Latest Space News
Mon, 16 Jan 2017 14:24:00 +0100
ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet completed his first spacewalk last Friday together with NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough. The duo spent five hours and 58 minutes outside the International Space Station to complete a battery upgrade to the outpost's power system. The main task was to replace nickel-hydrogen batteries that store electricity from the Station's solar panels with newer lithium-ion batteries that arrived recently aboard Japan's cargo vessel. Thomas and Shane's speed allowed them to p...
Mon, 16 Jan 2017 09:07:00 +0100
MCLEAN, Va. -  Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ: IRDM) announced today the successful launch of its first ten Iridium NEXT satellites. The satellites were delivered into low-Earth orbit approximately one hour after the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 9:54:39 a.m. PST. Iridium NEXT is the company’s next-generation satellite constellation, replacing and enhancing its existing network of low-Earth orbit satellites spanning the entire globe – the l...
Mon, 16 Jan 2017 08:37:00 +0100
Searching for planets around other stars is a tricky business. They’re so small and faint that it’s hard to spot them. But a possible planet in a nearby stellar system may be betraying its presence in a unique way: by a shadow that is sweeping across the face of a vast pancake-shaped gas-and-dust disk surrounding a young star. The planet itself is not casting the shadow. But it is doing some heavy lifting by gravitationally pulling on material near the star and warping the inner...
Sat, 14 Jan 2017 21:30:00 +0100
Aireon announced today the successful launch and deployment of the first ten satellites hosting its space-based automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS-B) system. Part of the Iridium NEXT satellite constellation, Aireon's space-based ADS-B network will transform air traffic management capabilities, providing real-time air traffic surveillance and flight tracking across 100 percent of the planet. Currently, more than 70 percent of the earth, including oceanic and remote airspace, has no...
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 22:35:00 +0100
NASA has awarded a contract to KBRwyle Technology Solutions, LLC of Columbia, Maryland, for engineering services to support more than 20 NASA exploration missions. The Ground Systems and Missions Operations-2 contract is cost-plus-award fee, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity, with a total maximum ordering value of $442 million. The effective ordering period begins March 1 and runs through Feb. 28, 2022. KBRwyle will support a wide range of mission operations, including concept studie...
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 16:52:00 +0100
This week, ESA deep-space radio dishes on two continents are listening for signals from the international Cassini spacecraft, now on its final tour of Saturn. ESA's sensitive tracking antennas at New Norcia, Western Australia, and Malargue, Argentina, are being called in to help with crucial observations during Cassini's last months in orbit, dubbed the 'Grand Finale'. The Cassini-Huygens mission is one of the most successful exploration endeavours ever. Launched in October 1997, the Ca...
Fri, 13 Jan 2017 08:36:00 +0100
Monster black holes sometimes lurk behind gas and dust, hiding from the gaze of most telescopes. But they give themselves away when material they feed on emits high-energy X-rays that NASA's NuSTAR (Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array) mission can detect. That's how NuSTAR recently identified two gas-enshrouded supermassive black holes, located at the centers of nearby galaxies. "These black holes are relatively close to the Milky Way, but they have remained hidden from us un...
Thu, 12 Jan 2017 14:15:00 +0100
Some of us may be easing ourselves gently into the New Year, but for the team readying Sentinel-2B for liftoff on 7 March it's full steam ahead. On 5 January, the satellite was shipped from ESA's site in the Netherlands - where it had been undergoing testing since June - and arrived safe and sound in French Guiana the following day. The Sentinel-2 mission is designed as two satellites working in tandem - Sentinel-2A has been in orbit since June 2015. Offering 'colour vision' for Europe'...
Wed, 11 Jan 2017 08:39:00 +0100
Sentinel-2B has touched down in French Guiana, bringing the second satellite for Europe’s Copernicus program closer to its early March orbiting by Arianespace on a Vega lightweight launch vehicle. Arriving at Félix Eboué Airport near Cayenne last week, Sentinel-2B was delivered by a chartered Antonov An-124 cargo jetliner. Following its unloading process, the satellite was readied for transfer by road to the Spaceport. As a follow-on to Sentinel-2A – lofted by a...
Tue, 10 Jan 2017 19:30:00 +0100
The U.S. Air Force's next Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO) satellite, built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT), was encapsulated on Jan. 7 at Cape Canaveral, Florida, where it will launch on Jan. 19 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. Encapsulation refers to the sealing of the satellite in a protective launch vehicle fairing-one of the last steps a satellite must undergo before launch. The SBIRS GEO Flight 3 satellite is the latest to join an orbiti...
