December 9 – December 16, 2018

NASA Seeks US Partners To Develop Reusable Systems To Land Astronauts On Moon

Artist’s concept of Human Landing System on the lunar surface with astronaut nearby. Image Credit: NASA

December 13, 2018 – As the next major step to return astronauts to the Moon under Space Policy Directive-1, NASA announced plans on December 13 to work with American companies to design and develop new reusable systems for astronauts to land on the lunar surface. The agency is planning to test new human-class landers on the Moon beginning in 2024, with the goal of sending crew to the surface in 2028. Read More

Mars InSight Lander Seen In First Images From Space

NASA’s InSight spacecraft, its heat shield and its parachute were imaged on Dec. 6 and 11 by the HiRISE camera onboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

December 13, 2018 – On November 26, NASA’s InSight mission knew the spacecraft touched down within an 81-mile-long (130-kilometer-long) landing ellipse on Mars. Now, the team has pinpointed InSight’s exact location using images from HiRISE, a powerful camera onboard another NASA spacecraft, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). Read More

Richard Branson Welcomes Astronauts Home From Virgin Galactic’s Historic First Spaceflight

Virgin Galactic’s First Spaceflight on December 13, 2018. Image Credit: Virgin Galactic

December 13, 2018 – History has been made and a long-anticipated dream realised in Mojave, California, today as Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, landed from her maiden spaceflight to cheers from Richard Branson and the teams from Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company. Read More

Blue Canyon Technologies Supports Harris Corporation In Launching Their First Small Satellite

Image Credit: Blue Canyon Technologies/Harris Corporation

December 13, 2018 – HSAT, a 6U CubeSat using a Bus manufactured by Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) for the Harris Corporation, successfully launched from India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and has begun initial operations. The briefcase-sized spacecraft will test and characterize the performance of a payload in a circular, sunsynchronous, Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Read More

Atlas First Stage Delivered For Starliner Launch

ULA Atlas V booster for Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test (OFT) arrival at Cape Canaveral in Florida. Image Credit: NASA

December 13, 2018 – All launch vehicle hardware has been delivered to Cape Canaveral for the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket to launch Boeing’s first CST-100 Starliner spacecraft on its uncrewed Orbital Flight Test. Read More

NASA’s Webb Telescope Will Provide Census Of Fledgling Stars In Stellar Nursery

This image of the star-forming cloud NGC 346 is a combination of multiwavelength light from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope (infrared), the European Southern Observatory’s New Technology Telescope (visible), and the European Space Agency’s XMM-Newton space telescope (X-ray). Webb’s sharper infrared vision will allow astronomers to survey in greater detail developing stars still encased in their natal cocoons of gas and dust. Image Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, and D. Gouliermis (Max-Planck Institute)

December 13, 2018 – The dazzling glow of young stars dominates images of the giant stellar nursery NGC 346, in the neighboring dwarf galaxy called the Small Magellanic Cloud. But this photogenic beauty is more than just a “pretty face.” NGC 346 is a nearby proxy for the myriad star-forming regions that existed when the universe was ablaze with star formation just a few billion years after the big bang. Astronomers do not have telescopes powerful enough to study the details of star formation in these faraway “baby-boom” galaxies. Read More

NASA’s Juno Mission Halfway To Jupiter Science

A south tropical disturbance has just passed Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot, and is captured stealing threads of orange haze from the Great Red Spot in this series of color-enhanced images from NASA’s Juno spacecraft. Image Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstadt/Sean Doran

December 13, 2018 – On December 21, at 9:49:48 a.m. MST (11:49:48 a.m. EST) NASA’s Juno spacecraft will be 3,140 miles (5,053 kilometers) above Jupiter’s cloud tops and hurtling by at a healthy clip of 128,802 mph (207,287 kilometers per hour). This will be the 16th science pass of the gas giant and will mark the solar-powered spacecraft’s halfway point in data collection during its prime mission. Read More

NASA’s InSight Takes Its First Selfie

This is NASA InSight’s first selfie on Mars. It displays the lander’s solar panels and deck. On top of the deck are its science instruments, weather sensor booms and UHF antenna. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

December 11, 2018 – NASA’s InSight lander isn’t camera-shy. The spacecraft used a camera on its robotic arm to take its first selfie – a mosaic made up of 11 images. This is the same imaging process used by NASA’s Curiosity rover mission, in which many overlapping pictures are taken and later stitched together. Visible in the selfie are the lander’s solar panel and its entire deck, including its science instruments. Read More

First Lockheed Martin-Built GPS III Satellite Encapsulated For December 18 Launch

Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

December 11, 2018 – The U.S. Air Force’s first Lockheed Martin-built GPS III satellite is now encapsulated for its planned December 18 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Read More

Maxar Technologies Announces Retirement Of Chief Operations Officer Tim Hascall

December 11, 2018 – Maxar Technologies today announced the retirement of Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Tim Hascall, 64, effective December 31. Hascall’s retirement marks the conclusion of his successful seven-year tenure at Maxar Technologies and its legacy companies. Prior to being named Maxar’s Chief Operations Officer, effective in October 2017, he held a variety of positions at Maxar Technologies company DigitalGlobe. Read More

NASA’s Newly Arrived OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Discovers Water On Bennu

This mosaic image of asteroid Bennu is composed of 12 PolyCam images collected on December 2 by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from a range of 15 miles (24 km). Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

December 10, 2018 – Recently analyzed data from NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) mission has revealed water locked inside the clays that make up its scientific target, the asteroid Bennu. Read More

SwRI Solar Activity Research Provides Insight Into Sun’s Past, Future

A team led by SwRI integrated a sunspot drawing made by Hevelius in 1644 (top) with images from NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory to illustrate how widely varying telescopes and observation techniques can affect data. The team integrated data from 700 observations to assess the reliability of historical data, to better understand the history of solar activity. Image Credit: NASA/SDO/SwRI

December 10, 2018 – Andrés Muñoz-Jaramillo of Southwest Research Institute and José Manuel Vaquero of University of Extremadura have developed a new technique for looking at historic solar data to distinguish trustworthy observations from those that should be used with care. This work is critical to understanding the Sun’s past and future as well as whether solar activity plays a role in climate change. Read More

Allosource Scientists Contribute To Study On Antimicrobial Survivability On The International Space Station

December 10, 2018 – AlloSource, an organization dedicated to advancing the science and use of transplantable allogeneic cells and tissue, served as a contributing science team to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) scientific study on further antimicrobial survivability on the International Space Station (ISS). The science and results were highlighted in the recently published article titled “Multi-drug resistant Enterobacter bugandensis species isolated from the International Space Station and comparative genomic analyses with human pathogenic strains” in BMC Microbiology. Read More

Space Foundation Celebrates Countdown To Apollo

December 10, 2018 – The Space Foundation invites the public to its Discovery Center in Colorado Springs to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Apollo 8’s pioneering lunar adventure. Join other space and history fans to remember, reflect and reignite the inspiration of a Christmas-season journey that united the world in wonder. “Manifest Greatness, Apollo 8” will be presented at the Discovery Center on December 12, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Read More

SwRI-Led Team Finds Evidence For Carbon-Rich Surface On Ceres

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft captured this 12.5-mile-across close-up of the central peak of the 99-mile-wide Urvara impact crater on Ceres. The remarkable 6,500-foot central ridge is made from materials uplifted from depth, arising from terrains enriched with products of rock-water interactions, such as carbonates. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

December 10, 2018 – A team led by Southwest Research Institute has concluded that the surface of dwarf planet Ceres is rich in organic matter. Data from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft indicate that Ceres’ surface may contain several times the concentration of carbon than is present in the most carbon-rich, primitive meteorites found on Earth. Read More

Ball Aerospace Delivers Pollution Monitoring Instrument To NASA

The Ball Aerospace TEMPO air quality sensor for NASA is going to revolutionize how air pollution is monitored across North America. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace

December 10, 2018 – Ball Aerospace has delivered the Tropospheric Emissions: Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) spectrometer to NASA after a successful final acceptance review. Once launched, TEMPO will be a space-based ultraviolet/visible light air quality spectrometer in geostationary orbit over greater North America. Read More

Maxar Technologies Advances Path To U.S. Domestication

December 10, 2018 – Maxar Technologies announced that the Supreme Court of British Columbia has granted approval for certain amendments made to the Company’s plan of arrangement that will permit the new, Delaware incorporated parent company to acquire the Company’s common shares from the Company’s shareholders directly rather than through an acquisition vehicle in certain circumstances. The Court previously issued a final order approving Maxar’s proposed U.S. domestication Arrangement pursuant to the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia). Read More

More News

Blue Canyon Technologies Supports Multiple Missions On Spaceflight Industries’ SSO-A Launch
Source: Blue Canyon Technologies

Blue Canyon Technologies Supports Multiple Missions On Spaceflight Industries’ SSO-A Launch
Source: Satnews

Fragmenting Disk Gives Birth To Binary Star ‘Odd Couple’
Source: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

