September 2015 Archives

NSF-Sponsored Citizen Science Activities

http://images.spaceref.com/news/corplogos/nsf.jpg "So you want to be a citizen scientist? The National Science Foundation (NSF) has got you covered. NSF supports citizen science and crowdsourcing efforts across all areas of science, whether your passion is to scan the night sky, explore your own backyard or play video games. Projects such as these are highlighted at a White House Forum on Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing, a celebration of open science and innovation on Sept. 30. Citizen science not only opens new research avenues, but brings diverse perspectives and skill sets to research, and allows everyone to deepen their understanding and appreciation for science."

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Simulation-to-Flight 1 (STF-1) CubeSat Mission

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/STF1_1506_01.jpg"The Simulation-to-Flight 1 (STF-1) CubeSat mission aims to demonstrate how legacy simulation technologies may be adapted for flexible and effective use on missions using the CubeSat platform. In addition, through a partnership between NASA GSFC, the West Virginia Space Grant Consortium and West Virginia University, the STF-1 CubeSat will host payloads for three secondary objectives that aim to advance engineering and physical-science research in the areas of navigation systems of small satellites, provide useful data for understanding magnetosphere ionosphere coupling and space weather, and verify the performance and durability of III-V Nitride-based materials."

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ESA: Be The First to Catch Signals From Student-built AAUSAT5 CubeSat

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/AAUSAT5_CubeSat.jpg"It is time to start listening to space. To celebrate the launch of the student-built AAUSAT5 CubeSat from the International Space Station into low Earth orbit, ESA's Education office challenges the amateur radio community to listen out for the tiny satellite. Be the first to send in your recorded signal from AAUSAT5 and you will receive a prize from ESA's Education Office. Launched on 19 August to the ISS, the Danish student CubeSat is now waiting for its deployment from the Japanese Kibo module's airlock. Sometime in the week of 5 October, an astronaut will manipulate a robotic arm to lift AAUSAT5 from the airlock and place it in orbit. Once launched from the International Space Station the CubeSat will begin transmitting signals to Earth that can be picked up by anyone with common amateur radio equipment."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/xtronaut.jpg"Dante Lauretta, Leader of the NASA OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission and University of Arizona Professor, combined his expertise in space mission planning and technology with his passion for strategy gaming to create Xtronaut: The Game of Solar System Exploration. The Xtronaut game captures the various challenges and excitement of planning a space mission. Lauretta co-founded Xtronaut Enterprises with space entrepreneur Michael Lyon to increase awareness of OSIRIS-REx and other space missions through entertainment and education programs. They launched a Kickstarter campaign to support the game on September 12, 2015, and have exceeded their funding goal of $15,000 with over 300 backers. The Kickstarter campaign has been awarded a "Staff Pick" on Kickstarter, and has received endorsements from groups that include Planetary Resources, the Planetary Society, and the United Launch Alliance."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/SpaceWarps.jpg"Around 37,000 citizen scientists combed through 430,000 images to help an international team of researchers to discover 29 new gravitational lens candidates through Space Warps, an online classification system which guides citizen scientists to become lens hunters. Gravitational lens systems are massive galaxies that act like special lenses through their gravity, bending the light coming from a distant galaxy in the background and distorting its image. Dark matter around these massive galaxies also contributes to this lensing effect, and so studying these gravitational lenses gives scientists a way to study this exotic matter that emits no light. Since gravitational lenses are rare, only about 500 of them have been discovered to date, and the universe is enormous, it made sense for researchers to call on an extra pair of eyes to help scour through the mountain of images taken from the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (CFHTLS). Details of the discoveries will be published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society."

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Free Course: Science and Exploration of Phobos and Deimos

http://images.spaceref.com/news/phobos.jpg "The "Science and Exploration of Phobos and Deimos" series is jointly organized and led by SSERVI teams at University of Central FL (CLASS) and Brown University/MIT (SEEED) with many SSERVI-affiliated institutions participating. A major goal is to identify major outstanding questions and scientific and exploration goals for robotic and human exploration of Phobos and Deimos.´╗┐The 13 weekly seminars with lectures given by leaders in the field will include opportunities for questions and discussion. The lectures will be accessible through Adobe Connect in real-time and will be recorded for on-line reference. All lectures will be held on Mondays at 3pm EDT/EST [1 hr lecture + 30 min discussion]."

