Page 2 of 1078

Space Systems Loral to Supply Robotic Arms for DARPA Satellite Servicing

Comments
DARPA RSGS Robotic Servicing Vehicle utilizing MDA US Systems robotic arms to repair a satellite on orbit. (Source: DARPA)

DARPA RSGS Robotic Servicing Vehicle utilizing MDA US Systems robotic arms to repair a satellite on orbit. (Source: DARPA)

PALO ALTO, Calif., July 21, 2016 (SSL PR) — Space Systems Loral (SSL), a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, today announced it has received $20.7 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to design and build robotic arm flight hardware for the first phase of the agency’s Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program. SSL is receiving the funds through MDA US Systems, a division of MDA managed by SSL, and is working with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), which is the prime contractor managing the program.

Continue reading ‘Space Systems Loral to Supply Robotic Arms for DARPA Satellite Servicing’

Eileen Collins’ Speech at the Republican Convention

42 Comments

Former NASA astronaut Eileen Collins spoke on Wednesday during the Republican Party Convention. Collins skipped a line at the end of the speech in which she was to say that Donald Trump would provide the leadership in space that America needs.

Commission Approves Airbus Safran Launchers Acquisition of Arianespace

Comments
Ariane 6 variants (Credit: Airbus Defense and Space)

Ariane 6 variants (Credit: Airbus Defense and Space)

BRUSSELS (EU PR) — Following an in-depth review, the European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of Arianespace by Airbus Safran Launchers (ASL), a joint venture between Airbus and Safran. This approval is subject to conditions.

Continue reading ‘Commission Approves Airbus Safran Launchers Acquisition of Arianespace’

NASA Establishes Institute to Explore New Ways to Protect Astronauts

32 Comments
NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano perform ultrasound eye imaging as part of the Fluid Shifts investigation during Expedition 37 on the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano perform ultrasound eye imaging as part of the Fluid Shifts investigation during Expedition 37 on the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is joining with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to operate a new institute charged with researching and developing innovative approaches to reduce risks to humans on long-duration exploration missions, including NASA’s Journey to Mars.

Continue reading ‘NASA Establishes Institute to Explore New Ways to Protect Astronauts’

SpaceX Eyes Reusing Dragons, Additional Landing Pads

26 Comments
Cameras on the Canadarm2 show the SpaceX Dragon as it departs the vicinity of the space station just after its release. (Credit: NASA TV)

Cameras on the Canadarm2 show the SpaceX Dragon as it departs the vicinity of the space station just after its release. (Credit: NASA TV)

With SpaceX planning to relaunch a Falcon 9 first stage later this year, the age of reusing rockets is upon us. But, the company isn’t stopping there.

SpaceX is planning to launch a reused Dragon supply ship on a cargo mission next year. Officials discussed the planned flight during a post-launch press conference on Monday morning.

“I think we’re looking at SpaceX-11,” said Joel Montalbano, NASA’s deputy manager of ISS utilization, referring to the 11th resupply mission the company will fly with Dragon and the Falcon 9. (Monday’s launch kicked off SpaceX-9.)

“I thought it was 11 or 12 — something like that,” replied Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of flight reliability at SpaceX. “So, not too far from now.”

SpaceX-11 is currently scheduled to lift off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in February 2017, and SpaceX-12 is slated to launch two months later, according to Spaceflight Now.

The Orlando Sentinel also reports that SpaceX is requesting permission from the federal government to establish two additional first-stage landing facilities on Cape Canaveral. The pads would be for landing the three Falcon 9 first stages that are used on the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle.

Bezos: New Shepard Fine After Parachute Test

Comments
New Shepard crew capsule showing crushable ring after flight no. 4. (Credit: Blue Origin)

New Shepard crew capsule showing crushable ring after flight no. 4. (Credit: Blue Origin)

On our most recent flight, we performed a test to prove the Crew Capsule could safely land with only two of its three parachutes open. On a nominal flight with all three parachutes deployed, the capsule descends at about 16 mph before firing a retrorocket just a few feet above the ground. This retrorocket firing is what creates the large cloud of dust you see just before the capsule lands, and slows the capsule down to 3 mph before it touches the ground. This last bit of speed is absorbed by a ring shaped crushable bumper made of aluminum honeycomb material mounted on the bottom of the capsule. The ring is made of eight segments.

