March 6, 2018

United Launch Alliance Names Gary Wentz Vice President Of Government And Commercial Programs

ULA has named Gary Wentz, vice president of Government and Commercial Programs. Image Credit: United Launch Alliance

March 6, 2018 – United Launch Alliance (ULA) has named Gary Wentz, vice president of Government and Commercial Programs. In this role Wentz will lead the mission management, hardware integration, program management and launch services for ULA’s government and commercial customers, as well as the team responsible for ULA’s role in returning human spaceflight to American soil on The Boeing Company’s CST-100 Starliner capsule. Read More


NASA, Partners Seek Input On Standards For Deep Space Technologies

Image Credit: NASA

March 6, 2018 – In order to maximize investment in, and benefits of, future deep space exploration platforms and technologies, NASA and its International Space Station partners have collaborated to draft standards that address seven priority areas in which technology compatibility is crucial for global cooperation. Read More


NASA Team Outfits Orion For Abort Test With Lean Approach

Technicians lower the crew module for Ascent Abort-2 onto a stand at Johnson Space Center in Houston on March 2. Image Credit: NASA/Robert Markowitz

March 6, 2018 – With the arrival of the Orion crew module to be used in the Ascent Abort-2 test at Johnson Space Center in Houston, the team is already at work with a lean, iterative development approach to minimize cost and ensure the flight test stays on schedule. Read More


Michael Meyer, NASA Lead Scientist For Mars Exploration, To Address Mars Society Convention

Image Credit: The Mars Society/NASA

March 6, 2018 – The Mars Society has announced that Dr. Michael Meyer, Lead Scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, will give a plenary talk about the agency’s current and future planning for Mars missions at the 21st Annual International Mars Society Convention, scheduled for August 23-26, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center, California. Read More


Bioserve Engineer Earns NASA Silver Snoopy Award

Astronaut Jack Fischer presents the Silver Snoopy Award to Shankini Doraisingam. Image Credit: University of Colorado Boulder

March 6, 2018 – Shankini Doraisingam has been awarded the Silver Snoopy Award for her work with astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Doraisingam is an engineer with the University of Colorado Boulder’s Bioserve Space Technologies, a center that has designed, built and flown microgravity life science research and hardware on dozens of space missions. Read More


Far Northern Permafrost May Unleash Carbon Within Decades

Tundra polygons on Alaska’s North Slope. As permafrost thaws, this area is likely to be a source of atmospheric carbon before 2100. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Charles Miller

March 6, 2018 – Permafrost in the coldest northern Arctic — formerly thought to be at least temporarily shielded from global warming by its extreme environment — will thaw enough to become a permanent source of carbon to the atmosphere in this century, with the peak transition occurring in 40 to 60 years, according to a new NASA-led study. Read More


Author Margot Lee Shetterly To Receive Space Foundation’s Douglas S. Morrow Public Outreach Award

March 6, 2018 – With her book Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race, author Margot Lee Shetterly made the world aware of the major contributions of three NASA mathematicians, who were also female and African-American, during the early years of the U.S. space program. Known as “human computers,” Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson contributed important work, such as calculating rocket trajectories for Mercury and Apollo missions. Shetterly became familiar with the women through her father, who was a research scientist at NASA-Langley Research Center. Read More


More News:

Why Is Paul Allen Building The World’s Largest Airplane? Perhaps To Launch A Space Shuttle Called Black Ice
Source: The Washington Post

A massive airplane being built by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen moved a step closer to flight last week, when it crept out of its hangar in Mojave, Calif., and practiced rolling down the runway, hitting a top speed of 46 mph. Known as Stratolaunch, the plane has a wingspan even greater than that of business mogul Howard Hughes’s famed Spruce Goose and is designed to carry as many as three rockets, tethered to its belly, to about 35,000 feet. Once aloft, the rockets would drop, then fire their engines and deliver satellites to orbit.


DoD Delivers Report To Congress On Space Reforms: Air Force Acquisition System A Big Problem
Source: SpaceNews

In a report to the congressional defense committees last week, Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan provided lawmakers a preview of how the department plans to reorganize national security space programs and offices.


From Nasa’s First Ever Space Walk To Juno’s Trip To Jupiter’s South Pole, Fascinating Images Reveal Mankind’s Pioneering Space Missions Over 90 Years
Source: Daily Mail

Fascinating retro photographs that take you on a journey from the first brave space pioneers through to the incredible technological advances of today have been revealed in a new book. The incredible pictures are part of a new book called ‘Space Exploration’ by Colorado-based writer and producer Carolyn Collins Petersen.


NASA FDL 2018 Summer Program: Call For Applicants
Source: SETI Institute

NASA Frontier Development Lab (FDL) is an applied Artificial Intelligence research accelerator that pairs researchers from the space sciences with data scientists for an intense 8-week concentrated study to apply AI to challenges important to space exploration and humankind. FDL runs between June 25th – August 17, 2018.


Send Your Name To The Sun
Source: NASA

Be a part of the first mission to touch the Sun! Submit your name and it will be included in a memory card that will fly aboard Parker Solar Probe spacecraft. Come with us as we plunge through the Sun’s atmosphere, closer to the surface than any spacecraft before it, facing brutal heat and radiation conditions—and ultimately providing humanity with the first-ever close-up view of a star. Submissions will be accepted through April 27, 2018.


