News

ASAP Criticizes NASA Commercial Crew Program on Transparency

Comments

commercial_crew_cst100_dragon_iss

In its 2014 Annual Report, the NASA Aerospace Advisory Panel (ASAP) slammed the space agency for “less-than-candid and -transparent communication” over the multi-billion dollar Commercial Crew Program.

“There are certain areas where this exemplary behavior of candid, timely, and transparent communication of risk has been insufficient,” ASAP said in its report. “The Commercial Crew Program (CCP) has been notably less forthcoming. This lack of transparency has been a concern for a number of years and, despite numerous discussions with the Director of Commercial Spaceflight Development (DCSD) and with senior leadership at NASA Headquarters, this less-than-candid and -transparent communication with the ASAP regarding the CCP has persisted.

Continue reading ‘ASAP Criticizes NASA Commercial Crew Program on Transparency’

UrtheCast Expands After Signing $65 Million Contract

Comments

urthecast-logoThe Earth-imaging company UrtheCast has opened a second office in Vancouver, Canada, with the help of a recently signed deal. And the company is hiring.

“With an infusion of data, projects, and engineers, it was time to expand our office. Our Vancouver headquarters has been busting at the seams for quite some time now, so we’re looking forward to having more room and welcoming even more people to our team,” said UrtheCast’s Chief Executive Officer Scott Larson. “Our entire system continues to grow as we look for video specialists, GIS experts, and infrastructure experts to help build out our cloud for the data we are collecting.”

Continue reading ‘UrtheCast Expands After Signing $65 Million Contract’

Sarah Brightman Undergoes Wilderness Survival Training

Comments
Sarah Brightman and crew mates undergo wilderness survival training. (Credit: Roscosmos)

Sarah Brightman and crew mates undergo wilderness survival training. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) – The autonomous training for surviving in a case of emergence landing in marshy-wooded area in the winter will take place since Jan 19 till Feb 9.

Crewmates of ISS crew 48/49: Anatoly Ivanishin (Roscosmos), Takuya Onishi (JAXA), Kathleen Rubins (NASA) and ISS crew 49/50: Sergey Ryzhikov & Andrey Borisenko( Roscosmos), Robert Kimbrough (NASA) and spaceflight participants Sarah Brightman and Satoshi Takamatsu take part in this training.

Continue reading ‘Sarah Brightman Undergoes Wilderness Survival Training’

NASA Honors Fallen Astronauts on Day of Remembrance

Comments
Challenger crew. Back row, left to right: mission specialist Ellison Onizuka, payload specialist Christa McAuliffe, payload specialist Gregory Jarvis, mission specialist Judith Resnik. Front row left to right: pilot Michael J. Smith, commander Francis "Dick" Scobee, mission specialist Ronald McNair. (Credit: NASA)

Challenger crew. Back row, left to right: mission specialist Ellison Onizuka, payload specialist Christa McAuliffe, payload specialist Gregory Jarvis, mission specialist Judith Resnik. Front row left to right: pilot Michael J. Smith, commander Francis “Dick” Scobee, mission specialist Ronald McNair. (Credit: NASA)

Message from the Administrator:
Day of Remembrance – Jan. 28, 2015

Today we remember and give thanks for the lives and contributions of those who gave all trying to push the boundaries of human achievement. On this solemn occasion, we pause in our normal routines and remember the STS-107 Columbia crew; the STS-51L Challenger crew; the Apollo 1 crew; Mike Adams, the first in-flight fatality of the space program as he piloted the X-15 No. 3 on a research flight; and those lost in test flights and aeronautics research throughout our history.

The crew of STS-107. From left to right are mission specialist David Brown, commander Rick Husband, mission specialist Laurel Clark, mission specialist Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist Michael Anderson, pilot William McCool, and Israeli payload specialist Ilan Ramon. (Credit: NASA)

The crew of STS-107. From left to right are mission specialist David Brown, commander Rick Husband, mission specialist Laurel Clark, mission specialist Kalpana Chawla, mission specialist Michael Anderson, pilot William McCool, and Israeli payload specialist Ilan Ramon. (Credit: NASA)

These men and women were our friends, family and colleagues. They still are. As we undertake a journey to Mars, they will be with us. They have our eternal respect, love and gratitude.

Today, their legacy lives on as the International Space Station fulfills its promise as a symbol of hope for the world and a springboard to missions farther into the solar system. Our lost friends are with us in the strivings of all of our missions to take humans to new destinations and to unlock the secrets of our universe. We honor them by making our dreams of a better tomorrow reality and taking advantage of the fruits of exploration to improve life for people everywhere.

