Latest Space News
Fri, 20 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0100
"Using a model that more realistically simulates atmospheric conditions, we discovered a new process that controls the habitability of exoplanets and will guide us in identifying candidates for further study," said Yuka Fujii of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), New York, New York and the Earth-Life Science Institute at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan, lead author of a paper on the research published in the Astrophysical Journal Oct. 17. Previous models simulated atm...
Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:40:00 +0100
NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services for the Sentinel-6A mission. Launch is currently targeted for November 2020, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Full Thrust rocket from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The total cost for NASA to launch Sentinel-6A is approximately $97 million, which includes the launch service and other mission related costs. The Sentinel-6A mission, also known as Jason Conti...
Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0100
NASA Team Finds Noxious Ice Cloud on Saturn's Moon Titan Researchers with NASA's Cassini mission found evidence of a toxic hybrid ice in a wispy cloud high above the south pole of Saturn's largest moon, Titan. The finding is a new demonstration of the complex chemistry occurring in Titan's atmosphere-in this case, cloud formation in the giant moon's stratosphere-and part of a collection of processes that ultimately helps deliver a smorgasbord of organic molecules to Titan's surface. Inv...
Tue, 17 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0100
ESO's fleet of telescopes in Chile have detected the first visible counterpart to a gravitational wave source. These historic observations suggest that this unique object is the result of the merger of two neutron stars. The cataclysmic aftermaths of this kind of merger - long-predicted events called kilonovae - disperse heavy elements such as gold and platinum throughout the Universe. This discovery, published in several papers in the journal Nature and elsewhere, also provides the strongest ev...
Tue, 17 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0100
For the first time, NASA scientists have detected light tied to a gravitational-wave event, thanks to two merging neutron stars in the galaxy NGC 4993, located about 130 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Hydra. Shortly after 8:41 a.m. EDT on Aug. 17, NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope picked up a pulse of high-energy light from a powerful explosion, which was immediately reported to astronomers around the globe as a short gamma-ray burst. The scientists at the National S...
Mon, 16 Oct 2017 18:43:00 +0100
Thales Alenia Space has signed a contract with Airbus Defence and Space GmbH to develop the feed array system for the antenna on the European Space Agency's Biomass spacecraft. This equipment is essential to guarantee the full satellite performance. One of ESA's Earth Explorer missions dedicated to protect our planet, Biomass will help us understand the quantity of carbon stored in the world's forests within the global carbon cycle. Due for launch in 2021, Biomass is primarily designed to d...
Sun, 15 Oct 2017 08:00:00 +0100
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying a payload for the National Reconnaissance Office lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 on Oct. 15 at 3:28 a.m. EDT. Designated NROL-52, the mission is in support of national security. "Today's launch is a testament to the tireless dedication of the ULA team, demonstrating why ULA continues to serve as our nation's most dependable and successful launch provider," said Laura Maginnis, ULA vice president of Government Satellite Launch. "Af...
Fri, 13 Oct 2017 13:05:00 +0100
The first Copernicus mission dedicated to monitoring our atmosphere, Sentinel-5P, has been launched from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. The 820 kg satellite was carried into orbit on a Rockot launcher at 09:27 GMT (11:27 CEST) today. The first stage separated 2 min 16 sec after liftoff, followed by the fairing and second stage at 3 min 3 sec and 5 min 19 sec, respectively. The upper stage then fired twice, delivering Sentinel-5P to its final orbit 79 min after liftoff. ...
Fri, 13 Oct 2017 10:55:00 +0100
The first full-scale model of the rocket motor that will propel Ariane 6 and Vega-C into orbit has been cast and filled with inert propellant for testing at Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. The P120C is the largest solid-propellant rocket motor ever built in one segment. Each P120C will hold over 140 tonnes of propellant in a carbon fibre casing almost 11.5 m long and about 3.4 m in diameter. It is derived from Vega's current first stage motor, the P80, which holds 88 tonnes of propell...
Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0100
There's no map showing all the billions of exoplanets hiding in our galaxy -- they're so distant and faint compared to their stars, it's hard to find them. Now, astronomers hunting for new worlds have established a possible signpost for giant exoplanets. A new study finds that giant exoplanets that orbit far from their stars are more likely to be found around young stars that have a disk of dust and debris than those without disks. The study, published in The Astronomical Journal, focused on ...
