July 21, 2017

Eclipse Science Along The Path Of Totality

Total solar eclipse over India in 1980. Image Credit: UCAR/HAO

July 21, 2017 – Leading U.S. solar scientists today highlighted research activities that will take place across the country during next month’s rare solar eclipse, advancing our knowledge of the Sun’s complex and mysterious magnetic field and its effect on Earth’s atmosphere. Read More


NASA Invites You To Become A Citizen Scientist During US Total Solar Eclipse

July 21, 2017 – NASA invites eclipse viewers around the country to participate in a nationwide science experiment by collecting cloud and air temperature data and reporting it via their phones. The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment, or GLOBE, Program is a NASA-supported research and education program that encourages students and citizen scientists to collect and analyze environmental observations. GLOBE Observer is a free, easy-to-use app that guides citizen scientists through data collection. Read More


Lockheed Martin To Build Full-Scale Prototype Of NASA Cislunar Habitat

Lockheed Martin artist rendering of the NextSTEP habitat docked with Orion in cislunar orbit as part of a concept for the Deep Space Gateway. Orion will serve as the habitat’s command deck in early missions, providing critical communications, life support and navigation to guide long-duration missions. Image Credit: PRNewsfoto/Lockheed Martin)

July 21, 2017 – Lockheed Martin Space Systems is prototyping a deep space habitat for NASA by refurbishing a shuttle-era container used to transfer cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). The prototype will integrate technologies to keep astronauts safe while onboard, but allow the habitat to operate autonomously when it’s unoccupied. Read More


More News:

Video: 2017 Eclipse Ignite | Amir Caspi
Source: High Altitude Observatory

The High Altitude Observatory (HAO) of the National Center for Atmospheric research (NCAR) is located in Boulder, Colorado, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. HAO conducts research and provides community support and facilities in the following areas: Atmosphere, Ionosphere and Magnetosphere (AIM), Long-term Solar Variability (LSV), and Solar Transients and Space Weather (STSW).


International Lunar Observatory At Moon’s South Pole In 2019
Source: International Lunar Observatory Association/Moon Express

International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA) and Moon Express have announced a collaboration for the delivery of the first International Lunar Observatory to the South Pole of the Moon in 2019 (ILO-1). Moon Express has been contracted by ILOA to develop advanced landing technologies supporting the mission.


DLR To Fly Experiments On Blue Origin’s New Shepard
Source: SpaceNews

The German Aerospace Center, Germany’s space agency, will fly two experiments on a suborbital flight by Blue Origin’s New Shepard vehicle later this year as part of an effort to diversify its microgravity research efforts.


ICON Payload Integration TimeLapse
Source: The University of California, Berkeley

This time-lapse video shows the integration of instruments into the ICON payload at the Space Dynamics Laboratory in Logan, Utah. The video covers a 15-week period from mid-February, 2016 until the end of May, 2016.


Researchers Work To Break New Ground In The Mysteries Of Universe Formation
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Our understanding of the universe may soon be changing thanks to the efforts of a thousand scientists from around the world, including two from the University of Colorado Boulder. Alysia Marino, an associate professor, and Eric Zimmerman, a professor in the Physics Department at CU Boulder, are both working on the construction of the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility (LBNF), which will eventually house the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment (DUNE).


4 SOPS Assumes Control Of First WGS Satellite
Source: Air Force Space Command

The 4th Space Operations Squadron assumed control of its first wideband global SATCOM satellite during a ceremony July 14. While there are eight other WGS satellites currently orbiting in the constellation managed by 4 SOPS, WGS-9 marked the first time the newly merged squadron assumed control of one. Previous assumptions of control happened under the recently deactivated 3rd Space Operations Squadron.


NASA To Take Advantage Of Solar Eclipse
Source: Aerospace America

When the moon completely eclipses the sun on Aug. 21, scientific groups and NASA will take the opportunity to study the sun’s corona with cameras mounted on research planes in a mission that participants say could spur more airborne astronomy.


Video: 2017 ULA Interns Launch Future Heavy
Source: United Launch Alliance

On June 24, 2017, interns and mentors from United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched the 53-foot-tall Future Heavy, breaking their own record for launching the world’s largest sport rocket. The rocket carried 16 payloads (experiments and instruments) from K-12 teams, Ball Aerospace mentors and a combined ULA/Roush Industries team. Working on their own time, ULA interns designed, built and launched the rockets with the guidance of mentors, and Ball Aerospace mentors volunteered their time to create and test their payload. The rocket launched at the Spaceport America Cup International Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition in association with the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA).


Video: Pluto 8k Loop
Source: Seán Doran

Pluto images from New Horizons mission used to create rotating view of Pluto. NASA / JHUAPL / SwRI / Seán Doran


Samuel C. C. Ting To Deliver AIAA Von Kármán Lecture In Astronautics
Source: AIAA

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has selected Samuel C. C. Ting, Nobel Prize winner in physics, and the Thomas Dudley Cabot Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, Massachusetts, to give its AIAA von Kármán Lecture in Astronautics. Ting will deliver his lecture on September 12 at 6:30 p.m. (EDT), as part of the 2017 AIAA Space and Astronautics Forum and Exposition ( AIAA SPACE Forum), September 12–14, at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, Florida.


