Recent News from the Commercial Space Gateway

(Commercial Space Watch) Astrobotic's Autonomous Landing System Tested in Masten's Xombie Flight

Astrobotic Technology's newly developed autonomous landing system was put to the test recently when it controlled Masten Space Systems' XA-0.1B Xombie suborbital technology demonstration rocket during a flight test at the Mojave Air and Space Port.

Astrobotic's system designed to avoid terrain hazards while safely landing a spacecraft at a specific location on a asteroid, moon or planet.

The June 20 test funded by the Flight Opportunities Program of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate saw the vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing Xombie ascend to about 853 feet in 25 seconds. Using cameras and an inertial measurement unit for navigation, the Astrobotic Autolanding System guided the vehicle to a precise landing.

  

(Space Fellowship) NASA's IRIS Solar Observatory After 1 Year in Space

On June 27, 2013, NASA's newest solar observatory was launched into orbit around Earth. The Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, or IRIS, observes the low level of the sun's atmosphere -- a constantly moving area called the interface region -- in better detail than has ever been done before. During its first year in space, IRIS provided detailed images of this area, finding even more turbulence and complexity than expected. The interface region lies at the core of many outstanding questions [...]
  

(Discovery News) Mars Arctic Block Falls Reveal Dynamic World

When Martian layers of ice and dust become dislodged, they can create dramatic block falls that can be spotted from orbit. Continue reading →   

(Space Fellowship) Station Crew Wraps Up Week With More Science, Less Hair

The six-person Expedition 40 crew of the International Space Station wrapped up the workweek in space Friday with a range of health studies and physics experiments.  And it was a “close shave” for two U.S. crew members as they made good on a bet with their German crewmate following the defeat of the U.S. soccer team by Germany at the World Cup games in Brazil on Thursday. Commander Steve Swanson and Flight Engineer Reid Wiseman, both NASA astronauts, began the day with freshly-shorn hea [...]
  

(ScienceDaily) Astronomers closer to proving gravitational waves with precise measurements of rapidly rotating neutron star

When Albert Einstein proposed the existence of gravitational waves as part of his theory of relativity, he set in train a pursuit for knowledge that continues nearly a century later. These ripples in the space-time continuum exert a powerful appeal because it is believed they carry information that will allow us to look back into the very beginnings of the universe. But although the weight of evidence continues to build, undisputed confirmation of their existence still eludes scientists. Researchers have now provided another piece of the puzzle with their precise measurements of a rapidly rotating neutron star: one of the smallest, densest stars in the universe.   

(euronews) Helping humanoids to help humans

== Opinion – Giorgio Metta Giorgio Metta is an explorer in the field of humanoid robotics. The Italian professor is best known for developing the…




  

(Space Fellowship) Puffing Sun Gives Birth To Reluctant Eruption

A suite of NASA's sun-gazing spacecraft have spotted an unusual series of eruptions in which a series of fast puffs forced the slow ejection of a massive burst of solar material from the sun's atmosphere. The eruptions took place over a period of three days, starting on Jan. 17, 2013. Nathalia Alzate, a solar scientist at the University of Aberystwyth in Wales, presented findings on what caused the puffs at the 2014 Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting in Portsmouth, England.  [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) Hubble Eyes a Curious Supernova in NGC 2441

This bright spiral galaxy is known as NGC 2441, located in the northern constellation of Camelopardalis (The Giraffe). However, NGC 2441 is not the only subject of this new Hubble image; the galaxy contains an intriguing supernova named SN1995E, visible as a small dot at the approximate center of this image. Supernova SN1995E, discovered in 1995 as its name suggests, is a type Ia supernova. This kind of supernova is found in binary systems, where one star — a white dwarf — drags matter fr [...]
  

(Space Politics) ULA and SpaceX trade jabs

While there have been no major developments in the legal, political, and public relations battles among SpaceX, United Launch Alliance (ULA), and the Air Force regarding competition for Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) class launches, the two companies traded jabs on Thursday in the form of court filings and advertisements.

A spokesperson for SpaceX said [...]   

