Tag: Flight Opportunities Program

Impact of Zero G’s Operational Problems on NASA

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Made in Space employees on a Zero G research flight.

Made in Space employees on a Zero G research flight.

As you know, Zero Gravity Corporation provides parabolic flight services to NASA using a modified Boeing 727 aircraft. I asked the folks over at the space agency’s Flight Opportunities Program (FOP), which funds scientific and technical research projects on various vehicles, about what impact the company’s legal and operational problems have had or are having on NASA operations.

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NASA Selects 4 Companies for Flight Opportunities Program

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Masten Space Systems' Xombie technology demonstration test bed ascends into the Mojave Desert sky from the Mojave Air and Space Port during a March 2013 flight to validate Draper Labs' GENIE flight control system. (Credit: NASA/Tom Tschida)

Masten Space Systems’ Xombie technology demonstration test bed ascends into the Mojave Desert sky from the Mojave Air and Space Port during a March 2013 flight to validate Draper Labs’ GENIE flight control system. (Credit: NASA/Tom Tschida)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) – NASA has selected four companies to integrate and fly technology payloads on commercial suborbital reusable platforms that carry payloads near the boundary of space. The selection is part of NASA’s continuing effort to foster a viable market for American commercial reusable suborbital platforms that allow testing of new space technologies within Earth’s atmosphere.

The selected companies are:

  • Masten Space Systems, Mojave, California
  • Paragon Space Development Corp., Tucson, Arizona
  • Up Aerospace Inc., Highlands Ranch, Colorado
  • Virgin Galactic, New York City

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Video of Masten’s Xombie Flying at Mojave

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Video Caption: Astrobotic Technology’s newly developed autonomous landing system was put to the test recently when it controlled Masten Space Systems’ XA-0.1B Xombie suborbital technology demonstration rocket during a flight test at the Mojave Air and Space Port. Astrobotic’s system designed to avoid terrain hazards while safely landing a spacecraft at a specific location on a asteroid, moon or planet.

The June 20 test funded by the Flight Opportunities Program of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate saw the vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing Xombie ascend to about 853 feet in 25 seconds. Using cameras and an inertial measurement unit for navigation, the Astrobotic Autolanding System guided the vehicle to a precise landing.

CU-Boulder Payload Selected for Launch on Virgin Galactic Spaceship

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Credit: Ken Brown

Credit: Ken Brown

BOULDER, Colo. (UC-Boulder PR) — A University of Colorado Boulder payload carrying a novel device designed to reduce the weight and cost of spacecraft fuel pumping systems has been manifested for launch on a suborbital space plane called SpaceShipTwo developed by the aerospace company Virgin Galactic.

The CU-Boulder payload consists of a lubrication-free, pistonless rocket fuel pump, said aerospace engineering sciences Associate Professor Ryan Starkey, principal investigator on the project. The device represents a potential advancement for rocket propellant pressurization and transfer that would reduce the weight and cost of spacecraft fuel systems.

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NASA, Virgin Galactic Announce Payloads for SpaceShipTwo Flight

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SS2_PF03_flight
NASA ARMSTRONG FLIGHT RESEARCH CENTER, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 12 technology experiments to fly on the first commercial research flight on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.

Through NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program within the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, officials have been working with commercial companies, universities and government organizations to coordinate testing of innovative space technologies on research flights through the use of commercial suborbital flight platforms.

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NASA Awards Aerojet Rocketdyne Contract for CubeSat Propulsion System

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CubeSat

CubeSat

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 8, 2014 (Aerojet Rockedyne PR) — Aerojet Rocketdyne, a GenCorp (NYSE:GY) company, has been awarded a contract from the Flight Opportunities Program Office at Armstrong Flight Test Center to develop propulsion technology for miniature satellites that could possibly lower cost and accelerate mission schedules.

Under the first phase of the contract, Aerojet Rocketdyne will develop and perform hot-fire tests on its MPS-120 CubeSat High-Impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System. If selected for a flight demonstration in a second phase, the MPS-120 would be the first chemical propulsion system ever used on a CubeSat.

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NASA Selects New Suborbital Technology Payloads, Total Tops 130

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NASA LOGOEDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program has selected 13 space technology payloads for flights on commercial reusable launch vehicles, and a commercial parabolic aircraft. These flights provide cutting-edge technologies with a valuable platform to conduct tests, before they enter use in the harsh environment of space.

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NASA Seeks Suborbital Technology Payloads

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Masten Space Systems' Xombie technology demonstration test bed ascends into the Mojave Desert sky from the Mojave Air and Space Port during a March 2013 flight to validate Draper Labs' GENIE flight control system. (Credit: NASA/Tom Tschida)

Masten Space Systems’ Xombie technology demonstration test bed ascends into the Mojave Desert sky from the Mojave Air and Space Port during a March 2013 flight to validate Draper Labs’ GENIE flight control system. (Credit: NASA/Tom Tschida)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is seeking proposals from U.S. commercial suborbital reusable launch vehicle providers to integrate and fly technology payloads for the space agency.

NASA uses companies for suborbital flights to encourage and facilitate the growth of this important aerospace market while also providing a means to advance a wide range of new launch vehicle and space technologies.

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NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program Looks to Busy 2014

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An exterior camera on the forward portion of UP Aerospace' SL-8 sounding rocket captures this spectacular view of the Earth's horizon during its flight from Spaceport America in New Mexico for NASA's Flight Opportunities Program last November. (Credit: UP Aerospace)

An exterior camera on the forward portion of UP Aerospace’ SL-8 sounding rocket captures this spectacular view of the Earth’s horizon during its flight from Spaceport America in New Mexico for NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program last November. (Credit: UP Aerospace)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program of the agency’s Space Technology Mission Directorate accomplished its busiest year in 2013 since its inception in late 2010, and 2014 promises to be even busier.

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GLXP Upate: Astrobotic Competes in Milestone Awards, Outlines Lunar Landing Plans

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A mission concept to enter and explore a skylight on the Moon using Tyrobot. (Credit: Astrobotic Technology)

A mission concept to enter and explore a skylight on the Moon using Tyrobot. (Credit: Astrobotic Technology)

Pittsburgh, PA (Astrobotic PR) – Astrobotic Technology announced today that it has advanced to the Accomplishment Round of the Milestone Prizes offered by the Google Lunar XPRIZE, qualifying the team to receive up to $1.75 million for reaching its objectives in three categories – Landing, Mobility, and Imaging.

In a major step toward one of those objectives, Astrobotic is testing its autonomous landing technology with a series of flights on a propulsive lander at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California this month. The flight campaign, which will test the guidance sensors for Astrobotic’s lunar lander, is made possible by a NASA Flight Opportunities Program award. Results will be posted on the Astrobotic website, www.astrobotic.com, once they are available.

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