September 12, 2017

Hibernation Over, New Horizons Continues Its Kuiper Belt Cruise

Flight controllers (from left) Katie Bechtold, Ed Colwell and Jon Van Eck, working in the mission operations center at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, confirm data indicating that the New Horizons spacecraft had safely exited hibernation on Sept. 11, 2017. Image Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI

September 12, 2017 – A long summer break ended for NASA’s New Horizons on September 11, as the spacecraft “woke” itself on schedule from a five-month hibernation period. Read More


NASA Astronauts Back From Space, Talk With Media


SwRI Celebrates 70 Years Of Service

Image Credit: SwRI

September 12, 2017 – Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) will celebrate 70 years of research that has taken the San Antonio-based facility from a ranch dedicated to scientific livestock production, to a leader in research from the deepest oceans to the outermost planets. Read More


USAF Awards Lockheed Martin GPS M-Code Early Use (MCEU) Ground System Upgrade Contract

The Military Code (M-Code) Early Use (MCEU) contract will accelerate deployment of command and control of M-Code capability to GPS IIR-M and GPS IIF satellites currently on orbit, as well as future GPS III satellites (like GPS III SV02 above), which the Air Force expects to begin launching in 2018. Image Credit: Lockheed Martin

September 12, 2017 – The U.S. Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $45.5 million contract to provide Military Code (M-Code) Early Use (MCEU) capability to the Global Positioning System (GPS). Part of the Air Force’s overall modernization plan for the GPS, M-Code is an advanced, new signal designed to improve anti-jamming and protection from spoofing, as well as to increase secure access, to military GPS signals for U.S. and allied armed forces. Read More


Intermap Technologies Reports Expanded U.S. Government Task Order

September 12, 2017 – Denver-based Intermap Technologies Corporation announced today that the company has been awarded a $3.3 million expansion to its original 2017 task order for geospatial infrastructure services, previously announced on May 25, 2017. The customers’ 3-D digital elevation model (DEM) will be upgraded with new void-free collection, provisioning, and editing of elevation and image layers into a contiguous, wide area, high resolution geospatial foundation. Read More


More News:

3D Metal Printing Enables Hypersonic Propulsion Breakthrough
Source: Engineering.com

On February 4th, 1986, then President Ronald Reagan used the state of the union address to predict a revolution in aviation: hypersonic flight. In 2017, the technical challenges still aren’t solved, but new technology promises to overcome the issues that have dogged hypersonic aircraft for half a century.


Why Bacteria “Shapeshift” In Space
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

Bacterial cells treated with a common antibiotic in the near-weightlessness of the International Space Station (ISS) responded with some clever shapeshifting that likely helped them survive, findings with implications for both astronauts and people on Earth.


Merrick & Company Announces The Recent Passing Of Mark Henline, Senior Vice President And Chief Financial Officer
Source: Merrick & Company

It is with deepest regret that Merrick & Company announces the passing of Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Mark Henline.


20 Years Of Continuous Operations At Mars
Source: NASA

On September 12, 1997, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) entered an elliptical orbit around Mars, beginning a 20-year period of continuous robotic scientific exploration at the Red Planet.


Telescopes Worldwide Collaborate To Observe Asteroid Florence During Its Recent Close Approach To Earth
Source: Center for Near Earth Object Studies

One of the largest near-Earth asteroids, 3122 Florence, passed by our planet on September 1, 2017 at about 18 times the distance to the Moon. A concerted observational campaign has led to many new insights, including the discovery of two moons orbiting Florence and new information on the physical properties of Florence itself.


T-Minus 10 Years Til’ Liftoff
Source: NASA

This is part two of a five-part series detailing personal accounts of NASA Glenn’s Cassini Mission launch team. During the lead up to Cassini, NASA Glenn was responsible for integrating the spacecraft with the launch vehicle, planning the launch, designing the unique mission hardware and developing the necessary software modifications, including designing the launch trajectories.


Video: Le Cassini Opera, Sung By Robert Picardo
Source: The Planetary Society

Robert Picardo sings a very special goodbye to the Cassini mission.


