Capstone Satellite orbiting the moon

CU Boulder leading $5 million multi-university project to advance the space economy

Oct. 3, 2023

The space economy is booming, and the University of Colorado Boulder is at the forefront of a major federal funding initiative aimed at expanding science and engineering knowledge and workforce development for projects centered on operations Beyond Geostationary Orbit (xGEO) and Space Domain Awareness (SDA). Leading this endeavor is Marcus...

Janus renderings

Talking the Janus asteroid mission with

Jan. 27, 2023

Dan Scheeres was interviewed by on progress and setbacks with the Janus asteroid probe mission. Scheeres, a distinguished professor in the Ann and H.J. Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, is the the principal investigator for the project, which was planned to launch two probes on asteroid rendezvous missions...

The waning gibbous Moon is pictured above the Earth's horizon as the International Space Station above the Atlantic Ocean.

CU Boulder lands $5.5 million Air Force project to advance orbital and AI research

Aug. 23, 2022

A team of University of Colorado Boulder researchers is embarking on a major research project that will advance our understanding of orbital mechanics and monitoring, artificial intelligence, and hypersonics. Led by Marcus Holzinger, an...

Artist's depiction of the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft.

Scientists peer inside an asteroid

Oct. 9, 2020

New findings from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission suggest that the interior of the asteroid Bennu could be weaker and less dense than its outer layers—like a crème-filled chocolate egg flying though space. The results appear in a study published today in the journal Science Advances and led by the University of...

Artist's depiction of the twin Janus spacecraft. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

Where no spacecraft has gone before: A close encounter with binary asteroids

Sept. 10, 2020

CU Boulder and Lockheed Martin will lead a new space mission to capture the first-ever closeup look at a mysterious class of solar system objects: binary asteroids. These bodies are pairs of asteroids that orbit around each other in space, much like the Earth and moon. In a project review...

OSIRIS-REx observed small bits of material leaping off the surface of the asteroid Bennu on Jan. 19, 2019. (Credit: NASA/Goddard/University of Arizona/Lockheed Martin)

How small particles could reshape Bennu and other asteroids

Sept. 9, 2020

In January 2019, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft was orbiting the asteroid Bennu when the spacecraft’s cameras caught something unexpected: Thousands of tiny bits of material, some just the size of marbles, began to bounce off the surface of the asteroid—like a game of ping-pong in space. Since then, many more such...

OSIRIS-REx rendering

Taking the measure of an asteroid

Oct. 28, 2019

Researchers at CU Boulder have gotten front-row seats to one of the closest encounters with an asteroid in history. On Dec. 4, 2018, NASA’s Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft zipped to within 4.5 miles of the asteroid Bennu. This space rock has an orbit that carries...

Asteroid imager rendering

CU Professor Partners With Lockheed Martin To Study Binary Asteroids

July 5, 2019

Dr. Dan Scheeres was in Japan waiting for an important announcement that took an extra day to come. He found out his plan to study binary asteroids was allowed to proceed by NASA. “We want to send two small spacecraft so we can also see what the temperature of the...

Graphic of the Janus spacecraft mapping a binary asteroid

Double take: Satellites to get an eye on asteroid pairs

June 21, 2019

In just three years, a new space mission led by CU Boulder could examine some of the solar system’s most dynamic duos: binary asteroids. NASA announced this week that the Janus: Reconnaissance Missions to Binary Asteroids mission had been selected as a finalist in the space agency’s new small satellite...


Podcast: Orbiting the tiny asteroid Bennu with OSIRIS-REx

Feb. 18, 2019

The Space Shot podcast interviews Distinguished Professor Dan Scheeres about the OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission. Scheeres is leading radio science on the mission. OSIRIS-REx launched in September 2016 and has traveled more than one billion miles since, looping around the sun and now in orbit around Bennu. Listen on...