October 23, 2017

GOES-T Satellite “Brains” And “Body” Come Together

The “mating” of the GOES-T system module and core propulsion module occurred on September 22 at Lockheed Martin in Littleton, Colorado. As part of the mate process, the system module, or “brain,” and propulsion module, or the “body,” of the spacecraft were merged together to form the integrated GOES-T spacecraft. Image Credit: NOAA/NASA/Lockheed Martin

October 23, 2017 – While meteorologists continue marveling at the startling imagery and data from NOAA’s new Geostationary Operational Environmental (GOES) satellite, GOES-16, progress continues on the remaining satellites in the series. When GOES-16 launched in November 2016, it was known as GOES-R but was renamed GOES-16 once it reached geostationary orbit. The next satellite in the series, GOES-S, is now fully integrated, finished with environmental and mechanical testing and preparing for launch in spring 2018. Meanwhile, the primary subassemblies of the GOES-T satellite were recently brought together in a successful mate operation. Read More


A Window Into The Past

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

October 23, 2017 – The layered sedimentary deposits inside the giant canyons of Mars have puzzled scientists for decades. These light toned deposits have fine, horizontal laminations that are unlike the rugged rim rock of the Valles Marineris as seen by NASA’s Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter (MRO). Read More


The Grace Of Saturn

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

October 23, 2017 – Saturn’s graceful lanes of orbiting ice — its iconic rings — wind their way around the planet to pass beyond the horizon in this view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. And diminutive Pandora, scarcely larger than a pixel here, can be seen orbiting just beyond the F ring in this image. Read More


NOAA Prepares To Move GOES-16 Into GOES East Position

Positioning satellites in the East and West locations, along with an on-orbit spare, ensures that forecasters get a thorough look at developing weather systems that affect the U.S., from the western Pacific to the coast of Africa. Image Credit: NOAA

October 23, 2017 – NOAA is planning to move GOES-16 into its operational orbit at 75.2 degrees west longitude (the GOES East position) starting on November 30, 2017. Positioning satellites in the East and West locations, along with an on-orbit spare, ensures that forecasters get a thorough look at developing weather systems that affect the U.S., from the western Pacific to the coast of Africa. From its east position, GOES-16 will be able to observe the entire continental U.S., and monitor areas most vulnerable to tornadoes, floods, land-falling tropical storms, hurricanes, and other severe storms, according to NOAA. Read More


More News:

Granting Access To STEM-Grant Access
Source: Metropolitan State University

With programming such as the upcoming Women in STEM Conference, there’s a place for every MSU Denver student interested in science, technology, engineering and math to call their own. And for many, that home is the Center for Advanced STEM Education (CASE), whose mission is promoting STEM excellence.


Daniel L. Dumbacher Named AIAA Executive Director: The American Institute Of Aeronautics And Astronautics
Source: AIAA

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) today announced that Daniel L. Dumbacher has been appointed executive director of the world’s largest aerospace technical society, effective 4 January 2018. As executive director, he will lead the organization’s 70-person professional staff and oversee its $20 million annual budget.


New Umbilical Fitted For Mobile Launcher To Support NASA’s Deep Space Exploration Missions
Source: NASA

Engineers lifted and installed a third umbilical on the mobile launcher at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a fit check. The tower on the mobile launcher will be equipped with several connections or launch umbilicals like this one. After the fit check was completed, the umbilical was lowered down and will be installed permanently at a later date.


Mars Rover Mission Progresses Toward Resumed Drilling
Source: NASA

NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity team is working to restore Curiosity’s sample-drilling capability using new techniques. The latest development is a preparatory test on Mars. The five-year-old mission is still several months from the soonest possible resumption of drilling into Martian rocks. Managers are enthusiastic about successful Earth-based tests of techniques to work around a mechanical problem that appeared late last year and suspended use of the rover’s drill.


Spotlight Space: A Weather Forecast Game-Changer
Source: Lockheed Martin

We’re going behind the scenes to spotlight the latest space technology in this edition of Spotlight Space. NOAA’s GOES-R satellite series will improve weather forecasting quality and timeliness generating significant economic benefits to the nation in the areas of climate monitoring, ecosystems management, commerce and transportation. In this episode, we go inside the clean room to learn how better weather forecasts start in space.


NASA Sounding Rocket 36.286 – Short Version (W/SDO EVE Calibration Data)
Source: University of Colorado Boulder/LASP

Displayed data: Clock in minutes and seconds from first motion (liftoff). Earth-surface relative speed in meters per second (1m/s is about 2mph, so top speed was about 4200mph). Acceleration as felt on-board in g (1g when sitting on the ground, 0g when coasting in space), and altitude in km (maximum altitude was 285.1km, 177.2 miles). The horizontal and vertical axes on the flight path are both linear, but not to scale with each other (the rocket landed 78km from the launcher). Altitude starts and ends at 1.2km because that is the height above sea level of the White Sands basin.


Ride A Weather Balloon Into (Near) Space
Source: New York Times

A 360 video from the journalists at New York Times.


Life Advice From A Fort Collins Astronaut
Source: Coloradoan

There’s a lot one can learn from an astronaut. With their extensive scientific and physical training, they are practically walking Wikipedias on topics ranging from the effects of long-term weightlessness on people and other organisms to how stars are formed in the heavens. But the first thing most people want to know about space travel is how someone goes to the bathroom, said Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger, retired NASA astronaut and graduate of Fort Collins High School.


Vector, Virginia Space Announce Upcoming Orbital Launches From Wallops
Source: SpaceFlight Insider

NewSpace continues to make progress in terms of expanding its presence in the establishment. This past week, it was announced that nanosatellite launch service provider Vector had inked a deal with the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (more commonly known as Virginia Space) to conduct three commercial flights out of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) over the course of the next two years with possibly five additional launches in the offing.


How To Photograph The ISS Transiting The Moon And Sun
Source: AmericaSpace

Many have seen the International Space Station glide across the dark sky in the hours after sunset or before sunrise while it is still lit by the sun. For most locations, visible passes occur at least every few days and sometimes more than once per night. Several years ago, some clever folks at www.transit-finder.com created a way that anyone can enter their location and find a place near them where the ISS would appear to fly directly in front of the sun or the moon. When such a “transit” occurs, the path of visibility is very narrow…only a few miles at most. The timing is also very critical…orbiting at over 17,000 miles per hour, the ISS usually takes only one second or less to cross the moon or the sun. Attempting to photograph a transit can be done with minimal equipment and is a brilliant way to demonstrate the science of orbital mechanics.


Commentary: Bridenstine Wins A Democrat’s Support For NASA’s Top Job
Source: Orlando Sentinel/Ed Perlmutter

Jim Bridenstine has been nominated to lead the National Aeronautics and Space Administration as its 13th administrator. It is my honor to support his nomination.


Artificial Intelligence Finds 56 New Gravitational Lens Candidates
Source: ASTRONOMIE.NL

A group of astronomers from the universities of Groningen, Naples and Bonn has developed a method that finds gravitational lenses in enormous piles of observations. The method is based on the same artificial intelligence algorithm that Google, Facebook and Tesla have been using in the last years.