December 1 – December 8, 2018

Planetary Defense: The Bennu Experiment

This artist’s concept shows the Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security – Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft contacting the asteroid Bennu with the Touch-And-Go Sample Arm Mechanism or TAGSAM. The mission aims to return a sample of Bennu’s surface coating to Earth for study as well as return detailed information about the asteroid and it’s trajectory. Image Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

December 7, 2018 – On December 3, after traveling billions of kilometers from Earth, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached its target, Bennu, and kicked off a nearly two-year, up-close investigation of the asteroid. It will inspect nearly every square inch of this ancient clump of rubble left over from the formation of our solar system. Ultimately, the spacecraft will pick up a sample of pebbles and dust from Bennu’s surface and deliver it to Earth in 2023. Read More


Student-Built Rocket Tops 14,000 Feet And Sound Barrier

Image Credit: University of Colorado Boulder

December 7, 2018 – The University of Colorado Boulder student group the Colorado Boulder Rocketry Association (COBRA) successfully launched its Copperhead rocket to an altitude of 14,583 feet Sunday at 10:50 a.m. MST. Read More


Everette Joseph Is Named NCAR Director

Everette Joseph has been named director of NCAR. Image Credit: University at Albany

December 7, 2018 – Everette Joseph was named director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research today, following a rigorous international search. He joins NCAR from the University at Albany, State University of New York, where he is director of the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center. Joseph will assume his new post on February 4. Read More


Mathematician Inducted Into Space And Missiles Pioneers Hall Of Fame

Dr. Gladys West is inducted into the Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Hall of Fame during a ceremony in her honor at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 2018. West was among the so-called “Hidden Figures” part of the team who did computing for the U.S. military in the era before electronic systems. The Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Hall of Fame is one of Air Force’s Space Commands Highest Honors. Image Credit: Adrian Cadiz

December 7, 2018 – Lt. Gen. David Thompson, Air Force Space Command vice commander, presented Dr. Gladys West with the Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers award for her decades of contributions to the Air Force’s space program. West was unable to attend the formal induction ceremony that took place August 28, where three others joined the elite list of professionals who have greatly impacted the Air Force space program. Read More


United Launch Alliance To Launch NROL-71 In Support Of National Security

December 5, 2018 – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) will lift-off from Space Launch Complex-6 on December 7 at 8:19 p.m. PT. Designated NROL-71, the mission is in support of our country’s national defense missions. Read More


2nd SOPS Reaches GPS Milestone With AEP 7.5 Command

Paul Bowman, 2nd Space Operations Squadron Network Administrative Operator, monitors operations during 2nd SOP’s command of Architecture Evolution Plan 7.5 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Nov. 16, 2018. AEP 7.5 is the largest GPS architectural change in operational history, and paves the way for the installation of AEP 8.0, which will deliver the capability to command and control GPS III satellite vehicles. Image Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman William Tracy

December 5, 2018 – The 2nd Space Operations Squadron took formal command of Architecture Evolution Plan 7.5, the largest GPS architectural change in operational history, after its successful installation at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, November 16, 2018. Read More


‘Beam’ Your Greeting To New Horizons

Image Credit: JHUAPL/NASA

December 5, 2018 – NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has traveled 13 years to reach the heart of the Kuiper Belt – but you can get there in a matter of hours! In 2005, more than 430,000 people signed up online to place their names on New Horizons for its trek to Pluto and beyond. Now, with the intrepid spacecraft in the “beyond” phase of its voyage and poised to conduct the farthest planetary flyby ever, NASA’s New Horizons mission team is offering the public another chance to send a message to New Horizons on its historic exploration of Ultima Thule — an ancient Kuiper Belt object a billion miles farther than Pluto! Read More


University of Alaska, GeoNorth Information Systems, Lockheed Martin Partner To Collect Arctic Surveillance Data For The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

December 5, 2018 – The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) awarded GeoNorth Information Systems (GNIS) a five-year, $15 million contract for persistent surveillance services of the Arctic region. Lockheed Martin will provide a scalable geospatial processing platform to enable the surveillance project. Read More


