Coast Guard’s Polar Scout CubeSats Aid in Arctic Rescues

Polar Scout satellite (Credit: USCG)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Aerospace Corporation PR) — For decades, the dense sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean has been shrinking and, in some regions, disappearing altogether. This environmental change is dramatically altering areas that were once blocked by ice and creating open water that is being turned into shipping lanes for an increasing number of vessels looking for a faster route between Asia, eastern North America and Europe.

According to data from the U.S. Committee On The Marine Transportation System, the number of vessels operating in the Arctic region has increased from 52 in 2008 to 144 in 2013. The committee predicts that the Arctic Ocean will see 2,111 vessels by 2025. This rapid increase in traffic through a dynamic environment like the Arctic has made U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) missions especially challenging while underscoring the need for prompt and reliable emergency distress signal response.

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MEI Technologies-supported Payloads Arrive at International Space Station

STP-H6 on the ISS. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (MEI Technologies PR) — Officials at MEI Technologies, Inc. (MEIT) have announced the successful arrival of two MEIT-supported payloads—the Space Test Program-Houston 6 (STP-H6) and the RED-EYE—brought to the International Space Station onboard the SpaceX-17 resupply vehicle. These two payloads represent the culmination of the efforts of the Space Test Program, Aerospace Corporation- and MEIT-integrated teams to fly new technologies.

The STP-H6 payload, which is designed, built and integrated by MEIT includes multiple experiments from the U.S. Army, U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy.
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NASA Demos CubeSat Laser Communications Capability

Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) Spacecraft Configuration. OCSD differs from other space-based laser communication systems because the laser is hard-mounted to the spacecraft body, and the orientation of the CubeSat controls the direction of the beam. This makes the laser system more compact than anything previously flown in space. (Credit: NASA/Ames)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (NASA PR) — Two NASA CubeSats teamed up on an impromptu optical, or laser, communications pointing experiment. The laser beam is seen as a brief flash of light close to the center of the focal plane, to the left of Earth’s horizon.

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Cumberland Island Homes Association Opposes Spaceport Camden Plan

Spaceport Camden launch trajectories (Credit: Camden County)

LITTLE CUMBERLAND ISLAND, Ga. ( Little Cumberland Island Homes Association PR) – Cumberland and Little Cumberland Islands have just become the first communities in America to be directly downrange from a vertical launch spaceport awaiting license approval from the FAA. More than sixty private homes lie in the path of rockets that Camden County commissioners hope someday to launch.

In the history of U.S. space flight, neither NASA nor the FAA have permitted a vertical launch over private homes or people directly downrange. The risk to people and property from an exploding rocket is too great.

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Aerospace, JPL Develop Concept to View Distant Planets

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Nov. 19, 2018 – In a new development in the search for potentially habitable planets far beyond our solar system, JPL and Aerospace are conducting a study to further develop an innovative deep-space concept that relies on a solar gravity lens (SGL) to enable enhanced viewing of exoplanets.

The SGL would provide 100-billion optical magnification, allowing it to show details as small as 10 kilometers across – similar to being able to spot something the size of New York City on an exoplanet.

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Aerospace Corporation Paper Explores Case Study on Commercial Partnerships for Space

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Oct. 24, 2018 (Aerospace Corporation PR) – The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS) released a new report today, A Model for Space Sector Growth: A Luxembourg Case Study, which analyzes the country’s success in growing its space sector by supporting commercial partnerships and other incentives to strengthen its position in the space industry.

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UCLA Students Launch Project that’s Out of this World

By Rebecca Kendall
UCLA

Five years ago, a group of UCLA undergrads came together with a common goal — to build a small satellite and launch it into space. In the years since, more than 250 students — many of whom are now UCLA graduate students and alumni — have been the mechanical engineers, software developers, thermal and power testers, electronics technicians, mission planners and fabricators of the twin Electron Losses and Fields Investigation CubeSats, known as ELFIN.

