June 3 – June 9, 2019

Deep Learning Model Speeds Up, Automates Satellite Image Analysis

Large airplanes automatically identified at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

June 9, 2019 – Lockheed Martin develops satellite imagery recognition system using open-source deep learning libraries to quickly identify and classify objects or targets in large areas across the world, potentially saving image analysts countless hours manually categorizing and labeling items within an image. Global Automated Target Recognition (GATR) runs in the cloud, using Maxar’s Geospatial Big Data platform (GBDX) to access Maxar’s 100 petabyte satellite imagery library and millions of curated data labels across dozens of categories that expedite the training of deep learning algorithms. Fast GPU’s let GATR scan a large area very quickly, while deep learning methods automate object recognition and reduce the need for extensive algorithm training. Read More

NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock

Technicians integrate NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock into the Orbital Test Bed Earth-orbiting satellite, which will launch on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket, on June 22, 2019. Image Credit: General Atomics

June 9, 2019 – NASA is sending a new technology to space in late June that will change the way we navigate our spacecraft – even how we send astronauts to Mars and beyond. Built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the Deep Space Atomic Clock is a technology demonstration that will help spacecraft navigate autonomously through deep space. No larger than a toaster oven, the instrument will be tested in Earth orbit for one year, with the goal of being ready for future missions to other worlds. Read More

NASA’s Mars Helicopter Testing Enters Final Phase

This image of the flight model of NASA’s Mars Helicopter was taken on Feb. 14, 2019, in a cleanroom at JPL. The aluminum base plate, side posts and crossbeam around the helicopter protect its landing legs and the attachment points that will hold it to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

June 9, 2019 – Future Mars missions could enlist second-generation helicopters to add an aerial dimension to their explorations. They could investigate previously unvisited or difficult-to-reach destinations such as cliffs, caves and deep craters, act as scouts for human crews or carry small payloads from one location to another. But before any of that happens, a test vehicle has to prove it is possible. Read More

Sierra Nevada Corporation To Develop Prototypes For Artemis Lunar Exploration Program

Image Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation

June 9, 2019 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has been selected to develop prototypes of key human lander elements for NASA’s accelerated Artemis lunar exploration program. During the next six months, SNC will perform studies and develop prototypes to help NASA reduce schedule risk for the descent, transfer and refueling elements of a potential human landing system. Read More

AEHF-5 Encapsulated Ahead Of June Launch

The Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) system provides vastly improved global, survivable, highly secure, protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. Image Source: Lockheed Martin

June 9, 2019 – The U.S. Air Force’s fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-5) communication satellite was encapsulated ­­­June 5 at Astrotech Space Operations processing facility in Florida. Read More

Astronaut Michael Good Retires From NASA

Astronaut Michael Good is retiring from NASA. Image Credit: NASA

June 9, 2019 – Veteran NASA astronaut Michael Good is retiring from NASA after flying two space shuttle missions and helping the Commercial Crew Program get off the ground. After 35 years of government service in the U.S. Air Force and at NASA, May 31 was his last day with the agency. Read More

Junior High Girls Exploring The World Of STEM At Free GE Camp

Image Credit: Colorado School of Mines

June 9, 2019 – Approximately 50 Denver-area junior high school girls began a free, week-long camp about science, technology, engineering and math today, participating in the second-ever iteration of the GE Girls program at Colorado School of Mines. Read More

SBIRS GEO-4 Successfully Achieves Operational Acceptance

SBIRS GEO Flight 4 during assembly and testing at Lockheed Martin’s satellite manufacturing facility in Sunnyvale, California. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

June 9, 2019 – The Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite (GEO-4) successfully achieved Air Force Space Command operational acceptance.  The satellite is healthy and sending data to the Mission Control Station, operated by the 460th Space Wing located at Buckley Air Force Base, Colorado. Read More

Braxton Awarded A Phase III SBIR To Support EGS Satellite Operations Prototyping And Integration (SPI)

June 8, 2019 – Braxton Technologies, LLC has been awarded a $20M Phase III Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract (with $100M ceiling) to support EGS Satellite Operations Prototyping and Integration (SPI). This contract will allow the Space & Missile Systems Center (SMC) and Air Force Space Command (AFSPC) to concentrate resources to provide the most secure, effective, and interoperable tactical C2 experience to mission partners across the Air Force space enterprise. EGS is a government-controlled platform and underlying infrastructure, that will provide ground services and enterprise Defensive Cyber Operations (DCO) to support AFSPC space missions. Read More

InSight’s Team Tries New Strategy To Help The ‘Mole’

Engineers in a Mars-like test area at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory try possible strategies to aid the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3) on NASA’s InSight lander, using engineering models of the lander, robotic arm and instrument. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

June 8, 2019 – Scientists and engineers have a new plan for getting NASA InSight’s heat probe, also known as the “mole,” digging again on Mars. Part of an instrument called the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package (HP3), the mole is a self-hammering spike designed to dig as much as 16 feet (5 meters) below the surface and record temperature. Read More

More News

West Virginia University Takes Top Prize In Moon To Mars Ice Challenge
Source: NASA

Breaking The 15 Minute Barrier From Acquisition To Delivery For SAR Imaging
Source: ICEYE

Jupiter Abyss
Source: NASA

The TORUS Project Will Use Drones To Study Tornados
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

A New Method For 3D Reconstruction Of Eruptive Events On Sun
Source: Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech)

Inquiry: Talking Moon And Mars With Engineering Dean Bobby Braun
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Virgin Orbit Loses 35 OneWeb Launches, Sues Over Termination Fee
Source: Parabolic Arc

Colorado Springs Space Foundation Gives Glimpse Of Future Home On Mars
Source: The Gazette

Orion Window Testing Brings Artemis 1 Closer Into View
Source: NASA

HERA Mission XIX Departs For Mars Moon Phobos
Source: NASA

First Falcon Heavy Night Launch Slips To June 24
Source: Spaceflight Now

Trump Tweet Throws Space Policy Into Chaos
Source: SpaceNews

Final ‘Single Stick’ Delta 4-Medium Rocket Arrives At Florida Launch Pad
Source: Spaceflight Now

China Conducts First Sea Launch Mission With Long March 11 Launch Of Seven Satellites
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

NOAA Names The University Of Maryland To Host Cooperative Institute For Satellite Earth System Studies
Source: NOAA

FAA Extends Comment Period On Rulemaking To Streamline Commercial Space Activities
Federal Aviation Administration

UA Expertise Key In Mapping Moon’s Surface
The University of Arizona

Ariane 6 Development On Track
Source: ESA