Fri, 13 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0100
Our 4th Space Resiliency Summit is designed as an educational and training ''Town Hall'' forum, where thought leaders and key policy-makers across military services, defense agencies, and civilian organizations can come together for actionable discussions and debate. This year's summit will focus on technology and innovation needed to defend critical space assets against increasing and new threats. Download Conference Agenda | Register to attend this Conference 2017 Summit Topics to Includ...
Thu, 12 Oct 2017 08:50:00 +0100
EchoStar Corp. (NASDAQ: SATS) announced today that the EchoStar 105/SES-11 satellite was successfully launched on October 11 at 6:53 PM EDT on a SpaceX Falcon 9 vehicle from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. EchoStar 105/SES-11, a dual-mission satellite for EchoStar and SES, is a hybrid Ku and C-band communications satellite that provides EchoStar with 24 Ku-band transponders of 36 MHz, marketed as EchoStar 105, and SES with a C-band payload of 24 transponders, marketed under the name S...
Tue, 10 Oct 2017 14:00:00 +0100
Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) was recently selected by DigitalGlobe, Inc. as the next-generation WorldView Legion satellite imaging constellation payload provider. Under the contract, Raytheon will deliver the telescopes, detectors and combined electronics to Space Systems Loral, the WorldView Legion space vehicle integrator. Raytheon's new payload doubles DigitalGlobe's capacity to capture multispectral and 30 cm imagery, while tripling to quadrupling the company's capacity to image high-dema...
Tue, 10 Oct 2017 13:32:00 +0100
Mission controllers completed a critical final rehearsal today, confirming that everything and everyone on ground are ready to take over control of Sentinel-5P in the harsh environment of space. A 'team of teams' working at ESA's control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, today conducted a final rehearsal for this week's launch of Sentinel-5P. They were joined by engineers working at ground stations on three continents and by teams responsible for the launcher and its payload in Plesetsk, Russ...
Tue, 10 Oct 2017 13:00:00 +0100
Ushering in a new era of advanced Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, the U.S. Air Force declared the first Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)-built GPS III satellite "Available for Launch." The Air Force's "AFL" declaration is the final acceptance of Lockheed Martin's first GPS III Space Vehicle (GPS III SV01) prior to its expected 2018 launch. GPS III SV01 will bring new capabilities to U.S. and allied military forces, and a new civil signal that will improve future connectivity worldwide ...
Mon, 9 Oct 2017 16:30:00 +0100
With four days to liftoff, the next Sentinel satellite is now on the launch pad at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia. The rocket will be fuelled two days before launch, set for Friday at 09:27 GMT (11:27 CEST). The Sentinel-5P satellite has been at the cosmodrome since early September going through a series of tests and being readied for the big day. After being sealed from view in the rocket fairing last week, it was rolled out to the launch pad on Saturday. "This point in any...
Mon, 9 Oct 2017 15:00:00 +0100
L3 Technologies (NYSE:LLL) announced today that it has been awarded a contract to provide Hawkeye(tm) III Lite VSAT satellite communications terminals and on-site training to the U.S. Air National Guard's Joint Incident Site Communications Capability (JISCC) teams. These terminals will facilitate direct communication from remote locations in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Additionally, these Army Strategic Command (ARSTRAT)-certified terminals will enable access to the Wideband Global SATCO...
Mon, 9 Oct 2017 12:03:00 +0100
The third batch of Iridium(r) NEXT satellites built by Thales Alenia Space has been successfully launched by SpaceX from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. After the perfect commissioning of the first 20 satellites launched in January and June, thirteen of which are now interconnected and operating in full compatibility with the initial Block One Constellation, with seven being maneuvered to an adjacent plane, this new milestone allows to continue the fantastic Iridium(r) NEXT adventure. ...
Thu, 5 Oct 2017 00:00:00 +0100
Astronomers have identified a bumper crop of dual supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies. This discovery could help astronomers better understand how giant black holes grow and how they may produce the strongest gravitational wave signals in the Universe. The new evidence reveals five pairs of supermassive black holes, each containing millions of times the mass of the Sun. These black hole couples formed when two galaxies collided and merged with each other, forcing their superma...
Wed, 4 Oct 2017 14:30:00 +0100
As preparations for the launch of Sentinel-5P continue on track, the team at Russia's Plesetsk site has bid farewell to the satellite as it was sealed from view in the Rockot fairing. Liftoff is set for 13 October at 09:27 GMT (11:27 CEST). Since its arrival at the launch site at the beginning of September, Sentinel-5P has been through a series of stringent tests to confirm there was no damage during the flight from the UK. These tests have made sure that everything is in good working orde...
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  • CV: Flight Software Engineer