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New Launch Unit Standards Announced for SmallSats

LOGAN, Utah (Aerospace Corporation PR) – The Aerospace Corporation (Aerospace) announced details of a new small satellite (smallsat) standard called a Launch Unit (Launch-U) during a briefing at the Small Satellite Conference in Logan, Utah.

This standard provides major benefits to the smallsat industry—manufacturers, launch providers, and satellite users—by increasing access to space and decreasing launch costs. It also enables the space community to come together to work innovative solutions for sharing costs, adopting new business models, and adapting to regulatory or statutory changes.

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NASA’s Laser Communications Small Satellite Mission Demonstrates Technology First

OCSD satellite (Credit: NASA)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — For the first time, a free-flying CubeSat has successfully completed space-to-ground optical communications. The Optical Communication and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) mission, designed and built by The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, California, sent a laser signal from low-Earth orbit to a ground station at the company’s facilities.

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Aerospace Corporation Examines the U.S. Regulation of Space Commerce

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 25, 2018 (Aerospace Corporation PR) – The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS) released a new issue brief today that analyzes the U.S. administration’s plans to significantly enlarge the space portfolio of the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC).

The plan calls for DOC to expand its range of responsibilities beyond regulatory reform to encompass space traffic management and to promote the nation’s commercial space sector.

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NanoRacks Completes Fifth External Cygnus Deployment, Six More CubeSats in Orbit

DULLES, Virginia (NanoRacks PR) — Yesterday evening, NanoRacks successfully deployed six CubeSats from the Company’s CubeSat deployer mounted on the outside of the Cygnus spacecraft. This brings the overall count to 223 small satellites deployed into low-Earth orbit.

The ninth contracted resupply mission from Orbital ATK (now Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems) launched on May 21, 2018, carrying NanoRacks’ fifth mission providing opportunities for CubeSat deployment from Cygnus after the vehicle departs from the International Space Station. Prior to launch, the NanoRacks External Cygnus Deployer is installed on the exterior of the Cygnus service module with the capability to deploy satellites after the spacecraft completes its primary space station commercial resupply mission.

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Aerospace Corporation Policy Paper Proposes Launch Unit Standards for SmallSats

CubeSats STMSat-1, CADRE and MinXSS are deployed from the International Space Station during Expedition 47. (Credit: NASA)

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., June 8, 2018 (Aerospace Corporation PR) – The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS) released a new policy paper today that explores the benefits of Launch Unit standards for smallsats during its Emerging Issues in Space Technology and Policy event at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

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Orbital ATK’s Cygnus Capsule to Host Research Destined for ISS

SS John Glenn near the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL. (May 16, 2018) – The 9th Commercial Resupply Services (awarded by NASA) mission to the International Space Station (ISS) by Orbital ATK is targeted for launch no earlier than 5:04 a.m. EDT on May 20th. Orbital ATK’s Cygnus capsule will host multiple payloads sponsored by the ISS National Laboratory (managed by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space). These payloads represent a diverse combination of science (life and materials sciences, chemistry evaluations), technology, small satellites, and the replenishment of hardware facilities to support future research. Additionally, multiple investigations will launch to station focused on inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers.

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Aerospace Policy Paper Explores the Next Steps in Space Development

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Aerospace Corporation PR) – The Aerospace Corporation’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy (CSPS) released a new policy paper that explores future opportunities in cislunar space—essentially, the space inside the moon’s orbit and the orbital area around the moon.

Cislunar Development: What to Build— and Why discusses the possible applications for cislunar space—for example, outposts on the moon, extraterrestrial mining operations, interplanetary waystations—and determines the infrastructure that will be needed to realize those ambitious goals. Author Dr. James Vedda, senior policy analyst with CSPS, says that the cislunar region remains a largely underdeveloped resource, and any coherent, long-term strategy for space commerce and exploration will need to make better use of it.

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New Rocket Motor Takes Flight in Mojave Desert

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (Aerospace Corporation PR) — Solid, liquid, or gas? That might sound like a question on your high school physics test, but it’s an important consideration when powering a rocket into space.

A team from Aerospace successfully tested a new type of 3-D printed rocket motor that could potentially lead to less expensive and more efficient rocket propellants.

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