July 14, 2017

For Moratorium On Sending Commands To Mars, Blame The Sun

This diagram illustrates the positions of Mars, Earth and the sun during a period that occurs approximately every 26 months, when Mars passes almost directly behind the sun from Earth’s perspective. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

July 14, 2017 – This month, movements of the planets will put Mars almost directly behind the sun, from Earth’s perspective, causing curtailed communications between Earth and Mars. NASA will refrain from sending commands to America’s three Mars orbiters and two Mars rovers during the period from July 22 to August 1. Read More


In Gulf Of Mexico, NASA Evaluates How Crew Will Exit Orion

NASA Orion ICEE HOT Crew Egress Testing – Side Hatch crew egressing. Image Credit: NASA

July 14, 2017 – When astronauts return to Earth from destinations beyond the moon in NASA’s Orion spacecraft and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, they’ll still need to safely get out of the spacecraft and back on dry land. Using the waters off the coast of Galveston, Texas, a NASA and Department of Defense team tested Orion exit procedures in a variety of scenarios July 10-14. Read More


MDA And DigitalGlobe Provide Update On Merger

July 14, 2017 – MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) and DigitalGlobe, Inc. have provided several updates related to the status of the pending acquisition of DigitalGlobe by a wholly owned subsidiary of MDA. Read More


NASA Video Soars Over Pluto’s Majestic Mountains And Icy Plains

July 14, 2017 – Using actual New Horizons data and digital elevation models of Pluto and its largest moon Charon, mission scientists have created flyover movies that offer spectacular new perspectives of the many unusual features that were discovered and which have reshaped our views of the Pluto system – from a vantage point even closer than the spacecraft itself. Read More


New Horizons Unveils New Maps Of Pluto, Charon On Flyby Anniversary

Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/LPI

July 14, 2017 – On July 14, 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made its historic flight through the Pluto system – providing the first close-up images of Pluto and its moons and collecting other data that has transformed our understanding of these mysterious worlds on the solar system’s outer frontier. Read More


More News:

Space Debris Removal Startup Astroscale Raises $25 Million
Source: SpaceNews

Astroscale, a Singapore-based startup focused on space debris mitigation, has raised $25 million from investors in Japan, including aviation company ANA Holdings and industrial machinery provider OSG Corp. The four-year old company, which opened a research and development office in Japan in 2015 and a branch location in the United Kingdom this year, completed the Series C round with a mix of venture capitalists and private companies.


Launch Success – Russia’s Soyuz Delivers 73 Satellites In Complex Multi-Orbit Mission
Source: Spaceflight101.com

Russia’s Soyuz rocket thundered into clear skies over the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Friday, embarking on an all-day ascent mission with an impressive stack of 73 payloads hidden under its protective payload fairing for operators in Russia, the U.S., Japan, Germany, Norway and Canada – ranging from Earth-imaging & ship-tracking satellites to technical demonstrations and an ‘orbital lighthouse’ that could become the brightest artificial object in the sky.


Space Corps Proposal Has Murkier Path Forward In The Senate
Source: SpaceNews

The House of Representatives on Friday approved a controversial proposal to establish a separate Space Corps within the U.S. Air Force. The Space Corps provision was approved as part the National Defense Authorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 2810), a sprawling bill that sets spending levels and policy prescriptions for the entire Department of Defense.


Jupiter Images Thrill, Inspire Public To Participate
Source: CBS News

Processing images from the camera aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft orbiting Jupiter has turned into a cottage industry of sorts, as rank amateurs, accomplished artists and experienced researchers turn relatively drab “raw” images into shots ranging from whimsical to spectacular and everything in between.


China’s Tiangong-1 Space Lab: Preparations For Uncontrolled Re-entry
Source: Inside Outer Space/Leonard David

The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) has reissued a notification by China on the future uncontrolled re-entry of the country’s Tiangong-1 space lab.


Tabby’s Star: The Curious Case Of An Unusual Variable System
Source: Boulder Astronomy & Space Society

BASS’s next event will be held Saturday, July 15th, 7PM at Sommers-Bausch Observatory. Discovered by the Kepler space telescope, Tabby’s star is variable unlike any other. It dims periodically, as if something is passing in front of it, but the light curve is oddly complex, like it is being eclipsed by a bunch of things for a while, and then they move out of the line of sight.


