Tag: Lockheed Martin

A Closer Look at Altius Space Machines Projects — Part II

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Altius_logo_newBy Jonathan Goff
CEO and President
Altius Space Machines

Part 2 of 2

In the last post, I introduced the two SBIR Select Phase 1 contracts that Altius has commenced work on. This blog post will focus on the other two Asteroid Redirect Mission contracts which mentioned there. These have been selected for contract negotiation, but aren’t active contracts yet, so I will try to be a little more high-level in this blog post.

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An In-depth Look at Recent Altius Space Machines Contract Awards

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Altius_logo_newBy Jonathan Goff
President and CEO
Altius Space Machines

Part 1 of 2

It has been a while since our last blog post, and those of you have been following the news over the last month may have noticed that Altius has recently been awarded or selected for negotiation on a few significant NASA technology development contracts. These four contracts are:

  • ISS Launched Cubesat Demonstration of Variable-Drag Magnetoshell Aerocapture – an SBIR Select Phase I that MSNW LLC of Redmond, WA is priming with Altius as subcontractor
  • Multi-purpose Interplanetary Deployable Aerocapture System (MIDAS) – an SBIR Select Phase I that Altius is priming with MSNW LLC as subcontractor
  • Kraken Asteroid Boulder Retrieval System – an Asteroid Redirect Mission BAA Phase I that Altius is priming with support from Boston-based Empire Robotics, Dr. Brad Blair of NewSpace Analytics, and the Materials Technology Lab at Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Littleton, CO
  • Multipurpose SEP Module for ARM and Beyond – an Asteroid Redirect Mission BAA Phase I study where Altius will be supporting an industry team led by ExoTerra Resources of Littleton, CO.

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USAF Awards Hosted Payload Contracts to 14 Companies

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USAF_Space_Missile_Systems_CenterThe U.S. Air Force has awarded contracts worth a maximum of $494.9 million each to 14 companies under its Hosted Payload Solutions (HoPS) program.

‘The purpose of the multiple awarded HoPS IDIQ [indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity] contract is to provide a rapid and flexible means for the government to acquire commercial hosting capabilities for government payloads,” according to the contract announcement. “The contract is designed to create a pool of qualified vendors to meet the government’s needs for various hosted payload missions.”

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Mars One Solicits Payloads for 2018 Lander

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Mars One 2018 lander (Credit: Mars One)

Mars One 2018 lander (Credit: Mars One)

AMERSFOORT, The Netherlands, June 30, 2014 (Mars One PR) – Mars One is extending a formal invitation to universities, research bodies, and companies to contribute to the payload of the 2018 unmanned Mars Lander. The best ideas will be chosen by a panel of experts. This mission will act as a staging point for the first-ever human mission to the red planet in 2025.

Mars One is soliciting proposals for four demonstration payloads that will demonstrate technologies for the human mission in 2025, proposals for one payload that will be elected in a world wide university competition, and proposals for two payloads that are for sale to the highest bidder. These last two payloads can be used for scientific experiments, marketing activities or anything inbetween.

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NASA Selects 18 Proposals for Asteroid Redirect Mission Studies

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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 (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 18 proposals for studies under the Asteroid Redirect Mission Broad Agency Announcement (BAA).  These six-month studies will mature system concepts and key technologies and assess the feasibility of potential commercial partnerships to support the agency’s Asteroid Redirect Mission, a key part of the agency’s stepping stone path to send humans to Mars.

The agency is working on two concepts for the mission. The first concept would fully capture a very small asteroid in free space and the other would retrieve a boulder off of a much larger asteroid. Both concepts would redirect an asteroid mass less than 10 meters in size to orbit the moon. Astronauts aboard the Orion spacecraft launched on the Space Launch System (SLS) would rendezvous with the captured asteroid mass in lunar orbit and collect samples for return to Earth.

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ULA Hits Back at SpaceX & Musk, Sees No Interruptions in Russian Engine Deliveries

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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)

ULA has begun to hit back SpaceX and its founder Elon Musk after weeks of criticism. The Washington Post reports:

In a meeting with reporters Wednesday, Michael Gass, the head of United Launch Alliance, met critics’ questions about its reliance on Russian-made engines head on, saying it would begin to develop its own engine in conjunction with several other firms. And he targeted Musk’s SpaceX, saying it was trying to “cut corners” and taking a “dangerous approach” to entering the national security launch business.

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Orion Crew and Service Modules Stacked for Launch

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The Orion crew module for Exploration Flight Test-1 is shown in the Final Assembly and System Testing (FAST) Cell, positioned over the service module just prior to mating the two sections together. The integrated crew and service modules will be put through their final system tests prior to rolling out of the Operations and Checkout Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. Technicians are in position to assist with the final alignment once the crew module is nearly in contact with the service module. (Credit: NASA)

The Orion crew module for Exploration Flight Test-1 is shown in the Final Assembly and System Testing (FAST) Cell, positioned over the service module just prior to mating the two sections together. (Credit: NASA)

DENVER, June 10, 2014 (LMT PR) – Following the completion of the heat shield installation, Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] has stacked the Orion crew module atop of the service module. The stacking took place inside the Final Assembly and System Test (FAST) cell inside the Operations and Checkout facility at Kennedy Space Center.

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Lockheed Martin Purchases Astrotech Space Operations

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Astrotech_Space_Ops_logo_small
AUSTIN, Texas, May 29, 2014 (ASTC PR) — Astrotech Corporation (ASTC) today announced a major step in its strategic evolution with the signing of a definitive agreement to sell the assets constituting its Astrotech Space Operations business (ASO) to Lockheed Martin Corporation, including the assets of its wholly owned subsidiary, Astrotech Space Operations, for $61 million.

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Orion Undergoes Final Assembly for First Test Flight

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First Orion capsule undergoes final assembly. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

First Orion capsule undergoes final assembly. (Credit: Lockheed Martin)

Team Progressing Toward Exploration Flight Test-1

DENVER, May 21, 2014 –Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] and NASA engineers have started the process of installing the largest heat shield ever built onto the Orion spacecraft’s crew module. The heat shield installation marks one of the final steps in the spacecraft’s assembly leading up to its first test flight, Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), later this year.

EFT-1 will provide engineers data about the heat shield’s ability to protect the crew module from the extreme 4000-degree heat of reentry and an ocean splashdown following Orion’s 20,000 mph reentry from space. In addition, key systems such as avionics, separation events, attitude control and guidance, parachute deployment, and ground operations will be evaluated. Comprehensive data from the test flight will influence design decisions most critical to crew safety to lower risks and safely carry humans on future missions to deep space.

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SpaceX Explains Appeal of ULA Bulk Buy Deal

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A Falcon 9 carries a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA TV)

A Falcon 9 carries a Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA TV)

Washington, DC, April 25, 2014 (SPACEX PR) – SpaceX announced today that they are filing a legal challenge to the U.S. Air Force’s latest Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) contract with United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The long-term contract, which guarantees the purchase of 36 rocket cores from ULA to be used in national security launches, was granted to ULA on a sole-source basis without any competition from other launch providers. SpaceX is seeking the right to compete for some of these same launches.

“This exclusive deal unnecessarily costs U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars and defers meaningful free competition for years to come,” said Elon Musk. “We are simply asking that SpaceX and any other qualified domestic launch providers be allowed to compete in the EELV program for any and all missions that they could launch.”

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