Tag: NASA

Aerojet Rocketdyne Tests Starliner Service Module Engines

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Starliner engine hot fire (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)

Starliner engine hot fire (Credit: Aerojet Rocketdyne)

WHITE SANDS, NM (NASA PR) — The small jets designed to steer Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft in orbit were fired in a vacuum chamber recently at NASA’s White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico. Testing continues for elements of the new Starliner spacecraft before components are installed into the first space-bound capsule. Aerojet Rocketyne built the reaction control engines and used a chamber to pulse fire three engines up to 4,000 times for a total of 1,600 seconds each. Both are record times for lightweight thrusters with composite chambers.

One of three Reaction Control System engines for Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner recently completed hot-fire testing at NASA’s White Sands Test Facility in New Mexico.Aerojet Rocketdyne is testing and will provide the service module propulsion system production hardware, including launch abort engines, orbital maneuvering and attitude control engines and reaction control system engines. Boeing will assemble hardware kits into the service module section of the Starliner spacecraft at its Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The Starliner is one of two spacecraft in development in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. While Boeing develops and manufactures Starliners, SpaceX is doing the same with its own spacecraft, Crew Dragon. Both companies plan to launch astronauts from Florida’s Space Coast on missions to the International Space Station. With up to four astronauts at a time, plus more than 200 pounds of cargo, the new line of spacecraft will allow the station’s crew to grow to seven. That addition gives astronauts In orbit another 35 hours of research time to enhance the science conducted on the orbiting laboratory.

Sierra Nevada Completes Second Dream Chaser Milestone

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Dream Chaser spacecraft in orbit. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser spacecraft in orbit. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

SPARKS, Nev., June 25, 2016 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) has passed the second Integration Certification Milestone under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract. NASA assessed and fully approved SNC’s detailed approach for getting the Dream Chaser Cargo System to the International Space Station (ISS).

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Democrats on Space: We Like It

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NASA LOGOThe Democratic Party has added a paragraph to its platform about NASA:

“Pushing beyond the boundaries of what we know is core to who we are as Americans. Democrats are immensely proud of all that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has done — through its achievements in science, technology and exploration — to better understand our place in the universe and inspire and educate generations of young people in this country to pursue careers in science. Space exploration is a reminder that our capacity for curiosity is limitless, and may be matched only by our ability to achieve great things if we work together. Democrats believe in continuing the spirit of discovery that has animated NASA’s exploration of space over the last half century. We will strengthen support for NASA and work in partnership with the international scientific community to launch new missions to space.”

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New Horizons Pluto Stamp Earns Guinness World Record

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New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern celebrates a Guinness World Record certificate on July 19 at U.S. Postal Service Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Credit: Dan Afzal, U.S. Postal Service)

New Horizons Principal Investigator Alan Stern celebrates a Guinness World Record certificate on July 19 at U.S. Postal Service Headquarters in Washington, D.C. (Credit: Dan Afzal, U.S. Postal Service)

WASHINGTON (USPS PR) — A 1991 Pluto: Not Yet Explored stamp traveled more than 3 billion miles on a spacecraft to the dwarf planet has earned the Guiness World Records achievement for the farthest distance traveled by a postage stamp. The stamp also served as NASA’s rallying cry to set the record straight for exploring Pluto.

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NASA Establishes Institute to Explore New Ways to Protect Astronauts

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NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano perform ultrasound eye imaging as part of the Fluid Shifts investigation during Expedition 37 on the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano perform ultrasound eye imaging as part of the Fluid Shifts investigation during Expedition 37 on the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA is joining with Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to operate a new institute charged with researching and developing innovative approaches to reduce risks to humans on long-duration exploration missions, including NASA’s Journey to Mars.

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SpaceX Eyes Reusing Dragons, Additional Landing Pads

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Cameras on the Canadarm2 show the SpaceX Dragon as it departs the vicinity of the space station just after its release. (Credit: NASA TV)

Cameras on the Canadarm2 show the SpaceX Dragon as it departs the vicinity of the space station just after its release. (Credit: NASA TV)

With SpaceX planning to relaunch a Falcon 9 first stage later this year, the age of reusing rockets is upon us. But, the company isn’t stopping there.

