June 25, 2017

SpaceX Plans Second Launch in 48 Hours (Source: WIRED)
This Sunday, SpaceX is set to launch its second Falcon 9 of the week. This time, the company is firing a shiny new rocket from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. It’s the fastest turnaround yet for two SpaceX launches, but if it's going to launch as many satellites as it says, there are more rapid-fire liftoffs to come.

After initially being delayed from October—then December, then April—today’s liftoff is actually a bit ahead of schedule. This launch delivers 10 more satellites to the fleet that telecommunications company Iridium is building in low Earth orbit. To get the new satellites situated just-so, the launch window is exact, scheduled for 1:25:14 pm Pacific time. (6/25)

First Spaceport Cup Competition Wraps Up (Source: Las Cruces Sun-News)
A little worn from southern New Mexico’s desert heat and wind, more than 1,100 aerospace engineering students packed up their bags, loaded up their vans and headed home after completing the first Spaceport America Cup, which wrapped up Saturday.

More than 90 teams of student engineers competed in the event and were judged on their presentations, safety procedures and earned points for coming closest to pre-determined altitudes when launching their rockets. The International Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition moved to Spaceport America this year after having been held in southern Utah for the past six years.

The event, sponsored by The Experimental Sounding Rocket Association and Spaceport America, drew students from universities across the United States as well as abroad. In addition to the competition, students had a chance to network and to meet with representatives from leading aerospace companies from around the world. (6/24)

NASA Rocket Launch From Virginia Foiled Again (Source: WTOP)
According to NASA’s website, within the first 5 ½ minutes of the rocket launch, some parts of the mid-Atlantic will light up with red and blue-green clouds for scientists to track “particle motion in space.” They said the colorful clouds could be visible anywhere between New York and North Carolina, and possibly as far west as Charlottesville, Virginia.

The rocket was originally set to launch on May 31, but due to clouds, winds, poor weather conditions and boats in the hazard area, the launch many have been waiting for still has not lit up the sky. (6/24)

Spaceport America Granted Limited Use of Tax Revenue for Operations (Source: Santa Fe New Mexican)
Spaceport America, the government-subsidized operation that promised new business for New Mexico by luring wealthy space travelers but in six years hasn’t had any such flights, won a partial victory Thursday in its pitch to use more tax money to increase its operating budget.

The New Mexico Finance Authority agreed to let the spaceport for one year use extra money from the taxes that shoppers pay in two Southern New Mexico counties. But the spaceport wanted the excess tax money in perpetuity, a proposal that the finance authority declined to grant as its chairman raised questions about the facility’s financial strength. (6/23)

Sleeping in Space (Source: Sleep Review)
In space there is no “up” or “down,” and due to microgravity, astronauts are weightless. Though NASA astronauts are allotted 8 hours every 24 hours for sleep, they have to overcome the unique challenges of sleep in space in order to maintain their sleep health.

Currently, astronauts on the ISS are the only ones who do any space travel. The ISS has 13 rooms, 2 bathrooms, is the size of a football field, and has a mass of roughly 1 million pounds. It orbits about 200 miles above Earth and travels 17,000 miles per hour. That means every 90 minutes, the ISS does a full rotation around Earth, which means the astronauts get to see the sun rise and set every 90 minutes. Talk about potential circadian rhythm disorder!

Astronauts sleep in sleeping bags with straps fixed to the wall of cubbies. They endure constant noise from the over 52 computers, 40 fans, and 100+ other machines. Also, since they are being pulled away equally in all directions, it is impossible for them to sleep curled in the popular fetal position. Click here. (6/23)

Space Museum in Central Kansas Was Worth the 20 Hour Drive (Source: Gizmodo)
Hutchinson, Kansas isn’t the kind of place you’d wind up if you weren’t looking to. The placid prairie town sits a solid hour’s drive south of I-70, the interstate that most travelers use to blow across 425 miles of Kansas cornfield and cattle pasture as quickly as possible. But as soon as I entered the silver-roofed museum, which is flanked by an authentic Mercury-Redstone Launch Vehicle and a Gemini-Titan II rocket, I knew the extra hours of driving were going to be worth it. After all, how often is one greeted at the door by a Blackbird spy plane?

For fans of spaceflight, military history, and standing awestruck next to the most powerful flying machines ever built, the Cosmosphere, home to the largest international collection of Cold War space artifacts on the planet, just gets better from there. The museum’s expansive entryway not only houses a flown SR-71 Blackbird from 1966—the year the famous spy plane officially joined the US Air Force—but also a scale replica of the Space Shuttle Endeavor, and the twisted remains of an engine thrust chamber from the Saturn V rocket. (6/23)

Huntsville's U.S. Space & Rocket Center to Get State-of-the-Art Planetarium (Source: Huntsville Times)
A new "state-of-the-art planetarium" is planned for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, the center announced Friday. The center's current SpaceDome IMAX Theater will be renovated into the new facility, the center said. Intuitive and Research Technology Corp. will partner with the center's foundation in the renovation "to include planetary and advanced digital theater technology," a press release said. The target opening date is in 2019 in time for the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. (6/23)

‘They’re just like us’: Middle-School Girls Get Unique SpaceX Visit (Source: Daily Breeze)
It’s rare to get a tour of SpaceX’s rocket-making Hawthorne headquarters, let alone one-on-one chats with its engineers. But some Hawthorne middle-school girls who got just such an invitation recently were in awe of the work being done in their neighborhood. “It was pretty surreal,” 13-year-old Bella Freire said. “Usually, you see rockets in magazines but not up-close and personal. Seeing people work on them is amazing. It makes me feel really small.”

“Because you have few women in this field, we’re trying to empower women to be vocal for themselves and have confidence in their technical abilities,” said Damaris Toepel, the lead integration and test engineer for SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. “In all of the positions I’ve held, it was very common for me to be the only female in the room and, sometimes, I would hold myself back from speaking.” (6/22)

Ready, Set, Dream STEM BIG! - Jacksonville's Taylor Richardson (Source: Lottie)
Taylor Richardson is just 13-years old, and she is one of the most inspirational and ambitious girls we have come across during our Lottie journey so far. She aims to be the first African-American woman to go to Mars, and was one of the youngest children ever accepted to Space Camp! Click here. (6/6)

The Precis: UAE National Space Policy (Source: Space Watch Middle East)
The United Arab Emirates revealed details of its National Space Policy during the 56th Session of the Legal and Subcommittee meeting in Vienna March 27-April 7, 2017. The presentation, which was given by Naser Al-Rashedi of the Space Policy and Regulations Directory of the UAE Space Agency, is the first substantive look of the Policy the UAE has proffered to the public. Click here. (6/23)

No comments: