Psyche’s Gamma Ray and Neutron Detection Instrument Arrives in California for Spacecraft Installation

By Jeremy Rehm
JHU APL

After five years of developing and testing a complex particle detection instrument for NASA’s Psyche mission, the world’s first mission to study a potentially metal-rich asteroid, the Psyche team at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland, can finally take a breather.

The team’s instrument — a gamma-ray and neutron spectrometer, or GRNS — safely arrived at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, on Aug. 2. There, it will be integrated with the Psyche spacecraft and prepped for launch next year.

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Tyvak, a Terran Orbital Company, Announces Successful Commissioning of Tyvak-0130 Satellite in Partnership with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Composite false-color image of the Andromeda galaxy created by stacking 12 Medium FOV channel images for a total exposure of 19.2 seconds. This image demonstrates the exceptional stability obtained by the Tyvak-0130 satellite. (Credit: Tyvak)

IRVINE, Calif., June 17, 2021 (Tyvak PR) — Tyvak, a Terran Orbital Company is pleased to announce the successful completion of in-orbit system checkout and commissioning of its Tyvak-0130 satellite. These necessary check points begin soon after launch and focus primarily on testing the satellite’s essential systems and protocols. Tyvak-0130 was launched as a rideshare on SpaceX Starlink L-26 on May 15, 2021 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and has already transmitted over 4,000 pictures back to earth.

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Lawrence Livermore, Tyvak Systems to Develop Telescopes for Nano-satellites

From left: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory optical engineer Brian Bauman, mechanical designer Darrell Carter and Alex Pertica, the deputy program leader for the Lab’s Space Science and Security Program, look over several small space telescopes, three of which have already flown in space. (Credit: Julie Russell/LLNL)

LIVERMORE, Calif. (LLNL PR) — Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems Inc. have reached a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) to develop innovative compact and robust telescopes for nano-satellites.

The four-year, $2 million CRADA will combine LLNL’s Monolithic Telescope (MonoTele) technology with Tyvak’s expertise producing high-reliability spacecraft.

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Lab Researchers, NASA Find Space Station’s Surface Microbial Profile Resembles Skin of its Crew Members

An astronaut dons gloves before starting to collect samples from an International Space Station environmental surface. (Credit: NASA)

LIVERMORE, Calif. (Lawrence Liivermore National Laboratory PR) — A study conducted by a team of national laboratory and NASA researchers has found that the environment of the International Space Station is affected by the microbial composition of the astronauts themselves.

The five-year research effort represents the first study to compare the space station’s environmental microbial profile (or microbiome) to an astronaut’s microbiome using metagenomic DNA sequencing techniques. 

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NASA is Part of COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium

WASHINGTON (Trump Administration PR) — The White House announced the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium to provide COVID-19 researchers worldwide with access to the world’s most powerful high performance computing resources that can significantly advance the pace of scientific discovery in the fight to stop the virus.

“America is coming together to fight COVID-19, and that means unleashing the full capacity of our world-class supercomputers to rapidly advance scientific research for treatments and a vaccine. We thank the private sector and academic leaders who are joining the federal government as part of the Trump Administration’s whole-of-America response,” said Michael Kratsios, U.S. Chief Technology Officer.

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A Spacefaring Coast Guard

This simulation shows a U.S. Coast Guard CubeSat in orbit over Alaska’s Aleutian Peninsula searching for life rafts after a storm. (Credit: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

LIVERMORE, Calif. (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory PR) — Nanosatellite technology, in particular, small cube satellites, are finding purpose in the most extraordinary places. Known as CubeSats, these miniature versions of conventional satellites can be used for applications that range from tracking space debris to monitoring atmospheric gas concentrations.

Now, Lawrence Livermore scientists and engineers are turning their expertise in CubeSat development toward assisting the U.S. Coast Guard in becoming a spacefaring agency.

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Lawrence Livermore Develops Innovative CubeSats

Engineers and scientists complete the installation of the laser heterodyne radiometer (LHR) into the MiniCarb cube satellite, or CubeSat. Clockwise from bottom left is Lance Simms from Lawrence Livermore and AJ DiGregorio, Guru Ramu, and Jenny Young from NASA. (Not pictured: Emily Wilson, Darrell Carter, and Vincent Riot.) (Credit: Randy Wong)

LIVERMORE, Calif. (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory PR) — The population of human-made satellites orbiting Earth has skyrocketed over the past 60 years. Launches nearly doubled from 2016 to 2017, and a significant contributor to this growth has been the development and implementation of small satellites that are easier and less expensive to build and more cost efficient to launch than conventional ones. Today, the hottest destination for these spacecraft is low-Earth orbit (LEO)—in the range of a few hundred kilometers above the planet’s surface.

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