(Space Fellowship) Athena to study the hot and energetic Universe

ESA has selected the Athena advanced telescope for high-energy astrophysics as its second ‘Large-class’ science mission. The observatory will study the hot and energetic Universe and takes the ‘L2’ slot in ESA’s Cosmic Vision 2015–25 plan, with a launch foreseen in 2028. By combining a large X-ray telescope with state-of-the-art scientific instruments, Athena will address key questions in astrophysics, including: how and why does ordinary matter assemble into the galaxies  [...]
  

(euronews) Breathing better in the Big Apple

Our cities are facing difficult energy challenges, and in New York it includes a battle against soot and pollution. Key facts about New York's…
  

(euronews) Is the golden age of natural gas upon us?

The global use of natural gas has been increasing almost three per cent every year for the past decade, and by 2035 the world demand is expected to…
  

(ScienceDaily) Space-tested robot inspires medicine and manufacturing uses

Humans doing difficult, repetitive tasks or those who need assistance with movement may soon get a helping hand -- literally -- thanks to robotic technology developed to serve astronauts in space. Robonaut, a human-like robot designed by NASA and General Motors (GM), has been on the International Space Station since February 2011. Researchers have been testing the robot's ability to perform certain tasks to free up human crew time and energy.   

(Commercial Space Watch) MDA Wins Geospatial Projects

MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. ("MDA" or the "Company") (TSX:MDA), a global communications and information company, today announced that it has signed contracts worth approximately US$16 million to provide geospatial information and services.

About MDA

MDA is a global communications and information company providing operational solutions to commercial and government organizations worldwide.

MDA's business is focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, primarily in the Communications sector and the Surveillance and Intelligence sector. In addition, the Company conducts a significant amount of advanced technology development.

MDA's established global customer base is served by more than 4,800 employees operating from 11 locations in the United States, Canada, and internationally.

The Company's common shares trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "MDA."

Related Websites
www.mdacorporation.com

  

(ScienceDaily) NOAA GOES-R satellite black wing ready for flight

The solar array that will provide power to NOAA's GOES-R satellite has been tested, approved and shipped to a facility where it will be incorporated on the spacecraft. The five sections of the solar array come together as one to resemble a giant black wing.   

(ScienceDaily) From deep sea to deep space: Creating and optimizing food for people living and working in extreme conditions

How do you feed a six-person crew on a three-year mission to Mars? Food scientists are working on this and other challenges related to creating and optimizing food for astronauts, soldiers, pilots and other individuals working and living in extreme environments.   

(ScienceDaily) Spectral 'ruler' is first standardized way to measure stars

A team of astronomers has created the first standardized set of measurement guidelines for analyzing and cataloging stars. Previously, as with the longitude problem 300 years earlier for fixing locations on Earth, there was no unified system of reference for calibrating the heavens.   

(Discovery News) NASA's Orion Successfully Completes Extreme Drop Test

NASA's next-generation spaceship has successfully completed its most challenging test to date: being dropped from a plane at 35,000 feet (6.6 miles) and parachuting to Earth safely. Continue reading →   

(Space Fellowship) Eye Exams, Emergency Drill and Science for Station Crew

The six-person Expedition 40 crew kicked off another day of research and maintenance aboard the International Space Station Thursday and also got a chance to cheer on their home countries’ teams competing at the World Cup games in Brazil. Following the crew’s usual daily planning conference with the flight control teams around the world, Commander Steve Swanson served as the subject for more investigations into the impacts of long-duration spaceflight on eye health. With guidance from th [...]
  

(Discovery News) Old Telescope Could Dissect Pluto's Icy Innards

Scientists are attempting to map Pluto's icy depths using old telescope data before a NASA spacecraft reaches the distant dwarf planet in 2015.   

(Space Fellowship) Aerojet Rocketdyne Completes J-2X Testing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, recently completed its final J-2X test series at NASA's Stennis Space Center. Over a period of three years, Aerojet Rocketdyne teams manufactured, assembled and tested four newly developed engine test articles that achieved an accumulated duration of nearly five hours firing time and demonstrated full power operation for twice its designed life service. Delivering 30 percent more thrust and five percent more performance th [...]
  

