February 23, 2018

SwRI Scientist Helps Characterize Water On Lunar Surface

Using extensive experiments with water and lunar samples collected by the Apollo missions, an SwRI scientist calculated the amount of energy needed to remove water molecules from lunar rock. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS

February 23, 2018 – A Southwest Research Institute scientist with expertise in how water reacts with lunar soil contributed to a new study that indicates water and/or hydroxyl may be more prevalent on the Moon’s surface than previously thought. Read More


Final Frontier

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

February 23, 2018 – This view of Saturn looks toward the planet’s night side, lit by sunlight reflected from the rings. A mosaic of some of the very last images captured by Cassini’s cameras, it shows the location where the spacecraft would enter the planet’s atmosphere hours later. The oval marks the entry site. While this area was on the night side of the planet at the time, it would rotate into daylight by the time Cassini made its final dive into Saturn’s upper atmosphere, ending its remarkable 13-year exploration of Saturn. Read More


NASA’s SDO Reveals How Magnetic Cage On The Sun Stopped Solar Eruption

On Oct. 24, 2014, NASA’s SDO observed an X-class solar flare erupt from a Jupiter-sized sunspot group. Image Credit: Tahar Amari et al./Center for Theoretical Physics/École Polytechnique/NASA Goddard/Joy Ng

February 23, 2018 – A dramatic magnetic power struggle at the Sun’s surface lies at the heart of solar eruptions, new research using NASA data shows. The work highlights the role of the Sun’s magnetic landscape, or topology, in the development of solar eruptions that can trigger space weather events around Earth. Read More


NASA Weighs, Balances Orion For Ascent Abort Test

Image Credit: NASA/David C. Bowman

February 23, 2018 – Researchers conducted mass property testing of the Orion crew module for the Ascent Abort Test-2 Friday, February 16, at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. The crew module, built at Langley, was lifted and rotated on its side to determine its weight and center of gravity, known as balance. Read More


Maxar Technologies’ DigitalGlobe Expands Agreements With Two Major Commercial Technology Customers

February 23, 2018 – DigitalGlobe, a Maxar Technologies Ltd. company, today announced the extension and expansion of multi-year agreements with two major existing commercial technology customers, one of which is DigitalGlobe’s largest commercial contract ever. Read More


Improved Hubble Yardstick Gives Fresh Evidence For New Physics In The Universe

This illustration shows three steps astronomers used to measure the universe’s expansion rate (Hubble constant) to an unprecedented accuracy, reducing the total uncertainty to 2.3 percent. The measurements streamline and strengthen the construction of the cosmic distance ladder, which is used to measure accurate distances to galaxies near to and far from Earth. The latest Hubble study extends the number of Cepheid variable stars analyzed to distances of up to 10 times farther across our galaxy than previous Hubble results. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Feild (STScI), and A. Riess (STScI/JHU)

February 23, 2018 – Astronomers have used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to make the most precise measurements of the expansion rate of the universe since it was first calculated nearly a century ago. Intriguingly, the results are forcing astronomers to consider that they may be seeing evidence of something unexpected at work in the universe. Read More


Mars Odyssey Observes Martian Moons

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/SSI

February 23, 2018 – Phobos and Deimos, the moons of Mars, are seen in this movie put together from 19 images taken by the Mars Odyssey orbiter’s Thermal Emission Imaging System, or THEMIS, camera. The images were taken in visible-wavelength light. THEMIS also recorded thermal-infrared imagery in the same scan. Read More


InSight’s Landing Site: Elysium Planitia

The landing sites of NASA’s landers and rovers on Mars, including the upcoming InSight mission. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

February 23, 2018 – Elysium Planitia, a flat-smooth plain just north of the Mars equator is the perfect location from which to study the Red Planet’s interior. It has been chosen as the landing site for the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission. Read More


Aerospace Workforce Development Forum And Networking Reception

February 23, 2018 – Join the Office of Economic Development and International Trade and Metropolitan State University of Denver Advanced Manufacturing Sciences Institute for an interactive panel discussion on Colorado Aerospace Workforce Development, Fixing the Shortfalls. The event will be held in Denver, Colorado, on March 20. Read More


More News:

Space Foundation Board of Directors Member ADM James O. Ellis, Jr., USN (Ret.), Nominated To Serve On National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group
Source: Space Foundation

The nomination of Space Foundation Board Member and former Chairman ADM James O. Ellis, Jr., USN (Ret.), to the National Space Council’s Users Advisory Group has been confirmed by the White House, as Vice President Mike Pence, Chairman of the National Space Council, announced the candidates selected to serve.


Sierra Nevada Corporation CEO Invited To Join National Space Council Users’ Advisory Group
Source: Sierra Nevada Corporation

At the second gathering of the National Space Council at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) CEO Fatih Ozmen is among leaders of the nation’s top aerospace and defense companies invited to join the Council’s Users’ Advisory Group.


