February 13, 2018

NASA’s Lunar Outpost Will Extend Human Presence In Deep Space

Image Credit: NASA

February 13, 2018 – As NASA sets its sights on returning to the Moon, and preparing for Mars, the agency is developing new opportunities in lunar orbit to provide the foundation for human exploration deeper into the solar system. For months, the agency has been studying an orbital outpost concept in the vicinity of the Moon with U.S. industry and the International Space Station partners. As part of the fiscal year 2019 budget proposal, NASA is planning to build the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway in the 2020s. Read More

Eclipse Season Begins For NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory

On Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, NASA’s SDO saw a total solar eclipse in space. These images were taken in a wavelength of extreme ultraviolet light, a type of light that is typically invisible to our eyes, but is colorized here in purple. Image Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO/Joy Ng

February 13, 2018 – On Sunday, February 11, 2018, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) saw a total solar eclipse in space when Earth crossed its view of the Sun. Also known as a transit, Earth’s passage was brief, lasting from 12:10 a.m. to 12:41 a.m. MST and covering the entire face of the Sun. Read More

A Song Of Ice And Light

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

February 13, 2018 – Saturn’s moon Enceladus drifts before the rings and the tiny moon Pandora in this view that NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured on November 1, 2009. The entire scene is backlit by the Sun, providing striking illumination for the icy particles that make up both the rings and the jets emanating from the south pole of Enceladus, which is about 314 miles (505 km) across. Read More

Farewell To A Pioneering Pollution Sensor

TES collected spectral “signatures,” illustrated here, of ozone and other gases in the lower atmosphere. Image Credit: NASA

February 13, 2018 – On January 31, NASA ended the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer’s (TES) almost 14-year career of discovery. Launched in 2004 on NASA’s Aura spacecraft, TES was the first instrument designed to monitor ozone in the lowest layers of the atmosphere directly from space. Its high-resolution observations led to new measurements of atmospheric gases that have altered our understanding of the Earth system. Read More

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Self-Driving Servicer Now Baselined For NASA’s Restore-L Satellite-Servicing Demonstration
Source: Colorado Springs Astronomical Society

One test changed the fortunes of an advanced 3-D imaging lidar system now baselined for NASA’s Restore-L project that will demonstrate an autonomous satellite-servicing capability. Officials with NASA’s Satellite Servicing Projects Division, or SSPD, have officially baselined the Kodiak system — formerly known as the Goddard Reconfigurable Solid-state Scanning Lidar, or GRSSLi — to provide real-time images and distance-ranging information during Restore-L. This project will demonstrate how a specially equipped robotic servicer spacecraft can extend a satellite’s lifespan — even one not originally designed for on-orbit servicing.

Rocky Mountain Star Star
Source: Colorado Springs Astronomical Society

Rocky Mountain Star Stare is an annual premiere star party sponsored by the Colorado Springs Astronomical Society. Located on 35 acres of land, RMSS’s “Starry Meadows” is conveniently located just over two hours southwest of Colorado Springs (just outside of Gardner, CO), between the Sangre de Cristo and Wet mountain ranges, at an altitude of 7,612 feet above sea level. RMSS annually plays host to 350+ amateur and professional astronomers, family and friends.”

A Piece Of Mars Is Going Home
Source: NASA/JPL

A chunk of Mars will soon be returning home. A piece of a meteorite called Sayh al Uhaymir 008 (SaU008) will be carried on board NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission, now being built at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. This chunk will serve as target practice for a high-precision laser on the rover’s arm.

Astronomers Are Already Planning For The Next ‘Pale Blue Dot’
Source: The Atlantic

In 2019, the New Horizons spacecraft will attempt to break the record for the farthest image ever taken of Earth.

ESO’s VLT Working As 16-Metre Telescope For First Time
Source: European Southern Observatory (ESO)

The ESPRESSO instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope in Chile has used the combined light of all four of the 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes for the first time. Combining light from the Unit Telescopes in this way makes the VLT the largest optical telescope in existence in terms of collecting area.

Chasing The Elusive 2014 MU69
Source: Sky & Telescope

As the world knows, the New Horizons spacecraft spectacularly achieved its primary mission — to explore Pluto and its moons — in July 2015. But all along NASA managers had counted on visiting another object farther out in the Kuiper Belt. At launch in 2006, there was no known body it could reach, yet astronomers had sound statistical arguments for why they would find such an object during the decade-long trip to Pluto.

Call For Papers – 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention
Source: The Mars Society

Presentations for the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention are invited dealing with all matters (science, engineering, politics, economics, public policy, etc.) associated with the human exploration and settlement of the planet Mars. Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent by June 30, 2018.

Big Year For IceBridge
Source: NASA

Last year was a record-breaking one for Operation IceBridge, NASA’s aerial survey of the state of polar ice. For the first time in its nine-year history, the mission, which aims to close the gap between two NASA satellite campaigns that study changes in the height of polar ice, carried out seven field campaigns in the Arctic and Antarctic in a single year. In total, the IceBridge scientists and instruments flew over 214,000 miles, the equivalent of orbiting the Earth 8.6 times at the equator.

2018 Karen Harvey Prize Winner, Nicholeen Viall
Source: NASA

Dr. Nicholeen Viall of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center is the 2018 recipient of the Karen Harvey Prize. Each year the Solar Physics Division (SPD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) awards the Harvey Prize to a scientist who has made outstanding contributions early in their career.

Progress Cargo Craft Launches On Two-Day Trip To Station
Source: NASA

Carrying more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the International Space Station Expedition 54 crew, the Progress 69 cargo spacecraft launched at 3:13 a.m. EST (2:13 p.m. local time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Sea Level Rise Accelerating
Source: CIRES

Global sea level rise is not cruising along at a steady 3 mm per year, it’s accelerating a little every year, like a driver merging onto a highway, according to a powerful new assessment led by CIRES Fellow Steve Nerem. He and his colleagues harnessed 25 years of satellite data to calculate that the rate is increasing by about 0.08 mm/year every year—which could mean an annual rate of sea level rise of 10 mm/year, or even more, by 2100.

CU Boulder Next
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Experience an interactive afternoon of learning hosted by Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano that will showcase our people, research and cutting-edge advancements. You will see firsthand how the university is positively impacting humanity, developing tomorrow’s leaders and becoming a leader for innovation. JW Marriott Los Angeles, California, February 24.