July 6, 2017

Hubble Pushed Beyond Limits To Spot Clumps Of New Stars In Distant Galaxy

In this Hubble photograph of a distant galaxy cluster, a spotty blue arc stands out dramatically against a background of red galaxies. That arc is actually three separate images of the same background galaxy. The background galaxy has been gravitationally lensed, its light magnified and distorted by the intervening galaxy cluster. By using the magnifying power of this natural cosmic lens, astronomers have been able to study the background galaxy in intimate detail. Through sophisticated computer processing, they determined how the galaxy’s image has been warped by gravity. The image at right shows how the galaxy would look to Hubble without distortions. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and T. Johnson (University of Michigan)

July 6, 2017 – When it comes to the distant universe, even the keen vision of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope can only go so far. Teasing out finer details requires clever thinking and a little help from a cosmic alignment with a gravitational lens. Read More


Honeybee Robotics Has Been Acquired By Ensign-Bickford Industries

July 6, 2017 – Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms Corporation announced it has been acquired by Ensign-Bickford Industries (EBI), a 181-year-old privately held corporation with headquarters in Simsbury, Connecticut. Following the acquisition, Honeybee Robotics will be a stand-alone, wholly-owned subsidiary of EBI and will complement EBI’s current aerospace & defense subsidiary, Ensign-Bickford Aerospace & Defense (EBAD). The company will continue to serve customers from its current facilities in Brooklyn, New York; Longmont, Colorado; and Pasadena, California. Read More


SSL To Provide Next-Generation Imaging Satellite Constellation To DigitalGlobe

WorldView Legion. Image Credit: SSL

July 6, 2017 – MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) today announced that its subsidiary Space Systems Loral (SSL) was selected to provide a next-generation satellite constellation for high-resolution Earth imaging to DigitalGlobe, the global leader in Earth imagery and information about our changing planet. Called WorldView Legion, the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites will more than double DigitalGlobe’s high-resolution capacity in important regions. The contract is valued at several hundred million U.S. dollars. Read More


How To Rescue A Moonwalker In Need

NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren pulling Pedro Duque on a stretcher in a simulated lunar rescue. Image Credit: ESA–H. Stevenin

July 6, 2017 – During a simulated space mission underwater last week, ESA tested an ingenious concept to bring astronauts safely back to base if they are incapacitated during lunar exploration. Four ‘aquanauts’, including NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren and ESA astronaut Pedro Duque, took part in NASA’s 22nd Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO-22) mission, spending 10 days in the Aquarius habitat 20 m underwater off the coast of the Florida Keys. Read More


Preparing For Mercury: BepiColombo Stack Completes Testing

The complete BepiColombo spacecraft stack on July 5, 2017. From bottom to top: the Mercury Transfer Module (sitting on top of a cone-shaped adapter, and with one folded solar array visible to the right); the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (with the folded solar array seen towards the left, with red protective cover), and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO). The Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter’s Sunshield and Interface Structure (MOSIF) that will protect the MMO during the cruise to Mercury is sitting on the floor to the right. Image Credit: ESA–C. Carreau

July 6, 2017 – ESA’s Mercury spacecraft has passed its final test in launch configuration, the last time it will be stacked like this before being reassembled at the launch site next year. Read More


Researchers Spot 60 New ‘Hot Jupiter’ Candidates

The diagram above shows a hot Jupiter at various phases of its orbit. The sizes of the star and planet and the separations between them are to scale for a typical hot Jupiter. The amount of reflected starlight that is observed depends on the planet’s position within its orbit and the inclination of the orbit with respect to the observer. Image Credit: Yale University

July 6, 2017 – Yale researchers have identified 60 potential new “hot Jupiters” — highly irradiated worlds that glow like coals on a barbecue grill and are found orbiting only 1% of Sun-like stars. Hot Jupiters constitute a class of gas giant planets located so close to their parent stars that they take less than a week to complete an orbit. Read More


More News:

Study Finds Earth’s Magnetic Field ‘Simpler Than We Thought’
Source: Oregon State University

Scientists have identified patterns in the Earth’s magnetic field that evolve on the order of 1,000 years, providing new insight into how the field works and adding a measure of predictability to changes in the field not previously known.


