Three awarded in memorial essay contest

Three Air Force Space Command Airmen were awarded prizes for their winning essay entries in the 2015 Gen. Bernard A. Schriever Memorial Essay Contest,  Dec. 10, 2015.

The purpose of the contest is to stimulate thought, discussion, and debate on matters relating to how the Air Force and Air Force Space Command  provide space and cyberspace capabilities for the joint force and the nation. 

The Lance P. Sijan Chapter of the Air Force Association, in cooperation with Air Force Space Command, sponsors the Gen. Bernard A. Schriever Memorial Essay Contest. The theme for the 2015 Gen. Bernard A. Schriever Memorial Essay Contest was, "how does Air Force Space Command best develop space and cyber Airmen to win tomorrow's fight?"
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NASA Suspends 2016 Launch of InSight Mission to Mars

After thorough examination, NASA managers have decided to suspend the planned March 2016 launch of the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission. The decision follows unsuccessful attempts to repair a leak in a section of the prime instrument in the science payload.

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NASA Suspends 2016 Launch of InSight Mission to Mars, Media Teleconference Today

After thorough examination, NASA managers have decided to suspend the planned March 2016 launch of the Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission. The decision follows unsuccessful attempts to repair a leak in a section of the prime instrument in the science payload.

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Gilbrech Recognized For Distinguished Executive Service at White House Ceremony

NASA Stennis Space Center Director Rick Gilbrech was recognized during a White House ceremony Dec. 15 as recipient of a prestigious 2015 Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive Service.

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Gilbrech Recognized For Distinguished Executive Service at White House Ceremony

NASA Stennis Space Center Director Rick Gilbrech was recognized during a White House ceremony Dec. 15 as recipient of a prestigious 2015 Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive Service.

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Geosynchronous ham radio payload to aid disaster communications

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

Millennium Space Systems AQUILA M8 Series Satellite Structure

Phys.org interviews Hume Center Director of Research Bob McGwier N4HY about a geosynchronous satellite amateur radio payload which will aid disaster communications.

Researchers at the Ted and Karyn Hume Center for National Security and Technology are preparing to send an amateur radio transponder into a geosynchronous orbit in 2017.

“Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, a new ham band will be available for the Americas,” said Robert McGwier, a research professor in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Hume Center’s director of research. “It will allow rapid deployment to disaster areas and support long-haul communications for first responders.”

This would be the first amateur or “ham” radio payload in a geosynchronous orbit, and would significantly enhance communications capabilities for amateur radio operators, in particular following natural disasters or other emergency situations. The Hume Center team met with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate in September to discuss the project.

Read the full story at
http://phys.org/news/2015-12-amateur-radio-geosynchronous-orbit-aid.html

What is a Geosynchronous orbit ?
http://amsat-uk.org/satellites/geosynchronous/na-gso-sat/

Video of Geosynchronous ham radio project presentation
http://amsat-uk.org/2015/11/08/geosynchronous-ham-radio-project-video/

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NASA Astronaut Tim Kopra on Dec. 21 Spacewalk

Expedition 46 Flight Engineer Tim Kopra on a Dec. 21, 2015 spacewalk, in which Kopra and Expedition 46 Commander Scott Kelly successfully moved the International Space Station's mobile transporter rail car ahead of Wednesday's docking of a Russian cargo supply spacecraft.

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NASA Administrator Statement on Japan Announcement of Support for International Space Station Through 2024

Statement from NASA Administrator Charles Bolden on Japan's Dec. 22 announcement to continue its support for the International Space Station through at least 2024.

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MTG combined antenna

A UHF and L-band combination patch-array antenna being tested inside ESA’s Hertz chamber in September 2015. This prototype antenna is positioned on a mockup of part of a Meteosat Third Generation Imaging satellite, set for operation from 2020 onwards. The larger rectangular segment of antenna works at L-band frequencies to pick up meteorology data transmitted from Data Collection Platforms variously located on ships, ocean buoys, aircraft or balloons across the globe. The smaller antenna attached to the larger one has the vital task of picking up UHF distress signals from radio beacons belonging to the international Cospas–Sarsat system, so that they can be relayed to regional search and rescue systems.

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45th Space Wing successfully launches ORBCOMM; historically lands first stage booster

The U.S. Air Force's 45th Space Wing successfully supported the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket during its mission to put ORBCOMM's OG2 communications satellites in to orbit Dec. 21 at 8:29 p.m. from Space Launch Complex 40 here.

Then just nine minutes following the launch was the first-ever successful landing of the Falcon 9's first stage booster at Landing Zone 1 (formerly Complex 13) at 8:38 p.m. EST on CCAFS.

"Today clearly placed the exclamation mark on 2015, by closing out another successful year for the Eastern Range in historic fashion," said Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing commander and launch decision authority. "This launch and flyback speaks volumes to the hard work this team puts in every single day driving innovation and success. This was a first for us at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and I can't even begin to describe the excitement the team feels right now having been a part of this historic first-stage rocket landing."
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