October 2, 2017

JPSS-1 Begins Final Preflight Processing

NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, remains wrapped in a protective covering after removal from its shipping container at the Astrotech Processing Facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The spacecraft is being prepared for its upcoming liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex-2W. JPSS-1 is the first in a series four next-generation environmental satellites in a collaborative program between NOAA and NASA. Image Credit: NASA/Rodney Speed

October 2, 2017 – NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System-1 spacecraft has been removed from its shipping container in the Astrotech Payload Processing Facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, where it is being prepared for its upcoming launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket. Read More


Hubble Is Paving Scientific Paths For NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope

This image of the Westerlund 2 cluster includes both visible- and infrared-light observations from Hubble, and was released in 2015 as part of the Hubble Space Telescope’s 25th anniversary. The highlighted area, featuring the cluster of stars, was created from visible-light and near-infrared exposures. The black-and-white zoomed portion shows a new image of the star cluster in only one infrared wavelength. This image was taken as part of astronomer Elena Sabbi’s preparatory science project, one of many such observations astronomers will use to identify potential targets for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), A. Nota (ESA/STScI), E. Sabbi (ESA/STScI), and the Westerlund 2 Science Team

October 2, 2017 – NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is helping identify potential celestial targets for the James Webb Space Telescope through a series of preparatory science observations to be completed before Webb is ready to make observations of its own. Read More


USRA Names Bernard Seery Senior Vice President, Technology R&D

Universities Space Research Association (USRA) names Bernard Seery as Senior Vice President, Technology. Image Credit: USRA

October 2, 2017 – Universities Space Research Association (USRA) announced today the appointment of Bernard Seery as Senior Vice President, Technology. Research and Development. In this new role, he will oversee USRA activities in aeronautics, advanced computing, microgravity research, autonomous systems and space nuclear technology, among other areas. Read More


Polaris Alpha Expands Space Capabilities In Acquisition

October 2, 2017 – Polaris Alpha today announced it is acquiring Solidyn Solutions, based in Denver, Colorado. The acquisition enhances Polaris Alpha’s expertise in developing space-based solutions across a number of critical programs in the national security community. Solidyn Solutions has long focused on providing high quality engineering talent and cloud solutions to customers in the defense and Intelligence Communities. Read More


ALMA And Rosetta Detect Freon-40 In Space

Organohalogen methyl chloride (Freon-40) discovered by ALMA around the infant stars in IRAS 16293-2422. These same organic compounds were discovered in the thin atmosphere surrounding Comet 67P/C-G by the ROSINA instrument on ESA’s Rosetta space probe. Image Credit: B. Saxton (NRAO/AUI/NSF); NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

October 2, 2017 – Using data captured by ALMA in Chile and from the ROSINA instrument on ESA’s Rosetta mission , a team of astronomers has found faint traces of the chemical compound [Freon-40] – (CH3Cl), also known as methyl chloride and chloromethane, around both the infant star system IRAS 16293-2422, about 400 light-years away, and the famous comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (67P/C-G) in our own Solar System. The new ALMA observation is the first detection ever of a stable organohalogen in interstellar space. Read More


More News:

CSU Team Joins International Hunt For Gravitational Waves
Source: Colorado State University

When scientists announced last year that they’d detected gravitational waves from the distant collision of two black holes, they confirmed Albert Einstein’s 100-year-old theory that gravity, packaged in waves, travels across space and time. The 900-member global science team responsible for the discovery is the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO) collaboration, and earlier this year, it added new members from Colorado State University. The CSU team will provide critical coating technology to increase the sensitivity of LIGO, and to advance knowledge of coating architectures for future LIGO generations.


Hyten: U.S. Strategic Command Is Reorganizing For 21st Century Warfighting
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The commander of U.S. Strategic Command is reorganizing to improve its warfighting structure. Air Force Gen. John E. Hyten told the Air Force Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference recently that he recognized there was an organizational mismatch on Nov. 3, the day he took command. He signed out the implementation order in June, and the new air component went live yesterday.


Hughes Launches Consumer Satellite Internet Service In Colombia
Source: EchoStar

Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes), the global leader in broadband satellite solutions and services, today announced the launch of HughesNet® high-speed satellite Internet service in Colombia beginning on September 28, the company’s second international deployment of its award-winning consumer service beyond North America. Operating over the EchoStar XIX high-throughput satellite (HTS)—with the world’s highest capacity at over 200 Gbps—HughesNet service coverage reaches 75 percent of Colombia’s population, bringing the many benefits of affordable broadband Internet access to consumers and businesses either unserved or underserved by terrestrial broadband.


NASA May Extend BEAM’s Time On The International Space Station
Source: NASA

NASA is exploring options with Bigelow Aerospace to extend the life of the privately owned Bigelow Expandable Activity Module. Known as BEAM, the module is attached to the International Space Station and continues to perform well during its technology demonstration mission. NASA has issued a synopsis of an intended contract action to partner with Bigelow Aerospace to extend the life of the expandable habitat and use it for long-term in-orbit storage.


