Tag: ISS

Report: Blue Origin Joined Boeing Commercial Crew Bid

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At Blue Origin’s West Texas facility, the BE-3 engine demonstrated a full simulated suborbital mission profile, igniting, throttling, and restarting on command. (Credit: NASA)

At Blue Origin’s West Texas facility, the BE-3 engine demonstrated a full simulated suborbital mission profile, igniting, throttling, and restarting on command. (Credit: NASA)

The Wall Street Journal reports that Blue Origin has joined Boeing’s commercial crew bid as a partner, although in what capacity remains unclear.

The newspaper also reports that Jeff Bezos’s space company will team with United Launch Alliance to develop a replacement first-stage engine for the Atlas V, which will launch Boeing’s CST-100 crew vehicle to the International Space Station. The new engine would replace the Russian RD-180 engine.

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Dragon to Carry Made in Space’s 3D Printer to ISS

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The 3-D printer passed flight certification and acceptance testing at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, in April. The technology demonstration will print objects in the Microgravity Science Glovebox (MSG). The MSG Engineering Unit at Marshall is pictured in the background. (Credit:  NASA/Emmett Given)

TMike Snyder and Jason Dunn, both from Made In Space, assemble the 3-D printer that will fly to the International Space Station in the company’s cleanroom. (Credit: Made In Space)

By Jessica Eagan
International Space Station Program Science Office
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

Riddle: It’s the size of a small microwave, and it may alleviate the need for NASA astronauts to wait for resupply ships to arrive at the International Space Station to get some essential items.

Answer: A 3-D printer — the first ever to be flown to space. And it could change the way NASA does business aboard the space station.

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ULA, SpaceX Set to Launch This Week From Florida

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Launch of Atlas V with NROL-33 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on May 22, 2014. (Credit: ULA)

Launch of Atlas V with NROL-33 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on May 22, 2014. (Credit: ULA)

There are two launches on tap this week from Cape Canaveral. The first is an ULA Atlas V on Tuesday, followed by a SpaceX Falcon 9 on Saturday.

The Atlas V mission with the CLIO payload is set to lift off on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 5:44 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch window extends until 8:10 p.m. ULA webcasts its launches here.

CLIO is a top-secret satellite being launched for an unidentified government agency.

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, carrying its Dragon cargo spacecraft loaded with more than 5,000 pounds of scientific experiments and supplies, will lift off on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 2:16 a.m. EDT.

NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 1:15 a.m. If for any reason the launch is postponed, the next launch opportunity is Sunday, Sept. 21 at approximately 1:53 a.m.

NanoRacks Continues Investigation of ISS CubeSat Deployer Problems

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International Space Station solar array panels, Earth’s horizon and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the Feb. 11 deployment of the first of 33 small satellites using the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer. (Credit: NASA)

International Space Station solar array panels, Earth’s horizon and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the Feb. 11 deployment of the first of 33 small satellites using the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer. (Credit: NASA)

NanoRacks Update

The investigation of the anomalies on the CubeSat deployers continues and has three main components:

  1. To understand the root cause of the behavior of the deployers
  2. To put corrective actions into place
  3. To plan a resumption in CubeSat deployments

We believe we are making progress in understanding the root cause of the anomalies. The team of NanoRacks and the CubeSat deployer manufacturer Quad M are now able to duplicate on the ground the anomalies observed in space.

Yesterday we showed the results to a NASA working group. In addition, NanoRacks has brought in a team from the Aerospace Corporation to assist NanoRacks in the investigation and in finding a pathway for future deployments. All parties are reviewing historical and new test data to validate the preliminary root cause we have identified. At the same time, the broad root cause analysis continues as NASA and NanoRacks explore all possible causes.

NanoRacks is appreciative of the hard work of NASA and the other ISS partners, including Roscosmos and JAXA, as they examine and seek to help resolve the situation. We are also appreciative for the many notes and calls we have received from the industry in support for this ground-breaking effort to stimulate the CubeSat market.

We will provide further information when appropriate.

Thanks,

The NanoRacks Team

ISS Instrument to Be Assembled Robotically On Orbit

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RapidScat's two-part payload is shown in the trunk of a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: NASA)

RapidScat’s two-part payload is shown in the trunk of a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Press Release

NASA’s ISS-RapidScat wind-watching scatterometer, which is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station no earlier than Sept. 19, will be the first science payload to be robotically assembled in space since the space station itself. This image shows the instrument assembly on the left, shrouded in white. On the right is Rapid-Scat’s nadir adapter, a very sophisticated bracket that points the scatterometer toward Earth so that it can record the direction and speed of ocean winds. The two pieces are stowed in the unpressurized trunk of a SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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Astronauts Continue Efforts to Deploy CubeSats From ISS

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Two three-unit (3U) CubeSats. At about a foot in length and four inches wide, these are similar in design to IceCube and the five selected heliophysics CubeSats. (Credit: NASA)

Two three-unit (3U) CubeSats. At about a foot in length and four inches wide, these are similar in design to IceCube and the five selected heliophysics CubeSats. (Credit: NASA)

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station are continuing efforts to deploy CubeSats despite bulky equipment with the deploying mechanisms. NASA’s daily ISS status reports (see below) say efforts were made this week without success.

