February 11 – February 17, 2020

Officials Break Ground On World-Class NCAR Research Aviation Facility In Broomfield

Renderings of the new building that is being constructed at the Research Aviation Facility in Broomfield, Colorado. Image Credit: TreanorHL

February 15, 2020 – Construction starts this month on a major National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) facility, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), that will support aircraft flown on scientific field projects worldwide, leading to new advances in weather, climate, and air quality research. Read More


NASA Selects Rocket Lab To Launch CAPSTONE Mission

Updated illustration of NASA’s CAPSTONE CubeSat. The spacecraft design has changed since the mission contract award in September 2019. Image Credit: NASA

February 15, 2020 – NASA has selected Rocket Lab of Huntington Beach, California, to provide launch services for the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) CubeSat. Read More


New Horizons Team Discovers A Critical Piece Of The Planetary Formation Puzzle

The New Horizons spacecraft made the farthest exploration on record when it observed Kuiper Belt object Arrokoth. This composite image was compiled from data obtained by the NASA spacecraft as it flew past the object on January 1, 2019. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Roman Tkachenko

February 15, 2020 – Data from NASA’s New Horizons mission are providing new insights into how planets and planetesimals – the building blocks of the planets – were formed. Read More


OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter Malfunctions During Recent Flyover Of Backup Sample Collection Site

OSIRIS-REx orbit the asteroid Bennu. Image Credit: University of Arizona

February 15, 2020 – On February 11, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft safely executed a 0.4-mile (620-m) flyover of the backup sample collection site Osprey as part of the mission’s Reconnaissance B phase activities. Preliminary telemetry, however, indicates that the OSIRIS-REx Laser Altimeter (OLA) did not operate as expected during the 11-hour event. The OLA instrument was scheduled to provide ranging data to the spacecraft’s PolyCam imager, which would allow the camera to focus while imaging the area around the sample collection site. Consequently, the PolyCam images from the flyover are likely out of focus. Read More


NASA Selects 4 Possible Missions To Study The Secrets Of The Solar System

Artist concept of the solar system. Image Credit: NASA

February 15, 2020 – NASA has selected four Discovery Program investigations to develop concept studies for new missions. Although they’re not official missions yet and some ultimately may not be chosen to move forward, the selections focus on compelling targets and science that are not covered by NASA’s active missions or recent selections. Final selections will be made next year. Read More


Space Force Names First Senior Enlisted Advisor

Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman was selected by U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations Gen. John W. Raymond to serve has the first senior enlisted advisor of U.S. Space Force during a ceremony at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, February 13, 2020. Towberman will serve as a personal advisor to the Chief of Space Operations and Secretary of the Air Force on all issues regarding the welfare, readiness, morale, proper utilization and progress of the Space Force enlisted force and their families. Image Credit: U.S. Air Force/Wayne Clark

February 15, 2020 – Chief Master Sgt. Roger A. Towberman was tapped by Gen. Jay Raymond, U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations, to serve as the first senior enlisted advisor of the service. Read More


NASA Selects Colorado School Of Mines, Other University Teams To Build Tech For The Moon

Illustration of power, lighting and roving concepts operating in a lunar crater. Image Credit: NASA

February 15, 2020 – Almost a quarter of a million miles away from home, the Moon’s permanently shadowed regions are the closest extraterrestrial water source. These craters have remained dark for billions of years, but student-developed technologies can help shine light on all they have to offer. Read More


NOAA Takes Next Step Toward New Ideas For Future Satellites

An artist’s rendering of the NOAA-20 satellite. Image Credit: NOAA

February 15, 2020 – NOAA has completed a review of the many responses from two Broad Agency Announcements, or BAAs, seeking fresh ideas for new instrument technologies and concepts for future use on its next-generation geostationary, extended orbit, and polar-orbiting weather satellites. Read More


Ball Aerospace’s Dr. Gazarik Named AIAA Fellow

Dr. Mike Gazarik, vice president of Engineering, Ball Aerospace. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace

February 15, 2020 – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has recognized Dr. Mike Gazarik, Ball Aerospace’s vice president of Engineering, among its 2020 class of Fellows. AIAA confers the distinction of Fellow upon individuals in recognition of their notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences or technology of aeronautics and astronautics.  Read More


SwRI Models Hint At Longer Timescale For Mars Formation

A Southwest Research Institute team performed high-resolution, smoothed-particle simulations of a large, differentiated projectile hitting early Mars after its core and mantle had formed. The projectile’s core and mantle particles are indicated by brown and green spheres respectively, showing local concentrations of the projectile materials assimilated into the Martian mantle. Image Credit: Southwest Research Institute

February 12, 2020 – The early solar system was a chaotic place, with evidence indicating that Mars was likely struck by planetesimals, small protoplanets up to 1,200 miles in diameter, early in its history. Southwest Research Institute scientists modeled the mixing of materials associated with these impacts, revealing that the Red Planet may have formed over a longer timescale than previously thought. Read More


NASA Prepares For Moon And Mars With Addition To Its Deep Space Network

On February 11, 2020, NASA, JPL, military and local officials broke ground in Goldstone, California, for a new antenna in the agency’s Deep Space Network, which communicates with all its deep space missions. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

