October 16, 2017

Half-Lit Dione

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

October 16, 2017 – Saturn’s moon Dione is captured in this view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, half in shadow and half in light. Sinuous canyons carve interconnected paths across the moon’s icy landscape. Subtle variations in brightness hint at differences in composition, as well as the size and shape of grains in Dione’s surface material, or regolith. Read More


Sprawling Coronal Hole

Image Credit: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA

October 16, 2017 – A large coronal hole stands out as the most obvious feature on the sun this week as shown in this image captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory October 12-13, 2017. The dark structure, shaped kind of like the Pi symbol, spreads across much of the top of the sun. Read More


NASA Missions Catch First Light From A Gravitational-Wave Event

An artist’s impression of gravitational waves generated by binary neutron stars. Image Credit: R. Hurt/Caltech-JPL

October 16, 2017 – For the first time, NASA scientists have detected light tied to a gravitational-wave event, thanks to two merging neutron stars in the galaxy NGC 4993, located about 130 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra. Read More


Counting Down To JPSS-1 Launch

Artist’s concept of the JPSS 1 satellite. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp.

October 16, 2017 – The Joint Polar Satellite System-1, the first in a new series of highly advanced NOAA polar-orbiting satellites, is scheduled to lift off November 10, at 2:47 a.m. MST from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. “The new JPSS satellite will join GOES-16 as we are confronting one of the most tragic hurricane seasons in the past decade,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “The JPSS satellite system will provide advanced forecasting on not only hurricanes, but also dangerous weather events threatening communities across the United States.” Read More


Colorado Manufacturing Design Engineers Fill GE Additive’s Design For Additive Manufacturing Course

October 16, 2017 – H2 Manufacturing Solutions, which provides a broad scope of problem-solving services to manufacturers, in cooperation with GE Additive and Manufacturer’s Edge, today announced GE Additive’s Design for Additive Manufacturing (DfAM) course October 24 and 25, 2017 is full. With support from Colorado OEDIT, sponsors Key Bank and Key Equipment Finance, and partner The 3D Printing Store, a select group of Colorado manufacturing design engineers benefit from two full days of cutting-edge training that benefits them, their teams and employers, and Colorado’s advanced industries. Read More


Orion Processing Continues For NASA’s Exploration Mission-1

Orion In-Production inside the Operations and Checkout facility highboy. Image Credit: NASA/Ben Smegelsky

October 16, 2017 – The NASA Orion spacecraft is being prepared for its first uncrewed integrated flight test atop the Space Launch System rocket. This image (above) shows the inside of the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building high bay at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A variety of test stands, processing bays and hardware are in view. Thermal protection panels and other components for Orion are in various stages of processing. Read More


United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches NROL-52 Mission For The National Reconnaissance Office

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying NROL-52 mission lifts off from Space Launch Complex-41 at 1:28 a.m. MDT. Image Credit: United Launch Alliance

October 16, 2017 – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 on October 15 at 1:28 a.m. MDT. Designated NROL-52, the mission is in support of national security. Read More


More News:

It Actually Is Rocket Science
Source: Metropolitan State University

From a tiny ring of islands in the Pacific, an unarmed intercontinental ballistic missile is launched into space, where an interceptor fired from California smashes it to bits. Weeks later, a truck-mounted missile takes off from Alaska and destroys its target dropped from a cargo jet north of Hawaii.


Sentinel-5P: Satellite In Excellent Health
Source: ESA

Launched last week, Europe’s Sentinel-5P satellite – the first Copernicus mission dedicated to monitoring the air we breathe – is in excellent health. The 820 kg satellite was lofted into orbit from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia last Friday on a Rockot.


Marshall Engineer Leonardo Barreda Helps Steer SLS On The Right Path
Source: NASA

Leonardo Barreda always wanted to work on complex engineering problems, so it’s no surprise that he ended up working on a key part of NASA’s new deep space rocket, the Space Launch System. Barreda is a mechanical engineer in the Propulsion Systems Department in the Engineering Directorate of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Barreda leads a team that specializes in thrust vector control for the core stage, the 212-foot rocket stage that is the backbone of the SLS rocket.


2017 Packard Fellowships In Science And Engineering Awarded To 18 Researchers
Source: The David & Lucile Packard Foundation

Today, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation named 18 of the nation’s most innovative, early-career scientists and engineers as recipients of the 2017 Packard Fellowships for Science and Engineering. Each Fellow will receive $875,000 over five years to pursue their research.


Heather Wilson: Air Force Needs To Establish Common Space C2 System
Source: ExecutiveGov

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson has said there are several things the service needs to address in space operations and one of those is the establishment of a common system for command and control in an effort to build up situational awareness in space, Federal News Radio reported Thursday.


Mars Base Camp: Lockheed Martin’s Red Planet Plan
Source: Pionic

Before NASA can mount its proposed “Journey to Mars“, which will see astronauts set foot on the Red Planet for the first time in history, a number of logistical and technical issues need to be addressed first. In addition to a launch vehicle (the Space Launch System), a crew capsule (the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle), and a space station beyond the Moon (the Deep Space Gateway), the astronauts will also need a space habitat in orbit of Mars.


Fresh Findings From Cassini
Source: NASA/JPL

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft ended its journey on Sept. 15 with an intentional plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn, but analysis continues on the mountain of data the spacecraft sent during its long life. Some of the Cassini team’s freshest insights were presented during a news conference today at the American Astronomical Society Division for Planetary Science meeting in Provo, Utah.


What NASA’s Simulated Missions Tell Us About The Need For Martian Law
Source: Mars Daily

Six people recently returned from an eight-month long isolation experiment to test human endurance for long-term space missions. Their “journey to Mars” involved being isolated below the summit of the world’s largest active volcano in Hawaii (Mauna Loa), and was designed to better understand the psychological impacts of manned missions.


Progress MS-07 Cargo Spacecraft Docks With ISS In Automatic Mode
Source: Sputnik International

The Progress MS-07 cargo spacecraft docked to the ISS in an automatic mode on Monday, a Sputnik correspondent reported from the Mission Control Center. The Progress MS-07 was launched on Saturday in a second attempt on the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket.


NASA’s New Ion Thruster Breaks Records, Could Propel Manned Mission To Mars
Source: Sputnik International

The development of the X3 engine, designed at the University of Michigan in cooperation with the US Air Force, is still underway, but the technology already looks promising for long-distance space travel.


Classified NRO Satellite Spotted In Orbit Within Hours Of Launch
Source: Spaceflight101

Within hours of its arrival in a classified orbit on Sunday, satellite trackers spotted the clandestine NROL-52 satellite – confirming its expected orbital trajectory and adding further proof to its suspected role within the satellite fleet of the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.


Elon Musk Reveals More Details About His Plan To Colonize Mars
Source: Fortune

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed a trove of new details on the company’s plan to colonize Mars. He discussed technical details about the giant rocket that he says will take passengers to the Red Planet, the road map for getting to its first launch, and insights into SpaceX’s broader strategy in an “Ask Me Anything” forum on Reddit Saturday.