Running for the fallen

Airmen and Soldiers from Fort Carson and Peterson Air Force Base joined together March 23 - 24 to run for 24 hours in honor of fallen Tactical Air Control Party Airmen.

Due to inclement weather, the 13th Air Support Operations Squadron hosted Fifth Annual Challenge Run started at the Peterson Air Force Base Fitness Center on treadmills and the indoor track. When the base closed early, the teams then moved to an off-installation fitness center that agreed to allow them to run on treadmills until closing time. At that time the team moved to Fort Carson's Iron Horse Sports and Fitness Center and then to the planned location at Pershing Field.

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Keep your virtual guard up

While sitting at a Schriever workstation, there are plenty of reminders to maintain operational security, protect personally identifiable information and beware of malicious software and phishing attempts. Most people probably don't have similar reminders next to their home computer, smart television or video game system.

Perhaps they should.

A recent survey from the Pew Research Center says "about half of American adults (49 percent) 'ever play video games on a computer, TV, game console or portable device like a cellphone,' and 10 percent consider themselves 'gamers.'"

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21st SW named best overall AFSPC wing

The 21st Space Wing was named Air Force Space Command's best overall operational wing and received the 2015 General Thomas S. Moorman, Jr. Award at a ceremony here March 23, 2016.

"This award is truly a testament to the outstanding and hard work each and every Knight performs every day," said Col. Douglas A. Schiess, 21st Space Wing commander. "Chief Peele and I are very proud of you and all of your accomplishments this year. You took my initial call to arms of "Let's Do This" to heart and you did it!"

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Tracking Tim’s iceberg

ESA astronaut Tim Peake saw this iceberg from the International Space Station 400 km above Earth on 27 March 2016 during his six-month Principia mission.

Tim commented: “Granted – not the most exciting pic ever but this iceberg drifting off Antarctica is about the size of London.”

We tracked down the iceberg with the help of Leif Toudal from the Danish Meterological Institute, ably assisted by Europe’s Sentinel-1A radar satellite and NASA’s Aqua satellite, both flying well above the Space Station at roughly 700 km.

Thanks to Leif and his spaceborne assistants, we now know that the iceberg in Tim’s picture is “A56” and is around 26 km by 13 km, meaning it would fit inside London’s Circular Road along its length with room to spare over its width. It has been estimated to be 30 m high, which means it could extend 270 m below the sea, considering most icebergs conceal 90% of their volume underwater.

A56 originates from the Bellinghausen Sea and has been drifting around the area for at least nine months, slowly heading northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, floating more than 1500 km since July 2015. It is now off the coast of the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

The International Space Station’s orbit offers no clear view of Antarctica and a picture of an iceberg taken by an astronaut in space is a rare occurrence. Sentinel-1, however, is designed for continuous monitoring of sea ice and icebergs in the polar regions. Its advanced radar provides images regardless of weather or darkness, making it an invaluable tool for monitoring our environment and supporting ship navigation through these treacherous waters. View the very same A56 iceberg as seen by Sentinel-1A’s radar on 23 July 2015 in the image to the right.

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Anechoic foam covering

These spiky foam wedges, seen here in ESA’s Maxwell test chamber, cover the walls of facilities that simulate the endless void of space.

This ‘anechoic’ foam absorbs radio signals, enabling radio-frequency testing without any distorting reflections from the chamber walls. In addition, it also absorbs sound – making these chambers eerily quiet places to work.

The Maxwell test chamber – part of ESA’s ESTEC test centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands – performs electromagnetic compatibility testing, ensuring all systems aboard a satellite can operate together without harmful interference.

Maxwell’s metal walls form a ‘Faraday cage’, screening out all external electromagnetic energy such as TV broadcasts and mobile phone signals.

ESTEC’s dedicated antenna test facilities – comprising the Hertz chamber for full satellites and the smaller Compact Antenna Test Range for antennas – are similarly fitted with metal walls and lined with anechoic foam.

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Airmen learn, grow together

Thirty Schriever Airmen learned practical leadership lessons during a Total Force Leadership Development program event at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Wednesday, March 23, 2016.

"Total Force Leadership Development consists of specially designed courses that mix commercial leadership tools with Air Force core competencies and core values [and] is offered to enlisted, officer, civilian members and contractors," said Tech. Sgt. Micaela Walker, 50th Space Communications Squadron and program facilitator.

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