Tag: human spaceflight

NASA to Discuss Asteroid Redirect Mission Today

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In this concept image, the robotic vehicle deploys an inflatable bag to envelop a free-flying small asteroid before redirecting it to a distant retrograde lunar orbit. (Credit: NASA)

In this concept image, the robotic vehicle deploys an inflatable bag to envelop a free-flying small asteroid before redirecting it to a distant retrograde lunar orbit. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2014 (NASA PR) — NASA will host a media teleconference at 4 p.m. EST today during which agency officials will discuss and answer questions on the selection of an Asteroid Redirect Mission concept.

The mission is to retrieve an asteroid mass and redirect it into lunar orbit, where astronauts will explore it in the 2020s. The mission will test a number of new capabilities needed for future human deep space expeditions, including to Mars.

Participants for the media teleconference are:

  • Robert Lightfoot, NASA associate administrator
  • Michele Gates, program director, NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission
  • Lindley Johnson, program executive, NASA’s Near Earth Object Program

Audio of the media teleconference will stream live on NASA’s website at:

http://www.nasa.gov/newsaudio 

Find more information about the Asteroid Redirect Mission at:

www.nasa.gov/asteroidinitiative 

NASA Gets Significant Budget Boost in Congressional Spending Measure

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Capitol Building
The Senate Appropriations Committee’s omnibus spending bill would provide a $364 million boost in NASA spending to $18 billion while directing the space agency to spend $100 million on a mission to Jupiter’s enigmatic moon, Europa.

“The bill’s $18 billion investment in NASA balances the portfolio of science, aeronautics, technology and human space flight investments,” the committee said in a press release. “Moreover, it will keep NASA in the forefront of innovation, inspiring private companies to build new crew transportation and fueling a new satellite servicing industry that can revive, refuel and rejuvenate defunct communications satellites. The amount provided for NASA is $364 million more than the fiscal year 2014 enacted level.”

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Boeing Completes Second CCtCAP Milestone

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Concept of the floor of the CST-100 assembly facility that Boeing envisions at Kennedy Space Center. (Credit: Boeing)

Concept of the floor of the CST-100 assembly facility that Boeing envisions at Kennedy Space Center. (Credit: Boeing)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — The momentum of certifying American space transportation systems capable of carrying astronauts to the International Space Station continued on pace as NASA took a comprehensive look at all of Boeing’s ground-based system designs. This Ground Segment Critical Design Review marks the second milestone in the company’s Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract, NASA’s Launch America initiative designed to return human spaceflight launches to the United States and end our reliance on Russia.

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Space Access Society Update

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Space Access Update #137 Followup

12/08/14

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Commercial Crew Funding

We noted in Update #137 that NASA’s funding requirement for the final (CCtCap) phase of Commercial Crew vehicle development is likely to increase radically over the next two years, and that this could be a problem.

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Lori Garver Discusses Orion Flight, NASA’s Long-Range Plans

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Video Caption: NASA space agency celebrated a major successful launch on Friday. However, a former NASA official says it’s being undermined by short-sighted politicians pushing old technology to keep pork barrel spending in their districts With Lori Garver, former Deputy NASA Administrator. From ALL IN, MSNBC

China Outlines Space Station, Moon and Mars Plans

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The crew of Shenzhou-10 after 15 days in space. (Credit: CNSA)

The crew of Shenzhou-10 after 15 days in space. (Credit: CNSA)

Lei Fanpei, chairman of the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC), have given journalists an outline of the China’s plans for it space program over the next 15 years:

China hopes to put a rover on Mars around 2020, complete a manned space station around 2022 and test a heavy carrier rocket around 2030, a top space scientist revealed Sunday.

A feasibility study on the country’s first Mars mission is completed and the goal is now to send an orbiter and rover to Mars….

The Tiangong-2 space lab will be launched around 2016 along with the Shenzhou-11 spacecraft and Tianzhou-1 cargo ship. Around 2018, a core experimental module for the station will be put in place.

By around 2022, China’s first orbiting space station should be completed. It will consist of three parts — a core module attached to two labs, each weighing about 20 tonnes.

A powerful carrier rocket is essential for a manned moon landing.

The rocket is envisaged as having a payload capacity of 130 tonnes to low Earth orbit. Once in service, it will help with missions between 2030 and 2050, and secure China’s position in terms of space exploration and technology.

 

Orion Test Sets Stage for ESA Service Module

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NASA's Orion with the European Service Module (Credit: ESA–D. Ducros)

NASA’s Orion with the European Service Module (Credit: ESA–D. Ducros)

PARIS, 5 December 2014 (ESA PR) – Today’s flight and splashdown of NASA’s first Orion spacecraft paves the way for future human exploration beyond low orbit powered by ESA’s European Service Module.

Orion is NASA’s new spacecraft built to carry humans and designed for journeys to destinations never before visited by astronauts, including an asteroid and Mars.

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ESA Looks Toward Expansion, Deeper International Cooperation

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Credit: ESA

Credit: ESA

The 20-member European Space Agency (ESA) is looking to rapidly add two more nations to its list of member states while deepening cooperation with five other European countries, according to a resolution approved by ESA ministers on Tuesday.

In addition, ESA is looking at “seizing future cooperation opportunities” offered by its three strategic partners — the United States, Russia and China — while improving cooperation with new emerging space powers outside of Europe.

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Sierra Nevada Completes Commercial Crew Milestone

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SNC and ORBITEC complete RCS testing in vacuum chamber to simulate orbit environment. (Credit: SNC)

SNC and ORBITEC complete RCS testing in vacuum chamber to simulate orbit environment. (Credit: SNC)

SPARKS, Nev., Dec. 2, 2014 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) announces the successful completion of a major milestone relating to the Reaction Control System (RCS) propulsion risk reduction for the Dream Chaser®  Space System, known as Milestone 15a. The achievement further matures the design toward Critical Design Review (CDR) and positions SNC one step closer to concluding all milestones laid out in NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) agreement. To date, SNC has received 96 percent of the total award value of the CCiCap agreement, having successfully completed 12 of 13 milestones.

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Boeing Completes First CCtCap Milestone

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Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)

Boeing CST-100 docking at ISS. (Credit: Boeing)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has approved the completion of Boeing’s first milestone in the company’s path toward launching crews to the International Space Station from the United States under a groundbreaking Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contract.

The Certification Baseline Review is the first of many more milestones, including flight tests from Florida’s Space Coast that will establish the basis for certifying Boeing’s human space transportation system to carry NASA astronauts to the space station. The review established a baseline design of the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft, United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, and associated ground and mission operations systems.

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