Record Setting Course-Correction Puts New Horizons On Track To Kuiper Belt Flyby

This composite image of Ultima Thule was taken just 33 hours before the Dec. 2, 2018, course-correction maneuver that fine-tuned New Horizons’ trajectory for its New Year’s 2019 flyby. At left is the full Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) image (an average of 10 individual 30-second exposures) with a yellow circle centered on the location of Ultima Thule. Unlike the LORRI images taken in August through October 2018, Ultima is now evident among the many background stars even without further processing. Nevertheless, Ultima really stands out after subtracting the background stars; the region within the yellow box has been expanded in the star-subtracted version of the image on the right (many artifacts from the imperfect star subtractions are visible in this difference image). Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

December 4, 2018 – With just 29 days to go before making space exploration history, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft performed a short but record-setting course-correction maneuver on December 2 that refined its path toward Ultima Thule, the Kuiper Belt object it will fly by on January 1. Read More


High-School Students Around The U.S. Take Virtual STEM Field Trip To Lockheed Martin’s Famous Skunk Works

Lockheed Martin Senior Manager, Conceptual Design Brian Hershberger engages with students during today’s “virtual field trip.” Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

December 4, 2018 – High-school students took a virtual field trip today to Lockheed Martin Skunk Works where they learned about five advanced technology developments being pioneered by the Lockheed Martin engineers and scientists, or “skunks,” who work there. The virtual learning experience was designed to introduce students to the exciting work a career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) can offer. Read More


Ball Aerospace To Build Prototype Data Processing Framework For U.S. Air Force’s FORGE Program

Image Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.

December 4, 2018 – Ball Aerospace was selected to build an adaptable, open-source framework testbed to support ground processing needs for the U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC). This prototype works with third-party processing applications and helps visualize the time-critical processing performance in satellite ground systems, ensuring timely and reliable missile warnings, battlespace awareness and technical intelligence. Read More


Blue Canyon Technologies Hardware Guides MarCO CubeSats For Historic Relay From Mars

Blue Canyon Technologies’ (BCT) XACT Attitude Control Systems. Image Credit: Blue Canyon Technologies

December 4, 2018 – While people around planet Earth were eagerly listening to the events unfold with NASA JPL’s InSight Lander on Mars, NASA JPL’s MarCO CubeSats were busy making history themselves by relaying, in real-time, the telemetry from InSight back to Earth. Read More


Record Launch Delivers Two LASP CubeSats To Orbit

Falcon 9 launches 64 payloads to orbit for the Spaceflight SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission. Image Credit: SpaceX

December 3, 2018 – Two miniature satellites designed and built at the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) were part of a record-breaking launch today on Spaceflight’s SSO-A: SmallSat Express mission, the largest single rideshare mission from a U.S.-based launch vehicle to date. In all, 64 satellites were placed in sun-synchronous low Earth orbit via a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Read More


OSIRIS-REx Begins Proximity Operations At Bennu

The mapping of the near-Earth asteroid Bennu is one of the science goals of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, and an integral part of spacecraft operations. The spacecraft will spend more than a year surveying Bennu before collecting a sample that will be returned to Earth for analysis. Image Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona

December 3, 2018 – OSIRIS-REx has arrived at asteroid Bennu. On December 3, the spacecraft completed its two-year, multimillion-mile cruise phase to come within 12 miles (20 km) of Bennu. The arrival marks the start of proximity operations, the up-close science phase of the mission. Read More


CU Boulder Scientists To Help Measure The Mass Of Asteroid Bennu

December 3, 2018 – This morning, NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft closed in on asteroid Bennu and began proximity operations. OSIRIS-REx will spend the next year and a half scanning and mapping the asteroid in preparation for a pristine sample collection to be returned to Earth in 2023. Read More


Blue Canyon Technologies Awarded Phase 1 Contract Of DARPA’s Blackjack Program

December 2, 2018 – Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) has been awarded a $1.54 million contract for Phase 1 – Architecture and Design of a spacecraft for the highly sought-after Blackjack Program, a military space capabilities demonstration developed by The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). BCT will design an ESPA-class micro-satellite using their state-of-the-art commoditized FleXbus spacecraft architecture. The spacecraft will feature BCT’s flight-proven integrated avionics and precise attitude control. BCT’s focus will be on the development of the systems requirements and preliminary designs, culminating in the Preliminary Design Review (PDR). Read More


