Videos: Asteroid Day – June 30, 2017

Friday June 30th is Asteroid Day.

Asteroid Day is a global awareness campaign where people from around the world come together to learn about asteroids, the impact hazard they may pose, and what we can do to protect our planet, families, communities, and future generations from future asteroid impacts. Asteroid Day is held each year on the anniversary of the largest impact in recent history, the 1908 Tunguska event in Siberia.

Event activities include a Asteroid Day Live – 24 hour global broadcast

Asteroid Day LIVE will be the first-ever 24-hour live broadcast about space, and specifically asteroids, airing on June 30, 2017 made possible by support from OHB, SES, BCE and the Luxembourg Government. Asteroid Day LIVE includes six hours from Luxembourg in addition to live programming from ESA, JAXA and NASA. The six-hour broadcast from Luxembourg plus hours of other international programming is creating a global conversation about some of the most important asteroid missions and new discoveries, with scientists and experts around the world.

Here is a set of videos about the annual event:

The Planetary Society has also released a new set of short videos about asteroids:

Checkout the full-length feature film 51 Degrees North, which inspired Asteroid Day:

Damon Miller is a filmmaker grappling with the pressures of an impoverished profession and a dissolving relationship. One routine assignment will change his life as he is involved in the disturbing research into Near-Earth Objects.

The Space Show this week – June.26.2017

The guests and topics of discussion on The Space Show this week:

1. Monday, June 26, 2017: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 pm EDT, 4-5:30 pm CDT): We welcome back Barry Levin to continue our discussions on AI, 4th Industrial Revolution mfg. processes and how all of this applies to the space industry.

2. Tuesday, June 27 , 2017: 7-8:30 pm PDT, 10-11:30 pm EDT, 9-10:30 pm CDT: No show today as I am at the NewSpace Conference in San Francisco.

3. Wednesday, June 28, 2016:: Hotel Mars. See Upcoming Show Menu and the website newsletter for details.

4. Friday, June 30, 2017; 9:30-11 am PDT, 12:30-2 pm EDT, 11:30 am -1 pm CDT: We welcome back author Loretta Hall regarding her new book, Miguel & Michelle Visit Spaceport America. Loretta has additional discussion topics for us.

5. Sunday, July 2, 2017: 12-1:30 pm DST (3-4:30 pm EDT, 2-3:30 pm CDT): Michael Listner, Atty., joins us for legal news and updates.

See also:
* The Space Show on Vimeo – webinar videos
* The Space Show’s Blog – summaries of interviews.
* The Space Show Classroom Blog – tutorial programs

The Space Show is a project of the One Giant Leap Foundation.

The Space Show - David Livingston
David Livingston

Spaceport America Cup results + ULA Interns launch “Future Heavy”

The Spaceport America Cup college student rocket competition took place last week at the New Mexico spaceport.  (See earlier preview posting here.) Over 90 colleges were represented from around the world. The results are in:

Final launch on Friday:


Interns working at United Launch Alliance built a big one-stage sport rocket that was launched at the event:

Here is the ULA release about the project:

United Launch Alliance Interns, Ball Aerospace, and
Colorado Students Participate in Record-setting 

Spaceport America, N.M. (June 24, 2017) – A 53-foot-tall high-power sport rocket carried payloads thousands of feet above the New Mexico desert today at Spaceport America. United Launch Alliance (ULA) summer interns designed, built and launched the Future Heavy rocket, which carried 16 payloads (experiments and instruments) built by K-12 students, Ball Aerospace mentors and a combined ULA/Roush Industries team. The rocket launched at the Spaceport America Cup International Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition in association with the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association (ESRA).

ULA Interns’ Future Heavy rocket vertical on its launch rail.

Future Heavy is the largest sport rocket to launch anywhere in the world, breaking the record set previously by ULA in 2016, when the rocket towered at 50 feet. The launch marked the culmination of an experience designed to simulate a real-life launch campaign and inspire students from kindergarten through graduate school to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

“The future of the space industry lies in the interns and students designing, building, and launching Future Heavy and the payloads it carried,” said Tory Bruno, ULA president and CEO. “United Launch Alliance continuously works to encourage the next generation of rocket scientists, astronauts, space entrepreneurs and enthusiasts. The sky (and physics) is the limit on the creativity and ingenuity at the Student Rocket Launch.”

Working on their own time, ULA interns designed, built and launched the rockets with the guidance of mentors, and Ball Aerospace mentors volunteered their time to create and test their payload. Altogether, more than 50 interns and 8 mentors from ULA along with Ball mentors participated in the 2017 event.

Parachutes deployed and returning to earth.

ULA and Roush Industries teamed up on a payload to test next-generation technology planned for use on future ULA rockets. The ULA and Roush payload will test a number of Integrated Vehicle Fluids (IVF) system components. IVF uses an internal combustion engine, manufactured by Roush Industries, that runs on propellant boil-off, otherwise vented to waste, to provide power to enable long-duration missions for the upper stage.

The Future Heavy and its payloads weighed in at more than 1,350 pounds and generated approximately 8,000 pounds of thrust off the launch pad. The K-12 payloads included a swarm of small gliders to gather atmospheric data, a test of various methods to harvest the energy of descent and a kindergarten parachute experiment.

“This program demonstrates a collaborative real-world aerospace industry partnership and experience,” said Rob Strain, president of Ball Aerospace. “We are proud to be supporting the next generation of space leaders.”

Ball designed, built and tested the largest payloads including: a black box data recorder; an environmental sensor suite with on-board data storage; accelerometer, pressure, temperature and humidity sensors; and a parafoil using ram-air inflation.

Earlier this year, ULA’s Greg Arend, who leads the Student Rocket Launch project, received the Distinguished Engineering Educator Award by the Engineers’ Council for his work on the program over the last five years. Over that time, hundreds of interns across all five of ULA’s sites participated in this unique, hands-on STEM activity and worked to build Future Heavy, the world’s largest high-powered sport rocket.

ULA interns lift the fuselage of the Future Heavy rocket that they built.


The latest on the Mars rovers

Bob Zimmerman has  posted an interesting update on what’s been happening recently with the Opportunity and Curiosity rovers on Mars: Mars rover update: June 23, 2017 | Behind The Black.

Since my my May 15th update, the Opportunity science team has been acting like an expectant father. They had reached the head of Perseverance Valley in mid-May, but since then they have been gingerly pacing back and forth, studying the valley from the top and the side without entering it. The traverse map above shows their travels for the first two weeks after their arrival, but it is also a month old. While they haven’t yet posted an updated traverse map, my daily review of the images sent back each day suggests that, through June 4, they continued their pacing at the head of the valley, sometimes easing downward a bit, but never entering the valley itself.

They initially had two reasons for not entering the valley immediately. First there is fear, [continue]

Mars Rover Opportunity on Walkabout Near Rim

This JPL video shows highlights of NASA’s missions to Mars over the past 20 years: