June 23, 2017

NASA’s New Horizons Mission Honors Memory Of Engineer Lisa Hardaway

Aerospace engineer Lisa Hardaway with the New Horizons spacecraft and Pluto. Hardaway was program manager for the Ralph instrument, which captured the first close-up color images of Pluto. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace

June 23, 2017 – NASA’s New Horizons mission team honored the life and contributions of aerospace engineer Lisa Hardaway on Thursday by dedicating the spectrometer she helped to develop – which brought the first color close-up images of Pluto to the world – in her memory. Read More


Suomi NPP Shows Smoke From Brian Head Fire Drifting Across Colorado

Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team.

June 23, 2017 – The Suomi NPP satellite’s Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument captured this image of the Brian Head fire on June 22, 2017. Actively burning areas, detected by VIIRS, are outlined in red. Images like these provide active fire data as emergency response teams continue to fight fires. Read More


NASA-Funded CHESS Mission Will Check Out The Space Between Stars

Floating clouds of the interstellar medium are the focus of the NASA-funded CHESS sounding rocket mission, which will check out the earliest stages of star formation. Here, the CHESS payload is integrated with the sounding rocket before launch. Image Credit: Kevin France

June 23, 2017 – Deep in space between distant stars, space is not empty. Instead, there drifts vast clouds of neutral atoms and molecules, as well as charged plasma particles called the interstellar medium — that may, over millions of years, evolve into new stars and even planets. These floating interstellar reservoirs are the focus of the NASA-funded CHESS sounding rocket mission, which will check out the earliest stages of star formation. Read More


Scientists Uncover Origins Of The Sun’s Swirling Spicules

Image Credit: NASA

June 23, 2017 – At any given moment, as many as 10 million wild jets of solar material burst from the sun’s surface. They erupt as fast as 60 miles per second, and can reach lengths of 6,000 miles before collapsing. These are spicules, and despite their grass-like abundance, scientists didn’t understand how they form. Now, for the first time, a computer simulation — so detailed it took a full year to run — shows how spicules form, helping scientists understand how spicules can break free of the sun’s surface and surge upward so quickly. Read More


Witness Cassini’s Finale At Saturn Live From JPL

Image Credit: NASA

June 23, 2017 – NASA is inviting social media users to apply for access to a two-day event culminating in the triumphant end of the Cassini mission to Saturn after nearly 20 years in space. Up to 25 selected participants for the September 14-15 event will tour, explore and share their experiences from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Read More


More News:

U.S. Rocketry Students Impress At Internationals, Win Gold
Source: Aerospace Industries Association

At International Paris Air Show, Students from Festus, Mo., become third consecutive U.S. team to win gold.


Space Corps Proposal Becoming Flashpoint In DoD Budget Negotiations
Source: SpaceNews

In the past three months alone, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein have found themselves before the Senate Appropriations Committee, House Armed Services Committee, and Senate Armed Services Committee. It’s an unusually busy congressional appearance schedule that reflects budget season in the nation’s capital: no one wants to markup the Air Force budget without talking to the leaders of the Air Force.


$1 Million Gift To Metro From Lockheed Martin Sets Up One-Of-A-Kind 3-D Manufacturing Lab
Source: Denver Post

Aerospace and Engineering Program takes flight with completion of new building where York Space Systems will have command center.


Russia’s Soyuz-2.1v Blasts Off From Plesetsk With Military Spacecraft Aboard
Source: Sputnik News

A Soyuz-2.1v carrier rocket blasted off Friday from the Plesetsk space center with the Russian Defense Ministry’s spacecraft on board, the ministry said.


Across The Universe: Mexico’s Giant Telescope Helps Reveal The Sky’s Secrets
Source: Sputnik News

Mounted on the top of the Sierra Negra peak in Mexico, the Large Millimeter Telescope is believed to be the world’s largest such device in terms of its frequency range. Sputnik Spain interviewed Mexican astrophysicist Arturo Gomez, one of the scientists who participate in the project.


