August 12 – August 18, 2019

ULA Vulcan Rocket Selected To Launch Sierra Nevada Corp. Dream Chaser

SNC Dream Chaser on ULA Vulcan Centaur Rocket. Image Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation/United Launch Alliance

August 15, 2019 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has selected United Launch Alliance (ULA) as the launch vehicle provider for the Dream Chaser spacecraft’s six NASA missions to the International Space Station. The Dream Chaser will launch aboard ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rockets for its cargo resupply and return services to the space station, starting in 2021. Read More

GOLD Reveals Unexpected Changes In Earth’s Nighttime Ionosphere

This October 15, 2018, GOLD image of daytime airglow clearly shows the equatorial ionization anomaly (EIA) as two arcs on either side of the magnetic equator, which extend across the nightside of the disk. The colors represent an increase in oxygen emissions from blue to red, with the left side of the Earth lit by the Sun, which has set over most of South America. Image Credit: GOLD

August 14, 2019 – NASA’s Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission has observed dramatic and unexplained shifts in the location of features in the Earth’s ionosphere surrounding the equator. Unanticipated changes in the nighttime ionosphere can lead to disruptions in communication and navigation that depend on satellites, such as GPS. Read More

James Webb Space Telescope Could Begin Learning About TRAPPIST-1 Atmospheres In A Year

This artist’s concept appeared on the Feb. 23, 2017 cover of the journal Nature announcing that the nearby star TRAPPIST-1, an ultra-cool dwarf, has seven Earth-sized planets orbiting it. Two of the planets were discovered in 2016 by TRAPPIST (the Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope) in Chile. NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and several ground-based telescopes uncovered five additional ones, increasing the total number to seven. The TRAPPIST-1 system is located about 40 light-years from Earth. Image Credit: Artist’s Concept: NASA and JPL/Caltech. Science: NASA, ESA, J. de Wit (MIT), H. Wakeford (University of Exeter/STScI), and N. Lewis (STScI)

August 14, 2019 – New research from astronomers at the University of Washington uses the intriguing TRAPPIST-1 planetary system as a kind of laboratory to model not the planets themselves, but how the coming James Webb Space Telescope might detect and study their atmospheres, on the path toward looking for life beyond Earth. Read More

Vulcan Centaur Rocket On Schedule For First Flight In 2021

Artist depiction of the Vulcan Centaur rocket. Image Credit: United Launch Alliance

August 14, 2019 – At the United Launch Alliance (ULA) factory in Decatur, Alabama, production of the first Vulcan Centaur rocket continues, with shipment to the launch site at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida scheduled for late next year for processing in preparation for its first launch in 2021. Read More

NOAA Selects SpaceNav For Advanced Space Situational Awareness Services

August 14, 2019 – SpaceNav, a Colorado-based engineering and applied mathematics company has been awarded a new contract by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to deliver subject matter expertise for Space Situational Awareness (SSA) operations. NOAA’s operational fleet of spacecraft resides in both Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) regimes and requires real-time safety of flight risk quantification and mitigation; precision orbit determination; and mission production generation. Read More

NASA Selects Final Four Site Candidates For Asteroid Sample Return

Pictured are the four candidate sample collection sites on asteroid Bennu selected by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission. Site Nightingale (top left) is located in Bennu’s northern hemisphere. Sites Kingfisher (top right) and Osprey (bottom left) are located in Bennu’s equatorial region. Site Sandpiper (bottom right) is located in Bennu’s southern hemisphere. In December, one of these sites will be chosen for the mission’s touchdown event. Image Credit: NASA/University of Arizona

August 12, 2019 – After months grappling with the rugged reality of asteroid Bennu’s surface, the team leading NASA’s first asteroid sample return mission has selected four potential sites for the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft to “tag” its cosmic dance partner. Read More

NASA’s MMS Finds First Interplanetary Shock

August 12, 2019 – The Magnetospheric Multiscale mission — MMS — has spent the past four years using high-resolution instruments to see what no other spacecraft can. Recently, MMS made the first high-resolution measurements of an interplanetary shock. Read More

Lockheed Martin-Built AEHF-5 Protected Communications Satellite Now In Transfer Orbit

The U.S. Air Force’s fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-5) protected communication satellite encapsulated prior to launch. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

August 12, 2019 – The U.S. Air Force’s 4th Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base is now “talking” with the fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-5) protected communication satellite after its successful launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on August 8. Read More

More News

NASA Marshall To Lead Artemis Program’s Human Lunar Lander Development
Source: NASA

NASA Selects Proposals To Study Interplanetary Space
Source: NASA

Maxar Extends Its Robotic Leadership To The Moon
Source: Maxar Technologies

NASA Selects Proposals To Further Study Fundamental Nature Of Space
Source: NASA

A New Timeline Of Earth’s Cataclysmic Past
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

NASA Administrator To Discuss Human Lander Update For Artemis Program
Source: NASA

Blue Origin Files Protest Over ‘Flawed’ Air Force Launch Procurement
Source: SpaceNews

ESA Confirms Second ExoMars Parachute Test Failure
Source: SpaceNews

ExoMars Parachute Failures Could Deopardize 2020 Launch Date
Source: Spaceflight Now

Dextre Begins RRM3 Tasks To Test Robotic Refueling Of Spacecraft

Follow That Planet! How Astronomers Chase New Worlds In TESS Data
Source: NASA

Fluorescent Glow May Reveal Hidden Life In The Cosmos
Source: Cornell Chronicle

Critical Observatrion Made On Maunakea During First Night Of Return To Operations
Source: University Of Hawaii

Tory Bruno: ULA Submits Bid For USAF Launch Service Phase 2 Competition
Source: GovCon Wire

Asteroid’s Features To Be Named After Mythical Birds
Source: NASA