Sierra Nevada Signs Contract with NASA for Deep Space Habitat Prototype

Artist rendering of conceptual design for deep space habitat. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev. (January 25, 2018) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has formalized its agreement with NASA under Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships-2 (NextSTEP-2), signing a contract to design and develop a prototype for a deep space habitat. The formal signing of the contract under NextSTEP Broad Agency Announcement, Appendix A: Habitat Systems, aimed at enabling potential long-duration human missions in deep space, clears the way for actual production of SNC’s prototype in the coming months.

SNC is partnering with Aerojet Rocketdyne and ILC Dover to begin the conceptual architectural design; they will build a full-scale ground prototype of the main habitable volume over the next 19 months.

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NASA & Contractors Developing New Astronaut Gloves

David Clark Company’s unique spacesuit pressure restraint. (Credit: David Clark Company)
David Clark Company’s unique spacesuit pressure restraint. (Credit: David Clark Company)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Over the summer of 2016, the Next Generation Life Support (NGLS) project received delivery from three industry partners of several new promising spacesuit technologies, namely for advancing glove designs and capabilities. Glove prototypes incorporating these technologies are now undergoing testing and performance evaluation under increased operating pressures and in the more challenging environments expected during future space exploration.

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ILC Dover Awarded NASA Contract for Next Generation Spacesuit

ILC_Dover_newsuits

FREDERICA, DE (ILC Dover PR) — ILC Dover, the designer and manufacturer of NASA’s space suits and a wide range of engineered film and fabric products, announced today it was awarded an 18 month contract to design, manufacture and test the next generation of NASA’s Spacesuits – the Z-2. The new suit, designed for enhanced spacewalk capability, will operate at higher pressure levels than previous models, which will greatly improve exploration work efficiency.

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NASA Selects 3 Firms for Advanced Inflatable Entry Technology Development

A Global Aerospace ballute performs aerocapture for a lander at Mars (credit: Kees Veenenbos).

WASHINGTON — NASA has selected Airborne Systems North America of Santa Ana, Calif., ILC Dover LP of Frederica, Del., and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company of Littleton, Colo., to support agency inflatable aerodynamic decelerator research and development, including work on the Space Technology Program’s Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) project.

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SpaceX Subcontractors Revealed!

When NASA released its CCDev 2 agreement with SpaceX, the space agency redacted the names of the company’s partners on human-rating the Dragon spacecraft. A recent PowerPoint presentation given by NASA official Maria Collura reveals them publicly. And the partners are…

Ahhhh, you didn’t think I’d tell you before the break, did you?

C’mon, click to continue reading. You’re dying to know…. 🙂

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Commercial Spacesuit Companies Compete for Market Share

The FAA’s 2011 U.S. Commercial Space Transportation Developments and Concepts: Vehicles, Technologies, and Spaceports report has a section that looks at commercial spacesuits being developed by American companies.

One of these companies, ILC Dover, has been building spacesuits for NASA for decades, producing the suits worn on the moon by Apollo astronauts and space shuttle astronauts. The David Clark Company has been around since 1941, producing pressure suits for Chuck Yeager, Gemini astronauts, and the space shuttle program. The third company, Orbital Outfitters, is a newcomer that is designing pressure suits for XCOR’s Lynx suborbital vehicle.

The relevant section from the report is reproduced after the break.

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Hamilton Sundstrand Challenges Spacesuit Award to Oceaneering

Hamilton Sundstrand protests NASA contract
Associated Press

“Hamilton Sundstrand has protested NASA’s selection of a Texas company to supply the space agency’s next-generation space suit. The subsidiary of Hartford-based United Technologies Corp. and a partner company filed the protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office on Monday. Company officials do not believe they got adequate information from NASA about why Hamilton Sundstrand lost out, the company said in a statement.

“The contract was awarded June 12 to Houston-based Oceaneering International Inc., best known for providing deep water services and products to the oil and gas industry. Hamilton Sundstrand and its partner, ILC Dover of Frederica, Del., have supplied the space suits since the 1960s.”

Oceaneering Suited NASA’s Needs Better than Hamilton Sundstrand, ILC Dover

NASA Eyed Management In Spacesuit Selection
Frank Morring, Jr.
Aviation Week & Space Technology

NASA picked a team headed by Oceaneering International Inc. (OII) to build its next-generation spacesuits because it felt the team’s systems engineering and management plans are more likely to get the job done than those proposed by veteran suitmakers Hamilton Sundstrand and ILC Dover.”

Harris will build next-generation space suit radios
David Hubler
Washington Technology

“Harris Corp. will provide the radio communications and navigation system for NASA’s next-generation spacesuit under a seven-year contract with a potential value of $58 million.”

NASA Awards Contract for Constellation Spacesuit for the Moon
Press Release
Paragon Space Development Company