August 30, 2017

Cassini Spacecraft Nears Mission Finale

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is shown heading for the gap between Saturn and its rings during one of 22 such dives of the mission’s finale in this illustration. The spacecraft will make a final plunge into the planet’s atmosphere on September 15. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

August 30, 2017 – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is 17 days from its mission-ending dive into the atmosphere of Saturn. Its fateful plunge on September 15 is a foregone conclusion — an April 22 gravitational kick from Saturn’s moon Titan placed the two-and-a-half ton vehicle on its path for impending destruction. Yet several mission milestones have to occur over the coming two-plus weeks to prepare the vehicle for one last burst of trailblazing science. Read More


Star-Formation ‘Fuel Tanks’ Found Around Distant Galaxies

This artistic impression shows how gas falling into distant starburst galaxies ends up in vast turbulent reservoirs of cool gas extending 30 000 light-years from the central regions. ALMA has been used to detect these turbulent reservoirs of cold gas surrounding similar distant starburst galaxies. By detecting CH+ for the first time in the distant Universe, this research opens up a new window of exploration into a critical epoch of star formation. Image Credit: ESO/L. Benassi

August 30, 2017 – In the early universe, brilliant starburst galaxies converted vast stores of hydrogen gas into new stars at a furious pace. The energy from this vigorous star formation took its toll on many young galaxies, blasting away much of their hydrogen gas, tamping down future star formation. For reasons that remained unclear, other young galaxies were somehow able to retain their youthful star-forming power long after similar galaxies settled into middle age. Read More


Breakthrough Listen Detects Repeating Fast Radio Bursts From The Distant Universe

August 30, 2017 – Breakthrough Listen – the initiative to find signs of intelligent life in the universe – has detected 15 fast radio bursts emanating from the mysterious “repeater” FRB 121102. Fast radio bursts, or FRBs, are brief, bright pulses of radio emission from distant galaxies. First detected with the Parkes Telescope in Australia, FRBs have now been seen by several radio telescopes around the world. Read More


Dream Chaser Spacecraft Completes Successful Captive Carry Test

The Dream Chaser spacecraft being prepared for captive carry flight testing. Image Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation

August 30, 2017 – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser engineering test article passed a successful Captive Carry test at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center on Wednesday as part of the Phase Two flight test efforts to advance Dream Chaser progress toward orbital flight. Read More


More News:

Cassini’s 13 Years Of Stunning Saturn Science — In Pictures
Source: Nature

As the mission speeds towards its conclusion, Nature takes a look at what researchers have learnt about the planet’s moons, rings and tempest-filled skies.


Largest Scholarship In The Nation For Community College Students Now Accepting Applications
Source: Red Rocks Community College

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2018 Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, the largest private scholarship in the country for community college transfer students. As many as 55 students from a nationwide applicant pool will receive up to $40,000 per year for up to three years of study at the four-year accredited college or university of their choosing.


Akatsuki Probe Spots Horrific Winds Over Venus’ Equator
Source: The Asahi Shimbun

Savage winds exceeding 288 kph were detected near Venus’ equator by the space orbiter Akatsuki, the first discovery of its kind, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) announced on Aug. 29.


Artificial Intelligence Analyzes Gravitational Lenses 10 Million Times Faster
Source: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Researchers from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have for the first time shown that neural networks – a form of artificial intelligence – can accurately analyze the complex distortions in spacetime known as gravitational lenses 10 million times faster than traditional methods.


Cyber Girlz Summit
Source: STEM Lab

The CYBER GIRLZ Summit is the first effort in a long-term commitment to include outreach efforts that are targeted toward young middle school and high school women, inspiring them to engage in the exciting fields of Computer Science and Cybersecurity. The summit will be held September 23, 2017 at Regis University. Registration is free, but space is limited.


Mock Astronauts Complete Simulated Moon Base Mission
Source: Space.com

Six mock astronauts have completed a two-week stay at a simulated moon base, where they conducted more than 20 spaceflight experiments. Habitat Lunares is located in a former military airport in Pila, Poland, and run by a private company called Space Garden. The mock space base simulates conditions that astronauts will experience during missions on the moon or Mars, according to a statement from the European Space Agency (ESA).


Colorado Thirty Group Orbits Space Wing
Source: Schriever Air Force Base

Members of the Colorado Thirty Group tour gathered at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Monday, Aug. 28, 2017. The group is comprised of civic leaders who play significant roles in decision making for the state.


Intermap Technologies Provides an Update on its Previously Announced Orion Platform Spatial Data Infrastructure Contract
Source: Intermap

To date, the Company has not received notice that Air-Map has secured this financing, nor has the Company received the initial payment contemplated by the EPC Agreement (US$12 million), payment of which is the trigger for commencement of the EPC Agreement. Additionally, since August 2016 the Company has not been engaged to provide any due diligence information regarding the Company and its Orion Platform to assist Air-Map in securing the Project financing, which would, in the Company’s experience, be typical for project-related financings such as this.


Space Technology & Investment Forum Convenes Today In San Francisco
Source: Space Foundation

The Space Foundation’s third Space Technology & Investment Forum opened today in San Francisco, bringing together top venture capitalists and angel investors with space industry experts to explain the technical, legal and business issues critical to market analysis and risk assessment.


Orbital ATK Supports Ground Testing On CIRAS At NASA’s Langley Research Center
Source: NASA

The Commercial Infrastructure for Robotic Assembly and Services (CIRAS) project has reached an important milestone in advancing technologies to build large structures in space. Ground demonstration of the CIRAS component, NASA Intelligent Jigging and Assembly Robot (NINJAR) 2.0, was conducted July 20 in the Structures and Materials Test Laboratory at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia.


NASA Sees Washington State “Under Fire”
Source: NASA

NOAA/NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument captured an image of several major fires in Washington state on August 29, 2017. The three highlighted fires are the Diamond Creek fire, the Jolly Mountain fire and the Norse Peak fire. Inciweb lists nine separate fires going on in the state but these three fires are the largest and the Norse Peak fire is currently spewing massive amounts of smoke into the atmosphere.


Cassini: A Saturn Odyssey
Source: NASA/JPL

Team members reflect on what has made the NASA/ESA Cassini mission such an epic journey—the extraordinary spacecraft, tremendous science and historic international collaboration.


Girls STEAM Day
Source: Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum

September 10th will be a day filled with engaging and hands-on STEAM activities dedicated to empowering girls and young women towards careers in STEAM, in aerospace and beyond. Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is partnering with fellow institutions, industry-leaders and experts in STEAM to bring attendees a comprehensive overview of how to get involved in STEAM, what STEAM is and how these fields can be used for personal and career development.


SNC Dream Chaser Returns To Captive Carry Testing
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

The third transportation vehicle for NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 contracts for resupply efforts of the International Space Station has passed a major test milestone at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser mini-spaceplane conducted the first of a series of Captive Carry flight tests suspended underneath a 234-UT lifting commercial helicopter.


Video: Birst 2017
Source: Ball Corporation

The Ball Intern Remote Sensing Team (BIRST), allows interns to experience a program from design to launch. This year Edge of Space Sciences provided BIRST with a high altitude balloon carrying the intern payloads.