Category Archives: Space and Satellites

The Space and Satellite blog posts news about the aerospace industry, including links to industry news and articles, and announcements of continuing education for professionals who are working in the space and satellite profession.

New Horizon’s Music and Video

New Horizon now has its own music. Listen to this video.

http://bravewords.com/news/brian-may-posts-nasa-ultima-thule-flyby-in-one-minute-featuring-his-music-video

See some of ATI’s previous posts about New Horizons

New Horizons: Watch the Ultima Thule Flyby —- In-Depth Coverage Starts Dec 31

https://www.aticourses.com/blog/index.php/category/new-horizons-space-mission/

Welcome to the US Space Force, ATI is here to support you

There are currently 5 branches of the Armed Forces, namely, Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force,  and the Coast Guard.  However, in light of changing needs and priorities, President Trump issued a new directive in February to establish the US Space Force as the sixth military branch,  which will be within the Department of the Air Force. 

This directive can be found at  

https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/text-space-policy-directive-4-establishment-united-states-space-force/

The directive states that “ Although United States space systems have historically maintained a technological advantage over those of our potential adversaries, those potential adversaries are now advancing their space capabilities and actively developing ways to deny our use of space in a crisis or conflict.  It is imperative that the United States adapt its national security organizations, policies, doctrine, and capabilities to deter aggression and protect our interests.”

The directive provides the following priorities for the Space Force:

(a)  Protecting the Nation’s interests in space and the peaceful use of space for all responsible actors, consistent with applicable law, including international law;

(b)  Ensuring unfettered use of space for United States national security purposes, the United States economy, and United States persons, partners, and allies;

(c)  Deterring aggression and defending the Nation,
United States allies, and United States interests from hostile acts in and from space;

(d)  Ensuring that needed space capabilities are integrated and available to all United States Combatant Commands;

(e)  Projecting military power in, from, and to space in support of our Nation’s interests; and

(f)  Developing, maintaining, and improving a community of professionals focused on the national security demands of the space domain.

The directive specifies that Space Force will be lead by a civilian to be known as the Undersecretary of the Air Force for Space, and will be appointed by the President and approved by the Senate.  The directive specifies that a senior military officer ( General or Admiral ) will serve as the Chief of Staff of the Space Force, and will serve as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

Applied Technology Institute looks forward to providing training to the workforce which will be needed to support the US Space Force. 

A list of all the Space Related Courses offered by ATI can be found at

https://www.aticourses.com/catalog_of_all_ATI_courses.htm#space

 

Specific and upcoming Space-Related Courses include:

Communications Payload Design

Mar 19-22, 2019 Columbia, MD

 Tactical Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR) System

Mar 25-28, 2019 Columbia, MD

 Space Mission Structures

Apr 16-18, 2019 Littleton, CO

 Vibration Testing of Small Satellites

Apr 30-May 1, 2019 Littleton, CO

 Satellite Communications- Introduction

May 1-3, 2019 Columbia, MD 

If your organization requires Space-Related Training which you do not currently see in our Course Offerings, please give us a call and we will try to accommodate your needs. 

Update on Story -Rover Was Delivered to Mars by an ATLAS Rocket Update

The Applied Technology Institute published (01/23/2019) a story on the Curiosity Rover Was Delivered to Mars in 2015. Space News posted a related article on (01/24/2019).
https://www.space.com/43104-mars-rover-opportunity-landing-15th-anniversary.html?

This was the original ATI post
http://www.aticourses.com/blog/index.php/2019/01/23/recall-that-curi…s-rocket-in-2011/ ‎

New Horizons’ Best-Yet Detailed View of Ultima Thule

The best-yet image of Ultima Thule taken by the wide-angle Multicolor Visible Imaging Camera (MVIC) is now online. The image shows a large circular depression, and many smaller depressions. These were not visible in the earlier, lower resolution image. Ultima Thule measures approximately 30 kilometers (18 miles) in diameter, and is irregularly shaped. Even better future images are expected.

The principal investigator, Alan Stern, as well as eight other systems designers, teach Spacecraft Design courses for the Applied Technology Institute (ATI or ATIcourses). If you are working in Space and Spacecraft it is good to take classes and learn from real-world experts who have designed and operated successful spacecraft. Why not learn from the best? Click on this blog post to see the New Horizons designers and the specific classes that they teach.

New Horizons Spacecraft Approaches Ultima Thule

Applied Technology Institute has been following the New Horizons Mission to Pluto for years (since launch in 2006). Now New Horizons continued to the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) nicknamed MU69 Ultima Thule. New Horizons fly past and imaged the Ultima Thule on January 1, 2019. High-resolution images are only now being transmitted back and released to the public.

