February 16, 2018

Maisel To Receive Rising Stars Award

Image Credit: Space Foundation

February 16, 2018 – Bernadette Maisel, Space Foundation Director – Program Initiatives, has been selected by the Colorado Springs Business Journal (CSBJ) to receive a Rising Stars Award, the city’s most prestigious award for professionals under the age of 40. Read More

Thermal Cycle Test Confirms Orion And Its Systems

Technicians assist as the Orion crew module for Exploration Mission-1 is moved toward the thermal chamber in the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building high bay at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Image Credit: NASA/Frank Michaux

February 16, 2018 – When NASA’s Orion spacecraft launches into space atop the agency’s Space Launch System rocket on its first uncrewed integrated flight, Exploration Mission-1, it will travel thousands of miles beyond the Moon and return to Earth for splashdown in the Pacific Ocean. While traveling to deep space, Orion will experience extreme hot and cold temperatures, with re-entry temperatures nearing 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Read More

NASA Awards Mission Operations, Data Processing Contract For Solar Energy Instrument To LASP

Image Credit: NASA/LASP

February 16, 2018 – NASA has awarded a contract to the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder, for mission operations and data processing for the agency’s Total and Spectral solar Irradiance Sensor-1 (TSIS-1). Read More

Hubble Sees Neptune’s Mysterious Shrinking Storm

This series of Hubble Space Telescope images taken over 2 years tracks the demise of a giant dark vortex on the planet Neptune. The oval-shaped spot has shrunk from 3,100 miles across its long axis to 2,300 miles across, over the Hubble observation period. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and M.H. Wong and A.I. Hsu (UC Berkeley)

February 16, 2018 – Three billion miles away on the farthest known major planet in our solar system, an ominous, dark storm – once big enough to stretch across the Atlantic Ocean from Boston to Portugal – is shrinking out of existence as seen in pictures of Neptune taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Read More

Kepler Scientists Discover Almost A Hundred New Exoplanets

After detecting the first exoplanets in the 1990s it has become clear that planets around other stars are the rule rather than the exception and there are likely hundreds of billions of exoplanets in the Milky Way alone. The search for these planets is now a large field of astronomy. Image Credit: ESA/Hubble/ESO/M. Kornmesser

February 16, 2018 – “We started out analyzing 275 candidates of which 149 were validated as real exoplanets. In turn 95 of these planets have proved to be new discoveries,” said American PhD student Andrew Mayo at the National Space Institute (DTU Space) at the Technical University of Denmark. “This research has been underway since the first K2 data release in 2014.” Read More

SwRI’s Alan Stern To Receive National Award Of Nuclear Science & History

Dr. Alan Stern. Image Credit: Southwest Research Institute

February 16, 2018 – Dr. Alan Stern has been selected to receive the National Award of Nuclear Science & History from the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History. Stern, associate vice president of the Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute, serves as principal investigator of NASA’s New Horizons mission, which made headlines worldwide when the spacecraft returned remarkable imagery of the Pluto system. He was selected the 2018 recipient for his work in “planetary and near-earth research with the NASA Hubble space telescope and other deep space observations and discoveries in astrophysics and planetary science.” Read More

More News:

Boulder Conversations With Extraordinary People – Dr. Fran Bagenal
Source: Museum of Boulder

February’s speaker is Dr. Fran Bagenal, a long-time Boulder resident and professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences and Research Scientist at the Laboratory of Atmospheric and Space Physics at CU. She will discuss her work on the New Frontiers’ missions to Pluto and Jupiter as well as her outdoor pursuits.

ESO Astronomer Selected For Astronaut Training Programme
Source: ESO

ESO astronomer Suzanna Randall is one step closer to her dream of becoming the first German woman to travel into space. She has been selected as a new trainee of the initiative Astronautin, which aims to train the first female German astronaut and send her on a research mission to the International Space Station. The announcement was made today at a press conference at ESO Headquarters in Garching, Germany.

An Eccentric Planet Skims A Giant Star
Source: AAS Nova

As part of a major survey of evolved stars, scientists have discovered the most eccentric planet known to orbit a giant. What can we learn from this unusual object before it’s eventually consumed by its host?

GOES-S Weather Observatory Hoisted Atop Atlas 5 Rocket
Source: Spaceflight Now

NOAA’s next geostationary weather satellite, GOES-S, was raised on top of an Atlas 5 launcher Friday at Cape Canaveral in preparation for liftoff March 1 to keep watch over the Pacific Ocean and the Western United States.

Long-Lived Mars Rover Opportunity Keeps Finding Surprises
Source: NASA

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity keeps providing surprises about the Red Planet, most recently with observations of possible “rock stripes.” The ground texture seen in recent images from the rover resembles a smudged version of very distinctive stone stripes on some mountain slopes on Earth that result from repeated cycles of freezing and thawing of wet soil. But it might also be due to wind, downhill transport, other processes or a combination.

Hotel Billionaire Robert Bigelow Is About To Launch A New Spaceflight Company
Source: Business Insider

Robert Bigelow, who made billions forming the hotel chain Budget Suites of America, is gearing up to launch a new spaceflight company called Bigelow Space Operations. Bigelow, age 72, already owns Bigelow Aerospace, which he founded in 1999. That company built an inflatable room, called the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM), for NASA to attach to the International Space Station.

