February 4 – February 10, 2019

New Horizons’ Evocative Farewell Glance At Ultima Thule

New Horizons took this image of the Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 (nicknamed Ultima Thule) on Jan. 1, 2019, when the NASA spacecraft was 5,494 miles (8,862 kilometers) beyond it. The image to the left is an “average” of ten images taken by the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI); the crescent is blurred in the raw frames because a relatively long exposure time was used during this rapid scan to boost the camera’s signal level. Mission scientists have been able to process the image, removing the motion blur to produce a sharper, brighter view of Ultima Thule’s thin crescent. Image Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/National Optical Astronomy Observatory

February 8, 2019 – An evocative new image sequence from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft offers a departing view of the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) nicknamed Ultima Thule – the target of its New Year’s 2019 flyby and the most distant world ever explored. Read More

NASA Seeks U.S. Partners To Develop Systems To Land Astronauts On Moon

Artist’s concept of a human landing system and its crew on the lunar surface with Earth near the horizon. Image Credit: NASA

February 8, 2019 – As the next major step to return astronauts to the Moon under Space Policy Directive-1, NASA announced plans on December 13 to work with American companies to design and develop new reusable systems for astronauts to land on the lunar surface. The agency is planning to test new human-class landers on the Moon beginning in 2024, with the goal of sending crew to the surface in 2028. Read More

Hubble Reveals Dynamic Atmospheres Of Uranus And Neptune

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Simon (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center), and M.H. Wong and A. Hsu (University of California, Berkeley)

February 8, 2019 – During its routine yearly monitoring of the weather on our solar system’s outer planets, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered a new mysterious dark storm on Neptune (right) and provided a fresh look at a long-lived storm circling around the north polar region on Uranus (left). Read More

Milstar Program Reaches 25 Year Milestone

Milstar, formerly known as the Military Strategic and Tactical Relay, has reached 25 years of service. Milstar is responsible for providing the President, Secretary of Defense and the U.S. armed forces with reliable satellite communications, ensuring minimal interception or detection. Designed to overcome enemy jamming and nuclear effects, Milstar is a robust and reliable communication system. Image Credit: U.S. Air Force

February 8, 2019 – Milstar, formerly known as the Military Strategic and Tactical Relay, launched February 7, 1994 and has now reached twenty-five years of service. Designed to overcome enemy jamming and nuclear effects, Milstar is a robust and reliable communication system providing the President, Secretary of Defense and the U.S. armed forces with reliable satellite communications. Read More

Liberal Sprinkling Of Salt Discovered Around A Young Star

ALMA image of the salty disk surrounding the young, massive star Orion Source I (blue ring). It is shown in relation to the Orion Molecular Cloud 1, a region of explosive starbirth. The background near infrared image was taken with the Gemini Observatory. Image Credit: ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ); NRAO/AUI/NSF; Gemini Observatory/AURA

February 8, 2019 – A team of astronomers and chemists using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA)
has detected the chemical fingerprints of sodium chloride (NaCl) and other similar salty compounds emanating from the dusty disk surrounding Orion Source I, a massive, young star in a dusty cloud behind the Orion Nebula. Read More

NOAA And NCAR Partner On New, State-Of-The-Art U.S. Modeling Framework

Weather Prediction Center meteorologist Andrew Orrison uses weather model data. Image Credit: NOAA

February 8, 2019 – The United States is making exciting changes to how computer models will be developed in the future to support the nation’s weather and climate forecast system. NOAA and the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) have joined forces to help the nation’s weather and climate modeling scientists achieve mutual benefits through more strategic collaboration, shared resources and information. Read More

CU Boulder Professor Inducted Into National Academy Of Engineering

Dr. Penina Axelrad. Image Credit: University of Colorado Boulder

February 8, 2019 – The National Academy of Engineering has elected Ann and H.J. Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences professor Penina Axelrad and alumnus Dereje Agonafer (AeroEngr ’72) as new members in 2019. Read More

