August 16, 2017

CDOT Encouraging Eclipse Watchers To Be Careful, Plan Ahead

August 16, 2017 – The Colorado Department of Transportation is doing everything it can to ensure that people who are driving to Wyoming or Nebraska to view the totality of the solar eclipse on Monday are safe and will be able to get where they are going. Read More

NOAA Satellites To Capture Total Solar Eclipse

Image Credit: NOAA

August 16, 2017 – While most of America will be looking up on August 21 during the solar eclipse, America’s newest weather satellite, NOAA’s GOES-16, will be looking down on the earth, tracking the moon’s shadow across the United States with its highly sophisticated Advanced Baseline Imager. The satellite’s imager will provide three, high-resolution, color animations and still pictures of the eclipse. Read More

Atlas V With TDRS-M Rolled To Launch Pad

Image Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

August 16, 2017 – A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket rolled out of the Vertical Integration Facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida today on its way to Space Launch Complex 41. The rocket will send NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite, TDRS-M to orbit. Read More

Blue Canyon Technologies To Provide CubeSat For DeMi Mission

Image Credit: Blue Canyon Technologies

August 16, 2017 – Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has been awarded a contract by Aurora Flight Sciences to build and test a new 6U-class CubeSat bus for the Deformable Mirror (DeMi) demonstration mission led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Space Telecommunications, Astronomy and Radiation (STAR) Laboratory and funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Read More

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Water Ice Found Near Mars’s Equator Could Entice Colonists And Life-Seekers
Source: Science

Scientists have discovered substantial deposits of water ice buried in shallow soils near Mars’s equator. The find could spur hopes for astrobiologists seeking life on Mars or future colonists seeking a supply of water, but it also raises a mystery for climate scientists.

Mars 2020 Mission To Use Smart Methods To Seek Signs Of Past Life
Source: Goldschmidt Conference

NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, which will look for signs of past life on Mars, will use smart methods originally developed to find the oldest life on Earth, according the mission’s Deputy Project Scientist, Dr Ken Williford. New scientific methods for searching for the most ancient evidence for life on Earth have led to a leap forward in capabilities for biosignature detection.

Smallsat Developers Propose Self-Regulation To Address Orbital Debris Concerns
Source: SpaceNews

As the number of cubesats and other small satellites grows, experts advise that some degree of industry self-regulation will be needed to avoid collisions that could lead to more restrictive government regulations.

Cosmonaut Duo Set For Busy Spacewalk To Deploy Satellites, Collect Samples & Install Experiments
Source: Spaceflight 101

Two Russian Cosmonauts are set to venture outside the International Space Station on Thursday on a planned spacewalk of six hours and five minutes dedicated to a variety of tasks on the exterior of the Russian Segment.

Proton-M Thunders Into The Night With Blagovest High-Capacity Military Communications Satellite
Source: Spaceflight 101

Russia’s Proton rocket thundered off from the remote Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday night on a hush-hush mission with a highly-capable communications satellite exploiting a novel radio frequency band that enables high-bandwidth communications to be used by the Russian military and commercial entities. Known as Blagovest 11L, the satellite is the first in a constellation of four multi-band satellites, officially intended for “Russian domestic services.”

Best Places To Watch The Eclipse In Colorado Springs

The solar eclipse is getting closer and closer with August 21st now less than a week away! Pretty much anywhere you can see the sun should give you a good view, but with the natural beauty of Colorado Springs, we have a leg up on most places for something really spectacular to look at! Here are just a few suggestions we have to get a nice dose of the eclipse combined with some natural beauty!

Megamovie App Makes Photographing Total Eclipse A Snap
Source: Berkeley News

The Eclipse Megamovie project has released an app that makes it easy for citizen scientists with smart phones to photograph the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse and upload the images to the project, a collaboration between the University of California, Berkeley, and Google to provide a lasting photo archive for scientists studying the sun’s corona.

Building Off US Law To Create An International Registry Of Extraterrestrial Mining Claims
Source: The Space Review

In 2015, Congress passed the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (hereafter, “the Act”), which gave formal legal support to commercial activity in space.1 Title IV of the Act, which establishes property rights for extraterrestrial resources, is a boon to companies like Planetary Resources and Deep Space Industries, both of which have plans to mine asteroids.2 But while the Act has displayed Congressional intent to support space miners, it is still unclear how mining rights in space will be defined.

Satellite Imaging Team Wins CO-LABS Governor’s Award
Source: Colorado State University

A Colorado State University-based team that works on the nation’s newest weather satellite has been awarded the CO-LABS Governor’s Award for High-Impact Research. The team, part of CSU’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere (CIRA), is led by CIRA research scientist Steven Miller, in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NASA’s ICESat-2 Preps For Laser Tests
Source: NASA

Lasers that will fly on NASA’s Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2, or ICESat-2, are about to be put to the test at the agency’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. They are a part of the sole ICESat-2 instrument — the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) — that will measure the elevation of ice sheets, sea ice and glaciers by sending fast-firing laser pulses to the surface and timing how long it takes individual photons to return.

CO-LABS Announces Winners Of 2017 Governor’s Awards For High-Impact Research
Source: CO-LABS

From the quantum realm of bioscience to the vanguard of atmospheric physics, from the technology advancing brilliant manufacturing to crucial new assessments of severe weather – come join the premier scientific research recognition event in Colorado with over 200 researchers, entrepreneurs, business leaders and government officials as we celebrate the exceptional and groundbreaking work of scientists and engineers from Colorado’s federally-funded research labs.

