[Space] 2020.08.01

Challenges | Campaigns
NASA is seeking new designs for toilets that work both in microgravity and lunar gravity. Submissions are due 5pm ET on August 17, 2020. First place wins $20,000. [Forward]
Source: Eau de Space
Eau de Space wants to release a fragrance based on what Outer Space actually smells like. $454,213 has been raised. The Kickstarter deadline is August 17, 2020. [Forward]
The BIG Idea Challenge has university students designing, building, and testing novel dust mitigation technologies for lunar applications. $180,000 prize. Notice of Intent due Sept. 25, proposals Dec. 13. [Forward]
NASA's WISE mission is surveying the whole sky at infrared wavelengths. At Disk Detective, you'll examine data from WISE and other surveys to search for the birthplaces of planets. [Forward]
Write or draw your vision of why you think Earth needs Space on a postcard and have it launched into space and back on a Blue Origin New Shepard rocket. [Forward]
This iPad game feeds into an open source deep convolutional neural network (CNN) that leverages a NASA supercomputer to classify/assess the health of Earth’s coral reefs. [Forward]
This challenge seeks solutions to distribute, store, and manage power in space. It will consist of two phases, lasting three years. It will launch no earlier than September 25, 2020. [Forward]
Space News provides ongoing coverage and daily updates of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the global space industry, including a list of all delayed or canceled space events. [Forward]
Conference organizers have announced that the 34th Annual Small Satellite Conference, scheduled for August 1-6 in Logan, Utah, will be held “in a virtual format with no on-site presence.” [Forward]
In this livestreamed talk, astrophysicist Katie Mack guides participants through major concepts in quantum mechanics, cosmology, string theory, and more. Starts 1:30 pm EDT August 12, 2020. Tickets are £10-15. [Forward]
Astrobiologist Sarah Stewart Johnson traces our obsession with the red planet and her quest to discover life in the universe. Online talk is 1:30 pm EDT August 13, 2020 (£5). [Forward]
Michael (Fitzer) Fitzgerald, ISEC Chief Architect, discusses space elevator development, from concept to full operation. The talk is 10:00 am EDT August 28, 2020. [Forward]
The summit is taking place August 31 to September 1, 2020 at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C. Registration will open soon. [Forward]
This all-virtual hackathon is October 2-4, 2020. Participant registration will open mid-August. Participants can select a local virtual event, or register for the Universal Event. Register for additional event information. [Forward]
In light of the challenging COVID-19 pandemic, this virtual congress about the latest developments in space will be free of charge for the entire community. Event is October 12-14, 2020. [Forward]
Participate with people from around the world in debates, panel discussions, and presentations. Join in virtually October 15-18, 2020. [Forward]
Join TechCrunch's editors in Los Angeles on December 17 for a day of fireside chats and panel discussion with the top investors, founders, and technologists forging the future of space. [Forward]
// FYI
Space Ecosystem | Startups | Deals
Astra says this launch is the beginning of a three-launch campaign. They do not expect this one to be a success. The launch window extends August 2 - August 7, 2020. [Forward]
Pioneer Astronautics develops technologies to make human life sustainable in outer space. It was a cash and stock transaction, and Voyager’s second acquisition after space robotics company Altius Space Machines. [Forward]
Orbite Corp., a Seattle startup, plans to establish a Spaceflight Gateway and Astronaut Training Complex in 2023 offering luxury accommodations, dining, and recreation for commercial astronauts, friends, and families. [Forward]
Source: JPL/NASA
Exotrail intends to scale its smallsat propulsion and software products, with the long-term goal of satellite servicing. They plan to expand manufacturing capacity and continue work on their propulsion system. [Forward]
Space Exploration | Development
The Atlas V 541 rocket took off carrying the Perseverance rover and the Ingenuity Mars helicopter at 7:50 am July 30, 2020. Mars arrival expected on February 18, 2021. [Forward]
Virgin Galactic’s suborbital ride: $250,000. Blue Origin’s vertical suborbital ride: $250,000-$300,000. NASA’s ISS Getaway: $35,000/night, total cost: ~$50 million. SpaceX’s ‘Back to the Moon’: "not a trivial amount". [Forward]
Join a virtual walkthrough of SpaceShipTwo Unity's cabin, curated by Virgin Galactic’s design team. The interior views begin at 21:40. [Forward]
Space Perspective wants to offer passenger rides to the stratosphere, on a balloon. Spaceship Neptune is a balloon-borne pressurized capsule filled with buoyant hydrogen. Tickets expected to be $125,000. [Forward]
The first flight of SN5 is expected to be a 150-meter (492 foot) "hop.” Before that, crews need to complete a successful static fire of the prototype's raptor engine. [Forward]
In an ambitious move, China is sending a rocket to Mars carrying an orbiter, a lander, and a rover, potentially launching a new space race with the U.S. [Forward]
Astronomy | Astrophysics | Cosmology
With over two decades of data, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey's most detailed map ever made indicates a Universe comprised of 70% dark energy and 25% dark matter. [Forward]
Source: NASA
This time-lapse photography taken July 5th, 2020 from the International Space Station has been repaired, processed, and converted to real time video. Observe the comet NEOWISE beginning at 3:20. [Forward]
Gravitons are hypothetical elementary particles thought impossible to observe in nature. Recent publications suggest gravitons may create observable “noise” in gravitational wave detectors like LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory. [Forward]