January 14 – January 20, 2019

Scientists Finally Know What Time It Is On Saturn

A view from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft shows Saturn’s northern hemisphere in 2016 as that part of the planet nears its northern hemisphere summer solstice. A year on Saturn is 29 Earth years; days only last 10:33:38, according to a new analysis of Cassini data. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

January 20, 2019 – Using new data from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, researchers believe they have solved a longstanding mystery of solar system science: the length of a day on Saturn. Ten hours, 33 minutes and 38 seconds. Read More

Air Force Awards Hosted Payloads Delivery Order Under HoPS Contract To General Atomics

January 20, 2019 – The Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center has awarded General Atomics, Electromagnetic Systems Group (GA-EMS) a firm-fixed-price delivery order under the Hosted Payload Solutions (HoPS) Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity contract for commercially hosting the Argos Advanced Data Collection System (A-DCS).  Funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the total value of the contract is $37,906,872.

SwRI Scientists Study Moon Craters To Understand Earth’s Impact History

SwRI was part of a team that used Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter data to study the Moon’s craters, scaled by size and color-coded by age here, to understand the impact history of the Earth. The lunar surface is dominated by blue craters younger than 290 million years old, which is consistent with those on Earth, indicating that bombardments on both bodies has increased since that time. Image Credit: NASA/LRO/USGS/University of Toronto

January 17, 2019 – Using images and thermal data collected by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), Southwest Research Institute scientists and their collaborators have calculated the ages of large lunar craters across the Moon to be less than 1 billion years. By comparing the impact history of the Moon with Earth’s craters over this interval, they discovered that the rate of sizable asteroid collisions has increased by a factor of two to three on both bodies over the last 290 million years. Read More

Saturn Hasn’t Always Had Rings

Artist’s concept of the Cassini orbiter crossing Saturn’s ring plane. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

January 17, 2019 – One of the last acts of NASA’s Cassini spacecraft before its death plunge into Saturn’s hydrogen and helium atmosphere was to coast between the planet and its rings and let them tug it around, essentially acting as a gravity probe. Read More

PSI Scientist Anticipated “Snowman” Asteroid Appearance

Hartmann visualization of “compound binary” asteroids formed in low-velocity collisions  1978 painting (upper left), 1980 painting (upper right), 1996 painting (lower left) – compared to an image of Ultima Thule by the NASA New Horizons mission (lower right, credit NASA/APL/SWRI

January 15, 2019 – On January 2, the New Horizons spacecraft made the most distant flyby ever attempted, successfully returning images of the Kuiper Belt object Ultima Thule. While the world is agog at the so-called “snowman” shape of this icy asteroid, the concept is nothing new to PSI scientist and artist, Bill Hartmann. The figure shows paintings that Hartmann made from 1978 to 1996, to illustrate the possible outcome of very low-velocity collisions of distant asteroids. These are compared with the first released color image of Ultima Thule. The story goes back 50 years. Read More

Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 To Resume Operations

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA

January 15, 2019 – NASA has moved closer to conducting science operations again with the Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 instrument, which suspended operations on Tuesday, January 8. Today, the instrument was brought back to its operations mode. Read More

Maxar Technologies Announces CEO Transition

January 15, 2019 – Maxar Technologies yesterday announced the appointment of Daniel Jablonsky as President and Chief Executive Officer of Maxar, effective immediately. Jablonsky, who most recently served as President of DigitalGlobe, a Maxar Technologies company, will also join the Maxar Board of Directors. He succeeds Howard Lance, who has resigned from his roles as President and Chief Executive Officer and as a Director of Maxar. Read More

Solar Flares: From Emergence To Eruption

This visualization is an animation of the solar flare modeled in the new study. The violet color represent plasma with temperature less than 1 million Kelvin. Red represents temperatures between 1 million and 10 million Kelvin, and green represents temperatures above 10 million Kelvin. Image Credit: Mark Cheung and Matthias Rempel

January 14, 2019 – A team of scientists has, for the first time, used a single, cohesive computer model to simulate the entire life cycle of a solar flare: from the buildup of energy thousands of kilometers below the solar surface, to the emergence of tangled magnetic field lines, to the explosive release of energy in a brilliant flash. Read More

More News

Juno’s Latest Flyby Of Jupiter Captures Two Massive Storms
Source: NASA

The PI’s Perspective: We Did It — The Bullseye Flyby Of Ultima Thule!
Source: Alan Stern/NASA/JHUAPL