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    Personal information
     Name:<withheld>
     Age:<withheld>
     Country:<withheld>
     Location:<withheld>
    Contact information
     Email:<withheld>
     Phone:<withheld>
     Mobile:<withheld>
    Candidate Profile
     Date Submitted:26-08-2015
     Last Modified:26-08-2015 (03:01)
    Job information
     Current job:Flight Software Engineer
     Employment Term:Either
     Job location:Europe only
     Date available:immediately
     Industry:Satellite Manufacturers and Subcontractors, Satellite Operators, , , Launch Systems, Consulting/Engineering Services
     KeywordsLinux, Unix, Matlab, Python, STOL, Cecil, CCL, FORTRAN, Simulation, Eclipse, OSComet, IDL, testing, integration, validation, CCSDS
    CV

    Professional Expertise

    - Physics, astrophysics, space science, remote sensing, and related laboratory experiments.

    - Modeling, programming, data analysis, and the design/construction/testing of instruments.

     

    Education

    - Master of Science in Space and Planetary Physics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, August 2004.

    - Bachelor of Science in Physics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV, August 2001.

     

    Academic Honors

    - Advanced Accelerator Applications University Fellowship

    - Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's High Energy Density Physics Summer School, Santa Cruz, CA, August 2002

    - Sigma Xi Grant-in-aid

    - Several NASA Grants that provided lab funding at West Virginia University

    - Academic Enrichment Award

    - Sallie Lowther Norris Showalter Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Related Disciplines

    - Nominated for the National USA Today Award, September 1999

     

    Research and Work Experience

    ASRC Space and Defense at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF), January 2015 – present;

    Flight Software (FSW) Engineer

    - Pre-launch testing of GOES-R subsystems as it relates to validation of FSW, Command and Telemetry databases, and Spacecraft Fault Management.

    - On-console support for launch, orbit rising, and special operations activities.

    - Generation of procedures to be run against spacecraft simulators.

    - Development of Command Procedures, Telemetry Display Pages and Real-time plots.

    - Development and maintenance of test and on-orbit scripts.

    - Spacecraft Telemetry and Command Database Validation.

     

    ASRC Space and Defense at the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF), March 2012 – December 2014;

    Lead Flight Operations Simulation Engineer

    - NASA NPP Flight Vehicle Simulator (FVS) evaluation and maintenance: Ensure operations readiness by supporting nominal FVS functionality; recommend and install updates; maintain and communicate FVS discrepancy lists; ground link simulator support.

    - Provide support to the Mission Operations team in the validation of products to be uploaded to the spacecraft.

    - Support regression testing to verify that any installation, maintenance, or upgrade does not impact previously verified functions and performance.

    - Develop simulator operations documentation and training packages to ensure that the flight operations team is fully trained on all simulator start-up and operations activities.

    - Mission operations readiness support: Develop simulator nominal setup scenarios; define realistic spacecraft anomalies that can be injected into the simulator; support mission rehearsal preparation and execution. 

    - Act as the liaison with spacecraft vendors to coordinate delivery and maintenance of simulator deliverables.

