November 13, 2017

NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Early Science Observations Revealed

This artist’s illustration represents the scientific capabilities of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Both imaging and spectroscopy will be central to the Webb mission. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Feild (STScI)

November 13, 2017 – Astronomers around the world will have immediate access to early data from specific science observations from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, which will be completed within the first five months of Webb’s science operations. These observing programs were chosen from a Space Telescope Science Institute call for early release science proposals, and include examining Jupiter and its moons, searching for organic molecules forming around infant stars, weighing supermassive black holes lurking in galactic cores, and hunting for baby galaxies born in the early universe. Read More


Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser Has Successful Free Flight Test

The Dream Chaser landing after the Free-Flight test at Edwards AFB, CA on Saturday, November 11. Image Credit: NASA/SNC

November 13, 2017 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announced a successful atmospheric Free-Flight test of its Dream Chaser spacecraft, signaling the program is another achievement closer to orbital operations. Read More


Schneider Honored For Helping Unravel Mysteries Of Mars

Nick Schneider has been a research associate at LASP since 1989; he currently serves as the instrument lead for the MAVEN Imaging UltraViolet Spectrograph (IUVS). Image Credit: Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado

November 13, 2017 – LASP research associate Nick Schneider has been awarded NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for his contributions to the success of NASA’s orbiting MAVEN mission now at Mars. Read More


Astronaut Jack Fischer With Honor Flight Veterans

Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

November 13, 2017 – At the World War II Memorial, NASA astronaut Jack Fischer talked with veterans who traveled to Washington, DC, with the Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight on November 4, 2017. Fischer, a colonel in the U.S. Air Force, shared a photo from this event and wrote, “Few things can compare to the honor of meeting WWII, Korea and Vietnam vets today–thank you for your sacrifices to keep us all free.” Read More


More News:

2018 GOLD Science Communications Workshop
Source: LASP/CU-Boulder

The 2018 GOLD science communications workshop will bring bloggers, podcasters, social media users, and other science communicators to LASP at the University of Colorado Boulder for a two-day intensive workshop with GOLD team members. The workshop will offer a collaborative professional development opportunity for attendees to learn about current issues surrounding the exploration of the Earth’s thermosphere and ionosphere, with an emphasis on the latest—and anticipated—discoveries, as told through lectures and interaction with GOLD scientists and experts. Behind-the-scenes tours of LASP and NCAR will be provided for participants as well.


CSF Congratulates Chairman Alan Stern On His Honor From The Royal Astronomical Society
Source: Commercial Spaceflight Federation

CSF congratulates Alan Stern on his induction into the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS). His inclusion as an Honorary Fellow in the RAS was marked on Friday, November 10, 2017 after a formal announcement was made in 2015. The position of Honorary Fellow honors individuals who do not hold citizenship within the United Kingdom for their service to astronomical science through distinguished leadership.


JPSS-1 To Provide More Accurate Environmental Forecasts
Source: NASA

NASA is preparing to launch the Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, satellite on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to provide essential data for timely and accurate weather forecasts and for tracking environmental events such as forest fires and droughts.


NASA CubeSat To Test Miniaturized Weather Satellite Technology
Source: NASA

Behind every weather forecast—from your local, five-day prediction to a late-breaking hurricane track update—are the satellites that make them possible. Government agencies depend on observations from weather satellites to inform forecast models that help us prepare for approaching storms and identify areas that need evacuating or emergency first responders.


Hitomi Mission Glimpses Cosmic ‘Recipe’ For Nearby Universe
Source: NASA

Before its brief mission ended unexpectedly in March 2016, Japan’s Hitomi X-ray observatory captured exceptional information about the motions of hot gas in the Perseus galaxy cluster. Now, thanks to unprecedented detail provided by an instrument developed jointly by NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), scientists have been able to analyze more deeply the chemical make-up of this gas, providing new insights into the stellar explosions that formed most of these elements and cast them into space.