February 12, 2020 – Surrounded by California desert, NASA officials broke ground Tuesday, February 11, on a new antenna for communicating with the agency’s farthest-flung robotic spacecraft. Part of the Deep Space Network (DSN), the 112-foot-wide (34-meter-wide) antenna dish being built represents a future in which more missions will require advanced technology, such as lasers capable of transmitting vast amounts of data from astronauts on the Martian surface. As part of its Artemis program NASA will send the first woman and next man to the Moon by 2024, applying lessons learned there to send astronauts to Mars. Read More


Third Lockheed Martin-Built GPS III Satellite Delivered To Cape Canaveral For April Launch

Lockheed Martin shipped the U.S. Space Force’s third GPS III satellite to Cape Canaveral, Florida ahead of its expected April launch. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

February 12, 2020 – The nation’s third next-generation GPS III satellite – and the first delivered by Lockheed Martin to the new U.S. Space Force — has arrived in Florida for an expected April launch. Read More


Air Force’s Proposed $169 Billion Budget Includes Funding For Space Force

February 12, 2020 – The Department of the Air Force released a $169 billion budget proposal February 10, which for the first time includes funding for the newly created U.S. Space Force while also focusing funds to help both services modernize, address threats from Russia and China, and sustain readiness. Read More


United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Solar Orbiter To Study The Sun

Launch of the ESA/NASA Solar Orbiter mission to study the Sun from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Feb. 9, 2020. Image Credit: Jared Frankle

February 10, 2020 – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying Solar Orbiter, an international cooperative mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41on February 9 at 9:03 p.m. MST. This marks the 82nd successful launch of an Atlas V rocket and 137th launch for ULA. Read More


More News

Orion “Passengers” On Artemis I To Test Radiation Vest For Deep Space
Source: NASA


2020 Women In Aerospace Symposium Application
Source: University of Colorado Boulder


3 Up-And-Coming Researchers Win Prestigious Early-Career Award
Source: CU Boulder Today


CU Boulder Leads The Nation In Cubesat Launches
Source: LASP/CU-Boulder


ULA To Debut Unflown Variant Of Atlas 5 Rocket Later This Year
Source: Spaceflight Now


Solar Wind Samples Suggest New Physics Of Massive Solar Ejections
Source: University of Hawaii at Manoa


Earth’s Cousins: Upcoming Missions To Look For ‘Biosignatures’ In Exoplanet Atmospheres
Source: University of Washington


Ten Things We’ve Learned About The Sun From NASA’s SDO This Decade
Source: NASA


NASA JPL InSight-Mars Cube One Teams To Receive 2020 John L. “Jack” Swigert, Jr. Award For Space Exploration
Source: Space Foundation


SpaceX’s Crew Dragon Delivered To Cape Canaveral For First Flight With Astronauts
Source: Spaceflight Now


Q&A With Astronaut Matthew Dominick
Source: Wheat Ridge Transcript


National Guard Generals: America Needs A Space Guard
Source: Military.com


From Dubai To Mars, With Stops In Colorado And Japan
Source: The New York Times


‘Pale Blue Dot’ Revisited
Source: NASA


Antares Lofts Cygnus On 13th ISS Resupply Flight
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com


Astranis Raises $90 Million In Debt And Equity Ahead Of First Launch
Source: SpaceNews


NASA’s SOFIA Airborne Observatory Faces Termination Again
Source: SpaceNews


Northrop Grumman To Develop Jam-Resistant Payload For U.S. Military Communications Satellites
Source: SpaceNews


Iceye Establishes U.S. Office, Considers U.S. Manufacturing
Source: SpaceNews


Breakthrough Listen Scans Milky Way Galaxy For Beacons Of Civilization
Source: Berkeley News


ESO Telescope Sees Surface Of Dim Betelgeuse
Source: ESO


Mars 2020 Rover Goes Coast-To-Coast To Prep For Launch
Source: NASA/JPL


One Step Closer: NASA And Collins Aerospace Advance Technology For Safe Operation Of Unmanned Aircraft In The National Airspace System
Source: Collins Aerospace


Space Commerce Office Seeks Major Budget Increase
Source: Parabolic Arc


SpaceShip Two Unity Moved To New Mexico
Source: Parabolic Arc


Three Aerospace Students Honored With Matthew Isakowitz Fellowships
Source: University of Colorado Boulder


Researchpalooza 2020 Winners And Honorable Mentions
Source: University of Colorado Boulder


Spaceflight Industries Signs Definitive Agreement To Sell Spaceflight, Its Rideshare Launch Services Provider, To Japan’s Mitsui & Co., Ltd And Yamasa Co., Ltd
Source: Spaceflight Industries


ESA Lunar Ice Drill And Lab
Source: The Space Resource


NASA Highlights Science On 20th SpaceX Resupply Mission
Source: NASA


Explorers Wanted: NASA To Hire More Artemis Generation Astronauts
Source: NASA


RIT Scientists Discover The Nearest-Known ‘Baby Giant Planet’
Source: Rochester Institute of Technology


Lagrange Mission To Provide Solar Warning
Source: ESA


NASA Administrator Statement On Moon To Mars Initiative, FY 2021 Budget
Source: NASA


White House Requests Significant NASA Budget Increase To Fund Artemis Program
Source: SpaceNews


Space Foundation Recognizes China And The International Space Station In Announcing The Two 2020 Space Achievement Award Recipients
Source: Space Foundation


Qarman CubeSat: Falling Into A Fireball
Source: ESA


I Heart Pluto Festival To Celebrate 90th Anniversary Of Pluto’s Discovery
Source: Discover Flagstaff