June 21, 2017

#NASASocial Takes Boulder By Storm

Image Credit: NASA

June 21, 2017 – On June 19, social media users from around the country gathered for a behind-the-scenes tour of NOAA’s Earth Systems Research Laboratory (ESRL) in Boulder, Colorado. Twenty-five people were invited by NASA to take an in-depth look at the research performed at ESRL and to learn more about NOAA’s next-generation weather satellite, the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1), being built by Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. Read More


Hubble Captures Massive Dead Disk Galaxy That Challenges Theories Of Galaxy Evolution

Acting as a “natural telescope” in space, the gravity of the extremely massive foreground galaxy cluster MACS J2129-0741 magnifies, brightens, and distorts the far-distant background galaxy MACS2129-1, shown in the top box. The middle box is a blown-up view of the gravitationally lensed galaxy. In the bottom box is a reconstructed image, based on modeling, that shows what the galaxy would look like if the galaxy cluster were not present. The galaxy appears red because it is so distant that its light is shifted into the red part of the spectrum. Image Credit: Science: NASA, ESA, and S. Toft (University of Copenhagen). Acknowledgment: NASA, ESA, M. Postman (STScI), and the CLASH team

June 21, 2017 – By combining the power of a “natural lens” in space with the capability of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers made a surprising discovery—the first example of a compact yet massive, fast-spinning, disk-shaped galaxy that stopped making stars only a few billion years after the big bang. Read More


Orbital ATK Completes Key Milestone In NASA’s Orion Launch Abort System Qualification Effort

Orbital ATK has completed its analysis of the critical components demonstrated in the Orion Launch Abort System Attitude Control Motor (ACM) test conducted at the company’s Elkton, Maryland, facility. This is an artist’s concept of the attitude control motor in operation during an abort. Image Credit: NASA

June 21, 2017 – Orbital ATK announced that is has completed analysis of the critical components demonstrated in the Orion Launch Abort System Attitude Control Motor (ACM) test conducted at the company’s Elkton, Maryland, facility. Results from the test indicate the motor’s HT-11 ‘High Thrust’ test was fully successful. Read More


Shaping The Future Of Human Spaceflight: UTC Aerospace Systems Celebrates 200th Spacewalk At International Space Station

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

June 21, 2017 – On May 12, NASA Astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer participated in a milestone event—the 200th spacewalk at the International Space Station (ISS). The space suit they wore for the walk was the same design worn by U.S. astronauts for a total of 151 spacewalks in support of ISS assembly and maintenance—the UTC Aerospace Systems Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU). For Whitson, the May 12 spacewalk was her ninth, the most ever by a female astronaut. Read More


UCAR Collaboration With The Weather Company To Improve Weather Forecasts Worldwide

The Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS) enables forecasters to combine a global view of the atmosphere with a higher-resolution view of a particular region, such as North America. Image Credit: UCAR

June 21, 2017 – The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) today announced a new collaboration with The Weather Company, an IBM business, to improve global weather forecasting. The partnership brings together cutting-edge computer modeling developed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) with The Weather Company’s meteorological science and IBM’s advanced compute equipment. Read More


Public Libraries Will Be Centers Of Eclipse Education For August 21 Solar Eclipse

The total solar eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017, stretches across the U.S. from coast to coast, providing scientists with a unique opportunity to study the eclipse from different vantage points. Image Credit: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio

June 21, 2017 – More than two million pairs of eclipse glasses are being distributed free through public libraries in the U.S. for the eclipse of the Sun taking place on August 21, 2017. About 4,800 organizations, including public library branches, bookmobiles, tribal libraries, library consortia, and state libraries, have received a package of free safe-viewing glasses, plus a 24-page information booklet on how best to do public outreach programs about the eclipse. The project is supported by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, with additional help from Google. Read More


More News:

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio Departs NASA
Source: NASA

Veteran NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio has retired from NASA; his last day with the agency was June 16. As an astronaut, Mastracchio logged 228 days in space on three space shuttle missions and one long-duration stay at the International Space Station.


NASA 2017 OPSPARC Winners Put A New Spin On Webb Telescope Technology
Source: NASA

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, announced the winners of the 2017 OPTIMUS PRIME Spinoff Promotion and Research Challenge (OPSPARC) on May 5, 2017. With over 800 entries from across the nation between grades 3 and 12, NASA and the public selected winners for three age groups: elementary, middle and high school.


What Ikea’s Designers Learned From Living In A Fake Mars Habitat
Source: Fast Company/Co.Design

Ikea is looking to space for inspiration–literally. The furniture company announced last week that it will be collaborating with NASA in order to learn about what life would be like on Mars, and how the company might apply the space agency’s knowledge of living in small spaces to its products.


Colorado Students Named Finalists In NASA Competition
Source: 9news.com

A team of students from the University of Colorado Boulder landed a spot for their small satellite on NASA’s new heavy-lift rocket, the Space Launch System. CU Boulder’s Earth Escape Explorer (CU-E3) design was one of the three winners of NASA’s national Cube Quest Challenge small satellite competition.