Tue, 10 Jan 2017 14:45:00 +0100
Rocket Crafters, Inc. (RCI) announced today a U.S. patent was granted to co-founder, President & CTO Ronald Jones for a method for designing and fabricating flawless, high-performance, safer handling fuel grains for hybrid rocket engines using additive manufacturing technology (also known as 3D printing) which will allow the fabrication of an inherently safe and less expensive launch vehicle with only two moving parts. Jones stated that 3D printing of the rocket combustion chamber allows RCI's e...
Tue, 10 Jan 2017 12:05:00 +0100
Careful sleuthing through decade-old images has enabled ESA's asteroid team to decide that a newly discovered space rock poses little threat of hitting Earth any time soon. Spotting a previously unknown asteroid for the first time always raises the big question: is there a risk it will impact Earth? Yet, upon discovery, analysts often have very little to go on. The initial image from the observatory, survey team or individual backyard astronomer who spotted the rock typically gives only ba...
Mon, 9 Jan 2017 17:00:00 +0100
ESO has signed an agreement with the Breakthrough Initiatives to adapt the Very Large Telescope instrumentation in Chile to conduct a search for planets in the nearby star system Alpha Centauri. Such planets could be the targets for an eventual launch of miniature space probes by the Breakthrough Starshot initiative. ESO, represented by the Director General, Tim de Zeeuw, has signed an agreement with the Breakthrough Initiatives, represented by Pete Worden, Chairman of the Breakthrough Prize ...
Mon, 9 Jan 2017 10:18:00 +0100
Interstellar forecast for a nearby star: Raining comets! NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has discovered comets plunging onto the star HD 172555, which is a youthful 23 million years old and resides 95 light-years from Earth. The exocomets — comets outside our solar system — were not directly seen around the star, but their presence was inferred by detecting gas that is likely the vaporized remnants of their icy nuclei. HD 172555 represents the third extrasolar system wher...
Fri, 6 Jan 2017 03:26:00 +0100
Space Systems Loral (SSL), a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, today announced that it will provide a spacecraft platform for a NASA Discovery Mission to explore the metallic asteroid 16 Psyche. SSL will work for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to support Principal Investigator Dr. Lindy Elkins-Tanton, director of Arizona State University's (ASU) School of Earth and Space Exploration, in a mission to research the 210 km diameter asteroid, which is believed ...
Thu, 5 Jan 2017 18:16:00 +0100
Lockheed Martin has been selected to design, build and operate the spacecraft for NASA's Lucy mission. One of NASA's two new Discovery Program missions, Lucy will perform the first reconnaissance of the Jupiter Trojan asteroids orbiting the sun in tandem with the gas giant. The Lucy spacecraft will launch in 2021 to study six of these exciting worlds. The mission is led by Principal Investigator Dr. Harold Levison of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. NASA's Goddard Space ...
Thu, 5 Jan 2017 11:30:00 +0100
Cobham's products and services contributed to the recent successful deployment of NASA's Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS). CYGNSS is comprised of eight Low Earth Orbiting (LEO) micro-satellites and seeks to improve weather prediction by studying the interaction between ocean surface properties, moist atmospheric thermodynamics, radiation, and convective dynamics as it relates to Tropical Cyclones. The NASA team consists of the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), University of...
Wed, 4 Jan 2017 19:38:00 +0100
NASA has selected two missions that have the potential to open new windows on one of the earliest eras in the history of our solar system - a time less than 10 million years after the birth of our sun. The missions, known as Lucy and Psyche, were chosen from five finalists and will proceed to mission formulation, with the goal of launching in 2021 and 2023, respectively. "Lucy will visit a target-rich environment of Jupiter's mysterious Trojan asteroids, while Psyche will study a unique metal...
Wed, 4 Jan 2017 12:00:00 +0100
This spectacular new image is one of the largest near-infrared high-resolution mosaics of the Orion A molecular cloud, the nearest known massive star factory, lying about 1350 light-years from Earth. It was taken using the VISTA infrared survey telescope at ESO's Paranal Observatory in northern Chile and reveals many young stars and other objects normally buried deep inside the dusty clouds. The new image from the VISION survey (VIenna Survey In Orion) is a montage of images taken in the near...
Tue, 3 Jan 2017 22:48:00 +0100
NASA has selected a science mission that will allow astronomers to explore, for the first time, the hidden details of some of the most extreme and exotic astronomical objects, such as stellar and supermassive black holes, neutron stars and pulsars. Objects such as black holes can heat surrounding gases to more than a million degrees. The high-energy X-ray radiation from this gas can be polarized - vibrating in a particular direction. The Imaging X-ray Polarimetry Explorer (IXPE) mission will ...
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Space-related associations and institutes


Aerospace Industries Association:  The AIA Space Office provides Congress, federal agencies, and many other organizations with an authoritative source for guidance on domestic and international space matters. As such, better representation of member issues throughout these segments of government and industry has become a major focus of AIA's advocacy.
 
American Astronomical Society:  The American Astronomical Society (AAS), established 1899, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. The basic objective of the AAS is to promote the advancement of astronomy and closely related branches of science. The membership (~6,500) also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers and others whose research interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising contemporary astronomy. Includes a job listings page.
 
American Astronautical Society:  Formed in 1954, the American Astronautical Society (AAS) is the premier independent scientific and technical group in the United States exclusively dedicated to the advancement of space science and exploration. They are also committed to strengthening the global space program through cooperation with international space organizations.
 
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics: The AIAA is a national professional society with over 35,000 members in 65 regional sections and 79 countries serving the aerospace engineering community. The mission of the AIAA is to serve the profession and to benefit the Institute's individual members and member institutions. Has a career and placement service for members.
 
AMSAT: The Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation (AMSAT) is a non-profit volunteer organization which designs, builds and operates experimental satellites and promotes space education. Its vision is to deploy high earth orbit satellite systems that offer daily coverage by 2009 and continuous coverage by 2012.
 
Archimedes Institute: The Archimedes Institute conducts sophisticated analysis of aerospace policy issues and implements related private policy initiatives such as claim registration, lien filings, and international treaty revision. The Institute provides through its web site an extensive library of space law and policy documents, including international agreements, domestic legislation, reports, academic monographs, and a substantial bibliography of aerospace resources. The Institute also maintains a forum for space policy issues and over 200 links to other space policy, media and business entities.
 
Argentine Association for Space Technology: The Argentine Association for Space Technology (Asociación Argentina de Tecnología Espacial, AATE) is a non-profit organization based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Its goals is to promote, cooperate and develop the space activities in Argentina, jointly with international institutions with a complete respect to the pacific uses of space.
 
Association of Space Explorers: The Association of Space Explorers (ASE) is an international nonprofit professional and educational organization of over 300 individuals from 29 nations who have flown in space. Founded in 1985, ASE's mission is to provide a forum for professional dialogue among individuals who have flown in space, support space science and exploration for the benefit of all, promote education in science and engineering, foster greater environmental awareness, and encourage international cooperation in the human exploration of space.
 