SWF Publishes Updated Fact Sheet On The UN COPUOS Long-Term Sustainability Guidelines
Source: Secure World Foundation

SWF has published an updated version of our fact sheet on the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space’s (UN COPUS) Long-Term Sustainability Guidelines. The updated fact sheet includes new details following the sixtieth session of the Committee in June and an overview of the process from its inception in 2010.


Hubble’s Hunting Dog Galaxy
Source: NASA

Tucked away in the small northern constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs) is the galaxy NGC 4242, shown here as seen by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy lies some 30 million light-years from us.


The Moon Is Front And Center During A Total Solar Eclipse
Source: NASA

In the lead-up to a total solar eclipse, most of the attention is on the sun, but Earth’s moon also has a starring role. “A total eclipse is a dance with three partners: the moon, the sun and Earth,” said Richard Vondrak, a lunar scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “It can only happen when there is an exquisite alignment of the moon and the sun in our sky.”


NASA’s Commercial Crew Program Target Test Flight Dates
Source: NASA

The next generation of American spacecraft and rockets that will launch astronauts to the International Space Station are nearing the final stages of development and evaluation. NASA’s Commercial Crew Program will return human spaceflight launches to U.S. soil, providing reliable and cost-effective access to low-Earth orbit on systems that meet our safety and mission requirements. To meet NASA’s requirements, the commercial providers must demonstrate that their systems are ready to begin regular flights to the space station.


Holograms Might Help Search For Alien Life
Source: NASA/JPL

If a space probe detected microbial life on another planet, would scientists know it when they saw it? Identifying bacteria by sight is challenging enough on Earth, even for experts. To the naked eye, bacteria look like featureless blobs — not unlike the mineral grains that might surround them in a sample. A form of holographic imaging could help.


Carpe Umbra: Seize The Shadow Part 2 – Sofia Southern Deployment
Source: NASA/Kimberly Ennico Smith

We took off during the day to hunt down the shadow of a Kuiper Belt object, MU69, as it passed in front of a star. To get in its projected shadow path on Earth, we flew north from Christchurch, New Zealand toward Tahiti.


NASA Flights To Produce Sonic Booms At Kennedy Space Center For Supersonic Research
Source: NASA

NASA’s research to advance supersonic flight will take wing over the launch site for the agency’s storied space program in August. Teams and aircraft from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, and Langley Research Center in Virginia, two of the agency’s centers that conduct extensive aeronautical research, will deploy to Kennedy Space Center in Florida for a nearly two-week flight series campaign.


NASA Television Coverage Set For Next International Space Station Crew Launch
Source: NASA

Three new crew members for the International Space Station are scheduled to launch on Friday, July 28. Live launch coverage will begin at 10:45 a.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website. NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) will launch at 11:41 a.m. (9:41 p.m. Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.


The Making Of An Astronaut
Source: NBC News

Three space fliers show just what it takes to join one of the world’s most exclusive clubs. NBC interviews Sunita “Suni” Williams, Karen Nyberg and Kjell Lindgren.


Rovers Drive Through Tenerife Darkness
Source: ESA

A pair of ESA rovers trundled around a Moon-like area of Tenerife by both day and night during a nine-day test campaign, gathering terabytes of data for follow-up analysis. A team from ESA’s Planetary Robotics Laboratory, with a vehicle called the Heavy Duty Planetary Rover (HDPR), joined engineers from GMV in Spain employing a second ESA-owned rover and associated control systems called the Rover Autonomy Testbed (RAT), as part of ESA’s Lunar Scenario Concept Validation and Demonstration (Lucid) project.


Preview The Total Solar Eclipse With NOAA’s Science On A Sphere
Source: CIRES

For a few minutes on August 21, the sun will disappear behind the moon in a total solar eclipse visible from a streak of locations across the United States. As the day turns dark and cools, those suffering in August’s heat may get a few minutes of relief. Now, for those who cannot view the eclipse from its “path of totality,” or even for those who just want a preview of the live event, NOAA has released two new eclipse datasets for the illuminated Science On a Sphere.


LightSail 2 Updates: Prox-1 Mission Changes, New Launch Date
Source: The Planetary Society

LightSail 2 and Prox-1 are now headed to orbit no earlier than April 30, 2018. Here is the latest update.


Finished GOES-S Satellite Slated For Launch In 2018
Source: WeatherNation

The GOES-S, which is the next satellite of the series to be launched, is built and will begin electromagnetic testing in August. This is to ensure the satellite can handle conditions in space, withstand worse case scenarios, and do it’s job once it’s in orbit. The GOES-S launch window opens on March 1, 2018.


DigitalGlobe: US Government Exercises Option, WorldView-4 Draws Commercial Customers
Source: Space Intel Report

Geospatial imagery provider DigitalGlobe on July 20 said it would be spending no more than $600 million to build and launch its WorldView-Legion high-resolution optical Earth observation spacecraft, which recently have been contracted with the satellite-building unit of MDA Corp. of Canada.


Video: Go Inside The International Space Station With Google Street View
Source: Google Maps

The International Space Station is a marvel of modern science and engineering. Astronauts have occupied the pressurized modules for over 16 years, and now you can explore their work and living spaces in Google Street View. From the research, to the “orbital outhouse” to the inspirational views back down to Earth from the cupola, take a look at the images here: google.com/streetview