See A Passing Comet This Sunday
Source: JPL/NASA

“Plan D For Outer Space” — NASA Updates EM-2 Mission Baseline

ULA Chief Tory Bruno On Competing With Blue Origin, SpaceX Rocket Landings
Source: Ars Technica

LCO Builds New Instrument To Study December Comet
Source: Las Cumbres Observatory

SpaceX CRS-16 Delivers Student Experiments To The ISS
Source: Space Station Explorers

MILO Institute Launches A New Model For Space Exploration
Source: Arizona State University

Hubble Finds Far-Away Planet Vanishing At Record Speed
Source: John Hopkins University

In Search Of Missing Worlds, Hubble Finds A Fast Evaporating Exoplanet
Source: NASA

OneWeb Scales Back Constellation By 300 Satellites
Source: SpaceNews

Preparing For Discovery With NASA’s Parker Solar Probe
Source: NASA

Measuring Cosmic Rays At The Edge Of Space
Source: NASA

Tangled Magnetic Fields Power Cosmic Particle Accelerators
Source: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Texas Astronomers Find That Dark Matter Dominates Across Cosmic Time
Source: McDonald Observatory

Rosetta Witnesses Birth Of Baby Bow Shock Around Comet
Source: ESA

Air Force Space Command Officially Takes Over As Chief Buyer Of Satellite Communications For The Defense Department
Source: SpaceNews

Russian Spacewalkers Cut Into Soyuz Spaceship To Inspect Leak Repair
Source: Spaceflight Now

Rocket Lab Postpones Launch Of NASA Cubesats Due To Bad Weather

Geminids Meteor Shower In Denver This Week
Source: The Denver Post

Meet Our Faculty – Dan Scheeres
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Tory Bruno: ULA Eyes National Security Payload Launch On Vulcan Rocket In 2022
Source: ExecutiveBiz

C-Band Alliance Members Promise To Buy American For New Satellites Under C-Band Plan
Source: SpaceNews

Getting Vulcan Up To Speed: Part One Of Our Interview With Tory Bruno
Source: Ars Technica

China’s Chang’e-4 Probe Settles Into Moon Orbit
Source: Leonard David’s Inside Outer Space

Apollo 8 Astronauts Reflect On Moon Voyage 50 Years Later
Source: Time

a.i. solutions Named NASA Kennedy Space Center Large Business Prime Contractor Of The Year
Source: a.i. solution inc.

Lunarline, Inc. Announces Award Of A Contract To Support The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)
Source: Lunarline, Inc.

NASA’s First Stellar Observatory, OAO 2, Turns 50
Source: NASA

Calibrating Cosmic Mile Markers
Source: Carnegie Institution For Science

Editorial: We Have The Technology To Build A Colony On The Moon. Let’s Do It.
Source: The Washington Post (Robert Zubrin/Homer Hickam)

Riccardo Giacconi (1931-2018)
Source: ESA

Russian EVA Examining Hole Repair Area In Soyuz MS-09

General Dynamics And NASA Complete Laboratory Phase Of Space Network Ground Segment
Source: General Dynamics Missions Systems

We’re All Ears As Voyager 2 Goes Interstellar
Source: CSIRO

Cal Poly Engineering Grads Are Key Figures In The U.S. Space Exploration Comeback
Source: Cal Poly

Nelson Continues Effort To Extend Space Station
Source: SpaceNews

OSIRIS-REx Debuts New Bennu Mosaic, 3D Shape Model
Source: NASA

First Images From OSIRIS-REx Mission Have Scientists Buzzing With Excitement
Source: University of Central Florida

Orion Span Launches Aurora Station Crowdfunding Campaign
Source: Orion Span

Delta 4-Heavy Countdown Aborted Moments Before Launch
Source: Spaceflight Now

Honeycomb Mirrors Make NASA’s Webb The Most Powerful Space Telescope
Source: NASA

The Buffs Who Summer In Antarctica
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

NASA’s Voyager 2 Probe Enters Interstellar Space
Source: NASA

Get Ready To Greet The Geminid Meteors
Source: Sky & Telescope

NASA Lunar Orbiter Now Supporting Commercial And International Missions
Source: SpaceNews

Aerospace Corp. To Lay Out Strategy To ‘Outpace The Threat’ In Space
Source: SpaceNews

Lockheed Martin Names Kenneth R. Possenriede Executive Vice President And Chief Financial Officer
Source: Lockheed Martin

China Launches First Probe To Explore Mysteries Of The Far Side Of The Moon
Source: CGTN

VISIONS-2 Provides A Look At Earth’s Escaping Atmosphere
Source: NASA