March 8, 2018

Space Foundation Invites Public To Attend The Women’s Global Gathering At The 34th Space Symposium

March 8, 2018 – The public is invited to register now to attend the Women’s Global Gathering, an event at the 34th Space Symposium that will be open to the public, without Symposium registration. This motivational luncheon and networking opportunity is open to men and women, and to Symposium registrants and non-registrants. Read More

John Hopkins University Performs First Lab Simulation Of Exoplanet Atmospheric Chemistry

Lead author Sarah Hörst, right, and assistant research scientist Chao He examine samples of simulated atmospheres in a dry nitrogen glove box, where they are stored to avoid contamination from Earth’s atmosphere. Image Credit: Will Kirk/JHU

March 8, 2018 – Scientists have conducted the first lab experiments on haze formation in simulated exoplanet atmospheres, an important step for understanding upcoming observations of planets outside the solar system with the James Webb Space Telescope. The simulations are necessary to establish models of the atmospheres of far-distant worlds, models that can be used to look for signs of life outside the solar system. Read More

Hubble Finds Huge System Of Dusty Material Enveloping The Young Star HR 4796A

This is a Hubble Space Telescope photo of a vast, complex dust structure, about 150 billion miles across, enveloping the young star HR 4796A. A bright, narrow inner ring of dust is already known to encircle the star and may have been corralled by the gravitational pull of an unseen giant planet. This newly discovered huge dust structure around the system may have implications for what this yet-unseen planetary system looks like around the 8-million-year-old star, which is in its formative years of planet construction. The debris field of very fine dust was likely created from collisions among developing infant planets near the star, evidenced by a bright ring of dusty debris seen 7 billion miles from the star. The pressure of starlight from the star, which is 23 times more luminous than the Sun, then expelled the dust far into space. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Schneider (University of Arizona)

March 8, 2018 – Astronomers have used NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to uncover a vast, complex dust structure, about 150 billion miles across, enveloping the young star HR 4796A. A bright, narrow, inner ring of dust is already known to encircle the star and may have been corralled by the gravitational pull of an unseen giant planet. This newly discovered huge structure around the system may have implications for what this yet-unseen planetary system looks like around the 8-million-year-old star, which is in its formative years of planet construction. Read More

Lockheed Martin Begins Assembly Of JCSAT-17 Commercial Communications Satellite

Lockheed Martin technicians begin assembly on the JCSAT-17 commercial communications satellite in a clean room near Denver. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

March 8, 2018 – The assembly, test and launch operations (ATLO) team at Lockheed Martin has started production of a new commercial satellite, JCSAT-17, that will deliver flexible, high-bandwidth communications to users in Japan and the surrounding region. The JCSAT-17 satellite, manufactured for the SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation (SJC), has entered the assembly and test cycle after completing a rigorous design and engineering phase. Read More

More News:

Unveiling The Depths Of Jupiter’s Winds
Source: Weizmann Institute of Science

Three papers published tomorrow in Nature answer a question that scientists have been asking ever since Galileo first observed the famous stripes of Jupiter: Are the colorful bands just a pretty surface phenomenon, or are they a significant stratum of the planet?

Giant Cyclones Dot Jupiter’s Poles
Source: Planetary Science Institute

Large cyclones have been discovered clustered around Jupiter’s poles by NASA’s Juno spacecraft, a new Nature paper says. The circumpolar cyclones were discovered on Juno’s first pass over Jupiter’s poles, and subsequent data has revealed how remarkably stable they are. The circumpolar cyclones ring a single cyclone at each pole.

NASA Juno Findings – Jupiter’s Jet-Streams Are Unearthly
Source: NASA

Data collected by NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter indicate that the atmospheric winds of the gas-giant planet run deep into its atmosphere and last longer than similar atmospheric processes found here on Earth. The findings will improve understanding of Jupiter’s interior structure, core mass and, eventually, its origin.

First Look At Jupiter’s Poles Show Strange Geometric Arrays Of Storms
Source: University of Chicago

Jupiter’s got no sway. The biggest planet in the solar system has no tilt as it moves, so its poles have never been visible from Earth. But in the past two years, with NASA’s Juno spacecraft, scientists have gotten a good look at the top and bottom of the planet for the first time. What they found astounded them: bizarre geometric arrangements of storms, each arrayed around one cyclone over the north and south poles–unlike any storm formation seen in the universe.

360 Video: Tour A Mars Robot Test Lab
Source: NASA/JPL

NASA’s InSight lander looks a bit like an oversized crane game: when it lands on Mars this November, its robotic arm will be used to grasp and move objects on another planet for the first time. And like any crane game, practice makes it easier to capture the prize. Engineers and scientists have a replica of InSight at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. They use this testbed to simulate all the functions of the spacecraft, preparing for any scenario it might meet once it touches down on the Red Planet.