NASA Protects Its Super Heroes From Space Weather
Source: NASA

It’s not a bird or a plane but it might be a solar storm. We like to think of astronauts as our super heroes, but the reality is astronauts are not built like Superman who gains strength from the sun. In fact, much of the energy radiating from the sun is harmful to us mere mortals.

Our Drones Take To The Sky With A New Launch System
Source: Dynaerotech

DynAeroTech designed a new launcher for our fixed-wing commercial drones. Our 2017 summer intern from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Michael Franta, has been working with our research & development division (DynAeroWorx) on the project. He worked under the direction of our Lead Research Engineer, Jordan Gwinn, in getting proper dimensions for flight launch testing. The test launches were successful and DynAeroTech hopes to integrate this system into our continued operations soon.

The Role Of Norms Of Behavior In Preparing For A Normalized Space Domain
Source: Secure World Foundation

Recently, there has been increasing talk of space becoming a “normalized” domain of human activities, and thus similar in nature to land, sea, and air domains. While some of the advocates of this normalization emphasize the potential for military conflict to extend into space, space is also becoming more globalized, commercial, transparent, and interdependent. SWF Director of Program Planning Dr. Brian Weeden gave a presentation discussing these trends and their implications at the weekly Pentagon Joint Space Team meeting on August 16, 2017, in Washington, DC.

NanoRacks Brings Over 30 Payloads To ISS, Including Landmark Kaber Satellite And First-Ever Boy Scouts Of America Experiment
Source: NanoRacks

SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft successfully berthed to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday after their twelfth commercial resupply (CRS) mission launched from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Complex 39A in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The CRS-12 Dragon carried 32 of NanoRacks’ customer payloads to the ISS.

NASA-Led Airborne Mission Studies Storm Intensification In Northern Hemisphere
Source: NASA

A group of NASA and National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists are teaming up this month for an airborne mission focused on studying severe storm processes and intensification. The Hand-On Project Experience (HOPE) Eastern Pacific Origins and Characteristics of Hurricanes (EPOCH) field campaign will utilize NASA’s Global Hawk autonomous aircraft to study storms in the Northern Hemisphere to learn more about how storms intensify as they brew out over the ocean.

Dragon Installed To Station For Month Of Cargo Swaps
Source: NASA

The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was berthed to the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 9:07 a.m. EDT. The hatch between the newly arrived spacecraft and the Harmony module of the space station is scheduled to be opened as soon as later today.

TDRS-M To Continue Vital Communications Link To Space
Source: NASA

In spaceflight, communication is crucial. Whether it’s the International Space Station linking to the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston or interstellar images being transmitted to Earth by the Hubble Space Telescope, the vital link is NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) system.

Thoughts On Commercial Space, Part IIC
Source: George Sowers

The next wave of commercial space began in 1991 with the establishment of Iridium. The idea was conceived in the late 1980’s by engineers at Motorola to provide satellite phone service to the globe. The project attracted investment from many industry giants including Lockheed Martin (LM), Sprint and Sony. But it was Motorola that footed most of the bill. Iridium was the first of the low earth orbit constellations to be proposed and one of the few to be fielded.

NASA Science-Enabling Relay Satellite Poised For Launch Atop Atlas 5 Rocket
Source: Spaceflight Now

Resembling a cocooned insect with antennas and appendages tucked snuggly to its body for launch, NASA’s latest communications relay hub will be shot into space Friday to blossom in geosynchronous orbit for routing signals to and from the International Space Station, the Hubble Space Telescope and three dozen science observatories. The $408 million Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M, or TDRS-M, will be sent aloft aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket. Liftoff from Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral is scheduled for 8:03 a.m. EDT (1203 GMT).

What To Do If Your Solar Eclipse Glasses Won’t Arrive In Time

If you won’t have eclipse glasses in time for the total solar eclipse that will cross the United States on Aug. 21, here are your options for getting them in a hurry or viewing the eclipse another way.

Studying Our 27 Million Degree Neighbor
Source: Rick Ambrose

I feel fortunate to work at a company that studies the Sun all day, every day. Not just from our driveways and yards, but through complex instruments we develop at Lockheed Martin. At our Advanced Technology Center in Silicon Valley, we design key instruments like the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) aboard NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory that has taken over 100 million images of the Sun and its magnetic storms. We have also designed and built the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) for NASA and the Solar Ultraviolet Imager for GOES-16.

Google Lunar XPRIZE Offers $4.75 Million To Teams Who Complete In-Space Milestones On Way To The Moon
Source: Google Lunar XPRIZE

Today, XPRIZE and Google announce that $4.75M in additional Milestone Prize money will be available to Google Lunar XPRIZE finalist teams for achieving technological milestones along the way to the Moon. Teams can compete for one or both of the prizes. Additionally, a mission completion deadline has been set for March 31, 2018.

Curiosity On Mars: Less Driving For Now, More Science
Source: Leonard David’s Inside Outer Space

Now in Sol 1787, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is commissioned to do less driving, more science. That’s the word from Michael Battalio, an atmospheric scientist from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.