Karin Drees to Depart CEO Position at Mojave Air and Space Port

Karina Drees

MOJAVE, Calif. (MASP PR) – Mojave Air & Space Port’s CEO and General Manager Karina Drees has announced her departure in early 2021. The Board of Directors has begun the search for the air & space port’s next CEO. 

Drees intends to serve out the remaining months of her five-year contract and has committed to remaining in the position until the next CEO is chosen. Board Secretary Jim Balentine, MASP’s longest serving Director said “The airport has never been in a more stable financial position than under Karina’s leadership. I am grateful for her vision on growing the organization and her ability to execute the necessary objectives to achieve our goals.”

“The past eight years in Mojave have been the most rewarding of my career,” said Drees. “I am fortunate to work with an exceptional, service-oriented team that will ensure our customers receive quality care during this transition.”

The posting for the CEO position can be found on mojaveairport.com and will remain open until November 13, 2020. “The Board understands the unique qualities and qualifications necessary to fill this role,” said Balentine. “We are dedicated to growing our economic engine in East Kern County by providing an environment where business and innovation can thrive.”

SpaceX Wins License to Operate Starlink in Canada

SpaceX has received a Basic International Telecommunications Services (BITS) license from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to offer its Starlink satellite broadband service north of the border.


Bipartisan House Space Caucus Formed

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Doug Lamborn PR) – Today, Representatives Doug Lamborn (CO-05), Kendra Horn (OK-05), Brian Babin (TX-36), Jason Crow (CO-06), Michael Waltz (FL-06), and Charlie Crist (FL-13) announced the creation of the House Space Force Caucus.

The co-chairs of the caucus also invited their House colleagues to join and support the sixth branch of the U.S. military. The Caucus  will serve as an organization dedicated to educating Members and their staff about the U.S. Space Force as well as advocating on the Hill on behalf of our nation’s youngest military Service.


Intel Powers First Satellite with AI on Board

Engineers work on FSSCat/Phi-sat-1, the first satellite with onboard artificial intelligence thanks to its Intel Movidius Myriad 2 VPU. (Credit: Tim Herman/Intel Corporation)

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Intel PR) — As ubiquitous as artificial intelligence has become in modern life — from boosting our understanding of the cosmos to surfacing entertaining videos on your phone — AI hasn’t yet found its way into orbit.

That is until Sept. 2, when an experimental satellite about the size of a cereal box was ejected from a rocket’s dispenser along with 45 other similarly small satellites. The satellite, named PhiSat-1, is now soaring at over 17,000 mph (27,500 kmh) in sun-synchronous orbit about 329 miles (530 km) overhead.


NASA Astronaut Chris Cassidy and Crewmates Return Safely to Earth

The Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft is seen as it lands in Kazakhstan with Expedition 63 crew. (Credit: NASA TV)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner of the Russian space agency Roscosmos landed on Earth at 10:54 p.m. EDT in Kazakhstan. The trio departed the International Space Station in their Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft at 7:32 p.m.

After post-landing medical checks, the crew will split up to return home; Cassidy will board a NASA plane back to Houston, and Vagner and Ivanishin will fly home to Star City, Russia.

Remaining aboard the station is the three-person crew of Expedition 64 with NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, and station commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos. Upon the arrival of the SpaceX Crew-1 mission targeted to launch in November, the station’s long-duration crew will expand to seven people for the first time with the addition of NASA astronauts Michael HopkinsVictor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Learn more about space station activities by following @space_station  and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

Amazing Video of OSIRIS-REx Collecting Samples on Asteroid Bennu

By Brittany Enos
University of Arizona

Captured on Oct. 20, 2020 during the OSIRIS-REx mission’s Touch-And-Go (TAG) sample collection event, this series of images shows the SamCam imager’s field of view as the NASA spacecraft approaches and touches down on asteroid Bennu’s surface, over 200 million miles (321 million km) away from Earth. The sampling event brought the spacecraft all the way down to sample site Nightingale, touching down within three feet (one meter) of the targeted location. The team on Earth received confirmation at 6:08 p.m. EDT that successful touchdown occurred. Preliminary data show the one-foot-wide (0.3-meter-wide) sampling head touched Bennu’s surface for approximately 6 seconds, after which the spacecraft performed a back-away burn.


