Tag: commercial crew

Simulators Give Astronauts Glimpse of Future Flights

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Astronauts Suni WIlliams and Eric Boe evaluate part-task trainers for Boeing's CST-100 Starliner at the company's St. Louis facility. (Credit: NASA/Dmitri Gerondidakis)

Astronauts Suni WIlliams and Eric Boe evaluate part-task trainers for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner at the company’s St. Louis facility. (Credit: NASA/Dmitri Gerondidakis)

By Stephanie Martin and Steven Siceloff
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

NASA’s commercial crew astronauts Suni Williams and Eric Boe tried out a new generation of training simulators at the Boeing facility in St. Louis Tuesday that will prepare them for launch, flight and returns aboard the company’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. The training also brought recollections of earlier eras when NASA’s Mercury and Gemini spacecraft were built in St. Louis and astronauts routinely travelled to the city for simulator time.

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Profile of NASA Launch Vehicle Deputy Manager Dayna Ise

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Dayna Ise (Credit: NASA)

Dayna Ise (Credit: NASA)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — American-built rockets will soon once again launch astronauts from American soil, and Dayna Ise, an engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, is excited to be part of the program making this possible.

Ise, deputy manager of the Launch Vehicle Office in NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, said working at the dawn of a new generation of human spaceflight brings intensity in a number of areas.

“Of all the projects I have been part of with NASA in my 15 years, this is easily the work I am most proud of,” said Ise, who started her career working on space shuttle main engines. “I joined the team early on, almost five years ago, and it’s been fun to see it grow. It’s exciting to be part of program that will launch astronauts to the space station from American soil and allow NASA more resources for exploration deeper into our solar system.”

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Senate Appropriations Committee Provides $19.3 Billion for NASA

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Capitol Building
WASHINGTON (Senate Appropriations Committee PR) — National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) – $19.3 billion for NASA, $21 million over the FY2016 enacted level and $1 billion above the FY2017 NASA budget request, to support the human and robotic exploration of space, fund science missions that enhance the understanding of the Earth, the solar system, and the universe, and support fundamental aeronautics research. This includes:

  • $2.15 billion for the Space Launch System (SLS), which is $150 million above the FY2016 enacted level and $920 million above the request. The SLS is the nation’s launch vehicle that will enable humans to explore space beyond current capabilities. The funding maintains the current schedule for the first launch of SLS, and provides $300 million in critical funding for upper stage engine work for future crewed missions in 2021 and beyond.
  • $1.3 billion for the Orion crewed spacecraft, $30 million above the FY2016 enacted level and $247 million above the request, to enable a crewed launch in 2021. Orion is the NASA-crewed vehicle being designed to take astronauts to destinations farther than ever before, including Mars.
  • $5.4 billion for Science, $194 million below the FY2016 enacted level and $92.5 million above the request. This funding encompasses missions from the Earth to the Moon, throughout the solar system, and the far reaches of the universe.
  • $1.18 billion, the same as the request, to further develop a domestic crew launch capability. Once developed and fully tested, these vehicles will help end the United States’ reliance on Russia for transporting American astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
  • $687 million for Space Technology, the same as the FY2016 enacted level and $4.1 million below the request. Funding is included to advance projects that are early in development that will eventually demonstrate capabilities needed for future space exploration.

Profile of NASA Launch Vehicle Chief Engineer Dan Dorney

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Dan Dorney (Credit: NASA)

Dan Dorney (Credit: NASA)

By Bill Hubscher,
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

NASA’s Dan Dorney has never been afraid to think big.

As a 7-year-old boy growing up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, in 1969, Dorney watched the Apollo 11 moon landing from his living room and decided he needed to build his own rocket. He sent a letter to NASA asking how to do that. Much to his parents’ surprise, he got a response – NASA sent him plans to build a simple model rocket. Which he immediately rejected.

“I wanted the real wiring schematics and engine plans,” Dorney says. “I wanted to build my own life-size rocket to go to the moon. I was ready to be an aerospace engineer.”

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Commercial Crew Moves Forward Toward Flight Tests

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Launch_America_Commercial_Crew
By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Five years in, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is at the doorstep of launch for a new generation of spacecraft and launch vehicles that will take astronauts to the International Space Station, enhance microgravity research and open the windows to the dawn of a new era in human space transportation.

Returning the capability to launch astronauts from American soil brings tremendous satisfaction for the team working toward it.

