October 8, 2017


Media Accreditation Opens for Launch of NOAA’s JPSS-1 Satellite





Article from the website


The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1), the first in a new series of four highly advanced National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) polar-orbiting satellites, which will help increase weather forecast accuracy from three to seven days out, is scheduled to launch on Friday, Nov. 10 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.


Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex 2W is targeted for 1:47 a.m. PST (4:47 a.m. EST) at the opening of a 65-second launch window. JPSS, a collaborative effort between NOAA and NASA, represents significant technological and scientific advancements in observations used for severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring.


Media accreditation for U.S. citizens or permanent resident card holders is open through noon Wednesday, Nov. 1. Please provide full name, date of birth, and driver’s license or identification card number and state from which it was issued. The deadline for accreditation of international news media is at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 11. Please provide full name, date of birth, and passport number and country from which it was issued.


Media interested in attending launch need to register by emailing Michael Stonecypher, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs Officer, at


JPSS satellites circle Earth from pole-to-pole and cross the equator 14 times daily providing full global coverage twice a day. Polar satellites are considered the backbone of the global observing system.


NOAA’s National Weather Service uses JPSS data as critical input for numerical forecast models, providing the basis for mid-range forecasts. These forecasts enable emergency managers to make timely decisions to protect American lives and property, including early warnings and evacuations.


Mars Study Yields Clues to Possible Cradle of Life




This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaisance Orbiter shows a portion of the Eridania region of southern Mars with fractured, dismembered blocks of deep-basin deposits that have been surrounded and partially buried by younger volcanic deposits.


Article from the website


The discovery of evidence for ancient sea-floor hydrothermal deposits on Mars identifies an area on the planet that may offer clues about the origin of life on Earth.


A recent international report examines observations by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) of massive deposits in a basin on southern Mars. The authors interpret the data as evidence that these deposits were formed by heated water from a volcanically active part of the planet's crust entering the bottom of a large sea long ago.


"Even if we never find evidence that there's been life on Mars, this site can tell us about the type of environment where life may have begun on Earth," said Paul Niles of NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston. "Volcanic activity combined with standing water provided conditions that were likely similar to conditions that existed on Earth at about the same time -- when early life was evolving here."


Mars today has neither standing water nor volcanic activity. Researchers estimate an age of about 3.7 billion years for the Martian deposits attributed to seafloor hydrothermal activity. Undersea hydrothermal conditions on Earth at about that same time are a strong candidate for where and when life on Earth began. Earth still has such conditions, where many forms of life thrive on chemical energy extracted from rocks, without sunlight. But due to Earth's active crust, our planet holds little direct geological evidence preserved from the time when life began. The possibility of undersea hydrothermal activity inside icy moons such as Europa at Jupiter and Enceladus at Saturn feeds interest in them as destinations in the quest to find extraterrestrial life.


Observations by MRO's Compact Reconnaissance Spectrometer for Mars (CRISM) provided the data for identifying minerals in massive deposits within Mars' Eridania basin, which lies in a region with some of the Red Planet's most ancient exposed crust.


"This site gives us a compelling story for a deep, long-lived sea and a deep-sea hydrothermal environment," Niles said. "It is evocative of the deep-sea hydrothermal environments on Earth, similar to environments where life might be found on other worlds -- life that doesn't need a nice atmosphere or temperate surface, but just rocks, heat and water."


Niles co-authored the recent report in the journal Nature Communications with lead author Joseph Michalski, who began the analysis while at the Natural History Museum, London, andco-authors at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Arizona, and the Natural History Museum.


The researchers estimate the ancient Eridania sea held about 50,000 cubic miles (210,000 cubic kilometers) of water. That is as much as all other lakes and seas on ancient Mars combined and about nine times more than the combined volume of all of North America's Great Lakes. The mix of minerals identified from the spectrometer data, including serpentine, talc and carbonate, and the shape and texture of the thick bedrock layers, led to identifying possible seafloor hydrothermal deposits. The area has lava flows that post-date the disappearance of the sea. The researchers cite these as evidence that this is an area of Mars' crust with a volcanic susceptibility that also could have produced effects earlier, when the sea was present.


The new work adds to the diversity of types of wet environments for which evidence exists on Mars, including rivers, lakes, deltas, seas, hot springs, groundwater, and volcanic eruptions beneath ice.