The best source for these images is http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/News-Article.php
This link provides an ongoing source of featured images.
http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/Galleries/Featured-Images/index.php

New Horizons is approximately 4.13 billion miles (6.64 billion kilometers) from Earth, operating normally and speeding away from the Sun (and Ultima Thule) at more than 31,500 miles (50,700 kilometers) per hour. At that distance, a radio signal reaches Earth six hours and nine minutes after leaving the spacecraft.

Recall That Curiosity Rover Was Delivered to Mars by an ATLAS Rocket in 2011

There are so many Space Exploration Missions that are on the front page of the papers now, New Horizons for example.  Let us not forget about ongoing missions that are no longer getting as much publicity at they may deserve, JPL Mars Science Lab Curiosity Rover Mission for example.

The Curiosity Rover Mission was launched in November 2011 for an 8-month trip to Mars.  Once on Mars, the Curiosity Mission was expected to last 2 years.  Amazingly, the Curiosity Rover Mission is still in progress, and periodic updates on the status of that mission are still being posted at https://mars.nasa.gov/msl/mission/mars-rover-curiosity-mission-updates/

The success of that mission did not start when the Rover started sending back amazing pictures from Mars.  The success of that mission started when the Rocket and Launch Vehicle propelled Rover into Space.    The Atlas V-541 Rocket selected for this mission and built by Boeing Corp and Lockheed Martin Corp.  performed as designed.  If it had not performed as well as it did, the entire mission could have been in jeopardy.  Rockets and Launch Vehicles are truly acritical component of every mission.

ATI is offering a Course on Rocket and Launch Vehicles in Columbia, Maryland from February 11 to 14, 2019.  The course is being taught by Edward Keith, a multi-discipline Launch Vehicle System Engineer, specializing in integration of launch vehicle technology, design, modeling and business strategies.  There is still time to enroll in this class, and you will be finished in time to get home for dinner on Valentine’s day! 

Please consider learning more about this ATI offering, and enroll in the ATI class, by going to https://www.aticourses.com/rockets_launch_vehicles.html

 

New Horizons: Watch the Ultima Thule Flyby —- In-Depth Coverage Starts Dec 31

On New Year’s Day, the New Horizons spacecraft, which flew past Pluto in 2015, will be making another flyby. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has been whizzing toward Ultima Thule ever since it completed its primary mission: the historic Pluto flyby of July 2015.

The overall trip was 13 years and 4 Billion miles. NASA estimates that the probe will arrive at its new destination at 12:33 A.M. Eastern time on New Year’s Day (01/01/2019) and engineers have devised a carefully-calculated trajectory to ensure it gets to Thule safely. This will be the most distant flyby ever conducted.

Follow the news at http://pluto.jhuapl.edu/News-Center/Where-to-Watch.php

I have been personally inspired by the success of the New Horizons’ mission. I was present at JHU/APL for the July 2015 Pluto flyby and briefings. Many of the New Horizons engineers continue to teach ATI engineering and science training courses based on their first-hand real-world experience. This has been a high success, 13-year project that may continue to other new objects as the spacecraft is healthy and still performing well. I hope so.

See their information at

New Horizons Spacecraft Approaches Ultima Thule

Information Timeline ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Date Time Event
31 Monday December, 2018
2:00-3:00 pm EST Press briefing: Ultima Thule flyby science and operations preview. Panelists include Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator, Southwest Research Institute; Helene Winters, New Horizons project manager, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory; John Spencer, New Horizons deputy project scientist, Southwest Research Institute; Frederic Pelletier, navigation team lead, KinetX, Inc.

3:00-4:00 pm EST Q&A: Ask the New Horizons Team. Questions from social media (#askNewHorizons) answered by Alex Parker, New Horizons co-investigator, Southwest Research Institute; Kelsi Singer, co-investigator, Southwest Research Institute; Gabe Rogers, New Horizons deputy mission systems engineer, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

8:00-11:00 pm EST Panel discussion on the exploration of small worlds (8-9 pm); Ultima Thule flyby countdown events; mission updates

1 Tuesday January, 2019
12:02 am EST Global song release: Brian May, New Horizons contributing scientist and Queen guitarist, “New Horizons (Ultima Thule Mix)”

12:15-12:45 am EST Live coverage of countdown to closest approach (12:33 am); real-time flyby simulations

10:15 – 10:45 am EST Live coverage of New Horizons signal-acquisition activities in the Mission Operations Center, confirming spacecraft status and flyby success

11:30 am– 12:30 pm EST Press briefing: Spacecraft status, latest images and data download schedule. Panelists include Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator, Southwest Research Institute; Alice Bowman, New Horizons mission operations manager, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory; Hal Weaver, New Horizons project scientist, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory; Chris Hersman, New Horizons mission systems engineer, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.

