satellites Hitting Space
Source: Colorado Springs Gazette

A landmark rocket launch planned later this year will lift Air Force Academy hopes to orbit with two cadet-built satellites hitting space after years of planning.


NASA Leaders Visit Lockheed Martin In Littleton
Source: SpaceFlight Insider

On April 5, 2017, acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot and other top agency officials visited Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado, to see progress on the various missions the company is working on.


Scientists Fear Climate Data Gap As Trump Aims At Satellites
Source: The New York Times

Among the sweeping cuts in the Trump administration’s 53-page budget blueprint released last month, one paragraph stood out to climate researchers. It proposed eliminating four of NASA’s climate science missions …


PACMan To Help Sort Hubble Proposals
Source: AAS Nova

Every year, astronomers submit over a thousand proposals requesting time on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Currently, humans must sort through each of these proposals by hand before sending them off for review. Could this burden be shifted to computers?


Before Reaching The Launch Pad, Rocket’s Price May Be Returning To Earth
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Before NASA’s Orion exploration capsule has had its first full-blown test flight, Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. already are talking about slashing roughly 50% off the price of later versions of the spacecraft and its heavy-lift rocket.


RD-180 Provider Seeks Additional ULA Engine Order
Source: SpaceNews

The new chief executive of the U.S.-Russian joint venture that provides RD-180 engines to United Launch Alliance said April 6 he hopes to win an order for additional engines.


What Scientists Expect To Learn From Cassini’s Upcoming Plunge Into Saturn
Source: NASA/Many Worlds

Seldom has the planned end of a NASA mission brought so much expectation and scientific high drama. Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) put it this way: “Cassini will make some of its most extraordinary observations at the end of its long life.”


Gardner, Peters Request Increase In U.S. Science Funding
Source: Sen. Cory Gardner

United States Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI), members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, sent a letter today to the Senate Appropriations Committee urging the Committee to support a substantial increase in federal funding for science, research, and development at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).


NASA Astronaut Shane Kimbrough, Space Station Crewmates Return To Earth
Source: NASA

Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA is among three crew members from the International Space Station (ISS) who returned to Earth Monday, after 173 days in space, landing in Kazakhstan at approximately 7:20 a.m. EDT (5:20 p.m. Kazakhstan time).


Hubble Spots Auroras On Uranus
Source: NASA

NASA released a composite image of Uranus by Voyager 2 and two different observations made by Hubble — one for the ring and one for the auroras.


Plateaus Up Close
Source: NASA

Saturn’s C ring isn’t uniformly bright. Instead, about a dozen regions of the ring stand out as noticeably brighter than the rest of the ring, while about half a dozen regions are devoid of ring material. Scientists call the bright regions “plateaus” and the devoid regions “gaps.”


Team That Built Optical Instruments For Pluto Flyby To Receive SPIE George W. Goddard Award
Source: SPIE

The optical cameras and spectrometers developed for NASA’s New Horizons mission to explore Pluto and the outer reaches of our solar system represent the most sophisticated instruments of their kind.


Cutting-Edge Satellite Technology Is A Family Affair For Owners Ray Anderson And Sons
Source: Company Week

Founded in a Southern California garage, SEAKR’s business is built on making better data recorders for satellites. The Andersons relocated the company from California to Colorado in 1995.


CU Boulder Researcher Lands NASA Grant To Advance Asteroid Mining
Source: Boulder Daily Camera

If humans in future decades realize a goal of mining asteroids for water, Jay McMahon may very well be able to take credit for helping to make it happen.


Space Missions Come Together In Colorado
Source: NASA

Our leadership hit the road to visit our commercial partners Lockheed Martin, Sierra Nevada Corp. and Ball Aerospace in Colorado. They were able to check the status of flight hardware, mission operations and even test virtual reality simulations that help these companies build spacecraft parts. Let’s take a look at all the cool technology they got to see…


Mars’ Atmosphere … Lost In Space!
Source: The Planetary Society

Mars was once a warm and wet world. Then its dense, protective atmosphere mostly vanished. Learning why was one of the greatest mysteries in planetary science. The answer has just been delivered by the MAVEN orbiter. Principal Investigator Bruce Jakosky will take us through it.