    - For the NASA JPSS Flight Vehicle Test Suite, provide FVS lessons learned and support systems engineering activities in the definition of new system requirements and architecture.

     

    SGT, Inc at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, September 2010 – February 2012:

    Senior Programmer/Analyst

    - Maintain and develop FORTRAN code for the GEODYN II program, used extensively for satellite orbit determination, geodetic parameter estimation, tracking instrument calibration, satellite orbit prediction, as well as for many other items relating to applied research in satellite geodesy using virtually all types of satellite tracking data.

     

    SGT, Inc at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, November 2009 – August 2010:

    Systems Engineer

    - Support the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) in testing and characterization of mobile nuclear detection systems, or Stand Off Radiation Detection System (SORDS), developed for Homeland Security.

    - Oversee real-time data taken at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) to determine validity of the test run and to track and report issues within the systems.

    - Analyze test data from each vendor in order to characterize detector components, digital signal processor, and data analysis software.

     

    Science Systems and Applications, Inc at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, April 2008 – June 2009:

    Programmer Analyst II

    - Support testing of satellite instruments, in particular, the Visible Infrared Imager Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS).

    - Software development: convert designs and technical specifications into computer code.

    - Create test transactions and run tests to identify errors and improve programs.

    - Independently analyze, verify, and validate test data results.

    - Address and track software reliability and hazards in addition to specification issues.

    - Write technical reports summarizing analysis results.

    - Present findings and methods for analysis at peer reviews.

    - Track and maintain documentation to describe program development, logic, coding, testing, changes, and corrections in order to minimize risks and adhere to NASA standards and policies.

     

    ITT - Space Systems Division, July 2006 – April 2008:

    Modeling and Simulation Engineer I

    - Support development and testing of meteorological satellite instruments, in particular, the Cross-track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) instrument for NPOESS.

    - Modeling and simulation support for the Systems Engineering Department, including data analysis, test procedure development, and troubleshooting for requirements that do not meet specification.

    - Prepare and deliver presentations for customer meetings.

    - Radiometric test expert during bench and thermal vac testing:  Control testing process to ensure instrument safety.  Analyze test data in order to verify technical requirements are met and to support software verification and validation.

    - Software support for the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) for GOES-R:  Software development in addition to supporting software reliability and process improvement.

     

    Hines Industries, February 2005 - June 2006:

    Programmer / Engineer

    - Designed and developed software for custom balancing machines.

     

    CharityUSA, November 2004 - January 2005:

    Customer Service Representative

    - Helped a charity organization during their holiday rush.

     

    University of Michigan Radiation Laboratory, August 2004 - December 2004:

    Test Engineer

    - Measured radio-frequency levels from automotive components for certification approval.

     

    University of Michigan Space Physics Research Laboratory, January 2002 - August 2004:

    Researcher for Advisor R. Paul Drake

    - Modeled radiative shocks that simulate astrophysical systems or dynamic hohlraums.

    - Collaborated with scientists using the Z Machine at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 

    - Assisted in experiments on the Omega laser at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, Rochester, NY.

     

    West Virginia University Plasma Physics Lab, May 1999 - June 2001:

    Research Assistant for Advisor Earl Scime

    - Performed general lab work, assisted in various experiments, and ran ion optics simulations.

    - Built a small helicon source, as well as an encasement for a Hall Probe.

     

    National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) Green Bank, WV, Summer 2000:

    Research Assistant for Advisor Ron Maddalena

    - Analyzed data in an attempt to show that high-velocity gas in nearby disk galaxies fits more closely to a double Gaussian profile than a single one.

     

    Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) through the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO), La Serena, Chile, January 2000 - April 2000:

    Research Assistant for Advisor Eric Rubenstein from Yale University Department of Astronomy

    - Searched for dwarf novae in globular cluster 47Tuc, which included data analysis and observations on the 0.9-meter, 1.5-meter, and Curtis/Schmidt telescopes.