(Commercial Space Watch) Encompass Selects Intelsat's Premier Video Neighborhood to Expand Media Distribution in Latin America

Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), the world's leading provider of satellite services, announced today that it has signed a 15-year agreement with Encompass Digital Media, a global leader in mission-critical media capture, management and distribution services, for capacity on Intelsat 34, one of the three satellites comprising Intelsat's premier video neighborhoods serving Latin America.

Encompass will transition from Intelsat 805 at 304.5˚ East to its replacement satellite, Intelsat 34, in late 2015, and lease additional C-band capacity to expand its SD and HD video distribution feeds throughout Latin America.

"Intelsat's premier video neighborhood at 304.5˚E delivers high cable head-end penetration throughout Latin America which will allow us to meet the increased demand for HD and regionalized content distribution," said Juan Salleras, executive vice president and general manager, Encompass Latin America. "The premium transponders on Intelsat 34 will allow us to operate more efficiently and provide programmers with the ability to deliver higher quality and differentiated content to their viewers. "

"Starting with the global distribution of the Mexico Olympic Games in 1968, Intelsat has been the leading provider of satellite services to the Latin America media market, delivering the region's most-watched channels to more cable head-ends than any other satellite operator," said Carmen Gonzalez-Sanfeliu, regional vice president, Latin America and Caribbean sales, Intelsat. "The Intelsat 34 satellite, and our related investments in ground infrastructure in the region, will further support Encompass' growth plans, enhancing its highly respected distribution platform for the region."

Resources:
Intelsat's Media Services
Intelsat's Media Services: Direct-to-Home

About Intelsat
Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I) is the world's leading provider of satellite services, delivering high performance connectivity solutions for media, fixed and mobile broadband infrastructure, enterprise and government and military applications. Intelsat's satellite, teleport and fiber infrastructure is unmatched in the industry, setting the standard for transmissions of video and broadband services. From the globalization of content and the proliferation of HD, to the expansion of cellular networks and mobile broadband access, Intelsat creates value for its customers through creative space-based solutions. Envision...Connect...Transform...with Intelsat, celebrating 50 years of space leadership in 2014. For more information, visit www.intelsat.com.

About Encompass
Encompass, a global leader in mission-critical media capture, management and distribution services, owns and operates broadcast facilities throughout Argentina (Buenos Aires), Asia (Singapore), U.K. (London) and U.S.A. (Atlanta, Los Angeles Metro, Minneapolis, New York Metro). Encompass serves the world's leading local, regional and global media companies, broadcasters, corporations and government end-users with customized, cost-effective and innovative solutions. Specializing in full-time network origination/playout and live ad-hoc transmission services, the company is a global gateway for moving media throughout EMEA, Latin America, Pacific Rim and U.S.A. Encompass broadcasts 800+ channels delivering content in a variety of languages throughout Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. In addition to linear networks, Encompass provides an array of non-linear services including VOD, Over-the-Top, IPTV, IP streaming and mobile services. Through the company's Global Interconnect Fiber Platform, clients have the ability to manage, transport, archive and restore digital files to numerous platforms in various formats that can move from facility-to-facility or to any destination worldwide within a seamless workflow.

Premier services include network origination/playout; content management; disaster recovery; central casting for TV stations; digital media services; digital file transfers via satellite, fiber and IP; video production services/studios; post-production services; occasional-use businesses (fiber, satellite, U.S.A.-based uplink trucks).

Contact
Michele Loguidice
Director, Investor Relations and Communications
michele.loguidice@intelsat.com
+1 703-559-7372

  

(Space Fellowship) New NASA Model Gives Glimpse into the Invisible World of Electric Asteroids

Space may appear empty -- a soundless vacuum, but it's not an absolute void. It flows with electric activity that is not visible to our eyes. NASA is developing plans to send humans to an asteroid, and wants to know more about the electrical environment explorers will encounter there. A solar wind blown from the surface of the sun at about a million miles per hour flows around all solar system objects, forming swirling eddies and vortices in its wake. Magnetic fields carried by the solar wind [...]
  

