November 1, 2017

BCT Opening New Small Satellite Manufacturing Center, Will Build CubeSat Constellation For NASA Hurricane Observation

Image Credit: Blue Canyon Technologies

November 1, 2017 – It’s no secret that hurricanes are affecting the United States in a dramatic way this year. In the past few months alone, the US and Caribbean regions have been impacted by multiple catastrophic storms. To help understand why we are seeing such drastic changes in tropical storm patterns, Blue Canyon Technologies (BCT) will build a constellation of CubeSats for an observing system for NASA to measure environmental inner-core conditions for tropical cyclones. Read More

Early Bird Discounted Registration Deadline Looming For 2017 Next-Gen Suborbital Researchers Conference

November 1, 2017 – The early bird, discounted-cost registration deadline for the 2017 Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) is November 8th. NSRC-2017 will bring together hundreds of researchers, educators, flight providers, spaceport operators, government officials, in Broomfield, Colorado, December 18–20. Read More

NASA Selects Studies For Gateway Power And Propulsion Element

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)

November 1, 2017 – NASA has selected five U.S. companies to conduct four-month studies for a power and propulsion element that could be used as part of the deep space gateway concept. The agency is studying the gateway concept with U.S. industry and space station partners for potential future collaborations. These latest studies will help provide data on commercial capabilities as NASA defines objectives and requirements as well as help reduce risk for a new powerful and efficient solar electric propulsion (SEP) technology in deep space. Read More

Briefings, NASA Television Coverage Set For Launch Of JPSS-1

JPSS-1 spacecraft rendering. Image Credit: Ball Aerospace

November 1, 2017 – Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA are preparing for the upcoming launch of the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1), the first in a series of four highly advanced NOAA polar-orbiting satellites designed to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts out to seven days.

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Overlooked Treasure: The First Evidence Of Exoplanets
Source: NASA

Beneath an elegant office building with a Spanish-style red tiled roof in Pasadena, California, three timeworn storerooms safeguard more than a century of astronomy. Down the stairs and to the right is a basement of wonder. There are countless wooden drawers and boxes, stacked floor to ceiling, with telescope plates, sunspot drawings and other records. A faint ammonia-like smell, reminiscent of old film, fills the air.

NASA Investigates Invisible Magnetic Bubbles In Outer Solar System
Source: NASA

Space may seem empty, but it’s actually a dynamic place populated with near-invisible matter, and dominated by forces, in particular those created by magnetic fields. Magnetospheres — the magnetic fields around most planets — exist throughout our solar system. They deflect high-energy, charged particles called cosmic rays that are spewed out by the Sun or come from interstellar space. Along with atmospheres, they happen to protect the planets’ surfaces from this harmful radiation.

Martian Ridge Brings Out Rover’s Color Talents
Source: NASA

Color-discerning capabilities that NASA’s Curiosity rover has been using on Mars since 2012 are proving particularly helpful on a mountainside ridge the rover is now climbing. These capabilities go beyond the thousands of full-color images Curiosity takes every year: The rover can look at Mars with special filters helpful for identifying some minerals, and also with a spectrometer that sorts light into thousands of wavelengths, extending beyond visible-light colors into infrared and ultraviolet.

E. coli AntiMicrobial Satellite (EcAMSat)
Source: NASA

The E. coli AntiMicrobial Satellite (EcAMSat) mission will investigate space microgravity effects on the antibiotic resistance of E. coli, a bacterial pathogen responsible for urinary tract infection in humans and animals. EcAMSat is being developed through a partnership between NASA’s Ames Research Center and the Stanford University School of Medicine. Dr. A.C. Matin is the Stanford University Principal Investigator. EcAMSAT is slated for launch in November 2017.

NASA Tests Ensure Astronaut, Ground Crew Safety Before Orion Launches
Source: NASA

NASA is performing a series of tests to evaluate how astronauts and ground crew involved in final preparations before Orion missions will quickly get out of the spacecraft if an emergency were to occur on the pad prior to launch. In the hours before astronauts launch to space in Orion from NASA’s modernized spaceport in Florida in on the agency’s Space Launch System rocket, they will cross the Crew Access Arm 300 feet above the ground and climb inside the crew module with the assistance of ground personnel trained to help them strap into their seats and take care of last-minute needs. The testing is helping engineers evaluate hardware designs and establish procedures that would be used to get astronauts and ground crew out of the capsule as quickly as possible.

