[Space] 2021.01.01

Challenges | Campaigns | Solicitations
NASA seeks scalable ideas that can address how to unload payloads from lunar landers on the lunar surface. $25,000 in total prizes. Submit by January 19, 2021. [Forward]
NASA needs the software for small unmanned aircraft systems usable for live flight operations. There are multiple challenges with $30,700 in total prizes. Closes March 1, 2021. [Forward]
New challenge to feed future astronauts aims to create novel food production technologies that require minimal inputs to maximize safe, nutritious, and palatable food outputs for long-duration space missions. [Forward]
NASA seeks solutions for energy distribution, management, or storage developable for space flight and future operation on the lunar surface. Up to $500K in prizes. September 25 - March 25, 2021. [Forward]
NASA seeks innovative approaches for excavating icy regolith and delivering water in extreme lunar conditions to enable human presence on the Moon. $5,000,000 in prizes. Closes June 18, 2021. [Forward]
Vespera is a smart and fully automated combination telescope and camera. Observe the night sky, capture celestial photos, and learn about the Cosmos all in one place. [Forward]
A new population of faint objects is attracting the attention of the scientific community. You can help to make sense of it all, uncovering and classifying thousands of shy galaxies. [Forward]
Join 62,361 volunteers and search for Planet 9 and new brown dwarfs in the backyard of the solar system using data from NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission. [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]
In this free talk, Robert D. Cabana will discuss how the Center is transforming to become the multi-user spaceport of the future as well as his experiences as an astronaut. [Forward]
Dr. Varoujan Gorjian will trace the history of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory from its humble beginnings to becoming NASA’s center for robotic space exploration. Cost: Free [Forward]
In this free talk, Professor Aaron Roodman will describe the Rubin observatory and its camera, which will allow us to “see” the dark portion of our universe in unprecedented detail. [Forward]
Science on Tap is a free, informal, virtual science cafe style discussion series by the SEE Science Center detailing what needs to be done to prepare for future space exploration. [Forward]
Join the free livestream to watch the launch of the Stardust 1.0 prototype sounding rocket, which utilizes bluShift Aerospace’s novel, modular hybrid rocket engine powered by Earth-friendly, bio-derived fuel. [Forward]
This free event marks the 35th anniversary of Space Shuttle Columbia’s launch. Hear what it was like to be on board from Astronaut and 12th NASA Administrator Charles Bolden Jr. [Forward]
ISDC 2021 will highlight the public and private efforts to push the boundaries of space exploration. Registration and pricing are pending. May 27-30, 2021 at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles. [Forward]
ISEC 2021 will focus on the Tether/Climber interface, Environmental Benefits of Space Elevators, and more. May 25-26, 2021 at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles. Price is pending. [Forward]

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// FYI
Space Ecosystem | Startups | Deals
Lockheed will buy Aerojet Rocketdyne at $4.6 billion equity value. The deal adds rocket engine and spacecraft propulsion assets to help the company compete in the growing space industry. [Forward]
Voyager Space Holdings will take a majority stake in XO Markets, the parent company of Nanoracks, but more details about the agreement were not disclosed. [Forward]
ICON is working with NASA on technology that can turn moon dust into a concrete-like material to help build a permanent lunar base by the end of the decade. [Forward]
Startup Nüvü partnered with NASA to bring their camera aboard the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope when it launches in 2025. It will search for exoplanets that can sustain life. [Forward]
After a pandemic delay, Firefly Aerospace is ready for the first launch of their Alpha rocket. If successful, the test flight will be a breakthrough moment for small rockets. [Forward]
Space Exploration | Development
There’s much to look forward to in 2021, including further Mars missions, a spectacular encounter with Jupiter, fleeting flybys of Venus, and a new probe heading for Mercury. [Forward]
Launch Complex 48 (LC-48) is designed with an absence of permanent structures that allows for flexible configuration. It’s made for low-cost launch systems with very fast turnaround cycles. [Forward]
In the coming year, there will be renewed pressure to get acquisition systems in order. Satisfying demands for a revamped space acquisition process will fall on President-elect Joe Biden’s team. [Forward]
Astronomy | Astrophysics | Cosmology
Astronomers with the Breakthrough Listen Project detected radio emissions from the direction of Proxima Centauri in 2019. There are several possible prosaic explanations, but it could mean alien life. [Forward]
Photo Credit: Kavli IPMU
The Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU) is studying black holes that could have formed before stars and galaxies were born. [Forward]
Scientists have spotted a galaxy from the early origins of the universe, and found evidence to support the existence of a 9th planet in our solar system. [Forward]