Community Invited To Groundbreaking For CU Aerospace Engineering Building October 26
October 19, 2017 – CU Boulder invites students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community to a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, October 26, to kick off construction of a new 144,000-square-foot aerospace engineering sciences building on East Campus that is slated to open in the summer of 2019. Read More
Dawn Mission Extended At Ceres
October 19, 2017 – NASA has authorized a second extension of the Dawn mission at Ceres, the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. During this extension, the spacecraft will descend to lower altitudes than ever before at the dwarf planet, which it has been orbiting since March 2015. The spacecraft will continue at Ceres for the remainder of its science investigation and will remain in a stable orbit indefinitely after its hydrazine fuel runs out. Read More
NASA’s MAVEN Mission Finds Mars Has A Twisted Tail
October 19, 2017 – Mars has an invisible magnetic “tail” that is twisted by interaction with the solar wind, according to new research using data from NASA’s MAVEN spacecraft. Read More
NASA Selects United Launch Alliance Reliable Atlas V Rocket For Landsat 9 Mission
October 19, 2017 – NASA’s Launch Services Program announced today that it selected United Launch Alliance’s (ULA’s) proven Atlas V vehicle to launch the Landsat 9 mission, the ninth in the satellite program providing the longest continuous global record of Earth’s surface. This award resulted from a competitive Launch Service Task Order evaluation under the NASA Launch Services II contract. Read More
Self-Portrait Of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Marks Critical Test
October 19, 2017 – What appears to be a unique selfie opportunity was actually a critical photo for the cryogenic testing of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope in Chamber A at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. The photo was used to verify the line of sight (or path light will travel) for the testing configuration. Read More
Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser Spacecraft Wins Popular Science Best Of What’s New 2017 Award
October 19, 2017 – Popular Science magazine has selected Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Dream Chaser spacecraft for the 2017 “Best of What’s New” award. This recognition from the world’s largest science and technology magazine celebrates technologies that will “change our world.” Read More
GOES-16 And Fog Detection
Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Stratus and Fog formed over the valleys of Kentucky (and in surrounding states) early on 18 October 2017 (It was there on 17 October as well). When was the fog first obvious from Satellite imagery? It very much depends on the spatial resolution of the Satellite viewing the scene. The Brightness Temperature Difference field (10.3 µm – 3.9 µm) from GOES-16, shown above, can be used to identify regions of stratus clouds that are made up of water droplets.
Why Haven’t We Had Alien Contact?
Might ET be buried under too much ice to phone Earth? That’s what planetary scientist Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, has concluded may be delaying our contact with alien civilizations. Most extraterrestrial creatures are likely deep inside their home planets, in subsurface oceans crusted over in frozen water ice, according to a new proposal at this year’s American Astronomy Society Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Provo, Utah.
US And Luxembourg Frame Laws For New Space Race
Source: Financial Times
The moon rocks collected by the Apollo missions more than 40 years ago were brought back to Earth without much controversy. Several are on display in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington. Had they been gathered now, they would probably have provoked much more debate.
Stennis Fires Up An Untested RS-25 Engine
The RS-25 test team at Stennis Space Center hot-fired an untested flight engine on the A-1 Test Stand Thursday to help complete certification of design changes to fly on the Space Launch System (SLS). The test is another step towards the flagship test firing of all four engines on the B-2 Test Stand.
Space: Marketing’s Final Frontier
Hollywood has long tapped into the world’s interest in space, but now, industries from beauty and fashion to design and music are following suit, opening up massive opportunities for ad agencies and brands, according to a new Sparks & Honey culture report.
Space Mining, Asteroids And Why We Have To Map Inner Solar System
Source: Financial Times
Government departments and entities have to interact about this, to spur economic development, to succeed our knowledge of the foundation in our solar system and also to safeguard Earth from asteroid impacts. Near Earth asteroids could be motorists of monetary expansion simply because they can offer valuable recycleables and water (to create rocket fuel).