Kepler’s Final Image Shows A Galaxy Full Of Possibilities

Image Credit: NASA/Ames Research Center

February 6, 2019 – NASA’s Kepler space telescope may be retired, but the discoveries continue to rack up for this historic planet-hunting mission. Kepler rang in the new year with several new planet discoveries, including a previously overlooked planet of an unusual size, as well as a super Earth and a Saturn-sized world orbiting a Sun-like star. Read More

Earth’s Northern Magnetic Pole Is Moving

Image Credit: NOAA NCEI

February 5, 2019 – Earth’s northern magnetic pole is moving quickly away from the Canadian Arctic toward Siberia. This movement has forced NCEI’s scientists to update the World Magnetic Model (WMM) mid-cycle. Read More

The Science Coalition Names Senator Gardner A ‘Champion Of Science’

Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO)

February 5, 2019 – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today announced that he has received the Champion of Science Award. The award – presented by The Science Coalition (TSC) – honors members of Congress whose actions and votes consistently reflect their commitment to fundamental science through funding investment for federal research agencies. Read More

SwRI Develops Optocoupler For Spaceflight Applications

SwRI is integrating its optocoupler power conversion technology into three instruments bound for Jupiter’s moon Europa. The radiation-hardened, high-reliability device, developed with internal funding, overcomes problems similar systems have had operating in space. Image Credit: SwRI

February 5, 2019 – Southwest Research Institute has developed a high-reliability, high-voltage optocoupler for spaceflight applications. NASA has selected the device as a power interface between the Europa Clipper spacecraft and three instruments aboard, bound for Jupiter’s moon Europa in the next five years. The power converter, developed with internal funding, overcomes reliability problems similar systems have had operating in space. Read More

BIG Idea Challenge 2019 Finalists To Develop Planetary Greenhouse Concepts

Artist’s rendering of the interior of a potential Mars greenhouse. Image Credit: SEArch+

February 5, 2019 – No drive-through? No problem. University students are designing greenhouses so astronauts can grow their own food on Mars. Read More

Schaub Elected An AIAA Fellow

Hanspeter Schaub. Image Credit: University of Colorado Boulder

February 4, 2019 – University of Colorado Boulder Smead Aerospace Professor Hanspeter Schaub has been elected a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Read More

InSight’s Seismometer Now Has A Cozy Shelter On Mars

NASA’s InSight lander deployed its Wind and Thermal Shield on February 2 (Sol 66). The shield covers InSight’s seismometer, which was set down onto the Martian surface on December 19.Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

February 4, 2019 – For the past several weeks, NASA’s InSight lander has been making adjustments to the seismometer it set on the Martian surface on December 19. Now it’s reached another milestone by placing a domed shield over the seismometer to help the instrument collect accurate data. The seismometer will give scientists their first look at the deep interior of the Red Planet, helping them understand how it and other rocky planets are formed. Read More

More News

Space Storms That Go Off-Scale
Source: High Altitude Observatory

Virgin Galactic Pilots Awarded Commercial Astronaut Wings
Source: Virgin Galactic

NASA’s Webb Is Sound After Completing Critical Milestones
Source: NASA

Radiation Science For Orion
Source: ESA

Swarm Helps Pinpoint New Magnetic North For Smartphones
Source: ESA

Asteroid From ‘Rare Species’ Spotted In The Cosmic Wild
Source: Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF)

Gaia Clocks New Speeds For Milky Way-Andromeda Collision
Source: ESA

2 Colorado Springs Students Going To NASA’s Scholar Program
Source: Fox21News

A Better Eyeshot Of The Makeup Of Ancient Meteorites
Source: Yokohama National University

NASA Day Of Remembrance
Source: NASA

Lawmakers: Air Force Launch Procurement Strategy Undermines SpaceX
Source: SpaceNews

NASA Center Director Nominated To Lead NRO
Source: SpaceNews

Orbex Reveals Prime’s Second Stage As It Prepares For UK Domestic Launches
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

