November 30, 2017

Lockheed Martin Completes Hellas-Sat-4/SaudiGeoSat-1 Satellite Assembly And Ships To Environmental Testing

Lockheed Martin technicians loaded the Hellas-Sat-4/SaudiGeoSat-1 communications satellite into its shipping container for delivery to environmental testing in California. Image Credit: PRNewsfoto/Lockheed Martin

November 30, 2017 – Lockheed Martin has completed the major assembly of Hellas-Sat-4/SaudiGeoSat-1 and has shipped the communications satellite to its Sunnyvale, California facility to undergo critical environmental testing. Read More

GOES-16 Begins Drift To Operational Location

Last image captured by GOES-16 ABI before the instrument went offline to prepare for drift operations. Image Credit: NASA/NOAA

November 30, 2017 – On November 30, 2017, GOES-16 began drifting from its checkout location at 89.3 degrees west longitude to its operational location at 75.2 degrees west. During the drift, the satellite’s main instruments are in safe or diagnostic modes and not transmitting data. The magnetometers are the only instruments that will continue to operate throughout the drift period. Read More

NASA Extends Campaign To Nickname New Horizons’ Next Target

Artist’s concept of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft flying by 2014 MU69 on Jan. 1, 2019. Early observations hint at the Kuiper Belt object being either a binary orbiting pair or a contact (stuck together) pair of nearly like-sized bodies with diameters near 20 and 18 kilometers (12 and 11 miles). Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI/Carlos Hernandez

November 30, 2017 – NASA is extending the campaign to find a temporary tag for the next flyby target of its New Horizons mission, giving the public until midnight Eastern Time on December 6 to continue to help select a nickname for the Kuiper Belt object known as 2014 MU69. Read More

Giant Black Hole Pair Photobombs Andromeda Galaxy

X-ray source J0045+41. Image Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/University of Washington/T. Dorn-Wallenstein et al.; Optical: NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton et. al. and R. Gendler

November 30, 2017 – It seems like even black holes can’t resist the temptation to insert themselves unannounced into photographs. A cosmic photobomb found as a background object in images of the nearby Andromeda galaxy has revealed what could be the most tightly coupled pair of supermassive black holes ever seen. Read More

JPSS-1/NOAA-20 Sends Back First Science Data

Image Credit: NOAA/NASA

November 30, 2017 – Eleven days after JPSS-1 launched into Earth orbit, the satellite, now known as NOAA-20, has sent back its first Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder (ATMS) science data as part of a series of instrument startups and checkouts that will take place before the satellite goes into full operational mode. The NOAA-20 satellite carries five instruments that will improve day-to-day weather forecasting while extending the record of many long-term observations of Earth’s climate. Read More

An Orbital Dance May Help Preserve Oceans On Icy Worlds

Composite, enhanced-color image of Pluto (lower right) and its largest moon Charon (upper left) taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft on July 14, 2015. Pluto and Charon are shown with approximately correct relative sizes, but their true separation is not to scale. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

November 30, 2017 – Heat generated by the gravitational pull of moons formed from massive collisions could extend the lifetimes of liquid water oceans beneath the surface of large icy worlds in our outer solar system, according to new NASA research. This greatly expands the number of locations where extraterrestrial life might be found, since liquid water is necessary to support known forms of life and astronomers estimate there are dozens of these worlds. Read More

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Orbital ATK Delivers Al Yah 3 Commercial Communications Satellite To Launch Site
Source: Orbital ATK

Orbital ATK, a global leader in aerospace and defense technologies, today announced that the Al Yah 3 satellite has arrived at its launch site in Kourou, French Guiana, for its upcoming launch on an Arianespace rocket in January 2018. Al Yah 3, built for Al Yah Satellite Communications Company PrJSC (Yahsat), a leading global satellite operator, is the first hybrid electric propulsion GEOStar-3™ satellite to be completed by Orbital ATK. The satellite was built at the company’s satellite manufacturing facility in Dulles, Virginia, and shipped to the launch site on November 28.