Trash In The Skies II: Industry Perspectives On Dealing With Space Debris
Source: Secure World Foundation

On Monday, July 10, SWF held a luncheon panel discussion on Capitol Hill that brought together private sector experts to discuss the current space debris situation, what steps are being done (or not done) to address it, whether the blanket 25-year rule is still sufficient, and what role industry can play in helping ensuring the long-term sustainability of space while fostering continued innovation and growth of the space sector.


Sweating The Small Stuff – CubeSats Swarm Earth Orbit
Source: Scientific American

A boom in nanosatellites could revolutionize space science and industry, but also dramatically increase the hazards of space junk.


The Specters Of Mars
Source: NASA

An image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows Malea Planum,a polar region in the Southern hemisphere of Mars, directly south of Hellas Basin, which contains the lowest point of elevation on the planet. The region contains ancient volcanoes of a certain type, referred to as “paterae.”


Jupiter’s Great Red Spot (Enhanced Color)
Source: NASA

An enhanced-color image of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot was created by citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The image is approximately illumination adjusted and strongly enhanced to draw viewers’ eyes to the iconic storm and the turbulence around it.


Hubble Spots A Barred Lynx Spiral
Source: NASA

Discovered by British astronomer William Herschel over 200 years ago, NGC 2500 lies about 30 million light-years away in the northern constellation of Lynx. As this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows, NGC 2500 is a particular kind of spiral galaxy known as a barred spiral, its wispy arms swirling out from a bright, elongated core.


Orion: Crew Safety, Even Before Astronauts Take Flight
Source: Lockheed Martin

As humans, we’re naturally driven to explore the unknown, and Orion will help us do just that. As we continue to explore and push the exploration boundaries of our universe, Lockheed Martin will ensure the safety of those brave enough to go where no one has gone before. Here are three ways Lockheed Martin is already ensuring Orion will bring astronauts home safely.


On-Orbit Operations The Next Frontier For Space, Experts Say
Source: SpaceNews

Operating while in orbit is the next big challenge for the space sector, be it manufacturing, assembly, satellite servicing, or debris removal, experts said Thursday.


NASA Selects Top Three iTech Innovators For Continued Collaboration
Source: NASA

Judges at NASA’s second iTech Forum have selected the top three best innovative ideas for continued collaboration that may lead to new high technology products that have the potential to benefit NASA in the future, and the nation.


Meet Scott Pace, The National Space Council’s New Executive Secretary
Source: The Planetary Society

The National Space Council, an advisory group tasked with developing a unified strategy for government space interests, now has an executive secretary. Scott Pace, the director of The George Washington University Space Policy Institute, will fill the position.


Amused (Or Not) By Flat Earthers’ Willful Ignorance
Source: The Denver Post

Opinion letters in response to the Denver Post’s “These Coloradans say Earth is flat. And gravity’s a hoax. Now, they’re being persecuted,” July 7 news story.


Orion Testers Make One Giant Leap Into Gulf Of Mexico
Source: Houston Chronicle

NASA’s Orion, carrying the nation’s hopes and dreams for reaching the Red Planet, completed an important test Thursday as a group of astronauts safely exited a mockup of the spacecraft’s crew module in conditions they might experience following an ocean splashdown.


MDA, DigitalGlobe Shareholders Set July 27 To Vote on $3.6B Merger Plan
Source: GovCon Wire

DigitalGlobe and Canada-based MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates are scheduled to hold their respective shareholder meetings July 27 to decide on MDA’s proposed $3.6 billion acquisition of the Westminster, Colorado-based Earth imaging services provider originally announced in February.


Air Force To Host Industry Day On Phase 2 Competition For GPS III Production
Source: ExecutiveBiz

The U.S. Air Force will hold an industry day on July 20 in El Segundo, California, to update potential vendors on the acquisition strategy for the Phase 2 competition to produce up to 22 GPS III satellites. The service branch said in a FedBizOpps notice published Monday the event also aims to seek industry feedback on the draft request for proposals in preparation for the final RFP to be issued in the fall of 2017.