Report: Geodetic Infrastructure Needs Enhancements, Continued Maintenance to Answer High-Priority Scientific Questions

WASHINGTON (National Academies PR) – A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says that enhancements to the geodetic infrastructure are needed to answer important questions about sea level rise, water resources, geological hazards, and more over the next decade

The report, Evolving the Geodetic Infrastructure to Meet New Scientific Needs, compares the current capabilities of the geodetic infrastructure with the requirements of high-priority science questions for 2017-2027. Many of these questions can be supported by the existing geodetic infrastructure, as long as it is maintained. However, other science questions will require enhancements.

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NASA TV to Air U.S. Cargo Ship Departure from Space Station

SpaceX’s Dragon resupply ship slowly approaches the orbiting lab as both spacecraft were orbiting 258 miles above the Mediterranean Sea Dec. 9, 2019. Filled with more than 4,000 pounds of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo, Dragon is now set to leave the International Space Station Monday, April 6. (Credits: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Filled with more than 4,000 pounds of valuable scientific experiments and other cargo, a SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft is set to leave the International Space Station Monday, April 6. NASA Television and the agency’s website will broadcast its departure live beginning at 9:30 a.m. EDT.

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Using Augmented Reality to Prepare Orion Hardware for Artemis II Crewed Mission

Mary Lakaszcyck, a technician with ASRC Federal Data Solutions, a subcontractor to Orion manufacturer Lockheed Martin, demonstrates a pair of augmented reality (AR) goggles inside the high bay of the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building high bay at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Jan. 16, 2020. (Credits: NASA/Cory Huston)

By Linda Herridge
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

Augmented reality, also known as AR, is a powerful tool that engineers are using to enable NASA to send humans to the Moon under the agency’s Artemis  program. Lockheed Martin, lead contractor for NASA’s Orion spacecraft, is currently using AR to increase efficiency in building the spacecraft for Artemis II, the first crewed mission aboard Orion.

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A Message on COVID-19 Pandemic from Space Foundation CEO Tom Zelibor

Tom Zelibor (Credit: Space Foundation)

A Message from Our CEO

As a world and an industry, we are in the midst of a global health and economic crisis. While there may be uncertainty about how we will recover, there is no doubt that the same ingenuity, drive, and collaboration that serves our exploration and industrialization of space will lead us to a swift recovery.

In just the last weeks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared use of a new corona virus test that returns results four times faster than existing diagnostic machines. We’ve seen scientists from around the world share and integrate the genome sequences of dozens of corona virus strains to spur development of a vaccine — a result aided by the space and satellite technology that allows split-second global communication.

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NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope Full Mirror Deployment a Success

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. (NASA PR) — In a recent test, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope fully deployed its primary mirror into the same configuration it will have when in space.

As Webb progresses towards liftoff in 2021, technicians and engineers have been diligently checking off a long list of final tests the observatory will undergo before being packaged for delivery to French Guiana for launch.

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Space Foundation: 2019 Space Employment Hit 8-Year High, Launch Activity Grew 39% Over Past Decade

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 31, 2020 (Space Foundation PR) — Across multiple fronts, the space industry heading into 2020 was the strongest in years, with gains in space industry jobs, new nations entering space, and record-level research and investor activity through International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory programs.

Those are among the new findings in The Space Report 2020, Quarter One, released today.

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Space Force Identifies USAF Missions for Transfer to Newest Service

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFNS) — In a significant step that enhances the U.S. Space Force’s capabilities and development, the Department of the Air Force has identified 23 U.S. Air Force organizations whose space-related missions will soon transfer to the Space Force.

Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, in conjunction with Chief of Space Operations Gen. John “Jay” Raymond and Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David Goldfein, directed the transfer which entails shifting space missions from Air Force organizations into the newest military branch.

Currently, Space Force is comprised primarily of units which previously fell under the former Air Force Space Command prior to the service’s establishment on Dec. 20, 2019.  