Boulder’s Ball Aerospace, NOAA Primed For Polar-Orbiting Satellite Launch Has Been Seven Years In The Planning
Source: The Denver Post

The first spacecraft in the nation’s next generation of polar-orbiting satellites is set for launch in the pre-dawn hours Tuesday, and the mission has strong Boulder ties. The Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPPS-1, was designed and built by Boulder’s Ball Aerospace, and once it enters polar orbit, it will be known as NOAA-20, feeding National Weather Service models for Boulder’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


NASA Leaning Towards Allowing Reused Falcon Booster On Next Dragon Mission
Source: SpaceNews

NASA may decide to allow SpaceX to use a previously-flown Falcon 9 first stage on the next Dragon mission to the International Space Station, the latest sign that SpaceX’s reusability efforts are winning broader acceptance in the market.


Second-to-Last Delta II Stands Ready To Launch JPSS-1 Environmental Monitoring Satellite
Source: AmericaSpace

Almost three years since its last mission, the thunderous roar of a Delta II booster will rattle Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Tuesday, 14 November, carrying the first Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS-1) into orbit for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The two-stage rocket—which is flying under the auspices of Centennial, Colo.-based United Launch Alliance (ULA)—will rise from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex (SLC)-2W during a short “window”, which opens at 1:47 a.m. PST (4:47 a.m. EST).


NASA’s Cargo And Space Trash Hauler Is About To Become An Astronaut Workroom On The International Space Station
Source: Washington Post

It’s perhaps not the prettiest spacecraft, its barrel shape more function than form. Like a truck, it hauls cargo to the International Space Station that is unloaded by astronauts who then fill it with trash, turning it as a massive space garbage can. When full of refuse, it falls back to Earth and is ignominiously incinerated in the atmosphere. But Orbital ATK has big ambitions for its Cygnus spacecraft and will soon get to demonstrate what it can do.


Orbital ATK Successfully Launches Eighth Cargo Delivery Mission To The International Space Station
Source: Spaceflight101

Orbital ATK, a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, successfully launched its AntaresTM rocket carrying a CygnusTM spacecraft today at 7:19 a.m. EST, from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Wallops Island, Virginia. The launch is Orbital ATK’s eighth cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station for NASA. During the mission, designated OA-8, Cygnus will deliver vital equipment, supplies and experiments to the astronauts aboard the space station, as well as conduct scientific experiments onboard Cygnus while docked with the orbiting laboratory.


Penultimate Delta II Rocket Stands Ready For JPSS-1 Weather Satellite Launch From California
Source: Spaceflight101

The penultimate Delta II rocket stands ready for an early morning liftoff from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base on Tuesday with the first operational satellite of the Joint Polar Satellite System, the next-generation of low-orbiting weather satellites operated by NASA and NOAA.


Air Force Colonel-Turned-Astronaut Details Space Mission
Source: Military.com

Sometimes the Air Force’s brightest minds have to leave the planet to conduct cutting-edge experiments that are out of this world. That was the nearly six-month mission for Col. Jack Fischer, an active-duty airman and a NASA astronaut who recently returned from the International Space Station after he and a team of astronauts oversaw, orchestrated or took part in more than 330 operations, as Fischer described the science experiments.


Launch Of NASA Ionospheric Probe Delayed To Examine Rocket Issue
Source: Spaceflight Now

The launch of a NASA satellite to study the behavior of plasma in Earth’s ionosphere has been delayed to early next year, giving engineers time to resolve concerns with the separation system on its air-launched Pegasus XL booster. NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer was set for launch Dec. 8, but the mission is not expected to take off until at least early 2018 after managers ordered a delay, NASA announced Nov. 3.


Air Force Astronaut: When Spacewalking, ‘That First Step Is A Doozy’
Source: Air Force Times

Pushing the F-22 to its limits as a test pilot was fun enough to bring “a little-kid grin” to Col. Jack Fischer’s face. But blasting into outer space in a Soyuz spacecraft in April was like nothing he had ever experienced before.