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP Satellite Sees Tropical Cyclone Hola Over Vanuatu
Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

When NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed over the South Pacific Ocean it captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Hola over Vanuatu. On Mar. 8 at 0230 UTC (Mar. 7 at 9:30 p.m. EST) the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument aboard NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite showed the center of Hola was located southwest of the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu.

NASA Awards $96 Million To U.S. Businesses For Technology Development
Source: NASA

NASA has selected 128 proposals from American small businesses to advance research and technology in Phase II of its 2017 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. These selections support NASA’s future space exploration missions, while also benefiting the U.S. economy.

McDonald Observatory To Train National Park Service In Skywatching Programs For Visitors
Source: McDonald Observatory

The University of Texas at Austin McDonald Observatory has entered into a partnership with the National Park Service (NPS) to train park rangers in bringing the wonders of the night sky to their visitors. The observatory also will create outreach programs for the park service.

Space Foundation Welcomes Brooke Owens Fellows To 34th Space Symposium
Source: Space Foundation

During its annual Space Symposium, the Space Foundation recognizes a select number of outstanding New Generation space professionals, age 35 and younger, by including them in main agenda activities, either on a panel or as a Master Moderator for the day. This year, the Space Foundation will highlight its support of the Brooke Owens Fellowship program by inviting two Brooke Owens Fellows to participate in the 34th Space Symposium.

A Peculiar Galactic Clash
Source: ESA

Galaxies are not static islands of stars — they are dynamic and ever-changing, constantly on the move through the darkness of the Universe. Sometimes, as seen in this spectacular Hubble image of Arp 256, galaxies can collide in a crash of cosmic proportions.

Denver Metro May Soon Be The Gateway To Space Thanks To Spaceport Colorado
Source: Denver7

The Denver metro may soon be the gateway to space. The Front Range Airport in Adams County has applied to be home to Spaceport Colorado and the FAA just began reviewing its bid. Five years from now could be the earliest we see Spaceport Colorado’s first launch.

House Members Question Balance Of NASA Programs In 2019 Budget Proposal
Source: SpaceNews

Members of the House space subcommittee raised concerns about elements of NASA’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal during a March 7 hearing, from the cancellation of a space telescope to restructuring of the agency’s technology programs.

Blue Origin Job Listings Signal It Could Soon Be Signing Up Astronauts
Source: GeekWire

Some of the nearly 200 job opportunities posted by Blue Origin suggest Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ space venture is preparing to sign up passengers for its New Shepard suborbital spaceflights. One listing is looking for an astronaut experience manager to help create “a highly differentiated offering that culminates in the customer becoming an astronaut.”

Amazing Universe Captured With The Subaru Telescope “HSC” Viewer Released To The Public
Source: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ)

The first dataset from the Hyper Suprime-Cam Subaru Strategic Plan (HSC-SSP) can be seen easily with the “HSC Viewer” on your PC or tablet. The HSC Viewer is the user-friendly website to display the HSC-SSP data.

Video: Are We Alone? LASP Prepares For Future NASA Missions To Discover Life Beyond The Solar System
Source: Spaceflight Now

The success of exoplanet detection in recent years has demonstrated that, on average, every star in the Milky Way hosts a planetary system. With so many planets now discovered, the challenge of the next three decades is characterizing those planets to assess their potential habitability and search for the signs of active biology. NASA is currently developing the concept for a “Super-Hubble Space Telescope,” the Large Ultraviolet/Optical/InfraRed Surveyor (LUVOIR), to discover ‘Pale Blue Dots’ around Sun-like stars beyond our solar system and probe their atmospheres for the signs of life. LASP is playing a leading role in the scientific and technical development of LUVOIR.

Europe’s ExoMars Orbiter Nears Start Of Methane-Sniffing Science Mission
Source: Spaceflight Now

Nearly a year-and-a-half after arriving at the red planet, Europe’s ExoMars orbiter is finally approaching a planned perch around 250 miles over the rust-colored world after repeatedly dipping into the Martian atmosphere to lower its orbit.

Vector To Conduct Dedicated Launch Of Alba Orbital PocketQube Satellites On First Orbital Attempt
Source: Vector

Vector, a nanosatellite launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced it will conduct a dedicated launch of two PocketQube satellites using an Alba Orbital deployer (AlbaPOD) on the Vector-R launch vehicle later this year from the Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska (PSCA) in Kodiak.