January 10, 2018

The Climate Secrets Of Southern Clouds

The SOCRATES logo. Image Credit: NCAR/UCAR

January 10, 2018 – This month, an international team of scientists will head to the remote Southern Ocean for six weeks to tackle one of the region’s many persistent mysteries: its clouds. What they discover will be used to improve climate models, which routinely underestimate the amount of solar radiation reflected back into space by clouds in the region. Accurately simulating the amount of radiation that is absorbed or reflected on Earth is key to calculating how much the globe is warming. Read More


Space Foundation Leverages Harris Corporation Grant For February STEM Education Program In Colorado Springs

January 10, 2018 – Harris Corporation has provided a grant to collaborate with the Space Foundation on a program that will further science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies in several Colorado Springs schools February 28 – March 3. Read More


United Launch Alliance Introduces Payload Competition For 10th Anniversary Of The Student Rocket Launch

The Future Heavy rocket. Image Credit: United Launch Alliance

January 10, 2018 – United Launch Alliance (ULA) has issued its request for proposals for the annual ULA and Ball Aerospace Student Rocket Launch. To celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary, K-12 teams can design, build and operate a payload to guide it to a designated ground-based target for a chance to win up to $5,000 for their school or sponsoring nonprofit. Read More


ASU Astronomers To Build Space Telescope To Explore Nearby Stars

The SPARCS space telescope is CubeSat that will be built at ASU out of six cubical modules, each about four inches on a side. The plan is for students to be involved the design and construction of the spacecraft to provide educational and training opportunities to become future engineers, scientists, and mission leaders. Image Credit: Arizona State University

January 10, 2018 – In 2021, a spacecraft the size of a Cheerios box will carry a small telescope into Earth orbit on an unusual mission. Its task is to monitor the flares and sunspots of small stars to assess how habitable the space environment is for planets orbiting them. Read More


More News:

Two Students Honored As AIAA/Aviation Week ‘Tomorrow’s Engineering Leaders’
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

University of Colorado Boulder aerospace students Aaron Aboaf and Luke Bury are being recognized as “Tomorrow’s Engineering Leaders: The 20 Twenties,” an annual awards program from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics’ and Aviation Week. 2018 marks the fifth year in a row CU Boulder Smead Aerospace has had multiple students named to the Twenty 20s list.


Black Hole Breakthrough: New Insight Into Mysterious Jets
Source: Northwestern University

Through first-of-their-kind supercomputer simulations, researchers, including a Northwestern University professor, have gained new insight into one of the most mysterious phenomena in modern astronomy: the behavior of relativistic jets that shoot from black holes, extending outward across millions of light years.


SETI Project Homes In On Strange ‘Fast Radio Bursts’
Source: University of California – Berkeley

Recent observations of a mysterious and distant object that emits intermittent bursts of radio waves so bright that they’re visible across the universe provide new data about the source but fail to clear up the mystery of what causes them.


Webb Telescope’s Houston Highlights
Source: NASA

With NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s approximately nine-month stay in Texas coming to an end, now is a good time to reflect on the memories it made in the Lone Star State. NASA has created a timelapse video that chronicles Webb’s time at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. James Webb Space Telescope, or Webb, is the agency’s upcoming infrared space observatory, which will launch in 2019. It spent much of 2017 at Johnson, where it underwent critical cryogenic testing inside Chamber A, a massive thermal vacuum chamber at the center.


Scientists Take Viewers To The Center Of The Milky Way
Source: NASA

A new visualization provides an exceptional virtual trip – complete with a 360-degree view – to the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. This project, made using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory and other telescopes, allows viewers to control their own exploration of the fascinating environment of volatile giant stars and powerful gravity around the monster black hole that lies in the center of the Milky Way.


Scientists And Engineers Push For Servicing And Assembly Of Future Space Observatories
Source: SpaceNews

A group of astronomers and engineers is seeking to convince NASA to study in-space servicing and assembly of future space telescopes, including the role the proposed Deep Space Gateway could play to support it.


NASA’s Newly Renamed Swift Mission Spies a Comet Slowdown
Source: NASA

Observations by NASA’s Swift spacecraft, now renamed the Neil Gehrels Swift Observatory after the mission’s late principal investigator, have captured an unprecedented change in the rotation of a comet. Images taken in May 2017 reveal that comet 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák — 41P for short — was spinning three times slower than it was in March, when it was observed by the Discovery Channel Telescope at Lowell Observatory in Arizona.


