April 23, 2017 – April 29, 2017

Ball Aerospace To Provide Critical Component For NASA Mission Studying Life Cycle Of Stars In The Milky Way Galaxy

NASA has selected a science mission that will untangle the complexities of the interstellar medium, and map out large sections of the plane of our Milky Way galaxy and the Large Magellanic Cloud. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and Hubble Heritage Team

April 27, 2017 – Ball Aerospace will design and build a cryostat for NASA’s Galactic/Extragalactic Ultralong Duration Balloon (ULDB) Spectroscopic Terahertz Observatory mission, or GUSTO. The mission is led by the University of Arizona. Ball’s cryostat will provide a temperature-controlled environment for the detectors and is a critical element in the success and longevity of the GUSTO mission. Read More


‘Iceball’ Planet Discovered Through Microlensing

This artist’s concept shows OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb, a planet discovered through a technique called microlensing. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

April 27, 2017 – Scientists have discovered a new planet with the mass of Earth, orbiting its star at the same distance that we orbit our sun. The planet is likely far too cold to be habitable for life as we know it, however, because its star is so faint. But the discovery adds to scientists’ understanding of the types of planetary systems that exist beyond our own. Read More


NASA Spacecraft Dives Between Saturn And Its Rings

These unprocessed images show features in Saturn’s atmosphere from closer than ever before. The view was captured by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft during its first Grand Finale dive past the planet on April 26, 2017. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

April 27, 2017 – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is back in contact with Earth after its successful first-ever dive through the narrow gap between the planet Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017. The spacecraft is in the process of beaming back science and engineering data collected during its passage, via NASA’s Deep Space Network Goldstone Complex in California’s Mojave Desert. The DSN acquired Cassini’s signal at 11:56 p.m. PDT on April 26, 2017 (2:56 a.m. EDT on April 27) and data began flowing at 12:01 a.m. PDT (3:01 a.m. EDT) on April 27. Read More


Spatial Corp. Joins ADAPT

April 27, 2017 – ADAPT, the Alliance for the Development of Additive Processing Technologies, a research consortium focused on developing technologies to accelerate the certification and qualification of 3D printed metal parts, welcomes new member Spatial Corp., the leading provider of 3D software development toolkits for design, manufacturing, and engineering solutions, including leading additive manufacturing hardware producers. Read More


Knipp Honored With 2017 CEDAR Prize Lecture

Delores Knipp. Image Credit: CU Boulder

April 26, 2017 – Research professor Delores Knipp has been selected to give the 2017 CEDAR Prize Lecture. Knipp is receiving the honor for her space weather research “unraveling the physical connection between shock-led interplanetary coronal mass ejections (ICMEs) and the subsequent response in the neutral thermosphere.” Read More


Space Foundation Is Accepting Nominations For 2017 Colorado Space Heroes Hall Of Fame

April 26, 2017 – The Space Foundation is now seeking nominations for induction into the distinguished Colorado Space Heroes Hall of Fame in 2017. Nominations are open through Wednesday, May 31. Read More


NASA’s Super Pressure Balloon Takes Flight From New Zealand

NASA’s Super Pressure Balloon stands fully inflated and ready for lift-off from Wanaka Airport, New Zealand. The balloon took flight at 10:50 a.m. local time April 25 (6:50 p.m. April 24 in U.S. Eastern Time). Image Credit: NASA/Bill Rodman

April 25, 2017 – NASA successfully launched its football-stadium-sized, heavy-lift super pressure balloon (SPB) from Wanaka, New Zealand, at 10:50 a.m. Tuesday, April 25 (6:50 p.m. April 24 in U.S. Eastern Time), on a mission designed to run 100 or more days floating at 110,000 feet (33.5 km) about the globe in the southern hemisphere’s mid-latitude band. Read More


NASA’s Cassini, Voyager Missions Suggest New Picture Of Sun’s Interaction With Galaxy

New data from NASA’s Cassini, Voyager and Interstellar Boundary Explorer missions show that the heliosphere — the bubble of the sun’s magnetic influence that surrounds the inner solar system — may be much more compact and rounded than previously thought. The image on the left shows a compact model of the heliosphere, supported by this latest data, while the image on the right shows an alternate model with an extended tail. The main difference is the new model’s lack of a trailing, comet-like tail on one side of the heliosphere. This tail is shown in the old model in light blue.
Image Credit: Dialynas, et al. (left); NASA (right)

