April 12, 2017

Ball Aerospace Weather Instrument Completes Three Years Of Successful Operations On Orbit

The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI), designed and built by Ball Aerospace for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace

April 12, 2017 – The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) Microwave Imager (GMI), designed and built by Ball Aerospace for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, is entering its fourth year of service. Designed as a 3-year mission, GMI has performed successful operations on orbit while exceeding its performance requirements. The GPM spacecraft that hosts the GMI instrument is a joint effort between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to provide frequent, near-global precipitation information critical for improving weather forecasting and protecting lives and property. Read More

Denver Chosen To Host Region’s First Feature Maker Faire

Denver Chosen to Host Region’s First Feature Maker Faire. Image Credit: PRNewsfoto/Colorado Maker Hub

April 12, 2017 – The Colorado Maker Hub, a non-profit organization committed to celebrating the Maker Movement by connecting and educating Colorado makers, announced today that Denver has been selected to host the first Feature Maker Faire in the Rocky Mountains and surrounding states on October 14-15, 2017, at the Denver Mart. Read More

New Night Lights Maps Open Up Possible Real-Time Applications

This is a composite image of continental US at night, 2016. Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data from Miguel Román, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

April 12, 2017 – NASA scientists are releasing new global maps of Earth at night, providing the clearest yet composite view of the patterns of human settlement across our planet. Read More

Hawaii-Built Infrared Instrument For World’s Largest Solar Telescope Catches Its First Rays

A first-light image from CryoNIRSP. It delivers two spectra simultaneously with opposite polarizations (the left and right panels above). This image shows light from near the edge of the Sun spread out horizontally in wavelength, near the wavelength of a prominent absorption line of Calcium. Image Credit: UH Institute for Astronomy

April 12, 2017 – The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST), currently under construction on Haleakala, Maui, is expected to start observing the Sun in 2020. When it does, it will rely on two complex infrared instruments being built by the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy (IfA). Their goal is to measure the Sun’s weak magnetic field. Read More

NASA Television To Air Launch Of NASA Astronaut Jack Fischer, Crewmate

In the Integration Building at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 51 crewmembers Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Jack Fischer of NASA sit for pictures April 6, 2017, in front of their Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft as part of pre-launch preparations. Image Credit: NASA

April 12, 2017 – NASA astronaut Jack Fischer is poised for a journey of exploration and research on the International Space Station. Extensive coverage of upcoming prelaunch activities, launch and arrival will air on NASA Television and streamed on the agency’s website. Read More

Raytheon Speeds Delivery And Secures Satellite Weather Data

April 12, 2017 – Raytheon has completed an upgrade and final testing of the data transport and processing system for the Joint Polar Satellite System Common Ground System which provides weather and environmental data used by NASA, NOAA, the U.S. Department of Defense and the agencies’ international partners. Read More

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W. M. Keck Observatory Achieves First Light With New Instrument
Source: W. M. Keck Observatory

W. M. Keck Observatory overnight captured the very first successful science data from its newest, cutting-edge instrument, the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI).

NASA Official Receives Ultimate ‘Stamp of Approval’
Source: NASA

When Sandra Cauffman received a message in September 2016 from Ana Helena Chacón Echeverría, one of the two vice presidents of Costa Rica, she wasn’t sure what to think. Cauffman, a native of the Central American nation, serves as the deputy director of NASA’s Earth Science Division, within the Science Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters in Washington.

New Method For 3D Printing Extraterrestrial Materials
Source: Northwestern University

When humans begin to colonize the moon and Mars, they will need to be able to make everything from small tools to large buildings using the limited surrounding resources. Northwestern Engineering’s Ramille Shah and her Tissue Engineering and Additive Manufacturing (TEAM) Laboratory have demonstrated the ability to 3D-print structures with simulants of Martian and lunar dust.

ALMA Investigates ‘DeeDee,’ A Distant, Dim Member Of Our Solar System
Source: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), astronomers have revealed extraordinary details about a recently discovered far-flung member of our solar system, the planetary body 2014 UZ224, more informally known as DeeDee.

The World’s Two Most Powerful Telescopes Are Glorious—And Vulnerable
Source: Ars Technica

Near the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii—Bill Healy stares into the primary mirror of the largest telescope in the world, and, for a second, he pauses. Even now, after nearly two decades of looking after this titanic instrument on top of a mountain, the immensity of the mirror still arrests him.

Former NASA Official Dava Newman Speaks About Space Travel And Technology At Conference On World Affairs
Source: CU Independent

Dava Newman discussed developments in space technology and NASA’s plans on journeying to Mars during a visit to CU Boulder.

RD-180 Ban Thrusts Russian Manufacturer Into Uncertain Future
Source: DefenseNews

With the replacement of the RD-180 all but inevitable, the head of a Russian space agency downplayed concerns about losing the engine’s biggest buyer: the Lockheed Martin and Boeing joint venture United Launch Alliance.

‘Blue Origin’ Rocket Engine’s Future Rests On Upcoming Hot-Fire Tests
Source: DefenseNews

United Launch Alliance is set to make a decision this year on whether a Blue Origin or Aerojet Rocketdyne engine should power its Vulcan launch system. The outcome hinges on a series of hot-fire tests that will prove whether Blue Origin’s BE4 works, ULA’s chief executive told Defense News on April 6.

United Nations/United States of America Workshop On The International Space Weather Initiative: The Decade After The International Heliophysical Year 2007
Source: United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

The International Heliophysical Year 2007 (IHY) drew scientists and engineers from around the globe in a coordinated observation campaign of the heliosphere and its effects on planet Earth. The present Workshop marks the 10 th anniversary of IHY, and will consider future international cooperation in space weather activities linked to the preparations for the 50 th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE+50) under its thematic priority 4. “International framework for space weather services”.

Flown Orion Crew Module Moves To Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex
Source: NASA

The Orion crew module that traveled into space beyond low-Earth orbit on Exploration Fight Test 1 (EFT-1) completed a different kind of trip this week at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

A Mesa In Noctis Labyrinthus
Source: NASA

A new image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows a small (0.4 kilometer) mesa, one of several surrounded by sand dunes in Noctis Labyrinthyus, an extensively fractured region on the western end of Valles Marineris.

Commanding Cassini: Sending The Code To Begin The Grand Finale
Source: NASA/JPL

Throughout Cassini’s nearly 20-year mission, the flight team on Earth has transmitted between four and 10 weeks of commands to the spacecraft at a time. This transmission on April 11, 2017, was special.

NASA Scientists Find Dynamo At Lunar Core May Have Formed Magnetic Field
Source: NASA

The moon no longer has a magnetic field, but NASA scientists are publishing new research that shows heat from crystallization of the lunar core may have driven its now-defunct magnetic field some 3 billion years ago.

The SpaceNet Challenge Round 2 Has Launched
Source: DigitalGlobe

Machine learning is currently one of the most active areas of innovation. Each week, it seems a new deep learning technique is published. DigitalGlobe, CosmiQ Works, and NVIDIA launched SpaceNet last year to encourage the applications of such algorithms to geospatial data, including automating the creation of map data from satellite imagery.

Earth-Sized ‘Tatooine’ Planets Could Be Habitable
Source: NASA/JPL

With two suns in its sky, Luke Skywalker’s home planet Tatooine in “Star Wars” looks like a parched, sandy desert world. In real life, thanks to observatories such as NASA’s Kepler space telescope, we know that two-star systems can indeed support planets, although planets discovered so far around double-star systems are large and gaseous. Scientists wondered: If an Earth-size planet were orbiting two suns, could it support life?

NASA’s High-Altitude Plane Takes To The Sky For GOES-16 Field Campaign
Source: NASA

A NASA ER-2 high-altitude plane has taken to the air to complete phase one of the 11-week GOES-16 Field Campaign to ensure NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite provides precise satellite measurements, which will improve forecasting. The mission? Ensure that NOAA’s GOES-16’s Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) and Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) instruments are “seeing” the same targets as the plane’s instruments.

SWF Co-Hosted Two Events at the Space Foundation’s 33rd Annual Space Symposium
Source: Secure World Foundation

The Space Foundation’s 33rd annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado featured speakers and attendees from across the world. Secure World Foundation engaged with the space community, and co-hosted two events.