More News

NASA InSight Lander ‘Hears’ Martian Winds
Source: NASA/JPL


Second Ground Test Of Launch Abort Motor For NASA’s Orion Spacecraft
Source: Northrop Grumman


Jupiter’s North Equatorial Belt
Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Björn Jónsson


The INSPIRE Story: From Inception To Five Satellites
Source: LASP


NASA’s Mars InSight Flexes Its Arm
Source: NASA


Catalyst Space Accelerator Wins Colorado Business Roundtable Award
Source: Globe NewsWire News Distribution Service


La Junta Municipal Airport Receives Award
Source: La Junta Tribune-Democrat


Health Experiments Launch For Space Station
Source: University of Colorado Boulder


Maxar Technologies Closes $70 Million Real Estate Transaction
Source: Maxar Technologies Ltd.


An Exoplanet Inflated Like A Balloon
Source: University of Geneva (UNIGE)


Astra Space Suborbital Launch Fails
Source: SpaceNews


Unknown Treasure Trove Of Planets Found Hiding In Dust
Source: University of Arizona


Coverage Set For Russian Spacewalk At International Space Station
Source: NASA


CU Experts Have A Hand In Popular Geographic Series ‘Mars’
Source: University of Colorado Boulder


NASA Space Communications And Navigation: Supporting Exploration
Source: NASA


PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut Candidates Test Novel Space Suits And Biometric Monitoring Systems In Zero-G With The National Research Council Of Canada
Source: Project PoSSUM Inc.


Launch Delayed To ISS, Lakewood Experiment On Board
Source: CBS Denver


Mantle Neon Illuminates Earth’s Formation
Source: University of California – Davis


Bringing Balance To The Universe: New Theory Could Explain Missing 95 Percent Of The Cosmos
Source: University of Oxford


11 Highlights From Maxar’s First Year Of Accelerating Innovation For The New Space Economy
Source: Maxar Technologies


NASA Sends New Research, Hardware To Space Station On SpaceX Mission
Source: NASA


NASA, National Science Foundation Announce Support For White House STEM Engagement Plan
Source: NASA


COSINE-100 Experiment Investigates Dark Matter Mystery
Source: Yale University


‘Blueberries’ On Mars Have A Watery Past. But Scientists Are Still Baffled.
Source: Space.com


Northrop Develops Late Load Approach For Antares, Cygnus Space Cargo
Source: ExecutiveBiz


Directions 2019: GPS Program Looks Toward GPS III Launch
Source: GPS World


First Light For SPECULOOS
Source: ESO


Ariane 5 Conducts Dual Passenger Launch With CSAT-11 And GEO-KOMPSAT-2A
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com


Falcon 9 Successfully Lofts CRS-16 Dragon Enroute To ISS — Booster Spins Out But Soft Lands In Water
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com


Applications Open For Space Communications Cohort
Source: The Colorado Springs Business Journal


China Gets Ready To Launch World’s First Lunar Farside Lander
Source: SpacePolicyOnline.com


Bush Remembered For Role Shaping Post-Cold War Space Policy
Source: SpaceNews


SpaceX Can’t Catch Falling Nose Cone — But Still Plans To Reuse It
Source: Space.com


Tuning In To Your Local Celestial Radio Show
Source: NASA


Double Trouble: A White Dwarf Surprises Astronomers
Source: Chandra X-Ray Center


RUAG Space USA Begins Production On U.S.-Made First Flight Hardware
Source: SpaceRef


NASA-Funded Twin Rockets To Tag Team The Cusp
Source: NASA


UK Ends Galileo Talks, Says It Will Explore A Homegrown Alternative
Source: SpaceNews


Wilson: Air Force Staying Focused On Space Mission As Reorganization Looms
Source: SpaceNews


