September 7, 2017

Ground-Based Telescopes To Photograph NASA’s OSIRIS-REx During Earth Flyby

This artist’s concept shows the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft passing by Earth. Image Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Arizona

September 7, 2017 – On September 22, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx (Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, and Security – Regolith Explorer) spacecraft will make a close approach to Earth, using the planet’s gravity to slingshot itself toward the asteroid Bennu. Over the course of several days, observatories and amateur astronomers with specialized equipment will be able to see OSIRIS-REx as the spacecraft approaches and retreats from its closest position over Earth, approximately 11,000 miles (17,000 km) above the planet’s surface. Read More

NASA Opens Call For Space Technology Research Fellowships

NSTRF11 Fellow Katherine Kragh-Buetow under the supervision of NASA Research Collaborator Dr. Robert Okojie operates a thin film deposition system in the NASA’s Glenn Research Center Microsystems Fabrication Laboratory. Image Credit: NASA

September 7, 2017 – NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) invites current and future master and doctoral students to submit graduate student fellowship applications in relevant space technology disciplines at accredited U.S. universities. Proposals are due by Thursday, November 2. Read More

Staggering Structure

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

September 7, 2017 – This view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows a wave structure in Saturn’s rings known as the Janus 2:1 spiral density wave. Resulting from the same process that creates spiral galaxies, spiral density waves in Saturn’s rings are much more tightly wound. In this case, every second wave crest is actually the same spiral arm which has encircled the entire planet multiple times. Read More

Pluto Features Given First Official Names

Pluto’s first official surface-feature names are marked on this map, compiled from images and data gathered by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft during its flight through the Pluto system in 2015. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Ross Beyer

September 7, 2017 – The Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has officially approved the naming of fourteen features on the surface of Pluto. These are the first geological features on the planet to be named following the close flyby by the New Horizons spacecraft in July 2015. Read More

CU Engineering Professor Appointed To National Academies Committee

Image Credit: University of Colorado Boulder

September 7, 2017 – Steve Nerem is bringing the University of Colorado Boulder aerospace perspective to a wider audience. The 17-year faculty member of Smead Aerospace has been appointed to the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Earth Sciences and Applications from Space (CESAS). Read More

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Dynavac A Part Of History As NASA Prepares James Webb Telescope For Deep Space
Source: Dynavac

As a specialist in thermal vacuum systems for space simulation, Dynavac is a longtime partner to the aerospace industry. However, our involvement with the monumental James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) program stands out as one of our most exciting projects.

A Glider Just Set A New Engineless Flight Record By Soaring To 52,000 Feet
Source: Yahoo

Pilots have set a new altitude record for engineless gliding, as the Airbus Perlan Mission II this week soared to heights of more than 52,000 feet over the Patagonia region of Argentina. The glider record beat the previous altitude gliding world record of 50,727 feet, set by Perlan Project founder Einar Enevoldson and lead sponsor Steve Fossett back in 2006.

World’s Largest Radio Telescope Brings Tourism Boom To Poor County
Source: China Daily

This is the quietest tourist site in China — no phones, cameras and cars are allowed inside. Even planes have been rerouted to avoid disturbance, but still, it draws thousands of tourists.

NASA Studying Less Expensive Options For Europa Lander Mission
Source: SpaceNews

NASA is continuing to examine various, potentially less expensive options for a mission to land on Jupiter’s moon Europa even after completing a recent review, postponing a call for instruments for the spacecraft.

Private Companies Leading Push For Moon Return As Early As Next Year
Source: USA Today

Moon missions are launching a comeback nearly 45 years after Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan took the last human steps on the lunar surface. As early as next year, Florida-based Moon Express expects to send its MX-1E spacecraft to conduct experiments in what could be the first of several efforts by U.S. companies to re-establish a regular American presence on the lunar surface.

USSOCOM CubeSat Challenge
Source: herox

USSOCOM is seeking global ideas on how to advance CubeSat capabilities. Specifically, USSOCOM is conducting this crowdsourcing challenge to solicit concepts that advance the state of current CubeSat technologies and payloads and demonstrate applications that may benefit any of the USSOCOM missions. Concepts should be viable for a prototype demonstration within 12-24 months. These concepts will advance how CubeSats can be utilized to support Special Operations Forces (SOF) missions. The CubeSat Challenge will award a grand total of up to $35,000 in cash prizes.

UNOOSA-SNC Announcement On United Nations Dream Chaser Spacecraft Mission
Source: UNOOSA

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) will announce further details of the United Nations Dream Chaser® space mission on Monday 25 September 2017, from 15.30 to 16.00 at the UNOOSA exhibition booth (site 23) at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) in Adelaide, Australia.

