Ice on the comet, ASTRO-H satellite and Dream Chaser

Ice_in_ImhotepRosetta team confirms water ice on Comet 67P’s surface

Observations made shortly after Rosetta’s arrival at its target comet in 2014 have provided definitive confirmation of the presence of water ice.

Although water vapor is the main gas seen flowing from Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, the great majority of ice is believed to come from under the comet’s crust, and very few examples of exposed water ice have been found on the surface.

However, a detailed analysis by Rosetta’s VIRTIS infrared instrument reveals the composition of the comet’s topmost layer: It is primarily coated in a dark, dry, and organic-rich material but with a small amount of water ice mixed in.

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ASTRO-H satellite ready for launch

On 12 January 2016, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) presented their ASTRO-H satellite to the media at the Tanegashima Space Center, situated on a small island in the south of Japan. The satellite, developed with institutions in Japan, the US, Canada and Europe, is now ready to be mounted on an H-IIA rocket for launch on 12 February.

ASTRO-H is a new-generation satellite, designed to study some of the most powerful phenomena in the Universe by probing the sky in the X-ray and gamma-ray portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Scientists will investigate extreme cosmic environments ranging from supernova explosions to supermassive black holes at the centres of distant galaxies, and the hot plasma permeating huge clusters of galaxies.

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NASA Selects Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser® Spacecraft for CRS2 contract

DreamChaserISSToday, NASA competitively selected Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Systems to receive a multi-year contract to provide cargo delivery, return and disposal services for the International Space Station (ISS). SNC received a Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract, to fulfill a minimum of six cargo delivery service missions to and from the ISS utilizing SNC’s Dream Chaser Cargo System. NASA’s selection of SNC for the CRS2 program will enable spacecraft reusability and runway landings for United States’ cargo delivery and access to the ISS through 2024.

“SNC is honored to be selected by NASA for this critical U.S. program,” said Eren Ozmen, president of Sierra Nevada Corporation. “In such a major competition, we are truly humbled by the show of confidence in SNC and look forward to successfully demonstrating the extensive capabilities of the Dream Chaser spacecraft to the world. SNC’s receipt of this award is an American Dream come true for all of us. We thank NASA, the Administration and Congress for recognizing the importance of this vital program by supporting the CRS2 contract.”

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A job opening for a Public Relations & Communications Sr. Rep, UTC Aerospace Systems (USA).This individual will responsible for the day-to-day marketing management and execution of major product lines, including brand management, advertising along with a significant focus on tradeshows & events. More information


Do you want to directly contribute to space exploration and build your space resume? Participate in the Mars Lander Simulation challenge and try to land a model of the Mars Lander. Which algorithms will you use for this? More information

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