September 11, 2017

Cassini Makes Its ‘Goodbye Kiss’ Flyby Of Titan

Cassini made its final, distant flyby of Saturn’s moon Titan on Sept. 11, which set the spacecraft on its final dive toward the planet. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

September 11, 2017 – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is headed toward its September 15 plunge into Saturn, following a final, distant flyby of the planet’s giant moon Titan. Read More


Blue Canyon Technologies Selected By The Air Force Research Laboratory To Pursue GEO Missions

Image Credit: Blue Canyon Technologies

September 11, 2017 – Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has been awarded two contracts by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for missions that will reach geostationary orbit (GEO). Read More


Sowers Testifies Before House Committee On Space Resources

September 11, 2017 – A Colorado School of Mines professor was among the experts who testified before a U.S. House of Representatives committee about private sector exploration of the moon. Read More


Juno’s Seventh Science Pass Of Jupiter Yields New Images

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/ Gerald Eichstädt/Sean Doran

September 11, 2017 – This series of enhanced-color images shows Jupiter up close and personal, as NASA’s Juno spacecraft performed its seventh science pass (eighth flyby) of the gas giant planet. The images were obtained by JunoCam. Read More


Last Enceladus Plume Observation

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

September 11, 2017 – This movie sequence of images is from the last dedicated observation of the Enceladus plume by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft. The images were obtained over approximately 14 hours as Cassini’s cameras stared at the active, icy moon. Read More


The DigitalGlobe Foundation: 10 Years Of Championing Research, Expertise And Innovation In The Geospatial Industry

September 11, 2017 – This year, the DigitalGlobe Foundation (DGF) celebrates its 10th anniversary -— marking a decade devoted to advancing the use of geospatial imagery to address local and global challenges and championing the education of the next-generation of geospatial leaders. The foundation is the 501(c)(3) organization underwritten by Westminster, Colorado-based DigitalGlobe, Inc., a leading global provider of commercial high-resolution Earth observation satellite imagery and advanced geospatial solutions. Read More


Astronomers Spun Up By Galaxy-Shape Finding

These are galaxies from the SAMI survey, imaged with Japan’s Subaru telescope. Image Credit: D. Taranu (University of Western Australia), C. Foster (University of Sydney), NAOJ (the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan)

September 11, 2017 – For the first time astronomers have measured how a galaxy’s spin affects its shape. It sounds simple, but measuring a galaxy’s true 3D shape is a tricky problem that astronomers first tried to solve 90 years ago. Read More


More News:

New Horizons Planning Additional Extended Missions
Source: SpaceNews

While still more than a year away from a flyby of a distant object in the solar system’s Kuiper Belt, the team running NASA’s New Horizons mission is already looking ahead to future extended missions that could include another flyby.


U.S. Cargo Ship Set To Depart From International Space Station
Source: NASA

After delivering more than 6,400 pounds of cargo, a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft will depart the International Space Station on Sunday, Sept. 17. NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide live coverage of Dragon’s departure beginning at 4:30 a.m. EDT.


Sierra Nevada Takes Steps Toward Orbital Space Plane Flight
Source: Space.com

For flight controllers working the Dream Chaser flight test last week, the moment of truth came as the 30-foot-long (9 meters) spacecraft descended to 200 feet (60 m) over Rogers Dry Lake bed in California. The spacecraft’s landing gear deployed and locked into position exactly as planned.


Boeing To Design And Build Seven Medium Earth Orbit Satellites For SES
Source: Boeing

Boeing will design and build seven super-powered medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites for SES, delivering efficient high-performance data communications services to users around the world. The O3b mPOWER satellites will include Boeing’s most-advanced digital payload technology and will be built using electronics from the flight-proven 702 satellite platform customized to support the unique MEO environment.


How Two Ground-Based Telescopes Support NASA’s Cassini Mission
Source: NASA

When NASA’s Cassini spacecraft plunges into the atmosphere of Saturn on Sept. 15, ending its 20 years of exploration, astronomers will observe the giant planet from Earth, giving context to Cassini’s final measurements.


So Far From Home
Source: NASA

Cassini captured one of its last looks at Saturn and its main rings from a distance. The Saturn system has been Cassini’s home for 13 years, but that journey is nearing its end. Images taken on Oct. 28, 2016 with the wide angle camera using red, green and blue spectral filters were combined to create this color view.


Through Their Eyes: Sending Cassini To Saturn
Source: NASA

The story of the Cassini mission begins long before the NASA spacecraft first beamed back images of Saturn’s rings or when the European Space Agency’s Huygens probe touched down on Titan, or even its launch in the early morning of October 15, 1997, atop a Titan IV-Centaur rocket. The prologue begins with a group of engineers at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, who were responsible for launching Cassini and getting it beyond Earth’s orbit as it began the more than 2.1-billion mile trek to Saturn.


Video: Raytheon: Bright Future In Aurora
Source: Raytheon

Employees share why they work at Raytheon in Aurora, Colorado. At Raytheon, we’re always seeking the best and brightest engineers to help us make the world a safer place.


A Celebration Of All Things Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror
Source: MileHiCon

More than 100 science fiction/fantasy/horror authors, artists and other speakers will participate, and autograph books at the 49th annual MileHiCon science fiction/fantasy/ horror literary convention at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center October 27, 28 and 29, 2017. For SF/F and speculative fiction lovers, it’s a weekend not to be missed.


NASA Awards SSL Next Phase Funding For Dragonfly On-Orbit Assembly Program, Demonstrates Confidence in Public Private Partnership For Space Robotics
Source: SSL

SSL, a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, today announced that NASA has awarded the next phase of funding for its ground-breaking Dragonfly on-orbit satellite assembly program. The contract modification to move forward with the detailed design of a semi-autonomous robotic system for in-space satellite assembly confirms NASA’s confidence in SSL and the success of this “Tipping Point” public private partnership, which is enabling the development of new technology that benefits both government and commercial space endeavors.


Orbital ATK Begins Assembly Of Industry’s First Commercial In-Space Satellite Servicing System
Source: Orbital ATK

Orbital ATK today announced significant progress on the industry’s first commercial in-space satellite servicing system. The Mission Extension Vehicle-1 (MEV-1) spacecraft successfully completed its critical design review earlier this year and is now in production with about 75% of the platform and payload components already delivered to the company’s Satellite Manufacturing Facility in Virginia. The spacecraft will begin system-level testing in spring 2018 with launch planned late next year.


China’s Delayed Moon Mission Sparks Debate Over Lunar Samples
Source: Scientific American

The Chang’e 5 spacecraft could return invaluable new moon rocks to Earth, but who will get to study them?


‘Sitting On A Controlled Explosion’: 25 Years Since The Space Shuttle’s Half-Century Mission
Source: AmericaSpace

Twenty-five years ago, this week, Space Shuttle Endeavour—the youngest member of NASA’s fleet of orbiter vehicles, built to replace the ill-fated Challenger—rocketed away from the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) in Florida, on a mission of many firsts. Her crew included the first Japanese citizen to fly aboard a U.S. spacecraft, the first married couple to fly together on the same space mission and the first African-American female astronaut.


Irma Over Florida As Seen By Suomi NPP
Source: CIMSS Satellite Blog

Suomi NPP Overflew Florida and Hurricane Irma shortly after 0700 UTC on Monday 11 September. The 10.8 µm Infrared Image from the VIIRS Instrument on Suomi NPP shows cold cloud tops and strong convection over much of central Florida (Orlando International Airport received 3″ of rain between 0300 and 0600 UTC on 11 September).