May 20 – May 26, 2019

Ball Aerospace GPIM Satellite Arrives In Florida For Upcoming Launch

Artist rendition of NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) that will demonstrate and test the capabilities of a high-performance, non-toxic, “green” fuel on orbit. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

May 24, 2019 – The Ball Aerospace-built small spacecraft for NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) arrived in Florida on May 20 to prepare for a June launch on board a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. NASA and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colorado, are collaborating on GPIM, which aims to improve overall propellant efficiency while replacing the highly-toxic hydrazine and complex bi-propellant systems in use today with a more environmentally-friendly fuel. Read More

Maxar Selected To Build, Fly First Element Of NASA’s Lunar Gateway

Maxar has been selected to build and fly the first element of NASA’s lunar Gateway. Image Credit: Maxar Technologies/Business Wire

May 24, 2019 – Maxar Technologies has been selected by NASA to build and perform a spaceflight demonstration of the lunar Gateway’s power and propulsion element spacecraft. Blue Origin and Draper will join the Maxar-led team in designing, building and operating the spacecraft through the demonstration period. The power and propulsion element is a key component to NASA’s overall plans to land American astronauts on the surface of the Moon by 2024, and will be the first segment of the Gateway tested in space. Read More

U.S. Air Force’s Space Fence Detects Debris From India Anti-Satellite Test

Aerial view of Space Fence facility in Kwajalein Atoll. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

May 24, 2019 – The U.S. Air Force Space Fence system detected the breakup field from an anti-satellite test conducted by India during a scheduled endurance exercise of the new space surveillance radar. Read More

Colorado Astronaut Candidate Jessica Watkins To Join NASA Undersea Mission

Jessica Watkins has been selected by NASA to join an international crew on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean this summer to prepare for future deep space missions. Image Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz

May 24, 2019 – NASA Astronaut Candidate and Colorado native Jessica Watkins will join an international crew on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean this summer to prepare for future deep space missions during the 10-day NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 23 expedition slated to begin June 10. Read More

Gas Insulation Could Be Protecting An Ocean Inside Pluto

Natural color image of Pluto taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft in 2015. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Alex Parker

May 22, 2019 – A gassy insulating layer beneath the icy surfaces of distant celestial objects could mean there are more oceans in the universe than previously thought. Computer simulations provide compelling evidence that an insulating layer of gas hydrates could keep a subsurface ocean from freezing beneath Pluto’s icy exterior, according to a study published in the journal Nature Geoscience. Read More

ULA Completes Final Design Review For New Vulcan Centaur Rocket

Image Credit: United Launch Alliance (ULA)

May 22, 2019 – United Launch Alliance leaders and engineers completed an important milestone with the conclusion of the system Critical Design Review (CDR) for the company’s new Vulcan Centaur rocket. The system-level CDR is the final review of the design for the overall rocket. Read More

18 Earth-Sized Exoplanets Discovered

Image Credit: NASA/JPL (Neptun), NASA/NOAA/GSFC/Suomi NPP/VIIRS/Norman Kuring (Erde), MPS/René Heller

May 22, 2019 – Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS), the Georg August University of Göttingen, and the Sonneberg Observatory have discovered 18 Earth-sized planets beyond the solar system. The worlds are so small that previous surveys had overlooked them. One of them is one of the smallest known so far; another one could offer conditions friendly to life. Read More

NASA’s Juno Finds Changes In Jupiter’s Magnetic Field

This animation illustrates Jupiter’s magnetic field at a single moment in time. The Great Blue Spot, an-invisible-to-the-eye concentration of magnetic field near the equator, stands out as a particularly strong feature. The gray lines (called field lines) show the field’s direction in space, and the deepness of the color corresponds to the strength of the magnetic field (with dark red and dark blue for regions with strongly positive and strongly negative fields, respectively). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Harvard/Moore et al.

