November 16, 2017

Lava Or Not, Exoplanet 55 Cancri e Likely To Have Atmosphere

The super-Earth exoplanet 55 Cancri e, depicted with its star in this artist’s concept, likely has an atmosphere thicker than Earth’s but with ingredients that could be similar to those of Earth’s atmosphere. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

November 16, 2017 – Twice as big as Earth, the super-Earth 55 Cancri e was thought to have lava flows on its surface. The planet is so close to its star, the same side of the planet always faces the star, such that the planet has permanent day and night sides. Based on a 2016 study using data from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, scientists speculated that lava would flow freely in lakes on the starlit side and become hardened on the face of perpetual darkness. The lava on the dayside would reflect radiation from the star, contributing to the overall observed temperature of the planet. Read More

AFSPC Unveils Tribute To Astronaut Airmen

Colo.- (from right) U.S. Air Force Gen. Jay Raymond, commander of Air Force Space Command, U.S. Air Force Gen. (Ret) Kevin Chilton, Chilton’s daughter, Mary Cate Chilton, U.S. Air Force Col. Jack “2Fish” Fischer, and U.S. Air Force Col. Mike Hopkins unveil a new heritage display at Air Force Space Command Headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, Nov. 13, 2017. Image Credit: U.S. Air Force/Dave Grim

November 16, 2017 – A group of astronaut Airmen along with Gen. Jay Raymond, Air Force Space Command commander, unveiled a new heritage display at AFSPC headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, on November 13, 2017. Read More

U.S. Navy Accepts Fifth Lockheed Martin-Built MUOS Satellite For New Secure Global Military Cellular Network

Lockheed Martin handed over full operational control of MUOS-5 (pictured above) to the U.S. Navy. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

November 16, 2017 – The U.S. Navy’s Communications Satellite Program Office, PMW 146, and Lockheed Martin handed over full operational control of the fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite to the Naval Satellite Operations Center (NAVSOC). Read More

R9B Awarded Subcontract Supporting United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM)

November 16, 2017 – R9B, a leading provider of advanced cybersecurity services and training for commercial and government clients, announced today that it has been awarded a subcontract from prime contractor Science Applications International Corp. to enhance the capabilities of USCYBERCOM’s core cyberspace disciplines in operations, planning, training, and exercise support. The contract has a period of performance of up to five years. Read More

More News:

First SLS Rocket Hardware Turned Over To Kennedy Ground Systems
Source: NASA

NASA recently marked another key milestone in preparation for human deep space exploration near the Moon. Officials with the Space Launch System (SLS) Spacecraft/Payload Integration and Evolution organization formally turned over processing of the rocket’s interim cryogenic propulsion stage (ICPS) to the center’s Ground Systems Development and Operations Program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Jovian Tempest
Source: NASA

This color-enhanced image of a massive, raging storm in Jupiter’s northern hemisphere was captured by NASA’s Juno spacecraft during its ninth close flyby of the gas giant planet.

Transferring Ownership Of Three ESA Ground Stations
Source: ESA

As part of ESA’s strategy to foster commercial competitiveness in Europe while focusing on its core aims, the agency has transferred ownership of several ground tracking stations for reuse by external organisations.

NASA Detects Solar Flare Pulses At Sun And Earth
Source: NASA

When our Sun erupts with giant explosions — such as bursts of radiation called solar flares — we know they can affect space throughout the solar system as well as near Earth. But monitoring their effects requires having observatories in many places with many perspectives, much the way weather sensors all over Earth can help us monitor what’s happening with a terrestrial storm.

Air Force Awards Contract To Ball Aerospace To Protect Against Cyber Attacks

The $47.9 million contract is for research and development into systems that can identify and mitigate weaknesses against potential cyber attacks.

NASA Selects Instrument For International Mission To Martian Moons
Source: NASA

NASA has selected a science instrument for an upcoming Japan-led sample return mission to the moons of Mars planned for launch in 2024. The instrument, a sophisticated neutron and gamma-ray spectrograph, will help scientists resolve one of the most enduring mysteries of the Red Planet — when and how the small moons formed. The Mars Moons eXploration (MMX) mission is in development by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). MMX will visit the two Martian moons, Phobos and Deimos, land on the surface of Phobos, and collect a surface sample.

China To Launch Four New Weather Satellites Before 2021
Source: China Daily

China plans to put four more Fengyun 3 meteorological satellites into orbit between 2018 and 2021, China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp announced on Wednesday. The satellites will form a network in low-orbit to enhance the monitoring of atmospheric humidity and temperature, greenhouse gases, wind and precipitation, said Zhou Xubin of CASTC.

Vector Conducts Technical Operations At Vandenberg Air Force Base
Source: Vector

Vector, a nanosatellite launch company comprised of new-space and enterprise software industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, Sea Launch and VMware, today announced it will explore an arrangement (or business relationship) with Harris Corporation to establish commercial launch operations of the Vector-R launch vehicle at Harris Spaceport Systems on Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Russian Astronomers Show Big Asteroid Approaching The Earth
Source: Sputnik International

The astronomer community at Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University used its own Astro-Model simulation environment to produce a virtual image of object 3200 Phaethon approaching the Earth, plus the expected Geminids meteor shower.

Old Rivals India, China Nurture New Rivalry In Satellite Launch Business
Source: Sputnik International

The Indian Space Research Organization says it is ready to further slash its fee for launching satellites after China announced its plans to bring prices down to $5,000 a kilogram.

An Exclusive Look Inside The GPS Control Center In Colorado Springs
Source: KRDO

The global positioning system, better known as GPS, has become a vital part of society and the world. Everyday, people use GPS whether they know it or not and often take it for granted. When people think of GPS, usually the first thing that comes to their mind is navigation on their cell phone. However, GPS has expanded into every day lives and helps keep the country running.

Astronaut Encourages Colorado Springs Youth To Reach For The Stars

We met Colonel Jack Fischer on Tuesday when he spoke to the Air Force cadets at his alma mater. He said after being in the space station for about 5 months, traveling around talking to people is fun.

‘Dream Chaser’ Spacecraft Is Colorado Designed And Built
Source: FOX31 Denver

Space, the final frontier, this is the voyage of the starship ISS. That starship is the International Space Station. And space stations need to be supplied with food, water, clothing and scientific experimental equipment as well. Space shuttle astronaut and rocket man Steve Lindsey is vice president of space exploration systems for Sierra Nevada Corp. in Louisville.

Top Secret ‘Zuma’ Mission Puzzles Satellite Trackers
Source: Spaceflight Now

A top secret payload developed in secrecy for the U.S. government is set to ride into orbit from Florida’s Space Coast aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Known only by the codename Zuma, the payload is likely heading for an orbit less than 1,000 miles in altitude, and perhaps much lower.

Virgin Orbit Wins First Defense Department Launch Contract
Source: SpaceNews

Virgin Orbit announced Nov. 16 that it has received its first launch contract for a LauncherOne mission from a Defense Department agency. The company said the U.S. Air Force’s Space Test Program partnered with the Defense Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) to make the launch award to Virgin Orbit through an other transactions agreement.

NASA To Get 2nd Opinion On Futuristic Airliner Design
Source: Aerospace America

NASA last month hired Aurora Flight Sciences to take an independent look at the blueprint of a single-aisle airliner that could burn dramatically less jet fuel than today’s version, before the agency invests further in the concept.