February 20, 2018

Nearly A Decade After Mars Phoenix Landed, Another Look

This animation blinks between two images of NASA’s Mars Phoenix Lander hardware around the mission’s 2008 landing site on far-northern Mars. By late 2017, dust obscures much of what was visible two months after the landing. The lander is near the top; the back shell and parachute near the bottom. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

February 20, 2018 – A recent view from Mars orbit of the site where NASA’s Phoenix Mars mission landed on far-northern Mars nearly a decade ago shows that dust has covered some marks of the landing. Read More

Astronauts! Student Essay Contest

Colorado astronaut Jack Fischer waves while attached to the Destiny laboratory during a spacewalk. Image Credit: NASA/ESA

February 20, 2018 – The Rocky Mountain Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (www.aiaa-rm.org) is hosting a student essay contest about astronauts. Students are invited to do research and then write an essay to describe the role of astronauts and their impact on NASA, their impact on the future of the United States, and their impact on international partnerships. Read More

Red Canyon Software Awarded SNC Subcontract

Rendering of SNC’s Dream Chaser cargo spacecraft docked at the ISS. Image Credit; Sierra Nevada Corporation

February 20, 2018 – Red Canyon Software has been awarded a 2-year subcontract by Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) to conduct Flight Software (FSW) Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) for the Dream Chaser spacecraft. Read More

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope To Reveal Secrets Of The Red Planet

Image Credit: NASA

February 20, 2018 – The planet Mars has fascinated scientists for over a century. Today, it is a frigid desert world with a carbon dioxide atmosphere 100 times thinner than Earth’s. But evidence suggests that in the early history of our solar system, Mars had an ocean’s worth of water. NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope will study Mars to learn more about the planet’s transition from wet to dry, and what that means about its past and present habitability. Read More

Robert Baltrum Joins York Space Systems As Vice President Of Engineering

February 20, 2018 – York Space Systems, a Denver company specializing in complete space segment customer solutions and the manufacture of standardized spacecraft platforms, today announced the appointment of Robert Baltrum as Vice President of Engineering. Baltrum, a seasoned space industry veteran, joins the York Space Systems team from Ball Aerospace and Technology Corporation where he held various leadership roles, most recently as the Systems Engineering & Integration and Test Lead for the Spacecraft Product Center. Read More

NASA Television Coverage Set For Weather Satellite Science Briefing, Launch

The launch of NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S) is scheduled for March 1 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. NASA oversees the acquisition of the spacecraft, instruments and launch vehicles for the GOES-R Series program. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

February 20, 2018 – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) newest weather satellite, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-S (GOES-S), is scheduled to launch Thursday, March 1. The launch, as well as prelaunch and science briefings on Tuesday, February 27, will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Read More

Colorado Aerospace Day At The Capitol 2018

February 20, 2018 – Join the Colorado Citizens for Space Exploration (CSE), Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT), Colorado Business Roundtable (COBRT), Aerospace States’ Association (ASA), Colorado Space Coalition (CSC), Colorado Space Business Roundtable (CSBR) and Manufacturers Edge in coordination with numerous aerospace partner organizations, for a day at the Colorado State Capitol. Read More

Lockheed Martin Completes Assembly On Arabsat’s Newest Communications Satellite

Arabsat-6A satellite being prepared in a Lockheed Martin clean room near Denver to be moved to the company’s Sunnyvale, California facility for final testing. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

February 20, 2018 – A new, high-capacity communications satellite that will deliver TV, internet and mobile phone services to the Middle East, Africa and Europe is one step closer to launch. Lockheed Martin has completed assembly on the Arabsat-6A satellite, which was recently shipped to its Sunnyvale, California facility to begin a comprehensive series of tests to ensure the satellite is ready for operations in orbit. Read More

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Captures New Earth-Moon Image

Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin

February 20, 2018 – As part of an engineering test, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft captured this image of the Earth and Moon using its NavCam1 imager on January 17 from a distance of 39.5 million miles (63.6 million km). When the camera acquired the image, the spacecraft was moving away from home at a speed of 19,000 miles per hour (8.5 kilometers per second). Read More