2 Wednesday January, 2019
2:00-3:00 pm EST Press briefing: Science results from Ultima Thule.Panelists include Alan Stern, New Horizons principal investigator, Southwest Research Institute; Jeff Moore, New Horizons co-investigator, NASA Ames Research Center; Cathy Olkin, New Horizons deputy project scientist, Southwest Research Institute; Will Grundy, New Horizons co-investigator, Lowell Observatory.

3 Thursday January, 2019
2:00-3:00 pm EST Press briefing: Science results from Ultima Thule.Panelists TBD.

Previous articles about New Horizons on ATI’s website.

Related blog post:
1. https://www.aticourses.com/blog/index.php/2018/12/19/new-horizons-spacecraft-approaches-ultima-thule/
2. NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is 15.96 astronomical units (about 2.39 billion kilometers, or 1.48 billion miles) from the Sun
3. NASA New Horizons spacecraft on the way to rendezvous with planet Pluto
4. The New Horizons Mission to Pluto–Ten Experts Who Worked Behind-the-Scenes On the New Horizons Mission and Who Teach for ATIcourses.
5. New Horizons: Recollections of Ground System Engineer, Steve Gemeny
6. New Horizons – This was almost a disaster, but was saved by knowledgeable scientists.
7. New Horizons Flyover of Pluto

New Horizons Spacecraft Approaches Ultima Thule

The Kuiper Belt is a vastly-unexplored region of the solar system filled with Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs), and NASA expects to learn more about these objects after the new year; that’s when the space agency’s New Horizons probe will visit an icy body known to astronomers as Ultima Thule(previously 2014 MU69).

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has been whizzing toward Ultima Thule ever since it completed its primary mission: the historic Pluto flyby of 2015. NASA estimates that the probe will arrive at its new destination at 12:33 A.M. Eastern time on New Year’s Day and engineers have devised a carefully-calculated trajectory to ensure it gets there safely.

The Kuiper Belt is full of variously-sized space rocks, much like the asteroid belt found between Mars and Jupiter. That said, NASA’s New Horizons hazard watch team has been on the constant lookout for any hazards that could prevent New Horizons from reaching its destination safely.

New Horizons Space craft has been in the news for a while.

A few of ATI instructors have been a part of this groundbreaking project.

1. Dr. Alan Stern http://aticourses.com/planetary_science.htm

2. Eric Hoffman

http://www.aticourses.com/effective_design_reviews.htm

http://www.aticourses.com/spacecraft_quality.htm

http://www.aticourses.com/satellite_rf_communications.htm

3. Chris DeBoy

http://www.aticourses.com/Satellite_Communications_Design_Engineering.htm

4. Dr. Mark E. Pittelkau http://www.aticourses.com/attitude_determination.htm

5. Douglas Mehoke http://www.aticourses.com/spacecraft_thermal_control.htm

6. John Penn http://www.aticourses.com/fundamentals_of_RF_engineering.html

7. Timothy Cole

http://www.aticourses.com/space_based_lasers.htm

http://www.aticourses.com/Tactical_Intelligence_Surveillance_Reconnaissance_System_Engineering.htm

http://www.aticourses.com/Wireless_Sensor_Networking.htm

8. Robert Moore http://www.aticourses.com/satellite_rf_communications.htm

9. Jay Jenkinshttp://www.aticourses.com/spacecraft_solar_arrays.htm

 

More info: 

 
 
Applied Technology Institute (ATICourses) offers a variety of courses on Space and Satellite Technology https://www.aticourses.com/catalog_of_all_ATI_courses.htm#space

 

Related blog post:

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is 15.96 astronomical units (about 2.39 billion kilometers, or 1.48 billion miles) from the Sun

NASA New Horizons spacecraft on the way to rendezvous with planet Pluto

The New Horizons Mission to Pluto–Ten Experts Who Worked Behind-the-Scenes On the New Horizons Mission and Who Teach for ATIcourses.

New Horizons: Recollections of Ground System Engineer, Steve Gemeny

New Horizons – This was almost a disaster, but was saved by knowledgeable scientists.

New Horizons Flyover of Pluto

New Images Show the Record-Breaking Wildfire Season, California Shows Nine New Scars

Space remote sensing can provide the big picture of the Record-Breaking Fires in California. We had family members living in Paradise, California. Their home and their veterinary business were totally destroyed. They have to effectively restart their lives.

