January 22, 2018

Mines Team Gets NASA Funding For Intelligent Drilling System

Image Credit: NASA

January 22, 2018 – An intelligent drilling system capable of characterizing materials as it drills into the lunar or Martian surface is under development at Colorado School of Mines. A team of three Mines professors, led by Jamal Rostami, Haddon/Alacer Gold Endowed Chair in Mining Engineering and director of the Earth Mechanics Institute, has received NASA funding for the project. Read More

Under Control: U.S. Air Force’s SBIRS GEO Flight-4 Missile Warning Satellite Responding To Commands

The Lockheed Martin built-SBIRS GEO Flight-4 satellite was launched at 7:48 p.m. EST on Jan. 19. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

January 22, 2018 – The U.S. Air Force’s 460th Space Wing is now “talking” with the fourth Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite after its successful launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on Friday, January 19. Read More

CU Boulder Team Finalists In NASA Mars Competition

The team with professor Kyri Baker (center). Image Credit: University of Colorado Boulder

January 22, 2018 – Wanted: college students to help NASA get to Mars. No prior Martian experience necessary. The space agency is turning to an unlikely resource in its quest to conquer the red planet, and University of Colorado Boulder students are answering the call. Read More

A ‘Hot Jupiter’ With Unusual Winds

Artist’s concept shows the gaseous exoplanet CoRoT-2b with a westward hot spot in orbit around its host star. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (IPAC)

January 22, 2018 – The hottest point on a gaseous planet near a distant star isn’t where astrophysicists expected it to be – a discovery that challenges scientists’ understanding of the many planets of this type found in solar systems outside our own. Read More

United Launch Alliance Assumes Marketing And Sales For Atlas V Commercial Launches From Lockheed Martin

January 22, 2018 – United Launch Alliance (ULA) announced today that it has assumed responsibility for the marketing and sales of Atlas V, the world’s most reliable launch vehicle, from Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services. In addition to performing all of the operational activities related to Atlas V launch services, as ULA has done since its formation in 2006, ULA now has the full authority to market and sell Atlas V launch services to commercial customers. Read More

Dust Storms Linked To Gas Escape From Martian Atmosphere

Image Credit: NASA

January 22, 2018 – Some Mars experts are eager and optimistic for a dust storm this year to grow so grand it darkens skies around the entire Red Planet. This type of phenomenon in the environment of modern Mars could be examined as never before possible, using the combination of spacecraft now at Mars. Read More

Applications Due For Adams State Summer High School Robotics Apprenticeship

Dr. Matt Ikle shows workings of the Robokind robot that will be used in the apprenticeship program. Image Credit: Adams State University

January 22, 2018 – For the third year, Adams State University will offer the summer High School Apprenticeship Research Program in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, funded by a grant from the Army Research Office. Interested high school students must apply for the apprenticeships by February 28, 2018. The application and details are available online. Use Adams State code HASU73. Read More

Space Foundation Announces Winners Of Eighth Annual International Student Art Contest

Image Credit: Space Foundation

January 22, 2018 – Since 2011, the Space Foundation’s International Student Art Contest has inspired children around the globe to envision the possibilities and adventures to be found in space. Read More

Magellan Delivers Canadian Satellite Power Control Unit For Upcoming Space Mission

January 22, 2018 – Magellan Aerospace announced today that it has delivered the first of three Power Control Units (PCU) for an upcoming space mission. In 2016, Magellan was selected by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), at the University of Colorado Boulder, to provide satellite technology for a future Deep Space Interplanetary Mission. Under the contract, Magellan’s Winnipeg facility will deliver three PCUs and subsystems for three jointly-developed Control and Data Handling (C&DH) units. The end user customer and program cannot be identified for contractual reasons. Read More

More News:

John Hopkins Scientist Proposes New Definition Of A Planet
Source: The Johns Hopkins University

Pluto hogs the spotlight in the continuing scientific debate over what is and what is not a planet, but a less conspicuous argument rages on about the planetary status of massive objects outside our solar system. The dispute is not just about semantics, as it is closely related to how giant planets like Jupiter form. Johns Hopkins University astrophysicist Kevin Schlaufman aims to settle the dispute.