April 25, 2017 – New data from NASA’s Cassini mission, combined with measurements from the two Voyager spacecraft and NASA’s Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, suggests that our sun and planets are surrounded by a giant, rounded system of magnetic field from the sun — calling into question the alternate view of the solar magnetic fields trailing behind the sun in the shape of a long comet tail. Read More


SwRI-Led Team Discovers Lull In Mars’ Giant Impact History

Mars bears the scars of five giant impacts, including the ancient giant Borealis basin (top of globe), Hellas (bottom right), and Argyre (bottom left). An SwRI-led team discovered that Mars experienced a 400-million-year lull in impacts between the formation of Borealis and the younger basins. Image Credit: University of Arizona/LPL/Southwest Research Institute

April 25, 2017 – From the earliest days of our solar system’s history, collisions between astronomical objects have shaped the planets and changed the course of their evolution. Studying the early bombardment history of Mars, scientists at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the University of Arizona have discovered a 400-million-year lull in large impacts early in Martian history. Read More


James Webb Space Telescope Mirror Seen In Full Bloom

Image credit: NASA/Desiree Stover

April 25, 2017 – It’s springtime and the deployed primary mirror of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope looks like a spring flower in full bloom. In this photo, NASA technicians lifted the telescope using a crane and moved it inside a clean room at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Read More


Cutting-Edge “Space Garden” Equipment On International Space Station Developed By Sierra Nevada Corporation

APH prototype with dwarf wheat and Arabidopsis. Image Credit: Kennedy Space Center NASA

April 24, 2017 – A cutting-edge, automated “space garden” called the Advanced Plant Habitat (APH) launched for the International Space Station (ISS) and safely berthed to the ISS on Saturday. Jointly designed by Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) ORBITEC team and NASA engineers, the APH will grow new crops and science experiments critical to space agriculture and bio production research. Read More


U.S. Navy’s Fifth Lockheed Martin-Built MUOS Satellite Now Supporting Troops With Ultra High Frequency Communications

The fifth satellite of the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-5) at Lockheed Martin’s Sunnyvale, California satellite manufacturing facility prior to its launch. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

April 24, 2017 – The fifth Lockheed Martin-built Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-5) satellite is now delivering secure, beyond-line-of-sight communications to troops with legacy Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radios. Read More


2 SOPS Says Goodbye To GPS Satellite

An artist’s rendering of the GPS Block IIA. Image Credit: USAF

April 24, 2017 – At 25-years old, Global Positioning System Satellite Vehicle Number 27 completed its time in orbit before the 2nd Space Operations Squadron said goodbye via final command and disposal here April 18. Read More


More News:

Mines-Built Space Observatory Launches Into Stratosphere
Source: Colorado School of Mines

A NASA space observatory put together by Colorado School of Mines researchers has launched from Wanaka Airport in Otago, New Zealand, the afternoon of April 24, 2017 (10:50 a.m. April 25 local time), in a pioneering attempt to observe ultra-high-energy cosmic rays entering Earth’s atmosphere.


Lockheed Martin MUOS 5 Supports US Navy Ultra High Frequency Comms
Source: Via Satellite

The fifth Lockheed Martin-built Mobile User Objective System (MUOS 5) satellite is now delivering secure, Beyond-Line-Of-Sight (BLOS) communications to troops with legacy Ultra High Frequency (UHF) radios.


EchoStar Welcomes Signing Of Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act
Source: EchoStar

EchoStar today issued the following statement regarding the signing of the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act by Governor Bill Haslam on April 25, 2017 …


Saturn Spacecraft Starts Its Grand Finale
Source: CU Boulder Today

Toting a $12 million instrument built by CU Boulder, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft made the first of 22 dives between the rings of Saturn and the gaseous planet today, the beginning of the end for one of NASA’s most successful missions ever.


The Search Is On For New Horizons’ Next Target
Source: Discover

The eyes of the world turned from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft after its 2015 flyby at Pluto. But on New Year’s Eve next year, the space probe will zoom past another object unlike any astronomers have ever seen before.


Scientists Propose Mechanism To Describe Solar Eruptions Of All Sizes
Source: NASA

From long, tapered jets to massive explosions of solar material and energy, eruptions on the sun come in many shapes and sizes. Since they erupt at such vastly different scales, jets and the massive clouds — called coronal mass ejections, or CMEs — were previously thought to be driven by different processes.


New Players Trigger New Space Race, GPS III Update
Source: GPS World

This month, we bring you a guest column on the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Robin Wrinn, a communications professional based in Atlanta, gives her perspective on the premier annual space event, held in early April.