NanoRacks will be sending up a new command box which they believe will solve the problem. The next box should be on station early next year.

ISS Daily Summary Report – 09/04/14

NanoRacks CubeSat Deployers:  Additional attempts to launch CubeSats from deployers #4, 7, and 8 were made overnight without success. 24 commands were sent attempting to deploy #4, 30 commands were sent to deployer #7, and 17 deploy commands were sent to deployer #8.  Ground Teams are continuing to assess the issue and are working on a forward plan.

ISS Daily Summary Report – 09/03/14

NanoRacks CubeSat Deployers: Overnight, ground teams attempted deployment of three undeployed launchers (#4, 7, 8) without success. Additional deploy attempts are being planned this evening.

ISS Daily Summary Report – 08/25/14

NanoRacks Inadvertent Deploy: On Saturday, ground teams observed the inadvertent deploy of two Cosmogia CubeSats from Deployer #5 of the NanoRack Cubesat Deployer (NRCSD). The ISS was still in the deploy attitude and the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM) Remote Manipulator System (JEMRMS) was still positioned for the deployment. No issues have been identified with the deployment trajectory, the CubeSats or the ISS. Ground teams are investigating the probable cause and discussing future operations with the NRCSD and CubeSats remaining in the deployer.

Sarah Brightman to Begin Space Training Early Next Year

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Sarah Brightman

An update on singer Sarah Brightman’s space tourism trip to the International Space Station (ISS) next year:

British famed soprano singer Sarah Brightman would begin pre-flight trainings for her journey to the International Space Station (ISS) as a space tourist early next year, instead of this autumn, Yuri Lonchakov, the head of the Russia’s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre, said on Wednesday.

“She will begin trainings in the Star City in January of 2015 and therefore we are all waiting for her,” Lonchakov said adding that he believed “her training will be a success.”

Less than three months ago Lonchakov said that the famous singer had already passed a number of medical examination and tests and was ready to begin preparations for the trip to the ISS at the Star City space training facility in the Moscow Region in September or October.

Lonchakov’s earlier statement that Brightman could start her trainings this autumn was also confirmed in June by the president of the US-based company in charge of organizing her trip.

Read the full story.

Report: Russia Won’t Meet 2018 Launch Date From Vostochny

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OKA-T spacecraft (Credit: RSC Energia)

OKA-T spacecraft (Credit: RSC Energia)

A Russian plan to launch cosmonauts into orbit from the new Vostochny spaceport in 2018 appears to have been abandoned, but officials have come up with a way to sort of meet that deadline.

‘RussianSpaceWeb.com reports the current plan is to launch a human-tended microgravity laboratory called Oka-T into space in 2018. The free-flying laboratory will conduct material sciences experiments and would be periodically serviced by cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station.

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Altius Proposes System to Launch CubeSats From Cygnus Supply Ships

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Satellite deployed from Cygnus cargo module using Hatchbasket. (Credit: Altius Space Machines)

Satellite deployed from Cygnus cargo module using Hatchbasket. (Credit: Altius Space Machines)

Space News reports on an innovative proposal by Altius Space Machines to use Cygnus cargo ships to launch CubeSats into higher orbits:

Altius engineers have designed the new payload carrier, called HatchBasket, to fit in the hatchway of Orbital Sciences Corp.’s enhanced Cygnus cargo module and take advantage of fuel remaining in the unmanned cargo ship to boost the capsule to an altitude of approximately 500 kilometers where HatchBasket would expel its complement of satellites.

Satellites launched at that altitude are likely to remain in orbit without onboard propulsion systems for two to three years. In comparison, the anticipated lifespan for cubesats released from the space station, which travels at an altitude of roughly 350 kilometers from Earth, is six to 12 months, said Jonathan Goff, president and chief executive of Louisville, Colorado-based Altius.

It is not yet clear how many satellites HatchBasket would carry, because Altius and NASA officials are continuing to discuss how large the payload carrier should be, said William Bolton, vice president for marketing and sales.

A preliminary version of HatchBasket exhibited at Utah State University’s annual Small Satellite conference in August was large enough to hold 40 three-unit cubesats, which are roughly the size of a loaf of bread and weigh 3 to 4 kilograms, as well as two much larger satellites around 180 kilograms. Now it appears more likely that HatchBasket will hold one or two 50-kilogram satellites in addition to a number of cubesats that has not yet been determined, Bolton said.

Altius is working on the project with NanoRacks, which launches CubeSats from the Japanese Kibo module.

NanoRacks Continues Investigation of CubeSat Deployment Anomalies

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International Space Station solar array panels, Earth’s horizon and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the Feb. 11 deployment of the first of 33 small satellites using the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer. (Credit: NASA)

International Space Station solar array panels, Earth’s horizon and the blackness of space provide the backdrop for the Feb. 11 deployment of the first of 33 small satellites using the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployer. (Credit: NASA)

Houston, TX, September 3, 2014 (NanoRacks PR) – We are continuing our analysis into the non-performing CubeSat Deployers onboard the International Space Station (ISS).

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