April 6, 2017

NASA’s Hubble Takes Close-Up Portrait Of Jupiter

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and A. Simon (GSFC)

April 6, 2017 – On April 3, 2017, as Jupiter made its nearest approach to Earth in a year, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope viewed the solar system’s largest planet in all of its up-close glory. At a distance of 415 million miles (668 million kilometers) from Earth, Jupiter offered spectacular views of its colorful, roiling atmosphere, the legendary Great Red Spot, and it smaller companion at farther southern latitudes dubbed “Red Spot Jr.” Read More


Longmont-Based Roccor Finalizes Agreement With Air Force Research Laboratory

April 6, 2017 – Roccor, a disruptive aerospace supplier providing low-cost, high performance deployable structure and thermal management systems technology for government and commercial space customers, today announced the company finalized an agreement with Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Space Vehicles Directorate to license patents of High Strain Component (HSC) technology. The patents will enable Roccor to build a large number of Solar Array Development Systems (SADS) to support mega-constellations. Read More


ExoTerra To Become First Privately Owned Space Company To Fly To An Asteroid

ExoTerra, and its partner Deep Space Industries, to perform first flyby of an asteroid by a private company through NASA’s Public-Private Partnership initiative. Image Credit: ExoTerra

April 6, 2017 – NASA has awarded ExoTerra Corporation a $2.5M contract to demonstrate a novel solar electric propulsion system for CubeSats that will enable the shoebox-sized spacecraft to triple their available power and produce over 2.5 km/s of propulsion. Read More


CEI Announces Gill Foundation And Ball Corporation Commit $140,000 To Colorado STEM

April 6, 2017 – STEM Champions Gill Foundation and Ball Corporation announced last week they will commit $140,000 to support Colorado STEM. Read More


Explore Opportunities In GIS At Career Night At FRCC

April 6, 2017 – People interested in a career in geographic information systems (GIS) can hear from a panel of professionals and talk with representatives from GIS companies and government agencies at a GIS Career Night April 12 at Front Range Community College. Read More


Air Force Announces Major Changes To Space Enterprise

April 6, 2017 – The U.S. Air Force announced five major organization and management changes to its space enterprise April 4, 2017. Read More


Gov. Hickenlooper Orders Flags Lowered To Honor John Glenn

April 6, 2017 – Gov. John Hickenlooper today ordered flags to be flown half-staff on all public buildings statewide beginning immediately until sunset, on the day of interment, in honor of John Glenn, and as proclaimed by President Donald J Trump. Read More


Pneumatic Systems Tested In Multi-Purpose Payload Facility For Orion

Engineers and technicians completed verification and validation testing of several pneumatic systems inside and outside the Multi-Payload Processing Facility (MPPF) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. In view is the service platform for Orion spacecraft processing. The MPPF will be used for offline processing and fueling of the Orion spacecraft and service module stack before launch. Orion also will be de-serviced in the MPPF after a mission. The Ground Systems Development and Operations Program (GSDO) is overseeing upgrades to the facility. The Engineering Directorate led the recent pneumatic tests. Image Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

April 6, 2017 – Testing of systems critical to preparing Orion for its first flight atop NASA’s Space Launch System rocket were successfully completed in the Multi-Payload Processing Facility (MPPF) at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Read More


NASA Announces Upcoming International Space Station Crew Assignments

NASA astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor, from Fort Collins, CO, will join NASA Expedition 58 and 59 crews on the International Space Station in November 2018. Image Credit: NASA

April 6, 2017 – Five NASA astronauts have been assigned to upcoming spaceflights. Joe Acaba, Ricky Arnold, Nick Hague, Serena Auñón-Chancellor and Shannon Walker all have begun training for missions launching later this year and throughout 2018. Read More


More News:

The Tyranny Of The Fairing: Rocket Talk At The 33rd Space Symposium
Source: New Atlas

With mighty aspirations comes a need for mighty rockets. That was theme of the “Heavy Lift” panel that took the stage at the 33rd annual Space Symposium in Colorado …


Back To The Moon In Orion In 2 years: Space Industry Is Energized By The Possibility
Source: Denver Business Journal

Mars missions look a lot closer as NASA eyes putting astronauts on a planned 2018 test flight.


United Launch Alliance Cuts Atlas Rocket Price Amid Competition
Source: Investing.com

United Launch Alliance has dropped the price of its workhorse Atlas 5 rocket flights by about one-third in response to mounting competition from rival SpaceX and others, the company’s chief executive said on Tuesday.


From The Alps To The Rockies: Ruag Space’s Strategy To Crack The U.S. Market
Source: SpaceNews

Bern, Switzerland-based Ruag Space is an anchor supplier of spacecraft components and rocket parts for all manner of European government space programs. The European Space Agency is such a large customer for Ruag Space that the company often describes the agency and its 22 member states as a market in and of itself.


Deep Questions For ‘Deep Exploration’ Posed At Space Symposium In Colorado Springs
Source: Colorado Springs Gazette

Participants at the Space Symposium Wednesday filled in a crucial gap in how scientists, military members, laymen and all those in between understand the tools necessary for far-reaching space exploration.


Dream Chaser To Use Europe’s Next-Generation Docking System
Source: Parabolic Arc

ESA and a team of European industrial contractors led by QinetiQ have finalised an agreement with Sierra Nevada Corporation for the use of Europe’s International Berthing Docking Mechanism on the Dream Chaser spaceplane.


Earth, You Never Looked So Good
Source: Colorado State University SOURCE

Earlier this year, the U.S. agency in charge of atmosphere, climate and ocean, NOAA, unveiled the first images taken by its latest, greatest weather satellite, GOES-16. The sharp, full-color images of our Blue Marble signal a new era of weather mapping and forecasting. Many of those images were processed at Colorado State University by a team dedicated to making GOES-16’s new capabilities accessible to all.


Mines Hyperloop II Team Advances To Final Competition Weekend
Source: Colorado School of Mines

A Colorado School of Mines team of 14 undergraduate students has advanced to the final competition weekend in SpaceX’s Hyperloop Pod Competition II in California later this summer.


U.S. Strategic Command, Norway Sign Agreement To Share Space Services, Data
Source: U.S Air Force/USSTRATCOM

U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) entered into an agreement with the Norwegian Ministry of Defense and Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries to share space situational awareness (SSA) services and information.


House Approves Weather Forecasting Bill
Source: U.S House of Representatives

The U.S House of Representatives on April 4 unanimously approved the Senate amendment to H.R. 353, the Weather Research and Forecasting Innovation Act, introduced by Science, Space, and Technology Committee Vice Chair Frank Lucas (R-Okla.). This legislation directs the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to prioritize its research to improve weather data, modelling, computing, forecasting, and warnings.


Aerojet Rocketdyne Highlights Disruptive Space Technology At 33rd Annual Space Symposium
Source: Aerojet Rocketdyne

Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc., is showcasing disruptive space technologies at the 33rd annual Space Symposium, April 3-6, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


New Ground Launch Sequencer Software Demonstrated In Launch Control Center
Source: NASA

A demonstration of the automated command and control software for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft, recently took place in Firing Room 3 in the Launch Control Center at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The software, called the ground launch sequencer, will be responsible for nearly all of the launch commit criteria during the final phases of launch countdowns.


A New Market Emerges
Source: NASA

NASA recently marked a decade since it began a new era in commercial spaceflight development for low-Earth orbit transportation. The space agency inked agreements in 2006 to develop rockets and spacecraft capable of carrying cargo such as experiments and supplies to and from the International Space Station.


NOAA’s GOES-16 Ground System: Less Discussed, But Equally Important
Source: NOAA/NESDIS

When the topic du jour turns to satellite meteorology and its benefits, the spacecraft usually get all the attention. This stands to reason, but there is no denying that satellites are only half of the highly specialized technical apparatus that collects remotely sensed data and makes it available to scientists.


TMT International Observatory And Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) Sign Agreement On Hosting The Thirty Meter Telescope In La Palma, Spain
Source: TMT International Observatory (TIO)

Clearing a major milestone to construct and operate the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) in La Palma, Canary Islands, the TMT International Observatory (TIO) and Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC) signed a hosting agreement. While Maunakea in Hawaii continues to be the preferred choice for the location of the TMT, the hosting agreement defines how the alternative site will be available if Maunakea proves infeasible.


Video: Vulcan Centaur And Vulcan ACES: Building America’s Next Ride To Space
Source: United Launch Alliance (ULA)

Vulcan Centaur and Vulcan ACES are the future of U.S. rocket design and manufacturing. As the team prepares for Vulcan Centaur launch in 2019, the team looks ahead to key 2017 activities and milestones, including booster engine downselect, critical design review (CDR) and changes at the launch and production sites.


Video: Orion And The European Service Module
Source: ESA

NASA’s Orion spacecraft will take astronauts to destinations at or beyond low Earth orbit. In January 2013, it was announced that ESA would provide the European Service Module (ESM) for Orion’s first uncrewed mission. Derived from ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicle cargo spacecraft, the ESM will provide life support, propulsion and structural functions for Orion. In February 2017, a contract was signed for a second ESM to be used on Orion’s first crewed flight, which will carry astronauts beyond the Moon and back.


DoD Enhances Space Capabilities, Work Tells Symposium Audience
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The Defense Department is enhancing its space-based capabilities, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work told an audience of about 200 military and industry representatives yesterday at the 33rd Annual Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado.


Atmosphere Around Low-Mass Super-Earth Detected
Source: Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

Astronomers have detected an atmosphere around the super-Earth GJ 1132b. This marks the first detection of an atmosphere around a low-mass Super-Earth, in terms of radius and mass the most Earth-like planet around which an atmosphere has yet been detected.