Jacobs Awarded ATOM-5 Contract at NASA Ames Research Center

Agreement extends 23+ years supporting ATOM contract to further future space exploration

Project drives company strategy through innovative solutions and technologies

A flight-like ADEPT skirt being tested in an arc-jet flow. (Image Credit: NASA)

DALLAS (Jacobs PR) — Jacobs (NYSE:J) was awarded the Aerospace Testing and Facilities Operations and Maintenance (ATOM-5) contract at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

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CAPSTONE Charts a New Path for NASA’s Moon-Orbiting Space Station

NASA Mission Update

WESTMINSTER, Colo. — It will have equilibrium. Poise. Balance. This pathfinding CubeSat will practically be able to kick back and rest in a gravitational sweet spot in space – where the pull of gravity from Earth and the Moon interact to allow for a nearly-stable orbit – allowing physics to do most of the work of keeping it in orbit around the Moon.

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NASA’s New Solar Sail System to be Tested On-Board NanoAvionics Satellite Bus

COLUMBIA, Ill. (NanoAvionics PR) — NanoAvionics has been selected to build a 12U nanosatellite bus for an in-orbit demonstration of NASA’s Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3). This a result of a contract between NASA Ames Research Center and AST for a 12U bus to carry NASA’s payload into low Earth orbit (LEO) including an approximately 800 square foot (74 square meter) composite boom and solar sail system.  

The aim of the ACS3 mission is to replace conventional rocket propellants by developing and testing solar sails using sunlight beams to thrust the nanosatellite. These solar sail propulsion systems are designed for future small interplanetary spacecrafts destined for low-cost deep-space and science missions requiring long-duration, low-thrust propulsion.  

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SpinLaunch and NASA Sign Space Act Agreement to Test Innovative Mass Accelerator Launch System

NASA to fly payload with SpinLaunch’s mass accelerator to test launch characteristics of its low cost, high cadence launch system.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (SpinLaunch PR) — SpinLaunch has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASAThrough this partnership, SpinLaunch will develop, integrate, and fly a NASA payload on the company’s Suborbital Accelerator Launch System to provide valuable information to NASA for potential future commercial launch opportunities.

The SpinLaunch and NASA Partnership

The Space Act Agreement is part of NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, which demonstrates promising technologies for space exploration, discovery, and the expansion of space commerce through suborbital testing with industry flight providers. The program is funded by NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate at the agency’s Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and managed at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California. NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley manages the solicitation and evaluation of technologies to be tested on commercial flight vehicles.

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NASA to Participate in Space Symposium, Broadcast Select Panels

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy visited the agency’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans on Dec. 8, 2021 for tours and briefings on Michoud’s role in the Artemis program and other capabilities that enrich many facets of the nation’s space exploration endeavors. (Credits: NASA/Michael DeMocker)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy and Associate Administrator Bob Cabana are among the agency’s speakers at the Space Foundation’s 37th Space Symposium from Wednesday, April 5 to Thursday, April 7 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Topics highlighted by NASA participants throughout the event include the agency’s Moon to Mars exploration approach including Artemis, technology, science, commercial partnerships, and more. A full agenda for the symposium is available online.

The agency will stream the following panels on NASA TV, the NASA app, and the agency’s website:

Tuesday, April 5

  • 12:25 p.m. EDT – Plenary session remarks from Melroy about NASA’s Moon to Mars strategy and updated current milestones
  • 1:15 p.m.: Artemis and Industry: Building the Space Economy. Panelists include:
    • Kenneth Bowersox, deputy associate administrator for Space Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington
    • Jim Free, associate administrator for Exploration Systems Development at NASA Headquarters
    • James Reuter, associate administrator for Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters
    • Dr. Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters

Wednesday, April 6

Members of the media registered for the symposium can attend “Small Satellites, Big Missions: Pathfinding CubeSats Exploring the Moon and Beyond,” a news conference featuring NASA leaders, at 6 p.m. EDT. The conference will take place in Media Room A of the event’s media center. To register for the symposium, media must email the Space Foundation at media@spacefoundation.org.

Participants in the news conference include:

  • NASA Associate Administrator Cabana
  • Elwood Agasid, deputy program manager for Small Spacecraft Technology at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, and Space Technology Hall of Fame inductee
  • Andres Martinez, program executive for small spacecraft in NASA’s Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate at the agency’s headquarters
  • Bradley Cheetham, CEO, Advanced Space in Westminster, Colorado
  • Joe Shoer, engineer, Lockheed Martin, Denver

For more information about NASA, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/

Mi­ni Robots Prac­tice Grasp­ing Space De­bris on ISS

Simulation with the two Astrobees. [Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)]
  • During trials on the International Space Station (ISS), one robot positions itself so that it could grab another.
  • These simulate an approach to a tumbling object.
  • The robots work completely autonomously.
  • Focus: Spaceflight, ISS, security, artificial intelligence

OBERPFAFFENHOFEN, Germany (DLR PR) — A challenging feat for a little robot: Honey the Astrobee must grasp and transport Bumble the Astrobee. To pull it off, Honey needs to understand Bumble’s trajectory, position itself correctly and avoid a collision at all costs. Artificial intelligence (AI) helps the cube-shaped robot to accurately assess the situation.

The experiment is part of the TumbleDock/ROAM project, which the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is carrying out together with its partners on the ISS. The experiments are part of an effort to determine the best way to remove hazardous pieces of space debris from Earth orbit.

