[Space] 2021.02.15

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]
The Orbital Assembly Corporation plans to build a habitable "space hotel" in low-Earth orbit that spins fast enough to generate artificial gravity. OAC is open for investors until April 1. [Forward]
XPRIZE Carbon Removal is aimed at tackling climate change. Teams will create and demonstrate solutions that can pull carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere or oceans. Registration is April 22. [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 thousands of 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]
Photo Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Live coverage and landing commentary will begin Feb. 18 at 2:15 p.m. EST on NASA’s website, YouTube page, and more. Join the conversation on social media using #CountdownToMars. [Forward]
Hear from NASA and three members of the Mars 2020 team about plans for returning a Mars sample to Earth, challenges they've overcome, and science expectations for the mission. [Forward]
Join NASA to participate online as the Perseverance Rover lands on Mars. Registration provides communications about virtual participation opportunities and schedule changes. [Forward]
The free online discussion explores a range of problems and interconnected issues (technology, health, food, planetary ethics, etc.) involved in maintaining our humanity as civilization transitions into deep space. [Forward]
The free webinar discusses the impact of nutrition on human space exploration, tackling topics like off-world plant production, nutritional science for astronaut health, and the latest research projects and opportunities. [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
SpaceX’s public beta test of its Starlink satellite internet service has widened. Preorders are refundable but don’t guarantee service. Musk says Starlink will IPO once they can predict cash flow. [Forward]
Firefly Aerospace won’t be performing the launch itself, but will be providing the spacecraft and Blue Ghost lander for the 2023 mission. It will be Blue Ghost’s maiden lunar voyage. [Forward]
Astra is going public on the Nasdaq via a merger with a SPAC called Holicity. The arrangement sets a pro forma enterprise valuation of Astra at around $2.1 billion. [Forward]
Through Fast Pixel Network, ASI will establish a data transport network in low-Earth orbit to ingest data from geospatial intelligence satellites and deliver it to military, intelligence, and commercial customers. [Forward]
Space Exploration | Development
Photo Credit: NASA
A SpaceX Falcon Heavy will launch NASA’s first two lunar Gateway elements, the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) and Habitation and Logistics Outpost (HALO), no earlier than May 2024. [Forward]
The spacecraft successfully entered Mars' orbit on Feb. 9, 2021. This is the first Mars mission by an Arab nation and has been met with widespread celebration in UAE. [Forward]
The photo was taken approximately 1.4 million miles away and shows the Schiaparelli crater and the Valles Marineris. Tianwen-1 holds a rover set to land on Mars in May. [Forward]
SN9 demonstrated good control over the majority of the flight, but one of the engines did not relight, which caused SN9 to crash into the ground at about 200km/hour. [Forward]
The Inspiration4 may be the first civilian space travel mission in partnership with SpaceX. If all goes according to plan, the world's first four civilian astronauts will launch in 2021. [Forward]
Bezos wants to go to space to protect Earth because humanity’s energy usage is unsustainable. He hopes Blue Origin will inspire future generations to build a real space industry. [Forward]
Astronomy | Astrophysics | Cosmology
A human could theoretically enter a supermassive and isolated black hole, but they could not send the findings beyond the event horizon, or ever return to Earth themselves. [Forward]