October 6 – October 12, 2018

Missouri, Colorado Students To Speak With Astronaut On Space Station

NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor will speak with elementary students about her life and work abroad the space station next week. Image Credit: NASA

October 12, 2018 – Elementary school students from Missouri and Colorado will talk live with an astronaut on the International Space Station next week. Both Earth-to-space calls will air live on NASA television and the agency’s website.

NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor will answer questions posed by 4th grade students from Katie Harper Wright Elementary School in St. Louis at 11:15 pa.m. MDT on Monday, October 15. The downlink is in association with the National Park Service’s recognition of both the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System and NASA’s 60th anniversary. Read More

Sierra Nevada Corporation’s New Upper Stage Rocket Engine Closer To Reality

Image Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation

October 12, 2018 – With its patented VORTEX™ engine technology, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) is one step closer to testing a brand new version of its low-cost, high-performance upper stage rocket engine. The VR35K-A, developed in conjunction with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), is a commercialized version of the VORTEX engine system. The team will provide a fully integrated engine, leveraging technologies initially developed under Small Business Innovation Research programs. Read More

Astronaut, Cosmonaut Safe After Abort During Launch To Station

Expedition 57 Flight Engineer Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, left, and Flight Engineer Nick Hague of NASA, right. embrace their families after landing at the Krayniy Airport, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018 in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Hague and Ovchinin arrived from Zhezkazgan after Russian Search and Rescue teams brought them from the Soyuz landing site. During the Soyuz TM-10 spacecraft’s climb to orbit, an anomaly occurred, resulting in an abort downrange. The crew was quickly recovered and is in good condition. Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

October 11, 2018 – American astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin are resting comfortably in the city of Baikonur, Kazakhstan, after an anomaly occurred shortly after their launch. Read More

York Space Systems Enters Memorandum Of Understanding With Firefly Aerospace

Firefly Aerospace Logo. Image Credit: Firefly Aerospace

October 11, 2018 – Firefly Aerospace, Inc., a developer of orbital launch vehicles for the small to medium satellite market, has announced the execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with York Space Systems for the development of integrated launch services and spacecraft mission solutions. Read More

Lockheed Martin-Built Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite Packed And Prepared To Join The Constellation

AEHF SV4 encapsulation. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

October 11, 2018 – The fourth Lockheed Martin-built Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) protected communications satellite is one step closer to space. The AEHF-4 satellite was encapsulated into its payload fairing on September 26 in anticipation of its October 17 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Read More

Hubble In Safe Mode As Gyro Issues Are Diagnosed

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA

October 8, 2018 – NASA is working to resume science operations of the Hubble Space Telescope after the spacecraft entered safe mode on Friday, October 5, shortly after 4:00 p.m. MDT. Hubble’s instruments still are fully operational and are expected to produce excellent science for years to come. Read More

New Horizons Sets Up For New Year’s Flyby Of Ultima Thule

At left, a composite optical navigation image, produced by combining 20 images from the New Horizons Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) acquired on Sept. 24. The center photo is a composite optical navigation image of Ultima Thule after subtracting the background star field; star field subtraction is an important component of optical navigation image processing since it isolates Ultima from nearby stars. At right is a magnified view of the star-subtracted image, showing the close proximity and relative agreement between the observed and predicted locations of Ultima. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/KinetX

October 6, 2018 – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft carried out a short engine burn on October 3 to home in on the location and timing of its New Year’s flyby of the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule. Read More

SwRI Scientists Study Saturn’s Rings To Discover Downpour

As the Cassini spacecraft prepared for its terminal dive into Saturn, the SwRI-led INMS instrument detected and quantified the first direct measurements of “ring rain,” the interaction between the icy rings and the planet. After analyzing these data, SwRI scientists characterized the rain as a downpour that includes a surprising amount of complex organics. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/SwRI

October 6, 2018 – Using some of the Cassini spacecraft’s final measurements, Southwest Research Institute scientists have discovered that complex organics rain down from Saturn’s rings into its upper atmosphere. Cassini’s final orbits allowed instruments to sample particles in the ring environment, discovering that the inflow of water and other material is much heavier than expected. Read More

In Its Final Days, Cassini Bathed In “Ring Rain”

In this artist’s rendering of Cassini, the spacecraft threads the narrow gap between Saturn’s rings and the gas giant during the mission’s “Grand Finale.” Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

