May 15, 2017

Media Invited To View Ground Test Of Orion Launch Abort Motor

May 15, 2017 – On June 15, NASA, Lockheed Martin and Orbital ATK will conduct the first of three qualification ground tests of the launch abort motor that will be used for NASA’s Orion spacecraft. Orion will carry crew and launch on NASA’s heavy-lift Space Launch System, enabling new missions of exploration across the solar system. Read More

Astronaut Jack Fischer Harvests Latest Veggie Crop On The ISS

Chinese cabbage is grown in the Veggie facility on the International Space station. The sprouts form in a low-maintenance foam pillow and are grown using a special light to help the plants thrive. Image Credit: NASA

May 15, 2017 – NASA astronaut Jack Fischer collected the latest crop of Tokyo Bekana Chinese cabbage for the Veg-03 investigation. Some of this was consumed at meal-time, and the rest sealed for analysis back on Earth. Understanding how plants respond to microgravity is an important step for future long-duration space missions, which will require crew members to grow their own food. Astronauts on the station have previously grown lettuce and flowers in the Veggie facility. Read More

Ice Particles In Earth’s Atmosphere Create Bright Flashes Seen From Space

An image from the EPIC instrument aboard DSCOVR, taken on Dec. 3, 2015, shows a glint over central South America (circled in red). Image Credit: NASA/NOAA/U.S. Air Force

May 15, 2017 – One million miles from Earth, a NASA camera is capturing unexpected flashes of light reflecting off our planet. The homeward-facing instrument on NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory, or DSCOVR, launched in 2015, caught hundreds of these flashes over the span of a year. Read More

Orion EM-1 To Fly In 2019, Will Be Uncrewed

Artist’s concept of an Orion spacecraft and its European-built service module near the moon. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

May 15, 2017 – In February, NASA began an effort looking at the feasibility of putting crew aboard the first integrated flight of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft — Exploration Mission-1, or EM-1. After weighing the data and assessing all implications, the agency will continue pursuing the original plan for the first launch, as a rigorous flight test of the integrated systems without crew. However, engineers will apply insights gained from the effort to the first flight test and the integrated systems to strengthen the long-term push to extend human presence deeper into the solar system. Read More

Short Shadow

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

May 15, 2017 – The projection of Saturn’s shadow on the rings grows shorter as Saturn’s season advances toward northern summer, thanks to the planet’s permanent tilt as it orbits the sun. This will continue until Saturn’s solstice in May 2017. At that point in time, the shadow will extend only as far as the innermost A ring, leaving the middle and outer A ring completely free of the planet’s shadow. Read More

More News:

Variable Winds On Hot Giant Exoplanet Help Study Of Magnetic Field
Source: Planetary Science Institute

Senior Scientist Tamara M. Rogers of the Planetary Science Institute has discovered that substantial variability in the winds on the hot giant exoplanet HAT-P-7b are due to magnetism, and used those measurements to develop a new method to constrain the magnetic field of such an object.

Using GOES-16 To Anticipate Convective Initiation
Source: Satellite Liaison Blog

On May 14, 2017, SPC had a Marginal Risk for Severe Weather out for a region from far SE CO/SW KS south through much of the TX Panhandle.

Viewpoint: 3D View Of A Comet’s Neighborhood
Source: Physics

Detailed 3D simulations of a comet’s environment reveal the rich dynamics of ions and electrons observed by the Rosetta spacecraft around comet 67P.

Greality: NASA Scholarship Goes To Aims Student
Source: Greeley Tribune

Aims Community College student Carlos OlivasCQ, of Pierce, received one of nine NASA scholarships for his leadership and participation in the Colorado Space Grant Consortium.

UNH Researcher Identifies Key Differences In Solar Wind Models
Source: University of New Hampshire

Research done at the University of New Hampshire has found that when choosing the right model to describe the solar wind, using the one that takes longer to calculate does not make it the most accurate.

EchoStar Designing Jupiter-3 Satellite For Service In 2021
Source: Space Intel Report

EchoStar Corp., in the latest sign of its faith in the long-term viability of a U.S. consumer satellite broadband market, on May 11 said it had begun work on a Jupiter 3 Ka-band satellite to be in service in 2021.

Is NASA Thinking About Flying Another Orion On Delta IV Heavy?
Source: NASA Watch

Sources within NASA report that there is interest in buying another Delta IV Heavy for an Orion mission.

Mars Rover Opportunity Begins Study Of Valley’s Origin
Source: NASA

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has reached the main destination of its current two-year extended mission — an ancient fluid-carved valley incised on the inner slope of a vast crater’s rim.

Mining The Moon For Rocket Fuel To Get Us To Mars
Source: The Conversation

Forty-five years have passed since humans last set foot on an extraterrestrial body. Now, the moon is back at the center of efforts not only to explore space, but to create a permanent, independent space-faring society.

Video: EOSS-251 Science Weather Balloon Burst
Source: Edge Of Space Sciences

EOSS-251 was a weather balloon launched by Colorado Space Grant Consortium with payloads from Arapahoe Community College and Red Rocks Community College.

” target=”_blank”>Video: Space 2.0 Keynote Address
Source: DigitalGlobe

On April 26, DigitalGlobe Founder and CTO Dr. Walter Scott gave the keynote address at the Space 2.0 conference in Silicon Valley. Walter discussed how the Space 2.0 ecosystem is solving complex problems at global scale, shared details about DigitalGlobe’s next-generation WorldView Legion constellation, and gave a sneak peek at a machine learning demonstration tool called Penny developed in partnership with Carnegie Mellon University and Stamen Design.

Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Says BE-4 Rocket Test Goes Awry, But Tests Will Resume Soon
Source: GeekWire

In a rare update, the Blue Origin space venture founded by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos reported that it lost a set of powerpack test hardware for its BE-4 rocket engine over the weekend, but added that such a setback is “not unusual” during development.