Monthly Archive for May, 2013

Commercial Crew Program Mixes Innovation, Experience

Comments
Ed Hoffman, NASA's chief Knowledge officer, and Lisa Colloredo, associate program manager for Commercial Crew Program at Kennedy, discuss the program's formation and early results during the first "Masters with Masters" session. (Credit: NASA)

Ed Hoffman, NASA’s chief Knowledge officer, and Lisa Colloredo, associate program manager for Commercial Crew Program at Kennedy, discuss the program’s formation and early results during the first “Masters with Masters” session. (Credit: NASA)

By Steven Siceloff
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

NASA is on the verge of a dramatic and exciting era of spaceflight that will draw on private companies’ innovations in using the agency’s expertise to send astronauts into orbit, managers of the agency’s Commercial Crew Program told a group of employees at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Whether astronauts ultimately fly aboard a Boeing or SpaceX capsule or the winged Dream Chaser under development by Sierra Nevada Corporation – or all three – the steps that get to that point did not come about by accident, said Ed Mango, program manager of CCP.

Continue reading ‘Commercial Crew Program Mixes Innovation, Experience’

NASA Astronauts Fly Simulated Dream Chaser

Comments
NASA astronaut Jack Fischer flies a simulated Sierra Nevada Corporation Dream Chaser landing in the Cockpit Motion Facility at NASA's Langley Flight Research Center. (Credit: NASA/David C. Bowman)

NASA astronaut Jack Fischer flies a simulated Sierra Nevada Corporation Dream Chaser landing in the Cockpit Motion Facility at NASA’s Langley Flight Research Center. (Credit: NASA/David C. Bowman)

By Joe Atkinson
NASA’s Langley Flight Research Center

Though U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. and recently minted NASA astronaut Jack Fischer hopes to go to space one day, he spent an entire day in May coming back to Earth.

Fischer was one of four astronauts who visited the Cockpit Motion Facility at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., May 15-17 to fly a simulation of the Dream Chaser, a lifting-body spacecraft developed by Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) of Colorado Springs, Colo. He was joined by fellow NASA astronauts Rex Walheim, Gregory Johnson and Scott Tingle.

Continue reading ‘NASA Astronauts Fly Simulated Dream Chaser’

Boeing Completes New Spacecraft, Rocket Milestones Under Commercial Crew

Comments
Shown is the integrated model at NASA's Ames Research Center. The model is a 7 percent model of the Boeing CST-100 spacecraft, launch vehicle adaptor and launch vehicle. (Credit: Boeing)

Shown is the integrated model at NASA’s Ames Research Center. The model is a 7 percent model of the Boeing CST-100 spacecraft, launch vehicle adaptor and launch vehicle. (Credit: Boeing)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) – The Boeing Company of Houston, a NASA Commercial Crew Program (CCP) partner, recently performed wind tunnel testing of its CST-100 spacecraft and integrated launch vehicle, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. The testing is part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative, intended to make commercial human spaceflight services available for government and commercial customers.

Continue reading ‘Boeing Completes New Spacecraft, Rocket Milestones Under Commercial Crew’

FAA to Issue Draft Human Spaceflight Guidelines

Comment

faa_logoThe Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) plans to issue a set of draft guidelines for the safe operations of human space flights later this year.

Randy Repcheck, deputy manager of AST’s Office Regulations and Analysis Division, said that after public comments are received on the draft document, the office will issue a set of final guidelines in 2014.

The regulations are being promulgated to protect passengers and crew members flying on the commercial space systems expected to begin flying in the next few years. The FAA may not propose bind regulations covering occupant safety until October 2015.

Continue reading ‘FAA to Issue Draft Human Spaceflight Guidelines’

Group Calls Ariane 6 “Dead End”, Urges Reboot

Comments

Ariane6_diagramSpace News reports that leading European space experts are urging ESA to change course on its Ariane 6 rocket, which they say has an inflexible, dead end design:

Europe’s Air & Space Academy says the French and European space agencies are moving in the wrong direction on the future Ariane 6 rocket and should delay development in favor of a redesign that provides more growth potential.

Continue reading ‘Group Calls Ariane 6 “Dead End”, Urges Reboot’

UN COPUOS Urges International Network to Track Asteroids

Comments
Asteroid Ida

Asteroid Ida

Space News is reporting the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space  (UN COPUOS) is calling for the development of an international network of ground-based telescope to to track potentially dangerous asteroids and other objects.

The NEO study group recommended coordinating investments already made or under way in ground telescopes and the occasional satellite and sending the NEO data to a central clearinghouse, which would then forward them to national space and civil protection agencies as needed. The study group was chaired by Sergio Camacho, secretary general of the Regional Center for Space Science and Technology Education for Latin America and the Caribbean, which is based in Mexico….

Continue reading ‘UN COPUOS Urges International Network to Track Asteroids’

Bigelow Study Looks at Private Deep Space Capabilities, Mission Proposals

Comments
Artist's conception of a Bigelow lunar habitat. (Credit: Bigelow Aerospace)

Artist’s conception of a Bigelow lunar habitat. (Credit: Bigelow Aerospace)

Space News has a detailed report on the on-going NASA-Bigelow Aerospace study of deep space exploration:

Bigelow Aerospace has produced a report for NASA that shows how the agency could use privately operated space systems beyond low Earth orbit.

A draft of the report, essentially a catalog of space systems and technologies that companies like Bigelow have proposed flying in space, was delivered to NASA’s top human spaceflight official during a May 23 press conference at NASA headquarters here. The report is the first deliverable due to the agency under a nonexclusive, unfunded Space Act Agreement the North Las Vegas, Nev.-based developer of inflatable space habitats signed with NASA in March.

Continue reading ‘Bigelow Study Looks at Private Deep Space Capabilities, Mission Proposals’

Space Florida Gets New Chairman, Board Members

Comments

space_florida_logoKENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla., MAY 29, 2013 (Space Florida PR) – Space Florida, the state’s aerospace development organization and spaceport authority, has recently welcomed a new interim Board Chair and three new members to its Board of Directors.

Continue reading ‘Space Florida Gets New Chairman, Board Members’

GLXP News: ILOA Unveils Telescope for Moon Express Flight

Comments

ILO-X-TELESCOPE
Vancouver, Canada & Silicon Valley, USA, May 28, 2013 (ILOA/Moon Express PR) –
The International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA), based in Hawai`i and led by American businessman and educator Steve Durst, today unveiled flight test hardware for the first private telescope that will be launched to the Moon in 2015. Designed and built under contract from ILOA by Silicon Valley-based Moon Express, Inc., the International Lunar Observatory precursor (ILO-X) will capture never before seen images of the Galaxies, Stars, Planets, Moon and Earth and be accessible to educators, researchers and the general public in a pioneering experiment to democratize access to space exploration.

Continue reading ‘GLXP News: ILOA Unveils Telescope for Moon Express Flight’

Video: Bill Nye and Andrew Nelson Talk About the Lynx

Comments

Bill Nye talks with XCOR Chief Operating Officer Andrew Nelson during the Space Tech Expo in Long Beach last week.