On this last mission, with one chute intentionally failed, the capsule was descending at 23 mph before firing its retrorocket. The retrorocket took out most of that velocity, and the crushable ring did the rest of the job. Below, you can see a couple of pictures of the crushable after the flight test. The first picture shows it mounted under the vehicle after we lifted it off the ground post-flight. The second picture shows a side view of the eight segments after we removed them from the vehicle. Even with one chute out, the crushable barely crushed. When new, the crushable is about 5.5 inches high and can crush down to less than one inch high, providing a constant deceleration force as it crushes. After the mission, the crushable was still over 5 inches high along nearly the entire circumference of the ring.

Sacrificial bumpers removed from CC after flight for inspection, barely crushed. (Credit: Blue Origin)

Sacrificial bumpers removed from CC after flight for inspection, barely crushed. (Credit: Blue Origin)

We’ve designed the capsule to ensure astronaut safety not just for a failure of one parachute, but even for a failure of two parachutes. In addition to the retrorocket system and the crushable ring, there is an energy absorbing mechanism mounted underneath each seat.

Gradatim Ferociter!

Jeff Bezos

Save

Dragon & Progress Supply Ships Arrive at Space Station

Comment
Dragon berthed at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA TV)

Dragon berthed at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA TV)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was bolted into place on the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 10:03 a.m. EDT on Wednesday as the station flew about 252 statute miles over the California and Oregon border.

The spacecraft is delivering nearly 5,000 pounds of science, hardware and supplies, including instruments to perform the first-ever DNA sequencing in space, and the first of two identical international docking adapters (IDA). The IDAs will provide a means for commercial spacecraft to dock to the station in the near future as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Dragon is the second cargo spacecraft to arrive on station this week. On Monday, July 18, a Russian ISS Progress 64 cargo craft docked to the Pirs docking compartment of the space station at 8:22 p.m., where it will remain for about six months.

The Progress spacecraft has more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 48 crew.

Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station Aug. 29 when it will return critical science research back to Earth.

For more information on the SpaceX CRS-9 mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex.

For more information about the current crew and the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station.

Vector Space Systems Acquires Garvey Spacecraft Corporation

Comments
Credit: Vector Space Systems

Credit: Vector Space Systems

TUSCON, Ariz., July 20, 2016 (Vector Space Systems PR) — Vector Space Systems, a micro satellite space launch company comprised of new-space industry veterans from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, McDonnell Douglas and Sea Launch, today announced it has finalized the acquisition of Garvey Spacecraft Corporation. As part of the acquisition, Garvey Spacecraft Corporation Founder and CEO John Garvey joins Vector Space Systems as Chief Technology Officer.

Founded in May 2016, Vector Space Systems was formed to connect space startups with affordable launch-enabling platforms and vehicles for accessing space at a cost and schedule never before possible. The acquisition allows Vector Space Systems to accelerate its mission of fostering innovation to spark growth in the space commerce industry through reliable and frequent launch opportunities.

“Through the extensive knowledge, designs, hardware, flight experience and flight prototypes acquired from Garvey Spacecraft Corporation, Vector Space Systems has seen accelerated success within just three months of its founding, positioning us as the leading launch vehicle for the microsatellite industry,” said Jim Cantrell, CEO and co-founder of Vector Space Systems. “Vector Space Systems and Garvey Spacecraft Corporation share a common vision of space commerce growth, and by joining forces, we now have a team of experienced space veterans, cutting edge proven designs and prototype vehicles which have accelerated our time to first orbital launch to only 2 years from today, down from the typical 5-7 years from a clean sheet vehicle design.”

Continue reading ‘Vector Space Systems Acquires Garvey Spacecraft Corporation’

Anderson Departs Spaceport America

Comments

Las Cruces Sun-News has a story. Anderson says she only wanted to do the job for a year, and it’s been 5.5 years.