October 6, 2018 – On its last orbits in 2017, the long-running Cassini spacecraft dove between Saturn’s rings and its upper atmosphere and bathed in a downpour of dust that astronomers call “ring rain.” Read More

NASA Selects Two Companies To Help Take Out The Deep Space Trash

Sierra Nevada Corporation has evolved heat melt compaction technology from initial development and demonstration efforts to the design of the Trash Compaction and Processing System planned for testing aboard the International Space Station. Image Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation

October 6, 2018 – NASA has selected Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) to develop systems that can reduce trash volume, and process the resulting atmosphere contaminants during deep space missions. The U.S. companies responded to NASA’s Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) Appendix F: Logistics Reduction (LR) in Space by Trash Compaction and Processing System (TCPS) Broad Agency Announcement, issued in July. Read More

More News

Chandra Enters Safe Mode; Investigation Underway
Source: NASA

Progress Toward Exploration Missions, Challenges Ahead
Source: NASA

AGI Hosts Space And Defense Software Expo In Colorado Springs
Source: The Gazette

Safety Panel Fears Soyuz Failure Could Exacerbate Commercial Crew Safety Concerns
Source: SpaceNews

Exos Aerospace’s SARGE Rocket To Serve As A Platform For A Reusable Small Satellite Launcher
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

Two Explosions With Similar Quirks
Source: AAS Nova

Update On Opportunity Rover After Martian Dust Storm
Source: NASA

CU Boulder Awarded $57.4 Million Contract With NASA
Source: Longmont Times-Call

Update On The Hubble Space Telescope Safe Mode
Source: NASA

Maxar Technologies’ DigitalGlobe And Ecopia Tech Corporation Produce First High-Precision U.S. Building Footprints Dataset Created With Machine Learning
Source: Maxar Technologies Ltd.

Sierra Nevada Corporation To Participate In DARPA Subterranean Challenge Program
Source: Sierra Nevada Corporation

SwRI Researcher Barron Bichon Named AIAA Associate Fellow
Source: Southwest Research Institute

418th FLTS Completes 10-Year Support Of NASA Orion Parachute Tests
Source: U.S. Air Force/ 412th Test Wing Public Affairs

Alumni Companies From Colorado Springs Accelerator Win Research Grants
Source: The Gazette

‘Pulsar In A Box’ Reveals Surprises In Neutron Star’s Surroundings
Source: NASA

NASA’s Terra Satellite Celebrates 100,000 Orbits
Source: NASA

Mars Virtual Reality Software Wins NASA Award
Source: NASA

Army Still Not Sold On Satellite Broadband As A Service
Source: SpaceNews

Price Swings Expected During Launch Industry Shakeout
Source: SpaceNews

SpaceX Aces First Rocket Landing In California After Launching Argentine Satellite
Source: Spaceflight Now

The Program To Build NASA’s Moon Rocket Could Double In Price To $9 Billion, IG Says
Source: The Washington Post

Long March 2C Launches Yaogan Weixing-32 Group-1
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

Israel’s First Mission To The Moon – To Launch On A Falcon 9 – Delayed A Few Weeks
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

Blue Origin’s Plan: First Crew To Space In 2019, Orbital Launch In 2021
Source: GeekWire

ULA, Blue Origin, Northrop Divide Air Force Launch Vehicle Development Contracts
Source: SpaceNews

Colorado Springs Middle-Schoolers Learn Drone Technology In New Flight And Space Class
Source: The Gazette

Winners Of Project Mars Competition Selected
Source: NASA

UP Aerospace Targets Government Customers With $1 Million Dedicated SmallSat Launches
Source: SpaceNews

NASA IG Slams NASA, Boeing For Poor SLS Management; EM-1 To Slip Past June 2020
Source: SpacePolicyOnline.com

Space Foundation And Petit Family Foundation Offer Free Girls STEM Experience In Hartford
Source: Space Foundation

Aussie Telescope Almost Doubles Known Number Of Mysterious ‘Fast Radio Bursts’
Source: ICRAR

21st Space Wing Focused On Readiness In “The Year Of The Defender”
Source: KOAA.com

Pentagon Denies Report That Air Force Secretary Wilson May Be On Her Way Out
Source: SpaceNews

Open Systems Architecture, Henry Ford, And Standards Enabling Growth In New Space
Source: Kratos Communications

Scene At CU: Astronaut Scott Kelly, Innovation Kickoff, More
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Blue Origin’s Anticlimactic Victory And Aerojet’s Plan B
Source: SpaceNews