Reevaluating Space – Why Reservists Are Relevant
Source: Schriever Air Force Base
The topic of space is trending strongly on news feeds and across headlines as Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and other Air Force leaders discuss the need for dominance in today’s hostile space environment. These recent developments have brought to light the only Reserve wing to specialize in the space mission, the 310th Space Wing, along with the question ‘How do our Reservists contribute to the space fight?’
The Expedition 53 crew aboard the International Space Station is gearing up for the third and last in a series of spacewalks planned this month to complete repair work on the Space Station’s robotic arm and deal with broken cameras and other outfitting tasks on the exterior of the complex. Stepping outside on Friday, Astronauts Randy Bresnik and Joe Acaba will complete work on Canadarm2, continue revamping the external camera system and prepare for future robotic maintenance activities outside the modules.
Iridium-4 Switches To Flight Proven Falcon 9, RTLS At Vandenberg Delayed
Iridium Communications – in the midst of launching their next generation communications constellation – has formally signed an agreement with SpaceX to utilize flight-proven Falcon 9 boosters on their upcoming Iridium NEXT-4 and -5 missions. Iridium NEXT-4, scheduled to launch NET 22 December 2017 from SLC-4E, will be the first flight-proven Falcon 9 mission from Vandenberg. The change in boosters now negates the possibility of a Return To Launch Site landing of the Falcon 9 for the mission.
From Comets Come Planets
Source: John Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
Narrow dense rings of comets are coming together to form planets on the outskirts of at least three distant solar systems, astronomers have found in data from a pair of NASA telescopes.
Space Greens Beat The Blues
Source: De Gruyter Open
Where people will go in the cosmos, plants will go. That’s the message of a paper entitled “Gardening for Therapeutic People-Plant Interactions during Long-Duration Space Missions” written by Raymond Odeh, and Charles L. Guy of the University of Florida (Gainesville) and published in the De Gruyter journal, Open Agriculture.
Mattis Tells Congress No To Space Corps And CIWO
Secretary of Defense James Mattis has sent a letter to House and Senate negotiators on the FY2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) saying that he opposes both creation of a Space Corps or of a Chief Information Warfare Officer (CIWO). The House-version of the bill requires the former; the Senate version requires the latter. Mattis wants neither.
Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space venture says it has successfully test-fired its BE-4 rocket engine, marking a key step in the development of its own New Glenn rocket as well as United Launch Alliance’s next-generation rocket.
Flaws In NASA-Provided Detectors To Delay European Astronomy Mission
Problems with infrared detectors provided by NASA will delay the delivery of an instrument for a European Space Agency astronomy mission by a year or more, a NASA official said Oct. 18. Paul Hertz, director of NASA’s astrophysics division, said engineers found problems during recent testing of infrared detectors being provided by NASA for ESA’s Euclid space telescope, which had been planned for launch in 2020 on a Soyuz rocket from French Guiana.
In a nod to the global amateur astronomy community, as well as to any space enthusiast who enjoys the beauty of the cosmos, the Hubble Space Telescope mission is releasing its version of the popular Messier catalog, featuring some of Hubble’s best images of these celestial objects that were once noted for looking like comets but turned out not to be.
Interplanetary Players: A Who’s Who Of Space Mining
Source: Financial Times
Mineral extraction is going to be crucial for the survival of colonies on Mars or the moon, dreamt up and financed by the likes of entrepreneurs Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. A number of companies are carving out a reputation of being among the industry leaders.
Who Owns Space?
We’re standing at the starting line of a new space race, one that could trigger a gold rush-like hunt for resources. Companies are lining up to launch space mining missions, and countries are passing laws to allow them. There’s just one problem: Under some interpretations of the 50-year-old Outer Space Treaty, which was signed by almost 100 countries, none of this is legal.
If you zoom way, way out on Google Maps, you can now find your way around places like Sputnik Planum, Seville Mons, Aphrodite Terra and Damascus Sulcus. Those are destinations on Pluto, Iapetus, Venus and Enceladus, just made available for virtual exploration by the Google Maps team in cooperation with astronomical artist Björn Jónsson, NASA and the European Space Agency.