UPDATE: Aaron Prescott, who was director of business development/business operations, also departed earlier this month. Aaron had been in that position since 2011, and had been at the spaceport in various posts for a total of eight years.

Aaron recently got married. So congratulations to him!

UPDATE No. 2: The Associated Press  has a story that provides a bit more detail:

“Spaceport America is finally reaching its prime and the momentum must continue,” she wrote, pointing to more than two dozen vertical launches, agreements with new tenants and a more diverse business plan. “It’s important to ensure all the progress we have made will continue and thrive under new leadership.”

Anderson’s last day will be Aug. 19. She offered to help the board and the governor’s office find a qualified candidate to take the helm of the agency….

While there’s no firm date for Virgin Galactic to begin commercial flights, Anderson said earlier this year that the company could be launching as soon as the 2018 fiscal year.

Made In Space to Demonstrate Manufacture of Exotic Optical Fiber in Space

Comments
Credit: Made in Space

Credit: Made in Space

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (Made in Space PR0) — Made In Space, Inc. (Made In Space) and Thorlabs, Inc. (Thorlabs) will send a microgravity-optimized, miniature fiber drawing system to the International Space Station (ISS) to manufacture high-value-to-mass ZBLAN optical fiber via a user agreement with The Center for Advancement of Science In Space (CASIS).

Continue reading ‘Made In Space to Demonstrate Manufacture of Exotic Optical Fiber in Space’

Project PoSSUM Graduates 13 Scientist-Astronaut Candidates

Comments
Project PoSSUM graduates (Credit: ERAU)

Project PoSSUM graduates (Credit: ERAU)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (ERAU PR) — Project PoSSUM, a non-profit research program devoted to the study of Earth’s upper atmosphere, announced that it has graduated 13 new Scientist-Astronaut Candidates as part of PoSSUM Class 1601.

The PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut program, designed by former NASA astronaut instructors and hosted by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., gives its candidates the skills to effectively conduct research on commercial space vehicles as part of an international research campaign dedicated to the study of our global climate.

Continue reading ‘Project PoSSUM Graduates 13 Scientist-Astronaut Candidates’

GOP on Space: We’re in Favor of It

31 Comments
Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)

Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)

The Republican Party Platform has a brief mention of space located between sections on reforming the civil service and supporting people living in America’s far flung territories.

The section is below. It doesn’t say that much, but at least it’s there. The Democratic Party Platform has no mention of space.

America’s Future in Space: Continuing this Quest

The exploration of space has been a key part of U.S. global leadership and has supported innovation and ownership of technology. Over the last half-century, in partnership with our aerospace industry, the work of NASA has helped define and strengthen our nation’s technological prowess. From building the world’s most powerful rockets to landing men on the Moon, sending robotic spacecraft throughout our solar system and beyond, building the International Space Station, and launching space-based telescopes that allow scientists to better understand our universe, NASA science and engineering have produced spectacular results. The technologies that emerged from those programs propelled our aerospace industrial base and directly benefit our national security, safety, economy, and quality of life. Through its achievements, NASA has inspired generations of Americans to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, leading to careers that drive our country’s technological and economic engines.

Today, America’s leadership in space is challenged by countries eager to emulate — and surpass — NASA’s accomplishments. To preserve our national security interests and foster innovation and competitiveness, we must sustain our preeminence in space, launching more science missions, guaranteeing unfettered access, and maintaining a source of high-value American jobs.

Cool Video of Falcon 9 First Stage Landing

Comment

TangoLab-1 Headed for International Space Station

Comments
Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Space Tango PR) — Space Tango today announced that TangoLab-1 is now successfully on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the SpaceX CRS-9 mission launched early this morning from Kennedy Space Center.

Continue reading ‘TangoLab-1 Headed for International Space Station’

NASA Awards Study Contracts for Mars Orbiter

Comments
NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft artist concept. (Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center)

NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft artist concept. (Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected five U.S. aerospace companies to conduct concept studies for a potential future Mars orbiter mission. Such a mission would continue key capabilities including telecommunications and global high-resolution imaging in support of the agency’s Journey to Mars.

Continue reading ‘NASA Awards Study Contracts for Mars Orbiter’