Bush’s Legacy Of Space Exploration Felt In Southern Colorado
Source: KRDO


AI Robot CIMON Debuts At International Space Station
Source: Space.com


25th Anniversary Of NASA’s First Hubble Servicing Mission
Source: NASA


The ‘Camera That Saved Hubble’ Turns 25
Source: JPL


Longmont’s Left Hand Robotics Has Created A Snow Clearing Robot
Source: ColoradoInno


Synopsis: Satellite Mishap Provides Chance For Relativity Test
Source: APS


Maxar Schedules Spending Break After WorldView Legion Completion
Source: SpaceNews


‘We Would Like To See How The First Stars Were Born’: NASA’s New Telescope
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald


Uneven Rates Of Sea Level Rise Tied To Climate Change
Source: CIRES


Maxar’s MDA Selected To Provide Subsystem Designs For Next-Generation International Mars Rover Mission
Source: Maxar Technologies Ltd.


Millennium Space Systems Completes Successful ALTAIR Pathfinder Mission
Source: Millenium Space Systems


HawkEye 360 Announces Successful Launch Of First Three Satellites
Source: HawkEye 360, Inc.


Capella Space Is First American Company To Send Advanced Commercial Radar Satellite To Space
Source: Capella Space


Launch Success, ICEYE-X2 SAR Satellite Communications Established
Source: ICEYE


Planning The New Horizons Exploration Of Ultima Thule
Source: Sky & Telescope/Alan Stern


CSU Scientist To Help With NASA Mission To Measure The World’s Forests In Three Dimensions
Source: Colorado State University


We’re At Bennu! What’s Next?
Source: University of Arizona


Jun Ye And Deborah Jin Named 2018 Highly Cited Researchers
Source: JILA


The Water In Saturn’s Rings And Satellites Is Like That On Earth Except For Saturn’s Moon Phoebe, Which Is Out Of This World
Source: Planetary Science Institute


NASA Mission Supports Launch Of CubeSats Built By Students
Source: NASA


First Person: Dante Lauretta
Source: American Scientist


Combination Of Space-Based And Ground-Based Telescopes Reveals More Than 100 Exoplanets
Source: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan


Space Probe Scoops Up CU Boulder Graduates
Source: University of Colorado Boulder


STEREO Reveals Solar Corona In Hi-Fi
Source: Southwest Research Institute


Understanding How To Deflect Dangerous Space Rubble
Source: Southwest Research Institute


LIGO And Virgo Announce Four New Detections
Source: LIGO Lab/Caltech


Scientists Detect Biggest Known Black-Hole Collision
Source: Australian National University


Scientists Uncover New Properties Of Black Holes
Source: Northwestern University


12 Years After Launch, New Horizons Probe Zeroes In On Ultima Thule
Source: GeekWire


NASA Astronaut Anne McClain And Crewmates Arrive Aboard Space Station
Source: NASA


NASA Astronaut Nick Hague Set For New Space Station Mission After Abort
Source: NASA


InSight Lander Begins Operations On Mars With Highly-Capable Robotic Arm Built By Maxar’s SSL
Source: Maxar Technologies Ltd.


SpaceX Rocket Makes Historic 3rd Launch Into Space With 64 Satellites On Board
Source: Space.com


Russia Launches 1st Crewed Soyuz Rocket To Space Station Since Dramatic Abort
Source: Space.com


Charting A Course For Astronaut Safety As NASA Heads To Moon, Mars
Source: NASA


Lunar Outpost Unveils Lunar Resource Prospector
Source: Lunar Outpost


NASA Awards Optical Telescope Assembly For Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope Mission
Source: NASA


GEDI Scientists Share Space Laser Excitement
Source: NASA


Hubble Celebrates 25 Years Since First Repair Mission In Space
Source: NASA


Mars Society Establishing New Chapter In Chile
Source: The Mars Society


Space Force Proposal Could Create A Broader Military Department For Both Air And Space
Source: SpaceNews


Live Coverage: Russia Preps For First Crewed Mission Since Aborted Launch
Source: Spaceflight Now


Russian, U.S. Spaceships Get Ready For Launch Ahead Of Spacewalk
Source: NASA


NASA Administrator Statement On Passing Of George H.W. Bush
Source: NASA