March 2 – March 8, 2020

Space Lettuce

Colorado Astronaut Steve Swanson harvests some of the ‘Outredgeous’ crop in June 2014. Image Credit: NASA

March 8, 2020 – Astronauts in space live on processed, pre-packaged space rations such as fruits, nuts, chocolate, shrimp cocktails, peanut butter, chicken, and beef to name a few. These have often been sterilized by heating, freeze drying, or irradiation to make them last and key a challenge for the US Space Agency NASA has been to figure out how to grow safe, fresh food onboard. Read More

First Official Names Given To Features On Asteroid Bennu

This flat projection mosaic of asteroid Bennu shows the locations of the first 12 surface features to receive official names from the International Astronomical Union. The accepted names were proposed by NASA’s OSIRIS-REx team members, who have been mapping the asteroid in detail over the last year. Bennu’s surface features are named after birds and bird-like creatures in mythology, and the places associated with them. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

March 8, 2020 – Asteroid Bennu’s most prominent boulder, a rock chunk jutting out 71 ft (21.7 m) from the asteroid’s southern hemisphere, finally has a name. The boulder – which is so large that it was initially detected from Earth – is officially designated Benben Saxum after the primordial hill that first arose from the dark waters in an ancient Egyptian creation myth. Read More

Front Range Biosciences Launches Hemp And Coffee Tissue Culture Samples To Space

Hemp and coffee plant cell cultures in four space-made Plate Habitats> Image Credit: PHabs

March 8, 2020 – Front Range Biosciences (FRB), an agricultural technology company focused on breeding and nursery production of new plant varieties and seeds for the hemp and coffee industries, has sent plant cultures to space to examine the effects of zero gravity on plant gene expression. In partnership with SpaceCells USA Inc. and BioServe Space Technologies at the University of Colorado Boulder, FRB’s coffee and hemp cell cultures will be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS) when SpaceX CRS-20 docks at the ISS Monday morning. Read More

Lunar Lasers And Cosmic Crops: NASA Funds UArizona Space Exploration Missions

Jekan Thanga holds a FemtoSat developed in the UArizona SpaceTREx Laboratory. Image Credit: Emily Dieckman/College of Engineering

March 7, 2020 – Many things change for astronauts when they leave Earth and head into space, but at least one remains the same: They need food and water. NASA recently awarded funding to two University of Arizona teams to search for water and grow food in space. Read More

OSIRIS-REx Swoops Over Sample Site Nightingale

On March 3, the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft performed a low-altitude flyover of site Nightingale. During the pass, science observations of asteroid Bennu took place from a distance of approximately 820 ft (250 m) – the closest the spacecraft has ever been to the asteroid’s surface. The primary goal of this flyover was to collect high-resolution imagery for the team to locate the site’s best areas for collecting a sample.
Credits: University of Arizona

March 7, 2020 – NASA’s first asteroid-sampling spacecraft just got its best look yet at asteroid Bennu. On March 3, the Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft executed a very low pass over sample site Nightingale, taking observations from an altitude of 820 feet (250 m), which is the closest that OSIRIS-REx has flown over the asteroid so far. Nightingale, OSIRIS-REx’s primary sample collection site, is located within a crater in Bennu’s northern hemisphere. Read More

Artemis I’s Orion Capsule Completes Testing

Image Credit: NASA

March 6, 2020 – NASA’s Orion spacecraft, a critical part of the Artemis I mission, has completed three months of testing at the agency’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio. During the testing, the craft was subjected to the extreme temperatures and electromagnetic environment it will experience in its upcoming test mission to the Moon. Read More

Two Colorado Teams Among StellarXplorers Top 10 National Finalists

March 6, 2020 – Rangeview High School #2 in Aurora, Colorado, and the School of Engineering & Biomedical Science at Pueblo County High School in Pueblo, Colorado, are among the top 10 teams invited to the StellarXplorers VI National Finals Competition, to be held April 20-22, 2020. These top 10 teams advanced through four competitive qualification rounds, and represent schools and other youth groups from California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Oregon. Read More

World View Shifts Focus To Become High-Value Data And Information Services Provider

Image Credit: World View

March 3, 2020 – World View plans to build and deploy a fleet of Stratollites, known as World View Orbits, over North and Central America starting this summer. Tom Pirrone, Senior VP, Business Development made the announcement today at the Next-Generation Suborbital Research Conference in Broomfield, Colorado. Read More

