Atlas V and H-IIB fly this week

Orbital News
17 May 2020 1314 – Atlas V X-37B US Military
20 May 2020 1731 – Tanegashima H-IIB Kounotori-9 ISS Cargo

Regional News
15 May 2020 – Airdrie AB students contact ISS by ham radio
15 May 2020 – None hurt in plane crash 75km from Fort Frances
15 May 2020 – MB seeks businesses to deploy Internet to the North
16 May 2020 – Air Canada lays off 20000, over half the workforce
16 May 2020 – National Microbiology Lab chief takes UK job, cites family
17 May 2020 – Safe pilot, bent wing in Bloodvein MB mishap
18 May 2020 – Medicine Hat air ambulance pleads for funds
18 May 2020 – Wildfires near Dauphin MB
19 May 2020 – Delta will fill planes to 60% for social distance
19 May 2020 – York Space Systems opens new facility in Denver
20 May 2020 – SK wildfire grows to 375 km2
21 May 2020 – Iowa SU features NASA work of Sara Mayne
21 May 2020 – MN astronaut Karen Nyberg talks with Ars Technica
21 May 2020 – U Wisconsin develops nanostructured PVDF spacecraft shield

Further news
15 May 2020 – Artemis Accords would enshrine Space Law concepts in a Treaty
15 May 2020 – China adds satellite internet to space infrastructure priorities
15 May 2020 – NASA Stennis partial reopen
15 May 2020 – Tokyo2021 loses another event – meteor shower satellite fails in orbit
17 May 2020 – Bill Norrie of Calgary sailed across the Pacific
17 May 2020 – Snowbird dead, another injured in Kamloops BC crash
18 May 2020 – NASA Michoud partial reopen
19 May 2020 – Annie Glenn dies in Minnesota, age 100
19 May 2020 – Head rolls at NASA after Artemis procurement probe
20 May 2020 – Skyrora completes Skylark-L rocket engine test
20 May 2020 – WFIRST now called the Roman Space Telescope
21 May 2020 – NASA takes extra time for DM-2 Flight Readiness Review
21 May 2020 – NSF feature on Crew Dragon abort modes

COVID-19 matters
15 May 2020 – COVID patients that need ventilators have 50 to 75% survival rate
15 May 2020 – FDA notice issued on inaccurate Abbott COVID test
15 May 2020 – SaskTel retirees fix donated computers to help keep communities connected
15 May 2020 – SK closes 12 rural ERs on two days’ notice
15 May 2020 – Sudbury library opens phone line for folks that want to chat about books
15 May 2020 – The Forks Market reopens in Winnipeg
15 May 2020 – U Alberta will conduct fall semester online
16 May 2020 – COVID causes blood clots in serious cases
17 May 2020 – Fire contained at Winnipeg hospital
18 May 2020 – Fuse33 Makerspace in Calgary fabs 12000 faceshields
19 May 2020 – Canada-US border closure extended to 21 June 2020
19 May 2020 – Civic honour planned for SD food workers
19 May 2020 – U Wisconsin creates COVID Crush video game
21 May 2020 – 2020 Grey Cup in Regina cancelled due to COVID
21 May 2020 – Privacy problem with ND/SD Care19 phone app
21 May 2020 – Rigid US medical supply chain ignored new test labs

Late News
13 May 2020 – JournoDrone shot down in Butterfield MN

KZ-1A orbits two tech testbeds this week

A KZ-1A rocket carries two Xingyun-2 satellites to SSO from Jiuquan, 12 May 2020, 0116 UT. (Weibo)

Orbital news
08 May 2020 0549 UT – CNSA next-generation crew capsule lands after deorbit
08 May 2020 – Fregat from 2011 continues disintegration in high orbit
11 May 2020 1533 UT – CZ-5B first stage falls into Atlantic by luck alone
11 May 2020 1608 UT – Cygnus NG-13 departs ISS
12 May 2020 0116 UT – Jiuquan KZ-1A 2x Xingyun-2 EOS/Comm/Demo

