February 9, 2018

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Preparing For Years Ahead

Artist concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Image credit: NASA/JPL

February 9, 2018 – NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has begun extra stargazing to help the space agency accomplish advances in Mars exploration over the next decade. The spacecraft already has worked more than double its planned mission life since launch in 2005. Read More


Leaky Atmosphere Linked To Lightweight Planet

Terrestrial planet magnetospheres. Image Credit: ESA

February 9, 2018 – The Red Planet’s low gravity and lack of magnetic field makes its outermost atmosphere an easy target to be swept away by the solar wind, but new evidence from ESA’s Mars Express spacecraft shows that the Sun’s radiation may play a surprising role in its escape. Read More


Space Foundation Sponsors WIA Evening With Gwynne Shotwell

Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO, SpaceX.

February 9, 2018 – New Generation space professionals age 35 or younger are invited to register now for a cocktail reception hosted by Women in Aerospace (WIA) with special guest Gwynne Shotwell, President and COO, SpaceX. Read More


Double Honors For CU Aerospace’s Professor Schaub

Hanspeter Schaub receiving the J. Leland Atwood Award. Image Credit: University of Colorado Boulder

February 9, 2018 – University of Colorado Boulder Smead Aerospace Professor Hanspeter Schaub has received not one, but two awards from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Read More


NASA’s Continued Focus On Returning U.S. Human Spaceflight Launches

The International Space Station. Image Credit: NASA

February 9, 2018 – NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and private industry partners, Boeing and SpaceX, continue to develop the systems that will return human spaceflight to the United States. Both commercial partners are undertaking considerable amounts of testing in 2018 to prove space system designs and the ability to meet NASA’s mission and safety requirement for regular crew flights to the International Space Station. Read More


Hubble’s Lonely Firework Display

Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

February 9, 2018 – Roughly 50 million light-years away lies a somewhat overlooked little galaxy named NGC 1559. Pictured here by Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, this barred spiral lies in the little-observed southern constellation of Reticulum (the Reticule). Read More


More News:

Probing The Structure Of Our Solar System’s Edge
Source: AAS Nova

The boundary between the solar wind and the interstellar medium (ISM) at the distant edge of our solar system has been probed remotely and directly by spacecraft, but questions about its properties persist. What can models tell us about the structure of this region?


UChicago Astrophysicists Settle Cosmic Debate On Magnetism Of Planets And Stars
Source: University of Chicago

The universe is highly magnetic, with everything from stars to planets to galaxies producing their own magnetic fields. Astrophysicists have long puzzled over these surprisingly strong and long-lived fields, with theories and simulations seeking a mechanism that explains their generation. Using one of the world’s most powerful laser facilities, a team led by University of Chicago scientists experimentally confirmed one of the most popular theories for cosmic magnetic field generation: the turbulent dynamo.


Landsat 8 Marks Five Years In Orbit
Source: NASA

In its five years in space, the Landsat 8 Earth-observing satellite has racked up some impressive statistics: 26,500 orbits around the planet, 1.1 million “scenes” captured, a motherlode of images that represents 16 percent of all the observations in the 45-year Landsat archive.


A Detailed Timeline Of The IMAGE Mission Recovery
Source: Space Daily

The Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration, or IMAGE, spacecraft was re-discovered in January 2018 after more than twelve years of silence. A powerhouse of magnetosphere and aurora research, the IMAGE mission was a key driver of studies of the Sun-Earth connection from its launch on March 25, 2000, until its last contact on Dec. 18, 2005. Now a watchful citizen scientist, NASA, and a team of IMAGE scientists and engineers detected and received data from the spacecraft.


Largest CubeSat Operators Say 25-Year Deorbit Guideline A Priority
Source: SpaceNews

Planet and Spire, operators of the two largest commercial cubesat constellations in orbit, say they manage their fleets to prevent retired spacecraft from lingering in space beyond internationally accepted guidelines. Speaking at the SmallSat Symposium here Feb. 7, officials from Planet and Spire said the companies have self-imposed rules to ensure their satellites burn up in Earth’s atmosphere within 25 years of shutting down, as suggested by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination (IADC) committee.