Leo Hill Leadership Speaker Series: An Evening With Dr. Mae Jemison
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Join us on Feb. 27 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. for a presentation in Macky Auditorium featuring Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color in the world to go into space. Presentation open to the community. Astronaut, engineer, entrepreneur, physician and educator, Dr. Mae Jemison leads 100 Year Starship, a global initiative seed funded through a competitive grant from DARPA to ensure the capabilities for human travel to another star within the next 100 years while transforming life on Earth.

United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches SBIRS GEO Flight 4 Mission For The U.S. Air Force
Source: United Launch Alliance

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO Flight 4 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 on Jan. 19 at 7:48 p.m. EST. SBIRS is considered one of the nation’s highest priority space programs, and is designed to provide global, persistent, infrared surveillance capabilities to meet 21st century demands.

Rocket Lab Delivers Nanosatellites To Orbit On First Successful Test Launch
Source: Spaceflight Now

Rocket Lab’s commercial Electron launcher soared into orbit from New Zealand on Saturday, U.S. time, a success that puts the company’s founder said will hasten dedicated, frequent and affordable rides to space for small satellites.

New For Three Types Of Extreme-Energy Space Particles: Theory Shows Unified Origin
Source: Penn State

New model connects the origins of very high-energy neutrinos, ultrahigh-energy cosmic rays, and high-energy gamma rays with black-hole jets embedded in their environments.

Hubble Mission Commander, Spacewalker To Enter Astronaut Hall Of Fame
Source: Space.com

The commander of the final space shuttle mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope and a three-time spacewalker who helped to install the U.S. laboratory on the International Space Station, will be inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in April.

Building A Winning NASA BIG Idea Challenge Team
Source: University of Colorado Boulder/ Nick Glascock-Illescas

Deciding to enter the NASA Big Idea Challenge was one of the last things I would have expected to do in the Fall of 2017. The solicitation came in an email where it was announced NASA was seeking groups of undergraduate and graduate students to submit proposals for the design of an autonomously deployable solar array for Mars. Autonomously deployable arrays had been done before, but none at the scale they were asking.

Featured Image: New Detail In The Toothbrush Cluster
Source: AAS Nova

This spectacular composite (click here for the full image) reveals the galaxy cluster 1RXS J0603.3+4214, known as the “Toothbrush cluster” due to the shape of its most prominent radio relic. Featured in a recent publication led by Kamlesh Rajpurohit (Thuringian State Observatory, Germany), this image contains new Very Large Array (VLA) 1.5-GHz observations (red) showing the radio emission within the cluster. This is composited with a Chandra view of the X-ray emitting gas of the cluster (blue) and an optical image of the background from Subaru data.

Advance Your Career Through Space Foundation New Generation Participation
Source: Space Foundation

During the 34th Space Symposium, the Space Foundation will help New Generation participants gain visibility and exposure to senior leaders while getting advice and insight on career development through mentoring opportunities, workshops, Q&A sessions and through panel discussions, such as “Propelling the New Generation Workforce.”

Kepler Confirms Health Of LEO Ku-Band CubeSat
Source: SpaceNews

Kepler Communications, a Canadian startup designing a low-Earth-orbit constellation for satellite connectivity, says its first satellite is performing as expected following a Jan. 19 launch on China’s Long March 11 rocket.

Space Industry Hit Hard By Military Spending Downturn
Source: SpaceNews

The defense spending downturn that started in 2010 was tough on the space sector, according to a new study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Pentagon contracts for space systems dropped from nearly $10 billion in 2009 to just over $6 billion in 2016. Especially steep were cutbacks in space research and development contracts — from $6 billion to about $3 billion.

SpaceX: Iridium-5 To Launch In March; Government Shutdown Creates Manifest Uncertainty
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

Iridium Communications Inc. has announced the target launch date for their fifth flight aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, to continue deployment of their Iridium NEXT communications constellation. Meanwhile, the U.S. government shutdown is now creating uncertainties for SpaceX with their near-term manifest.