As Voyager Leaves The Solar System, A CU Boulder Scientist Looks Back
Source: KUNC

In 1977, NASA launched two space probes to explore deep space and expand our view of the solar system. 40 years later, Voyager 1 and 2 are still sending back images to the amazement of scientists — including University of Colorado Boulder’s Fran Bagenal.


CU’s 4 Campuses Contributed $12.35B To Colorado Economy In 2016, Report Finds
Source: Boulder Daily Camera

The University of Colorado, across all campuses, generated $12.35 billion in 2016 for Colorado’s economy, with Boulder’s campus contributing $3.85 billion, according to a Leeds School of Business economic impact report released Thursday.


Keeping NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope In The Dark
Source: NASA

This bunny-suited technician is performing the important task of ensuring no unwanted infrared light interferes with the optical testing of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope inside of Chamber A at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. Because of the Webb telescope’s extreme sensitivity to infrared light, the shroud was made nearly impervious to outside light sources that could contaminate the testing.


Secure World Foundation Seeks Next Executive Director
Source: Secure World Foundation

Dedicated to promoting cooperative solutions for outer space sustainability, the Secure World Foundation (SWF) annually engages in an ambitious and diverse program of activity worldwide that supports collaboratively developing norms of behavior to preserve the use of near Earth space. Leading that effort with a skilled team of only nine people requires a special touch and a commitment to collaborative management. With the impending retirement of our current Executive Director in June 2018, we are looking for a strong, capable leader who can continue to grow and mature the organization and ensure the long-term sustainability of our success.


Blue Origin Enlarges New Glenn’s Payload Fairing, Preparing To Debut Upgraded New Shepard
Source: SpaceNews

Blue Origin will likely launch the third iteration of its New Shepard suborbital launch vehicle by year’s end, paving the way for a human-rated version and ironing out the reusability plan for the orbital New Glenn rocket.


Britain’s Biggest Rocket Fuelled By Burned Tyres Blasts Off In Pursuit Of Space Tourism Dream
Source: The Telegraph

It was launched from a flatbed truck, its sole occupant a teddy bear from the local primary school. But the successful, if brief, launch yesterday of Britain’s largest rocket paves the way for the UK to take a giant leap in the space race with the development of a three-seater capsule fuelled by recycled tyres.


What Could We Lose If A NASA Mission Goes Dark?
Source: The New York Times

Researchers are racing to replace the pioneering Grace satellites, which are threatened by both dying batteries and Trump-era budget cuts.


Support Builds For Bridenstine To Lead NASA Despite Past Skepticism On Climate Change
Source: The Washington Post

If confirmed, Jim Bridenstine would be the first NASA administrator in the post-Apollo era who wasn’t yet born when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. He’s a politician and a Navy aviator, not a rocket scientist, whose credentials have already been criticized by Florida’s two U.S. senators. And the congressman’s comments expressing skepticism about the role humans have played in climate change have sparked controversy.


Photosynthesis Under The Light Conditions Different From The Earth: New Prediction Of A Detection Wavelength For Searching Phototrophs On Exoplanets
Source: National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

One of the most important exoplanetary biosignatures is a specific reflection pattern on the land surface named ‘red-edge’, which is caused by vegetation such as forests and grasslands. On the Earth, red-edge appears between red and infrared (IR) wavelengths, since red-light is absorbed for photosynthesis while IR radiation is reflected.


Astronauts Don’t Develop Anemia During Spaceflight, NASA Study Suggests
Source: BioMed Central

Space flight anemia – the reduction of circulating red blood cells (RBCs) during time spent in space – is an established phenomenon, but it may not be a major concern during long-duration space missions, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Hematology.


CU Public Outreach Awards Fund 40 Projects
Source: University of Colorado Boulder

The CU Boulder Outreach Committee is pleased to announce that 40 faculty-led outreach and engagement projects have been chosen to receive CU Boulder Outreach Awards for 2017-18. The projects range from innovative K-12 programming to community development initiatives, and connect research, teaching and creative work with public needs in Colorado, the region and nationwide.