CONTINUUM FLUX [Space] 2020.02.01

An Introduction to the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) Mission (NASA Goddard) - 6.5 meter diameter mirror is largest ever flown in space (Hubble is 2.4 meters). Scheduled for March 2021 launch, JWST will observe in the infrared and detect oxygen on exoplanets.

Space Ecosystem | Startups | Deals
Space companies raised a record $5.8 billion in private investments in 2019 (CNBC) – Space ventures received ~$26 billion since 2009. Non-U.S. funding doubled in 2019, led by China making up 34%. Space Angels CEO Chad Anderson expects pure-play space company IPOs in 2020.

Start-ups join Google, SpaceX and OneWeb to bring new technologies to space (CNBC) – Space exploration is no longer a closed circle, with hundreds of start-ups flocking to the space sector. They bring sophisticated technologies with them, including artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

Virgin Galactic is seeing strong demand for tourist flights to space (CNBC) – The company will re-open ticket sales of $250,000 per person or more as the company edges closer to its goal of beginning commercial flights this year.

NASA Selects First Commercial Destination Module for International Space Station (NASA) – Axiom Space of Houston will provide at least one habitable commercial module to be attached to the International Space Station as the agency continues efforts to commercialize low-Earth orbit.

Turning Moon Water Into Rocket Fuel: The moon’s water could serve as a resource for deep space exploration (Seeker) – Companies big and small, including Space X, Blue Origin, Honeybee Robotics, and Lunar Outpost, are paving the way to enable a sustainable presence in space.

Space Exploration 
House legislators want to hand NASA’s human spaceflight program over to Boeing (Ars Technica) – New bipartisan legislation rejects the Artemis Program put forth by the Trump White House. Instead, the House advocates for a "flags-and-footprints" strategy, which aims to depart for Mars by 2033.

NASA's Curiosity rover suffers temporary glitch on Mars, freezes up (CNET) – Launched in 2011, Curiosity is NASA’s only working rover at the moment. NASA is planning to launch Mars 2020 this July, but intends to keep Curiosity running.

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope Produces Spectacular New Image Of Tarantula Nebula (Forbes) – Now at the end of its life, the Spitzer Space Telescope produced a high resolution picture showing the Tarantula Nebula in two wavelengths of infrared light.

Astronomy | Astrophysics | Cosmology
How ‘spooky’ is quantum physics? The answer could be incalculable (Nature) – It remains unclear how much quantum entanglement nature allows between distant objects. Researchers say they have solved a theoretical problem showing that the answer in principle may be unknowable.

Astronomers discover four more “bizarre” objects at the center of the Milky Way (Cosmos) – Objects that look like gas but behave like stars were found close to supermassive black hole Sagittarius A*. The discovery expands a new class—called G objects—from two to six.

NSF’s newest solar telescope produces first images (National Science Foundation) – The Inouye Solar Telescope, located on Haleakala, Hawai'i, revealed unprecedented detail of the sun’s surface. It will leap forward our understanding of the sun and its impact on our planet.

Interesting Finds
Former NASA astronaut is using a Super Bowl commercial to encourage more women in space (CNBC) – Nicole Stott sees value in diversifying the STEM industry. The female-led commercial using the tagline #MakeSpaceForWomen aims to get more women interested in STEM.

Space Jobs
Build Reliability Engineer (SpaceX) – Evaluate performance data and drive manufacturing improvements. Requires a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering or related, and willingness to work extended hours. 7 openings in Hawthorne, CA.

Sr. Structural Design Engineer (The Spaceship Company, affiliate of Virgin Galactic) – Develop airframe structural components. BS or equivalent in aerospace or related, 4-8 years experience with emphasis on airframe design. 2 openings in Mojave, CA.

OneWeb #2 (Venture Beat) – Second launch comprising 34 satellites of OneWeb's planned high-speed internet constellation. Scheduled for a February 6 launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome.

ULA Atlas V Solar Orbiter (Kennedy Space Center) – The sun-observing probe, a joint mission by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), is scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral on February 9 to study heliospheric physics.

International Space Development Conference (ISDC) 2020: Continuing the Journey (National Space Society) – ISDC 2020 to be held at the Embassy Suites in Dallas on May 28–31. The focus is on getting humans back to the Moon, then Mars.

Techstars Allied Space Accelerator (Techstars) – The program will run in partnership with the U.S. Air Force and Norwegian Space Agency for 13 weeks from June to September 2020. Currently accepting applications through March 1, 2020.

Camp Kennedy Space Center (Kennedy Space Center) – Weeklong NASA-based day camp for students aged 7 through 16. Kids are exposed to hands-on STEM challenges, labs and astronaut-training simulations. ($350; Monday-Friday sessions from June 1 to August 7)