NASA’s Management And Development Of Spacesuits
Source: Office of Inspector General

In this audit, the OIG examined NASA’s efforts to maintain its existing spacesuits and its plans for and progress in developing its next-generation spacesuits. To complete this work, they interviewed Agency and other relevant officials; analyzed cost, schedule, and performance data; and reviewed relevant reports, documents, and presentations.


Here Is the Trump Transition Team’s Big Plan For NASA
Source: Popular Mechanics

Popular Mechanics met with astrophysicist Jack Burns, a member of President Trump’s NASA transition team, to learn a little about what we can expect from the agency moving forward.


Scientists Are Already Planning The Next Mission To Pluto
Source: Gizmodo

The Pluto-shaped void in our hearts has yet to be filled by Planet 9, copious amounts of Ben & Jerry’s, or anything. Ever since the winter of 2015, when NASA’s New Horizons performed a six-month-long reconnaissance flyby study of Pluto and its moons, fans of the dwarf planet have wondered if or when we’d ever go back.


Despite Delays, Boeings Starliner Moving Steadily Toward The Launch Pad
Source: Ars Technica

Last October, during a White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh, President Obama sat down in a simulator of Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft, which will begin transporting astronauts to the International Space Station within a couple of years.


Dawn Observing Ceres; 3rd Reaction Wheel Malfunctions
Source: NASA

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft is preparing to observe Ceres on April 29 from an “opposition” position, directly between the dwarf planet’s mysterious Occator Crater and the sun. This unique geometry may yield new insights about the bright material in the center of the crater. While preparing for this observation, one of Dawn’s two remaining reaction wheels stopped functioning on April 23.


Cruz Interested In Updating Outer Space Treaty To Support Commercial Space Activities
Source: SpaceNews

The chairman of the Senate space subcommittee said at a hearing April 26 that it may be time for the United States to update a key space treaty to reflect growing commercial space activities.


Replacing The RD-180: Drama And Intrigue
Source: The Avion Newspaper

The RD-180 is a rocket engine that was originally designed in the 1990s by the Russian company NPO Energomash. These engines are widely used in space endeavors both governmental and commercial by multiple countries.


Cassini’s First Grand Finale Dive: Milestones
Source: NASA

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is set to make its first dive through the narrow gap between Saturn and its rings on April 26, 2017. Below is a list of milestones expected to occur during the event, if all goes as planned …


Taking AIM At Night-Shining Clouds: 10 Years, 10 Science Highlights
Source: NASA

Launched on April 25, 2007, NASA’s Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere, or AIM, mission, has provided a wealth of new science on the dynamics and composition of Earth’s upper atmosphere. Designed to study noctilucent, or night-shining, clouds, AIM’s data have helped scientists understand a host of upper-atmosphere phenomena, from radio echoes to giant, planet-scale atmospheric waves.


How Old Are Martian Gullies?
Source: NASA

Gullies eroded into the steep inner slope of an impact crater at this location appear perfectly pristine in this image captured by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Although at first glance it may appear that there are craters superimposed on the gully fans, inspection of HiRISE stereo coverage shows that the craters lie only on the pre-gully terrain.


Cassini Completes Final — And Fateful — Titan Flyby
Source: NASA

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has had its last close brush with Saturn’s hazy moon Titan and is now beginning its final set of 22 orbits around the ringed planet.


Dr. Carly Howett: Exploring The Great Beyond
Source: Creative Mornings

Senior research scientist Dr. Carly Howett talks to us about her exploration of Pluto as part of the New Horizon’s team.


Latch Blamed For James Webb Telescope Vibration Test Anomaly
Source: Space.com

A latch that didn’t close properly was the cause of the anomaly that halted vibration testing of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope last December.


ULA Gives Short-Term Boost To Lockheed Martin Space Earnings
Source: SpaceNews

Lockheed Martin Space Systems reported an increase in profit in its fiscal first quarter April 25 thanks in part to an increase in earnings from its stake in United Launch Alliance, but company officials cautioned that it expected ULA’s contributions to decline later this year.


An Aerospace Coder Drags A Stodgy Industry Toward Open Source
Source: Wired

More than a decade ago, software engineer Ryan Melton spent his evenings, after workdays at Ball Aerospace, trying to learn to use a 3-D modeling program. After a few weeks, for all his effort, he could make … rectangles that moved. Still, it was a good start. Melton showed his spinning digital shapes to Ball, a company that makes spacecraft and spacecraft parts, and got the go-ahead he’d been looking for …