International LiDAR Mapping Forum Draws Over 1,500 Professionals To Denver

February 20, 2018 – The 2018 International LiDAR Mapping Forum held earlier this month in Denver, Colorado attracted over 1,500 professionals from all 50 U.S. states and 34 countries, representing a wide range of industries including surveying and mapping, utilities, civil infrastructure, construction, mining and aggregates, and precision agriculture. Read More

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Pulsating Aurora Mysteries Uncovered With Help From THEMIS Mission
Source: NASA

Sometimes on a dark night near the poles, the sky pulses a diffuse glow of green, purple and red. Unlike the long, shimmering veils of typical auroral displays, these pulsating auroras are much dimmer and less common. While scientists have long known auroras to be associated with solar activity, the precise mechanism of pulsating auroras was unknown.

Bigelow Aerospace Establishes Space Operations Company To Look At Commercial Space Station Market
Source: SpaceNews

Bigelow Aerospace has established a space operations subsidiary whose first task will be to study the market for the company’s commercial space stations as it grapples with competition from China and NASA.

Some Black Holes Erase Your Past
Source: Berkeley News

In the real world, your past uniquely determines your future. If a physicist knows how the universe starts out, she can calculate its future for all time and all space. But a UC Berkeley mathematician has found some types of black holes in which this law breaks down. If someone were to venture into one of these relatively benign black holes, they could survive, but their past would be obliterated and they could have an infinite number of possible futures.

The End Of SBIRS: Air Force Says It’s Time To Move On
Source: SpaceNews

The Air Force will develop a new constellation of missile warning satellites amid worries that the current system is vulnerable to attack and not a good return on investment. In the budget proposed for fiscal year 2019, the Air Force accelerates the development of the next-generation of missile warning satellites. It provides $643 million for the program and eliminates funding for vehicles 7 and 8 of the Space Based Infrared System, or SBIRS.

Pluto May Have A Gooey Carbon Layer Beneath Its Crust
Source: Space.com

An asphalt-like layer may be baking beneath Pluto’s crust. Researchers are considering the possibility that the most famous dwarf planet may contain a layer of organic material beneath its surface heated into a thick, tar-like substance. The idea, which remains speculative, could affect scientists’ understanding of how Pluto is built.

NASA To Host National Space Council Meeting At Kennedy Space Center
Source: NASA

NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida will host a meeting of the National Space Council, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday, Feb. 21. NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide live coverage of the meeting beginning at 10 a.m. EST.

NASA’s Mission Control Team Shifts To Younger Recruits
Source: Houston Chronicle

NASA officials have found that younger flight controllers can better handle the unique demands of operating the space station, said Daryle Kuecker, who recruits and hires future flight controllers, because it requires 24/7 monitoring of both the station and its inhabitants 365 days a year.

Croatia Signs Cooperation Agreement
Source: ESA

The Republic of Croatia signed a Cooperation Agreement with ESA on 19 February 2018. This agreement will allow Croatia and ESA to create the framework for a more intensive and concrete cooperation related to ESA programmes and activities.

Evinrude Inducted Into Space Technology Hall of Fame
Source: Evinrude

Evinrude announced they will be inducted into the Space Technology Hall of Fame during the Space Foundation’s 34th Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colo. As a 2018 Organization Inductee, Evinrude will be honored for the company’s role in commercializing high-strength, wear-resistant aluminum alloy (NASA 398) originally developed by NASA scientists, Jonathan A. Lee and Dr. Po-Shou Chen. Chen, Lee and the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA MSFC) will also be honored at this year’s event.

A Dwarf Galaxy With An Active Nucleus
Source: AAS Nova

In this subtle three-color image by Hubble, the nearby dwarf disk galaxy RGG 118 is revealed (you may need to turn up your screen brightness to see its extent!). This tiny galaxy is noteworthy for hosting the smallest active supermassive black hole — at just 50,000 solar masses — found in a galactic center.

AstroSat-2: Isro Plans To Launch India’s 2nd Space Observatory
Source: Times of India

Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) is planning to launch the country’s second AstroSat-2 or space observatory. The mission is meant to further the study of astronomy (the study of celestial bodies) and astrophysics.

NASA Confirms SLS Mobile Launcher Is Leaning, Does Not Require Corrective Action
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

The huge Mobile Launcher (ML) that will be used to launch NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) is leaning. However, NASA insists it is structurally sound and does not require modifications to counter what is portrayed as “some deflection”. The ML is undergoing a conversion process, realigning it for a role with SLS after initially being constructed for the Ares I rocket.

