WASHINGTON, D.C. (NASA PR) — The Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) satellite that launched Oct. 8 currently is experiencing a problem with its attitude control system, according to The Aerospace Corporation. Aerospace built the CubeSat and is operating it in orbit. The OCSD satellite is communicating by radio with the ground, but the attitude control system must function properly in order to demonstrate the optical communications system. NASA is discussing the issue with Aerospace as they investigate the problem.
OCSD is the first in a new series of six NASA-managed technology demonstration missions set to launch during the coming months using CubeSats to test technologies that can enable new uses for these miniature satellites, which measure 10 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm (about 4 inches per side). NASA, other government agencies, academia and commercial companies can incorporate these technologies, which range from high-speed communications to novel propulsion systems to technologies that enable rendezvous and docking, into future space missions.
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. The CubeSat will evaluate the ability to point a small satellite accurately as it demonstrates data transfer by laser at rates of up to 200 Mb/s — a factor of 100 increase over current high-end CubeSat communications systems.
WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — NASA and The Aerospace Corporation of El Segundo, California, have received confirmation the Optical Communications and Sensor Demonstration (OCSD) CubeSat spacecraft is in orbit and operational. OCSD launched aboard an Atlas V rocket Thursday from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Draper PR) – Commercial satellite imagery firms launch new constellations to take frequent, high-resolution video and photographs of the Earth to improve decision-making for agricultural, environmental, humanitarian, commercial and national security issues. Increased accessibility of images and data from space provide views of the Earth that help optimize tasks ranging from planting crops to shaping traffic patterns on land and sea.
The investigation of the anomalies on the CubeSat deployers continues and has three main components:
To understand the root cause of the behavior of the deployers
To put corrective actions into place
To plan a resumption in CubeSat deployments
We believe we are making progress in understanding the root cause of the anomalies. The team of NanoRacks and the CubeSat deployer manufacturer Quad M are now able to duplicate on the ground the anomalies observed in space.
Yesterday we showed the results to a NASA working group. In addition, NanoRacks has brought in a team from the Aerospace Corporation to assist NanoRacks in the investigation and in finding a pathway for future deployments. All parties are reviewing historical and new test data to validate the preliminary root cause we have identified. At the same time, the broad root cause analysis continues as NASA and NanoRacks explore all possible causes.
NanoRacks is appreciative of the hard work of NASA and the other ISS partners, including Roscosmos and JAXA, as they examine and seek to help resolve the situation. We are also appreciative for the many notes and calls we have received from the industry in support for this ground-breaking effort to stimulate the CubeSat market.
We will provide further information when appropriate.
ATLANTA, GA, October 28, 2013 (TVA PR) – Terminal Velocity Aerospace, LLC (TVA) has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA Ames Research Center to collaborate on evaluation, testing, and technology transfer of newly-developed thermal protection system (TPS) materials.
Space News has a bit more information about Orbital Sciences Corporation’s lawsuit against the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority (VCSFA). Orbital purchased hardware from VCSFA after the authority ran into cost overruns and delays in building a new launch complex for the company’s Antares rocket.
Orbital bought $42 million worth of hardware, with the understanding that Virginia would eventually buy these assets back, the complaint says. The state bought back about $25.5 million worth of hardware in 2012, but balked at repurchasing a horizontal rocket transporter and associated hardware. The state argued this hardware could only be used for Antares and therefore was not a reimbursable cost. Orbital disagreed.
The Aerospace Corp., a federally funded think tank specializing in military space, was brought in to mediate and ruled in Orbital’s favor in 2012, according to the complaint. Orbital subsequently sought payment but was told June 5 by Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton that the state would not pay. Connaughton informed Orbital of the state’s decision during a meeting of the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority’s board of directors, according to the complaint.
Bothell, WA, 18 December 2012 (TUI PR) — Tethers Unlimited, Inc. (TUI) announced today that it has delivered the first flight units of an innovative spacecraft component that will help reduce the growth of space debris. TUI delivered several of its Terminator Tape™ Deorbit Modules to The Aerospace Corporation for use on its upcoming AeroCube-5 flight experiment.