May 20, 2019 – NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter made the first definitive detection beyond our world of an internal magnetic field that changes over time, a phenomenon called secular variation. Juno determined the gas giant’s secular variation is most likely driven by the planet’s deep atmospheric winds. Read More

Maxar Selected By NASA To Study Future Space Communications Architecture And Services

May 20, 2019 – Maxar Technologies has been selected by NASA to study future systems that could revolutionize NASA’s space-based communications architecture through innovative technologies and commercial partnerships. The future architecture would be used for scientific and human exploration missions in Earth orbit, at the Moon, and throughout the solar system beginning in the mid-2020s. Read More

New Horizons Team Publishes First Kuiper Belt Flyby Science Results

Aside from the scientific results it contains, the New Horizons Science paper summarizing early findings from the flyby of Ultima Thule is noteworthy for another reason: it has more than 200 co-authors, representing more than 40 institutions. Principal Investigator Alan Stern, as mission head and lead author, thought it important to give authorship to the full range of team members who had role on the successful flyby. As a result, Stern’s paper includes authors from the science, spacecraft, operations, mission design, management and communications teams, as well as collaborators, such as contributing scientist and stereo imaging specialist (and legendary Queen guitarist) Brian May, NASA Planetary Division Director Lori Glaze, NASA Chief Scientist Jim Green, and NASA Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen. Image Credit: AAAS/Science

May 20, 2019 – NASA’s New Horizons mission team has published the first profile of the farthest world ever explored, a planetary building block and Kuiper Belt object called 2014 MU69. Read More

NOAA Awards Harris Corporation $284 Million GOES-R Series Ground Segment Contract Extension

Image Credit: Harris Corporation

May 20, 2019 – The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded Harris Corporation a three-year, $284 million sole-source extension on the ground segment contract supporting Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) -R Series weather satellites – bringing new technologies that support increased capabilities. Read More

NASA’s MRO Completes 60,000 Trips Around Mars

This still from an animation shows NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter soaring over Mars. The spacecraft has been in Mars orbit for 13 years, and just completed 60,000 trips around the planet. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

May 20, 2019 – NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter hit a dizzying milestone on May 15: It completed 60,000 loops around the Red Planet at 11:39 a.m. MDT (1:39 p.m. EDT). On average, MRO takes 112 minutes to circle Mars, whipping around at about 2 miles per second (3.4 kilometers per second). Read More

NASA Taps 11 American Companies To Advance Human Lunar Landers

Illustration of a human landing system. Image Credit: NASA

May 20, 2019 – NASA has selected 11 companies to conduct studies and produce prototypes of human landers for its Artemis lunar exploration program. This effort will help put American astronauts — the first woman and next man — on the Moon’s south pole by 2024 and establish sustainable missions by 2028. Read More

York Space Systems Successfully Completes Bus Commissioning Of S-CLASS Spacecraft with Unprecedented Rapid Deployment

York Space Systems’ S-CLASS captures its first sunrise shot from orbit. Image Credit: York Space Systems

May 20, 2019 – York Space Systems, an aerospace company specializing in complete space segment customer solutions and the manufacture of standardized spacecraft platforms, announced that it has successfully completed bus commissioning of its S-CLASS spacecraft platform from its Multi-Mission Operations Center (M-MOC) located in Denver, Colorado. The commissioning process occurred at a rapid pace and concluded less than five days after the S-CLASS platform established first contact. Read More

More News

Chinese State Media Confirms Long March Launch Failure
Source: Spaceflight Now

SpaceX Launches 60 Starlink Satellites On Thrice-Flown Rocket, Sticks Landing

Scientists Uncover Exotic Matter In The Sun’s Atmosphere
Source: Trinity College Dublin

Schaub Formally Inducted As A 2019 AIAA Fellow
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Meteor Magnets In Outer Space
Source: University of California Riverside

History In The Making: Student Experiment Edits DNA With CRISPR Technology In Space
Source: ISS/U.S. National Laboratory

The LPI’s Lunar South Pole Atlas — A New Online Reference For Mission Planners
Source: Lunar and Planetariy Institute (LPI)/USRA

ASU Receives The First Extraterrestrial Mud Ball In 50 Years
Source: Arizona State University

Comet Inspires Chemistry For Making Breathable Oxygen On Mars
Source: Caltech

Accucode 3D And The 3D Printing Store Expand Market Reach With Merger
Source: Accucode 3D