Apollo 1 astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. (Credit: NASA)

Apollo 1 astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee. (Credit: NASA)

Let us join together as one NASA Family, along with the entire world, in paying our respects, and honoring the memories of our dear friends. They will never be forgotten. Godspeed to every one of them.

Charlie B.

SpaceX Prepares Dragon for Abort Test

16 Comments
SpaceX Dragon vehicle undergoes preparation for abort test. (Credit: NASA)

SpaceX Dragon vehicle undergoes preparation for abort test. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Commercial Crew Program Update

SpaceX is preparing a test version of its Crew Dragon for an upcoming flight that will simulate an emergency abort from the launch pad. The Crew Dragon is designed to carry astronauts to the International Space Station, and the ability to abort from a launch or pad emergency and safely carry crew members out of harm’s way is a critical element for NASA’s next generation of crewed spacecraft. The pad abort test will take place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 40 in under its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement with NASA, but some data gathered during the development flight will be critical for the company as it continues on the path to certification.

Moon Express Completes Initial Flight Tests at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

Comments
Moon Express' MTV-1X test vehicle performed a tethered flight test at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: Moon Express Inc.)

Moon Express’ MTV-1X test vehicle performed a tethered flight test at the Shuttle Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: Moon Express Inc.)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) – During November and December 2014, Moon Express successfully conducted its lander test vehicle hot fires and initial flight tests at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center, with the support of NASA’s Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (CATALYST) initiative.

Continue reading ‘Moon Express Completes Initial Flight Tests at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center’

Google Increases Financial Commitment to Google Lunar X Prize

Comments

GoogleLunarXPRIZE_Logo
Google has increased the maximum amount it will give out in the Google Lunar X Prize from $30 million to $40 million, the XPrize announced.

The increase was made to accommodate a series of milestone prizes the competition awarded this week to five of the 18 teams in the competition. A total of $5.25 million was awarded to Astrobotic, Hakuto, Moon Express, Part-time Scientists and Team Indus. The amounts ranged from $500,000 to $1.75 million.

Continue reading ‘Google Increases Financial Commitment to Google Lunar X Prize’

XPRIZE Awards $5.25 Million in Milestone Prizes to 5 Teams

Comment

SAN FRANCISCO (XPRIZE PR)  XPRIZE, the global leader in incentivized prize competition, today announced that five Google Lunar XPRIZE teams have been awarded a combined US$5.25 million in recognition of key technological advancements toward their quest to land a private spacecraft on the surface of the moon. Determined by a judging panel of science, aeronautics and space industry experts that evaluated numerous tests over the past year, the Milestone Prizes honor hardware and software innovations needed to overcome technical risks in the three crucial areas—Imaging, Mobility and Landing systems—all of which are necessary to complete a successful Google Lunar XPRIZE mission.

Continue reading ‘XPRIZE Awards $5.25 Million in Milestone Prizes to 5 Teams’

NASA, Boeing, SpaceX Outline Objectives to Station Flights

Comments
NASA's Stephanie Schierholz introduces the panel of Johnson Space Center Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa, seated, left, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Commercial Crew Program Manager Kathy Lueders, Boeing's John Elbon, SpaceX's Gwynne Shotwell and NASA astronaut Mike Fincke. (Credit: NASA TV)

NASA’s Stephanie Schierholz introduces the panel of Johnson Space Center Director Dr. Ellen Ochoa, seated, left, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Commercial Crew Program Manager Kathy Lueders, Boeing’s John Elbon, SpaceX’s Gwynne Shotwell and NASA astronaut Mike Fincke. (Credit: NASA TV)

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

American spacecraft systems testing followed by increasingly complex flight tests and ultimately astronauts flying orbital flights will pave the way to operational missions during the next few years to the International Space Station. Those were the plans laid out Monday by NASA’s Commercial Crew Program officials and partners as they focus on developing safe, reliable and cost-effective spacecraft and systems that will take astronauts to the station from American launch complexes.

Continue reading ‘NASA, Boeing, SpaceX Outline Objectives to Station Flights’

Falcon Heavy Launch Animation Video

47 Comments

Video Caption: Falcon Heavy is the world’s most powerful rocket, a launch vehicle of scale and capability unequaled by any other currently flying.

Editor’s Note: Don’t expect full recovery of all three stages of the Falcon Heavy to happen immediately. SpaceX has only asked for approval to land a single Falcon first stage at Launch Complex 13. The environmental assessment of the project says that more infrastructure would be required to land all three stages of a Falcon Heavy there. SpaceX would have to come back with a new proposal at some later date for the type of recovery operations shown in the video.