The Government Accountability Office released another depressing review this week of NASA’s Artemis program, specifically looking at the space agency’s progress on the Space Launch System, Orion spacecraft and the exploration ground systems (EGS) required to support them.
Cristina Chaplain, GAO’s director of Contracting and National Security Acquisitions, summarized the report’s conclusions on Wednesday in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics.
NASA eclipsed another milestone in its plan to send the first woman and next man to the lunar surface by 2024 with the latest successful water flow test on the mobile launcher at Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39B.
Using adjustments from the first water flow test event in July, the Friday, Sept. 13 exercise demonstrated the capability of the sound suppression system that will be used for launch of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) for the Artemis I mission.
Subcommittee on Space & Aeronautics Hearing: Developing Core Capabilities for Deep Space Exploration: An Update on NASA’s SLS, Orion, and Exploration Ground Systems Wednesday, September 18, 2019
….I also want to echo Chairwoman Horn’s comment about the lateness of NASA’s testimony. NASA was provided ample advance notice of this hearing and more than sufficient time to prepare testimony and have it reviewed by OMB and whomever else looks over NASA’s testimony these days. The fact that this testimony is overdue is not only frustrating, it leaves Members little opportunity to consider NASA’s testimony in advance of the hearing. If NASA and the Administration can’t meet simple hearing deadlines, it doesn’t inspire great confidence in their ability to meet the much harder deadline of landing astronauts on the Moon by 2024.
By Nicole Quenelle NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center
MOJAVE, Calif., September 13, 2019 (NASA PR) — When Apollo 11’s lunar module, Eagle, landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969, it first flew over an area littered with boulders before touching down at the Sea of Tranquility. The site had been selected based on photos collected over two years as part of the Lunar Orbiter program.
But the “sensors” that ensured Eagle was in a safe spot before
touching down – those were the eyes of NASA Astronaut Neil Armstrong.
WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded a $13.7 million contract to Advanced Space of Boulder, Colorado, to develop and operate a CubeSat mission to the same lunar orbit targeted for Gateway – an orbiting outpost astronauts will visit before descending to the surface of the Moon in a landing system as part of NASA’s Artemis program.
BAY ST. LOUIS, Miss. (NASA PR) — NASA cleared a milestone in preparation for Green Run testing of its Space Launch System (SLS) core stage with an Aug. 23/24 lift and installation of the core stage pathfinder simulator onto the B-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Miss.
The lift and installation of the core stage pathfinder – a size and weight replica of the SLS core stage – is helping teams at Stennis prepare for the Green Run test series.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA plans to land humans on the Moon by 2024 with the Artemis program. Before astronauts step on the lunar surface again, new technology instruments will study the surface.
NASA is engaging the university community for ideas to help achieve some of these activities through its annual Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge,
which is asking university teams to submit robust proposals for sample
lunar payloads that can demonstrate technology systems needed to explore
areas of the Moon that never see the light of day. The 2020 BIG Idea
Challenge is scaling up this year, with larger team sizes and more
funding that will allow for high fidelity concept development.
The Northrop Grumman built attitude control motor (ACM) on Orion’s launch abort system was successfully tested on August 22, at their facility in Elkton, Maryland.
The 30-second trial by fire was the second to last test before it’s qualified for human spaceflight on Artemis 2 — the first mission with astronauts. During the static test, the ACM
produced more than 7,000 pounds of thrust from eight valves, providing
enough force to steer Orion and its crew to a safe distance.
The launch abort system is designed to transport Orion and its crew to safety in the event of
an emergency during launch or ascent. It consists of three solid rocket
motors: the abort motor pulls the crew module away from the launch
vehicle; the ACM steers and orients the capsule; then the jettison motor
ignites to separate the launch abort system from Orion for parachute
deployment and a safe crew landing.
All three motors will be certified for future crewed flights after
qualification tests are completed later this year. The launch abort
system was stress tested earlier this year during the successful Ascent Abort-2 test.
These achievements brings Orion closer to safe flights with
astronauts, paving the way for the first woman and the next man to land
on the Moon by 2024.
In another major step toward landing American astronauts on the lunar surface by 2024, NASA is asking industry to respond to a Request for Proposals to deliver cargo, science experiments and supplies to the Gateway to support Artemis missions to the lunar surface. Commercial supply services will support the agency’s Artemis lunar exploration program which includes sending the first woman and
the next man to surface of the Moon within five years, and preparing for
human exploration of Mars.
Many of you know that I am not a big fan of President Donald Trump. But, occasionally I think he is capable of doing something smart.
One of those smart acts was to appoint Callista Louise Gingrich as
U.S. ambassador to the Holy See in Rome. The smart aspect has nothing
to do with her qualifications for the job, but rather what her
presence in Rome would spare the United States.
referring, of course, to getting her husband, former House Speaker
Newt Gingrich, out of the country. Unless the union has become a
sham, and he was hooking up with a mistress in the U.S. as he had
with Callista during marriage no 2, Newt would be out of the
headlines and out of everyone’s line of sight for long periods of
DEER PARK, Texas – Congressman Brian Babin (TX-36) issued the following statement in response to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine’s announcement today awarding the lunar lander program management to Marshall Space Flight Center.
“I am disappointed by the decision from NASA to not place the lunar lander program management at the Johnson Space Center (JSC),” said Babin. “Marshall Space Flight Center does tremendous work for our nation’s space program, but the knowledge base and skill set for this task unquestionably resides at JSC where the Apollo lunar lander program was successfully managed. Yesterday, I joined Senators Cruz and Cornyn in sending a letter to NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine requesting that this decision be reconsidered.”
To view the letter sent to Administrator Bridenstine, pleaseclick here.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., August 16, 2019 (NASA PR) — NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine was joined Friday by U.S. Representatives Mo Brooks and Robert Aderholt of Alabama and Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, to announce the center’s new role leading the agency’s Human Landing System Program for its return to the Moon by 2024.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — Dr. Lisa Watson-Morgan has been named program manager for NASA’s Human Landing System, tasked with rapid development of the lander that will safely carry the first woman and the next man to the Moon’s surface in 2024. That voyage, a critical milestone in NASA’s bold new Artemis Program, will pave the way for a long-term human presence on the Moon by 2028, reigniting America’s leadership in crewed exploration of the solar system and taking the next giant leap toward sending human explorers to Mars.