Neo4j And NASA: When Graph Database Technology Really Is Rocket Science
Source: ZDNet

One of the ways in which Neo4j has been used is in the development of the up-righting mechanism on the Orion spacecraft. This vital piece of equipment is designed to ensure that the craft doesn’t wind up the wrong way up after splashing back down to Earth.


UW Researchers’ ‘Kidney On A Chip’ Will Be Prepped For Space Station
Source: GeekWire

A stack of card-sized gizmos that test the effects of drugs, toxins and weightlessness on human kidney cells is due to take a ride to the International Space Station as early as next year – and researchers at the University of Washington can’t wait. Researchers from the UW School of Pharmacy, UW Medicine and the Kidney Research Institute will partner with BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado, and work with engineers who specialize in developing experiments for space launch.


Emulate, Inc. Awarded Grant To Fund Use Of Human Emulation System Aboard The International Space Station
Source: Emulate, Inc.

Research in space will use Emulate’s Organs-on-Chips technology to evaluate effects of space travel on human brain cells, and may help uncover new insights to understand neurological diseases on Earth.


Putin: Russia, Brazil Consider Joint Space Launches From Brazilian Spaceport
Source: Sputnik International

Russia and Brazil are considering the possibility of conducting joint launches of carrier rockets from a Brazilian space center, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday.


Schriever Bids Squadron Farewell; Welcomes 4 SOPS Commander
Source: Schriever Air Force Base

The 3rd Space Operations Squadron inactivated then merged its mission with the 4th Space Operations Squadron during an inactivation and a change of command ceremony at the 50th Space Wing headquarters building Tuesday, June 13.


HASC Criticizes DOD Management of Space Programs, Wants Space Corps
Source: SpacePolicyOnline.com

The Strategic Forces subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) plans to require the creation of a U.S. Space Corps as a separate military service within the Air Force, and a U.S. Space Command within U.S. Strategic Command. It insists such steps are required to address an erosion of the strategic advantages the United States derives from national security space systems. HASC’s subcommittees are marking up their portions of the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week.


Potential New Meteor Shower From Comet C/2015 D4 (Borisov)
Source: SETI

Peter Jenniskens and Esko Lyytinen report that the dust trail of 700-year comet Borisov, who just passed perihelion in 2014, will be in the Earth’s path on 2017 July 29 at 00:22 UT. Earth will pass only 0.0006 AU inside the comet’s orbit at a time when the comet has just passed perihelion, both favorable circumstances for detecting meteors. Observers in South Africa will have a chance to see a glimpse of this new 1-2 hour duration meteor shower.


Harris Corporation Delivers Advanced Weather Satellite Instrument To South Korea
Source: Harris Corporation

Harris Corporation has delivered an advanced digital weather satellite instrument to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute that will help forecasters safeguard people in the region from typhoons and other severe weather. The AMI is based on the Advanced Baseline Imager built for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-16 (GOES-16).


Scientists Solve Mystery Of Unexplained ‘Bright Nights’
Source: American Geophysical Union

Dating back to the first century, scientists, philosophers and reporters have noted the occasional occurrence of “bright nights,” when an unexplained glow in the night sky lets observers see distant mountains, read a newspaper or check their watch.


NASA’s Orion Program Recognizes Orbital ATK Employees After Successful QM-1 Test
Source: Orbital ATK

Following the successful ground test of the launch abort motor (LAM) for NASA’s Orion spacecraft’s Launch Abort System (LAS) by Orbital ATK, NASA and Lockheed Martin, team members from Orbital ATK’s Propulsion System Division were recognized in an all-hands presentation Thursday, June 15.


Report And Video From Wilton Park Event Co-Sponsored By SWF Now Available
Source: Secure World Foundation

From March 13-15, 2017 SWF co-sponsored “Governing Space Activity in the 21st Century,” a Wilton Park conference. The conference summary report and a video where participants address space security are now available.


MUSES Facility Enables Investigation Opportunities For Future Users
Source: NASA

The Multiple User System for Earth Sensing Facility (MUSES) will inspire and enable numerous branches of research and science through its ability to support many different kinds of investigations and hardware aboard the International Space Station. Providing a platform for payloads such as high-resolution digital cameras and hyperspectral imagers, MUSES provides precision pointing and other accommodations for various kinds of research and science.


IDA Now Accepting Applications for 2017 Board of Directors
Source: International Dark Sky Association

International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) is pleased to solicit applications for the 2017 board of directors election. Because IDA board service constitutes a substantial commitment, we are seeking applicants who are excited, passionate, and dedicated to our cause.


NASA Interim Administrator Visits Airbus Bremen
Source: Airbus Defence and Space

On June 21 a joint NASA / ESA team headed by Robert M. Lightfoot Jr, NASA’s acting administrator and David Parker, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight and Robotic Exploration Programmes visited the Airbus site Bremen. Special interest was about the progress that was already made on the European Service Module for NASA’s next generation spaceship Orion.