Pence Says NASA To Reorient Towards Human Spaceflight
Source: SpaceNews

Vice President Mike Pence said July 6 that the U.S. space program would refocus on human spaceflight, including missions to the moon and Mars, but offered few other details about what such a shift would entail.


Orion Deep In Processing For EM-1, Planning For Following Missions
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

As US Vice President Mike Pence visited the Kennedy Space Center (KSC), one of the welcoming party, the Orion crew module, is fast taking shape ahead of its Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) flight. With major processing milestones – such as the mating of the heatshield with the Crew Module, NASA managers are already thinking ahead to future flights involving Orion.


Jeffco EDC Presents: The 2nd Annual Aerospace and Defense Small Business Industry Day
Source: Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation

The Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation in partnership with Lockheed Martin and the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) is proud to once again present the Aerospace and Defense Small Business Industry Day. The event will be held August 2. Early bird registration ends tomorrow.


Remarks By The Vice President At Kennedy Space Center
Source: whitehouse.gov

Vice President Pence visited Kennedy Space Center today. This is a transcript of his speech.


UH Astronomer To Build Sharper Eyes For Maunakea Telescope
Source: University of Hawaii

The University of Hawaiʻi‘s 2.2 meter (88-inch) telescope on Maunakea will soon be producing images nearly as sharp as those from the Hubble Space Telescope, thanks to a new instrument using the latest image sharpening technologies. Astronomer Christoph Baranec, at the UH Institute for Astronomy (IfA), has been awarded a nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to build an autonomous adaptive optics system called Robo-AO-2 for the UH telescope.


Video: Mars Pathfinder – 20th Anniversary Special
Source: NASA/JPL

On July 4, 1997, NASA’s Mars Pathfinder lander and Sojourner rover successfully landed on the Red Planet utilizing a revolutionary airbag landing system. This special 20th anniversary show chronicles the stories and the people behind the groundbreaking mission that jump-started 20 years of continuous presence at Mars. Guests include: Former NASA Administrator Dan Goldin, former JPL Directors Ed Stone and Charles Elachi, JPL Director Michael Watkins and Pathfinder mission team members Jennifer Trosper and Brian Muirhead. Recorded June 27, 2017 at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory; aired on NASA TV on July 4, 2017.


US Lawmakers Call For Space Force, Boost To Military Drills In Europe
Source: Defense One

The House and Senate Armed Services committees want the Pentagon to better prepare for war in space, but there’s disagreement on how to do it.


Odd Planetary System Around Fast-Spinning Star Doesn’t Quite Fit Existing Models Of Planet Formation
Source: Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

Astronomers have discovered a rare, warm, massive Jupiter-like planet orbiting a star that is rotating extremely quickly. The discovery raises puzzling questions about planet formation – neither the planet’s comparatively small mass nor its large distance from its host star are expected according to current models.


Video: SEAKR Engineering: Doing Business In Centennial, Colorado
Source: City of Centennial Government

Local businesses talk about what it means for them to be located in Centennial, Colorado.


Third Time’s A Charm As SpaceX Launches 10th Mission Of 2017 With Intelsat 35e
Source: AmericaSpace

SpaceX and Pad 39A established another record this evening (Wednesday, 5 July), as the personal-best-beating tenth Upgraded Falcon 9 of 2017 roared into space and the historic, Apollo-era complex saw its second launch in only 12 days. The 230-foot-tall (70-meter) booster lifted off at 7:38 p.m. EDT, right on the opening of a 58-minute “window” and successfully delivered the Intelsat 35e high-throughput communications satellite into Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO).