September 8, 2017

Large Binocular Telescope Snags First Glimpse Of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx Spacecraft Since Launch

Image credit: Large Binocular Telescope Observatory

September 8, 2017 – This set of magnified, cropped images shows NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft (highlighted in red) as it approaches Earth for its September 22 Earth Gravity Assist. To improve visibility, the images have been inverted so that black and white are reversed. The images were taken September 2, by the Large Binocular Telescope Observatory located on Mount Graham in Arizona. This is the first Earth-based view of the spacecraft since its launch on September 8, 2016. Read More


Unique Simulation Of Magnetic Reconnection Could Lead To Improved Space Weather Forecasts

Northern lights as seen over Norway. Image Credit: Jan R. Olsen

September 8, 2017 – Jonathan Ng, a Princeton University graduate student at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), has for the first time applied a fluid simulation to the space plasma process behind solar flares northern lights and space storms. The model could lead to improved forecasts of space weather that can shut down cell phone service and damage power grids, as well as to better understanding of the hot, charged plasma gas that fuels fusion reactions. Read More


ULA Postpones Launch Of NROL-42 Due To Hurricane Irma

September 8, 2017 – With Hurricane Irma bearing down on the coast of Florida, United Launch Alliance has decided to postpone the launch of NROL-42, which was scheduled for September 14. Although the Atlas V carrying the mission is launching from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, some critical members of the ULA launch team are returning to Florida to ensure the safety of their families and homes. Read More


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On 55 Year Anniversary Of JFK Moon Speech, Space Angels Launches New Podcast
Source: Space Angels

Space Angels CEO, Chad Anderson, is launching The Space Angels Podcast. With the aim of helping investors gain insight into the opportunities and risks of early-stage space investing, Chad interviews influential space entrepreneurs in each episode to better understand their bold plans to create a future with millions of people living and working in space.


Virgin Galactic Is Returning To Powered Flights, CEO Says, In A Crucial Next Step For The Spaceship Company
Source: CNBC

Virgin Galactic chief executive George Whitesides said his company will soon return to powered flights for the first time in three years. “We’re ready to go into powered flight,” Whitesides said on Thursday at the Mars Society Convention in Irvine, California.


China Completes In-Orbit Test Of Its First Carbon Observatory Satellite
Source: China Daily

In-orbit test of China’s first orbiting carbon observatory satellite has been successfully completed, according to China Meteorological Administration. As China’s first mission to study carbon dioxide, the satellite examines carbon sources with extremely high precision, tracks the role of carbon dioxide in the carbon cycle, studies variability over time, and helps forecast long-term climate change caused by carbon dioxide emissions.


NASA Awards New Cooperative Agreement To W. M. Keck Observatory
Source: W. M. Keck Observatory

NASA has awarded a five-year Cooperative Agreement with the California Association for Research in Astronomy to continue the science program at the W. M. Keck Observatory.


After Cassini: Pondering The Saturn Mission’s Legacy
Source: NASA/JPL

As the Cassini spacecraft nears the end of a long journey rich with scientific and technical accomplishments, it is already having a powerful influence on future exploration. In revealing that Saturn’s moon Enceladus has many of the ingredients needed for life, the mission has inspired a pivot to the exploration of “ocean worlds” that has been sweeping planetary science over the past decade.


Hubble Sees Newborn Stars In Arms Of A Spiral Galaxy
Source: NASA

Like firecrackers lighting up the sky on New Year’s Eve, the majestic spiral arms of NGC 5559 are alight with new stars being born. NGC 5559 is a spiral galaxy, with spiral arms filled with gas and dust sweeping out around the bright galactic bulge. These arms are a rich environment for star formation, dotted with a festive array of colors including the newborn stars glowing blue as a result of their immensely high temperatures.


NASA’s Fleet Of Satellites Covering Powerful Hurricane Irma
Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA’s fleet of satellites have been continually providing forecasters with data on Hurricane Irma.


Coolest Science Ever Headed To The Space Station
Source: Science/AAAS

Atomic physicists tend to tinker away on their own, preferably in dark, hushed labs. When Eric Cornell started as a postdoc with Carl Wieman at JILA, an institute run jointly by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado in Boulder, in 1990 he did his best to transform their second-floor lab into a basement. Now, Cornell and other physicists are taking their atomic wisps out of seclusion and into space.


Hurricane Irma Response
Source: DigitalGlobe

Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm with maximum sustained winds of 175 miles an hour, has torn through the Caribbean. Now Florida is bracing for a direct hit. DigitalGlobe has mobilized resources within our company to support immediate relief efforts following the storm.


NASA Nominee: James Bridenstine – A Lightning Rod For Change?
Source: Leonard David’s Inside Outer Space

President Trump’s nomination of Congressman James Bridenstine to lead NASA has sparked both praise and criticism from various quarters.