July 5, 2017

Surprise Methanol Detection Points To An Evolving Story Of Enceladus’s Plumes

NASA image of Enceladus within the E-ring in orbit around Saturn, where it is possible that the methanol detection could originate further out in the E-ring. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

July 5, 2017 – A serendipitous detection of the organic molecule methanol around an intriguing moon of Saturn suggests that material spewed from Enceladus undertakes a complex chemical journey once vented into space. This is the first time that a molecule from Enceladus has been detected with a ground-based telescope. Dr. Emily Drabek-Maunder, of Cardiff University, presented the results on Tuesday 4th July at the National Astronomy Meeting at the University of Hull. Read More

Zoom-In On Epimetheus

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

July 5, 2017 – This zoomed-in view of Epimetheus, one of the highest resolution ever taken, shows a surface covered in craters, vivid reminders of the hazards of space. Read More

New Mysteries Surround New Horizons’ Next Flyby Target

Four members of the South African observation team scan the sky while waiting for the start of the 2014 MU69 occultation, early on the morning of June 3, 2017. The target field is in the Milky Way, seen here from their observation site in the Karoo desert near Vosburg, South Africa. They used portable telescopes to observe the event, as MU69, a small Kuiper Belt object and the next flyby target of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, passed in front of a distant star. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Henry Throop

July 5, 2017 – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft doesn’t zoom past its next science target until New Year’s Day 2019, but the Kuiper Belt object, known as 2014 MU69, is already revealing surprises. Read More

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Calm Lakes On Titan Could Mean Smooth Landing For Future Space Probes
Source: University of Texas at Austin

The lakes of liquid methane on Saturn’s moon, Titan, are perfect for paddling but not for surfing. New research led by The University of Texas at Austin has found that most waves on Titan’s lakes reach only about 1 centimeter high, a finding that indicates a serene environment that could be good news for future probes sent to the surface of that moon.

Researchers Evaluating Lightning Data In Hazardous Weather Testbed
Source: NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory

For the first time ever, lightning data from a weather satellite is available and being evaluated in the NOAA Hazardous Weather Testbed. Forecasters, researchers, product developers and broadcast journalists are analyzing recently available experimental data from an instrument on GOES-16, the newly launched NOAA satellite as part of the HWT Experimental Warning Program.

MSU Denver To Open Colorado’s First Additive Manufacturing Laboratory Thanks To $1M Lockheed Martin Investment
Source: 3DPrint.com

Metropolitan State University of Denver is about to become a leader in additive manufacturing, thanks to a $1 million investment from Lockheed Martin. The money will go towards the construction of the first additive manufacturing laboratory in Colorado, which will be built over the next four years.

Fastest Stars In The Milky Way Are ‘Runaways’ From Another Galaxy
Source: Royal Astronomical Society

A group of astronomers have shown that the fastest-moving stars in our galaxy – which are travelling so fast that they can escape the Milky Way – are in fact runaways from a much smaller galaxy in orbit around our own.

Air Force Asks SpaceX, ULA To Bid On A Five-Launch Contract
Source: SpaceNews

The Air Force announced it is soliciting proposals for five upcoming launches — the largest group it has posted since certifying SpaceX to compete with United Launch Alliance for launch contracts.

Astronauts Celebrate Fourth Of July In Space With Photoshoot, Science
Source: Space.com

Today (July 4), people all across the U.S. will celebrate Independence Day with cookouts, flags and fireworks. On the International Space Station, things will be a bit more subdued — with an American flag photoshoot and plenty of science to do.

Insight – The Rule Of Law And Military Space Activities
Source: Secure World Foundation

Over the last several years, there has been growing concern about armed conflict on Earth extending into space which may include attacks against satellites and space capabilities. This concern is driven by the growing use of space for national security purposes by many countries, and the resulting proliferation of counterspace, or antisatellite, capabilities. The potential for increased threats to satellites and space capabilities has in turn generated discussions in several countries, including the United States, on not only preventing and deterring attacks in space, but also on the sovereign right of self-defense in space.

SWF 2017 IAC Young Professionals Scholarship Recipients Announced
Source: Secure World Foundation

The Secure World Foundation is proud to announce the young professionals who have won scholarships for travel funding to the 2017 International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia. As the premiere international space conference, the IAC offers a unique opportunity for young professionals to further their professional development and inject new ideas into the community.

Swarms Of Distant Galaxies And Nearby Habitable Worlds: Prime Targets For The James Webb Space Telescope’s Canadian Science Team
Source: Canadian Space Agency

Using the Canadian-built instrument, the Near-InfraRed Imager and Slitless Spectrograph (NIRISS), Canadian astronomers will study a wide variety of celestial bodies. The astronomers will aim Webb at distant galaxy clusters to study thousands of galaxies, peering back in time into the history of the universe when the very first ones were formed.

Put To The Test
Source: Velocity Magazine

In just a few years, NASA’s Orion spacecraft will travel further into space than anyone has ever been. But before that can happen, researchers and engineers must complete multiple tests to verify the spacecraft is ready for deep space exploration, from making sure it can withstand the harsh environment created during launch to ensuring it can safely re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere and land in the Pacific Ocean once a mission is complete.

Eyes In The Sky
Source: Time

One of America’s least known National Historic Landmarks may also be its ugliest. It’s kept hidden inside Building 32 on the grounds of the Johnson Space Center in Houston and is identified simply as Chamber A. The “landmark” resembles nothing so much as a bank vault, albeit one with a 40-ton, 40-ft.-wide door. When the door is shut, however, and the right machinery is turned on, Chamber A becomes, effectively, a giant pocket of outer space.

Juno Shatters Scientists’ Jupiter Theories In Just 365 Days
Source: WIRED

LAST JULY 4TH, NASA’s Juno spacecraft slowed its record breaking pace just enough to get caught in the pull of Jupiter’s gravity. (The timing, according to NASA, was just a very patriotic coincidence.) Either way, Independence Day 2016 was the last time the Juno mission pumped its brakes. In the year since, the 66-foot solar-powered craft has given scientists more and weirder Jupiter data than they ever thought possible.

July Fourth Tribute Honors 38 Distinguished Immigrants
Source: Carnegie Corporation of New York

Each year since 2006, the Corporation has recognized the contributions of naturalized citizens. For 2017, the honorees represent more than 30 different countries of origin, a wide range of personal immigration stories, and a high level of professional leadership in numerous fields. Among this year’s Great Immigrants is Eren Ozmen, Owner and president, Sierra Nevada Corporation.

NASA Provides Coverage Of Vice President Pence’s Visit To Kennedy Space Center
Source: NASA

NASA will provide television, still image and social media coverage of Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday, July 6.

“Little Cub” Gives Astronomers Rare Chance To See Galaxy’s Demise
Source: W.M. Keck Observatory

Astronomers have spotted a primitive galaxy being devoured by a gigantic neighboring galaxy – a discovery that could provide clues about the early universe.

XCOR Lays Off Remaining Employees
Source: Parabolic Arc

Struggling XCOR Aerospace has laid off its remaining employees in Mojave, Calif. and Midland, Texas. “Due to adverse financial conditions XCOR had to terminate all employees as of 30 June 2017,” the company said in a statement.