NIST/CU Team Launches ‘Comb And Copter’ System To Map Atmospheric Gases
Source: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Colorado Boulder have demonstrated a new mobile, ground-based system that could scan and map atmospheric gas plumes over kilometer distances.


Lack Of Satellite Orders Triggers Layoffs At Space Systems Loral
Source: SpaceNews

Citing a long-term drought in satellite orders, Space Systems Loral has laid off a number of employees at its California satellite manufacturing facility, the company confirmed June 22.


We Have Liftoff
Source: Insider News From MSU Denver

The new Aerospace and Engineering Sciences Building is MSU Denver’s starship Enterprise. Not only will it take student learning to places that few colleges have gone before, but its successful launch is the result of some serious teamwork.


Mars Rover Opportunity On Walkabout Near Rim
Source: NASA

NASA’s senior Mars rover, Opportunity, is examining rocks at the edge of Endeavour Crater for signs that they may have been either transported by a flood or eroded in place by wind. Those scenarios are among the possible explanations rover-team scientists are considering for features seen just outside the crater rim’s crest above “Perseverance Valley,” which is carved into the inner slope of the rim.


Why No One Under 20 Has Experienced a Day Without NASA at Mars
Source: NASA

As the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft approached its destination on July 4, 1997, no NASA mission had successfully reached the Red Planet in more than 20 years. Even the mission team anxiously awaiting confirmation that the spacecraft survived its innovative, bouncy landing could not anticipate the magnitude of the pivot about to shape the Space Age. In the 20 years since Pathfinder’s touchdown, eight other NASA landers and orbiters have arrived successfully, and not a day has passed without the United States having at least one active robot on Mars or in orbit around Mars.


SLS Core Stage Production Continues For Rocket’s First Flight
Source: NASA

Throughout NASA’s 43-acre rocket factory, the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, engineers are building all five parts of the Space Launch System’s core stage. For the first SLS flight for deep space exploration with NASA’s Orion spacecraft, major structural manufacturing is complete on three parts: the forward skirt, the intertank and the engine section. Test articles, which are structurally similar to flight hardware, and are used to qualify the core stage for flight, are in various stages of production and testing.


U.S. Astronauts May Consider To Launch Aboard Soyuz Into 2020
Source: SpaceFlight Insider

According to a report from the Russian news agency TASS, not only will U.S. astronauts launch to the International Space Station (ISS) in a Soyuz spacecraft through 2019, but also there is a strong possibility that Boeing will engage their Russian counterpart to continue the service through 2020.


$1 Million Investment In Future Space Explorers
Source: Rick Ambrose

At Lockheed Martin, we’re laser-focused on the future. What challenges will our customers face in 10, or even 20, years? What capabilities will a spacecraft need for a 2050 mission to a distant planet? What life-changing discoveries are out there, still waiting to be found? But another important question is at the top of our minds, too: who’s going to make all of these things possible? The question is especially relevant in Colorado where Lockheed Martin Space Systems has major operations.


Boost Your Innovative Space Exploration Business Idea Benefitting Earth!
Source: AZO/Space Exploration Masters

Space exploration contains large potential for the creation of innovative applications, products and services, also benefitting Earth . With new topics and application areas arise countless possibilities for technology transfer and novel ideas for space-based technologies and and their application in non-space industries, as well as new targets and opportunities for business. This year AZO has launched the Space Exploration Masters on behalf of the European Space Agency (ESA) and in line with the goals of the ESA Space Exploration Strategy, in cooperation with strong world-class partners.


Will Mars Go Mute? NASA’s Aging Orbiters May Not Last Long Enough To Support Future Exploration
Source: Scientific American

A cry for help has come from planetary scientists pleading for a Next Mars Orbiter—or NeMO for short. Researchers say the spacecraft fleet currently orbiting the Red Planet are aging and there are no replacements in the works, imperiling future Mars landers, rovers and even possible human missions that will depend on orbiters to talk to Earth.