(Space Fellowship) Conjunction by the Sea

Early morning risers were treated to a beautiful conjunction of Venus and waning Crescent Moon on June 24, captured in this seaside photo near Belmar, New Jersey, USA, planet Earth. The serene celestial pairing is seen above the Atlantic Ocean horizon as the eastern sky grows brighter with dawn's early light. Wispy, scattered clouds appear in silhouette. But the exposure also reveals the night side of the lunar orb in the arms of the sunlit crescent. That shadowed part of the Moon, with hint [...]
  

(euronews) What the Elf is this - bike or car?

Could an original-looking tricycle developed by an American inventor in North Carolina be the ==commuter's dream vehicle==? According to its…




  

(Commercial Space Watch) NOAA GOES-R Satellite Black Wing Ready for Flight

The solar array that will provide power to NOAA's GOES-R satellite has been tested, approved and shipped to a facility where it will be incorporated on the spacecraft. The five sections of the solar array come together as one to resemble a giant black wing.

On May 13, 2014, the GOES-R satellite solar array panels were successful deployed in a Lockheed Martin clean room in Sunnyvale, California. The completed solar array was then delivered to Lockheed Martin's facility near Denver.

"The GOES-R solar array generates more than 4,000 watts of power, twice as much as that of the previous generation of GOES satellites, in order to operate the larger and more capable instruments carried by GOES-R," said Pam Sullivan, GOES-R flight project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The GOES-R spacecraft uses a photovoltaic solar array to derive electricity from sunlight. Photovoltaics is a method that uses semiconductors to convert solar radiation into direct current electricity.

The solar array is comprised of five separate solar panels that are folded up at launch. After the satellite is released by the launch vehicle, the solar panels are deployed into a single solar array wing that rotates once per day on orbit to continuously point the solar array photovoltaic cells towards the sun.

The solar array provides a stable platform that tracks the seasonal and daily movement of the sun relative to the spacecraft. It will power all of the instruments, including the computers, data processors, attitude control sensors and actuators, and telecommunications equipment.

The instruments include the Extreme Ultraviolet and X-ray Irradiance Sensors (EXIS), the Magnetometer, the Space Environment In-Situ Suite (SEISS), Solar Ultraviolet Imager (SUVI), the Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI), Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM), and Unique Payload Services (UPS). The UPS suite consists of transponder payloads providing communications relay services in addition to the primary GOES mission data. The UPS suite consists of the Data Collection System (DCS), the High Rate information Transmission / Emergency Managers Weather Information Network (HRIT/EMWIN), GOES-R Rebroadcast (GRB), and the Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) System.

The GOES-R, or Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite - R Series, advanced spacecraft and instrument technology will result in more timely and accurate weather forecasts. It will improve support for the detection and observations of meteorological phenomena and directly enhance public safety, protection of property, and ultimately, economic health and development.

GOES-R will be more advanced than NOAA's current GOES fleet. The satellites are expected to more than double the clarity of today's GOES imagery and provide more atmospheric observations than current capabilities with more frequent images.

NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, manages the GOES-R Series Program through an integrated NOAA-NASA program office, staffed with personnel from NOAA and NASA, and co-located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

  

(ScienceDaily) Black hole trio holds promise for gravity wave hunt

The discovery of three closely orbiting supermassive black holes in a galaxy more than four billion light years away could help astronomers in the search for gravitational waves: the 'ripples in spacetime' predicted by Einstein.   

(ScienceDaily) NASA's STEREO maps much larger solar atmosphere than previously observed

Surrounding the sun is a vast atmosphere of solar particles, through which magnetic fields swarm, solar flares erupt, and gigantic columns of material rise, fall and jostle each other around. Now, using NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, scientists have found that this atmosphere, called the corona, is even larger than thought, extending out some 5 million miles above the sun's surface -- the equivalent of 12 solar radii.   

(ScienceDaily) NASA's Mars Curiosity rover marks first Martian year

NASA's Mars Curiosity rover completed a Martian year -- 687 Earth days -- on June 24, having accomplished the mission's main goal of determining whether Mars once offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.   

(ScienceDaily) Aluminum-bearing site on Mars draws NASA visitor

With its solar panels their cleanest in years, NASA's decade-old Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is inspecting a section of crater-rim ridgeline chosen as a priority target due to evidence of a water-related mineral.   

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