Category:2021

Frank Eparvier named new LASP lead scientist

Jun 21, 2022

LASP, the largest space science research institute at the University of Colorado Boulder, has appointed Frank Eparvier as its new associate director for science. Eparvier, an expert in solar sciences with an emphasis on the Sun’s energy output, has worked as a researcher at LASP for more than 25 years.

NASA robotic mission to explore the Moon’s mysterious Gruithuisen Domes

Jun 15, 2022

ASA has selected a new science mission that will land a spacecraft on a part of the Moon that’s never before been visited: the Gruithuisen Domes. Scientists, mission operators, and data analysts from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder will play an important role in this mission.

LASP-led mission to continue crucial climate record passes major milestone

May 12, 2022

Libera, a new NASA mission to measure Earth’s outgoing radiative energy, has passed a major milestone. It has successfully completed Key Decision Point C, one of several links in the chain of go/no go decisions that the space agency makes for every major mission.

CU Boulder receives NASA grant to develop new technology to monitor space weather effects

May 09, 2022

LASP and Aerospace Engineering researchers will use the funds to advance their concept of a futuristic swarm of satellites to shed new light on how the solar wind affects Earth’s upper atmosphere. A team from the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder has been awarded a prestigious research grant to study a futuristic space-technology concept. Marcin… Read more »

LASP helps host U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology members

May 04, 2022

This week the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado (CU) Boulder welcomed members of the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology along with Colorado’s congressional delegation to our institute. Their visit showcased LASP’s transformational research and innovative engineering solutions resulting from federal partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF,… Read more »

LASP instrument selected for the next NASA ‘Living With a Star’ mission

Apr 27, 2022

The spacecraft constellation will make the first global measurements of the coupling between the magnetosphere and the Earth’s upper atmosphere. The results will help detect and predict extreme conditions in space that can impact society and future exploration. An instrument to be jointly designed and built at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) and… Read more »

10 ways LASP is a leader in Earth and climate science

Apr 22, 2022

The Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) is renowned for being the world’s only academic research institute to explore every planet in our solar system (and beyond). But the planet that we study most closely is actually our home planet! About one-third of LASP’s current $1 billion research portfolio relates to studying Earth’s atmosphere… Read more »

LASP’s Hybrid Solar Reference Spectrum named new international standard for climate research

Apr 20, 2022

Earth’s primary source of energy is incoming radiation from our Sun. This “income” side of our planet’s energy budget sets the baseline for determining how quickly Earth is warming. When combined with measurements of the total amount of energy that’s emitted and reflected from our planet back into space, this information allows scientists to calculate… Read more »

CU’s LASP to lead operations for new NASA mission to ‘find asteroids before they find us’

Apr 11, 2022

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California has selected the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) to lead the operations for NEO Surveyor, a space-based telescope that will use infrared bands to detect, track, and characterize Near Earth Objects (NEOs)—asteroids and comets that come within 48 million kilometers (30 million miles) of Earth’s orbit.

A leader in aerospace: CU innovation to be highlighted at the 37th Space Symposium

Apr 04, 2022

Colorado is at the forefront of America’s aerospace industry, and the University of Colorado plays a fundamental role in ensuring the state remains there. Representatives from LASP and other university affiliates are representing CU at the international meeting hosted in Colorado Springs this week.

NASA’s IXPE Sends First Science Image

Feb 14, 2022

In time for Valentine’s Day, NASA’s IXPE (Imaging X-Ray Polarimetry Explorer), which launched Dec. 9, 2021, has sent down its first science image to its mission operations center located at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder.

LASP scientists investigate life in volcanic habitats for clues to habitability on Mars

Jan 28, 2022

A new publication in Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Science led by Justin Wang, a graduate student at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder, illustrates how life finds a way in one of the most hostile habitats on Earth, the hydrothermal crater lake of the Poás volcano in Costa Rica. These conditions are similar to those of Mars’ early history, giving clues to the possibly habitability of the planet.

NASA awards $14 million to CU-LASP for two new CubeSat missions

Dec 14, 2021

Two new CubeSats, to be built by the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder, will provide first-of-their-kind measurements of gravity waves in Earth’s upper atmosphere and explosions in the Sun’s corona.

Mysterious STEVE light emissions emanate from Earth’s magnetosphere

Dec 12, 2021

For years, amateur aurora watchers from Canada have noticed mysterious streaks of pale purple and green light that seemed to dance across the nighttime sky. But it wasn’t until 2016 that they shared their colorful images with scientists, who soon identified the lightshow as a new type of upper-atmosphere phenomenon that was jokingly named STEVE.

Scientists envision what Mars would look like as an exoplanet

Dec 12, 2021

Which planets beyond our solar system are most likely to host life? By extrapolating the current scientific understanding of Mars, a multi-disciplinary team, including researchers from LASP, are helping to identify alien planets that may be habitable.

NASA to fund LASP’s new OWLS instrument

Dec 07, 2021

NASA has funded a new LASP instrument package, the Occultation Wave Limb Sounder (OWLS), which will fly in 2024 on the International Satellite Program in Research and Education (INSPIRESat-3) satellite.

LASP students, staff are ready to operate NASA’s new IXPE mission to study black holes

Dec 06, 2021

After years of preparation, LASP’s mission operations team, comprised of students and professionals, will assume control of NASA’s IXPE mission shortly after it launches from Cape Canaveral on Wednesday December 8th at 11:00pm MST.