Regional news
09 May 2020 – Statement by Winnipeg Airport rebuffed by Transport Canada
11 May 2020 – WestJet cancels flights into July
12 May 2020 – Snowbirds fly over Manitoba
12 May 2020 – MB 150 digital book collection holds hidden gems in aerospace history
12 May 2020 – Vincent Ledvina (U North Dakota) works on Aurora camera
13 May 2020 – Alberta wildfire still burns one year later
13 May 2020 – Budget cut means more layoffs at U Manitoba
13 May 2020 – Dr. Carl Isaacson featured by Minnesota Space Grant
13 May 2020 – U Minnesota Balloon Team featured by Minnesota Space Grant
13 May 2020 – Delta Airlines stops service to Saskatoon
14 May 2020 – Snowbirds fly over Saskatoon and Regina
14 May 2020 – Iowa Space Grant asks colleges for project proposals

Further news
09 May 2020 – USSF buys SpaceX data from other launches
10 May 2020 – Latest Starship SN4 cryotest reaches 750 kPa pressure
11 May 2020 – Virgin Galactic goes on sale to prop up sister airline
12 May 2020 – NASA signs deal for additional Soyuz seat
13 May 2020 – Falcon 9 test fires on pad ahead of ninth Starlink delivery
13 May 2020 – Crew Dragon DM-2 astronauts are in pre-launch medical isolation
14 May 2020 – EPA will not regulate water pollution from perchlorate, oxidizer for solid rockets
14 May 2020 – Intelsat goes bankrupt
14 May 2020 – Artemis program schedule slides into 2021

COVID-19 matters
08 May 2020 – FDA approves Rutgers easy but imperfect COVID spit test
08 May 2020 – Land-O-Lakes co-op opens up Wi-Fi for rural users
08 May 2020 – 3M to make 96 million N95 masks monthly at WI, SD factories
09 May 2020 – COVID spreads at Minnesota Amazon plant
09 May 2020 – Close quarters make COVID hard to fight at Iowa meat plant
09 May 2020 – FDA approves antigen test, faster than virus PCR
09 May 2020 – Lopinavir-ritonavir + ribavirin + interferon beta-1b drug triplet passes Phase II
11 May 2020 – COVID cases mount at Alberta food processors
12 May 2020 – Dr. Susan Kline (U Minnesota) tests drug cocktails against COVID
12 May 2020 – U Saskatchewan plans all-remote fall semester
12 May 2020 – Air Guard flyovers of Minnesota
12 May 2020 – Zyus Life Sciences of Saskatoon wants to print vaccine with plants
12 May 2020 – Rural SK lacks the broadband capacity for everyday needs
12 May 2020 – “MN Masks On” volunteers make masks for hospital visitors
13 May 2020 – Saskatchewan out 2.2 M$ for COVID tests now banned by Health Canada
13 May 2020 – Sask journo in UK takes a trial dose of U Oxford ChAdOx vaccine
14 May 2020 – Mayo and 5000 tests: Convalescent plasma doesn’t hurt COVID patients

Coronavirus information

This is a list of official websites with information on COVID-19 coronavirus in the region.

If you need general information not specific to your area, Ars Technica has published an excellent series.

Continue reading “Coronavirus information”

CNSA flight tests two next-gen spacecraft this week

A Long March 5B rocket carries the Next Generation Crew Vehicle from Wenchang, 5 May 2020. (Weibo)

Orbital news
20200505 1000 UT – Wenchang CZ-5B NextGen Crew Test Flight
20200507 – CNSA ‘umbrella’ cargo reentry test failed; crew capsule healthy

Regional news
04 May 2020 – Laser strikes Saskatoon plane
04 May 2020 – WY firm Frontier Astronautics gets NASA funds for hybrid rocket pump
07 May 2020 – U Colorado-Boulder gets funds for GLEE LunaSat

Further news
01 May 2020 – Telesat LEO schedule slips, satellite supplier not even settled
01 May 2020 – Astronauts ready to fly Crew Dragon DM-2
03 May 2020 – Crew Dragon succeeds at final parachute test
05 May 2020 – Tom Cruise, SpaceX plan a film on the ISS
05 May 2020 – Virgin Galactic deal will study suborbital passenger flights
05 May 2020 – NASA, Space Force to take asteroid defence measures
06 May 2020 – Failed LAN firewall on ISS replaced
06 May 2020 – Starship SN4 fires engine at Boca China test stand

