November 22, 2017

NASA To Highlight Science On Next Resupply Mission To Space Station

TSIS-1 will be affixed to the International Space Station in December 2017. TSIS-1 operates like a sun flower: it follows the Sun, from the ISS sunrise to its sunset, which happens every 90 minutes. At sunset, it rewinds, recalibrates and waits for the next sunset. Image Credit: NASA/LASP

November 22, 2017 – NASA will host a media teleconference at 11 a.m. MST Wednesday, November 29, to discuss a number of science investigations and instruments launching to the International Space Station on the next SpaceX commercial resupply mission. Read More

UCAR Names Inaugural Next Generation Fellows

November 22, 2017 – The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research has announced winners of the inaugural UCAR Next Generation Fellowships. The first cohort of three graduate students was selected from a highly competitive field. The fellowships are intended for graduate students from underrepresented communities who hold an undergraduate degree in atmospheric or related Earth system science and are attending a North American university for graduate work. Successful candidates receive financial support for two years of graduate school and two summer internships. The program offers three distinct tracks: Earth system science, diversity and inclusion in the Earth system sciences, and public policy. Read More

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Mini Space Shuttle ‘Dream Chaser’ Completes Successful Test Flight
Source: PBS

NASA’s space shuttles used to launch from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, but now a new, crew-less aircraft will be taking their place on the runway. It’s called the Dream Chaser, and it just completed a major milestone in its development.

Five Years Of Satellite Images Show Global Light Pollution Increasing At A Rate Of Two Percent Per Year
Source: International Dark Sky Association

Five years of advanced satellite images show that there is more artificial light at night across the globe, and that light at night is getting brighter. The rate of growth is approximately two percent each year in both the amount of areas lit and the radiance of the light.

NASA’s Next Mars Lander Passes Big Test Ahead Of May 2018 Launch

NASA’s next Mars lander just passed a big test ahead of its planned May 2018 launch. The spacecraft, known as InSight (short for “Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport”), has just completed “thermal vac” testing here at a facility owned by its builder, Lockheed Martin Space Systems Co.

The Short Life And Death Of A Space Tourism Company
Source: Air & Space Magazine

In October 2016, spacecraft and rocket engineering firm XCOR Aerospace tweeted a link to a video. In it, the company’s co-founder, Jeff Greason, outlined his vision for a spaceplane that would be almost as easy and reliable to operate as a commercial jet. “The way to make money in space transportation is the Southwest Airlines model,” he told a documentary film crew. “You keep the wheels in the wheel well. Every minute that [a vehicle] is not in the air gathering revenue is a minute wasted.

First SLS Hardware Turned Over To Ground Systems For EM-1 Flight
Source: SpaceFlight Insider

NASA reports that the rocket stage designated to accelerate the Orion spacecraft to the Moon in 2019 has been turned over to the Ground Systems Development and Operations (GSDO) team at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The flight stage – called the Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage (ICPS) – is being processed for Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), the first integrated flight of the Space Launch System (SLS) and Orion.

Mars InSight Mission Passes TVAC Testing Ahead Of 2018 Launch

NASA’s “Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight)” mission has received another boost ahead of launch, as the spacecraft passed its Thermal vacuum (TVAC) milestone in Colorado. The mission remains on track for May of next year, which will involve the first interplanetary launch from the West Coast.

Lockheed Martin Building Mars Surface Lander

Lockheed Martin is working on the vehicles that will be needed for a mission to Mars.

NASA’s Next Mars Lander – My Floor Time with InSight
Source: Leonard David’s Inside Outer Space

InSight, NASA’s next Mars mission is rapidly approaching “ship and shoot” status next year. This Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport — InSight for short space speak — has just completed “thermal vac” here at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company – builder of the Mars-bound craft.