May 26, 2017

NASA’s 8th Annual Robotic Mining Competition Underway At Kennedy Space Center

The Colorado School of Mines is competing in NASA’s 8th Annual Robotic Mining Competition with this robot, designed by students. Image Credit: Dr. Phil Metzger‏

May 26, 2017 – The robots are here. More than 40 teams of undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the U.S., including teams from the University of Colorado Boulder and Colorado School of Mines, have descended upon NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex with their uniquely-designed robotic miners, in all shapes and sizes, to compete over three days in the agency’s 2017 Robotic Mining Competition (RMC). Read More


Intermap Technologies Reports Acquisition Services Task Order

May 26, 2017 – Intermap Technologies Corporation announced today the Company was awarded a $3.1 million task order for airborne radar mapping services. Read More


NASA’s SDO Sees Partial Eclipse In Space

On May 25, 2017, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, experienced a partial solar eclipse in space when it observed the moon passing in front of the sun. The lunar transit lasted about an hour, between 2:24 and 3:17 p.m. EDT, with the moon covering about 89 percent of the sun at the peak of its journey across the face of the sun. Image Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/Joy Ng, producer

May 26, 2017 – On May 25, 2017, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, or SDO, saw a partial solar eclipse in space when it caught the moon passing in front of the sun. Read More


A Whole New Jupiter: First Science Results From NASA’s Juno Mission

Close-up of enhanced-color image of Jupiter’s clouds obtained by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. Image Credit: NASA/SWRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/Seán Doran

May 26, 2017 – Early science results from NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter portray the largest planet in our solar system as a complex, gigantic, turbulent world, with Earth-sized polar cyclones, plunging storm systems that travel deep into the heart of the gas giant, and a mammoth, lumpy magnetic field that may indicate it was generated closer to the planet’s surface than previously thought. Read More


SwRI-Led Juno Mission To Jupiter Delivers First Science Results

This image shows Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometers). The oval features are cyclones, up to 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) in diameter. Multiple images taken with the JunoCam instrument on three separate orbits were combined to show all areas in daylight, enhanced color, and stereographic projection. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles

May 26, 2017 – NASA’s Juno mission, led by Southwest Research Institute’s Dr. Scott Bolton, is rewriting what scientists thought they knew about Jupiter specifically, and gas giants in general, according to a pair of Science papers released yesterday. The Juno spacecraft has been in orbit around Jupiter since July 2016, passing within 3,000 miles of the equatorial cloud tops. Read More


PSI’s Henry Throop Honored For International Planetary Science Outreach Efforts

May 26, 2017 – Planetary Science Institute Senior Scientist Henry Throop has been recognized by the U.S. State Department for sharing his love of planetary science with people around the world. Read More


More News:

First Year of BEAM Demo Offers Valuable Data on Expandable Habitats
Source: NASA

Halfway into its planned two-year demonstration attached to the International Space Station, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, or BEAM, is showing that soft materials can perform as well as rigid materials for habitation volumes in space.


Loser of ULA’s Vulcan Engine Downselect Will Likely Lose Air Force Funding
Source: SpaceNews

Whichever engine is not selected by United Launch Alliance to power the Vulcan rocket could lose its Air Force funding, although top acquisition officials declined to say Wednesday whether they would definitely take that action.


New NASA Mission To Study Mysterious Neutron Stars, Aid In Deep Space Navigation
Source: NASA

A new NASA mission is headed for the International Space Station next month to observe one of the strangest observable objects in the universe. Launching June 1, the Neutron Star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) will be installed aboard the space station as the first mission dedicated to studying neutron stars, a type of collapsed star that is so dense scientists are unsure how matter behaves deep inside it.


Camera On NASA’s Lunar Orbiter Survived 2014 Meteoroid Hit
Source: NASA

On October 13, 2014 something very strange happened to the camera aboard NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera (LROC), which normally produces beautifully clear images of the lunar surface, produced an image that was wild and jittery. From the sudden and jagged pattern apparent in the image, the LROC team determined that the camera must have been hit by a tiny meteoroid, a small natural object in space.


Sequence Of Juno Spacecraft’s Close Approach To Jupiter
Source: NASA

A sequence of enhanced-color images shows how quickly the viewing geometry changes for NASA’s Juno spacecraft as it swoops by Jupiter. The images were obtained by JunoCam.


First Results From Juno Show Cyclones And Massive Magnetism
Source: American Association for the Advancement of Science

On 27 August 2016, the Juno spacecraft made its first close pass around our solar system’s largest planet, Jupiter, obtaining insights into its atmosphere and interior that challenge previous assumptions.


Jupiter’s Complex Transient Auroras
Source: Riken

Combined observations from three spacecraft show that Jupiter’s brightest auroral features recorded to date are powered by both the volcanic moon Io and interaction with the solar wind.


First Juno science Results Supported By University Of Leicester’s Jupiter ‘Forecast’
Source: University of Leicester

New observations about the extreme conditions of Jupiter’s weather and magnetic fields by University of Leicester astronomers have contributed to the revelations and insights coming from the first close passes of Jupiter by NASA’s Juno mission, announced May 25.


Why Utah And Colorado Are Collaborating To Accelerate Defense-Industry Diversification
Source: Company Week

For the first time, higher education and industry from Utah and Colorado will collaborate in support of a regional advanced manufacturing supply chain, with Department of Defense dollars making it happen.


NASA’s Proposed 2018 Budget Could Push Europa Mission To Late 2020s
Source: Space.com

Congress will have to loosen the purse strings if it still wants NASA to launch a flyby mission to Jupiter’s ocean-harboring moon Europa by 2022, agency officials said.