Tag: NASA

NASA Sets Coverage for Cygnus Launch on Monday

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An Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is seen as it launches from Pad-0A at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Thursday, January 9, 2014, Wallops Island, VA. Antares is carrying the Cygnus spacecraft on a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. The Orbital-1 mission is Orbital Sciences' first contracted cargo delivery flight to the space station for NASA. Cygnus is carrying science experiments, crew provisions, spare parts and other hardware to the space station. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

An Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket is seen as it launches from Pad-0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, Thursday, January 9, 2014, Wallops Island, VA.  (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Orbital’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft is scheduled to launch at 6:45 p.m. EDT from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Launch Pad 0A at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Launch coverage begins at 5:45 p.m.

A prelaunch status briefing will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26, followed at 2 p.m. by a briefing to preview the mission’s science cargo. A post-launch briefing will be held approximately 90 minutes after liftoff.

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Four NASA Sponsored Experiments Fly Aboard Spaceport America Sounding Rocket

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SL-9 launch (Credit: Spaceport America)

SL-9 launch (Credit: Spaceport America)

SPACEPORT AMERICA, NM (NASA PR) — Four NASA sponsored experiments were provided nearly four minutes of microgravity flight and testing after UP Aerospace’s SpaceLoft rocket SL-9 soared into suborbital space from Spaceport America outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico on Thursday.

While flying on suborbital launch vehicles in zero gravity, experimental technologies are briefly exposed to the space environment where they are expected to operate.

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Cygnus Launch to Space Station Set for Monday

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Cygnus and ISS robotic arm (Credit: NASA)

Cygnus and ISS robotic arm (Credit: NASA)

ISS Commercial Resupply Services Mission (Orb-3)
Launch Date: 6:45 p.m., Oct. 27, 2014
Launch Site: MARS Pad 0A at NASA Wallops Flight Facility, Wallops Island, VA
Cygnus ISS Rendezvous: November 2, 2014

Following an inspection of the tracking station in Bermuda used for Antares launches after Hurricane Gonzalo, Orbital and NASA together have established October 27 as the launch date for the upcoming Orb-3 Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission will originate from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in eastern Virginia. Lift-off of the Antares rocket is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. (EDT), with rendezvous and berthing with the ISS early in the morning on November 2. Taking advantage of Cygnus’ operational capabilities, Orbital is launching the Orb-3 mission to orbit several days earlier than necessary to preserve schedule flexibility and time its arrival at the station to conform to other visiting vehicle operations.

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Sounding Rocket Launched at Spaceport America

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SL-9 launch (Credit: Spaceport America)

SL-9 launch (Credit: Spaceport America)

SPACEPORT AMERICA, NM – New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) officials announced the launch today of the third NASA “Flight Opportunities Program” rocket from Spaceport America. The launch of SpaceLoft™ XL 9 (SL-9), which was designed to reach sub-orbital space, took place this morning from Spaceport America’s Launch Complex-1. Today’s liftoff marks the 21st launch at Spaceport America and the 13th flight conducted by UP Aerospace, the spaceport’s oldest launch customer. NASA successfully launched two similar research rockets from the spaceport last year.

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NASA Releases NextSTEP Broad Agency Announcement

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NextStep_logoWASHINGTON (NASA PR) — In an effort to stimulate deep space capability development across the aerospace industry, NASA plans to release the Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships (NextSTEP) Broad Agency Announcement.

» View the synopsis here

The BAA will seek proposals for concept studies and technology development projects in three key areas: advanced propulsion, habitation, and small satellites.

NASA has increasingly embraced public-private partnerships to expand the frontiers of knowledge, capability, and opportunities in space. The next step for human spaceflight is the development of deep space exploration capabilities to support more extensive missions in the proving ground — around and beyond cis-lunar space.

An important part of NASA’s strategy is to stimulate the commercial space industry while leveraging those same commercial capabilities through future contracts and public-private partnerships to deliver mission capabilities.