Report: Aviation Led 2017 Industry Growth In Metro Denver, Aerospace Concentration Ranks First In The Nation
Source: Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation

Aviation was the nine-county region’s fastest growing cluster in 2017 and was among five of the 13 clusters/subclusters that grew by nearly 5 percent or more between 2016 and 2017, according to the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation’s (Metro Denver EDC) 12th-annual Industry Cluster Study released today. Six of the 13 clusters/subclusters grew over 20 percent between 2012 and 2017.


UCF-Led Consortium To Manage Arecibo Observatory In Puerto Rico
Source: University of Central Florida

The largest fully operational radio telescope on the planet – the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico – will soon be under new management. A consortium led by the University of Central Florida will start formal transition activities to take on the management of the National Science Foundation’s Observatory. NSF is negotiating the operations and management award with UCF.


Swarm Trio Becomes A Quartet
Source: ESA

With the aim of making the best possible use of existing satellites, ESA and Canada have made a deal that turns Swarm into a four-satellite mission to shed even more light on space weather and features such as the aurora borealis.


Rockwell Collins Develops New ARC-210 Smart Mount For Iridium
Source: ASDNews

Rockwell Collins has developed a smart mount that will provide users of the ARC-210 networked communications airborne radio with added SATCOM capability through the Iridium® network. Accessing Iridium’s network of 66 Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, users are able to maintain true global coverage, including polar regions, while simultaneously maintaining full use of the ARC-210 radio’s standard capabilities.


On Second Thought, The Moon’s Water May Be Widespread And Immobile
Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

A new analysis of data from two lunar missions finds evidence that the Moon’s water is widely distributed across the surface and is not confined to a particular region or type of terrain. The water appears to be present day and night, though it’s not necessarily easily accessible.


Time-Lapse Sequence Of Jupiter’s South Pole
Source: NASA

This series of images captures cloud patterns near Jupiter’s south pole, looking up towards the planet’s equator. NASA’s Juno spacecraft took the color-enhanced time-lapse sequence of images during its eleventh close flyby of the gas giant planet on Feb. 7 between 7:21 a.m. and 8:01 a.m. PST (10:21 a.m. and 11:01 a.m. EST). At the time, the spacecraft was between 85,292 to 124,856 miles (137,264 to 200,937 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet with the images centered on latitudes from 84.1 to 75.5 degrees south.


International Women’s Day Gala Luncheon And Seminar – Women In Space
Source: WorldDenver

A panel discussion featuring Alires J. Almon/100 Year Starship, Allison Barto/Ball Aerospace, Laura Delgado Lopez/Harris Corporation, Maureen O’Brien/Oakman Aerospace and Victoria Samson/Secure World Foundation. The panel portion of the program is free. This will be followed by a lunch and Keynote speech by Dr. Mae Jemison. Dr. Mae Jemison is an American icon, the first African American woman in space, entrepreneur and advocate for science education at all levels.


Key Hurdle Cleared For York Space Systems And U.S. Army Small Satellite Launch
Source: SpaceNews

York Space Systems, a Denver startup preparing to mass manufacture small satellites, has completed a key technical review, clearing the way for the November launch of its Harbinger mission.


How A Dust Bunny Becomes A Planet
Source: JILA

Jupiter is large enough to fit 1,300 Earths inside, and still have room. But like all planets, Jupiter was once nothing more than a cosmic dust bunny. A team of physicists at JILA and the University of Arizona, led by JILA Senior Research Associate Jake Simon, are studying how cosmic pebbles­­—­starting only a millimeter in size—can lead to the formation of planetesimals, the football-field-to-Delaware-sized primordial asteroids whose development defined our solar system’s architecture.


Model Based On Hydrothermal Sources Evaluate Possibility Of Life Jupiter’s Icy Moon
Source: São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP)

Brazilian scientists compare primitive Earth scenario with satellite Europa’s conditions; the jupiterian moon could host microorganisms at the bottom of a huge warm ocean located underneath its frozen crust.


Juno In Good Health: Decision Point Nears On Mission’s End Or Extension
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

Overall, NASA’s Juno spacecraft in orbit of Jupiter is in good health and good condition as the probe heads toward its two-Earth year anniversary in orbit of the giant planet this July. The spacecraft’s good health bodes well in terms of NASA’s upcoming decision of whether to end the mission this summer or extend it, a decision that is largely understood to be related to how the spacecraft holds up to Jupiter’s intense radiation field.


JSpOC Director Receives Distinguished Space Leadership Award
Source: U.S. Air Force/45th Space Wing

Col. Michael T. Manor, Director, Joint Space Operations Center and Commander, 614th Air Operations Center, received the Jerome F. O’Malley Distinguished Space Leadership Award during a ceremony at the Air Force Association’s 2018 Air Force Ball in Colorado Springs, Colo. Feb. 17.


Goonhilly Goes Deep Space
Source: ESA

Until now, if you’re an entrepreneur planning future missions beyond Earth, you’d have to ask a big space agency to borrow their deep-space antennas. Now, thanks to the UK’s county of Cornwall and ESA, you’ll have a commercial option, too.


U.S. News Announces Keynote Speakers For Workforce Of Tomorrow Conference
Source: U.S. News & World Report

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, ZipRecruiter Co-Founder and CEO Ian Siegel and AFL-CIO’s Elizabeth Shuler keynote annual STEM leadership conference in Washington, D.C., April 4-6, 2018.


Independent Enquiry Commission Announces Conclusions Concerning The Launcher Trajectory Deviation During Flight VA241
Source: Arianespace

The Independent Enquiry Commission formed after the Ariane 5 launcher’s trajectory deviation during its January 25, 2018 mission issued its conclusions on Thursday, February 22. The anomaly’s cause is perfectly understood and recommendations are clearly identified.


Recycled SpaceX Rocket Boosts Paz Radar Satellite, First Starlink Testbeds Into Orbit
Source: Spaceflight Now

Launching with a Spanish radar observation craft and the first two experimental satellites for SpaceX’s planned global broadband network, a Falcon 9 rocket fired away from California’s Central Coast shortly before sunrise Thursday after several days of delays.


Investigators Say Erroneous Navigation Input Led Ariane T Rocket Off Course
Source: Spaceflight Now

A bad input to the Ariane 5 rocket’s guidance system that was missed during pre-launch quality control checks caused the launcher to deviate from its expected flight path and place two commercial communications satellites in the wrong orbit Jan. 25, Arianespace announced Friday.


RS-25 Engines Powered To Highest Level Ever During Stennis Test
Source: NASA

Operators powered one of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) engines up to 113 percent thrust level, the highest RS-25 power level yet achieved, during a test on Feb. 21 at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss. The test lasted 260 seconds with power levels at 113 percent for 50 seconds of the test.


How Spacecraft Testing Enabled Bone Marrow Research
Source: NASA

In the 1970s, a NASA employee stepped up to a challenge posed by the National Institutes of Health or NIH: to freeze bone marrow. Bone marrow presented a unique challenge to medical researchers. Tom Williams, an engineer working on NASA’s Space Network, tested communications spacecraft components in artificial space environments at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and thought that process could be adapted to freezing marrow.


International Space Station Crew Landing To Air Live On NASA Television
Source: NASA

Three residents of the International Space Station are scheduled to complete their mission on the complex on Tuesday, Feb. 27. Coverage of their departure and landing back on Earth will air on NASA Television and the agency’s website.


Seven Ways Mars InSight Is Different
Source: NASA

NASA’s Mars InSight lander team is preparing to ship the spacecraft from Lockheed Martin Space in Denver, where it was built and tested, to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where it will become the first interplanetary mission to launch from the West Coast. The project is led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.


Zacheis Planetarium Announces March Schedule
Source: Adams State University

The Adams State University Zacheis Planetarium has released the free public showings schedule through March 31, 2018.


Stealth Space Catapult Startup SpinLaunch Is Raising $30M
Source: TechCrunch

What if instead of blasting cargo into space on a rocket, we could fling it into space using a catapult? That’s the big, possibly crazy, possibly genius idea behind SpinLaunch.


NASA’s Deep-space Rocket Intertank Loaded For Shipment, Structural Testing
Source: NASA

A structural test version of the intertank for NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System, is loaded onto the barge Pegasus Feb. 22, at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The intertank is the second piece of structural hardware for the rocket’s massive core stage scheduled for delivery to NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, for testing.


Canceling NASA’s High-Priority Missions: Bad Policy, Bad Precedent For Science
Source: Scientific American

The president’s recently released Fiscal Year 2019 budget gives NASA an overall increase in funding—certainly something to celebrate in the current fiscally constrained environment. Clearly, however, with so much NASA could do that is inspirational, important and innovative, there will always be choices and tradeoffs to be made.


Army’s Imaging Satellite Up And Running, But Its Future Is TBD
Source: SpaceNews

How valuable is it for troops in the field to have their own dedicated source of satellite imagery and other space-based intelligence? That is a question officials hope to answer in upcoming military exercises where commanders will have an opportunity to test the Army’s newly deployed Kestrel Eye microsatellite.


2018 ATHENA Nominees Announced
Source: Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC

The Pikes Peak region has no shortage of remarkable women in business. They take corporations, governments, institutions and other organizations to new heights every day. But it’s those who take the time to inspire others to greatness, to surpass expectations and better the world that clear the path for talented and dynamic leaders to rise to the top. That is why on April 5, the Chamber & EDC will host its annual ATHENA® Award luncheon to honor the challenges women often face in today’s marketplace and the 2018 ATHENA® award recipient.