July 3, 2016

Making the NSS Enterprise Spacecraft a Reality (Source: Futurism)
This June, over 1,000 visitors to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum were introduced to the ambitious Enterprise In Space (EIS), an international program of the non-profit National Space Society. The mission of EIS is to motivate students everywhere to “reach for the stars.” According to Shawn Case, founder and chairman of the EIS board of advisers, the team has “one of the best award-winning space educator teams out there.”

EIS will design, engineer, build, launch, orbit, recover, tour, and exhibit a spacecraft named NSS Enterprise containing over 100 student experiments. Students will use a powerful artificial intelligence tool, learning to apply science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM), and communicate in natural language with their experiments.

The program will demonstrate and pioneer new technologies while inspiring and encouraging space enterprise, and is a tribute to the many great visionaries of science and science fiction. EIS will engage and inspire the next generation – all ages and walks of life – by igniting a renewed interest in space exploration and development. Click here. (6/29)

What Does It Take To Compete In NewSpace? (Source: Forbes)
People may not know exactly what “NewSpace” is. But they know they are excited about it. The concept has found a home in Seattle, a bona fide rising space hub in the global arena. Click here. (6/28)

Revealed: Blue Origin's Massive Merritt Island Rocket Factory (Source: Florida Today)
Blue Origin last week released renderings providing a glimpse of what the company’s new rocket factory will look like at Kennedy Space Center’s Exploration Park.

The 475,000-square-foot main manufacturing building, to be completed by late next year or early 2018, looks like a giant blue hangar with shorter, white buildings branching from the sides. Plans show the building will measure 725 feet long, 345 feet wide and up to 82 feet tall. Click here. (7/2)

NASA Announces Extension of Nine Spacecraft Missions (Source: New York Times)
NASA has decided to extend the missions of nine older robotic explorers that have lived beyond their original expectations. Click here. (7/2)

China: World's Largest Radio Telescope Completes Installation (Source: Xinhua)
The world's largest-ever radio telescope completed installation as the last piece of 4,450 panels was fitted in the center of the big dish on Sunday morning, a landmark step for its planned operation in September. About 300 people, including constructors, experts, science fiction enthusiasts and reporters, witnessed the installation in a karst valley in Pingtang County of the southwestern province of Guizhou. (7/3)

Mysterious Martian Dunes Snapped by Curiosity Rover (Source: Cosmos)
Strange sand formations somewhere between ripples and dunes have been found on Mars, which scientists say will help them glean information about the evolution of the planet's atmosphere. Ripples and dunes are certainly not confined to Earth and Mars. Venus, Saturn's moon Titan and even the comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko have some kind of wavy pattern etched into their surface.

But when Mathieu Lapotre from Caltech in the US and colleagues analysed images of sand formations beamed back by Curiosity rover, which is trundling around Gale Crater, they knew they were different to anything on Earth. Their shape and spacing looked as though they were created by water currents. But Gale Crater is a desert. So what was going on?

Lapotre's team drew on previous experiments that explored how ripples form on Earth and modeled how these new "wind-drag" ripples might have formed under the thin Martian atmosphere. They found the shape and size of the Martian ripples matched their modeling. They also calculated the effects of a thicker Martian atmosphere and found ripples would shrink. (7/1)

Brighest Area on Ceres May be Due to Hydrothermal Activity (Source: SpaceFlight Insider)
According to a new study by scientists with NASA’s Dawn mission, the brightest area on Ceres, located inside Occator Crater, has the highest concentration of carbonate minerals ever observed anywhere other than on Earth. The study, published online in the journal Nature, is one of two recent papers about the chemical composition of Ceres.

“This is the first time we see this kind of material elsewhere in the Solar System in such a large amount,” said Maria Cristina De Sanctis, lead author and principal investigator of Dawn‘s visible and infrared mapping spectrometer. De Sanctis is based at the National Institute of Astrophysics, Rome.

At nearly 80 million years old, Occator is still considered a young crater. It is 57 miles (92 kilometers) wide and has a central pit that is about 6 miles (10 kilometers) wide. In the center of the crater is a dome structure that is covered in highly reflective material and has radial and concentric fractures on and around it. (7/1)

Azerbaijan Decisive to Subdue "Space Olympus" (Source: AzerNews)
Despite only two years pass of Azerbaijan's ceremonial launching of its first national satellite Azerspace-1, the government assures it has justified expectations. Launching of the first Azerbaijan telecommunication satellite Azerspace-1 justified its economical expediency, said Deputy Minister of Communications and High Technologies Elmir Velizade said to journalists on June 30.

Azerspace-1 took his place on the global market of satellite systems. Currently a whole bunch of countries use its resources and their number increases rapidly, he added. The satellite has an anticipated life service of 15 years. Just for June-July of 2013 satellite's profit consisted of US$ 5 million. According to plan its overall income should be US$ 600 million through the whole period of its service. (7/1)

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