Tag: NASA Ames

NASA, Moon Express to Host Project Update at KSC

moon_is_me_logoNews media representatives are invited to a project update to discuss planned Moon Express vehicle testing set to begin in November at Kennedy’s Shuttle Landing Facility. The event will occur at 2 p.m. EST Monday, Nov. 3.

Moon Express Inc., headquartered at the NASA Research Park at Moffett Field, California, will perform vehicle testing at the facility as part of NASA’s Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown or CATALYST initiative. The purpose of the Lunar CATALYST is to encourage the development of U.S. private sector robotic lunar landers, and this initiative is being executed by means of no-funds-exchanged Space Act Agreements with U.S. private sector partners.

During the event, members of the media also will have the opportunity to tour the Morpheus hangar and visit the autonomous landing and hazard avoidance technology, or ALHAT, hazard field. In addition, engineers and technicians with NASA’s Swamp Works laboratory will provide a robotics demonstration adjacent to the hazard field.

For more information about Lunar CATALYST, visit:


For more information about Moon Express, visit:


This Week on The Space Show


This week on The Space Show with David Livingston:

1. Monday, Oct. 13, , 2014: 2-3:30 PM PDT (5-6:30 PM EDT, 4-5:30 PM CDT): We welcome back BRUCE PITTMAN, Chief System Engineer, NASA Space Portal/SETI, & NASA Ames Research Center.

2. Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014:,7-8:30 PM PDT (10-11:30 PM EDT, 9-10:30 PM CDT): This is our Space Show Audition Program. For those of you wanting to be a guest on TSS, this program is for you. Call us & tell us what you are doing regarding space & why you want to be a guest on the show. We will also take Open Lines calls but our focus is on auditions for The Space Show.

3. Friday, Oct. 107 2014, 9:30 -11 AM PDT (12:30-2 PM EDT; 11:30-1 PM CDT):TBD. We welcome JEREMY STRAUB & JOE VACEK to discuss the impact of regulations on education, research & small business (with a small satellite perspective). .

4. Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, 12-1:30 PM PDT (3-4:30 PM EDT, 2-3:30 PM CDT). Welcome MIKE SNYDER, the Director of R& D for Made in Space, to the program. They recent placed a 3D printer on the ISS.

So What’s Going on With Google’s Effort to Lease Moffett Field?


Over at Pando Daily, Dan Raile asks that musical question that’s been on everybody’s mind, “What ever happened to Google’s lease for a huge government airfield in Mountain View?”

In February, the General Services Administration announced that Planetary Ventures, a Google-backed company, had submitted the winning bid for a 20-year lease on Moffett Field, which is currently managed by NASA Ames. Negotiations were to be complete by July 1, but Raile reports discussions appear to be in limbo.

Continue reading ‘So What’s Going on With Google’s Effort to Lease Moffett Field?’

NASA Ames Research Heads for Space Station

Dragon berthed at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

Dragon berthed at ISS. (Credit: NASA)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Ames Research Center has launched four life science experiments to the International Space Station aboard NASA’s commercial cargo resupply flight of the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. The research missions include a microbiology study of yeast, a fruit fly study designed and built by students, a plant biology investigation and the maiden voyage of NASA’s new rodent research system.

Continue reading ‘NASA Ames Research Heads for Space Station’

DSI Opens Lab in Silicon Valley


dsi_logoMOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (DSI PR) – Deep Space last month opened a lab and office at the NASA Ames Research Park at Moffett Field in Silicon Valley, and expanded its staff. The new facility provides space to begin assembly of the company’s initial spacecraft for an exciting project to be announced next month, with room to expand. The new location enhances the visibility of Deep Space with the NASA-Ames leadership for partnering and contracting. Ames is NASA’s lead center for small spacecraft and hosts a number of agency experts in commercial space. The new facility is in close proximity to technology-savvy investors, partners and a skilled technology workforce.

Deep Space also is growing its team with several new hires and research collaborators. Colorado-based Rhonda Stevenson is now Chief Sales and Promotions Officer, starting with the revamp of the Deep Space By Design retail web site and also covering games, apps, and retail product licensing.

Continue reading ‘DSI Opens Lab in Silicon Valley’

NanoRacks Sends Experiments to ISS


nano_racks_logoHOUSTON (NanoRacks PR) –Orbital Sciences’ Cygnus spacecraft successfully berthed to the International Space Station (ISS) Wednesday morning after launching Sunday afternoon from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility.

Onboard were 32 CubeSats and 10 internal payloads from NanoRacks’ customers holding dozens of research experiments onboard.

