August 15, 2017

Ten Spacecraft Track Solar Storm Through Space

August 15, 2017 – Ten spacecraft, from ESA’s Venus Express to NASA’s Voyager-2, felt the effect of a solar eruption as it washed through the solar system while three other satellites watched, providing a unique perspective on this space weather event. Read More

NASA Television To Air Launch Of Next Communications Satellite

Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M is the latest spacecraft destined for the agency’s constellation of communications satellites that allows nearly continuous contact with orbiting spacecraft ranging from the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope to the array of scientific observatories. Image Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

August 15, 2017 – NASA is targeting 8:03 a.m. EDT Friday, August 18, for the launch of its next Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) mission atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch, and related activities that begin Thursday, August 17, will air live on NASA Television and the agency’s website. Read More

CYGNSS Wins AIAA SmallSat Mission Of The Year

CYGNSS microsatellite observatories in orbit. Image Credit: Southwest Research Institute

August 15, 2017 – NASA’s Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) won the “Mission of the Year” award at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) 2017 Small Satellite Conference. CYGNSS, a constellation of eight microsatellite spacecraft built and operated by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), was launched into low-inclination, low-Earth orbit over the tropics in December 2016. Read More

Blue Canyon Technologies To Provide CubeSat For University Of Colorado Mission

Image Credit: Blue Canyon Technologies

August 15, 2017 – Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has been awarded a contract by the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) to build a new 6U-class CubeSat bus for the Compact Spectral Irradiance Monitor Flight Demonstration (CSIM FD) mission. Read More

More News:

Cosmic Magnifying Lens Reveals Inner Jets Of Black Holes
Source: California Institute of Technology

Astronomers using Caltech’s Owens Valley Radio Observatory (OVRO) have found evidence for a bizarre lensing system in space, in which a large assemblage of stars is magnifying a much more distant galaxy containing a jet-spewing supermassive black hole. The discovery provides the best view yet of blobs of hot gas that shoot out from supermassive black holes.

New Thruster Design Increases Efficiency For Future Spaceflight
Source: American Institute of Physics

Hall thrusters (HTs) are used in earth-orbiting satellites, and also show promise to propel robotic spacecraft long distances, such as from Earth to Mars. The propellant in a HT, usually xenon, is accelerated by an electric field which strips electrons from neutral xenon atoms, creating a plasma. Plasma ejected from the exhaust end of the thruster can deliver great speeds, typically around 70,000 mph.

UNC Student Project Selected To Be Aboard NASA Balloon During Solar Eclipse
Source: University of Northern Colorado

A unique project conceived and designed by UNC Physics and Astronomy students will be aboard a NASA high-altitude balloon that will be launched during the solar eclipse Aug. 21. Seniors and military veterans Josh Fender, Justin Morse and John Ringler will spend the first day of fall classes witnessing the launch from Camp Guernsey in southeastern Wyoming, which is in the path of the full eclipse. From the ground, they’ll monitor their specialized detector that, for the first time during a total eclipse, will measure muons, particles created from collisions with cosmic rays in Earth’s atmosphere.

Amazon Offers Refund On Potentially Unprotective Solar Eclipse Glasses
Source: Mashable

With a week until 2017’s much-anticipated total solar eclipse, Amazon has recalled several eclipse glasses sold on its site over concerns they may not have come from trusted manufacturers.

Map Shows What Eclipse Will Look Like In Colorado And Across The Country
Source: FOX31 Denver

The eclipse of the century is fast approaching on Monday — and it will be a show for the ages. It has been nearly 100 years since a total eclipse has moved from coast to coast across the United States. This one will be unique, as it travels more than 3,000 miles over land, where tens of millions of Americans will be able to view it, a vast difference from many eclipses that occur over oceans or remote regions of Earth.

Eclipse Sunglasses Nearly Sold Out, Optometrists Concerned

All but one southern Colorado Walmart Supercenter is completely sold out of American Astronomical Society-approved eclipse sunglasses. The Space Foundation Discovery Center is all out, too, along with the Pikes Peak Library District at all branches.

NASA Studies CubeSat Mission To Solve Venusian Mystery
Source: NASA

Venus looks bland and featureless in visible light, but change the filter to ultraviolet, and Earth’s twin suddenly looks like a different planet. Dark and light areas stripe the sphere, indicating that something is absorbing ultraviolet wavelengths in the planet’s cloud tops.

Suomi NPP And The Solar Eclipse On August 21 2017
Source: CIMSS Satellite Blog

The paths that Polar Orbiting satellites take around the Earth are predictable, and the prediction for next Monday, 21 August 2017 is shown above (image courtesy Rick Kohrs, SSEC). Note that Suomi NPP has an ascending orbit passing over the eastern part of the USA, from Florida to Michigan, at predicted times of 1830-1834 UTC on 21 August 2017. At 1832 UTC, Suomi NPP should be over the Great Smoky Mountains.

Video: Mission Profile – Atlas V Peregrine
Source: United Launch Alliance

Astrobotic’s Peregrine Lunar Lander will launch onboard a ULA launch vehicle in 2019, during the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11. This effort is a big step in realizing Astrobotic’s goal of creating a Rust Belt based international gateway to the Moon. The Peregrine Lunar Lander will fly 35 kilograms of customer payloads on its first mission, with the option to upgrade to 265 kilograms on future missions.

Video: Atlas V TDRS-M Mission Profile
Source: United Launch Alliance

An Atlas V 401 rocket will launch the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M) into a geosynchronous transfer orbit. Liftoff will occur from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. ULA is proud to partner with NASA to deliver these vital space communication satellites to orbit. ULA’s Atlas rocket was used for the second generation series and will complete the three satellite third generation series with the launch of TDRS-M.

Meet The Woman Behind The Dream Chaser Spaceship
Source: ShareAmerica

The American-made Dream Chaser spaceship will one day take astronauts and supplies into space. And the woman leading that effort is businesswoman Eren Ozmen. She is co-owner and president of Sierra Nevada Corporation, a space systems and technologies company that is making the Dream Chaser, a more versatile version of earlier space shuttles.

Girls In Aviation Day
Source: Mile High Chapter Women in Aviation

During the event, girls are going to be able to get “hands on” in many different fascets of aviation from learning how a propeller is made, see and hear how an engine runs, shoot rivets into sheet metal, connect safety wire, learn about and interact with different avionics instruments, climb into actual small planes and jets, and much more.

DigitalGlobe Signs $83M Deal With Australian Defense Department
Source: Denver Business Journal

DigitalGlobe Inc. said it’s signed a deal with Australia’s defense department that’s worth $83 million.