By Jeanette Kazmierczak NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center
NASA’s newest planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is now providing valuable data to help scientists discover and study exciting new exoplanets, or planets beyond our solar system. Part of the data from TESS’ initial science orbit includes a detailed picture of the southern sky taken with all four of the spacecraft’s wide-field cameras. This “first light” science image captures a wealth of stars and other objects, including systems previously known to have exoplanets.
ST. MARYS, Ga. (Camden County JDA) — This afternoon, at the site of the former St. Marys airport, ABL Space Systems (ABL), the City of St. Marys, and the Joint Development Authority of Camden County (JDA) agreed to terms on a lease that will allow ABL to begin business in Camden County, Georgia. The ABL lease agreement signals another step toward establishing Camden County as the Commercial Space Center of the United States.
Under the terms of today’s agreement, the Camden County JDA will lease the former St. Marys airport property from the City of St. Marys along with a former aircraft hangar adjacent to the airport from a private owner. The JDA will make minor improvements to the sites and sub-lease both properties to ABL.
TOKYO (JAXA PR) — At COSPAR 2018, the scientific assembly of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) held on July 14 – 22 in the US, Dr. Taishi Yano, Assistant Professor of Faculty of Engineering at Yokohama National University, was awarded the Zeldovich Medal. The medals are conferred by the Russian Academy of Sciences and COSPAR to young researchers for their outstanding contribution to space research.
Defense Newsreports the U.S. Ar Force has estimated it will cost $13 billion over five years to establish an independent space force.
In a Sept. 14 memo obtained by Defense News and signed by Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, the service laid out its proposal to transition its space functions to a sixth branch of the military known as the Space Force.
Notably, the Air Force’s Space Force proposal pushes back on a previous proposal, put forth by Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, in several key ways, including advocating for increased integration with the National Reconnaissance Office and objecting to the White House’s plan to install an assistant secretary of defense for space to help guide the transition.
In an exclusive Sept. 17 interview with Defense News, Wilson said her intention was not to hit back at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, but to provide an alternative way to execute President Donald Trump’s direction to create a Space Force….
The proposal put forward by the Air Force would strip all space capability and personnel from the existing services, but even then, there will be additional funding needed to run a new space branch.
HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA has named Holly Ridings its new chief flight director, making her the first woman to lead the elite group that directs human spaceflight missions from the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.
WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — NESDIS has awarded contracts to three satellite companies as part of the Commercial Weather Data Pilot (CWDP) Round Two.
Awardees Spire, GeoOptics, and PlanetIQ will each provide space-based radio occultation data to NOAA for the purpose of demonstrating data quality and potential value to NOAA’s weather forecasts and warnings.
SPARKS, Nev. (Sierra Nevada PR) – America’s next generation spaceplane will soon be available in stores. Mattel, Inc. toymaker is releasing a SierraNevada Corporation (SNC) Dream Chaser spacecraft Matchbox® toy, which will be sold in stores starting in September.
PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Astrobotic PR) –As America prepares to return to the surface of the Moon, Astrobotic Technology is partnering with scientists from the RIS4E node of NASA’s Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI), led by Stony Brook University, to demonstrate the robotic technologies needed to explore and study our nearest neighbor’s most interesting and challenging destinations.
Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa was introduced on Monday as the customer for SpaceX’s planned circumlunar flight aboard the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR).
The 42-year old billionaire, who founded the clothing company Zozo (www.zozo.com) and collects high-priced art, said he plans to invited six to eight artists on the trip who would create works of art after returning home. The passengers could include painters, sculptors, film directors, architects, writers and fashion designers.
Musk praised Maezawa as brave to take the flight. “This is dangerous, let’s be clear,” Musk warned. “This is no walk in the park.”
Maezawa’s flight is tentatively scheduled to occur in 2023. SpaceX Founder Elon Musk admitted he was not sure of the date because BFR is still under development.
Musk said Maezawa made a significant deposit on the expensive voyage around the moon. The funds will help fund the development and testing of the reusable rocket/spacecraft, which Musk estimated will cost $5 billion.
1. Monday, Sept. 17, 2018; 2-3:30 PM PDT (4-5:30 PM CDT, 5-6:30 PM EDT): We welcomed back DDR. CHRIS IMPEY to discuss his new book “Einstein’s Monsters.”
2. Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018: 7-8:30 PM PDT; 9-10:30 PM CDT; 10-11:30 PM EDT: We welcome JOHN JOSSY to the show for astronomy, space advocacy, staying informed and much more.
3. Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018: Hotel Mars. See Upcoming Show Menu and the website newsletter for details. Hotel Mars is pre-recorded by John Batchelor. It is archived on The Space Show site after John posts it on his website.
4. Friday, Sept. 21 2018; 9:30 AM-11 AM PDT, (12:30 -2 PM EDT; 11:30 AM-1 PM CDT): We welcome back MEEAGAN CRAWFORD re the NewSpace business plan competition and more.
5. The Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 program from 12-1:30 PM PDT, (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT): We welcome back RANDA AND ROD MILLIRN of Interorbital back to the show.
GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — Three hundred and ten miles above our planet’s surface, near-Earth space is abuzz with action. Here begin the Van Allen Belts, a pair of concentric rings of fast-moving particles and intense radiation that extends more than 30,000 miles farther into space.
PASADENA, Calif. (NASA/JPL-Caltech PR) — Twenty years ago, CubeSats — a class of boxy satellites small enough to fit in a backpack — were used by universities as a teaching aid. Simpler, smaller and cheaper than traditional satellites, they’ve made space more accessible to private companies and science agencies.
This summer, NASA has been flying the first two next-generation CubeSats to deep space. They’re currently on their way to Mars, trailing thousands of miles behind the InSight spacecraft. InSight and its CubeSat tag-alongs are already more than halfway to the Red Planet.
By Lonnie Shekhtman NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
When astronauts land again on the surface of another world, their limited resources will allow for a short window of time each day to explore their new surroundings. Instruments designed to quickly reveal the terrain’s chemistry and form will help them understand the environments around them and how they change over time.
To protect precious hours available for extraterrestrial scientific investigations, a team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland — the Goddard Instrument Field Team (GIFT) — is testing and refining the chemical-analyzing and land-surveying tools that will assist future human explorers of places like the Moon and Mars.
Reuters reports Brazil is eyeing the use of the Alcantara Launch Center for small satellite flights.
Brazil is ready to launch small commercial rockets from its space base near the equator as soon as it agrees to safeguard U.S. technology that is dominant in the industry, the Brazilian Air Force officer managing the space program said on Friday.
Brig. Major Luiz Fernando Aguiar said Brazil wants to get a piece of the $300 billion-a-year space launch business by drawing U.S. companies interested in launching small satellites at a lower cost from the Alcantara base on its north coast.
“The microsatellite market is most attractive today and we are interested in the 50 to 500-kilo niche,” Aguiar told Reuters at the base’s main launch pad. “We are developing a rocket for microsatellites. For that this tower is totally ready.”
Boeing Co (BA.N) and Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) in December visited the Alcantara space center, which is especially attractive to smaller firms, such as Tucson, Arizona-based rocket-maker Vector Launch Inc, because its equatorial location cuts fuel costs by a third allowing heavier payloads.