Orbital’s Cygnus was brought to orbit by a two-stage Antares rocket. Cygnus was carrying 1,664 kg of supplies, CubeSats, and research experiments for the Space Station. Cygnus will remain berthed at the ISS for about 30 days where station crew will unload the experiments and other hardware. This was Orbital Sciences’ third resupply mission to the ISS, including their Orb-D1 developmental milestone launch.

Continue reading ‘NanoRacks Sends Experiments to ISS’

NASA Ames Launches Smartphone Upgrade and CubeSat Aboard Orbital Rocket

NASA’s Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) equipped with a smartphone. (Credit: NASA/Ames)

NASA’s Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) equipped with a smartphone. (Credit: NASA/Ames)

MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, has launched a variety of experiments into space on Sunday aboard NASA’s second commercial cargo resupply flight of the Orbital Sciences Corporation Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS).

These experiments include free-flying robots equipped with a smartphone and a small satellite with a de-orbiting device, called an “exo-brake.” They will arrive at the space station when Cygnus berths on Wednesday, July 16.

Continue reading ‘NASA Ames Launches Smartphone Upgrade and CubeSat Aboard Orbital Rocket’

World Cup Football Provides Lessons in Aerodynamics

Dr. Rabi Mehta uses smoke and lasers to inspect the flow pattern around an Adidas Brazuca football. (Credit: NASA)

Dr. Rabi Mehta uses smoke and lasers to inspect the flow pattern around an Adidas Brazuca football. (Credit: NASA)

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (NASA PR) — Fans across the globe have been cheering on their team during the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) 2014 World Cup tournament. These fans include NASA engineers, who used the lead-up to the tournament to test the aerodynamics of this year’s new ball design, developed by Adidas and dubbed the Brazuca ball.

Although NASA is not in the business of designing or testing balls, the tournament provides an opportunity to explain the concepts of aerodynamics to students and individuals less familiar with the fundamentals of aerodynamics.

Continue reading ‘World Cup Football Provides Lessons in Aerodynamics’

Video Presentation on Red Dragon Mission to Mars


Abstract: One of Ames’ long standing science interests has been to robotically drill deeply into Mars’ subsurface environment (2 meters, or more) to investigate the habitability of that zone for past or extant life. Large, capable Mars landers would ease the problem of landing and operating deep robotic drills. In 2010, an Ames scientist realized that the crew-carrying version of the SpaceX Dragon capsule would possess all the subsystems necessary to perform a soft landing on Earth, and raised the question of whether it could also soft land on Mars. If it could, it might be a candidate platform for a Discovery or Mars Scout class deep drilling mission, for example.

After approximately 3 years studying the engineering problem we have concluded that a minimally modified Dragon capsule (which we call the “Red Dragon”) could successfully perform an all-propulsive Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL). We present and discuss the analysis that supports this conclusion. At the upper limits of its capability, a Red Dragon could land approximately 2 metric tons of useful payload, or approximately twice the mass that the MSL Skycrane demonstrated with a useful volume 3 or 4 times as great. This combination of features led us to speculate that it might be possible to land enough mass and volume with a Red Dragon to enable a Mars Sample Return mission in which Mars Orbit Rendezvous is avoided, and the return vehicle comes directly back to Earth. This potentially lowers the risk and cost of a sample return mission. We conclude that such an Earth-Direct sample return architecture is feasible if the Earth Return Vehicle is constructed as a small spacecraft. Larry Lemke will present and discuss the analysis that supports this conclusion.

Report: Google in Talks with Virgin Galactic on Equity Share, Satellite Launcher Deal


Google_logo_newAs I reported here exclusively back on May 11, Google has been in talks with Virgin Galactic for acquisition of its LauncherOne satellite technology and an equity stake in Richard Branson’s space tourism company. Sky News reports:

The talks are likely to lead to a deal with two main elements, according to insiders.

The first will see Google inject hundreds of millions of dollars into a joint venture, with Virgin Galactic folding in the technology it has developed as part of its efforts to build the world’s first space tourism business.

The second component will involve Google spending roughly $30m (£17.8m) in return for a small stake in the Virgin Galactic holding company.

The terms of the alliance have not yet been finalised and could yet be altered before a deal is struck.

A person close to Google said, though, that its £17.8m investment could value Virgin Galactic at as much as £1.2bn, equating to a shareholding of approximately 1.5%.

Continue reading ‘Report: Google in Talks with Virgin Galactic on Equity Share, Satellite Launcher Deal’