World-First Firing Of An Air-Breathing Electric Thruster
Source: ESA

In a world-first, an ESA-led team has built and fired an electric thruster to ingest scarce air molecules from the top of the atmosphere for propellant, opening the way to satellites flying in very low orbits for years on end.


MATISSE Instrument Sees First Light On ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer
Source: European Southern Observatory (ESO)

The new MATISSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) has now successfully made its first observations at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. MATISSE is the most powerful interferometric instrument in the world at mid-infrared wavelengths. It will use high-resolution imaging and spectroscopy to probe the regions around young stars where planets are forming as well as the regions around supermassive black holes in the centres of galaxies. The first MATISSE observations used the VLTI’s Auxiliary Telescopes to examine some of the brightest stars in the night sky, including Sirius, Rigel and Betelgeuse, and showed that the instrument is working well.


Featured Image: A New Dark Vortex On Neptune
Source: AAS Nova

This remarkable series of images by the Hubble Space Telescope (click for the full view) track a dark vortex — only the fifth ever observed on Neptune — as it evolves in Neptune’s atmosphere. These Hubble images, presented in a recent study led by Michael Wong (University of California, Berkeley), were taken in 2015 September, 2016 May, 2016 October, and 2017 October; the observations have monitored the evolution of the vortex as it has gradually weakened and drifted polewards.


Lockheed Martin CEO: Building Bridges To A Brighter Future
Source: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Marillyn A. Hewson shared an update on the corporation’s performance and an overview of the challenges facing customers around the globe during the company’s annual Media Day event.


TESS – The Latest Exoplanet Finder – In Final Preparations For Launch
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

Next month, SpaceX is set to launch the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, is the next step in humanity’s ongoing effort to discover and characterize exoplanets, including planets that might host life. The spacecraft is currently scheduled to launch on a Falcon 9 on April 16 from SLC-40 at Cape Canaveral.


Should We Open Some Sealed Apollo Moon Samples?
Source: Space.com

Between 1969 and 1972, Apollo astronauts brought back to Earth a total of nine containers of moon material that were sealed on the lunar surface. Two of the larger sealed samples were collected by Apollo 17 moonwalkers in December 1972. Three sealed samples from Apollo 15, 16 and 17 remain unopened.


US Scientists Plot Return To The Moon’s Surface
Source: Nature

When Apollo astronaut Eugene Cernan stepped off the Moon in December 1972, it marked the end of US researchers’ access to the lunar surface. Since then, no US mission has touched down there to collect scientific data. That could soon change.


US Scientists Plot Return To The Moon’s Surface
Source: Nature

When Apollo astronaut Eugene Cernan stepped off the Moon in December 1972, it marked the end of US researchers’ access to the lunar surface. Since then, no US mission has touched down there to collect scientific data. That could soon change.


Comet “Chury’s” Late Birth
Source: University of Bern

Comets which consist of two parts, like Chury, can form after a catastrophic collision of larger bodies. Such collisions may have taken place in a later phase of our solar system, which suggests that Chury can be much younger than previously assumed. This is shown through computer simulations by an international research group with the participation of the University of Bern.


Here Are Colorado’s Top 20 High Schools For STEM
Source: Denver Business Journal

Colorado industries like cybersecurity, financial services and IT are projected to lead growth in 2018. Those are industries that require a background in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), something that lawmakers and educators have over the last few years made a top priority for the state. So which high schools are ahead of the curve when it comes to STEM education?


Launch Of First Chinese Space Station Module Delayed To 2020
Source: GBTIMES

The launch of the first module for the planned Chinese Space Station has slipped to 2020, officials from the space programme have said at the country’s parliamentary sessions. Zhou Jianping, chief designer of China’s human spaceflight programme and a member of the national political consultative conference, or CPPCC, which forms part of the country’s ongoing annual parliamentary sessions, told China News Service on Monday that the core module, ‘Tianhe’, will launch ‘around 2020’.


James Webb Space Telescope: Delay, Cost Cap Issues
Source: Leonard David’s Inside Outer Space

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued JAMES WEBB SPACE TELESCOPE: Integration and Test Challenges Have Delayed Launch and Threaten to Push Costs Over Cap. The James Webb Space Telescope, the planned successor to the Hubble Telescope, is one of NASA’s most complex and expensive projects.


Colorado Springs Resident James Reilly Faces First Hearing To Lead U.S. Geological Survey
Source: Colorado Springs Gazette

Colorado Springs resident and former NASA astronaut James Reilly is set for his first hearing to lead the U.S. Geological Survey Tuesday before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. The committee includes Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, who supports President Trump’s nomination. If Reilly’s nomination is approved by the committee, as expected, it will got to the full Senate for confirmation.


What The Dust Blowing Around Colorado Looks Like From Space
Source: 9News.com

If you drove near Denver International Airport on Monday afternoon, you might have noticed quite a bit of blowing dust. Wind gusts reached 60 miles per hour near the airport, with more than 70 mph gusts reported north of Fort Collins. The GOES16 satellite was able to capture images of the dust, which raced southeast across the Colorado plains.