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More ESA Student CubeSats Preparing for Space

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/OUFTI-1.jpg"While waiting for the first ESA student CubeSat to be deployed from the International Space Station at the beginning of October, the three Fly Your Satellite! CubeSats candidate for rocket launch are completing their environmental test campaign. During the past few months, the student satellites had to pass a number of tests in order to make sure they would be able to perform properly in the harsh conditions encountered during launch and in orbit. This test campaign represented Phase 2 of the Fly Your Satellite! educational programme. The satellites were tested before, between, and after being exposed to extreme environmental conditions, such as vibrations and temperature cycles in a thermal/vacuum chamber. These tests are necessary to demonstrate that the CubeSats are capable of working in these harsh environments and are not visibly damaged by them. The three CubeSats that underwent the 'Fly Your Satellite!' environmental test campaign are presented."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/15-189a.jpg"NASA is giving university and college students an opportunity to be part of the agency's journey to Mars with the Breakthrough, Innovative, and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge. NASA's Game Changing Development Program (GCD), managed by the agency's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington, and the National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) are seeking innovative ideas for generating lift using inflatable spacecraft heat shields or hypersonic inflatable aerodynamic decelerator (HIAD) technology."

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http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/P9110058.jpg"Today SKA Organisation is releasing the new official SKA science book, Advancing Astrophysics with the Square Kilometre Array. The book contains the proceedings from the SKA science conference held in Giardini Naxos, Sicily last year. The two-volume book contains 135 chapters written by 1,213 contributors from 31 nationalities, adding up to some 2000 pages covering many areas of astrophysics, from cosmology to the search for life in the Universe. "The publication of the new SKA science book is the culmination of more than a year's work by the SKA science team and the scientific community at large" said Dr. Robert Braun, the SKA Science Director. "It's also a great testimony to the growing interest and scope of the SKA since the publication of the last book 10 years ago." The last SKA science book, Science with the Square Kilometre Array, was published in 2004."

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Volunteer Black Hole Hunters Are As Good As The Experts

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/98764_web.s.jpg"Trained volunteers are as good as professional astronomers at finding jets shooting from massive black holes and matching them to their host galaxies, research suggests. Scientists working on citizen science project Radio Galaxy Zoo developed an online tutorial to teach volunteers how to spot black holes and other objects that emit large amounts of energy through radio waves. Through the project, volunteers are given telescope images taken in both the radio and infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum and asked to compare the pictures and match the "radio source" to the galaxy it lives in. The results from the first year of the Radio Galaxy Zoo project, led by Dr Julie Banfield of the ARC Centre of Excellence for All-Sky Astrophysics and Dr Ivy Wong at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, were published today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society."

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NASA Space Technology Research Fellowships Fall 2016

http://images.spaceref.com/news/corplogos/nasa.07.jpg"This call for graduate student fellowship applications solicits applications from individuals pursuing or planning to pursue master's (e.g., M.S.) or doctoral (e.g., Ph.D.) degrees in relevant space technology disciplines at accredited U.S. universities. NASA Space Technology Fellows will perform innovative space technology research and will improve America's technological competitiveness by providing the Nation with a pipeline of innovative space technologies."

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ESA's Fourth Space App Camp

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/Space_App_Camp_2015.jpg"ESA's fourth Space App Camp starts on Monday, with 23 professional app developers from all across Europe at the Agency's facility in Frascati, Italy. Huge amounts of data from space the kind produced by the European Earth observation Copernicus programme and its Sentinel satellites offer countless opportunities for global challenges, in connection with mobile applications. The Space App Camp unites programmers to develop creative and innovative smartphone apps, which make Earth observation data accessible to a wide range of people. ESA will provide access to satellite data for developing mobile applications (Android and iOS). The goal is to bring Earth observation data particularly coming from the European Copernicus environment-monitoring programme to the everyday user through smartphones. During the week-long camp, attendees will be asked to find creative answers to global problems."

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Small Satellites Provide Big Payoffs

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/iss038e046586.jpg"When we think of space satellites that assist with communications, weather monitoring and GPS here on Earth, we likely picture them as being quite largemany are as big as a school bus and weigh several tons. Yet there's a class of smaller satellites that's growing in popularity. These miniaturized satellites, known as nanosatellites or CubeSats, can fit in the palm of your hand and are providing new opportunities for space science. "CubeSats are part of a growing technology that's transforming space exploration," said David Pierce, senior program executive for suborbital research at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "CubeSats are small platforms that enable the next generation of scientists and engineers to complete all phases of a complete space mission during their school career. While CubeSats have historically been used as teaching tools and technology demonstrations, today's CubeSats have the potential to conduct important space science investigations as well."

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KiboCUBE: United Nations/Japan Program on CubeSat Deployment

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/KiboCUBE_2.jpg"The United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) are pleased to announce the United Nations/Japan Cooperation Programme on CubeSat Deployment from the International Space Station (ISS) Japanese Experiment Module (Kibo) "KiboCUBE". KiboCUBE is the dedicated collaboration between UNOOSA and JAXA in utilizing the ISS Kibo for the world. KiboCUBE aims to provide educational or research institutions from developing countries of United Nations membership with opportunities to deploy, from the ISS Kibo, cube satellites (CubeSats) which they develop and manufacture. Currently, the only way to deploy CubeSats from the ISS is from Kibo. Kibo's unique capability is comprised of an airlock system and a robotic arm. The first orbital deployment of CubeSats from Kibo was successfully conducted in October 2012 through the Small Satellite Orbital Deployer developed by JAXA. Since then, nano-satellites and CubeSats from various countries around the world have been deployed from Kibo."

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International Space Apps Challenge 2016

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/spaceapps.2016.jpg"NASA is preparing for the next International Space Apps Challenge. Space Apps is an international mass collaboration that takes place in cities around the world, embracing collective problem solving with a goal of using NASA's open data to produce open-source solutions that can advance space exploration missions and improve life on Earth. NASA is leading this global collaboration along with a number of additional government collaborators and local partner organizations."

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NASA Awards Grants to Expand STEM Education

http://images.spaceref.com/news/corplogos/nasa.07.jpg"NASA's Minority University Research and Education Project (MUREP) has selected nine universities for cooperative agreement awards totaling $3.6 million to create and operate a NASA MUREP Aerospace Academy. The universities will receive as much as $160,000 per year for two years and up to $100,000 for a third year. The Aerospace Academies will engage historically underserved and underrepresented students in grades K-12 through hands-on activities that reflect each of NASA's four mission directorates: Science, Aeronautics, Space Technology and Human Exploration and Operations."

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NASA Awards First Round Prizes in Cube Quest Challenge

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2015/cubequest.jpg"The first milestone of NASA's Cube Quest Challenge has been reached, as teams competed in the first of four ground tournaments in August. The five highest-scoring competitors will each be awarded $20,000. Cube Quest is a competition to build flight-qualified, small satellites capable of advanced communication and propulsion near and beyond the moon. Teams that achieve top performance at high-speed data communications, navigation and survival after achieving lunar orbit or a minimum long-distance range from Earth compete for an unprecedented $5.5 million prize purse in NASA's first ever in-space challenge."

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World's Largest Rocket Competition 2015-2016

http://images.spaceref.com/news/2003/IMG_3624.s.jpg"Although the end of summer indicates the beginning of classes for students across the country, it also signals the kickoff of the world's largest annual student rocketry contest. Registration for the Team America Rocketry Challenge (TARC) is now open for teams of 7-12th grade students through December 4. TARC is the U.S. aerospace and defense industry's flagship program designed to encourage students to pursue study and careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Structured to emulate the aerospace industry's design, fabrication and testing process, TARC requires teams to build and fly a model rocket that meets challenging design requirements and precise targets for altitude and flight duration."

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