CASIS & NSF Select Five Transport Phenomena Projects for Flight to International Space Station

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., October 20, 2020 (CASIS PR) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced five awarded projects from a joint solicitation for research in the general field of  transport phenomena.

The solicitation sought investigators interested in leveraging resources onboard the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory for research in the areas of fluid dynamics, particulate and multiphase processes, thermal transport, nanoscale interactions, and combustion and fire systems.

The NSF Directorate for Engineering invested $2 million in awards to the selected projects, and CASIS, manager of the ISS National Lab, will facilitate hardware implementation, in-orbit access, and astronaut crew time to support the investigations on the orbiting laboratory.


ISS Crew Return, OSIRIS-REx Update & Rocket Lab Launch on Tap for Today

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission readies itself to touch the surface of asteroid Bennu. (Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

UPDATE: Rocket Lab has scrubbed its launch for today because of some readings from sensors that didn’t look right. The company has backup opportunities until Nov. 3.

Several major space events are occurring today.

Expedition 63 crew members Chris Cassidy, Anatoly Ivanishin & Ivan Vagner will return from the International Space Station aboard the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft.

NASA will provide an update on its OSIRIS-REx mission, which appears to have collected a sample from asteroid Bennu on Tuesday.

And Rocket Lab will conduct a launch of the Electron rocket from the Mahia Peninsula in New Zealand.

ISS Crew Return & OSIRIS-REx Update
All times Eastern Daylight Time
Webcast: https://www.nasa.gov/nasalive

ISS Crew Return

3:30 p.m. – ISS Expedition 63 Farewells and Soyuz MS-16 Hatch Closure Coverage
4:10 p.m. (approximately) — Hatch closure


5 p.m. – OSIRIS-REx post-sampling news conference – and release of new images – with the following participants:

  • Dante Lauretta, OSIRIS-REx principal investigator, University of Arizona, Tucson
  • Rich Burns, OSIRIS-REx project manager, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland
  • Sandra Freund, OSIRIS-REx mission operations manager, Lockheed Martin Space, Littleton, Colorado

6:15 to 6:45 p.m. – NASA Science Live on OSIRIS_REx with team members answering live questions from the public about TAG, OSIRIS-REx, and asteroid science. Use #ToBennuAndBack on social media to participate.

ISS Crew Return Continues

7 p.m. – ISS Expedition 63/Soyuz MS-16 Undocking Coverage begins
7:32 p.m. — Undocking scheduled
9:30 p.m. – ISS Expedition 63/Soyuz MS-16 Deorbit Burn and Landing Coverage begins
10 p.m. — Deorbit burn scheduled
10:55 p.m. — Landing near Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan scheduled

Rocket Lab Electron Launch
Webcast: www.rocketlabusa.com

Rocket Lab’s 15th Electron launch will carry nine SuperDove Earth-imaging satellites for Planet and the CE-SAT-IIB technology demonstration satellite for Canon Electronics.

Scheduled Launch Time

EDT: 5:14 p.m., Oct 21
PDT: 2:14 p.m., Oct 21
UTC: 9:14 p.m., Oct 21
NZT: 10:14 a.m., Oct 22

Rocket Lab will webcast the launch starting 20 minutes before the scheduled liftoff. Follow the company on Twitter for updates.

NASA, Department of Energy Expand on More Than 50 Years of Collaboration

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s longstanding partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE) has enabled notable space exploration, from revealing more about the Moon to propelling the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft into interstellar space. NASA and DOE are expanding on more than 50 years of collaboration with a new memorandum of understanding announced Tuesday by NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine and U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette.

The agreement – discussed during the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board meeting Oct. 20 – aptly supports Space Policy Directive-1 and other U.S. national space policies. Under the directive and NASA’s Artemis program, America will land the first woman and the next man on the Moon in 2024 and establish sustainable lunar exploration by the end of the decade to prepare for the first human mission to Mars.


Crew-1 Launch Targeted for Mid-November, Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich Remains on Schedule

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 crew members are seen seated in the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft during crew equipment interface training. From left to right are NASA astronauts Shannon Walker, mission specialist; Victor Glover, pilot; and Mike Hopkins, Crew Dragon commander; and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi, mission specialist. (Credit: SpaceX)

NASA Associate Administrator of the Human Exploration and Operations Kathy Lueders gave a Twitter update on the progress SpaceX is making in dealing with an anomaly during a recent launch. Her tweets are below.

We are making a lot of good progress with @SpaceX on engine testing to better understand the unexpected behavior observed during a recent non-NASA launch.

It’s too early to report findings at this point, as @SpaceX continues testing to validate what’s believed to be the most credible cause.

Based on our current analysis, @SpaceX is replacing one Merlin engine on the Sentinel-6 Michael Freilich launch vehicle and one engine for Crew-1 rocket that displayed similar early-start behavior during testing.

We are still targeting the Sentinel-6 launch for Nov. 10 from Vandenberg Air Force Base as we expect to complete forward work in time.

We are also still working towards a mid-November launch for Crew-1. We will want a few days between Sentinel-6 and Crew-1 to complete data reviews and check performance. Most importantly, we will fly all our missions when we are ready.

Crew-1 mission will be the first commercial flight of the Crew Dragon vehicle to the International Space Station.

Nokia Selected by NASA to Build First Ever Cellular Network on the Moon

The Moon seen from the International Space Station. The image was taken by ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli during his second mission to ‘MagISStra’ on 20 March 2011. Paolo commented on the image: “Supermoon was spectacular from here!” (Credit: ESA/NASA)

ESPOO, Finland (Nokia PR) – Nokia has announced further details after being named by NASA as a partner to advance “Tipping Point” technologies for the Moon, deploying the first LTE/4G communications system in space and helping pave the way towards sustainable human presence on the lunar surface.


Three Tissue Engineering Projects Awarded From Joint NSF, CASIS Solicitation to Leverage the Space Station

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., October 19, 2020 (CASIS PR) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the  National Science Foundation (NSF) announced three flight projects that were selected as part of a joint solicitation focused on leveraging the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory to further knowledge in the fields of tissue engineering and mechanobiology.

Through this collaboration, CASIS, manager of the ISS National Lab, will facilitate hardware implementation, in-orbit access, and astronaut crew time on the orbiting laboratory. NSF invested $1.2 million in the selected projects, which are seeking to advance fundamental science and engineering knowledge for the benefit of life on Earth.


NASA’s Perseverance Rover Bringing 3D-Printed Metal Parts to Mars

This video clip shows a 3D printing technique where a printer head scans over each layer of a part, blowing metal powder which is melted by a laser. It’s one of several ways parts are 3D printed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, but was not used to create the parts aboard the Perseverance rover.

For hobbyists and makers, 3D printing expands creative possibilities; for specialized engineers, it’s also key to next-generation spacecraft design.

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — If you want to see science fiction at work, visit a modern machine shop, where 3D printers create materials in just about any shape you can imagine. NASA is exploring the technique – known as additive manufacturing when used by specialized engineers – to build rocket engines as well as potential  outposts on the Moon and Mars. Nearer in the future is a different milestone: NASA’s  Perseverance rover, which lands on the Red Planet on Feb. 18, 2021, carries 11 metal parts made with 3D printing.


NOVA “Touching the Asteroid” Premieres Wednesday, October 21 at 9 p.m. ET/8C on PBS

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission readies itself to touch the surface of asteroid Bennu. (Credits: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona)

BOSTON (PBS PR) —TOUCHING THE ASTEROID, a one-hour NOVA special about the daring and unprecedented space mission to grab a piece of a near-Earth asteroid, premieres on PBS on Wednesday, October 21 at 9 p.m. ET/8C on PBS. The program will also stream on NOVA’s YouTube channel.


Landing Coverage Set for NASA Astronaut Chris Cassidy, Space Station Crew

The crew of Soyuz MS-16: Russian cosmonauts Ivan Vagner and Anatoly Ivanishin and with NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy. (Credit: Roscosmos)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA will provide live coverage of the return to Earth for agency astronaut Chris Cassidy and two Russian cosmonauts Wednesday, Oct. 21, after six months aboard the International Space Station. Complete coverage of the return will be available on NASA TV and the agency’s website.