Video: Hearing- Private Sector Lunar Exploration
Source: House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

Witnesses: Mr. Jason Crusan, director, Advanced Exploration Systems, NASA; Mr. Bob Richards, founder and CEO, Moon Express, Inc.; Mr. John Thornton, chief executive officer, Astrobotic Technology, Inc.; Mr. Bretton Alexander, director of business development and strategy, Blue Origin; Dr. George Sowers, professor, space resources, Colorado School of Mines

High Resolution Smallsats Built By SSL Arrive At Vandenberg AFB For Launch
Source: Space Systems Loral (SSL)

In a first for the industry, six satellites, built in California, to be launched in California, for a California company have arrived at the Vandenberg Air Force Base, where they are scheduled to be launched on a Minotaur rocket in October.

2017 AIAA SPACE Forum In Orlando Canceled Due To Hurricane Irma
Source: AIAA

With Hurricane Irma bearing down on Florida and the southeastern United States—AIAA recognizes the serious threat that the storm poses and has made the decision to cancel the 2017 AIAA SPACE Forum scheduled for 11-15 September, including all associated meetings and activities.

New Data From The Kuiper Belt Comet, Wild 2
Source: NASA

A new study is providing further insight into the range and diversity of materials found in a Kuiper Belt comet. A team of researchers examined more than 250 fragments from the comet Wild 2, as well as a sample from a giant cluster interplanetary dust particle (GCP). The GCP is also likely to have originated from a comet.

Diagnosis In Space: WetLab-2 Sends Molecular Biology Into Orbit
Source: NASA

To diagnose a patient, a hospital may send samples of blood or tissue to a molecular biology lab for testing. When humans embark on long-term space exploration, and samples can’t be sent back to Earth for analysis, they’ll need to perform their own medical tests. NASA has achieved the first step toward making this a reality, with the successful development and use of WetLab-2.

Celebrating Europe’s Science Highlights With Cassini
Source: ESA

The international Cassini­-Huygens mission has explored Saturn and its rings and moons for 13 years, and will conclude by plunging into the planet’s atmosphere next week. This article highlights some of the mission’s exciting discoveries led by European teams.

NASA Television Coverage Set For Next International Space Station Crew Launch
Source: NASA

Two NASA astronauts are among the three crew members poised to launch for a five-month stay aboard the International Space Station, and NASA Television will provide extensive coverage of their prelaunch activities, launch and their arrival on their orbital outpost.

An Evening With Commander Scott Kelly
Source: Tattered Cover Bookstore

The Tattered Cover is honored to present Commander Scott Kelly in honor of his new book Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery ($29.95 Knopf). The veteran of four space flights and the American record holder for consecutive days spent in space, astronaut Scott Kelly has experienced things very few have. Tickets required.

Satellites Show Different Sides Of Hurricane Irma
Source: NASA

Satellite imagery from NASA’s Aqua satellite and NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite have provided different data on the still Category 5 Hurricane Irma as it headed for the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Prospecting From Orbit
Source: NASA

The combination of morphological and topographic information from stereo images from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, as well as compositional data from near-infrared spectroscopy has been proven to be a powerful tool for understanding the geology of Mars.

NASA Is Facing A Climate Change Countdown
Source: The New York Times

The concrete block perches absurdly atop a piling, elevated about 10 feet above the beach sand. Is it art? A bulky milepost? Carlton Hall pointed to the puzzling object and explained that it was once a tie-down block for securing structures like antenna towers.

Active Region On Sun Continues To Emit Solar Flares
Source: NASA

The sun emitted two mid-level solar flares on Sept. 7, 2017. The first peaked at 6:15 a.m. EDT. The second, larger flare, peaked at 10:36 a.m. EDT. These are the fourth and fifth sizable flares from the same active region since Sept. 4.

Lockheed Martin Showcases STEM Careers With Help From NASA
Source: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin recently hosted a group of local Girl Scouts at its Greenville facility to showcase the many different careers within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, with help from one of NASA’s most inspiring female leaders.

Chasing The Moon At 100,000 Feet
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

As graduate student Viliam Klein watched the total solar eclipse from the ground in Jackson, Wyoming, he also kept an eye on his computer screen as it tracked the ascent of his high-altitude balloon. The helium-filled balloon carried a 360-degree camera to 105,000 feet above the Earth to film the moon’s shadow during the Aug. 21 eclipse.

SpaceX Launches Air Force’s Secret X-37B Space Plane As Hurricane Irma Nears
Source: GeekWire

SpaceX launched the Air Force’s X-37B robotic space plane on its latest months-long, classified mission today – marking another first for the company, with an oncoming hurricane adding to the pressure.