Esri Signs Global Enterprise Agreement With Airbus Defence And Space
Source: Esri

Esri, the global leader in spatial analytics, today announced that it entered into an enterprise agreement with the intelligence program line of Airbus Defence and Space. With this new agreement in place, the core GIS will be expanded to meet Airbus’s pivotal mission of using creativity and innovation to address the massive economic, social, and environmental challenges our planet faces.

Want To Learn How To Mine In Space? There’s A School For You
Source: WIRED

This summer, Mines announced its intention to found the world’s first graduate program in Space Resources—the science, technology, policy, and politics of prospecting, mining, and using those resources. The multidisciplinary program would offer Post-Baccalaureate certificates and Masters of Science degrees. Although it’s still pending approval for a 2018 start date, the school is running its pilot course, taught by Dreyer, this semester.

NASA Approves Use Of Previously-Flown Booster On Next Dragon Mission
Source: SpaceNews

NASA officials said Nov. 29 that they have given their approval, as expected, to SpaceX’s use of a previously-flown Falcon 9 first stage on the next Dragon cargo mission to the International Space Station.

ESA Pours $107 Million Into Vega E And A Reusable Spaceplane
Source: SpaceNews

The European Space Agency today committed 89.7 million euros ($106.7 million) split between a new advanced iteration of the Vega launcher and the successor to a spaceplane demonstrator that flew in 2015.

Deep Space Gateway Key Part Of Updated Exploration Roadmap
Source: SpaceNews

A new edition of an international space exploration planning document to be released early next year will offer an updated plan for human missions to the moon and Mars, emphasizing the role that NASA’s proposed Deep Space Gateway could play.

NOAA Administrator Nominee Sees Satellite Programs As Priority
Source: SpaceNews

The businessman nominated by the White House to be the next administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Nov. 29 it will be a priority for him to maintain the agency’s network of weather satellites.

Gravitational Waves Could Shed Light On The Origin Of Black Holes
Source: Brown University

A new study published in Physical Review Letters outlines how scientists could use gravitational wave experiments to test the existence of primordial black holes, gravity wells formed just moments after the Big Bang that some scientists have posited could be an explanation for dark matter.

Back To The Moon: Government-Private Partnerships Outlined
Source: Leonard David’s Inside Outer Space

A new Global Exploration Roadmap (GER) to be issued early next year will detail international strategies for returning to the Moon. One aspect of the roadmap is how best governments can work with commercial companies to provide communications relay services, as well as early delivery of cargo/scientific instruments to the lunar surface. A major thrust is utilization of the Moon’s resources.

Dellingr CubeSat Technologies Available For Commercial Licensing
Source: NASA

Two technologies flying on Dellingr, the one-of-a-kind 6U CubeSat designed and built at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, are available for licensing. Deployed from NASA’s International Space Station on Nov. 20, 2017, Dellingr specifically was designed to demonstrate a more robust and less costly platform for carrying out space science missions.

NASA Statement On Nomination For Agency Chief Financial Officer
Source: NASA

NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot issued a statement on Wednesday’s announcement of the intended nomination by President Donald Trump of Jeffrey DeWit to serve as the agency’s Chief Financial Officer.

Space Technology To Drive Autonomous Ships
Source: ESA

ESA Director General Jan Wörner signed a Memorandum of Intent with Rolls-Royce today, as the two entities agree to investigate how space technology can be used to develop autonomous and remote-controlled ships.

Jupiter Blues
Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt/ Seán Doran

See Jovian clouds in striking shades of blue in this new view taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft. The Juno spacecraft captured this image when the spacecraft was only 11,747 miles (18,906 kilometers) from the tops of Jupiter’s clouds — that’s roughly as far as the distance between New York City and Perth, Australia.

GBDX Notebooks and Amazon SageMaker For Systematic Mining Of Geospatial Data
Source: DigitalGlobe

DigitalGlobe’s 100-plus petabyte archive of high-resolution imagery is a rich source of information about our changing planet. But to fully explore and mine those riches, requires an efficient way to manage and analyze all the data. We set out to find a solution.