Tag: NASA JPL

NASA Awards Contracts for Early ARM Robotic Spacecraft

Comments
Artists concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth's moon. (Credit: NASA)

Artists concept of NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission capturing an asteroid boulder before redirecting it to an astronaut-accessible orbit around Earth’s moon. (Credit: NASA)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., has selected four companies to conduct design studies for a solar-electric-propulsion-based spacecraft for the agency’s Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM). The aerospace companies selected for the initial studies include: Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Littleton, Colorado; Boeing Phantom Works, Huntington Beach, California; Orbital ATK, Dulles, Virginia; and Space Systems/Loral, Palo Alto, California.

Continue reading ‘NASA Awards Contracts for Early ARM Robotic Spacecraft’

JPL CubeSat Clean Room: A Factory For Small Spacecraft

Comments
JPL's Integrated CubeSat Development Laboratory is 1,250 square feet of pristine tabletops and freshly scrubbed air dedicated to the manufacture and testing of CubeSat spacecraft. Four different CubeSat mission teams can utilize the clean room at the same time. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

JPL’s Integrated CubeSat Development Laboratory is 1,250 square feet of pristine tabletops and freshly scrubbed air dedicated to the manufacture and testing of CubeSat spacecraft. Four different CubeSat mission teams can utilize the clean room at the same time. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — There was a time when you could find spacecraft clean rooms in two sizes –- – big and bigger. After all, these harsh-white, sterile environments have to handle very large spacecraft, support equipment, and a small legion of highly trained technicians and engineers.

Continue reading ‘JPL CubeSat Clean Room: A Factory For Small Spacecraft’

Ecliptic Enterprises to Produce Sensors for NASA JPL’s FireSat

Comments

NASA LOGOPASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Wildfires can wreak havoc on human health, property and communities, so it’s imperative to detect them as early as possible. That’s why NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, is developing a network of space-based sensors called FireSat in collaboration with Quadra Pi R2E, San Francisco.

FireSat would be a constellation of more than 200 thermal infrared imaging sensors on satellites designed to quickly locate wildfires around the globe. Once operational, FireSat would represent the most complete monitoring coverage of wildfires ever from space.

Continue reading ‘Ecliptic Enterprises to Produce Sensors for NASA JPL’s FireSat’

Video: NASA’s LDSD Paving the Way to Mars

Comments

Video Caption: NASA’s Ian Clark is the Principal Investigator for the Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) Project; it’s basically an inflatable airbrake designed to help spacecraft descending through a planet’s atmosphere to slow from breakneck speeds to a safe landing speed. The technology behind LDSD will allow NASA to safely land spacecraft with larger payloads on the surface of Mars, more accurately and at elevations we’ve never before had access to.

Hedgehog Robots Hop, Tumble in Microgravity

Comments
'Hedgehog' Robots Hop, Tumble in Microgravity While a Mars rover can't operate upside down, the Hedgehog robot can function regardless of which side lands up. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Stanford)

While a Mars rover can’t operate upside down, the Hedgehog robot can function regardless of which side lands up. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Stanford)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Hopping, tumbling and flipping over are not typical maneuvers you would expect from a spacecraft exploring other worlds. Traditional Mars rovers, for example, roll around on wheels, and they can’t operate upside-down. But on a small body, such as an asteroid or a comet, the low-gravity conditions and rough surfaces make traditional driving all the more hazardous.

Enter Hedgehog: a new concept for a robot that is specifically designed to overcome the challenges of traversing small bodies. The project is being jointly developed by researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California; Stanford University in Stanford, California; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

Continue reading ‘Hedgehog Robots Hop, Tumble in Microgravity’

NASA Tech: Gecko Grippers Moving On Up

Comments
This artist's concept shows how a future robot called LEMUR (Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot) could inspect and maintain installations on the International Space Station. The robot would stick to the outside using a gecko-inspired gripping system. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist’s concept shows how a future robot called LEMUR (Limbed Excursion Mechanical Utility Robot) could inspect and maintain installations on the International Space Station. The robot would stick to the outside using a gecko-inspired gripping system. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — A piece of tape can only be used a few times before the adhesion wears off and it can no longer hold two surfaces together. But researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, are working on the ultimate system of stickiness, inspired by geckos.

Continue reading ‘NASA Tech: Gecko Grippers Moving On Up’

Video: Matt Damon Talks About The Martian at JPL

Comments

VIDEO CAPTION: Matt Damon talks about science, NASA and the collaboration with Andy Weir on this “…Love letter to science” known as “The Martian” during a visit to NASA’s Mars Mission Control Center at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

SD School of Mines Receives NASA Grant for Printable Spacecraft

Comments

NASA LOGORAPID CITY, S.D. (SD School of Mines PR) – The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology has been awarded a $750,000 NASA EPSCoR grant to develop direct-write printable spacecraft materials and electronic and electromagnetic devices for use in future exploration.

By printable spacecraft NASA envisions thin, lightweight, flexible sheets embedded with customized sensors and electronics for data gathering, communication and micro-propulsion. When deployed above other planets, the sheets will flutter to the surface like leaves, eliminating the need for complex landing systems and enabling humans to reach previously inaccessible areas. Upon reaching their destination, the sheets will transmit data collected during their fall and landing back to the host spacecraft.