COVID-19 matters
01 May 2020 – Outbreak at Calgary Amazon warehouse
01 May 2020 – Manitoba Museum lays off 40, closes
01 May 2020 – NIH slashes COVID research funding
02 May 2020 – U Minnesota epidemiologist says pandemic COVID may last 2 years
04 May 2020 – Canadian provinces relax COVID restrictions
04 May 2020 – Meat plants partially reopen
04 May 2020 – ND fab plants enhance COVID measures after LM outbreak
04 May 2020 – U Manitoba researcher talks hospital website privacy risks
05 May 2020 – Alberta meat inspectors demand another plant close
05 May 2020 – U Manitoba med student makes soft, reusable silicone facemasks
06 May 2020 – Massive compost effort in Worthington as food waste piles up
06 May 2020 – North Dakota SU students process COVID tests
06 May 2020 – Outbreak at Saskatoon milk plant
06 May 2020 – Outbreak at Calgary grocery store
07 May 2020 – COVID closes La Loche SK grocer
07 May 2020 – Buried CDC reopen guide sees light of day

Allegiant plans 2020 summer flight season

Allegiant Air has issued a press release for its 2020 summer routes. Several Midwest cities are getting extra destinations, specifically:

Nashville to Fargo, Sioux Falls, Bozeman, and Peoria;
Boston and Los Angeles to Grand Rapids;
Chicago-Midway and Memphis to Des Moines;
Austin to Des Moines and Grand Rapids; and
St. Louis-MidAmerica to Savannah.

The seasonal flights start between mid-May and early June and will run through the summer.

Turtles on the Moon

Amid great levity, Astronaut Group 22, known as “The Turtles”, gathered on stage at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas to celebrate their graduation from training.

The class, which included two Albertans – Jenni Sidey-Gibbons and Josh Kutryk, two Coloradans – Matthew Dominick and Jessica Watkins, and one Iowan – Raja Chari, swapped stories about their two years together as each of them took to the stage for their hard-earned silver astronaut pins.

Being an astronaut is still a rare opportunity – the 14 members of the 2017 class were selected from 18,300 applications. Even then, it’s not for everyone: Alaska’s Robb Kulin left training in 2018 (and is now at Firefly Aerospace).

Apart from regular stints on the International Space Station, many of the graduates will serve on the Artemis program. Its goal of a lunar 2024 is a mighty and perhaps even improbable proposition, but with the Moon literally centre stage at the event, the landing is clearly just a matter of time, not will.

Starlink’s third launch tops the week

Orbital News
06 Jan 2020 – SOLAR (ISS) instruments removed, will deorbit with Cygnus NG-12
07 Jan 2020 0219 UT – Canaveral F9 Starlink-3
07 Jan 2020 1540 UT – SpaceX Dragon CRS-19 splashdown
07 Jan 2020 1513 UT – Xichang CZ-3B TJSW-5

Regional News
03 Jan 2020 – Delta employees take toxic uniforms case to Wisconsin court
04 Jan 2020 – Cedar Rapids pilots plan circumnavigation to fight polio
06 Jan 2020 ~ Saskatoon museum adds Avro Arrow design documents to exhibit
07 Jan 2020 – Jordan Bartlett (U Minnesota-Twin Cities) featured by MN Space Grant
07 Jan 2020 – Lethbridge races to preserve Fokker F28 used by Time Air
08 Jan 2020 – PS752 crashes after takeoff, 63 Canadians killed
08 Jan 2020 – Pilots in Casper say VOR shutdowns are risky
09 Jan 2020 – Wisconsin-designed DarkAero 1 kitplane featured by Flying

Further News
04 Jan 2020 – AAS: Cubesats proven useful in astrophysics
05 Jan 2020 – AAS: Astronomers must ask to use JWST before 1 May 2020
07 Jan 2020 – NASA and Boeing will study Starliner failure, no extra test planned
08 Jan 2020 – ESA, KTH announce improved 30 GHz waveguide antenna
08 Jan 2020 – SLS rocket rolls out of Michoud, will move to Stennis for tests
08 Jan 2020 – SpaceX wants to help astronomers, but low-vis coating still in tests
08 Jan 2020 – Virgin Galactic second hull can now stand on its own wheels

KZ-1A flew twice in less than a week

A KZ-1A rocket lifts off from Jiuquan with two commsats from German company KLEO Connect, 1000 UT 17 Nov 2019. (Weibo)

Orbital News
17 Nov 2019 ~1000 UT – KZ-1A KL-Alpha x2

Regional News
Recently – Lance Nichols (Montana State University) featured by Montana Space Grant
11 Nov 2019 – Mary Claire Mancl (University of Wisconsin-Madison) featured by Wisconsin Space Grant
13 Nov 2019 – Kelsey Mueller (Iowa State University) named Iowa EPSCoR coordinator
15 Nov 2019 – Jack Stutler (University of Minnesota-Twin Cities) featured by Minnesota Space Grant
15 Nov 2019 – Omaha NOAA WSR-88D Weather Radar refurbished
18 Nov 2019 – Nicholas Hennigan (Milwaukee School of Engineering) featured by Wisconsin Space Grant
19 Nov 2019 – South Dakota Space Grant awardee Brad Goff (Lake Area Technical Institute) featured by KELO-TV
21 Nov 2019 – Skies features Natalie Esser, Albertan kit-plane builder and sport-flyer

Further News
15 Nov 2019 – Structural failure caused SARGE crash
19 Nov 2019 – SNC fêtes ‘Shooting Star’ external cargo module for Dream Chaser
20 Nov 2019 2126 UT – Starship Mk 1 suffers BLEVE during Liquid Nitrogen fill, SpaceX will move on to Mk 3 model

Late News
11 Nov 2019 1456 UT – CCAFS F9 Starlink
13 Nov 2019 0105 UT – Hayabusa2 departs from asteroid Ryugu
13 Nov 2019 0340 UT – Jiuquan KZ-1A Jilin-1 Gaofen-02A
13 Nov 2019 0635 UT – Taiyuan CZ-6 Ningxia-1 x5

Minnesota Space Grant hosts second Short Talks event

Minnesota Space Grant held another Short Talks event on 14 November 2019. The online videoconference provided a glimpse into the diverse expertise at midwest universities supported by NASA Space Grant on topics of interest. The talks will eventually be posted on MnSGC’s YouTube channel.

The flipped classroom is just one of several modern teaching methods used for projects at Iowa State Aerospace Engineering (Iowa State University/Matthew Nelson)

Dr. Matthew Nelson (Iowa State) presented information about the M:2:I “Make to Innovate” initiative at Iowa State University’s Department of Aerospace Engineering.

The academic program recasts student aerospace projects as the work products of a technical elective, offered as a hands-on “flipped classroom” experience, with a common project management approach and support from Faculty and Industry experts.

What will lunar communications look like in a decade? One option is satellite swarms at Earth-Moon L1 and L2 – which opens up problems that are tricky to model and challenging to execute. (Missouri S&T/Henry Pernicka)

Dr. Henry Pernicka (Ohio Northern University) is studying how to corral swarms of small satellites when they’re tossed into a halo orbits at Earth-Moon L1 and L2.

Swarms solve some of the reliability problems always feared in solo spacecraft in “deep space” that can’t easily be replaced. But they’re also difficult to fly in formation near the Lagrange points, where even slight differences in trajectory can quickly turn a tight formation into an M. C. Escher painting.

750m resolution photometric data shows light pollution in the upper midwest, 2019. (Suomi NPP/Ohio Northern University/Bryan Boulanger)

Dr. Bryan Boulanger (Ohio Northern University) is a Civil Engineer active in the International Dark Sky Association, who shared developments in floodlight design and photometry, key parts of the battle to curb light pollution and return stars to the night sky.

The talk went beyond the familiar photos of Earth at night – one striking slide showed hard data taken at 750 meter resolution by the VIIRS instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite, showing the excessive light generation in places like Minneapolis-St. Paul and the industrialized portions of western North Dakota. The hard photometric numbers show just how much the problem has worsened – and where.