National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Launches Phase 4a of MagQuest Challenge on HeroX to Advance NASA’s Ability to Measure Earth’s Magnetic Field

Millions of Dollars to Help Accelerate Novel Approaches to Geomagnetic Data Collection for the World Magnetic Model

SPRINGFIELD, Va., September 28, 2021 (HeroX PR) — The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) just launched the Demonstration Phase (Phase 4a) of its MagQuest Challenge to develop novel data collection approaches for the World Magnetic Model.

The WMM ultimately ensures the accuracy of navigation because it corrects for differences in magnetic forces at a user’s location. The model is used by thousands of systems for mobile navigation apps and is critical for military and commercial uses around the world.

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Launch 2020: A Year of Transition for Japan

The United Arab Emirates’ Hope Probe took off at 2:58 p.m. PDT on July 19 from a launch site in Japan, headed for Mars to study its atmosphere. (Credit: MHI Launch Services via YouTube)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

It was a typical year for Japan with four successful launches and no failures. Japan has averaged 3.8 launches annually over the past decade. Last year also saw a Japanese astronaut become the first foreigner to fly aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft.

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NASA’s ELaNa 20 Mission First to Fly on Virgin Orbit Launch

Virgin Orbit teammates complete a dry run of the payload encapsulation process in Aug. 2020 inside their “Nebula” payload processing facility ahead of the company’s Launch Demo 2 mission. (Credits: Virgin Orbit/Greg Robinson)

By Danielle Sempsrott 
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

MOJAVE, Calif. — Ten NASA-sponsored CubeSats are preparing to fly on the agency’s next Educational Launch of Nanosatellites  (ELaNa) mission, making this the first payload carried by Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne rocket.

With the small satellites safely secured inside the payload fairing, and the fairing mated to the rocket, Virgin Orbit is gearing up for ELaNa 20, the Launch Demo 2 flight from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

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2020 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum at Second Lowest on Record

In the Arctic Ocean, sea ice reached its minimum extent of 1.44 million square miles (3.74 million square kilometers) on Sept. 15 – the second-lowest extent since modern record keeping began. (Credits: NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio)

by Kate Ramsayer
NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center

GREENBELT, Md. — This year’s Arctic sea ice cover shrank to the second-lowest extent since modern record keeping began in the late 1970s. An analysis of satellite data by NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder shows that the 2020 minimum extent, which was likely reached on Sept. 15, measured 1.44 million square miles (3.74 million square kilometers).

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Blue Origin Schedules Next New Shepard Launch for Thursday

The New Shepard (NS) booster lands after this vehicle’s fifth flight during NS-11 on May 2, 2019. (Credits: Blue Origin)

Next New Shepard Launch Will Test Key Technologies with NASA for Returning to the Moon 

KENT, Wash. (Blue Origin PR) — Blue Origin’s next New Shepard mission (NS-13) is currently targeting liftoff for Thursday, September 24, at 10:00 am CDT / 15:00 UTC. Current weather conditions are favorable. This will be the 13th New Shepard mission and the 7th consecutive flight for this particular vehicle (a record), demonstrating its operational reusability. 

You can watch the launch live at BlueOrigin.com. The pre-show begins at T-30 minutes and will provide mission details, including a special update from NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

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How to Safely Stare at the Sun: SOHO, SDO and GOES-R Instruments

The sun over the years. (Credit: SOHO/NASA/ESA)

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — As an agency, NOAA’s science isn’t just limited to Earth and its atmosphere. NOAA’s reach goes from the surface of the Sun to the depths of the ocean floor as we work to keep the public informed of the changing environment around them. So, what sort of instruments help scientists detect what’s going on in the Sun in the first place?

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Emirates Launch First Mars Probe with Help from UC Berkeley

The Emirates Mars Mission Hope Spacecraft prior to shipment to Dubai and the Tanegashima Launch site, with fully deployed solar panels and instruments visible (facing the floor) measuring nearly 5 meters across. (Credit: MBRSC/Ken Hutchison)

by Robert Sanders
UC Berkeley

At 2:58 p.m. PDT today (Sunday, July 19), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) successfully launched an interplanetary probe — the first by any country in the Arab world — thanks, in part, to science collaboration, training and instrument components provided by the University of California, Berkeley’s Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL).

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Special Aerospace Services Teams With UC Boulder

special_aerospace_servicesBOULDER, Colo. (SAS PR) — Special Aerospace Services (SAS), a leader in aerospace systems engineering solutions, announced on August 28, 2013 that it has signed a teaming agreement with the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at the University of Colorado Boulder. The agreement will leverage talent and technical expertise between the two organizations.

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eSpace Adds Board Members, Government Liaison

eSpace Press Release

eSpace: The Center for Space Entrepreneurship, a non-profit business incubator for aerospace companies, today announced that it has added new members to its board of directors and a new member to its team of government liaisons.

Already lauded for workforce development programs that encourage high school and college students to enter the aerospace industry, eSpace now fortifies its position as mentor with high-level, connected advisors and guides who can help space entrepreneurs succeed in the highly-regulated, tight-knit aerospace industry during a recessionary economy.

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Cosmic Internet to Facilitate Faster Communications, Porn Downloads

CU BOULDER PRESS RELEASE

The University of Colorado at Boulder is working with NASA to develop a new communications technology now being tested on the International Space Station, which will extend Earth’s Internet into outer space and across the solar system.

Called Disruption Tolerant Networking, or DTN, the new technology will enable NASA and other space agencies around the world to better communicate with international fleets of spacecraft that will be used to explore the moon and Mars in the future. The technology is expected to lead to a working “Interplanetary Internet,” said Kevin Gifford, a senior research associate at CU-Boulder’s BioServe Space Technologies and a faculty member in the aerospace engineering sciences department.

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SpaceDev, U of Colorado at Boulder Create eSpace Entrepreneur Center

PRESS RELEASE

The University of Colorado at Boulder, a national leader in aerospace engineering, and SpaceDev Inc., a leading entrepreneurial space company located in Louisville, Colo., have partnered to create eSpace: The Center for Space Entrepreneurship. eSpace is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating new entrepreneurial space companies, commercializing aerospace technologies created within these companies and developing the aerospace workforce to support them.

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