May 17, 2017

NASA’s Van Allen Probes Spot Man-Made Barrier Shrouding Earth

May 17, 2017 – Humans have long been shaping Earth’s landscape, but now scientists know we can shape our near-space environment as well. A certain type of communications—very low frequency, or VLF, radio communications—have been found to interact with particles in space, affecting how and where they move. At times, these interactions can create a barrier around Earth against natural high energy particle radiation in space. These results, part of a comprehensive paper on human-induced space weather, were recently published in Space Science Reviews. Read More

NASA Seeks Innovative Early Stage Technology Proposals From Universities

This battery case, created with a material called Polyetherketoneketone, is a 3-D-printed component developed under a university-industry partnership. Image Credit: NASA

May 17, 2017 – NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate is seeking proposals from universities for early stage technology development that will support the agency’s long-term plans for human exploration of Mars and scientific study of our solar system and beyond. The grants will sponsor research in specific high-priority areas of interest to America’s space program. Read More

GOLD Installed On Commercial Communications Satellite

The Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) instrument is hoisted up and installed onto the SES-14 commercial communications satellite, which is being assembled at Airbus Defence and Space in Toulouse, France. The LASP-built instrument is now slated to proceed through a series of environmental tests prior to launch in late 2017. Image Credit: Airbus DS

May 17, 2017 – A LASP-built instrument that will provide unprecedented imaging of the Earth’s upper atmosphere has been successfully installed on the commercial satellite that will carry it into geostationary orbit some 22,000 miles above the Earth. Read More

More News:

Mars Society Founder Blasts NASA For ‘Worst Plan Yet’
Source: The Washington Post

Robert Zubrin started the Mars Society nearly two decades ago with the dream of creating a human settlement on the Red Planet.

Video: Rocket Science In 120: Launch Windows
Source: United Launch Alliance

When planning a trip to space, you need to plan in reverse. Learn from James and Rich the importance of determining your launch window and optimal launch time within that window.

NASA Asks Scientific Community To Think On Possible Europa Lander Instruments
Source: NASA

NASA is asking scientists to consider what would be the best instruments to include on a mission to land on Jupiter’s icy moon, Europa. NASA Wednesday informed the science community to prepare for a planned competition to select science instruments for a potential Europa lander.

Longmont Museum Hosts NASA Astronaut Vance Brand
Source: Longmont Colorado Government

The Longmont Museum is hosting Longmont native and former NASA astronaut Vance Brand for a presentation in the Stewart Auditorium Wednesday, May 17, at 7 p.m.

Testing Time For The SLS Engine Section
Source: NASA

The first SLS engine section has been moving slowly upriver from Michoud Assembly Facility near New Orleans, but once the barge Pegasus docks at our Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, the real strength test for the engine section will get started.

NASA’s Worst Plan Yet
Source: National Review

NASA is proposing to build a space station in lunar orbit. This proposal is notable for requiring a large budget to create an object with no utility whatsoever.

Engineer’s LLAMA Design Aids Orion Recovery, Earns Innovation Award
Source: NASA

What is a LLAMA? It’s a Line Load Attenuation Mechanism Assembly, designed by Jeremy Parr, a mechanical design engineer in the Engineering Directorate at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He designed the LLAMA to help U.S. Navy line handlers retrieve the Orion crew module after it splashes down in the Pacific Ocean.

Space Weather Events Linked To Human Activity
Source: NASA

Our Cold War history is now offering scientists a chance to better understand the complex space system that surrounds us. Space weather — which can include changes in Earth’s magnetic environment — are usually triggered by the sun’s activity, but recently declassified data on high-altitude nuclear explosion tests have provided a new look at the mechanisms that set off perturbations in that magnetic system. Such information can help support NASA’s efforts to protect satellites and astronauts from the natural radiation inherent in space.

This Job Shakes, Blasts & Freezes Spacecraft
Source: Lockheed Martin

Once a spacecraft blasts off, it spends its entire mission outside the reach of human hands. Which means it has to work perfectly. That’s why engineers perform extensive tests before launch, because once it’s launched, you can’t bring it back to fix. So who’s in charge of building perfection?