November 29, 2017

Echostar 105/SES-11 Now Operational At 105 Degrees West

Echostar 105/SES-11 Now Operational at 105 Degrees West. Image Credit: Business Wire

November 29, 2017 – The EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite has been successfully positioned at the 105 degrees West orbital location and is now fully operational and able to serve the video and enterprise markets in the US. Read More

Exoplanet Has Smothering Stratosphere Without Water

WASP-18b is an exoplanet located 325 light-years from Earth. The planet’s mass is 10 times that of Jupiter, and it orbits its star once every 23 hours. Image Credit: NASA

November 29, 2017 – A NASA-led team has found evidence that the oversized exoplanet WASP-18b is wrapped in a smothering stratosphere loaded with carbon monoxide and devoid of water. The findings come from a new analysis of observations made by the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes. Read More

Propulsion Drive Electronic Ready For Orion ESM

Image Credit: Airbus Defence and Space

November 29, 2017 – Propulsion is one of the key functionalities of Orion’s European service module (ESM). Thirty-three engines will ensure Orion’s safe travel to the moon and back to earth. To operate this complex propulsion system smoothly the Propulsion Drive Electronics (PDE) plays a vital role. Read More

An Inverted Crater West Of Mawrth Vallis

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

November 29, 2017 – This image from NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) captures details of an approximately 1-kilometer inverted crater west of Mawrth Vallis. A Context Camera image provides context for the erosional features observed at this site. The location of this HiRISE image is north of the proposed landing ellipse for the ExoMars 2020 rover mission that will investigate diverse rocks and minerals related to ancient water-related activity in this region. Read More

Ball Aerospace Wins Major U.S. Air Force Contract For Next-Gen Weather Satellite

November 29, 2017 – Ball Aerospace has been selected by the U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) to deliver the next-generation operational environmental satellite system, Weather System Follow-on – Microwave (WSF-M), for the Department of Defense (DoD). Read More

More News:

U.S. Wargame Highlights Role Of Commercial Space Imagery In Military Conflicts
Source: SpaceNews

Rising military powers like Russia and China have built an elaborate network of sensors to monitor regions of the world that are of strategic importance to the United States. A mix of military and commercial surveillance and targeting technologies is helping both Russia and China extend the reach of their long-range weapons, undermining U.S. access and influence in regions such as Eastern Europe and the South China Sea.

Traces Of Life On Nearest Exoplanets May Be Hidden In Equatorial Trap
Source: Royal Astronomical Society

New simulations show that the search for life on other planets may well be more difficult than previously assumed, in research published today in the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. The study indicates that unusual air flow patterns could hide atmospheric components from telescopic observations, with direct consequences for formulating the optimal strategy for searching for (oxygen-producing) life such as bacteria or plants on exoplanets.

Scientists Developed A New Sensor For Future Missions To The Moon And Mars
Source: Lomonosov Moscow State University

A team of scientists from the Faculty of Physics of Lomonosov Moscow State University and their colleagues developed a compact spectral polarimeter for carrying outmineralogical investigations on the surface of astronomical bodies. The description of the device and the results of prototype testing were published in Optics Express.

NASA Sensor To Study Space Junk Too Small To Be Seen From Earth
Source: AAAS

The film Gravity dramatized the risks of space junk. But although flyaway wrenches and broken-off rocket parts may pose the deadliest threat to spacecraft, most orbital debris is actually much smaller—think flecks of paint and the splinters of shattered satellites. Now, NASA hopes to learn more about the dust-size microdebris orbiting Earth with the Space Debris Sensor (SDS), set to be attached to the International Space Station (ISS) following a 4 December cargo launch by SpaceX.

Podcast: How Space Travel Affects Human Health
Source: Environmental Defense Fund

In this episode of our podcast, we talked with Dr. Allie Anderson at the University of Colorado Boulder. Dr. Anderson describes “puffy face bird leg” syndrome (yes, that’s a thing) among other health impacts of space travel and what hot topics are keeping folks in space medicine busy.

MUSE Probes Uncharted Depths Of Hubble Ultra Deep Field
Source: ESO

The MUSE HUDF Survey team, led by Roland Bacon of the Centre de recherche astrophysique de Lyon (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1/ENS de Lyon), France, used MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer/ to observe the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (heic0406/, a much-studied patch of the southern constellation of Fornax (The Furnace).

Japan Signals Growing Support For Deep Space Gateway Concept
Source: Moon Daily

The Land of the Rising Sun hopes to be able to put its astronauts on the moon sometime during the 2020s as part of an international program to build a space station in the moon’s orbit, local Iomiuri newspapers reported, citing sources in the government.

Rocket Lab Sets December Date For Second Electron Launch
Source: SpaceNews

U.S.-New Zealand launch vehicle developer Rocket Lab announced Nov. 29 it plans to conduct the second launch of its Electron small rocket in December. The company said a 10-day launch window for the launch, dubbed “Still Testing,” will open Dec. 8 at 2:30 p.m. local time from the company’s New Zealand launch site (8:30 p.m. Eastern Dec. 7).

First Finding Of China’s DAMPE May Shed Light On Dark Matter Research
Source: Chinese Academy of Sciences

The DArk Matter Particle Explorer (DAMPE, also known as Wukong) mission published its first scientific results on Nov. 30 in Nature, presenting the precise measurement of cosmic ray electron flux, especially a spectral break at ~0.9 TeV. The data may shed light on the annihilation or decay of particle dark matter.

