Report Identifies Priority Planetary Science Missions, Planetary Defense Efforts, and Strategic Investments for the Next Decade

WASHINGTON (National Academies PR) — A new decadal survey from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies scientific priorities and opportunities and makes funding recommendations to maximize the advancement of planetary science, astrobiology, and planetary defense in the next 10 years.

The recommendations by the steering committee for the decadal survey draw on input from the scientific community through the advice of six panels, hundreds of white papers, invited speakers, outreach to advisory groups and professional society conferences, and work with mission-design teams.

(more…)

NSF Awards Grant to Emerging Futures to Develop Lunar Landing Pad Material

Portland, Ore., March 10, 2022 (Emerging Futures PR) — Emerging Futures, LLC, a research and analysis consultancy focused on climate change mitigation and the commercial expansion of space, has been awarded a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) 2021-2022 Phase I Grant from the National Science Foundation.

This Grant enables Emerging Futures to continue developing its PolyBrick™ polymer-regolith composite lunar landing pad concept. This innovative, sustainable, and scalable material will be constructed entirely from lunar materials.

(more…)

Battelle and National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Using SpaceX Starlink Satellites to Timely Deliver Ecological Data to Scientists

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 07, 2022 (Battelle PR) — Battelle, which manages the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) program, is now using Starlink in a pilot test to achieve improved data transmission and service as part of an ongoing initiative to leverage new and innovative technologies to improve and enhance the operations of NEON.

The NSF’s NEON collects data about plants, animals, soil, nutrients, fresh water and the atmosphere in a range of U.S. ecological and climatically diverse areas through a system of field sites.

(more…)

Future Trillion Dollar ‘Space Economy’ Threatened by Debris, WVU Researcher Says

Piyush Mehta has earned the prestigious CAREER award for his research in upper atmosphere variability (Credit: WVU/Paige Nesbit)

MORGANTOWN, W.V. (West Virginia University PR) — The space economy is on track to be valued at a trillion dollars by the end of 2030, according to Piyush Mehta, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at West Virginia University. Yet space assets–equipment that is placed in space such as navigation, weather and communication satellites that serve our society daily–are threatened by space debris. 

(more…)

Lunar Resources to Mine Metals on the Moon

Photo of Mare Crisium taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (Lunar Resources PR) – Recent awards from NASA and the National Science Foundation have created a path forward for Houston-based Lunar Resources, Inc., to perform mining of oxygen and metals on the Moon as early as 2024.

(more…)

NSF-Funded Solicitation to Leverage the ISS National Lab for Tissue Engineering Research is Now Open

Credit: NASA

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla, December 6, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, Inc. (CASIS) announced a solicitation to utilize the International Space Station (ISS) to advance research in tissue engineering and mechanobiology. Through this solicitation, NSF will provide up to $1.2 million in funding to support multiple projects that will launch to the orbiting research platform under the sponsorship of the ISS National Laboratory. CASIS is the organization responsible for management of the ISS National Lab through a Cooperative Agreement with NASA.

(more…)

House Passes Infrastructure Spending Bill With Extra $1 Billion for NASA

The House of Representatives passed H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act last week that includes billions of dollars in funds for NASA, NOAA and other scientific and technology agencies.

In addition to funding improvements to physical infrastructure, the measure puts a major emphasis on addressing climate change, a problem that the Biden Administration takes seriously. The previous president described as a Chinese plot to destroy American industry.

The bill now goes to the Senate where its fate is uncertain.

(more…)

Report Calls for Immediate Actions to Address Impact of Satellite Constellations on Astronomy, Environment

A wide-field image (2.2 degrees across) from the Dark Energy Camera on the Víctor M. Blanco 4-m telescope at the Cerro Tololo InterAmerican Observatory, taken on 18 November 2019. Several Starlink satellites crossed the field of view. (Credit: CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/DECam DELVE Survey)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A new report recommends “immediate, well-funded, comprehensive, and collaborative work” to implement a series of measures to mitigate the negative impacts that large satellite constellations on ground-based astronomy.

The report, whose executive summary was published last week, includes 10 recommendations for observatories and constellation operators that include the development of software to identify and mask satellite trails and designs changes to lessen the reflectivity of satellites. (The full list of recommendations are below.)

