October 20 – October 26, 2018

NASA Seeks Information For Gateway Cargo Delivery Services

n this artist’s concept image, the Gateway is shown as it orbits the Moon. Image Credit: NASA

October 25, 2018 – NASA will lead the development of the Gateway, a permanent spaceship orbiting the Moon, to serve as a home base for human and robotic missions to the surface of the Moon and ultimately, Mars. The first orbiting lunar laboratory will be a temporary home and office for astronauts for up to three months at a time, with cargo deliveries likely scheduled when crew are not present. Read More

Orion’s European Service Module Arriving For First Mission

Technicians work underneath the European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft to complete final preparations before shipment to the United States. Image Credit: ESA/A. Conigli

October 25, 2018 – NASA is inviting media to its Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 9 a.m. EST Friday, November 16, for an event marking the arrival from Bremen, Germany, of the European Service Module – the powerhouse that will supply NASA’s Orion spacecraft with electricity, propulsion, thermal control, air and water. Read More

SwRI Team Makes Breakthroughs Studying Pluto Orbiter Mission

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

October 25, 2018 – A Southwest Research Institute team using internal research funds has made several discoveries that expand the range and value of a future Pluto orbiter mission. The breakthroughs define a fuel-saving orbital tour and demonstrate that an orbiter can continue exploration in the Kuiper Belt after surveying Pluto. These and other results from the study will be reported this week at a workshop on future Pluto and Kuiper Belt exploration at the American Astronomical Society’s Division for Planetary Sciences meeting in Knoxville, Tennessee. Read More

WorldWide Telescope Visualization Tracks New Horizons

October 25, 2018 – At the 50th annual meeting of its Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) in Knoxville, Tennessee, the American Astronomical Society (AAS) premiered a visualization of the voyage of NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto and beyond. The 2-minute video, prepared using the AAS’s WorldWide Telescope “Universe Information System,” was unveiled coincident with a DPS press conference during which members of the New Horizons science team previewed the New Year’s Eve/Day 2019 flyby of Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69, nicknamed Ultima Thule. Read More

Juno Mission Detects Jupiter Wave Trains

Three waves can be seen in this excerpt of a JunoCam image taken on February 2, 2017, during Juno’s fourth flyby of Jupiter. The region imaged in this picture is part of the visibly dark band just north of Jupiter’s equator known as the North Equatorial Belt. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/JunoCam

October 25, 2018 – Massive structures of moving air that appear like waves in Jupiter’s atmosphere were first detected by NASA’s Voyager missions during their flybys of the gas-giant world in 1979. The JunoCam camera aboard NASA’s Juno mission to Jupiter has also imaged the atmosphere. JunoCam data has detected atmospheric wave trains, towering atmospheric structures that trail one after the other as they roam the planet, with most concentrated near Jupiter’s equator. Read More

NASA’s InSight Will Study Mars While Standing Still

This artist’s concept depicts NASA’s InSight lander after it has deployed its instruments on the Martian surface. Image Credit:NASA/JPL-Caltech

October 25, 2018 – You don’t need wheels to explore Mars. After touching down in November, NASA’s InSight spacecraft will spread its solar panels, unfold a robotic arm … and stay in one place. Unlike the space agency’s rovers, InSight is a lander designed to study an entire planet from a single location. Read More

Hubble Moving Closer To Normal Science Operations

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Image Credit: NASA

October 22, 2018 – NASA took great strides last week to press into service a Hubble Space Telescope backup gyroscope (gyro) that was incorrectly returning extremely high rotation rates. The backup gyro was turned on after the spacecraft entered safe mode due to a failed gyro on Friday, October 5. The rotation rates produced by the backup gyro have since reduced and are now within an expected range. Additional tests will be performed to ensure Hubble can return to science operations with this gyro. Read More

NASA’s First Image Of Mars From A CubeSat

One of NASA’s twin MarCO spacecraft took this image of Mars on October 2 — the first time a CubeSat, a kind of low-cost, briefcase-sized spacecraft — has done so. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