     

    Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Summer 1999:

    Research Assistant

    - Worked with Advisors Fred Schlachter from LBNL and Oliver Hemmers from the Department of Chemistry at University of Nevada, Las Vegas at the Advanced Light Source ultraviolet and soft x-ray synchrotron source, studying x-ray atomic & molecular spectroscopy.

    - Acquired and analyzed data, built experimental equipment including rebuilding a vacuum pump, and performed ion optics simulations.

     

    NRAO, Green Bank, WV, October 1999:

    Researcher

    - Performed a sky survey using the forty-foot educational telescope.

     

    University of Michigan Nuclear Engineering Department, September 2001 - December 2001:

    Research Assistant for Advisor Ron Gilgenbach

    - Ablation plasma ion implantation through pulsed excimer laser deposition.

     

    Publications

    R.P. Drake, D.R. Leibrandt, E.C. Harding, C.C. Kuranz, M.A. Blackburn H.F. Robey, B.A. Remington, M.J. Edwards, A.R. Miles, T.S. Perry, R.J. Wallace, H. Louis, J.P. Knauer, D. Arnett, "Nonlinear mixing behavior of the three-dimensional Rayleigh-Taylor instability at a decelerating interface", Phys. Plasmas, 11, May (2004).

     

    O. Hemmers, M. Blackburn, T. Goddard, P.Glans, H. Wang, S. B. Whitfield, R. Wehlitz, I. A. Sellin, D. Lindle.  "Dipole and Nondipole Angular Distribution Effects in Valence Photoemission from Neon". Journal of Electron Spectroscopy (2002).

     

    Earl E. Scime, Paul A. Keiter, S. Peter Gary, Matthew M. Balkey, Robert F. Boivin, John L. Kline, and Melanie Blackburn,  "Ion Temperature Anisotropy Limitation in High Beta Plasmas", Phys. Plasmas, 7,  2157  (2000).

     

    McKinnon, Mark M., Stinebring, Daniel R., Blackburn, Melanie A., "The Mode-separated Pulse Profiles of Pulsar Radio Emission", ApJ, 529 Issue 1, 435  (2000).

     

    O. Hemmers, P. Glans, H. Wang, S.B. Whitfield, D.W. Lindle, M. Blackburn, T. Goddard, R. Wehlitz, I.A. Sellin, A. Derevianko, W.R. Johnson. "Comprehensive Photoelectron Angular Distributions Study up to O(K)^2 of the Valence Shells in Neon",  Phys. Rev. A (submitted).

     

    Undergraduate Senior Thesis, "Search for Dwarf Novae in Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae".

     

    Presentations

    Coauthor on numerous presentations from the Drake Group (2002-2005).

     

    Blackburn, M., Drake R. P., Mehlhorn, T., "Properties of Radiative Shock Waves in a Low Density Foam".  American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics (APSDPP) meeting 45, October 2003.

     

    Blackburn, M., Rubenstein, E.  "A Search for Dwarf Novae in Globular Cluster 47 Tucanae". American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting 197, January 2001.  Oral presentation on the topic, La Serena , Chile , March 2000.

     

    Melanie Blackburn, Ron Maddalena.  "High Velocity Gas in Nearby Disk Galaxies".  Student poster session, West Virginia University, March 2001. Oral presentation, Green Bank, WV, August 2000.

     

    Melanie Blackburn, Oliver Hemmers.  "Exams in Atomic and Molecular Spectroscopy".  Student poster session, Berkeley National Lab, August 4, 1999.

     

    Activities

    - Secretary and Social Coordinator, NASA Goddard Zymurnauts

    - Vice President, Society of Physics Students

    - Organized student functions for the physics department

    - Member, Phi Theta Kappa, Sigma Pi Sigma, Sigma Gamma Tau

    - Member, American Astrophysical Society, American Physical Society

    - Volunteer, USGS-funded project on the building and maintenance of a cleanup facility treating acid-mine drainage on Ice Pond Run at Friendship Hill National Historic Site, Point Marion , PA.

    - Volunteer, WVDOH project testing overall watershed quality as well as the impact of highway construction on groundwater.


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