April 20, 2015

JAXA Plans Japan’s First Moon Shot in 2018 (Source: Japan Times)
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is planning to attempt Japan’s first lunar landing in fiscal 2018, sources close to the project said Sunday. JAXA has said it will use unmanned probes to study the possible use of materials on the moon as well as its environment, which could pave the way for future manned missions.

The mission involves the experimental Smart Lander for Investigating Moon and would represent Japan’s first lunar exploration attempt since JAXA launched an unmanned orbiter in 2007. SLIM is likely to be launched on an Epsilon advanced rocket, the sources said. (4/18)

Japan's Tanpopo Mission to Search Space for Origins of Life (Source: Japan News)
Japan will begin a unique scientific project called the “Tanpopo mission” on the International Space Station (ISS), aiming to find and catch substances flying in space that may be the origin of life-forms. The project will start in May in Kibo, Japan’s experiment module of the ISS.

The plan was suspended once due to the retirement of the U.S. space shuttles. But Japan’s own space development technologies and the enthusiasm of researchers paved the way to reviving the project about 10 years after it was first conceived.

The project will attach an absorbent called aerogel to the exterior of the Kibo module, which moves at high speeds 400 kilometers above the Earth, to collect space debris. Resembling agar, the aerogel will be replaced every year. Researchers aim to catch organic matter — such as amino acids — drifting in space, and microbes that float from the Earth. (4/16)

New Countries Line Up to India for Satellite Launches (Source: Hindustan Times)
While the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) has put the country in global limelight because of its low-cost mission to Mars, its commercial wing, Antrix, has started witnessing a robust growth with more countries approaching it with offers to launch their satellites. One such proposal of commercial satellite launch is due for June this year in which three DMC-3 earth observation satellites along with one micro and one nano satellite built by UK's Surrey Satellite Technology (SSTL) will be launched into space.

Noteworthy, Antrix entered into a launch services agreement with a company from US in 2014 for launching their earth observation micro satellite. This is the first time when Antrix will be launching a US-built satellite on-board PSLV. Recently, Antrix also entered into a launch services agreement with another company from US for launching seven nano satellites of US on-board PSLV. (4/18)

Harris Corp. Move Would Impact Florida Tech (Source: Florida Today)
The Melbourne-based Harris Corp. has been a key benefactor of Florida Tech throughout the university's history, going almost as far back as its founding in 1958 when it was known as Brevard Engineering College. The company's CEO William Brown serves on the university's board of trustees.

These days FIT advocates worry that the university's close relationship with Harris may diminish in the future if the company decides to move its headquarters to the Washington, D.C. area as part of a major acquisition of Exelis. Harris executives won't comment on its headquarters plans as its part of the ongoing $4.56 billion acquisition. Word of those plans probably won't be known until this summer.

Harris has contributed $34.6 million — in both in-kind and financial gifts — over the past 35 years. That's a lot money and it's benefited almost every graduate and faculty member at FIT in some fashion. At a Florida Tech board of trustees meeting in March, members unanimously supported a resolution that, among other things, proclaimed "a heartfelt desire that the Harris Corporate headquarters be maintained in Melbourne." (4/19)

Dragon Cargo Ship Arrives at Space Station (Source: Space Daily)
SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo ship arrived Friday at the International Space Station, carrying a load of food and supplies for the astronauts living in orbit. Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti grappled the capsule with the space station's robotic arm. Its contents include an espresso machine, ready-made food packets, and a host of science experiments to study changes in vision, muscle and bones that astronauts experience while in zero gravity. (4/17)

Americans Need to Start Reaching for the Stars Again (Source: Salt Lake Tribune)
Our society has lost our view of the stars. We have lost the desire to know our place in the cosmos and to find how we fit into the puzzle that is our universe, and we may never find out where we fit. Future generations may look to the skies not think of the magnificent stars that give light, and perhaps life, to worlds without number.

We must take control, and be pioneers of the future, and if we cannot achieve what we strive to at this time, we must lay the road for future dreamers, creators, innovators, explorers, or we will never learn more than what is in front of us. (4/18)

A Blueprint for Clearing the Skies of Space Debris (Source: RIKEN)
An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal combines a super-wide field-of-view telescope, developed by RIKEN's EUSO team, which will be used to detect objects, and a recently developed high-efficiency laser system, the CAN laser that was presented in Nature Photonics in 2013, that will be used to track space debris and remove it from orbit. Click here. (4/17)

No comments: