[Space] 2021.02.01

Challenges | Campaigns | Solicitations
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]
Join thousands of volunteers to help identify and classify samples of variable stars using SuperWASP, the world's most successful ground-based survey for transiting exoplanets. [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]
There are nearly 150 different kinds of variable stars, but not every one fits in these categories. Help Citizen ASAS-SN identify the most unusual variable stars in the Milky Way. [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]
Feb. 8-12, interested professionals or curious students can join the free virtual Space Horizons conference for round table discussions with experts to explore current problems and solutions in space sustainability. [Forward]
The virtual conference is designed to expand your knowledge of Mars and space with panels and workshops by experts like Bill Nye. February 13 + 14. Tickets are $30. [Forward]
Join NASA to participate online as the Perseverance Rover lands on Mars. Registration provides communications about virtual participation opportunities and schedule changes. [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
Firefly Aerospace is preparing for the first launch of its Alpha rocket. $125 million would go toward production enhancements, while the other $225 million would support growth initiatives. [Forward]
Photo Credit: Albedo
Albedo plans to establish a satellite constellation offering Earth imagery with a resolution of 10 centimeters per pixel. Their goal is to grow the market by making imagery affordable. [Forward]
Oakman Aerospace is known for digital engineering and spacecraft development. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. It’s the latest sign Redwire is continuing to establish a multifaceted space company. [Forward]
Mikhail Kokorich is resigning in an effort to address U.S. government concerns about foreign control of the company as it merges with Stable Road Acquisition Corporation, a special-purpose acquisition company. [Forward]
The urge for exploration and human curiosity combined with an enthusiasm for space will create a large market of public space investors, fueling an innovative and growing private space industry. [Forward]
Space Exploration | Development
Photo Credit: Trevor Mahlmann
SpaceX’s record breaking rideshare mission was successful. 133 of the satellites were commercial and government spacecraft, 10 were Starlink. SpaceX hasn’t disclosed details about the popularity of its rideshare program. [Forward]
Real estate investor Larry Connor and Canadian investor Mark Pathy will fly on the upcoming AX-1 mission, joining former NASA astronaut Michael López-Alegría and former Israeli fighter pilot Eytan Stibbe. [Forward] 
What to do with the SLS rocket is the biggest space policy question the Biden Administration faces. They’ll likely continue to fund it but attempt to stop funding for enhancements. [Forward]
Virgin Orbit’s novel launch system uses a technique called air launch, where a rocket is launched from under the wing of a jet aircraft, a customized 747-400 dubbed Cosmic Girl[Forward]
Astronomy | Astrophysics | Cosmology
Sulfur dioxide is the third-most-common chemical compound in Venus' atmosphere, and it is not considered a sign of life. It’s more consistent with the planet's atmosphere and punishing chemical environment. [Forward]
The results show that Dark Matter cannot be either 'ultra-light' or 'super-heavy', as some have theorized, unless an undiscovered, mysterious force other than gravity also acts upon it. [Forward]
New research from NASA, the European Space Agency, and the SETI Institute estimates that there could be 300 million habitable exoplanets in our galaxy, raising questions about alien life. [Forward]