Slideshow shadow

Attend the Future Space 2013 Conference

July 15, 2013 in Featured, News by dmpastuf

This Wednesday, July 17th, the Future Space Leaders Foundation will host the second annual Future Space 2013 in our nation’s Capitol! The conference will raise grant funds to support educational programs and networking opportunities for graduate students and young professionals. The event is packed with congressional speakers and substantive panels on satellite navigation systems, advanced space technology, and human exploration destinations. Featured speakers include NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy Douglas Loverro, and top officials from Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Ball Aerospace, and other industry leaders!
See the agenda at http://www.futurespaceleaders.org/events.html;

Close Encounters: Meteor lands in Russia

June 21, 2013 in NOVA by dmpastuf

An early morning surprise

On February 15th, 2013, the Russian city Chelyabinsk got the surprise of a lifetime when an asteroid hurtled down through the atmosphere, disintegrating into thousands of pieces that rained down on the ground. Amateur videos from car dashcams—intended to catch insurance frauds—instead captured a glowing fireball streaking across the sky. Reports indicate that at its peak, the object hurtling towards Earth was brighter than the sun. A great thundering sound was heard soon afterwards, and witnesses in the area said that the air of the city smelled like gunpowder.

The event garnered immediate worldwide attention and social media sites erupted at the news. Initial reactions were skeptical for the most part since meteors rarely have a significant effect on the ground, given that most fully disintegrate on their descent. After confirmation by the Russian government, however, the meteor became the hottest story of the day. Videos from Russian citizens’ dashcams of the meteor made their way to Youtube, cultivating millions of views in a matter of hours.

The Mars 2020 Rover: A Chance for a Sample Return Mission

June 21, 2013 in NOVA by dmpastuf

On December 4th 2012, it was announced that NASA intends to launch another rover to Mars in 2020. The successful landing and science conducted by the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover has renewed the confidence of the agency to replicate its success. Utilizing the same basic design as MSL and over $200 million worth of flight ready hardware leftover from development, NASA hopes this will reduce mission costs by almost a billion dollars.

What the 2020 rover will be designed to investigate has yet to be announced. Many speculate, and hope, that this mission will be a chance to fulfil the highest priority of the 2010 Planetary Science Decadal Survey.  Every ten years, the National Research Council prepares a document listing the highest priority goals listed by scientists from various fields, and in the case of planetary science, the report was published in 2010. The Decadal Survey listed a Mars “sample return” mission as the most sought after goal of the planetary science community.

President Obama at the Kennedy Space Center in April 2010. His speech involved predicting a U.S. crewed orbital Mars mission by the mid-2030s

Few mission concepts have endured like the tantalizing prospect of collecting a sample from the surface of Mars and returning it to Earth for study.  Numerous studies have been performed, landing vehicles designed, and funding sought.  The technical challenges would be immense.   Prohibitive costs have always been cited as the greatest challenge, however.

Come See SEDS at the 2013 Space Tech Expo

May 22, 2013 in News, Press Releases by dmpastuf

The Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) will be an exhibitor at this year’s Space Tech Expo at booth #8044. Visitors will be able to see the latest and greatest of what SEDS and its chapters have been up to, including its annual High Power Rocketry Competition. Attendees can also see XCOR’s Lynx spaceplane at the Expo’s Space Experience Park, aboard which they can book a flight through Moonandback Travel with the SEDS referral code (See release and more information at http://seds.org/2013/05/moonandback-travel-offering-off-world-excursions-benefiting-seds/).

SEDS is the world’s only independent, fully student-run, nonprofit organization for space advocacy. Founded in 1980 by students frustrated with the stagnation of NASA after Apollo, SEDS has inspired tens of thousands of students to pursue careers in science, engineering, and technology. SEDS supports a network of over 30 student chapters across the United States, hosts the largest student-run space conference in the world (SpaceVision), provides students opportunities to develop their leadership skills and professional networks, and inspires others through their involvement in space-related projects. Alumni can be found throughout the space industry in both traditional and “New Space” companies. For more information, visit: http://www.seds.org.

The Space Tech Expo will be held this week from May 21st through May 23rd in Long Beach, California at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center. This year’s conference will be themed around “The Business Case for Space.” Many companies and organizations affiliated with SEDS, including Google Lunar X PRIZE and XCOR, will also be present as exhibitors. Registration as an Exhibition visitor and for the Satellite & Space Summit is free (http://www.spacetechexpo.com/registration).