NASA Is “SIRIUS” About Its Analog Missions
Source: NASA

Before we will send humans to Mars, NASA has practice rounds on Earth. The SIRIUS missions are the latest ground-based spaceflight analogs NASA will utilize to help us understand the risks humans will encounter as they travel further into the solar system.

EOSS-264 Metro State University Intro To Space
Source: Edge of Space Sciences

One 3000g balloon carrying payloads for Metro State University Intro to Space classes. The payload plan for that balloon is linked below. If cloud cover does not allow the flight of an exempt balloon, the payloads will be split into two 1500g exempt balloons, each balloon carrying the payloads for one class section.

Orbital ATK Demonstrates Tactical Solid Rocket Motor Manufactured Through Additive Manufacturing
Source: Orbital ATK

Orbital ATK announced it has successfully completed a series of static test firings of a prototype tactical solid rocket motor built with critical metal components fabricated by additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3-D printing. These tests marked the first industry demonstration of a 3-D printed complex rocket nozzle and closure assembly in a tactical class rocket motor.

Orbital ATK Successfully Launches Minotaur C Rocket Carrying 10 Spacecraft To Orbit For Planet
Source: Orbital ATK

Orbital ATK, a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, announced its commercial Minotaur C rocket successfully launched 10 commercial spacecraft into orbit for Planet. The Minotaur C launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

Bridenstine Faces Partisan Criticism At NASA Administrator Nomination Hearing
Source: SpaceNews

Democrats on the Senate Commerce Committee sharply criticized the nomination of Jim Bridenstine as NASA administrator in a confirmation hearing Nov. 1, arguing he was not qualified for the job.

2018: Milestone-Making Space Exploration
Source: Leonard David’s Inside Outer Space

Next year promises to be a milestone-making period of time in space exploration. In 2018, just under a 100 missions are expected to take off, leaving in their wake a number of questions, such as, with private companies getting increasingly involved in the space race, who will be rocketing to success? Will NASA lead the way or be overtaken by the likes of SpaceX?

Initial Signals Received From Six Small Satellites Built By SSL For Planet
Source: Mass Live

SSL, a business unit of Maxar Technologies (formerly MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd.) announced today that six satellites it built for Planet’s SkySat Earth observation constellation launched yesterday and made initial contact with ground stations according to plan. The satellites were launched aboard a Minotaur-C rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base, and will begin sending their first images early next week.

NASA Orion Mission To Mars: “We Can Go Today,” Astronaut Tells UTC Aerospace Systems
Source: Mass Live

Former NASA astronaut Dominic “Tony” Antonelli had seen animated images of the International Space Station many times over in computer training simulations. “But when you see the real thing come into view outside the spacecraft — to know that human engineers built something like that and got it up here — that is really something special,” Antonelli said Tuesday while meeting with reporters at UTC Aerospace in Windsor Locks.

One Step Closer To Defining Dark Matter, GPS Satellite Atomic Clocks On The Hunt
Source: University of Nevada, Reno

One professor who studies the earth and one who studies space came together in the pursuit to detect and define dark matter. They are one step closer. Using 16 years of archival data from GPS satellites that that orbit the earth, the University of Nevada, Reno team, Andrei Derevianko and Geoff Blewitt in the College of Science, looked for dark matter clumps in the shape of walls or bubbles and which would extend far out beyond the GPS orbits, the solar system and beyond.

Premature Death Of Star Is Confirmed By Astronomers
Source: Agência FAPESP

A group of Brazilian astronomers observed a pair of celestial objects rarely seen in the Milky Way: a very low-mass white dwarf and a brown dwarf. A white dwarf is the endpoint of the evolution of an intermediate- or low-mass star, with a mass between 0.5 and 8 times that of our Sun. A brown dwarf is a substellar object with mass intermediate between those of a star and a planet. On analyzing the binary system more closely, they discovered something even more unusual: the white dwarf’s existence was prematurely cut off by its companion, a brown dwarf, which caused its early death through “malnutrition” or loss of matter.

W. M. Keck Observatory Chief Scientist Appointed To National Science Foundation
Source: W. M. Keck Observatory

W. M. Keck Observatory Chief Scientist Anne Kinney will head the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate at the National Science Foundation; she begins her new role in January.