NASA Postdocs Hit By Shutdown Get Emergency Lifeline
Source: Nature

Saturn: Five Things We’ve Learnt In The Last Five Years
Source: BBC Newsround

Space Foundation Announces Space Commerce Speaker And Webinar Series
Source: Space Foundation

SpaceChain Completes The First Qtum Transaction In Space
Source: SpaceChain

Hot Jupiters May Form Close To Their Stars
Source: Astronomy

Propose A Course For The CU Space Minor
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Relativity Space Obtains Air Force Approval For Cape Canaveral Launch Pad
Source: SpaceFlight Now

Japan’s Epsilon Rocket Launches Seven Tech Demo Satellites
Source: Spaceflight Now

House Spending Bill Fires Warning Shot At JWST
Source: SpaceNews

Exploring What’s Next For Iridium After Final NEXT Constellation Launch
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

Stratolaunch Space Venture Sharply Scales Back Its Operations, Months After Paul Allen’s Death
Source: GeekWire

Northrop Grumman Awarded Contract For Minuteman And Peacekeeper Rocket Motor Aging Surveillance Program
Source: Northrop Grumman

Universities Space Research Association Establishes New “Earth From Space Institute” And Appoints Miguel Román Founding Director
Source: Universities Space Research Association

Earth’s Meteor Impact Spiked Long Ago, But The Bombardment May Not Be Over
Source: National Geographic

Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 Recovered, Collecting Science Data
Source: NASA

Air Force Wants Satellite Weather Data
Source: SpaceNews

SpaceX To Shift Starship Work From California To Texas
Source: SpaceNews

European Space Agency Leaders Expect A Challenging Year Ahead
Source: SpaceNews

Iran Admits Failure In Satellite Launch Attempt
Source: Spaceflight Now

New US Strategy Foresees Sensors In Space To Track Missiles
Source: Colorado Sentinel

Sunday’s Total Lunar Eclipse: When And Where To Watch In Colorado, Plus A Weather Forecast
Source: The Gazette

Space Pioneer: Northwest Springs Resident Recalls Earliest Days At NASA, Helping First Man Walk On The Moon
Source: Woodmen Edition

Collins Aerospace Goes Supersonic With Win On New X-59 QueSST Demonstrator Aircraft
Source: Collins Aerospace

CUbit Quantum Initiative Launch Fueled By Seed Funding, Faculty Expertise
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

The First Plants To Grow On The Moon Are Already Dead
Source: Motherboard

Two Daring Spacecraft Aim To Bring Asteroid Dust Back To Earth
Source: Science News

Boeing Invests In Isotropic Systems Ltd. To Expand Satellite Communications Capabilities
Source: Boeing

New Movie Shows Ultima Thule from an Approaching New Horizons

Double Star System Flips Planet-Forming Disk Into Pole Position
Source: University of Warwick

The Orderly Chaos Of Black Holes
Source: Université de Genève

Innovative Research Uses Remote Radio Telescope To Detect Cosmic Rays
Source: Curtin University

POLAR Experiment Reveals Orderly Chaos Of Black Holes
Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences Headquarters

SLS Liquid Hydrogen Tank Test Article Loaded Into Test Stand
Source: NASA

European Service Module Welds Complete
Source: ESA

US Government Shutdown Threatens Lasting Space Science Impact
Source: Cosmos

Bridenstine And Rogozin Speak By Phone After Canceled Visit
Source: SpaceNews

General Atomics’ Acquisitions Of Smallsat Companies Bearing Fruit
Source: SpaceNews

Western University-Led Team Selected By Canadian Space Agency To Study Mars Minerals
Source: Western University

Dragon Back On Earth As Crew Revs Up Station Science
Source: NASA

U.S. Marine Corps Awards Harris Corporation $75 Million Order To Provide MUOS SATCOM Upgrade For Tactical Radios
Source: Harris

SpaceX Gearing Up For Starship Tests At Boca Chica
Source: NASA SpaceFlight.com

China Releases More Images From Far Side Of The Moon
Source: Spaceflight Now

After An Emergency Landing, This Air Force Academy-Alum Astronaut Will Soon Blast Off Again
Source: CPR

From Baton Rouge To The Kuiper Belt, LSU Alum Helps NASA Explore Past Pluto
Source: The Advocate

Bye Aerospace Announces SUBARU-SBI Innovation Fund Investment
Source: Bye Aerospace