(more…)

SpaceX Satellite Signals Used Like GPS to Pinpoint Location on Earth

Sixty Starlink satellites separate from a Falcon 9 second stage on April 22, 2020. (Credit: SpaceX website)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ohio State University PR) — Engineering researchers have developed a method to use signals broadcast by Starlink internet service satellites to accurately locate a position here on Earth, much like GPS does. It is the first time the Starlink system has been harnessed by researchers outside SpaceX for navigation.

(more…)

Planet Reports Second Quarter Financial Results and Reaffirms Full Year Outlook

  • Delivers Record Second Quarter Revenue of $30.4 Million, Up 19% YoY
  • Reiterates $130 million Revenue Outlook for Fiscal Year 2022

SAN FRANCISCO (Planet Labs PR)–Planet Labs Inc. (Planet” or the “Company), a leading provider of daily data and insights about Earth, today announced financial results for its second fiscal quarter ended July 31, 2021, highlighting the continued momentum of its unique data subscription business. Earlier this year, Planet entered into a definitive merger agreement with dMY Technology Group, Inc. IV (NYSE: DMYQ) (“dMY IV”), a special purpose acquisition company, to become a publicly traded company later this year (the “Business Combination”).

Second Quarter FY2022 Highlights

  • Q2 Revenue increased 19% year-over-year to $30.4 million.
  • Percent of Recurring ACV was 93%, as compared to 92% in the year ago comparable quarter
  • End of Period (EoP) Customer Count increased 36% year-over-year to 732 customers
(more…)

NSF and CASIS Select Three Tissue Engineering Projects to Leverage the ISS National Lab

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., September 8, 2021 (CASIS PR) – The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) today announced three awarded projects from a joint solicitation focused on transformative tissue engineering and mechanobiology research. Through this partnership, NSF awarded $1.2 million to the selected projects to leverage the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory to advance fundamental science and biomedical engineering. CASIS, manager of the ISS National Lab, will facilitate hardware implementation in-orbit access, and astronaut crew time to support the investigations on the orbiting laboratory.

(more…)

ISS National Lab-Sponsored Investigations Ready for Northrop Grumman CRS-16 Flight to Space Station

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., August 6, 2021 (CASIS PR) – A variety of research investigations sponsored by the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory are launching onboard Northrop Grumman’s 16th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the orbiting outpost. The mission will launch from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia no earlier than August 10, 2021, and a five-minute window for launch begins at 5:56 p.m. EDT.

(more…)

NASA Expands Earth Observation Satellite Data Access for Federal Science Agencies

This Copernicus Sentinel-3 image features Hurricane Dorian as it pummels the Bahamas on 2 September 2019 at 15:16 GMT (11:16 EDT). (Credit: ESA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has expanded its contract with two space-based imagery companies, Planet and Spire Global, to broaden access to Earth imagery data and enable scientific research across the federal government. Broader access to this satellite data will help answer questions about how Earth is changing and how those changes may impact people and communities.

(more…)

Qorvo Provides Key Enabling Technology for Identifying, Mapping and Tracking Threats from Near-Earth Objects

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), Green Bank Telescope, and Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI&S) are working in collaboration to improve planetary radar capabilities. With the addition of Qorvo’s Spatium power amplifier technology, the project now has the power to identify and characterize even small NEOs earlier with more precision. (Credit: NRAO/AUI/NSF, S. Dagnello)

GREENSBORO, NC (Qorvo PR) — Qorvo® (Nasdaq: QRVO), a leading provider of innovative radio frequency (RF) solutions that connect the world, today announced its Spatium® solid-state power amplifier (SSPA) technology will play a key role in a new planetary radar experiment using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia. Planetary radar is instrumental in characterizing Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) by providing precision measurement of shape, rotation, position, and an estimate of composition.

(more…)

SpaceX Crew-2 Astronauts Will Perform a Wide Variety of Research During Six-Month Mission

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., April 26, 2021 (CASIS PR) – Early Friday morning, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 mission launched four astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39A. After a successful launch of the Falcon 9 rocket into low Earth orbit, the SpaceX Crew Dragon trailed the orbiting laboratory until Saturday morning, when the spacecraft successfully docked. On this mission, the second under NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide, and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet joined the other members of the ISS Expedition 65 crew.

(more…)