December 4, 2017

United Launch Alliance Selects L3 Technologies To Design Next-Generation Avionics Systems

ULA’s Vulcan Centaur rocket with a complete avionics package developed by L3. Photo rendering courtesy of ULA. Image Credit: Business Wire/L3/ULA

December 4, 2017 – L3 Technologies announced today that it has entered into an agreement with United Launch Alliance (ULA) to become the exclusive provider of avionics and related services for its new Vulcan Centaur rocket system, delivering an estimated $1 billion-plus in mission-critical systems and services, over a 10-year period. Read More


Space Foundation Announces New Scholarship Recognizing Former Board Chairman, Admiral James O. Ellis, Jr.

December 4, 2017 – The Board of Directors of the Space Foundation held its annual meeting last week, where Admiral James O. Ellis Jr., USN (Ret.), led his final meeting as Chairman of the Board. In lieu of a traditional departure gift, the Space Foundation established a special scholarship recognizing Admiral Ellis for his commitment and support of the Space Foundation’s New Generation Space Leaders Program. Read More


NASA Selects University Partners For Small Spacecraft Collaboration

CSUNSat1, designed by California State University, Northridge in partnership with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, was awarded Smallsat Technology Partnership funding in 2013. The 2U CubeSat deployed from the International Space Station in May 2017 and successfully demonstrated the effectiveness of JPL’s energy storage system that is targeted to help small spacecraft explore deep space in extremely cold temperatures. Image Credit: California State University, Northridge

December 4, 2017 – NASA has selected nine university teams to collaborate on the development and demonstration of new technologies and capabilities for small spacecraft. Beginning this winter, each university team will work with NASA engineers and scientists on two-year projects. Read More


Lockheed Martin Ships GOES-S Satellite From Colorado To Florida

Image Credit: NASA/NOAA

December 4, 2017 – Lockheed Martin shipped the GOES-S satellite, NOAA’s next-generation weather satellite, from Denver to Cape Canaveral aboard a Lockheed Martin-built Air Force C-5 transport aircraft today. Read More


AFSPC Commander Becomes JFSCC, Joint Space Forces Restructure

Image Credit: U.S. Air Force

December 4, 2017 – Air Force Gen. Jay Raymond, commander of Air Force Space Command, became the Joint Force Space Component Commander today, taking operational responsibility for employment of all joint space forces. Read More


Collision After Moon Formation Remodeled Early Earth

SwRI scientists modeled the protracted period of bombardment after the Moon formed, determining that impactor metals may have descended into Earth’s core. This artistic rendering illustrates a large impactor crashing into the young Earth. Light brown and gray particles indicate the projectile’s mantle (silicate) and core (metal) material, respectively. Image Credit: SwRI

December 4, 2017 – Southwest Research Institute scientists recently modeled the protracted period of bombardment following the Moon’s formation, when leftover planetesimals pounded the Earth. Based on these simulations, scientists theorize that moon-sized objects delivered more mass to the Earth than previously thought. Read More


More News:

U.S. Must Move Faster Or Risk Losing Lead In Space
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The U.S. advantage in space is eroding and the military must move faster to maintain a lead in this critical warfighting domain, defense officials said at the Reagan National Defense Forum in California. Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Air Force Gen. John Hyten told CBS News reporter David Martin that the United States is prepared to fight a war in space today, but not in the future.


Research Bolsters Possibility Of Plate Tectonics On Europa
Source: American Geophysical Union

A recent study provides new evidence that the icy shell of Jupiter’s moon Europa may have plate tectonics similar to those on Earth. The presence of plate tectonic activity could have important implications for the possibility of life in the ocean thought to exist beneath the moon’s surface.


NASA Seeks Public-Private Partnership With American Industry
Source: NASA

NASA is seeking proposals for U.S. industry-developed space technologies through its ‘Tipping Point’ solicitation, a public-private partnership opportunity to stimulate the commercial space sector, while also delivering technologies and capabilities needed for NASA, other government agencies, and commercial space missions. The solicitation, titled “Utilizing Public-Private Partnerships to Advance Tipping Point Technologies,” is funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD), and addresses the need for technologies in strategic thrust areas, a high-level strategic implementation structure that serves to guide future investment plans for the directorate.


NASA Extends Expandable Habitat’s Time On The Space Station
Source: NASA

The Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, known as BEAM, will remain attached to the International Space Station to provide additional performance data on expandable habitat technologies and enable new technology demonstrations. NASA awarded a sole-source contract to Bigelow Aerospace to support extension of the life of the privately-owned module, and its use to stow spare space station hardware.


European Service Module Structure
Source: ESA

In a series of blog posts based on images taken at the Thales Alenia Space facility in Turin, Italy, we will now have a look at part of Orion’s structure. This tank bulkhead made of aluminium forms the top platform of the second European Service Module – the one that will fly with astronauts.


JPL CubeSat Clean Room – A Factory For Small Spacecraft
Source: NASA

There was a time when you could find spacecraft clean rooms in two sizes — – big and bigger. After all, these harsh-white, sterile environments have to handle very large spacecraft, support equipment, and a small legion of highly trained technicians and engineers. But today, more than ever, spacecraft come in all shapes and sizes. The bigger ones already have their clean room needs covered, but what about the little guys? Well, JPL has them covered too, with the new Integrated CubeSat Development Laboratory.


Stratcom Commander Discusses Space Wars
Source: Defense Video Imagery Distribution System

Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten, commander of U.S. Strategic Command, participates in a panel to evaluate whether the U.S. has the strategy, capacity and know-how to prevail in space at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, Calif., Dec 2, 2017. “Courtesy of the 5th Annual Reagan National Defense Forum and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute”


A Tale Of Two Big Geospatial Data Breakthroughs: Quantifying Built Environments
Source: DigitalGlobe

Approximately three years ago, we came in contact with PSMA Australia. Though a relatively small organization, PSMA had an audacious goal: To map the entirety of Australia in tremendous detail. The PSMA team believed a highly accurate and detailed map of the entire continent’s built environment would bring immense value to numerous customers across a variety of industries.