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NASA Extends Ingenuity Helicopter Mission

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s carbon fiber blades can be seen in this image taken by the Mastcam-Z instrument aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover on April 8, 2021, the 48th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — With its recent 21st flight complete, the Red Planet rotorcraft is on its way to setting more records during its second year of operations.

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NASA Invests in Tech Development From Small Businesses, Researchers

A new round of awards for small business and research partnerships will advance technology development. A partnership between Interstel Technologies, Inc., and University of Hawaii at Manoa will develop a system for guiding swarms of vehicles, such as rovers, illustrated here. (Credits: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program has awarded $15 million to U.S. small businesses and research institutions to continue developing technologies in areas ranging from aeronautics to science and space exploration.

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Advanced Space Completes Milestone Testing for its Mission to the Moon

Illustration of the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE). (Credit: Tyvak Nano-Satellite Systems)

Mission will be the first to future Artemis Operation Orbit

WESTMINSTER, Colo., Feb. 18, 2022 (Advanced Space PR) — Advanced Space LLC., a leading commercial space tech solutions company, had a successful test last week for CAPSTONE, a NASA-funded mission to the Moon. Advanced Space owns and operates the CAPSTONE mission, a trailblazing pathfinder for the Gateway. The Gateway, a lunar orbiting outpost, will support NASA’s Artemis missions that will establish a long-term human presence at the Moon. CAPSTONE is the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment. It will help reduce risk for future spacecraft by validating innovative technologies and verifying the dynamics of the Earth-Moon halo orbit where the Gateway will operate.

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Lockheed Martin Selected For Critical Elements Of NASA’s Mission To Bring Back First Ever Samples From Mars

Lockheed Martin will lead development of the Mars Ascent Vehicle (pictured), cruise stage for the Mars Sample Retrieval Lander, and the Earth Entry System that will help return the first ever Martian rock samples to Earth. (Credit: NASA)

DENVER, Feb. 15, 2022 (Lockheed Martin PR) – Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] was awarded three NASA contracts for key elements of the agency’s visionary Mars Sample Return program.

The first contract is for the cruise stage that will power and steer the Mars-bound journey of the lander that retrieves Martian rock and soil samples from the Perseverance Rover. For this $35 million award from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California (JPL), Lockheed Martin will produce the cruise stage and its comprehensive elements, including the solar arrays, structure, propulsion and thermal properties.

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New Sun Missions to Help NASA Better Understand Earth-Sun Environment

Parker Solar Probe near the sun. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected two science missions – the Multi-slit Solar Explorer (MUSE) and HelioSwarm – to help improve our understanding of the dynamics of the Sun, the Sun-Earth connection, and the constantly changing space environment. These missions will provide deeper insights into our universe and offer critical information to help protect astronauts, satellites, and communications signals such as GPS. 

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Getting Pumped Up for Launch: NASA Inflatable Decelerator Prepared for Flight Test

Successful completion of final test of the LOFTID inflation system means it’s ready for integration with the rest of the re-entry vehicle. (Credits: NASA)

HAMPTON, Va. (NASA PR) — No, we’re not pumping up inner tubes for a pool party, but the successful inflation of this stack of test rings marks the final test of the inflation system for NASA’s LOFTID demonstration which will make a splash when it lands in the Pacific Ocean after launch. 

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Building Future Air Taxis to See Through the Fog

The frame of an unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone, is installed at the end of a 180-foot-long chamber filled with fog at Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque, New Mexico. NASA researchers used this facility to test the ability of sensors such as visual and infrared cameras and lidar scanners to perceive objects through fog. Sensors like these will need to replace a human pilot’s eyes on future unpiloted air vehicles such as air taxis. (Credits: Sandia National Labs)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (NASA PR) — While the sun beat down on the New Mexico desert, inside, a dense fog hung in the air. In a special facility outside Albuquerque, a team of NASA researchers was working with the kind of fog that’s so thick you can’t see three feet in front of you.

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2021 in Review: Highlights from NASA in Silicon Valley

Ingenuity Mars helicopter flies on the Red Planet. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — Join us as we look back at the highlights of 2021 at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley.

1) NASA’s water-hunting Moon rover, the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover, made great strides this year. The VIPER team successfully completed practice runs of the full-scale assembly of the Artemis program’s lunar rover in VIPER’s new clean room. Two rounds of egress testing let rover drivers practice exiting the lander and rolling onto the rocky surface of the Moon. NASA also announced the landing site selected for the robotic rover, which will be delivered to the Nobile region of the Moon’s South Pole in late 2023 as part of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative. NASA also chose eight new VIPER science team members and their proposals to expand and complement VIPER’s already existing science team and planned investigations. This year’s progress contributed to VIPER’s completion of its Critical Design Review, turning the mission’s focus toward construction of the rover beginning in late 2022.

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NASA’s Webb Telescope Reaches Major Milestone as Mirror Unfolds

Shown fully stowed, the James Webb Space Telescope’s Deployable Tower Assembly that connects the upper and lower sections of the spacecraft will extend 48 inches (1.2 meters) after launch. (Credits: Northrop Grumman)

BALTIMORE (NASA PR) — NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope team fully deployed its 21-foot, gold-coated primary mirror, successfully completing the final stage of all major spacecraft deployments to prepare for science operations.

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