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Orbit Fab Wins SBIR Award for Satellite Refueling System

Orbit Fab has received a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I award worth $222,713 to help fund the development of a refueling system for smaller satellites.

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) America’s Seed Fund awarded the $222,713 grant to the company, which is based in Cupertino, Calif. Daniel Faber is the principal investigator

“The proposed project will remove the complexity of performing spacecraft proximity operations and docking in order to facilitate commercial refueling through a ‘bolt on’ standardized component with the associated sensors and functions,” according to the proposal abstract.

“The system will be installed during production on the ground. This integrated package of sensors, communications, fueling valves, and docking latches will provide the functionality required for a servicing vehicle and a client satellite to safely approach, securely dock, and exchange fuel between the two vehicles,” the abstract added.

Orbit Fab will use the NSF funding to refine the concept, determine the optimal optical alignment for operations and docking, and identify the suite of sensors required.

NASA Receives More Than 12,000 Astronaut Applications

NASA astronaut Christina Koch (right) poses for a portrait with fellow Expedition 61 Flight Engineer Jessica Meir of NASA, who is inside a U.S. spacesuit for a fit check. The two are preparing for their first spacewalk together on Oct. 18, 2019, to replace a failed power controller on the International Space Station’s P6 truss structure. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — More than 12,000 people have applied to join NASA’s next class of astronauts, demonstrating strong national interest to take part in America’s plans to explore the Moon and take humanity’s next giant leap – human missions to Mars.

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Raytheon, L3Harris Each Awarded $500 Million Contracts for Military Satcom Modems

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. — The Space and Missile Systems Center awarded Raytheon Company – Space and Airborne Systems and L3 Technologies Inc. two indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity multi-award contracts with ceiling values of $500 million each, totaling $1 billion, for development and production of Protected Tactical Waveform (PTW)-capable modems, over 120 days ahead of schedule, March 27.

SMC teamed with the Army Program Executive Office Command Control Communications – Tactical, Product Manager Satellite Communications to leverage commonality and gain efficiencies to execute the Air Force and Army Anti-Jam Modem (A3M) program. A3M directly supports Protected Tactical SATCOM (PTS) and is a critical capability to increase anti-jam and communications capacity for joint tactical warfighters in contested environments. A3M will benefit all DoD SATCOM and national security efforts and ultimately keep the nation and its allies operating safely from anywhere at any time.

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Raytheon, United Technologies Obtain All Regulatory Approvals to Close Merger

WALTHAM, Mass. and FARMINGTON, Conn., March 30, 2020 (Raytheon/United Technologies PR) – Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) and United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX) announced that they have received the necessary regulatory approvals for their all-stock merger of equals and expect to close the merger prior to the opening of trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Friday, April 3, 2020, the distribution date for United Technologies’ spin-offs of Carrier and Otis.

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NASA, SpaceX Simulate Upcoming Crew Mission with Astronauts

On Thursday, March 19 and Friday, March 20, SpaceX teams in Firing Room 4 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and the company’s Mission Control in Hawthorne, California, along with NASA flight controllers in Mission Control Houston, executed a full simulation of launch and docking of the Crew Dragon spacecraft, with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley (front) participating in SpaceX’s flight simulator. (Credits: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Joint teams from NASA and SpaceX continue making progress on the first flight test with astronauts to the International Space Station by completing a series of mission simulations from launch to landing. The mission, known as Demo-2, is a close mirror of the company’s uncrewed flight test to station in March 2019, but this time with NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley aboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft launching atop a Falcon 9 rocket as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP).

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Myriota Expands into Canada with Acquisition of exactEarth Satellites, Ground Stations

ADELAIDE, South Australia (Myriota PR) — Global leader in nanosatellite Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, Myriota Canada (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Myriota Pty Ltd), has entered into an agreement with exactEarth Ltd. (TSX: XCT) to acquire satellite communications assets.

Significantly adding to its North American capability, the transaction, which is subject to Canadian regulatory approval, will see Myriota Canada acquire four satellites, a global network of ground station assets, and their associated spectrum licenses.

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