SSL-Built Direct Broadcasting Satellite For B-SAT Begins Post-Launch Maneuvers According To Plan
Source: SSL

SSL, a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, today announced that the BSAT-4a satellite, designed and built for Broadcasting Satellite System Corporation (B-SAT), a leading broadcast satellite operator in Japan, was launched on Friday and is successfully performing post-launch maneuvers according to plan.


Photos: NROL-52 Payload Mounted Atop Atlas 5 Booster For Oct. 5 Launch From The Cape
Source: Spaceflight Now

This photo gallery shows the classified National Reconnaissance Office payload, already encapsulated in the 14-foot-diameter nose cone, being lifted atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas-Centaur rocket at Cape Canaveral’s Vertical Integration Facility. This milestone was achieved on Sept. 26.


Canadarm2 Gets A New Hand
Source: Canadian Space Agency

Canadarm2 will be getting a new “hand” during a spacewalk scheduled for October 5, 2017. After 16 years of tireless work on board the International Space Station (ISS), one of Canadarm2’s Latching End Effectors (LEEs) will be replaced as a result of normal wear and tear.


Station Crew Gearing Up For Three October Spacewalks
Source: NASA

Two astronauts are getting ready for a spacewalk set to begin Thursday at 8:05 a.m. EDT. This will be the first of three spacewalks taking place this month for maintenance at the International Space Station.


To The Moon And Back … In 2.5 Seconds
Source: NIST

When he scribbled this note in 1962 atop the rough draft of his paper titled “A Proposed Lunar Package (A Corner Reflector on the Moon),” Princeton University graduate student James Faller had no idea what his advisor, physicist Robert Dicke, would have to say about a concept for “bouncing a laser off the moon and detecting the reflected light returning to the Earth …” to “… permit a precise Earth-moon distance measurement to be made.” (Dicke’s reply, by the way, was simply, “Perhaps we could discuss this.”)


Atlas V NROL-52 Mission Profile
Source: United Launch Alliance

An Atlas V 421 rocket will launch the NROL-52 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office.


United Arab Emirates To Establish Human Spaceflight Program
Source: SpaceNews

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) plans to establish its own astronaut corps in the next year, seeking to fly its citizens into space on other nations’ vehicles starting in the early 2020s. In a panel discussion at the 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) here Sept. 28, officials with the country’s new space agency said that the country sought to develop a “sustainable” human spaceflight program with scientific applications, rather than simply the prestige of flying humans in space.


Spaceflight Awarded First NASA Contract For Launch Of U-Class Payloads
Source: Spaceflight

Spaceflight, the leading satellite rideshare and mission management provider, today announced it was awarded its first NASA Kennedy Space Center Contract (KSC) for launch and integration services. The multi-year contract covers launch services in 2018 for a maximum of 24 payloads, with options to provide launch services for up to 24 additional payloads in 2019 and 2020. The potential total contract value is more than $5 million.


Colorado STEM Team To Open Cars’ “Grow Your Own Technicians” Program At AAPEX
Source: Autobodynews.com

The Automotive Service Association (ASA) and the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) are proud to announce that the Wheat Ridge High School Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Team will open the CARS Grow Your Own Technicians program Friday, Nov. 3, at CARS@AAPEX Las Vegas, NV.


NASA Wants To Know Cost Of Space Solar Power
Source: Discover

The new space solar power study by the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado is one of five research projects chosen by NASA to examine new opportunities for commercial development in space. In this case, the research will consider the government regulations and private investments needed to establish space solar power stations that could beam power to Earth-based collecting stations. But it will also examine how space solar power could support robotic mining operations on the moon or asteroids–a stepping stone toward enabling long-term human space exploration and possible colonization of the solar system beyond Earth.


Colorado Family Launches GoPro Into Stratosphere; Amazing Video Falls Back To Earth
Source: ABC15 Arizona

NASA is not the only game in town. An Aurora, Colorado family has a space program of their own and it’s yielding some amazing results! The Photos family recently posted a YouTube video of their latest space adventure – a GoPro camera attached to a weather balloon and then launched over Denver.


High-Sensitivity Radio Telescope and Supercomputer for Astronomy Selected As IEICE Milestone
Source: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

The Institute of Electronics, Information and Communication Engineers (IEICE) selected as IEICE Milestone the high-sensitivity radio telescope and the supercomputer for astronomy developed and operated by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ).


Satellite Envy
Source: Aerospace America

A deep look at one company’s plan to go up against satellites with stratospheric balloons.


Video: The Kepler Space Telescope: From Adversity To Diversity
Source: LASP

In this presentation from September 26, 2017, Dr. Jeffrey Van Cleve discusses the development and accomplishments of the Kepler and K2 missions. Dr. Van Cleve is an astrophysicist and aerospace engineer who worked on four successful NASA flight programs during his 10 years at Ball Aerospace (1998­‐2008), and was a flight planner for the flying observatory SOFIA. He is currently a SETI Kepler Support Scientist at NASA’s Ames Research Center.


More On The Cover Story: Space Startup Boom Could Lead To Satellite Fleets
Source: Denver Business Journal

A ‘new space’ rush emerges with cautionary echoes of an earlier time.