July 20, 2017

Key Instrument For Next Mars Mission Arrives At Lockheed Martin

InSight is the first mission dedicated to investigating the deep interior of Mars. The findings will advance understanding of how all rocky planets, including Earth, formed and evolved. This artist’s concept depicts the InSight lander on Mars after the lander’s robotic arm has deployed a seismometer and a heat probe directly onto the ground. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

July 20, 2017 – The prime science instrument for NASA’s next Mars spacecraft has arrived at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, Colorado. The seismometer provided by France’s national space agency, Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), will now be integrated with the spacecraft in time for a 2018 launch. Read More


Scientists Get Best Measure Of Star-Forming Material In Galaxy Clusters In Early Universe

The Tadpole Galaxy is a disrupted spiral galaxy showing streams of gas stripped by gravitational interaction with another galaxy. Molecular gas is the required ingredient to form stars in galaxies in the early universe. Image Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA and Bill Snyder

July 20, 2017 – The international Spitzer Adaptation of the Red-sequence Cluster Survey (SpARCS) collaboration based at the University of California, Riverside has combined observations from several of the world’s most powerful telescopes to carry out one of the largest studies yet of molecular gas – the raw material which fuels star formation throughout the universe – in three of the most distant clusters of galaxies ever found, detected as they appeared when the universe was only four billion years old. Read More


GOES-S Set To Begin Electromagnetic Testing In August

GOES-S during testing. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin/NOAA

July 20, 2017 – GOES-S recently completed a review to assess its readiness to enter final testing to ensure the spacecraft can withstand the harsh environments of launch and space. The satellite was cleared to begin electromagnetic testing in August, which will confirm the electromagnetic signals produced by the satellite’s components do not interfere with its operation. Read More


NASA Looks To Solar Eclipse To Help Understand Earth’s Energy System

July 20, 2017 – It was midafternoon, but it was dark in an area in Boulder, Colorado on August 3, 1998. A thick cloud appeared overhead and dimmed the land below for more than 30 minutes. Well-calibrated radiometers showed that there were very low levels of light reaching the ground, sufficiently low that researchers decided to simulate this interesting event with computer models. Now in 2017, inspired by the event in Boulder, NASA scientists will explore the moon’s eclipse of the sun to learn more about Earth’s energy system. Read More


Hubble Space Telescope Sees Phobos Orbiting The Red Planet

The sharp eye of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has captured the tiny moon Phobos during its orbital trek around Mars. Because the moon is so small, it appears star-like in the Hubble pictures. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and Z. Levay (STScI)

July 20, 2017 – While photographing Mars, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a cameo appearance of the tiny moon Phobos on its trek around the Red Planet. Over the course of 22 minutes, Hubble took 13 separate exposures, allowing astronomers to create a time-lapse video showing the moon’s orbital path. The Hubble observations were intended to photograph Mars, and the moon’s cameo appearance was a bonus. Read More


2017 Colorado STEMworks Database Application

July 20, 2017 – The Colorado STEMworks Database is accepting applications from STEM programs in the state. STEMworks is the go-to resource for finding and investing in the nation’s leading STEM education programs. This is the third time that the Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) and the Colorado Technology Association (CTA) are jointly administering the process since we partnered with Change the Equation in 2015 to replicate the application and review process. Read More


More News:

First GPS Signal Received 40 Years Ago Today
Source: GPS World

Working well after midnight on this day [July 19] in 1977, a Rockwell Collins engineer named David Van Dusseldorp sat on the rooftop of a company building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, adjusting an antenna every five minutes to receive a signal from the world’s first Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite known as NTS-2.


New Dean’s Goal For CU College Of Engineering: 50% Female Undergrads In 5 Years
Source: Boulder Daily Camera

Bobby Braun, the new dean of the University of Colorado’s College of Engineering and Applied Science, thinks his school is the best kept secret on the Boulder campus — and he’s doing everything short of screaming from the hilltops to get the word out. Today, the engineering school is launching a set of goals separate from the university’s own framework — goals so ambitious, Braun admits maybe they won’t be met — designed to lead the college through a physical and mission-based metamorphosis.


A Day In The Life Of An SNC Aerospace Engineer
Source: Sierra Nevada Corporation

SNC aerospace engineer, Eric Cain, shared behind-the-scenes access to Dream Chaser spacecraft testing at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center earlier this week.


TDRS-M Status Update – July 20, 2017
Source: NASA

NASA and Boeing are reviewing plans to safely replace an antenna on the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS-M). The satellite’s Omni S-band antenna was damaged during spacecraft closeout activities July 14 at Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida. The TDRS team is also evaluating a possible electrostatic discharge event involving spacecraft mechanical ground support equipment at the launch site. An integrated launch team is assessing the Aug. 3 launch date on an United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. TDRS-M is the latest satellite to support the space segment of NASA’s Space Network.


From Mars Rover: Panorama Above ‘Perseverance Valley’
Source: NASA

NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity recorded a panoramic view before entering the upper end of a fluid-carved valley that descends the inner slope of a large crater’s rim.