ESA’s Mars Rover Has A Name – Rosalind Franklin
Source: ESA

Astronauts Release U.S. Spacecraft From Space Station
Source: NASA

360 Video: Curiosity Rover Departs Vera Rubin Ridge
Source: NASA/JPL

When Deep Space Calls, Students Answer
Source: LASP/CU Boulder

Ariane 5’s First Launch Of 2019
Source: ESA

Seminar: GOLD – Mission, Overview Of The Early Observations, And Some Surprises – Feb. 8
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Massive Collision In The Planetary System Kepler 107
Source: Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC)

2018 Fourth Warmest Year In Continued Warming Trend, According To NASA, NOAA

Scientists Simulate A Black Hole In A Water Tank
Source: Agência FAPESP

Researchpalooza Winners And Presentation Videos
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Iridium Declares Victory; $3 Billion Satellite Constellation Upgrade Complete
Source: Iridium Communications Inc.

Raytheon To Partner With JFK Library Foundation In Celebration Of Technological Vision And Leadership And To Commemorate The 50th Anniversary Of Apollo 11
Source: John F. Kennedy Library Foundation

Myriota Partners With Tyvak To Develop And Launch Next Generation Nanosatellites
Source: Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems, Inc.

Commercial Astronaut Wings Presentation
Source: Federal Aviation Administration

New Technology Helps Address Big Problems For Small Satellites
Source: Purdue University

Bubbles Of Brand New Stars
Source: ESO

Apollo Astronaut Buzz Aldrin At The 2019 State Of The Union
Source: NASA

First Look: Chang’e Lunar Landing Site
Source: NASA

The Woman Who Sees Space First
Source: Medium

Test Of Orion’s Emergency System Delayed Because Of 35-Day Government Shutdown
Source: Houston Chronicle

A Year After SpaceX’s 1st Falcon Heavy Launch, Starman (And A Tesla) Sail On
Source: Space.com

Commercial Crew Test Flight Schedule Slips Again
Source: SpaceNews

Recreating Space On Earth – Two Facilities Join ESA’s Platforms For Spaceflight Research
Source: ESA

CU Leads Pack With 5 Brooke Owens Fellows
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Beyond Mars, The Mini MarCO Spacecraft Fall Silent
Source: NASA/JPL

Astrobotic Selects Jeffrey Apeldoorn To Lead Future Missions And Technology
Source: Astrobotic

Boeing Partners With Aerion To Accelerate Supersonic Travel
Source: Boeing

Turkey Creates Its First Space Agency
Source: Scientific American

The Milky Way Is Warped
Source: Science in Public

Novel Experiment Validates Widely Speculated Mechanism Behind The Formation Of Stars
Source: DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

NASA-NOAA’s Suomi NPP Satellite Catches Development Of Tropical Cyclone 125
Source: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

The Vibrating Universe: Making Astronomy Accessible To The Deaf
Source: University of California – Riverside

Tour Alien Worlds With New Multimedia Treats
Source: NASA

Shutdown Delays Proposed Revisions To Launch Licensing Regulations
Source: SpaceNews

NASA Seeks Small Business Innovation Research
Source: NASA

NASA Airs Departure Of U.S. Cargo Ship From International Space Station
Source: NASA

NASA, NOAA To Announce 2018 Global Temperatures, Climate Conditions
Source: NASA

Learning On The Job: Student Rocket Launches From Norway
Source: NASA

ESA Plans Mission To Smallest Asteroid Ever Visited
Source: ESA

China’s Moon Lander Wakes Up From Its Long, Ultra-Cold Night
Source: WIRED

Retreating Snow Line Reveals Organic Molecules Around Young Star
Source: ALMA

Women At The Helm

Elon Musk Unveils SpaceX’s 1st Rocket Engine Test For Starship Rocket (Video)
Source: Space.com

ISS Suffers Another Leak, But This Time Of The Messy, Non-Dangerous Type
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com