Celebrating CU’s Bruce Jakosky and his dedication to the MAVEN mission to Mars

Dec 02, 2021

The word “maven” means an expert or connoisseur, an appellation that also appropriately describes Bruce Jakosky and his knowledge of—and affinity for—the planet Mars. He has dedicated the last 18 years to making the MAVEN mission to Mars a success. This year, Jakosky decided to step down as the mission’s principal investigator to focus more of his time on scientific research.

LASP-led research shows how hypervelocity dust impacts can affect a spacecraft and its operations

Nov 08, 2021

The Parker Solar Probe spacecraft, NASA’s newest and most ambitious effort to study the Sun, has broken a lot of records: it has gotten closer to the Sun than any other spacecraft to date, its instruments have operated at the hottest temperatures, and the probe is the fastest human-made object ever. But those records come at a cost: The spacecraft is moving so fast that running into even a tiny grain of dust can lead to serious damage.

NASA selects UC Berkeley – Compton Spectrometer and Imager for next Explorers Program mission

Oct 18, 2021

NASA announced today that the next mission in its Explorers Program will be a spacecraft that studies cosmic explosions and their elemental debris. The space agency selected the Compton Spectrometer and Imager (COSI), to be built at the University of California Berkeley, in place of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) concept, ESCAPE.

LASP: ‘Boldly going’ where no space science research institute has gone before

Oct 13, 2021

When William Shatner, the actor who played the series’ swashbuckling Captain James T. Kirk, takes his seat on a space tourism flight this week, it will highlight the real-world technological advances that have occurred since 1966. LASP has played a staring role in the development of some of the latest technologies in space research.

United Arab Emirates and LASP announce new mission to explore the asteroid belt

Oct 06, 2021

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Space Agency is embarking on a new space mission in collaboration with the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder. The mission will build on the success of the UAE’s ongoing Emirates Mars Mission to visit a much more ambitious target: the asteroid belt.

LASP researcher and Aerospace Engineering professor Xinlin Li elected a 2021 AGU Fellow

Sep 30, 2021

Xinlin Li, a researcher at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences (AES) at the University of Colorado Boulder, has been elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

CUTE, LASP’s latest cereal box-sized spacecraft, to study ‘Hot Jupiter’ exoplanets

Sep 23, 2021

The CUTE smallsat designed and built by LASP researchers and engineers is slated to launch Sept. 27th as a rideshare on the NASA/USGS Landsat 9 mission.

LASP researchers led by undergraduate discover river of dust around the sun from Parker Solar Probe

Sep 09, 2021

A research team from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics and led by former undergraduate student Anna Pusack discovered a dusty mystery in a newly explored region around Earth’s Sun.

NASA’s MAVEN mission begins a new chapter with a new leader

Sep 09, 2021

Dr. Shannon Curry, a planetary scientist and the Deputy Assistant Director of Planetary Science at the Space Sciences Laboratory (SSL) at the University of California, Berkeley, has assumed leadership of NASA’s MAVEN mission.

LASP rocket flight to sharpen NASA’s study of the Sun

Sep 07, 2021

The SDO/EVE rocket launch window opens at 11:25am MDT on Sept. 9th, 2021 at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. The measurements will provide necessary instrument calibrations for NASA’s study of the Sun.

LASP and CU showcase expertise at the 36th Space Symposium

Aug 27, 2021

This week leaders from the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) and other University of Colorado (CU) affiliates participated in the 36th Space Symposium.

LASP researcher Scott Piggott named AIAA Professional Engineer of the Year

Aug 17, 2021

The Rocky Mountain Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the world’s largest aerospace technical society, has selected researcher Scott Piggott as its 2020–2021 Professional Engineer of the Year.

Dust storms on Mars play a huge role in drying out the planet

Aug 16, 2021

A new Nature Astronomy study led by Michael Chaffin, a researcher at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder, indicates that regional dust storms can play a significant role in drying out the Red Planet.

Branson vs. Bezos: who wins the race depends on your definition of outer space

Jul 19, 2021

The lack of a uniform definition of where space begins has scientific and engineering implications that extend well beyond which billionaire gets there first.

Hope Probe captures new images of Mars with the Emirates Ultraviolet Spectrometer

Mar 09, 2021

The Emirates Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) took its first science images on February 20th, 2021, providing information on the composition of Mars’ upper atmosphere.

Decades of Mars research by CU faculty and students lays the groundwork for human astronauts

Mar 05, 2021

2021 is a good year to be a Mars researcher like Bruce Jakosky at the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at CU Boulder.

Hope Probe returns its first image of Mars capturing Olympus Mons at Sunrise

Feb 14, 2021

The first science image of the Martian planet was taken by the Emirates eXploration Imager (EXI) on February 10, 2021, one day after orbit insertion.

Emirates Mars Mission to Arrive at Mars on Feb. 9th in partnership with LASP at CU Boulder

Feb 04, 2021

After launching 7 months ago, the Emirates Mars Mission, the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation, is scheduled to reach Mars’ orbit on February 9, 2021 at 8:41 a.m. MST. It will spend one Martian Year (about two Earth years) orbiting the red planet gathering crucial science data.