October 22, 2018 – NASA’s MarCO mission was designed to find out if briefcase-sized spacecraft called CubeSats could survive the journey to deep space. Now, MarCO – which stands for Mars Cube One – has Mars in sight. One of the twin MarCO CubeSats snapped this image of Mars on October 3 – the first image of the Red Planet ever produced by this class of tiny, low-cost spacecraft. The two CubeSats are officially called MarCO-A and MarCO-B but nicknamed “EVE” and “Wall-E” by their engineering team. Read More

SwRI Scientist Explores A Better Way To Predict Space Weather

A Southwest Research Institute space scientist shed new light on predicting the thermodynamics of solar flares and other “space weather” events involving hot, fast-moving plasmas, such as those depicted in this illustration. The Kappa equation calculates the distribution of particle velocities at thermal equilibrium when streams of fast-moving particles are moving en masse, typical of space plasma particle systems. Image Credit: NASA

October 22, 2018 – Findings recently published by a Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) space scientist shed new light on predicting the thermodynamics of solar flares and other “space weather” events involving hot, fast-moving plasmas. Read More

BepiColombo Blasts Off To Investigate Mercury’s Mysteries

BepiColombo liftoff. Image Credit: 2018 ESA-CNES-Arianespace

October 22, 2018 – The ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission to Mercury blasted off on an Ariane 5 from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou at 01:45:28 GMT on October 20 on its exciting mission to study the mysteries of the Solar System’s innermost planet. Read More

More News

BepiColombo Magnetometer Boom Deployed
Source: ESA

Kepler In Safe Mode Again
Source: SpaceNews

Hayabusa2 Team Prepares For Asteroid Sample Collection
Source: Planetary Science Institute

Some Planetary Systems Just Aren’t Into Heavy Metal
Source: YaleNews

Maxar’s SSL Delivers Two Earth Observation Satellites To Vandenberg Launch Base
Source: Maxar Technologies Ltd.

NASA Engineer Will Discuss Traveling To Mars In Colorado Springs Lecture
Source: The Gazette

Colorado Springs Tech Startup Headed For The Stars
Source: KOAA.com

Italy And Australia To Join Forces On World’s Largest Telescope
Source: Curtin University

Living Legends Of Aviation To Honor Jeff Bezos With Prestigious Award For His Work Promoting Freedom
Source: Kiddie Hawk Air Academy

Viasat, SpaceX Enter Contract For A Future ViaSat-3 Satellite Launch
Source: Viasat, Inc.

Parker Solar Probe Looks Back At Home
Source: NASA

NASA Administrator Says Russians On Track For December Soyuz Flight To Station
Source: Spaceflight Now

Atlas 5 Rocket Begins Arriving In Florida For Commercial Crew Test Flight
Source: Spaceflight Now

ULA Now Planning First Launch Of Vulcan In 2021
Source: SpaceNews

CU Boulder To Host Federal Climate Adaptation Science Center
Source: CIRES

Saturn’s Moon Dione Covered By Mysterious Stripes
Source: Planetary Science Institute

Hubble Captures The Ghost Of Cassiopeia
Source: NASA, ESA, and STScI

ULA Gets $152M Contract For Rocket Launch Services To NRO Mission; Tory Bruno Quoted
Source: GovCon Wire

ALMA Maps Europa’s Temperature
Source: National Radio Astronomy Observatory

Mars Express Keeps An Eye On Curious Cloud
Source: ESA

Mike Pence: ‘Space Force’ Aims To Address ‘Fragmented Responsibilities’ Over National Security Programs
Source: ExecutiveGov

In Five-10 Years, Gravitational Waves Could Accurately Measure Universe’s Expansion
Source: University of Chicago

BepiColombo’s First Space Selfies
Source: ESA

Europa Plume Sites Lack Expected Heat Signatures
Source: Planetary Science Institute

Why NASA Watches The Colors Of The (Upper Atmospheric) Wind
Source: NASA

Loverro, Sirangelo, McLaughlin Headline National Space Council Meeting
Source: SpacePolicyOnline.com

Faustson Tool Adds New 5-Axis DMG MORI Milling Machine
Source: Prototype Today

SpaceX Lines Up Five Launches To Close Out 2018
Source: NASASpaceFlight.com

Plan Developed To Characterize And Identify Ocean Worlds
Source: Planetary Science Institute

Luna Facility Brings Moon Down To Earth
Source: Astrobiology Magazine