July 18, 2017

NanoRacks Airlock Passes Johnson Space Center’s Astronaut Training Exercise

Image Credit: NanoRacks

July 18, 2017 – The NanoRacks Airlock Module design continues to mature as NASA’s Johnson Space Center successfully ran testing on a NASA-built full-scale mockup of the Airlock in their Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL). The tests confirmed that spacewalking astronauts will be able to successfully maneuver around the Airlock structure and mounted external payloads. Read More


SwRI Mission To Yield Unprecedented Observations Of Sun, Mercury And Possible Vulcanoids

Image Credit: Southern Research

July 18, 2017 – A high-definition imaging system developed by Southern Research and deployed on NASA aircraft flying nearly 10 miles above Earth will give Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) scientists a unique look at the Sun’s corona during a rare total eclipse taking place over the United States in August. Read More


NASA Seeks Industry’s Concepts For Deep Space Power, Propulsion

NASA’s deep space gateway concept. Image Credit: NASA

July 18, 2017 – NASA has issued two documents to help the agency identify current capabilities, as well as areas requiring additional study for advanced power and propulsion spacecraft within the American aerospace industry. This advanced technology is needed to support NASA’s deep space exploration goals. Read More


More News:

Astronaut William McArthur Retires From NASA
Source: NASA

After almost three decades of service to the agency, veteran NASA astronaut William McArthur has retired from NASA. His last day with the agency was June 24.


National Space Society Governor Scott Pace Named To National Space Council As Executive Secretary
Source: National Space Society

National Space Society Board of Governors member Dr. Scott Pace has been chosen as the Executive Secretary of the new National Space Council announced by President Trump. The Council will coordinate space activities between NASA, Air Force and other agencies.


JPL Moves Ahead With Mars And Europa Missions Despite Funding Uncertainty
Source: SpaceNews

The director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said his center is pressing ahead with work on current and proposed missions to Mars and Europa despite ongoing debates on Capitol Hill about funding some of those missions and the impact they could have on the lab’s capabilities and workforce.


LISA Pathfinder Spacecraft Ends Communications With Earth After Superb Mission Success
Source: Spaceflight101

ESA’s LISA Pathfinder received its final commands from Earth on Tuesday, marking the end of a highly successful mission of one and a half years that demonstrated the working principle for a future gravitational waves observatory and completed a series of technical tests in its last weeks of operation to help inform the design of the future observatory mission – opening up an entirely new field of astronomy.


Ancient, Massive Asteroid Impact Could Explain Martian Geological Mysteries
Source: CU Boulder Today

The origin and nature of Mars are mysterious. The planet has geologically distinct hemispheres with smooth lowlands in the north and cratered, high-elevation terrain in the south. The red planet also has two small oddly-shaped oblong moons and a composition that sets it apart from that of the Earth. New research by CU Boulder professor Stephen Mojzsis outlines a likely cause for these mysterious features of Mars.


Leah Dodson Wins 2017 Miller Prize
Source: JILA

Leah Dodson won the Miller Prize at the 72nd International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy, held June 19–23 in Urbana, Illinois. Dodson is an NRC postdoc whose official advisor is Jun Ye, but who primarily works on molecular spectroscopy in the Mathias Weber lab. Her award-winning talk was entitled “Oxalate Formation in Titanium––Carbon Dioxide Anionic Clusters Studied by Infrared Photodissociation Spectroscopy.”


Supersonics Gain Momentum On Capitol Hill
Source: Aerospace America

Congress and NASA are taking steps to give a proposed generation of civilian supersonic jets a chance to fly over land, although some in the aerospace community question whether airlines could attract enough customers to make commercial supersonic flight a viable business.


Langley Turns 100: Image Of The Day
Source: NASA

Something happened 100 years ago that changed forever the way we fly. And then the way we explore space. And then how we study our planet. That something was the establishment of what is now known as NASA Langley Research Center (LRC), which is commemorating its 100th anniversary in 2017. The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on the Landsat 8 satellite acquired these natural-color images of Langley Research Center and the surrounding Hampton Roads area on April 9, 2017.


Gamma-ray Telescopes Reveal A High-energy Trap In Our Galaxy’s Center
Source: NASA

A combined analysis of data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope and the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.), a ground-based observatory in Namibia, suggests the center of our Milky Way contains a “trap” that concentrates some of the highest-energy cosmic rays, among the fastest particles in the galaxy.


Five Ways ISS National Lab Enables Commercial Research
Source: NASA

A growing number of commercial partners use the International Space Station National Lab. Since 2011, when NASA engaged the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) to manage the ISS National Lab, CASIS has partnered with academic researchers, other government organizations, startups and major commercial companies to take advantage of the unique microgravity lab. Today, more than 50 percent of the CASIS flight manifest represents commercial research. With that growth, we will see more discoveries in fundamental and applied research that could improve life on the ground.


SwRI Goes To Ends Of Earth For 200 Milliseconds Of Tape
Source: Texas Public Radio

NASA’s New Horizons probe flew past Pluto two years ago, documenting our Solar System’s former ninth planet, but the mission always intended to go farther.


Orion Spacesuits Put to a Vacuum Test At NASA (Photos)
Source: Space.com

A participant in spacesuit testing walks into a chamber that will simulate a vacuum similar to what is encountered in space. This new suit is a hybrid of the pumpkin-colored Advanced Crew Escape Suit used for space shuttle launches and the white spacesuit used for spacewalks on the International Space Station.


Bryce Bjork Awarded 2017 Rao Prize
Source: JILA

Bryce Bjork’s talk entitled “Direct Measurement of OD+CO-> cis-DOCO, trans-DOCO, and D+CO2 Branching Kinetics using Time-Resolved Frequency Comb Spectroscopy” was selected by a panel of judges at the International Symposium on Molecular Spectroscopy as one of three winners of the 2017 Rao Prize. The prize will be presented to Bjork at the June 2018 Symposium.


Cassini’s Last Class
Source: NASA/JPL

For more than 22 years, since before Cassini even launched, flight controllers have invited summer interns to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to help make the mission happen. But with the spacecraft’s journey ending in September, the current summer interns will be Cassini’s last. Paige Arthur, majoring in aerospace engineering at the University of Colorado, is among the students in the last class.