The BAA will be open to non-Government U.S. institutions (companies, universities, nonprofit organizations) and foreign institutions.

Judge Knocks Down SNC’s Motion for Commercial Crew Work Stoppage

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Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

A Federal Court of Claims judge has rejected a motion by the Sierra Nevada Corporation to re-impose a stop-work order on NASA’s commercial crew program, according to press reports. It is not immediately clear why Judge Marian Blank Horn rejected the motion.

NASA has initially ordered Boeing and SpaceX to stop work on commercial crew contracts the agency awarded the two companies while the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed an appeal by Sierra Nevada, which did not receive an award.

However, NASA later lifted the order, saying any delay would imperil efforts to keep the commercial crew program on schedule and meet its commitments for operating the International Space Station. Sierra Nevada subsequently appealed that decision.

The GAO has until Jan. 5 to rule on Sierra Nevada’s appeal of the commercial crew awards.

Boeing Completes CDR on CST-100 Spacecraft

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Artist concept of CST-100 and Atlas V on launch pad. (Credit: Boeing)

Artist concept of CST-100 and Atlas V on launch pad. (Credit: Boeing)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — Boeing has successfully completed the final milestone of its Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) Space Act Agreement with NASA. The work and testing completed under the agreement resulted in significant maturation of Boeing’s crew transportation system, including the CST-100 spacecraft and Atlas V rocket.

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Ball Aerospace Green Propellant Infusion Mission to Host 3 DOD Experiments

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Artist rendition of NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) that will demonstrate and test the capabilities of a high-performance, non-toxic, “green” fuel on orbit. (Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.)

Artist rendition of NASA’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) that will demonstrate and test the capabilities of a high-performance, non-toxic, “green” fuel on orbit. (Credit: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.)

BOULDER, Colo (Ball Aerospace PR) – The NASA and Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) will fly three Defense Department experimental hosted payloads when it launches in 2016. GPIM’s mission will validate a non-toxic fuel for future satellite missions, which could replace hydrazine and provide additional performance benefits.

The Department of Defense (DOD) Space Experiments Review Board (SERB) selected the three payloads to fly on GPIM. The SERB chooses experiments based on a high potential to provide new or enhanced warfighting capabilities for the DOD.

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NASA Engineers Work to Perfect Aeroshell Technology

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NASA researchers have tested an almost 20-foot inflatable spacecraft heat shield in wind tunnels and laboratories. (Credit:  NASA/Kathy Barnstorff)

NASA researchers have tested an almost 20-foot inflatable spacecraft heat shield in wind tunnels and laboratories. (Credit: NASA/Kathy Barnstorff)

HAMPTON, Virg. (NASA PR) — For most of us it’s hard to imagine that something that is inflated can survive the high heat and friction of space travel, especially atmospheric entry.

But a group of NASA engineers, primarily based at NASA’s Langley Research Center, have been working to develop inflatable spacecraft aeroshell technology for more than a decade.

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Court Holds Initial Hearing on Sierra Nevada’s Effort to Reimpose Commercial Crew Stop Work Order

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Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

Dream Chaser shuttle. (Credit: NASA)

U.S. Court of Federal Claims Judge Marian Blank Horn heard initial arguments on Friday on a motion by Sierra Nevada Corporation to stop Boeing and SpaceX from continuing work on recently awarded NASA commercial crew contracts pending an appeal of the awards.

The judge did not rule on the motion, but set an additional hearing on Tuesday to hear further arguments, according to press reports.

Sierra Nevada has appealed the awards NASA has made to Boeing and SpaceX citing alleged irregularities in the process. NASA’s decisions left Sierra Nevada without additional government funding to complete its Dream Chaser shuttle.

NASA initially ordered Boeing and SpaceX to stop work under the contracts, but the space agency later reversed its decision. Sierra Nevada is seeking to reinstate the stop work order.

The Government Accountability Office has until early January to rule on Sierra Nevada’s protest of NASA’s commercial crew awards.