3rd Annual CU Boulder Aerospace Summit
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Join CU Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano on March 22 to gain insight into LASP’s latest venture, The International Satellite Program in Research and Education (INSPIRE). We will explore how students at CU Boulder and other global universities are influencing exploration and discovery in space. A panel of industry experts will familiarize you with the value of international, corporate, government and university collaboration in space exploration and discovery.

The Transit Light Source Effect
Source: The Astrophysical Journal

A new study examines how the transmission spectra of planets in distant systems could be affected by starspots and faculae (bright regions on a star’s surface linked to the appearance of starspots). The study could have implications for future observations by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), including observations of the TRAPPIST-1 system.

Fort Carson’s New, Game-Changing Drones Can Strike Targets Deep Behind Enemy Lines
Source: The Denver Post

Fort Carson’s newest weapon is also its most revolutionary, allowing ground-pounding units to strike targets hundreds of miles behind enemy lines and giving commanders an unprecedented view of enemy movements.

AAS Names Debra Fischer As Kavli Foundation Plenary Lecturer
Source: American Astronomical Society (AAS)

With support from the Kavli Foundation, the Vice-Presidents of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) name a special invited lecturer to kick off each semiannual AAS meeting with a presentation on recent research of great importance. At the 232nd AAS meeting in Denver, Colorado, on 4 June 2018, the Kavli Foundation Plenary Lecture, “Exoplanets: Past, Present, and Future,” will be given by Debra Fischer (Yale University), a world leader in the search for and characterization of exoplanets, especially Earth-like planets in the habitable zones around their host stars.

Rocket Lab’s Second Silver Ball Will Remain On Earth
Source: Stuff.co.nz

Rocket Lab’s humanity star will be a “one-off”, the company has decided. Rocket Lab won’t put a second “humanity star” into orbit, saying its hands will be full from now on launching commercial payloads into space. Spokeswoman Morgan Bailey said Rocket Lab expected to set the date for its first fully-commercial launch in about a fortnight and hoped to be launching a rocket a month by the end of the year.

Space Weather Workshop Registration Is Open
Source: NWS Space Weather Prediction Center

Registration is now open for the 2018 Space Weather Workshop from 16-20 April at the Westin Hotel in Westminster, Colorado. Space Weather Workshop is an annual conference that brings industry, academia, and government agencies together in a lively dialog about space weather. What began in 1996 as a conference for the space weather user community, Space Weather Workshop has evolved into the Nation’s leading conference on all issues relating to space weather.

SwRI Scientist Discusses NASA Space Probe Performing Historic Flyby
Source: Texas Public Radio

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is hurtling toward asteroid 2014 MU69. When it passes, it will be the most distant body a spacecraft has ever done a flyby of. The asteroid is more than four billion miles away, in the Kuiper belt, with so many unknowns that the margin of error is larger than other missions.

2018 Small Business Certification Seminar
Source: PTAC

On March 13 the SBA – Colorado District Office will be hosting a FREE workshop on how to apply for certifications needed to work with the federal government. Federal Certifications include: Woman-Owned Small Business, Small Disadvantaged Business, Veteran & Service-Disabled Veteran Program, 8(a) Business Development Program. Future dates for the workshop are: April 10, May 8, June 12, July, & August 14.

The Surprising Scale Of China’s Space Program
Source: Phys.org

It’s no secret that China’s growth in the past few decades has been reflected in space. In addition to the country’s growing economic power and international influence, it has also made some very impressive strides in terms of its space program. This includes the development of the Long March rocket family, the deployment of their first space station, and the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) – aka. the Chang’e program. Given all that, one would not be surprised to learn that China has some big plans for 2018.

6-Year-Old Tells NASA To Make Pluto A Planet Again: “You Need To Fix This Problem For Me”
Source: The Denver Post

Cara Lucy O’Connor has a concern. Pluto used to be one of the nine planets in the solar system, and it isn’t anymore. That’s not right, said the little girl from Ireland. So Cara, with the help of her teacher, wrote a letter to NASA hoping to persuade the space agency to “make Pluto a planet again.”