"Ancient, deep-water hydrothermal deposits in Eridania basin represent a new category of astrobiological target on Mars," the report states. It also says, "Eridania seafloor deposits are not only of interest for Mars exploration, they represent a window into early Earth." That is because the earliest evidence of life on Earth comes from seafloor deposits of similar origin and age, but the geological record of those early-Earth environments is poorly preserved.


The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, Laurel, Maryland, built and operates CRISM, one of six instruments with which MRO has been examining Mars since 2006. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages the project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate in Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver built the orbiter and supports its operations.





Article from the website


“We’re in the master suite, of course,” said Casey, sporting a nautical theme with navy shorts, a light blue button up, and a cap with his silver hair peeking out from under the brim, as he pointed to the couches, small end tables, and picture frames of the flying boat dubbed American Clipper. Crew quarters are in the back, and there’s also sleeping space available in the bow.


Affordable Rates for Pilots | No Aviation Exclusion Camping on Candlewood Lake, Connecticut, is one of Erskine’s favorite places to camp out. At night, when the lakes are calm without any wake from boats passing by, Erskine said she can forget that she’s sleeping on a lake until she wakes up and looks out the next morning.


They had a prime view waking up Oct. 7 from their parking spot (on pavement) at the AOPA Fly-In at Groton, Connecticut, presented by Columbia Aircraft Sales. The Douglas C-47 Skytrain Placid Lassie to the Albatross’s right, a Super Cub on amphibious floats to its left, and a row of display aircraft lined up in a long line in front of it, ending with a Connecticut Air National Guard C-130 and Blackhawk.


A total of 6,364 attended during the two-day event and 480 aircraft flew in. Aviation enthusiasts taking in the Barnstormers Party on a balmy New England evening Friday dined under the stars, with the Albatross and amphibious Super Cub lit up, and live musical entertainment. Hundreds of the attendees watched a trailer of an upcoming film about American Clipper during the Saturday morning pancake breakfast and toured inside the amphib; Casey said he plans to retire American Clipper at the end of the year once the flying boat film is complete.


Casey has instructed in Albatross aircraft for 23 years, helping about 40 people earn their type rating. He purchased American Clipper in 1994 and spent $1.2 million restoring it to flying condition and having it painted in Pan American Clipper livery. He flies the American Clipper about 15 hours a year because it burns 100 gallons of fuel per hour and requires a lot of maintenance. “I know this airplane well and I love these airplanes, but they’re not for sissies,” said Casey.


The flying boats were designed to be open ocean search-and-rescue aircraft in the late 1940s, but they were soon replaced by helicopters, he said, adding, “It’s a beautiful piece of history.”


Patrick Bebe and his son Elliott drove in from Mystic, Connecticut, to take in the airport event and climbed inside the flying boat. “They have really comfy seating,” the young redhead said before turning his attention to the C-47.


The aircraft on display at the Groton Fly-In sparked many memories for John Behene of Connecticut. A Cessna 170 restored to pristine condition reminded him of a flight in a 170 when he was about 10 years old. The Skytrain brought back memories of his college days in the ROTC when he once got to take the controls of the C-47 in the air, and the C-130 made him recall thoughts about 15 jumps that he made from the model as a Navy Seal.


Behene’s eyes sparkled as he recalled those flights, saying, “It’s fun to see the C-130” and the rest of the aircraft on display.


In addition to the unique aircraft on display at the Groton Fly-In, attendees participated in safety seminars, hands-on workshops, the exhibit hall, and a Pilot Town Hall with AOPA President Mark Baker during which they learned about the association’s latest advocacy efforts against ATC privatization and egregious fixed-base operator pricing. Those who participated in the hands-on workshops on Friday learned about aircraft maintenance, instrument proficiency, flying with companions, and water survival—even getting a chance to experience the Survival Systems USA dunk tank first hand.


AOPA members and aviation enthusiasts have one more chance to take in the fun of an AOPA Fly-In coming up Oct. 27 and 28 when the association heads to Tampa, Florida. The fly-in, presented by Peter O. Knight Airport, will feature dozens of aircraft, hours of educational seminars, a packed exhibit hall, and unique excursions and fly-outs to MacDill Air Force Base, Piper Aircraft’s factory, and the Bahamas.

Copyright 2012-Delaware Wing Civil Air Patrol