British Interplanetary Society: Founded in 1933, The British Interplanetary Society (BIS) is the world's longest established organisation devoted solely to supporting and promoting the exploration of space and astronautics. The BIS is financially independent, has charitable status and obtains its main income from a worldwide membership. The Society's headquarters are situated in central London.
 
Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute: The Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute (CASI) is a non-profit scientific and technical organization devoted to the advancement of the art, science and engineering relating to aeronautics, astronautics, and associated technologies and their applications. The Institute consists of Branches across Canada, specialist Sections, and constituent Societies which cater to related technologies.
 
CODSIA: The Council of Defense and Space Industry Associations (CODSIA) was formed in 1964 by industry associations having common interests in the defense and space fields and provides a central channel of communications for improving industry-wide consideration of the many policies, regulations, implementation problems, procedures and questions involved in federal procurement actions.
 
COSPAR: After the USSR launched its first Earth Satellite in 1957, the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) established its Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) during an international meeting in London in 1958. COSPAR's objectives are to promote on an international level scientific research in space, with emphasis on the exchange of results, information and opinions, and to provide a forum, open to all scientists, for the discussion of problems that may affect scientific space research. These objectives are achieved through the organization of Scientific Assemblies, publications and other means.
 
Earth and Space Foundation: The Earth and Space Foundation is an international charity that funds scientific exploration that helps us both understand the Earth's environment and explore the frontier of space, bringing the environmental and space exploration communities together to address the challenges facing society. Since its establishment in 1994 the Foundation has helped support over 50 projects around the world.
 
EURISY: The Eurisy Association was founded in 1989 as part of Europe's preparations for International Space Year (ISY-92). In 1993, the Association's members decided that EURISY should continue its work, given that raising public awareness of the value of European space activities was a long-term task requiring an extended effort. EURISY's mission is to promote education and information activities for the advancement of space technology and its applications in Europe.
 
European Space Policy Institute: ESPI will identify and develop research themes relevant to European space policy, which will be used to initiate, support and promote political and societal debate fostering public awareness of the importance of space-based infrastructures and services. The tasks of the Institute are multidisciplinary in nature while linked to space policy, thereby federating know-how, skills and knowledge to conduct comprehensive and independent policy research for the benefit of space operators in Europe.
 
Eurospace:  Eurospace was created in 1961, at the dawn of the European space era, as the Organisation of the European Space Industry. It is an international non-profit association whose members are the main European industrial space companies. Its members represent 90% of the total space turnover of the European space industry.  On April 22nd, 2004, EUROSPACE has become the Space subsidiary of the AeroSpace Industries Association of Europe (ASD).
 
FSRI: The Florida Space Research Institute (FSRI) was established by Florida’s governor and legislature to promote collaboration among the state’s academic institutions, industry, and federal agencies to support statewide aerospace-oriented economic and academic development.
 
Global VSAT Forum: The Global VSAT Forum is an association of key companies involved in the business of delivering advanced digital fixed satellite systems and services to consumers, and commercial and government enterprises worldwide. The Forum is independent and non-profit and has a global remit. It is also non-partisan - any companies or organisations with an interest in the VSAT industry are encouraged to join. Also has a job opportunities page.
 
International Academy of Astronautics: The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) was founded in Stockholm on August16, 1960. Since that time, IAA has brought together the world's foremost experts in the disciplines of astronautics on a regular basis to recognize the accomplishments of their peers, to explore and discuss cutting-edge issues in space research and technology, and to provide direction and guidance in the non-military uses of space and the ongoing exploration of the solar system.
 
International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety: The International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS), legally established 16 April 2004 in  the Netherlands, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to furthering international cooperation and scientific advancement in the field of space systems safety.
 
International Association of Space Entrepreneurs: IASE is a membership trade association specifically focused on the particular needs of space entrepreneurs and on the global development of future space entrepreneurs. IASE's Mission is to promote global entrepreneurship in the space industry through concerted efforts in business, public policy, and education.
 