Sen. McCain Diagnosed With Brain Tumor
Source: SpacePolicyOnline.com

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been diagnosed with a brain tumor. As chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), he has a profound influence on national security space programs. He had already delayed his return to Washington to recover from a medical procedure over the weekend to remove a blood clot. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) is substituting for him at SASC hearings this week.


Progress MS-05 Departs ISS En-route To Fiery Re-Entry After Successful Cargo Mission
Source: Spaceflight101.com

The Progress MS-05 cargo spacecraft departed the International Space Station on Thursday after a stay of five months facilitating the delivery of 2.4 metric tons of supplies to the orbiting laboratory. Heading toward a fiery re-entry, the spacecraft pulled away from the Station’s Pirs Docking Compartment which will remain vacant until mid-October when the next Progress supply craft is due to arrive at the complex.


Cucumbers In Space Provide Insights On Root Growth
Source: WILEY

Scientists have untangled the competing influences of water and gravity on plant roots–by growing cucumbers during spaceflight.


Nearby Hot Stars May Change Our View Of Distant Sources
Source: AAS Nova

As if it weren’t enough that quasars — distant and bright nuclei of galaxies — twinkle of their own accord due to internal processes, nature also provides another complication: these distant radio sources can also appear to twinkle because of intervening material between them and us. A new study has identified a possible source for the material getting in the way.


Carpe Umbra: Seize The Shadow Part 1 – SOFIA Southern Deployment
Source: NASA/Kimberly Ennico Smith, SOFIA Project Scientist

We’ve teamed up with NASA’s New Horizons mission to observe an astronomical event known as an occultation, when an object passes in front of a background star. On July 10 we studied MU69 as it occulted a distant star. Two experts aboard SOFIA, Marc Buie and Simon Porter, of the Southwest Research Institute, used measurements from the Hubble Space Telescope to compute exactly where the shadow of MU69 would fall on Earth’s surface.


July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap For Mankind
Source: NASA

July 1969. It’s a little over eight years since the flights of Gagarin and Shepard, followed quickly by President Kennedy’s challenge to put a man on the moon before the decade is out. At 10:56 p.m. EDT Armstrong is ready to plant the first human foot on another world. With more than half a billion people watching on television, he climbs down the ladder and proclaims: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”


Researchers Receive Honors For Most Compelling Space Station Science In 2016
Source: NASA

In a year filled with captivating and groundbreaking experiments conducted on the International Space Station, four investigations were recognized for significant scientific results at the sixth annual ISS Research and Development Conference (ISS R&D) in Washington on July 17.


VIIRS Captures Image Of Hot Spot And Smoke From California’s Detwiler Fire
Source: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) aboard the NOAA/NASA Suomi NPP satellite captured this color-enhanced infrared image of the Detwiler Fire burning in central California on July 19, 2017.


CASIS Announces Cotton Sustainability Challenge
Source: CASIS

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) announced a cotton sustainability challenge, sponsored by Target Corporation, where researchers and innovators will have the ability to propose solutions to improve crop production on Earth by sending their concepts to the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. The challenge will leverage a broad range of disciplines to find breakthrough solutions that can be implemented affordably and benefit the cotton production community.


Entrepreneurially Minded Students Sought For Innovation Action Team
Source: CU Boulder Today

The CU Boulder Innovation Action Team is seeking entrepreneurially minded students from all majors to be part of a founding team of students to lead innovative efforts on campus. The team will ensure that the campus Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative (I&E) is effectively serving the needs of students by helping coordinate, plan and program fun entrepreneurial experiences at all levels.


U.S. Government Geospatial Imagery Buyer Re-Ups With Planet, Reassures DigitalGlobe
Source: Space Intel Report

The incoming U.S. deputy director of national intelligence on July 19 said she would push for greater use of commercial satellite imagery from small-satellite constellations for intelligence purposes but cautioned that quicker revisit time is not a panacea.


Ground-breaking Ground-based Images Of Planets Obtained By Pic-Net Pro-Am Team
Source: Europlanet Outreach

The first observing run of a collaboration between amateur and professional astronomers to monitor our planetary neighbours has resulted in some of the best planetary images ever taken from the ground. Last month, a small team of amateur astronomers carried out a pilot observing run during a workshop funded by the Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (RI). Superb-quality images of Jupiter, Saturn, Venus and Jupiter’s moon Ganymede were obtained during four nights of observations, as well as images of Uranus and Neptune.


Falcon Heavy Prepares For Debut Flight As Musk Urges Caution On Expectations
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

Developing rockets is difficult – even when those rockets use existing rocket boosters. Such is the case for SpaceX and the development of the Falcon Heavy. Once operational, Falcon Heavy will be the most powerful rocket in the world. While the path to its inaugural mission has been challenging, Elon Musk is urging caution surrounding expectations of the rocket’s first flight, which is expected later this year from LC-39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida.


Adler Planetarium Astronomer Develops New Ways To See The Formation Of Stars And Discovers Never-Before Seen Areas In Our Milky Way Galaxy
Source: Adler Planetarium

A research team led by Adler Planetarium astronomer Dr. Grace Wolf- Chase has discovered new evidence of stars forming in our Milky Way Galaxy. By using a telescope equipped to detect infrared light invisible to our eyes, this exciting new science is revealing how stars, including our very own Sun, grow up within clusters and groups.