Continue reading ‘SD School of Mines Receives NASA Grant for Printable Spacecraft’

How to View NASA’s LDSD Flight Live

Comments
Crews from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility prepare the balloon for flight for the 2014 NASA Low Density Supersonic Decelerator test from the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii (Credit: NASA/Bill Rodman)

Crews from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility prepare the balloon for flight for the 2014 NASA Low Density Supersonic Decelerator test from the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii (Credit: NASA/Bill Rodman)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Mission managers have postponed Tuesday’s scheduled launch of a high-altitude balloon carrying NASA’s Low Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) test vehicle because of unfavorable ocean conditions. The wave height is not conducive for safe recovery operations. The next launch attempt is Wednesday, June 3, no earlier than 1:30 p.m. EDT (7:30 a.m. HST).

NASA Television and JPL’s Ustream channel will carry live commentary on the launch beginning at 1 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. PDT/7 a.m. HST).

Continue reading ‘How to View NASA’s LDSD Flight Live’

Getting the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) Vehicle to Test Altitude

Comment
Crews from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility prepare the balloon for flight for the 2014 NASA Low Density Supersonic Decelerator test from the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii (Credit: NASA/Bill Rodman)

Crews from the Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility prepare the balloon for flight for the 2014 NASA Low Density Supersonic Decelerator test from the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii (Credit: NASA/Bill Rodman)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — In June NASA will conduct the second flight of the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) test vehicle from the U.S. Navy Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) located on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii.

The test will begin at an altitude of about 120,000 feet. But what does it take to get a supersonic test vehicle to that altitude? It’s easier said than done.

Continue reading ‘Getting the Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) Vehicle to Test Altitude’

JPL to Host Live Webcast for Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator

12 Comments
Divers retrieve the test vehicle for NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator off the coast of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. (Credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Divers retrieve the test vehicle for NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator off the coast of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. (Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) project will be flying a rocket-powered, saucer-shaped test vehicle into near-space from the Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility on Kauai, Hawaii, in June.

The public is invited to tune in to an hour-long live, interactive video broadcast from the gallery above a clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, where this near-space experimental test vehicle is being prepared for shipment to Hawaii. During the broadcast, the 15-foot-wide, 7,000-pound vehicle is expected to be undergoing a “spin-table” test. The event will be streamed live on www.ustream.tv/NASAJPL2 on March 31, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PDT. JPL’s Gay Hill will host the program while LDSD team members will answer questions submitted to the Ustream chat box or via Twitter using the #AskNASA hashtag.

Continue reading ‘JPL to Host Live Webcast for Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator’

Masten’s Xombie Tests NASA JPL Landing Software

Comment
The ADAPT test system can help a spacecraft divert its course and make a smooth, pinpoint landing. The system is built on Masten's XA-0.1B "Xombie" vertical-launch, vertical-landing reusable rocket. (Credit: NASA Photo/Tom Tschida)

The ADAPT test system can help a spacecraft divert its course and make a smooth, pinpoint landing. The system is built on Masten’s XA-0.1B “Xombie” vertical-launch, vertical-landing reusable rocket. (Credit: NASA Photo/Tom Tschida)

Fast Facts:

› ADAPT test system can help a spacecraft divert its course and make a smooth, pinpoint landing

› Two technology demonstration test flights were completed in California

MOJAVE, Calif. (JPL PR) –– It’s tricky to get a spacecraft to land exactly where you want. That’s why the area where the Mars rover Curiosity team had targeted to land was an ellipse that may seem large, measuring 12 miles by 4 miles (20 by 7 kilometers).

Continue reading ‘Masten’s Xombie Tests NASA JPL Landing Software’

Dawn Enters Orbit Around Ceres

18 Comments

Dawn_change_of_addressPASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Dawn spacecraft has become the first mission to achieve orbit around a dwarf planet. The spacecraft was approximately 38,000 miles (61,000) kilometers from Ceres when it was captured by the dwarf planet’s gravity at about 4:39 a.m. PST (7:39 a.m. EST) Friday.

Mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California received a signal from the spacecraft at 5:36 a.m. PST (8:36 a.m. EST) that Dawn was healthy and thrusting with its ion engine, the indicator Dawn had entered orbit as planned.

Continue reading ‘Dawn Enters Orbit Around Ceres’

Dawn Closes in on Ceres

28 Comments
This image is one several images NASA's Dawn spacecraft took on approach to Ceres on Feb. 4, 2015 at a distance of about 90,000 miles (145,000 kilometers) from the dwarf planet. (Credit:  NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

This image is one several images NASA’s Dawn spacecraft took on approach to Ceres on Feb. 4, 2015 at a distance of about 90,000 miles (145,000 kilometers) from the dwarf planet. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA)

NASA Mission Update

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft, on approach to dwarf planet Ceres, has acquired its latest and closest-yet snapshot of this mysterious world.

At a resolution of 8.5 miles (14 kilometers) per pixel, the pictures represent the sharpest images to date of Ceres.

Continue reading ‘Dawn Closes in on Ceres’

NASA Software Allows Scientists to Work Virtually on Mars

Comments
New NASA software called OnSight will use holographic computing to overlay visual information and data from the agency's Mars Curiosity Rover into the user's field of view. Holographic computing blends a view of the physical world with computer-generated imagery to create a hybrid of real and virtual. (Credit:  NASA)

New NASA software called OnSight will use holographic computing to overlay visual information and data from the agency’s Mars Curiosity Rover into the user’s field of view. Holographic computing blends a view of the physical world with computer-generated imagery to create a hybrid of real and virtual. (Credit:
NASA)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA and Microsoft have teamed up to develop software called OnSight, a new technology that will enable scientists to work virtually on Mars using wearable technology called Microsoft HoloLens.

Developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, OnSight will give scientists a means to plan and, along with the Mars Curiosity rover, conduct science operations on the Red Planet.

Continue reading ‘NASA Software Allows Scientists to Work Virtually on Mars’