NOAA Prepares GOES-S For Launch As Lockheed Martin Builds Successors
Source: SpaceNews

As the National Oceanic and Aeronautics Administration prepares for the March 1 launch of its next Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) S on an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, prime contractor Lockheed Martin is working in Denver on its successors GOES-T and GOES-U.


NASA Plans To Have WFIRST Reviews Complete By April
Source: SpaceNews

NASA hopes to have a major astronomy mission back on track by April after completing efforts to reduce its cost, an agency official said Jan. 8. Speaking at a meeting of astronomers prior to the start of the 231st Meeting of the American Astronomical Society here, Paul Hertz, director of NASA’s astrophysics division, said the agency plans to hold a key review for the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), known as Key Decision Point B, by April.


ULA Delta IV Launch With NROL-47 Moved To Thursday
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

United Launch Alliance will attempt to launch a Delta IV rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, carrying out the classified NROL-47 mission for the US National Reconnaissance Office. Liftoff is now scheduled for Thursday, 13:00 local time (21:00 UTC), following a scrub due to unacceptable weather on Wednesday.


Ingredients For Life Revealed In Meteorites That Fell To Earth
Source: Berkeley Lab

Two wayward space rocks, which separately crashed to Earth in 1998 after circulating in our solar system’s asteroid belt for billions of years, share something else in common: the ingredients for life. They are the first meteorites found to contain both liquid water and a mix of complex organic compounds such as hydrocarbons and amino acids.


The Future Of America’s Satellites
Source: Pacific Standard

A team of about 100 university and industry scientists published last week their preferred priorities for the United States’ satellite programs, identifying what data they most want the government to beam back from space. A huge range of people use government satellite data, from military personnel to natural-disaster responders to almost anyone who uses weather forecasts or mapping apps. It’s also crucial to the future of climate-change research, which depends on satellite measurements of polar ice and sea-surface temperatures.


NASA Goddard’s New GOLD Mission To Explore Near-Space
Source: SIGNAL Magazine

During the last several years, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has been developing a mission to explore near-space, where the upper reaches of the Earth’s atmosphere meets space. The effort, known as the Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk, or GOLD, will come to initial fruition with the launch of observation equipment on January 25.


CASIS And Marvel Entertainment Unveil Guardians Of The Galaxy Space Station Challenge
Source: Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS)

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and Marvel Entertainment today announced the Guardians of the Galaxy Space Station Challenge is open for American students ages 13-18 to submit microgravity flight experiment concepts that could be conducted on the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. The contest focuses on Rocket and Groot, characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy comic book franchise, and students are encouraged to develop flight proposals based on the attributes of these Super Heroes.


Decadal Survey Lays Out Key Earth Science Priorities
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

A new report published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends that NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) should implement a coordinated approach for their space-based environmental observations to further advance Earth science and applications for the next decade. CU Boulder researchers contributed to the survey, which also recommends building a robust, resilient, and balanced U.S. program of Earth observations from space that will enable the agencies to strategically advance the science and applications with constrained resources.


Senior Design CubeSat Bound For National Competition
Source: University of Colorado Boulder/Aaron McCusker

Our team was a randomly selected group of nine aerospace engineering seniors and one electrical engineering senior at CU Boulder. We named our team REPTAR (Recoverable ProTection After Re-entry). The goal of our project was to design, build, and test a 3U (30 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm) vehicle that would contain and protect a 1U (10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm) CubeSat after re-entering Earth’s atmosphere so that the CubeSat could be recovered and reused.


No Atomic Target: Picking The Air Force Academy Location
Source: The National Archives: The Text Message Blog

The records of the Air Force Academy’s site selection provides an opportunity to look at what Amazon may have been offered if the company had existed 70 years ago. Much like the drive to score a deal with Amazon, cities across the country developed proposals detailing why they would be the best fit for the nation’s newest service academy. These records, found in Reports Regarding Proposed Air Force Academy Site Selection, 1950-1950 (NAID 2580022) National Archives Record Group 341, Records of Headquarters U.S. Air Force, provide an interesting look at what cities considered important when attempting to entice development to their area in the late 1940’s.


Colorado Engineers Are Helping Us Return To The Moon, And Beyond
Source: The Denver Post

Astronaut Nicole Mann examined the circuit board on the table at SEAKR Engineering’s Centennial headquarters. To the untrained eye, the electronic quilt of black chips and gold resistors, barely a foot long, resembled something that could have been plucked from inside a dusty home computer. But Mann and the engineers at SEAKR knew its power. It is one piece of the technology aimed at safely launching the NASA Orion spacecraft to the moon and beyond, possibly with Mann as its pilot.