June 7, 2017

NASA’s New Class Of Astronauts Includes Two From Colorado

The 2017 NASA Astronaut Class: (from left) Zena Cardman, Jasmin Moghbeli, Jonny Kim, Frank Rubio, Matthew Dominick, Warren Hoburg, Robb Kulin, Kayla Barron, Bob Hines, Raji Chari, Loral O’ Hara and Jessica Watkins. Image Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz

June 7, 2017 – A test pilot from Wheat Ridge and a scientist from Lafayette are among the newest class of astronaut candidates announced by NASA today. Read More

NASA’s Newest Astronaut Candidates Available For Interviews

June 7, 2017 – NASA’s newest astronaut candidates are available for interviews from 8 a.m. to noon CDT Thursday, June 8, by remote satellite link, Skype and phone. Media interested in this opportunity should contact Rachel Kraft at rachel.h.kraft@nasa.gov. Read More

UNC Receives $1 Million Grant For Inclusive STEM Initiative

June 7, 2017 – The Howard Hughes Medical Institute awarded the University of Northern Colorado a five-year, $1 million grant to develop a classroom model and establish a new center to engage more students, from all backgrounds, in the sciences. UNC is one of 24 colleges and universities selected out of 511 that submitted pre-proposals in the first round of the Inclusive Excellence initiative sponsored by HHMI, the largest private, nonprofit supporter of science education in the United States. Read More

Hubble Astronomers Develop A New Use For A Century-Old Relativity Experiment To Measure A White Dwarf’s Mass

Looks can be deceiving. In this Hubble Space Telescope image, the white dwarf star Stein 2051B and the smaller star below it appear to be close neighbors. The stars, however, reside far away from each other. Stein 2051B is 17 light-years from Earth; the other star is about 5,000 light-years away. Stein 2051B is named for its discoverer, Dutch Roman Catholic priest and astronomer Johan Stein. Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and K. Sahu (STScI)

June 7, 2017 – Astronomers have used the sharp vision of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope to repeat a century-old test of Einstein’s general theory of relativity. The Hubble team measured the mass of a white dwarf, the burned-out remnant of a normal star, by seeing how much it deflects the light from a background star. Read More

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AF Pilot Selected For NASA Astronaut Training
Source: U.S. Air Force

Lt. Col. Raja Chari has been selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class. Chari relinquishes command of the 461st Flight Test Squadron June 9 where he oversaw developmental testing of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter for the past couple of years. Simultaneously, he served as director of the F-35 Integrated Test Force.

ILS Proton-M Set For Long-Awaited Return With EchoStar XXI
Source: NASA SpaceFlight.com

International Launch Services (ILS) will return to action early on Thursday (local time) with the long-awaited launch of its Proton-M launch vehicle with the EchoStar XXI satellite. The Russian workhorse – along with its Breeze-M upper stage partner – will launch from Launch Pad 24 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 03:45 UTC on a launch profile that lasts over nine hours.

Enthusiasts Warn Planetary Protection May Stop Humans From Going To Mars
Source: Ars Technica

More than just about anything, Robert Zubrin would like to see humans visit and then settle on Mars during his lifetime. The aerospace engineer has made a living of identifying technologies needed to get astronauts to the Red Planet and trying to build a public consensus that Mars is humanity’s next great leap.

Proposed Trump Budget Would Kill Program That Monitors Debilitating Solar Storms
Source: Gizmodo

The idea that a huge solar storm could wreak havoc here on Earth isn’t just a sci-fi plot, it’s a situation that countries and power grids around the world actively prepare for. But the Trump Administration’s latest 2017 budget proposal would completely eliminate the program that keeps the continental US under 24/7 protection from this potentially catastrophic event.

Smith Introduces American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act Of 2017
Source: U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee

U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today introduced H.R. 2809, the American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act of 2017. The American Space Commerce Free Enterprise Act of 2017 simplifies and strengthens the outdated space-based remote sensing regulatory system. At the same time, this bill enhances U.S. compliance with international obligations, improves national security and removes regulatory barriers facing new and innovative space companies.

Grand Challenge Call For Proposals 2017
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Science and engineering are all about thinking big. And if you like thinking big, then pay attention to this July 1 deadline. Grand Challenges are ambitious but achievable goals that harness science, technology, and innovation to solve important national or global problems and that have the potential to capture the public’s imagination. Setting a “North Star” goal can help galvanize support for your research and act as a focal point for collaboration.

NASA Strikes GOLD With Hosted Payloads
Source: GovSat Report Radio

In April of 2015, NASA announced that it had chosen SES to host its Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) payload aboard their SES-14 spacecraft. The GOLD payload is an ultraviolet (UV) imaging spectrograph designed to measure densities and temperatures in Earth’s thermosphere and ionosphere. Now, two years later, GOLD is rapidly approaching completion and launch.

US Revives Space-Policy Council After 24-Year Absence
Source: Nature

The United States will revive the long-dormant National Space Council, a group meant to coordinate space-policy activities among government agencies and departments. Vice-president Mike Pence, who will chair the council, announced its reinstatement on 7 June at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Ball Aerospace Unveils Commercial Software For Data Visualization
Source: SpaceNews

Ball Aerospace is using expertise it gained building sophisticate sensors and merging various data sets for U.S. government defense and intelligence agencies to build VizZen, a cloud-based content library and visual-data repository for government and commercial customers.

A Refueling Station Orbiting The Moon Could Slash The Cost Of A Trip To Mars
Source: Market Watch

Ever since humans set foot on the moon almost half a century ago, our closest celestial neighbor hasn’t received much attention. This might soon change. If the United Launch Alliance , equally owned by Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp. has its way, the moon could become much more than a space race trophy from the Cold War era.

Wilson: AF Requesting 20 Percent Increase For Space, SpaceX To Launch Next X-37B
Source: SpacePolicyOnline.com

Secretary of the Air Force (SecAF) Heather Wilson told a Senate committee today that the service is requesting a 20 percent increase for its space programs in FY2018. She also revealed that SpaceX will launch the next X-37B mission in August, the first time one of the uncrewed spaceplanes will launch on a vehicle other than a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V.

Research, Career Opportunities Highlighted For Women In Aerospace
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

The 2017 CU Boulder-MIT-Stanford Women in Aerospace Symposium was hosted by the Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences at CU Boulder on May 31 and June 1. Sixteen outstanding women doctoral and post-doctoral researchers in aerospace engineering disciplines participated, representing a variety of academic institutions across the country.

Massive Galaxy Clusters Observed Colliding at Near Speed of Light –“Biggest Bangs in the Universe Since the Big Bang”
Source: The Daily Galaxy

The two merging galaxy clusters individually consist of hundreds of galaxies, each as large or larger than our own Milky Way galaxy, said Burns of CU Boulder’s Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy.

A Look At Drought In Florida From A Surveillance System That Doesn’t Need Rainfall Data
Source: NOAA Climate.gov

This animation tracks the development of Florida’s drought from late December 2016 through late May 2017. These maps are based on near-real time satellite data from NOAA’s GOES satellites, and they are being operationally produced by a drought surveillance system that can detect vegetation stress without knowing anything about how much it has rained.