August 1, 2017

SwRI’s Small Satellite Mission Moves Forward

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is developing the concept for a small satellite mission to image the Sun’s outer corona. PUNCH proposes a constellation of four suitcase-sized satellites that will orbit the Earth, studying how the Sun’s corona connects with the interplanetary medium, to better understand how coronal structures fuel the solar wind with mass and energy. Image Credit: SwRI

August 1, 2017 – NASA has selected Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to further develop the concept for a small satellite mission to image the Sun’s outer corona. SwRI’s “Polarimeter to Unify the Corona and Heliosphere” (PUNCH) program was selected for a mission concept study through NASA’s Heliophysics Small Explorers Program (SMEX). Read More


NASA’s Voyager Spacecraft Still Reaching For The Stars After 40 Years

An artist concept depicting one of the twin Voyager spacecraft. Humanity’s farthest and longest-lived spacecraft are celebrating 40 years in August and September 2017. Image Credit: NASA

August 1, 2017 – Humanity’s farthest and longest-lived spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, achieve 40 years of operation and exploration this August and September. Despite their vast distance, they continue to communicate with NASA daily, still probing the final frontier. Read More


Hensel Phelps Honored With DBIA National Award Of Merit

August 1, 2017 – The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) is recognizing the accomplishments of the Hensel Phelps Design-Build Team for work to restore crew launch capabilities to the United States. Hensel Phelps Design-Build team has won a DBIA National Award of Merit in the Industrial/Process/Research Facilities category from the Design-Build Institute of America for the work it performed at Space Launch Complex 41, which will be the launch site for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft atop United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket. Because of this honor, the project is automatically a nominee for the National Award of Excellence in the Industrial/Process/Research Facilities category, the highest honor within each category. The Hensel Phelps Design-Build Team will be honored at the awards program taking place at the Design-Build Conference & Expo on November 9th in Philadelphia. Read More


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SWF Supports Newly Founded Brooke Owens Fellowship Program
Source: Secure World Foundation

Providing mentoring, conference leadership, and individual copies of the Handbook for New Actors in Space for each participant, Secure World Foundation has been an active partner in launching the new Brooke Owens Fellowship Program.


2017 NOAA Satellite Conference Addresses Future View Of Satellite Meteorology
Source: Secure World Foundation

Secure World Foundation supported the 2017 NOAA Satellite Conference recently held in New York City from July 17 through 20. Hosted by NOAA Cooperative Science Center for Earth System Sciences and Remote Sensing Technologies (CREST) at The City College of New York, this meeting consisted of invited oral and presentations with emphasis on environmental satellite technological, scientific, educational and training opportunities, and direct readout and re-broadcast services to raise awareness of upcoming enhancements and prepare for their use and involved a variety of users and providers of polar-orbiting and geostationary satellite data, products, and applications, from the public, private, and international and academic sectors.


University Students Make Progress On Deep Space Habitation Systems Concepts
Source: NASA

Through the eXploration Systems and Habitation (X-Hab) Academic Innovation Challenge, NASA is working with universities to further technological capabilities needed to expand humanity’s presence throughout the solar system. During the past year, 11 university partners designed technologies that strengthen NASA’s efforts to increase understanding of the universe and our place within it.


New Space Resources Graduate Program At Mines
Source: Colorado School of Mines

On July 31, 2017, Mines announced plans to launch a first-of-its-kind graduate program in Spaces Resources, with an expected full program implementation in Fall 2018. This program will include a post-Baccalaureate Certificate and Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees.


For Total Solar Eclipse, CSU Reaches Out
Source: Colorado State University

Midday on Monday, Aug. 21, Fort Collins will dip into a dusky shadow as the moon passes directly between the earth and the sun for a rare, majority solar eclipse. Just to the north and east, in parts of Wyoming and Nebraska, viewers will experience the “totality” – a full solar eclipse. At Colorado State University, the College of Natural Sciences’ Little Shop of Physics is spearheading eclipse activities on campus as well as outreach engagement in the path of the totality.


Mines Student To Observe Total Solar Eclipse With NCAR
Source: Colorado School of Mines

Alyssa Boll has loved space since she was young. Her father, a computer scientist and amateur astronomer, made his own telescopes and was always teaching her and her sister the names of the celestial objects they spied. Now this summer, the electrical engineering student at Colorado School of Mines is putting that interest in astronomy to work as part of a National Center for Atmospheric Research team that will observe the total solar eclipse Aug. 21.


Into The Harshest Frontier
Source: NASA

To help humanity safely enter space, live there for a time, explore, return and, perhaps one day, even make space and near-Earth planets a permanent home, NASA Langley has deployed its expertise since the first days of crewed missions.


NASA Continues To Study Pulsars, 50 Years After Their Chance Discovery
Source: NASA

A little bit of “scruff” in scientific data 50 years ago led to the discovery of pulsars – rapidly spinning dense stellar corpses that appear to pulse at Earth. Astronomer Jocelyn Bell made the chance discovery using a vast radio telescope in Cambridge, England. Although it was built to measure the random brightness flickers of a different category of celestial objects called quasars, the 4.5-acre telescope produced unexpected markings on Bell’s paper data recorder every 1.33730 seconds. The pen traces representing radio brightness revealed an unusual phenomenon.


Haulani Crater Topographic Map
Source: NASA

Haulani Crater (21 miles, 34 kilometers in diameter) is one of the youngest craters on Ceres, as evidenced by its sharp rims and bright, bluish material in enhanced color composite images from the framing camera on NASA’s Dawn spacecraft. Haulani is also a good example of a polygonal crater. A topographic map of the crater was produced from a combination of images acquired under multiple illumination angles while the Dawn spacecraft was in its low-altitude mapping orbit, at a distance of about 240 miles (385 kilometers) above the surface.


How The World’s Largest Solar Telescope Rose On Maui While Nearby Protests Derailed A Larger Scope
Source: Science

A comparison of Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) and the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) – locations, protests, resolutions and what makes these two telescopes so different.


SES Loses 12 Transponders On NSS-806 Satellite, Says Impact Is Temporary
Source: SpaceNews

A 19-year old SES satellite lost nearly a third of its transponders in an anomaly this month, marking the second major satellite malfunction in the SES fleet this year. NSS-806, a C- and Ku-band telecommunications satellite from Lockheed Martin, is still serving customers despite being seven years past its intended design life. However, 12 transponders ceased functioning this month, SES said July 28, without specifying which frequencies.


Spaceport Schedule Conflict Could Delay JWST Launch
Source: SpaceNews

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope is facing a schedule conflict for its Ariane 5 launch with a European planetary science mission that could, in one scenario, delay the telescope’s launch by several months.