NOAA’s DSCOVR Satellite Is Operating Again

Artist’s rendering of the DSCOVR satellite. Image Credit: NOAA NESDIS

March 2, 2020 – NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite, which had been offline for about nine months due to a technical glitch, is fully operational again, agency experts said today. Read More

NASA Seeks Applicants To Explore Moon, Mars

NASA’s new class of astronauts – the first to graduate since the agency announced its Artemis program – appear on stage during their graduation ceremony at the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston on January 10, 2020. The class includes 11 NASA candidates, as well as two Canadian Space Agency (CSA) candidates, selected in 2017. They will join the active astronaut corps, beginning careers in exploration that may take them to the International Space Station, on missions to the Moon under the Artemis program, or someday, Mars. Pictured from left are: Kayla Barron of NASA, Zena Cardman of NASA, Raja Chari of NASA, Matthew Dominick of NASA, Bob Hines of NASA, Warren Hoburg of NASA, Jonny Kim of NASA, Joshua Kutryk of CSA, Jasmin Moghbeli of NASA, Loral O’Hara of NASA, Jessica Watkins of NASA, Jennifer Sidey-Gibbons of CSA, and Frank Rubio of NASA. Image Credit: NASA

March 2, 2020 – For the first time in more than four years, NASA began accepting applications Monday for future astronauts. Aspiring Moon to Mars explorers have until 11:59 p.m. EDT (9:59 p.m. MDT) Tuesday, March 31, to apply. Read More

More News

COSMIC-2 Brings Data Boost To NOAA

SpaceX Dragon Heads To Space Station With NASA Science, Cargo
Source: NASA

An Astronaut’s Guide To Applying To Be An Astronaut
Source: Parabolic Arc

Axiom Space Plans First-Ever Fully Private Human Spaceflight Mission To International Space Station
Source: Axiom Space

New ESO Study Evaluates Impact Of Satellite Constellations On Astronomical Observations
Source: ESO

Earthcube Leverages SecureWatch To Train Its AI Models
Source: Maxar

Virginia Middle School Student Earns Honor Of Naming NASA’s Next Mars Rover
Source: NASA

Barrett, Goldfein, Raymond Outline Air Force Priorities To House Lawmakers While Acknowledging Difficult Budget Choices
U.S. Space Force

NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Snaps Its Highest-Resolution Panorama Yet
Source: NASA

NASA Glenn Breaks Ground On New Aerospace Communications Facility
Source: NASA

Virgin Orbit’s Cosmic Girl 747 Conducts Taxi Test With Launcher One
Source: Parabolic Arc

Scientists Plan A New Orbiter Mission To Pluto
Source: Astronomy

NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Snaps Its Highest-Resolution Panorama Yet
Source: NASA/JPL

Jurczyk: Artemis I To Launch In Mid-Late 2021, HLS Contracts Within Weeks

New Horizons Recruits Amateurs To Sight Stars
Source: Sky & Telescope

NASA’s Deep Space Antenna Upgrades To Affect Voyager Communications
Source: NASA

Top Space Command Official Details Strategies, Needs To House Subcommittee
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

1st SOPS Provides Upgrade To GSSAP
Source: Schriever Air Force Base

NASA’s UAM Grand Challenge Advances With Agreement Signings
Source: NASA

Raytheon And The National Science Foundation Radio Astronomy Facilities To Detect Dusty Asteroids In Space
Source: Raytheon

NASA To Reveal Name Of Next Mars Rover, Hold Media Teleconference
Source: NASA

Former CU Boulder Professor George Born Inducted Into State’s Space Heroes Hall Of Fame
Source: Colorado Daily

Space Junk Is Reaching Critical Levels. These Mines Students Are Working To Clean Up The Tiniest Of Fragments.
Source: Colorado School of Mines

NASA Langley Opens Applications For $20,000 UAV Competition
Source: NASA

NASA Approves Development Of Universe-Studying, Planet-Finding Mission
Source: NASA

Jupiter Storms Merging
Source: NASA

Space Weather Model Gives Earlier Warning Of Satellite-Killing Radiation Storms
Source: DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

USRA Hosts Symposium On “The SmallSat Revolution: Doing More With Less” March 26, 2020 in Washington DC
Source: Universities Space Research Association

AE Industrial Partners Acquires Adcole Maryland Aerospace, A Specialist In Spacecraft Components And Small Satellite Technology
Source: AE Industrial Partners

Second Starship Test Article Implodes During Pressure Test
Source: Spaceflight Now

Astra Scrubs DARPA Launch Challenge Attempt

NASA, New Zealand Partner To Collect Climate Data
Source: NASA