January 30, 2018

Space Resources Program Approved For Fall 2018 Launch

Mines student Caroline Ellis works on her team’s water extraction system as Research Associate Professor Angel Abbud-Madrid looks on at the 2017 NASA Mars Ice Challenge. Image Credit: Colorado School of Mines

January 30, 2018 – A first-of-its-kind graduate program in space resources will officially lift off at Colorado School of Mines this fall. Post-baccalaureate certificates, master’s degrees and doctoral degrees will be offered through the unique interdisciplinary program, which aims to prepare scientists, engineers, economists, policymakers and entrepreneurs to responsibly explore, extract and use resources on the Moon, Mars, asteroids and beyond to fuel future space exploration, cislunar development, as well as needs back on Earth. Read More


Putting Down Roots In Space

Expedition 39 flight engineer Steve Swanson harvests plant specimens from Characterizing Arabidopsis Root Attractions (CARA) – Petri Plant plates. Image Credit: NASA

January 30, 2018 – Plants grow just about everywhere on Earth, and are able to adapt to extreme conditions ranging from drought to disease. Spaceflight, however, exposes plants to stresses not found anywhere on their home planet. Growing plants aboard the International Space Station provides a unique opportunity to study how plants adapt to microgravity, and a team of researchers recently published results in “PLOS One” concerning plant adaptations at the genetic level. Read More


Lockheed Martin Secures Air Force Work On GPS Control Segment Updates

January 30, 2018 – Lockheed Martin will provide hardware and services to help advance U.S. Air Force programs for updates to the Global Positioning System control segment under a potential $10.8 million contract modification, ExecutiveBiz reported Monday. Read More


Kratos’ Colorado Springs Satellite Facility Hosts U.S. Rep Doug Lamborn Town Hall Event

January 30, 2018 – Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., a leading National Security Solutions provider, announced today that U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05) toured and hosted a town hall event at the company’s campus here on January 24. Kratos’ Colorado facilities specialize in advanced engineering, research and development of technologies that support satellite communications, UAVs, missile defense and related applications. Read More


More News:

SpaceX Delays Expendable Falcon 9 Launch With Luxembourg’s GovSat-1
Source: Spaceflight 101

SpaceX delayed the launch of the company’s sixth flight-proven Falcon 9 rocket on Tuesday due to a faulty transducer on the launch vehicle, putting in motion a 24-hour recycle to Wednesday’s backup launch window of 21:25 to 23:46 UTC.


Vista From Mars Rover Looks Back Over Journey So Far
Source: NASA

A panoramic image that NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover took from a mountainside ridge provides a sweeping vista of key sites visited since the rover’s 2012 landing, and the towering surroundings. The view from “Vera Rubin Ridge” on the north flank of Mount Sharp encompasses much of the 11-mile (18-kilometer) route the rover has driven from its 2012 landing site, all inside Gale Crater.


Regis To Host Colorado Robotics Competition
Source: Regis University

Regis is proud to host the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) at its Northwest Denver Campus on Saturday, Feb. 3, beginning at 10:30 a.m. FTC focuses on engaging students in grades 7-12 in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Teams compete head to head, and are responsible for designing, building and programming their robots to compete against other competitors. The event is free and open to the public.


Rescheduled Robotics Work Makes Two Spacewalks In February
Source: NASA/International Space Station

International Space Station managers have rescheduled a U.S. spacewalk postponed on Monday to mid-February. Meanwhile, the Expedition 54 crew is also preparing for a Russian spacewalk this Friday. Astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Norishige Kanai are planning to begin their spacewalk Feb. 15 at 7:10 a.m. EST to stow and reposition a pair of Latching End Effectors (LEEs).


Rocket Cam! Atlas V Launches SBIRS GEO Flight 4
Source: United Launch Alliance

ULA’s Atlas V rocket successfully launched the SBIRS GEO Flight 4 mission for the U.S. Air Force on Jan. 19, 2018.


60 Years Ago: Explorer I Becomes America’s First Satellite
Source: NASA

The year 1958 held much promise for the United States space program. Both the US and the Soviet Union were preparing to orbit a satellite as part of the International Geophysical Year (IGY), a series of activities planned between July 1957 and December 1958, intended to allow scientists around the world to study the Earth and space through coordinated observations.


America’s Air Force: Defenders Of Air, Space And Cyberspace
Source: U.S. Air Force Space Command

Today, relentless cyberattacks continue to demonstrate how cyberspace has truly become a warfighting domain. And since we, as a nation, have become so reliant on cyberspace, it is absolutely critical that we defend this domain just like we defend the air, land, sea and space.


It’s Not Science Fiction – 45th Space Wing “Triad” Enables Space-Based Orbital-Defense Capability
Source: U.S. Air Force Space Command

On Jan. 18, the fourth piece in the Space Based Infrared System, or SBIRS, was successfully launched into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, completing the SBIRS ‘constellation’ – a network of satellites allowing unparalleled defense capability for the United States.


Lockheed Martin Space Sales Growth Lags
Source: SpaceNews

Lockheed Martin recorded record sales in 2017, but growth in the company’s space division was far smaller than in its other sectors. The company, in financial results released Jan. 29, reported a consolidated operating profit of $5.9 billion for 2017 on net sales of $51 billion. Both were up from 2016, when the company has an operating profit of $5.5 billion on net sales of $47.2 billion.


Little Shop Of Physics To Host Lunar Eclipse Party January 31
Source: Colorado State University

Before dawn on Wednesday, Jan. 31, the first total lunar eclipse of its kind in over 150 years will take place. Colorado State University’s Little Shop of Physics invites campus and Fort Collins community members to join them in witnessing this rare astronomical occurrence in person at their Lunar Eclipse Party. This free event will begin during eclipse partiality at 5:30 a.m. on the West Lawn of CSU’s Lory Student Center. Totality is estimated to begin at 5:51 a.m. and will continue through moonset and the event’s conclusion at 7:13 a.m.


NASA’s Small Spacecraft Makes 1st 883-Gigahertz Ice-Cloud Map
Source: NASA

A bread loaf-sized satellite has produced the world’s first map of the global distribution of atmospheric ice in the 883-Gigahertz band, an important frequency in the submillimeter wavelength for studying cloud ice and its effect on Earth’s climate.


FRCC Observatory Open Jan. 31 For Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse
Source: Front Range Community College

The Sunlight Peak Observatory at Front Range Community College will be open, weather permitting, for the super blue blood moon eclipse the morning of Jan. 31. Get here early. The observation will be from 4:45 to 6:30 a.m.


China’s First X-Ray Space Telescope Put Into Service After In-Orbit Tests
Source: Xinhua

China’s first X-ray astronomical satellite, launched in June last year, is put into service for scientific research on Tuesday after finishing in-orbit tests. It embodies a new phase of China’s high-energy astronomy research, according to the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense and China National Space Administration.


Discovering Earth’s Radiation Belts: 60th Anniversary Of Sputnik & Explorer
Source: University of Colorado Boulder/LASP

The Space Age began 60 years ago with the launch of Sputnik by the Soviet Union and the launch of Explorer I by the U.S. In this January 29, 2018 talk, LASP Director, Dr. Dan Baker describes some of the political history of the early space programs and focuses especially on the findings of the Explorer space mission that was launched on 31 January 1958.


CASIS Focuses On Near-Term ISS Utilization Despite Long-Term Uncertainty
Source: SpaceNews

Despite reports that the administration will seek to end NASA involvement in the International Space Station in the mid-2020s, the nonprofit organization that operates the national laboratory portion of the ISS is more concerned with near-term utilization issues.


Blue Moon, Supermoon, Total Lunar Eclipse Rolled Into One Wednesday Morning
Source: The Denver Post

The moon is providing a rare triple treat this week. On Wednesday, much of the world will get to see not only a blue moon and a supermoon, but also a total lunar eclipse, all rolled into one. There hasn’t been a triple lineup like this since 1982 and the next won’t occur until 2037.


Applying Machine Learning To The Universe’s Mysteries
Source: DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Computers can beat chess champions, simulate star explosions, and forecast global climate. We are even teaching them to be infallible problem-solvers and fast learners. And now, physicists at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and their collaborators have demonstrated that computers are ready to tackle the universe’s greatest mysteries.


Aerospace Out To Launch Small Sats Better
Source: The Aerospace Corporation

How do you most efficiently launch small satellites? To answer that question, Aerospace is leading a discussion with industry, academia, and government participants about setting a standard Launch Unit, or Launch-U, for satellites between the size of a toaster and a small refrigerator.


20 Years Ago: Space Station Partners Sign Intergovernmental Agreement
Source: NASA

The International Space Station (ISS) is the largest and most complex international science and engineering project in history, taking advantage of the technical expertise of the participating countries. As such, it required a multinational framework to make it possible.


4 Tips For Viewing The Super Blue Blood Moon
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Just before 4 a.m. Wednesday, the moon will appear unusually bright and large above the western horizon before shifting from gold to red to inky gray-black as it passes into the Earth’s shadow.