September 15, 2017

ULA Resets NROL-42 Launch Date To September 21

Image Credit: United Launch Alliance

September 15, 2017 – United Launch Alliance (ULA) will now launch NROL-42 at 11:38 p.m. MDT September 21 from Space Launch Complex 3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Read More

NASA Calls For Ideas To Enhance Future Space Exploration With Next iTech Challenge

Image Credit: NASA

September 15, 2017 – A new cycle of the NASA iTech initiative kicks off today with a call for technical solutions to fill gaps in areas identified as having a critical impact on future space exploration. The request for a five-page white paper is the first phase of NASA iTech Cycle 3, part of a collaborative initiative to find and foster innovative solutions from small and large businesses, universities, non-profits, U.S. government organizations outside of NASA and undiscovered inventors. Read More

Cassini Concludes Historic Mission To Saturn

Earl Maize, program manager for NASA’s Cassini spacecraft at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Lab, and Julie Webster, spacecraft operations team manager for the Cassini mission at Saturn, embrace in an emotional moment for the entire Cassini team after the spacecraft plunged into Saturn, Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

September 15, 2017 – A thrilling epoch in the exploration of our solar system came to a close today, as NASA’s Cassini spacecraft made a fateful plunge into the atmosphere of Saturn, ending its 13-year tour of the ringed planet. Read More

Red Rocks Student Team Helps NASA Learn About Life On Mars

September 15, 2017 – Last month, a group of Red Rocks Community College students participated in a nationwide NASA project to capture data and images of the eclipse from the edge of space – an experiment that could help us understand where life could survive beyond Earth. Read More

Raytheon To Support NOAA’s Weather Forecasting Toolkit Critical To Hurricane Watches And Warnings

Used by more than 140 National Weather Service field offices, the AWIPS program informs decisions that save lives and protect property during natural disasters. Image Credit: PRNewsfoto/Raytheon Company

September 15, 2017 – Raytheon Company will continue its support for NOAA’s Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System program that ingests and analyzes weather data, creating useful visualizations for forecasters and distributing time-sensitive weather statements such as watches and warnings across the United States. Read More

More News:

Regis University Hosting STEM Event To Expose Girls To Tech’s Hottest Job Sector: Cybersecurity
Source: The Denver Post

Regis University is hosting a free day-long CyberTech Girls seminar aimed at middle and high school girls who want to learn more about a career in cybersecurity.

Major Solar Flare
Source: NASA/Solar Dynamics Observatory

The sun erupted with an X8 solar flare, one of the largest of the current solar cycle (Sept. 10, 2017). Its source was the same sunspot region that produced an X9 flare last week. We show this in two wavelengths of extreme ultraviolet light at the same time and each reveals different features. Both are colorized to identify in which wavelength they were observed. The coils of loops after the flare are the magnetic field lines reorganizing themselves after the eruption. The video clip covers about six hours.

GRACE-FO Is Earth’s Friend
Source: The University of Texas at Austin

The GRACE satellites, affectionately known as Tom and Jerry, have tirelessly orbited Earth for more than 15 years, collecting valuable information about the changes in the planet’s water, ice and land. While the twin GRACE satellites tripled their initial life expectancy, they will be retired and replaced by new twin satellites in the GRACE Follow-On mission, or GRACE-FO, in early 2018.

Boulder And Outer Space Have Long Been Connected
Source: City of Boulder

Boulder residents are seven times more likely to live near a rocket scientist than the average American.

Thank You, Cassini
Source: NASA

This is part five of a five-part series detailing personal accounts of NASA Glenn’s Cassini Mission launch team.

Array Of Research Will Return To Earth Aboard Cargo Spacecraft Sunday
Source: NASA

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft is scheduled to splash down in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, Sept. 17, west of Baja California, with more than 3,800 pounds of NASA cargo, research experiments and technology demonstration samples from the International Space Station.

Galileos Set To Fly On Ariane 6
Source: ESA

Four of the latest set of Galileo navigation satellites will be launched on Ariane 6 rockets – ESA’s first contract to use Europe’s new vehicle.

Video: Farewell To Saturn: Highlights From The End Of NASA’s Cassini Mission
Source: NASA/JPL

On Sept. 15, 2017, Cassini plunged into Saturn, ending its 20-year mission of discovery. Scenes from mission control, TV commentary and the post-end-of-mission news briefing at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Tucson’s Paragon Space Teams Up On Space-Station Contract

Tucson-based Paragon Space Development Corp. has teamed up with a Maryland-based company on a multitask NASA contract for work supporting the International Space Station that could be worth up to $500 million over seven years.

GRACE Mission Making Plans For Final Science Data Collection
Source: NASA

With one of its twin satellites almost out of fuel after more than 15 years of chasing each other around our planet to measure Earth’s ever-changing gravity field, the operations team for the U.S./German Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) mission is making plans for an anticipated final science collection.

U.S. Astronauts Are Climbing Back Into Space Capsules. Here’s How They’ve Improved Over The Past 50 Years
Source: Los Angeles Times

In 1961, an American astronaut reached space for the first time and soared through the heavens in a gumdrop-shaped capsule. Since then, people have flown to the moon, created space planes and designed rockets that return to Earth for precision landings. But when astronauts lift off next year from U.S. soil for the first time in six years, their vehicle of choice will be another capsule.

House Passes Spending Bill With Space Provisions Intact
Source: SpaceNews

The House of Representatives passed an omnibus appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018 Sept. 14 that keeps funding for NASA and NOAA programs unchanged from earlier bills.

Good Night, Saturn
Source: SYFY

No human has been to Saturn, but our robotic proxies have been, and in this latest case, its senses are so much more exquisite than ours. We have not just seen Saturn, but through this distant explorer, we’ve felt it, experienced it, found ourselves baffled by it and still understanding it better than any humans in history.

Saturn Final Approach Images
Source: Cassini Imaging Central Laboratory for Operations

These are processed images from Cassini’s Final Approach.

Cassini: The Dying Of The Light
Source: The Planetary Society

Cassini is no more. At 10:31 according to its own clock, its thrusters could no longer hold its radio antenna pointed at Earth, and it turned away. A minute later, it vaporized in Saturn’s atmosphere. Its atoms are part of Saturn now – the lighter ones high in the atmosphere, the heavier ones (particularly the iridium-clad plutonium dioxide pellets that were, yesterday, in the center of its nuclear power source) likely descended much deeper before melting.