July 27, 2017

Cadets Showcase FalconSAT Program At Space Foundation Discovery Center

The USAFA Space Squadron is at the Discovery Center. Image Credit: Space Foundation

July 27, 2017 – Cadets from the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, were at the Space Foundation Discovery Center on July 25 to highlight progress on the Falcon Satellite Program and other activities. A satellite built by cadets and loaded with high-tech experiments is ready to launch into space in 2018. Read More


ULA Delivers Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage To Kennedy Space Center

The Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage, packed in its canister, exits the Delta Operations Center at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for transport to the Space Station Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center. Image Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett

July 27, 2017 – The Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) is the first segment for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket to arrive at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was transported from the United Launch Alliance (ULA) facility at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where it had been undergoing final testing and checkout, to the Space Station Processing Facility at the center. Read More


The Secret Of Magnetic Cycles In Stars

This combination of images and artist’s impression shows changes in the Sun’s appearance and magnetic fields during part of the solar cycle. The Sun’s magnetic field flips approximately every 11 years, defining this cycle. The switch happens around at the maximum peak of magnetic activity, when sunspot and flare activity reaches its peak. We show images of the Sun captured by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) obtained on 10th October 2010 (solar minimum), 25th December 2013 (solar maximum) and on 25th June 2017 (solar minimum), combined with artist’s impressions to show the magnetic field of the Sun. Image Credit: NASA/SDO/A. Strugarek et al; Illustrations: L. Almeida, Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN), Brazil

July 27, 2017 – Using new numerical simulations and observations, scientists may now be able to explain why the Sun’s magnetic field reverses every eleven years. This significant discovery explains how the duration of the magnetic cycle of a star depends on its rotation, and may help us understand violent space weather phenomena around the Sun and similar stars. Read More


Galactic David And Goliath

This composite image, created out of two different pointings from Hubble, shows the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1512 (left) and the dwarf galaxy NGC 1510 (right). Both galaxies are about 30 million light-years away from Earth and currently in the process of merging. At the end of this process NGC 1512 will have cannibalised its smaller companion. Image Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA

July 27, 2017 – Galaxies come in a range of shapes and sizes, and astronomers use this fact to classify them based on their appearance. NGC 1512, the large galaxy to the left in this image, is classified as a barred spiral, named after the bar composed of stars, gas and dust slicing through its centre. The tiny NGC 1510 to the right, on the other hand, is a dwarf galaxy. Despite their very different sizes, each galaxy affects the other through gravity, causing slow changes in their appearances. Read More


More News:

Six Little Words: Elon Musk Targets November For Falcon Heavy Rocket’s Maiden Launch
Source: GeekWire

SpaceX’s billionaire CEO, Elon Musk, says he’s aiming to launch the first test flight of his company’s Falcon Heavy rocket in November from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Falcon Heavy has been in the works for years, and would rank as the world’s most powerful operational rocket.


Orbital Airmen
Source: Airman Online

Col. Tyler N. “Nick” Hague graduated from the United States Air Force Academy and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1998. He will launch into space aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket in September of 2018 to begin a six-month mission as flight engineer on ISS Expedition 57/58.


Senate Bill Finds Middle Ground For NASA Funding
Source: SpaceNews

A Senate appropriations subcommittee approved a spending bill July 25 that would provide NASA with $19.5 billion, striking a middle ground between the administration’s original request and a more generous House bill.


Bridging The Gap Between Space And Terrestrial Robotics
Source: CU-Boulder/ATLAS Institute

Space equipment needs to be more durable and reliable, which makes researchers risk averse, he says. Despite the challenges of their work, researchers working on robots launched into space don’t often connect with those working on terrestrial robots, where the stakes are lower and the pace of innovation is faster.


SBIR-STTR-Success: MMA Design LLC
Source: SBIR.gov

The Air Force will be able to use an emerging class of lower-cost satellites for more missions because of a better power source developed in partnership with a Colorado-based company. With support from the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer Program, MMA Design LLC created a steerable solar array for CubeSats that incorporates processes typically used on larger, more complex and more expensive spacecraft.


Ascent Solar Delivers First Shipment Of A Major Contract To Supply High-Voltage Superlight Thin-Film Modules For High Altitude Aerospace Application
Source: Ascent Solar

Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of state-of-the-art, lightweight, and flexible thin-film photovoltaic (PV) solutions, announces that the Company has successfully delivered the first shipment of the major contract on June 26, 2017 pursuant to announcement made on January 19, 2017.


TRAJECTORIES 2017
Source: AIAA-RM

Join us for the newly created Mines Aerospace Interest Group’s & AIAA RMS’ fall networking event, TRAJECTORIES 2017, on the Mines campus. This event will include free-range networking, a series of short, Trajectory presentations, and networking based on certain topics related to the aerospace industry.


Wanted: Members For UAS Advisory Board In Chaffee County, Colo.
Source: Unmanned Aerial Online

The Chaffee County, Colo., board of county commissioners is seeking members to serve on its drone advisory board, which was formed to “provide advice and assistance on all authorized operations and activities in connection with the county’s UAS program.”


Eclipse Balloons To Study Effect Of Mars-Like Environment On Life
Source: NASA

Steps forward in the search for life beyond Earth can be as simple as sending a balloon into the sky. In one of the most unique and extensive eclipse observation campaigns ever attempted, NASA is collaborating with student teams across the U.S. to do just that. A larger initiative, NASA’s Eclipse Balloon Project, led by Angela Des Jardins of Montana State University, is sending more than 50 high-altitude balloons launched by student teams across the U.S. to livestream aerial footage of the Aug. 21 total solar eclipse from the edge of space to NASA’s website.


Milky Way’s Origins Are Not What They Seem
Source: Northwestern

In a first-of-its-kind analysis, Northwestern University astrophysicists have discovered that, contrary to previously standard lore, up to half of the matter in our Milky Way galaxy may come from distant galaxies. As a result, each one of us may be made in part from extragalactic matter.


Trio Ready To Begin Space Mission Lasting Til Mid-December
Source: NASA

It is less than one day before three new International Space Station crew members start a 4-1/2 month mission in space. The trio from Russia, United States and Italy will launch aboard the Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft Friday at 11:41 a.m. EDT from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.


SLS Meets Milestones Building, Processing Multiple Tanks
Source: NASA

NASA has met a milestone completing the welding on a liquid oxygen tank test article and beginning welding the liquid oxygen tank that will be part of the first Space Launch System deep space rocket. This tank and the liquid hydrogen tank are the parts of the SLS core stage that hold more than 700,000 gallons of propellant to power the rocket’s four RS-25 engines.


Orion’s Ogive Creates A Safe Escape For Astronauts
Source: NASA/Alcyon Technical Services

Engineers are currently testing a critical component of NASA’s Orion spacecraft at the Reverberant Acoustic Test Facility at NASA Glenn Research Center’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio. The ogive panels protect the crew module during ascent as well as from the harsh acoustic and vibration environments experienced during launch.


In Quest To Reach Alpha Centauri, Breakthrough Starshot Launches World’s Smallest Spacecraft
Source: Breakthrough Initiatives

Breakthrough Starshot, a multi-faceted program to develop and launch practical interstellar space missions, successfully flew its first spacecraft – the smallest ever launched. On June 23, a number of prototype “Sprites” – the world’s smallest fully functional space probes, built on a single circuit board – achieved Low Earth Orbit, piggybacking on OHB System AG’s ‘Max Valier’ and ‘Venta’ satellites.


LIGO Team Members To Receive 2018 Berkeley Prize
Source: American Astronomical Society (AAS)

Three representatives of the team that developed the second-generation detectors for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) and used them to detect oscillations in the fabric of space-time will share the 2018 Lancelot M. Berkeley – New York Community Trust Prize for Meritorious Work in Astronomy.


An Astronaut Called This Aurora A ‘Burrito Of Awesomeness Smothered In Awesome Sauce’
Source: The Washington Post

NASA astronaut Jack Fischer is riding on the International Space Station, 250 miles above Earth’s surface. On Sunday, a brilliant green aurora lit up the atmosphere that blankets our planet, and Fischer shared his view of the event on Twitter.


Cameras On NASA Exoplanet Spacecraft Slightly Out Of Focus
Source: SpaceNews

Cameras recently installed on a NASA spacecraft designed to look for nearby exoplanets will be slightly out of focus once launched, but the agency said that will not affect the mission’s science. NASA confirmed July 26 that the focus of the four cameras on the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) spacecraft will drift when the spacecraft cools to operating temperatures after launch next March.


Thumbs Up For TMT: Contested Case Hearing Officer Gives Observatory Positive Recommendation
Source: Hawaii Tribune-Herald

The Thirty Meter Telescope received a positive recommendation from hearings officer Riki May Amano, buoying the beleaguered project’s chances less than a year from a self-imposed construction deadline. Amano, a retired judge, oversaw a lengthy contested case hearing for the proposed $1.4 billion observatory’s land use permit for Mauna Kea that included more than four months of testimony from 71 witnesses.


New Associate Director For Science: Christine Wiedinmyer
Source: CIRES

CIRES welcomes Dr. Christine Wiedinmyer, an internationally recognized atmospheric scientist who will begin as our new Associate Director for Science August 21. Wiedinmyer, who will oversee research activities and science programs at CIRES, worked as an atmospheric chemist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research for the last 15 years.


Orion STA Undergoing Pre-Mission Testing In Denver
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

With all the structural test articles (STA) of the Orion spacecraft at prime contractor Lockheed Martin’s Space Systems facility in the Denver area, work is underway to qualify the elements for the Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1) and Exploration Mission-2 (EM-2) missions to the Moon. Testing of different combinations of spacecraft hardware in support of EM-1 and EM-2 will continue into 2019.