Jupiter’s Swirling Cloud Formations
Source: NASA

See swirling cloud formations in the northern area of Jupiter’s north temperate belt in this new view taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The color-enhanced image was taken on Feb. 7 at 5:42 a.m. PST (8:42 a.m. EST), as Juno performed its eleventh close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 5,086 miles (8,186 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a latitude of 39.9 degrees.

NASA Releases Request For Information For New Orion Service Module Engine
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

NASA has released a Request For Information for a new engine the agency will use on the Orion European Service Module beginning with EM-6 (Exploration Mission 6). The Request For Information states that the engine is needed by mid-2024 in order to support the EM-6 flight of the Space Launch System, which under the currently in effect budget and operational timeline for NASA will be No Earlier Than 2027.

Orion Stage Adaptor Complete
Source: ESA

The stage adaptor that will connect the Space Launch System to Orion for its first mission is nearing completion. At the top, the Orion stage adaptor connects to Orion’s spacecraft adaptor, which sits directly below the European Service Module. At the bottom, the Orion stage adopter connects to the interim cryogenic propulsion stage that will give Orion its boost towards the Moon.

NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite Arrives At Kennedy Space Center For Launch
Source: NASA

NASA’s next planet-hunting mission has arrived in Florida to begin preparations for launch. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station nearby NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida no earlier than April 16, pending range approval.

NOAA Budget Proposal Restores Schedule For Future JPSS Satellites
Source: SpaceNews

The fiscal year 2019 budget proposal for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration restores an earlier schedule for two future polar-orbiting weather satellites that faced potential delays last year.

AIAA RMS Annual Honors And Awards Banquet
Source: AIAA RMS

Please join us once again for the AIAA RMS Annual Honors and Awards Banquet on April 27, 2018. At that banquet, you’ll enjoy dinner, optional bar service, the opportunity to socialize with members of the Rocky Mountain section, members of the recent class of AIAA Fellows and Associate Fellows, and enjoy a keynote topic by an AIAA Distinguished Speaker.

Women In Geoscience: An Interview With Emily Fischer
Source: Cogent OA

Along with several colleagues from the earth sciences (Amanda Adams (NSF) and Rebecca Barnes (Colorado College), I joined up with several social scientists, with expertise in gender and educational psychology. Together we built an experiment to test what would happen if female undergraduate geoscientists were exposed to a same-gender network of support and mentoring. The mentoring was facilitated by more senior women across the geosciences.

Aluminum Alloy 398 And Miniaturized Laser Terminals Are 2018 Space Technology Hall Of Fame Inductees At 34th Space Symposium
Source: Space Foundation

The Space Foundation’s 34th Space Symposium will culminate on April 19 with ceremonies celebrating the induction into the Space Technology Hall of Fame® of two innovations developed for space that now improve life on Earth.

Lockheed Martin Announces Orlando Expansion, Hiring Plans
Source: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin broke ground on a new, $50 million, 255,000 square foot office facility and announced plans to hire about 1,800 people over the next two years, of which about 500 will be based in Orlando.

Tracking The Billion-Year Road Trip
Source: Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Cruising with the windows down, music up and the Sun shining on your face. Going on a road trip is an adventure that some people love or aspire to do. For one individual, their road trip could last a billion years, and the 18th Space Control Squadron is tracking it.

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP Satellite Tracking Tropical Cyclone Gita
Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

Tropical Cyclone Gita remained a powerful hurricane in the Southern Pacific Ocean when NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP satellite passed overhead and captured a visible image of the storm.

Last NASA Communications Satellite Of Its Kind Joins Fleet
Source: NASA

NASA has begun operating the last satellite of its kind in the network that provides communications and tracking services to more than 40 NASA missions, including critical, real-time communication with the International Space Station. Following its August launch and a five-month period of in-orbit testing, the third-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS), referred to as TDRS-M until this important milestone, was renamed TDRS-13, becoming the tenth operational satellite in the geosynchronous, space-based fleet.

Supermassive Black Holes Are Outgrowing Their Galaxies
Source: NASA

The growth of the biggest black holes in the Universe is outrunning the rate of formation of stars in the galaxies they inhabit, according to two new studies using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes and described in our latest press release.

Galactic Pairs In The Early Universe
Source: AAS Nova

The statistics of merging galaxies throughout the universe reveal not only direct information about how galaxies interact, but also cosmological information about the structure of the universe. While we’ve observed many merging galaxy pairs at low redshift, however, it’s much more challenging to identify these duos in the early universe.

Video: Engineering Miracles For Scientific Discoveries With The James Webb Space Telescope
Source: NASA

In this lecture, Nobel Prize winner John Mather, senior astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and project manager for the James Webb Space Telescope, outlines how the team conceived the design, why they’re building it the way they are, and how they are testing it to make sure it will work. He also speculates on what JWST might reveal.

Air Force And Aerojet Rocketdyne Renegotiating AR1 Agreement
Source: SpaceNews

The U.S. Air Force and Aerojet Rocketdyne are working to revise an agreement to support development of the company’s AR1 rocket engine, as questions continue about the engine’s long-term future.