June 12, 2017

Ball Aerospace Completes WFIRST Study For NASA

NASA’s Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), illustrated here, will carry a Wide Field Instrument to capture Hubble-quality images covering large swaths of sky, enabling cosmic evolution studies. Its Coronagraph Instrument will directly image exoplanets and study their atmospheres. Image Credit: NASA/GSFC/Conceptual Image Lab

June 12, 2017 – Ball Aerospace today announced it has completed a six-month Phase A study of the scientific and technology requirements for the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) project’s Wide Field Instrument (WFI). WFIRST will be NASA’s next flagship space telescope under development and will follow NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. Read More


Vectrus Named 2017 Best For Vets Employer

June 12, 2017 – Military Times selects Vectrus, Inc. for its “Best for Vets: Employers 2017” rankings. Based on answers provided in a rigorous survey, the selection identifies organizations that are supportive of Veterans and their families. Read More


Puzzled Iapetus

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

June 12, 2017 – Saturn’s distinctive moon Iapetus is a world of contrast, with light and dark regions fitting together like cosmic puzzle pieces. Cassini Regio on Iapetus (914 miles or 1,471 kilometers across) is covered in a layer of dark, dusty material creating a stark contrast to the much brighter region that surrounds it. This leads to the moon’s distinctive, two-toned appearance. Read More


More News:

ALMA Hears Birth Cry Of A Massive Baby Star
Source: National Institutes of Natural Sciences

Stars form from gas and dust floating in interstellar space. But, astronomers do not yet fully understand how it is possible to form the massive stars seen in space.


UA’s Dante Lauretta Was ‘Born To Lead’ A NASA Mission
Source: Tucson.com

Dante Lauretta is mad about science, but the University of Arizona cosmochemist shares none of the trappings of the archetypal mad scientist.


Blind CU Student Blasts Through Barriers — And Now Aims To Help Others Envision Science And Tech Careers
Source: The Denver Post

The realization that she could actually make a difference came in increments, starting with the feeling when one of her experiments returned, bearing data, from a balloon that touched the stratosphere; then the sensation of sound waves crashing against her face as she witnessed a rocket’s ignition propel another of her creations into space.


“Phanton Express” Approved For Quick Launches Into Low Earth Orbit
Source: The Gazette

The military’s next reusable space plane has gotten the go-ahead from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and could be in flight tests by 2020.


High-Altitude Balloon Experiments Could Enable Hypersonic Flight
Source: CU Boulder Today/University of Colorado Boulder

Future unmanned hypersonic aircraft may ultimately owe part of their success to University of Colorado Boulder atmospheric research. A consortium of universities led by the CU Boulder Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences has received a five year, $7.5 million Department of Defense grant to investigate the extreme altitudes—80,000 to 120,000 feet—where hypersonic planes would fly.


First Sentinel-2B Images Delivered By Laser
Source: ESA

With the Sentinel-2B satellite close to beginning its working life in orbit, this latest Copernicus satellite has linked up to Alphasat by laser, across almost 36 000 km of space, to deliver images of Earth just moments after they were captured.


Update On BETTII Mission Flight Termination, Recovery
Source: NASA

The Balloon Experimental Twin Telescope for Infrared Interferometry (BETTII) payload, an astronomy experiment, launched from NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility (CSBF) in Palestine, Texas, Thursday, June 8, flying through the evening.


A Roving Mind
Source: The Caltech Campaign

Jessica Watkins, a Chair’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, talks about her longstanding passion for Mars’ geology, why it’s an exciting time to be studying the Red Planet, and how her privately funded fellowship fuels her creativity.


Video: How The Atlas Rocket Evolved Over 60 Years
Source: Scott Manley

A history of the design changes that brought the Atlas ICBM to the current generation of Atlas V. The first launch was 60 years ago and since then we’ve seen several iterations on the design leading to the current Atlas V.


Building A Pacific Space Force
Source: Air Force Magazine

Space operators need to be ready to fight in the Pacific, but they are not prepared to do so currently, commanders of three of the Air Force’s space wings said Friday at an AFA Mitchell Institute event on Capitol Hill. Air Force Space Command has been so focused on supporting US Central Command that they have work to do—in technology, training, and manpower—to be ready for potential operations in the US Pacific Command area of responsibility.


USAF To Keep AR-1 Work Going Amid BE-4 Setback
Source: Aviation Week

The U.S. Air Force says it will continue investing in the Aerojet Rocketdyne AR-1 engine as a potential replacement for the Russian-made RD-180 as the Blue Origin BE-4 experiences setbacks during developmental testing.