On Thursday, September 15, 2016, retired NASA astronaut Captain Scott Kelly visited Trinity University‘s Laurie Auditorium in San Antonio, Texas, to deliver the 2016 Fall Distinguished Lecture, “The Sky is Not the Limit – Lessons from a Year in Space.” [Read more…]
This article was written by Shannon Blackburn for SpaceFlight Insider and is reprinted here with permission.
On Thursday, August 11, Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas, opened its doors to media, sharing progress on its Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS). The independent, nonprofit, applied research and development (R&D) organization has a long history of involvement in our nation’s space program, including building two of the instruments on NASA’s Juno spacecraft now in orbit around Jupiter, but CYGNSS is the first mission in which SwRI has built the primary spacecraft as well.
CYGNSS is a constellation of eight small satellites whose goal is to improve hurricane (tropical cyclone) intensity forecasting. Citing National Hurricane Center forecast verification data, CYGNSS Principal Investigator Dr. Chris Ruf of the University of Michigan notes that while hurricane/tropical cyclone tracking improved nearly 50 percent since 1990, there has not been a corresponding improvement in the accuracy of intensity forecasts. [Read more…]
Hopefully by now, even if you do not generally follow “space news,” you are aware that humanity achieved something truly incredible on Wednesday, November 12, at 17:03 CET (Central European Time) / 11:03am EST — we landed a small robotic spacecraft on a comet! After 10 years in transit from Earth, the European Space Agency‘s Philae lander was successfully released from its mothership, the Rosetta orbiter, and descended to the surface of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. The dishwasher-sized lander is now the only object ever to perform a controlled landing on a comet. [Read more…]