CU Boulder Solar Instruments, Roughly Size Of A Buffalo, Headed To Space
Source: Boulder Daily Camera

The University of Colorado is primed for the approaching launch of its $90 million instrument package built in Boulder and destined for the International Space Station, where it will enhance the ability to monitor the Earth’s climate.

Comtech Receives Contract Award In Excess Of $8.0 Million From Major Space Contractor
Source: Comtech Telecommunications Corp.

Comtech Telecommunications Corp. announced today that during its first quarter of fiscal 2018, its Command & Control Technologies group, which is part of Comtech’s Government Solutions segment, has received a contract from a major U.S. space contractor to source and test space components in support of a critical NASA Program. This contract is valued in excess of $8.0 million and was initially funded in excess of $4.0 million.

NASA Rolls Out Back-To-The-Moon-Strategies
Source: Leonard David’s Inside Outer Space

NASA has begun to roll out a return to the Moon strategy. Taking part in a Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) workshop, NASA officials have started to outline potential back to the Moon strategies.

Debut Of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy Rocket Now Planned Early Next Year
Source: Spaceflight Now

SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy rocket is expected to roll out to pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center for the first time next month for a hold-down firing of its 27 Merlin main engines, but the mega-rocket’s inaugural test launch will slip into January, officials confirmed Tuesday.

Soyuz/Fregat Suffer First Russian Launch Failure Of 2017 With Meteor Weather Satellite & MicroSats

Russia suffered its first launch failure of 2017 on Tuesday on the second Soyuz mission carried out from the new Vostochny Cosmodrome in the country’s far east, claiming the loss of the Meteor-M 2-1 weather satellite and an international assortment of small satellites.

Final Deep Freeze Thermal Vacuum Testing Wraps Up On James Webb Space Telescope
Source: AmericaSpace

Cryogenic thermal vacuum testing on NASA’s multi-billion dollar James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) has wrapped up at the agency’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, TX, after undergoing 93 straight days of around-the-clock thermal vacuum testing in “Chamber A”, the largest high-vacuum, cryogenic-optical test chamber in the world, once used to test Apollo hardware and suited up astronauts.

Australia’s First Space Base To Launch Rockets Within A Year

Australia’s first commercial space station is expected to be established and launching rockets within a year. Commercial rocket launching company Equatorial Launch Australia, has secured a lease with traditional owners for about 60 hectares of land, to build a rocket base in the Northern Territory. The site is about 30km south of Nhulunbuy, in North East Arnhem Land.

Rick Ambrose: Lockheed Pursues Investments To Advance Manufacturing Process Amid ‘NewSpace’ Challenge
Source: GovConWire

Rick Ambrose, executive vice president of the space systems segment at Lockheed Martin, has noted the company’s multi-year investments in production techniques as it works to position itself against “NewSpace” startups, ExecutiveBiz reported Wednesday.

Orbital ATK Stockholders Approve Acquisition by Northrop Grumman Corporation
Source: Orbital ATK

Orbital ATK, Inc., a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced that its stockholders overwhelmingly approved the merger agreement providing for the proposed acquisition of Orbital ATK by Northrop Grumman Corporation at a special meeting of stockholders held on November 29, 2017.

New Engineering Module Added To Mars Simulation Station In Utah
Source: The Mars Society

The Mars Society welcomes another addition to its Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) campus in southern Utah with the installation of its new Repair & Assembly Module (RAM) near the main hab. The new stand-alone facility will serve as an engineering bay for the station, allowing crew members to engage in research while also helping maintain the growing fleet of electric ATV vehicles.

Advanced Registration For NSRC 2017 Ends Nov. 30
Source: Parabolic Arc

A reminder that the Advanced Registration deadline is Thu Nov 30 for the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC-2017)! Organized by the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) and co-sponsored by over 20 companies and institutions, NSRC is the premier conference for the suborbital space research and education community. It will be held this year on Dec 18-20 in Broomfield Colorado, just outside Denver.

International Collaboration Fuels Progress Toward EM-1

As Exploration Mission 1 (EM-1) approaches, an international partnership prepares to propel humankind’s journey into deep space. Orion’s next flight, EM-1, will take place between late 2019 and mid 2020. EM-1 is the first time the crew capsule will be united with the Space Launch System (SLS)—the most powerful rocket in the world—and with another key component of the mission: the European Service Module (ESM). Designed and developed by ESA (the European Space Agency) and prime contractor Airbus Defense and Space, the ESM will provide critical materials and capabilities to support astronauts in Orion’s crew module.

Technicians Practice Lifting And Moving The SLS Engine Pathfinder
Source: NASA

Technicians practice operations with the RS-25 pathfinder engine that recently arrived at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans. The pathfinder is the same size and shape as the four RS-25 flight engines that will provide thrust for the Space Launch System (SLS), the world’s most powerful rocket, and the Orion spacecraft on missions into deep space.

Making A Weather Forecast With A GOES-R Series Satellite
Source: NOAA

GOES-R Series satellites keep an eye on Earth’s weather from orbit 22,000 miles above. But how does your local weather forecaster know what a satellite sees? Learn how data from satellites in the GOES-R Series are used for your local weather forecast in this animated video.

Video: Spotlight Space: How To Build A Spaceship
Source: Lockheed Martin

We’re going behind the scenes to spotlight the latest space technology. NASA’s Orion spaceship will take people to the moon, deep space and Mars. In this episode, we’ll take you inside the factory at the Kennedy Space Center where we’re building NASA’s Orion spacecraft. As leaders in space technology, Lockheed Martin is developing the latest spacecraft and satellites to explore the universe.