Tag: ISS

Terminal Velocity Aerospace Tests Recoverable Experiments Capsule

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High-altitude balloon lifts space reentry capsule for flight test. (Credit: Near Space Corporation)

High-altitude balloon lifts space reentry capsule for flight test. (Credit: Near Space Corporation)

TILLAMOOK, Ore. (NASA PR) — A prototype capsule that one day will return science experiments to Earth was tested by releasing it from a high-altitude balloon in Tillamook, Oregon. Technology like this capsule could one day return biological samples and other small payloads from space in a relatively short time.

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NASA Tests Second International Docking Adapter

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The second International Docking Adapter. (Credit: NASA)

The second International Docking Adapter. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Engineers in the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida recently tested the mechanisms that will connect future commercial crew spacecraft with the second International Docking Adapter. IDA-2, as it’s called, will be taken to the space station on a future cargo resupply mission. It will be one of two connection points for commercial crew spacecraft visiting the orbiting laboratory. The systems and targets for IDA-2 are set to be put through extensive tests with both Boeing’s CST-100 and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon before the adapter is loaded for launch.KSC-315D-0315_0023

“We set IDA-2 up horizontally for the alignment checks with the CST-100 to more closely mirror how the two would connect in space,” said Steve Bigos, project manager for orbital replacement unit processing at Kennedy. “There is a lot of new technology, so it’s very interesting.”

The targets are much more sophisticated than previous docking systems and include lasers and sensors that allow the station and spacecraft to autonomously communicate distance cues and enable alignment and connection. Think of it as a car that can park itself.

Russia Commits to Operating International Space Station Until 2024

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Credit: NASA

Credit: NASA

Some good news for NASA came last week when the Russian government formally committed to operating the International Space Station until 2024. The orbiting facility had been previously slated to be decommissioned in 2020.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos is reportedly to have fought hard for the four-year extension despite tensions between the United States and Russia over Ukraine.

Earlier this year, the Canadian government agreed to continue participating in the program until 2024. The European Space Agency and Japanese government have made similar commitments yet. Japan is widely expected to sign on to the extension.

 

Robotic Refueling Mission Continues on ISS

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RRM operations demonstrate satellite-servicing technologies using the RRM module (right) and the Dextre robot (top center). Behind them, the ISS solar array is visible. (Credit: NASA)

RRM operations demonstrate satellite-servicing technologies using the RRM module (right) and the Dextre robot (top center). Behind them, the ISS solar array is visible. (Credit: NASA)

GREENBELT, Md. (NASA PR) — It’s back, it’s updated, and it’s making great progress – all on the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA’s Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM), a groundbreaking demonstration of new satellite-servicing technologies and techniques, recently resumed operations on the space station after a two-year hiatus. Within five days, the RRM team had outfitted the RRM module with fresh hardware for a series of technology demonstrations and tested a new, multi-capability inspection tool.

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Musk: Failed Strut Suspected in Falcon 9 Failure

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falcon9_debris
By Douglas Messier

Managing Editor

In a press conference today, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said a preliminary investigation has identified the failure of a strut in the second stage liquid oxygen (LOX) tank as the failure of a Falcon 9 rocket last month.

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NASA Selects 4 Astronauts to Train for First Commercial Spaceflights

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NASA has selected experienced astronauts Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley and Sunita Williams to work closely with The Boeing Company and SpaceX to develop their crew transportation systems and provide crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

NASA has selected experienced astronauts Robert Behnken, Eric Boe, Douglas Hurley and Sunita Williams to work closely with The Boeing Company and SpaceX to develop their crew transportation systems and provide crew transportation services to and from the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected four astronauts to train and prepare for commercial spaceflights that will return American launches to U.S. soil and further open up low-Earth orbit transportation to the private sector. The selections are the latest major milestone in the Obama Administration’s plan to partner with U.S. industry to transport astronauts to space, create good-paying American jobs and end the nation’s sole reliance on Russia for space travel.

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Space Access Society Update on Station Supply, Commercial Crew & SpaceX Investigation

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Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)

Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)

Space Access Update #144 7/6/15
copyright 2015 by Space Access Society
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Contents This Issue:

Station Supply Update

Latest From SpaceX

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Station Supply Update

A Russian Progress cargo ship successfully docked with Station in the early hours of Sunday morning. This adds a month to International Space Station’s supply reserves, sufficient now for roughly through November.

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Life Science Companies Win Grants to Fly Experiments on Space Station

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casis_new_logoBOSTON, Mass., July 7, 2015 (CASIS PR) – Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) today announced grant awards for two Massachusetts-based life science companies, totaling $500,000 in funding as part of the Galactic Grant Competition.  The winners were announced at the 2015 ISS R&D Conference, taking place this year in Boston.

The competition, announced last November, allowed Massachusetts life sciences companies to compete for up to $500,000 in grant funding to support experiments on the International Space Station’s (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory. The winning companies are Nanobiosym, Inc. and Zaiput Flow Technologies, both located in Cambridge. The grant funding will allow Zaiput and Nanobiosym to leverage up to $7.4 million per project of support from CASIS to fly their projects up to station, conduct their projects on station, and bring the experiments back to earth.

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SpaceX’s Philosophy: Reliability Through Continual Upgrades

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falcon9_debris

Remains of a Falcon 9 rocket fall to Earth.

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

To succeed in the launch business, you need to be very, very good and more than a little bit lucky. Eventually, there comes a day when you are neither.

That is what happened to SpaceX on June 28. A string of 18 successful Falcon 9 launches was snapped as the company’s latest rocket broke up in the clear blues skies over the Atlantic Ocean. A Dragon supply ship headed for the International Space Station was lost, SpaceX’s crowded manifest was thrown into confusion, and the company’s reputation for reliability was shattered.

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Progress Resupply Ship Arrives at Space Station

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Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)

Progress 60P on approach to ISS. (Ctedit: NASA TV)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Traveling about 251 miles over the south Pacific, southeast of New Zealand, the unpiloted ISS Progress 60 Russian cargo ship docked at 3:11 a.m. EDT to the Pirs Docking Compartment of the International Space Station.

The craft is delivering more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies, including 1,940 pounds of propellant, 106 pounds of oxygen, 926 pounds of water, and 3,133 pounds of spare parts, supplies and experiment hardware for the members of the Expedition 44 crew currently living and working in space. Progress 60 is scheduled to remain docked to Pirs for the next four months.

For more information about the current crew and the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station.