January 25, 2018

Sierra Nevada Corporation Signs Two NextSTEP-2 Contracts With NASA

Image Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation

January 25, 2018 – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has formalized its agreement with NASA under Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships-2 (NextSTEP-2), signing a contract to design and develop a prototype for a deep space habitat. The formal signing of the contract under NextSTEP Broad Agency Announcement, Appendix A: Habitat Systems, aimed at enabling potential long-duration human missions in deep space, clears the way for actual production of SNC’s prototype in the coming months. Read More

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Jupiter’s Stormy North
Source: NASA

See Jupiter’s northern polar belt region in this new view taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. This color-enhanced image was taken on Dec. 16, 2017 at 9:47 a.m. PST (12:47 p.m. EST), as Juno performed its tenth close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 5,600 miles (8,787 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet at a latitude of 38.4 degrees north.

Reno County Native Among NASA Scientists On Pluto Mission To Speak At Cosmosphere
Source: The Ottawa Herald

Four team members from NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Kuiper Belt will participate in a two-day PlutoPalooza in Hutchinson, according to a press release from the Cosmosphere. Events will begin with a TED-talk-style presentation at 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at the Cosmosphere, 1100 N. Plum St. The scientists will share stories, and photos captured during the spacecraft’s flight will be shown.

NASA Poised To Topple A Planet-Finding Barrier
Source: NASA

NASA optics experts are well on the way to toppling a barrier that has thwarted scientists from achieving a long-held ambition: building an ultra-stable telescope that locates and images dozens of Earth-like planets beyond the solar system and then scrutinizes their atmospheres for signs of life.

Clays Of Ladon Basin
Source: NASA

Ladon Basin was a large impact structure that was filled in by the deposits from Ladon Valles, a major ancient river on Mars as seen in this image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). These wet sediments were altered into minerals such as various clay minerals. Clays imply chemistry that may have been favorable for life on ancient Mars, if anything lived there, so this could be a good spot for future exploration by rovers and perhaps return of samples to Earth.