Tag: Mars

NASA Awards the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport III Follow-On Contract

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Antares rocket on the launch pad on Wallops Island. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Antares rocket on the launch pad on Wallops Island. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded a contract to the Virginia Commercial Space Flight Authority of Norfolk, Virginia for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport III (MARS III) follow-on contract.  The contractor will provide launch site services supporting missions conducted from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops, Virginia.

This is a cost-no-fee, fixed-price indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract valued at $49 million. The effective ordering period for issuing tasks under the contract began December 8 for five years through December 7, 2019.

Services under the contract will be performed at Wallops and the contractor’s off-site facilities.

Orbital to Fly Cygnus Freighter on Atlas V

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Atlas V launch of WorldView-3 satellite (Credit: ULA)

Atlas V launch of WorldView-3 satellite (Credit: ULA)

DULLES, Virg., Dec. 9, 2014 (Orbital PR) – Orbital Sciences Corporation (NYSE: ORB), one of the world’s leading space technology companies, today announced new details in its plans to resume cargo flights to the International Space Station (ISS) and to accelerate the introduction of an upgraded Antares launch vehicle.  In formulating its go-forward plans, the company’s primary objective is to fulfill its commitment to NASA for ISS cargo deliveries with high levels of safety and reliability and minimum disruption to schedules.  As previously announced, these plans are expected to allow Orbital to accomplish all remaining cargo deliveries under its current Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract with NASA by the end of 2016 and with no cost increase to the space agency.

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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.

 

PBS NewsHour Report on Orion and NASA’s Mars Plans

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Video Caption: NASA envisions a human presence on Mars in 20 years. But how will we get there? The Orion spacecraft, an unmanned capsule, will launch on its maiden voyage as an important test for future missions. Science correspondent Miles O’Brien reports on the engineering hurdles as well as the budgetary ones.

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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Preview of the ESA Ministerial Meeting

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ESA ministerial meeting in Naples. (Credit: ESA)

ESA ministerial meeting in Naples. (Credit: ESA)

PARIS, 27 November 2014 (ESA PR) The next Council at Ministerial Level (C/M 14) for the European Space Agency (ESA) takes place in Luxembourg on 2 December. The main topics for decision are reflected in three Resolutions:

  • the Resolution on Europe’s access to space, which recognises the strategic and socio-economic value for Europe to maintain an independent, reliable and affordable access to space for institutional and commercial European customers and underlines the new governance principles related to the exploitation of Europe’s next launcher, Ariane 6, and of the evolution of Vega, Vega-C;
  • the Resolution on Europe’s space exploration strategy, addressing ESA’s three destinations (low-Earth orbit (LEO), Moon and Mars) and, for the LEO destination, in particular the International Space Station (ISS) Programme; and, finally,
  • the Resolution on ESA evolution.

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NASA’s Marshall Center’s ‘NTREES’ Facility Tests ‘Ticket to Mars’ Technologies

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The NTREES test facility -- housed at the Marshall Space Flight Center -- safely tests simulated nuclear fuel elements, which reduce risk and costs associated with advanced propulsion technologies. (Credit:  NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given)

The NTREES test facility — housed at the Marshall Space Flight Center — safely tests simulated nuclear fuel elements, which reduce risk and costs associated with advanced propulsion technologies. (Credit:
NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — Nuclear Thermal Propulsion technologies are the subject of a new test series at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. Researchers there are using an innovative test facility to study the properties of highly promising nuclear fuels — without the risk of radiation exposure associated with handling these potent power sources. The current test series focused on analysis of a variety of fuel elements in a simulated thermal environment kicked off in early October with completion targeted in June 2015.

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NASA Prepares its Science Fleet for Oct. 19 Mars Comet Encounter

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NASA_Siding_Swift_FleetWASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s extensive fleet of science assets, particularly those orbiting and roving Mars, have front row seats to image and study a once-in-a-lifetime comet flyby on Sunday, Oct. 19.

Comet C/2013 A1, also known as comet Siding Spring, will pass within about 87,000 miles (139,500 kilometers) of the Red Planet — less than half the distance between Earth and our moon and less than one-tenth the distance of any known comet flyby of Earth.

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Next Cygnus Launch to ISS Set for Oct. 24

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Cygnus and ISS robotic arm (Credit: NASA)

Cygnus and ISS robotic arm (Credit: NASA)

Orb-3 CRS Mission Update
October 7, 2014
Orbital Press Release

Orbital and NASA today announced an updated schedule for the launch of the Orb-3 cargo delivery mission to the International Space Station (ISS) under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.  The launch of the Orb-3 mission is now scheduled for October 24, 2014, with a targeted lift-off time of 7:52 p.m. (EDT) from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia.

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