University Teams Selected To Develop Deep Space Exploration Prototypes
Source: NASA

NASA Invites Public To Submit Names To Fly Aboard Next Mars Rover
Source: NASA

Senate Armed Services Committee OKs Space Force Proposal
Source: ExecutiveGov

The PI’s Perspective: We Made The Cover Of The ‘Rolling Stone’ (For Nerds)!
Source: Alan Stern/JHUAPL

Atlas V Rocket Departs Alabama Factory For Historic Crewed Mission

Sirangelo To NASA — Hi And Bye

SpaceX Reports Raising A Billion Dollars For Starlink And Starship
Source: GeekWire

NASA’s Mars 2020 Mission Drops In On Death Valley
Source: NASA

Space Travel And Your Joints
Source: Henry Ford Health System

NASA Plum Brook Station Gets Ready For EM-1 Orion Testing

Stellar Waltz With Dramatic Ending
Source: University of Bonn

General Atomics Orbital Test Bed Satellite Arrives At Cape Canaveral
Source: General Atomics

Astrobotic Signs Lunar Payload Agreement With Canadensys Aerospace
Source: Astrobotic

Former Ambassador Barbara Barrett Tapped To Replace Heather Wilson As Air Force Secretary
Source: SpaceNews

SpaceX Files Bid Protest In Federal Court
Source: SpaceNews

ULA Begins Stacking Atlas 5 Rocket For Late June Launch
Source: Spaceflight Now

Indian Radar Reconnaissance Satellite Set For Launch
Source: Spaceflight Now

Raytheon And JFK Library Inspire “Moonshot Thinking” With New STEM Challenge At Boys & Girls Clubs
Source: Raytheon Company

BlackBird Partners With Bye Aerospace To Make On-Demand Flying More Affordable Than Driving
Source: Bye Aerospace

China’s Chang’E 4 Mission Discovers New “Secrets” From The Far Side Of The Moon
Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences

NASA Selects Studies For Future Space Communications And Services
Source: NASA

NASA And Peanuts Celebrate Apollo 10’s 50th Anniversary
Source: NASA

NASA Testing Method To Grow Bigger Plants In Space
Source: NASA

EchoStar Selling Broadcast Business, Including Nine Satellites, To Dish For $800 Million
Source: SpaceNews

Giant Impact Caused Difference Between Moon’s Hemispheres
Source: American Geophysical Union (AGU)

Plans Move Ahead For New U.S. Space Command
Source: The Gazette

Proton Launch Provider ILS Embraces Closer Relationship With Roscosmos
Source: Spaceflight Now

Long March 3C Rocket Launches Beidou Satellite Toward Geostationary Orbit
Source: Spaceflight Now

House Appropriators Do Not Approve Funding To Establish Space Force, Call On DoD To Study Alternatives
Source: SpaceNews

Troubleshooting Of Mars InSight Instrument Continues
Source: SpaceNews

Blended Team Receives Award For Historic Engine Test Series At Stennis
Source: NASA

Mars 2020 Is Coming Together
Source: NASA/JPL

Shedding Light On White Dwarfs – The Future Of Stars Like Our Sun
Source: ESA

Inside Swamp Works, The NASA Lab Learning To Mine The Moon
Source: WIRED

Moondust Could Cloud Our Lunar Ambitions
Source: WIRED

ULA CEO Tory Bruno: US Should Embrace Space Innovation
Source: ExecutiveBiz

House Issues $74B FY20 Funding Bill For Commerce, DOJ, NASA
Source: ExecutiveGov

Planet-Hunter CubeSat Images Los Angeles
Source: NASA

Here’s Looking At You! Astrobee’s First Robot Completes Initial Hardware Checks In Space
Source: NASA

Smead Aerospace Is Moving To A New Building
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Sedimentary, Dear Johnson: Is NASA Looking At The Wrong Rocks For Clues To Martian Life?
Source: Frontiers In Earth Science

Vanderbilt University Wins NASA’s 2019 Student Launch Competition
Source: NASA