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It’s Crunch Time for Commercial Crew: Serious Challenges Lay Ahead

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commercial_crew_cst100_dragon_iss
Boeing and SpaceX are using a “high risk strategy” to develop commercial crew vehicles to carry astronauts to the International Space Station that could result in costly delays in the program, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

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Starliner Crew Access Arm Undergoes Evacuation Water Test

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KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Engineers and technicians gathered at dusk recently at a construction site near Kennedy Space Center in Florida to test systems that will support Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft. The Crew Access Arm and White Room saw some of the most dynamic testing thus far, when hundreds of gallons of water were sprayed along the arm and beneath it for an evaluation of its water deluge system. The system is a key safety feature for future launches on the Starliner, one of two commercial spacecraft in development to carry astronauts to the station.

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I Will Launch America: Avionics Engineer Ian Kappes

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Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

Most people who watch a launch focus on the rocket flying through the sky with lots of smoke and fire, but Ian Kappes trains his eyes solely on a trail of numbers transmitted from the launch vehicle and spacecraft as they soar into orbit.

Kappes leads the launch vehicle avionics systems team for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, so it’s up to him and a team of engineers nationwide to make sure the computers that control the rockets are up to the responsibility of safely carrying astronauts to the International Space Station. A veteran of NASA’s Space Shuttle Program since in 2006, Kappes is now working closely with commercial crew providers Boeing and SpaceX on the next generation of human-rated space systems.

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Bolden’s Statement Before Senate Appropriations Committee on NASA’s FY 2017 Budget

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NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden

Statement of
The Honorable Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
Administrator
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

before the

Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice,
Science, and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
United States Senate

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I am pleased to have this opportunity to discuss NASA’s FY 2017 budget request. The President is proposing an FY 2017 budget of more than $19 billion for NASA, building on the strong and consistent support NASA has received from this Committee and the Congress. This request, which includes both discretionary and mandatory funding, will allow NASA to continue to lead the world in space through a balanced program of exploration, science, technology, and aeronautics research.

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Air Force, NASA Prepare for America’s Return to Human Spaceflight

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Master Sgt. Chris Seinkner, 308th Rescue Squadron, Patrick AFB, Fla., teams up with Staff Sgt. Eli Reynolds, of the 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev., to install the stabilization collar on the Orion Capsule during a recent exercise at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas. (Credit; NASA)

Master Sgt. Chris Seinkner, 308th Rescue Squadron, Patrick AFB, Fla., teams up with Staff Sgt. Eli Reynolds, of the 88th Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev., to install the stabilization collar on the Orion Capsule during a recent exercise at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas. (Credit; NASA)

PATRICK AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (USAF PR) — Air Force pararescue teams and astronauts practiced aspects of safe rescue operations recently when they completed rehearsals at NASA’s Neutral Buoyancy Lab in Houston, Texas, and at Langley Research Center, Virginia.

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Commercial Crew: Building in Safety from the Ground Up

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Astronaut Suni Williams jumps into the Hydro Impact Basin at NASA's Langley Research Center after completing a practice session with an Air Force pararescue team with a mock-up of a Boeing CST-100 Starliner. (Credit: NASA/ Langley Research Center)

Astronaut Suni Williams jumps into the Hydro Impact Basin at NASA’s Langley Research Center after completing a practice session with an Air Force pararescue team with a mock-up of a Boeing CST-100 Starliner. (Credit: NASA/ Langley Research Center)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Commercial Crew Program is set to return human spaceflight launches to the International Space Station from U.S. soil. We share accountability with our commercial providers, Boeing and SpaceX, to implement a robust process for the development of safe, reliable and cost effective commercial crew transportation systems. NASA’s critical obligation is to ensure crew safety and success for NASA missions, and the providers are each responsible for safe operations of commercial crew transportation systems.

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Crew Readying Station for Future Commercial Crew Vehicles

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Dragon berthed at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

Dragon berthed at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The three orbiting residents on the International Space Station worked on commercial crew vehicle equipment and lab maintenance today. The crew members also worked on life science and physics research to improve life for citizens on Earth and future space crews.

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Q&A With Commercial Crew Astronaut Suni Williams

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HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Suni Williams is one of four astronauts selected to train closely with Boeing and SpaceX as they develop a new generation of human-rated space systems in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

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The Puzzling Space Leadership Preservation Act

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Capitol Building
On Thursday, the House Science Committee had a hearing on one of the more puzzling pieces of legislation to come out of Congress lately: the Space Leadership Preservation Act.

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Engineer Makes Sure Commercial Crew Craft Will Make Smooth Landing

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Engineer Jeff Thon at the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: Jeff Thon)

Engineer Jeff Thon at the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: Jeff Thon)

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

One of the engineers NASA depends on to assess the landing systems of the next generation of human-rated spacecraft brings 14 years of experience working with parachutes on launch systems.

Plus, as a skydiver, he knows what it’s like to have his life depend on a parachute.

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