International Astronautical Federation: Founded in 1951, the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) encourages the advancement of knowledge about space and the development and application of space assets for the benefit of humanity. The IAF is a non-governmental association, with members drawn from government organizations, industry, professional associations, research centres and learned societies from all over the world. Today, the IAF has 161 members from 45 countries.
 
ISSAT:  ISSAT is an association based in Toulouse whose main objectives are to promote French and European space skills and competences and to stimulate interest for space with young people. Of particular interest is their very comprehensive space training directory (in French).
 
Mobile Satellite Users Association: The MSUA is a non-profit corporation devoted to fostering effective communication worldwide among users of mobile satellite services (MSS), suppliers of equipment and services, the owners of the satellite systems and the various governmental entities that may have an impact on the future of the industry.
 
Moon Society: The Moon Society is a non-profit educational and scientific foundation formed to further scientific study and development of the moon.
 
National Space Society: The National Space Society (NSS) is an independent, international, educational, grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation of a spacefaring civilization.  The NSS has more than 22,000 members, and 75 chapters in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.  The NSS, founded in 1974 by Wernher von Braun, is widely acknowledged as the preeminent citizen’s voice on space.
 
OURS Foundation: The primary purpose of the OURS Foundation is to introduce, nurture and expand a cultural dimension to humanity's astronautical endeavors. This task will be manifested through the identification, investigation, support and realization of related cultural, astronautical, humanitarian, environmental and educational activities which may take place both on and off planet Earth, and which are deemed as beneficial to the development and advancement of human civilization in this new environment.
 
The Planetary Society: Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded The Planetary Society in 1980 to advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue the search for extraterrestrial life. With members in over 125 countries, the Society is the largest space interest group in the world.
 
Satellite Industry Association: The Satellite Industry Association (SIA) is a U.S.-based trade association representing  the leading satellite service providers, manufacturers, launch services companies and ground equipment suppliers throughout the world. The SIA is the unified voice of the commercial satellite industry on policy, regulatory, and legislative issues affecting the satellite community.
 
Society of Satellite Professionals International: The Society of Satellite Professionals International (SSPI) is a non-profit organization devoted to professionals in the field of satellite communications. Has a career page.
 
Space Foundation: The Space Foundation is a national non-profit organization, which vigorously advances civil, commercial, and national security space endeavors and educational excellence. The Foundation manages the on-site NASA Educational Resource Center; offers two distinct Master's in Space Studies Degrees in conjunction with the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and Regis University; and has trained more than 30,000 teachers since 1986 on Teaching With Space through Space Discovery graduate courses and national conferences.
 
Space Frontier Foundation: The Space Frontier Foundation is an organization dedicated to the human settlement of space in our lifetime. The Space Frontier Foundation is a media and policy organization composed of space activists, scientists and engineers, media and political professionals, entrepreneurs, and citizens from all backgrounds and all nations.
 
Space Library: Started 2004 in Japan. Virtual Library is on the Web. The Real Library is located in the center of Fujisawa, Japan. 'milspace' news mail (English and Japanese mixed version) is distributed to the aerospace community for free at least once a week.
 
Space Studies Board: The Space Studies Board (SSB) provides an independent, authoritative forum for information and advice on all aspects of space science and applications. The Board conducts advisory studies and program assessments, facilitates international research coordination, and promotes communications on space science and science policy between the research community, the federal government, and the interested public.
 
Space Studies Institute: Founded in 1977, the Space Studies Institute's mission is to open the energy and material resources of space for human benefit within our lifetime. SSI's first commitment is to complete the missing technological links to make possible the productive use of the abundant resources in space. Its second goal is to promote the formation of private, governmental, or multi-national programs to use space resources responsibly and carefully, avoiding environmental damage.
 
Universities Space Research Association: USRA provides a mechanism through which universities can cooperate effectively with one another, with the government, and with other organizations to further space science and technology, and to promote education in these areas.
 

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