The Terminator Tape Deorbit Module is a small device, about the size of a drink coaster, which is attached to a satellite prior to launch. When the satellite completes its mission, it activates the Terminator Tape Module, which then deploys a long conductive tape. This tape drags against the Earth’s magnetic field and upper atmosphere, rapidly lowering the orbit of the spacecraft until the satellite burns up in the upper atmosphere. By rapidly removing the satellite from orbit, the Terminator Tape helps ensure that the satellite will not contribute to the accumulation of space debris that could pose a threat to future space missions.
CSF PR — The Commercial Spaceflight Federation welcomes the Aerospace Corporation of El Segundo, California for its decision to release a clarification document yesterday regarding its white paper on the business case for NASAâ€™s Commercial Crew program. The clarification document, titled â€œAerospace Commercial Crew Modeling Tool Update,â€ is available on the Aerospace Corporation homepage at www.aero.org.
AEROSPACE CORP. PR — In late 2009, The Aerospace Corporation conducted an internally funded project to develop a model of the business-case of commercial crew space transportation. NASA’s Independent Program & Cost Evaluation department subsequently asked for, and funded, an expanded and refined analysis of Aerospace’s initial work.
A summary of the tool was presented to NASA senior leadership February 28th.
As I surmised, the leaked Aerospace Corporation study that showed NASA spending an obscene amount of money on commercial crew procurement is much ado about nothing. Space News explains:
Los Angeles-based Aerospace Corp., in an undated explanation of the study and its methodology, said the analysis was merely intended to develop a modeling tool that could be applied to a variety of data.
AEROSPACE COP. PR — EL SEGUNDO, March 30 — The first Reentry Breakup Recorder (REBR), an instrument designed and constructed by engineers at The Aerospace Corporation, successfully recorded data as it plunged through the atmosphere on Tuesday night aboard the disintegrating Japanese HTV-2 spacecraft.
The REBR then “phoned home” the data via the Iridium satellite system as it fell into the South Pacific Ocean Tuesday evening.
A leaked copy of an Aerospace Corporation presentation to NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden on commercial crew program has surfaced. And man, has it set off a sh***storm. Within hours of its publication, the Commercial Spaceflight Federation put out a press release attacking its conclusions. And the blogosphere has lit up with various denunciations of the Aerospace Corporation for supposedly trashing the viability of commercial space.
But, when you look at it more closely, something doesn’t quite add up.
The PowerPoint presentation is strangely incomplete. As CSF points out, there isn’t an analysis of the business case for seven-person vehicles. Boeing and SpaceX are both proposing seven-person capsules, so they believe they can close the business case with vehicles of that size. There’s no way that Aerospace Corporation would not have evaluated it. The PowerPoint presentation contains no data from the commercial crew providers. And there’s no review of other key issues, such as who pays for NASA’s existing ground infrastructure.
The Aerospace Corporation is not this sloppy. The company would not make a presentation to the NASA Administrator that left out such vital analysis. Nor would Bolden or anyone else at the space agency sit through such a session that failed to look at the most viable options.
This just don’t smell right. It seems like a selective leak of supposedly damagingÂ information that comes as NASA is fighting for money for its commercial crew effort and is about to announce another $270 million in funds to providers.
AEROSPACE CORPORATION PR — The first Reentry Breakup Recorder (REBR), an instrument designed and constructed by engineers at The Aerospace Corporation, is set to plunge to Earth on March 29, shortly after 7 p.m.
Two REBRs were carried to the International Space Station (ISS) on board a Japanese Kounotori2 spacecraft, also known as the HTV2, on Jan. 21. The REBR is a small autonomous device that is designed to record temperature, acceleration, rotation rate, and other data as a spacecraft reenters Earth’s atmosphere. The REBRS will be attached to spacecraft returning to Earth from the ISS and will take measurements as the spacecraft breaks up during its reentry.
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will honor the winners of AIAA technical and literary achievement awards on September 1 at a noon luncheon in conjunction with the AIAA SPACE 2010 Conference & Exhibition and the 28th AIAA International Communications Satellite Systems Conference (ICSSC), being held August 29â€“September 2, 2010 at the Anaheim Convention Center and Hilton Anaheim Hotel in Anaheim, Calif.