Those burn scars include the traces of the Camp Fire that destroyed the town of Paradise in mid-November. That fire became the deadliest fire in California’s history after it killed at least 85 people.

See
https://www.space.com/42554-california-wildfires-2018-burn-scars-from-space.htm

If you want to learn more about Space and Space-Based Remote Sensing visit our catalog-of-all courses
https://www.aticourses.com/catalog_of_all_ATI_courses.htm#space

It Will Be Historic: New Horizons Team Prepares for January 1, 2019 Flyby of Kuiper Belt Ultima Thule

Applied Technology Institute (ATI or ATIcourses) has been following the New Horizons Mission to Pluto for years (since launch in 2006). Now New Horizons is on to the Kuiper Belt object (KBO) nicknamed Ultima Thule. New Horizons will fly past and image the Ultima Thule on January 1, 2019.

Several of ATI instructors have been lead scientists for the New Horizons mission. If you are working in Space and Spacecraft it is good to take classes and learn from real-world experts who have designed and operated successful spacecraft.

This is a good article to keep you up to date.
https://www.space.com/42252-new-horizons-team-ultima-thule-flyby.html?

If you have interest ATI can send you updates in on our blog and our newsletter.
https://secure.campaigner.com/CSB/Public/Form.aspx

Background

New Horizons is a space probe launched by NASA on 19 January 2006, to the dwarf planet Pluto and on an escape trajectory from the Sun. It is the first man-made spacecraft to go to Pluto. Its flight took eight years. It arrived at the Pluto–Charon system on July 14, 2015. It flew near Pluto and took photographs and measurements while it passed. At about 1 kilobit per second, it took 15 months to transmit them back to Earth.

ATI instructors who helped plan, develop and engineer the New Horizons Mission. These include the following engineers and scientists, with their bios and links to their related ATI courses.

1. Dr. Alan Stern http://aticourses.com/planetary_science.htm

Dr. Alan Stern is a planetary scientist, space program executive, aerospace consultant, and author. In 2010, he was elected to be the President and CEO of The Golden Spike Company, a commercial space corporation planning human lunar expeditions. Additionally, since 2009, he has been an Associate Vice President at the Southwest Research Institute, and since 2008 has had his own aerospace consulting practice.
Dr. Stern is the Principal Investigator (PI) of NASA’s $720M New Horizon’s Pluto-Kuiper Belt mission, the largest PI-led space mission ever launched by NASA. New Horizons launched in 2006 and arrived on July 14, 2015. Dr. Stern is also the PI of two instruments aboard New Horizons, the Alice UV spectrometer and the Ralph Visible Imager/IR Spectrometer.

2. Eric Hoffman
http://www.aticourses.com/effective_design_reviews.htm
http://www.aticourses.com/spacecraft_quality.htm

Eric Hoffman has designed space-borne communications and navigation equipment and performed systems engineering on many APL satellites and communications systems. He has authored over 60 papers and holds 8 patents in these fields. Mr. Hoffman was involved in the proposal (as well as several prior Pluto mission concepts). He chaired the major system-level design reviews (and now teaches the course Effective Design Reviews). He was Space Department Chief Engineer during the concept, design, fabrication, and test of New Horizons. His still actively consulting in the field. He is an Associate Fellow of the AIAA and coauthor of the leading textbook Fundamentals of Space Systems

3. Chris DeBoy http://www.aticourses.com/Satellite_Communications_Design_Engineering.htm

Chris DeBoy leads the RF Engineering Group in the Space Department at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, and is a member of APL’s Principal Professional Staff. He has over 20 years of experience in satellite communications, from systems engineering (he is the lead RF communications engineer for the New Horizons Mission to Pluto) to flight hardware design for both Low-Earth orbit and deep-space missions. He holds a BSEE from Virginia Tech, a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins, and teaches the satellite communications course for the Johns Hopkins University.

4. Dr. Mark E. Pittelkau http://www.aticourses.com/attitude_determination.htm

Dr. Pittelkau was previously with the Applied Physics Laboratory, Orbital Sciences Corporation, CTA Space Systems (now Orbital), and Swales Aerospace. His experience in satellite systems covers all phases of design and operation, including conceptual design, implementation, and testing of attitude control systems, attitude and orbit determination, and attitude sensor alignment and calibration, control-structure interaction analysis, stability and jitter analysis, and post-launch support. His current interests are precision attitude determination, attitude sensor calibration, orbit determination, and optimization of attitude maneuvers. Dr. Pittelkau earned the B.S. and Ph. D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Tennessee Technological University and the M.S. degree in EE from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

