MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — Trailing Earth’s orbit at 94 million miles away, the Kepler space telescope has survived many potential knock-outs during its nine years in flight, from mechanical failures to being blasted by cosmic rays. At this rate, the hardy spacecraft may reach its finish line in a manner we will consider a wonderful success. With nary a gas station to be found in deep space, the spacecraft is going to run out of fuel. We expect to reach that moment within several months.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 11 small research satellites from seven states and Puerto Rico to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard space missions planned to launch in 2019, 2020, and 2021.
The selections are part of the ninth round of the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative. CubeSats are a type of spacecraft called nanosatellites, often measuring about four inches on each side and weighing less than three pounds, with a volume of about one quart. CubeSats are built using these standard dimensions as Units or “U”, and are classified as 1U, 2U, 3U, or 6U in total size.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA’s next planet-hunting mission has arrived in Florida to begin preparations for launch. The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) is scheduled to launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station nearby NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida no earlier than April 16, pending range approval.
SPARKS, Nev. — January 24, 2018 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC) Space Test Program Mission 5 (STPSat-5) satellite moved another step closer to launch, successfully completing its Factory Compatibility Test (FCT) with NASA’s Near-Earth Network and the NASA Ames Multi-Mission Operations Center.
STPSat-5 hosts five Department of Defense (DoD) experiments to test emerging space technologies and is expected to launch in 2018. SNC completed mechanical integration in September, stacking three functional modules (propulsion, bus and payload deck) to form the complete space vehicle.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected two teams of agency technologists for participation in the Early Career Initiative (ECI) program. The program encourages creativity and innovation among early-career NASA technologists by engaging them in hands-on technology development opportunities needed for future missions.
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — Ever wonder what would happen if you got sick in space? NASA has sent bacteria samples into low-Earth orbit to help find out.
One of the agency’s latest small satellite experiments is the E. coli Anti-Microbial Satellite, or EcAMSat, which will explore the genetic basis for how effectively antibiotics can combat E. coli bacteria in the low gravity of space. This CubeSat – a spacecraft the size of a shoebox built from cube-shaped units – has just been deployed from the space station, and may help us improve how we fight infections, providing safer journeys for astronauts on future voyages, and offer benefits for medicine here on Earth.
Luxembourg, November 14, 2017 (Luxembourg PR) – The Luxembourg Ministry of the Economy today announced that Mr. Gary Martin, former Director of Partnerships at NASA Ames, recently joined its Space Affairs Department. As an independent advisor, Gary Martin assists the Directorate-General for Research, Intellectual Property and New Technologies, in charge of Space Affairs, to implement the strategy relating to the SpaceResources.lu initiative in close collaboration with national partners from research and academia.
Gary Martin retired from the position as Director of Partnerships at NASA Ames Research Center, which is one of ten NASA field centers and is located in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley. He was in charge of identifying new business opportunities, creating entrepreneurial partnerships, transferring NASA technology to industry, and contributing to the development of the Center’s long-term strategy. Gary Martin was with NASA for over 25 years and worked at Langley Research Center, NASA Headquarters and Goddard Space Flight Center before joining NASA Ames.
Gary Martin stated: “I am honored to assist the Luxembourg Government in its efforts to position Luxembourg as an ideal location for innovative projects in advanced space technologies.”
Luxembourg Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Economy, Etienne Schneider, commented: “I am delighted to welcome in our team a recognized expert for his contribution to research and innovation at NASA. Gary Martin will put his expertise and experience to the benefit of Luxembourg’s willingness to sustain the development of a new economic era in space and the positioning of the country as a global space hub.”
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA will host a two-day virtual community workshop, Nov. 29 and 30, to conduct discussions with external stakeholders that will inform development of an update to the Global Exploration Roadmap (GER). The GER is a publication authored by NASA and the other 14 space agencies that comprise the International Space Exploration Coordination Group (ISECG). The roadmap outlines a phased approach to achieving the common goal of sending humans to the surface of Mars.
NASA has released a document listing the 1,206 active Space Act Agreements (SAAs) the agency has with commercial companies, non-profit organizations and state and local governments.
From that list, I’ve extracted agreements with individual companies. Below you will find tables listing SAAs that NASA has signed with SpaceX, Boeing, United Launch Alliance and Sierra Nevada Corporation. The four companies have been involved with NASA’s Commercial Crew and Commercial Resupply Services programs.
SAAs come in three varieties: reimburseable, non-reimburseable and funded. Under reimburseable agreements, a company or organization will pay NASA for its services. No money exchanges hands under non-reimburseable agrements. And under funded agreements, NASA pays the company to perform work or provide services. (The space agency made substantial use of SAA’s in the Commercial Crew Program.) (more…)
On Aug. 22, 2017, officials at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley broke ground for a new Biosciences Collaborative Facility. Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot, acting Deputy NASA Administrator Lesa Roe, Ames Center Director Eugene Tu, Ames Director of Science Michael Bicay, and Amoroso Construction Northern California Operations Manager Michael Chambers donned hard hats and used golden shovels to ceremonially begin construction on the building.
The Biosciences Collaborative Facility will be a two-story, 40,000-square-foot building housing wet chemistry laboratories designed with the latest technology to serve NASA’s programs in fundamental space biology, astrobiology and bioengineering.
The building’s design provides open and reconfigurable lab spaces intended to increase interdisciplinary research. The work conducted in this facility will help spur advances that minimize risks in human deep space exploration, and inform the design of future NASA missions and our search for microbial life in our solar system.
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s future deep space exploration – including to Mars – is an unprecedented venture in spaceflight, requiring us to tackle challenges we’ve never faced before. For instance, we know the human body changes significantly while in space, and we’ll need to find ways to address those effects. NASA is conducting research to learn more about the long-term impact of extended human spaceflight. One experiment that just launched, Rodent Research-9, is contributing to this goal by sending rodents to the International Space Station, to study how a lack of gravity in space affects blood vessels, eyes and joints.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (NASA PR) — Archinaut, a NASA Technology Demonstration Mission (TDM) project developing cutting-edge technology to build and assemble complex hardware and supersized structures on demand in space, achieved an unprecedented milestone this summer.
“To our knowledge, this is the first time additive manufacturing has been successfully tested on such a large scale in the vacuum and temperature conditions of space,” said Eric Joyce, Archinaut project manager for Made In Space Inc. of Mountain View, California, which spearheads the project for NASA.
MOFFETT FIELD, Calif. (NASA PR) — Things look different on the Moon. Literally.
Because the Moon isn’t big enough to hold a significant atmosphere, there is no air and there are no particles in the air to reflect and scatter sunlight. On Earth, shadows in otherwise bright environments are dimly lit with indirect light from these tiny reflections. That lighting provides enough detail that we get an idea of shapes, holes and other features that could be obstacles to someone – or some robot – trying to maneuver in shadow.