5. Douglas Mehoke (and others) http://www.aticourses.com/spacecraft_thermal_control.htm

Douglas Mehoke is the Assistant Group Supervisor and Technology Manager for the Mechanical System Group in the Space Department at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He has worked in the field of spacecraft and instrument thermal design for 30 years, and has a wide background in the fields of heat transfer and fluid mechanics. He has been the lead thermal engineer on a variety spacecraft and scientific instruments, including MSX, CONTOUR, and New Horizons. He is presently the Technical Lead for the development of the Solar Probe Plus Thermal Protection System. He was the original thermal engineer for New Horizons, the mechanical system engineer, and is currently the spacecraft damage lead for the flyby Hazard Team. Other JHU/APL are currently teaching the Spacecraft Thermal Control course.

6. Steven Gemeny http://www.aticourses.com/ground_systems_design.htm

Steve Gemeny is a Principal Program Engineer and a former Senior Member of the Professional Staff at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he served as Ground Station Lead for the TIMED mission to explore Earth’s atmosphere and Lead Ground System Engineer on the New Horizons mission to explore Pluto by 2020. Mr. Gemeny is an experienced professional in the field of Ground Station and Ground System design in both the commercial world and on NASA Science missions with a wealth of practical knowledge spanning nearly three decades. Mr. Gemeny delivers his experiences and knowledge to his ATIcourses’ students with an informative and entertaining presentation style. Mr Gemeny is Director Business Development at Syntonics LLC, working in RF over fiber product enhancement, new application development for RF over fiber technology, oversight of advanced DOD SBIR/STTR research and development activities related to wireless sensors and software defined antennas.

7. John Penn http://www.aticourses.com/fundamentals_of_RF_engineering.html

John Penn is currently the Team Lead for RFIC Design at Army Research Labs. Previously, he was a full-time engineer at the Applied Physics Laboratory for 26 years where he contributed to the New Horizons Mission. He joined the Army Research Laboratory in 2008. Since 1989, he has been a part-time professor at Johns Hopkins University where he teaches RF & Microwaves I & II, MMIC Design, and RFIC Design. He received a B.E.E. from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1980, an M.S. (EE) from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) in 1982, and a second M.S. (CS) from JHU in 1988.

8. Timothy Cole
http://www.aticourses.com/space_based_lasers.htm
http://www.aticourses.com/Tactical_Intelligence_Surveillance_Reconnaissance_System_Engineering.htm
http://www.aticourses.com/Wireless_Sensor_Networking.htm

Timothy Cole is a leading authority with 30 years of experience exclusively working in electro-optical systems as a system and design engineer. While at Applied Physics Laboratory for 21 years, Tim was awarded the NASA Achievement Award in connection with the design, development, and operation of the Near-Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) Laser Radar and was also the initial technical lead for the New Horizons LOng-Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI instrument). He has presented technical papers addressing space-based laser altimetry all over the US and Europe. His industry experience has been focused on the systems engineering and analysis associated development of optical detectors, wireless ad hoc remote sensing, exoatmospheric sensor design and now leads ICESat-2 ATLAS altimeter calibration effort.

9. Jay Jenkins http://www.aticourses.com/spacecraft_solar_arrays.htm

Jay Jenkins is a Systems Engineer in the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA and an Associate Fellow of the AIAA. His 24-year aerospace career provided many years of experience in design, analysis, and test of aerospace power systems, solar arrays, and batteries. His career has afforded him opportunities for hands-on fabrication and testing, concurrent with his design responsibilities. He was recognized as a winner of the ASME International George Westinghouse Silver Medal for his development of the first solar arrays beyond Mars’ orbit and the first solar arrays to orbit the planet, Mercury. He was recognized with two Best Paper Awards in the area of Aerospace Power Systems.
See some of ATI’s earlier blog posts
https://www.aticourses.com/blog/index.php/tag/douglas-mehoke/
https://www.aticourses.com/blog/index.php/tag/mission-operations-center-at-apl/

What was it exactly? Space history’s most fascinating misquote.

This is an interesting article. What was it exactly? History’s most fascinating misquote.

“Houston, we have a problem’: The amazing history of the iconic Apollo 13 misquote.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/podcasts/retropod/historys-most-fascinating-misquote/

To me, the differences are small, especially since the problem was not resolved at the time of the radio message,
and could have lead to the death of the 3 astronauts.

“Houston, we have a problem’

and “Houston, we had a problem’ (That was apparently what was actually said).

If you want to know more about Space and Satellite Design, go to
https://www.aticourses.com/catalog_of_all_ATI_courses.htm#space

If you want more history od Apollo 13, see
https://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/apollo/apo13hist.html