SpaceX is planning to launch a reused Dragon supply ship on a cargo mission next year. Officials discussed the planned flight during a post-launch press conference on Monday morning.

“I think we’re looking at SpaceX-11,” said Joel Montalbano, NASA’s deputy manager of ISS utilization, referring to the 11th resupply mission the company will fly with Dragon and the Falcon 9. (Monday’s launch kicked off SpaceX-9.)

“I thought it was 11 or 12 — something like that,” replied Hans Koenigsmann, vice president of flight reliability at SpaceX. “So, not too far from now.”

SpaceX-11 is currently scheduled to lift off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in February 2017, and SpaceX-12 is slated to launch two months later, according to Spaceflight Now.

The Orlando Sentinel also reports that SpaceX is requesting permission from the federal government to establish two additional first-stage landing facilities on Cape Canaveral. The pads would be for landing the three Falcon 9 first stages that are used on the Falcon Heavy launch vehicle.

Dragon & Progress Supply Ships Arrive at Space Station

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Dragon berthed at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA TV)

Dragon berthed at the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA TV)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft was bolted into place on the Harmony module of the International Space Station at 10:03 a.m. EDT on Wednesday as the station flew about 252 statute miles over the California and Oregon border.

The spacecraft is delivering nearly 5,000 pounds of science, hardware and supplies, including instruments to perform the first-ever DNA sequencing in space, and the first of two identical international docking adapters (IDA). The IDAs will provide a means for commercial spacecraft to dock to the station in the near future as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Dragon is the second cargo spacecraft to arrive on station this week. On Monday, July 18, a Russian ISS Progress 64 cargo craft docked to the Pirs docking compartment of the space station at 8:22 p.m., where it will remain for about six months.

The Progress spacecraft has more than three tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 48 crew.

Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station Aug. 29 when it will return critical science research back to Earth.

For more information on the SpaceX CRS-9 mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex.

For more information about the current crew and the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station.

Project PoSSUM Graduates 13 Scientist-Astronaut Candidates

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Project PoSSUM graduates (Credit: ERAU)

Project PoSSUM graduates (Credit: ERAU)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (ERAU PR) — Project PoSSUM, a non-profit research program devoted to the study of Earth’s upper atmosphere, announced that it has graduated 13 new Scientist-Astronaut Candidates as part of PoSSUM Class 1601.

The PoSSUM Scientist-Astronaut program, designed by former NASA astronaut instructors and hosted by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., gives its candidates the skills to effectively conduct research on commercial space vehicles as part of an international research campaign dedicated to the study of our global climate.

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GOP on Space: We’re in Favor of It

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Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)

Donald Trump (Credit: Michael Vadon)

The Republican Party Platform has a brief mention of space located between sections on reforming the civil service and supporting people living in America’s far flung territories.

The section is below. It doesn’t say that much, but at least it’s there. The Democratic Party Platform has no mention of space.

America’s Future in Space: Continuing this Quest

The exploration of space has been a key part of U.S. global leadership and has supported innovation and ownership of technology. Over the last half-century, in partnership with our aerospace industry, the work of NASA has helped define and strengthen our nation’s technological prowess. From building the world’s most powerful rockets to landing men on the Moon, sending robotic spacecraft throughout our solar system and beyond, building the International Space Station, and launching space-based telescopes that allow scientists to better understand our universe, NASA science and engineering have produced spectacular results. The technologies that emerged from those programs propelled our aerospace industrial base and directly benefit our national security, safety, economy, and quality of life. Through its achievements, NASA has inspired generations of Americans to study science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, leading to careers that drive our country’s technological and economic engines.

Today, America’s leadership in space is challenged by countries eager to emulate — and surpass — NASA’s accomplishments. To preserve our national security interests and foster innovation and competitiveness, we must sustain our preeminence in space, launching more science missions, guaranteeing unfettered access, and maintaining a source of high-value American jobs.

SpaceX Launches Dragon Supply Ship, Lands First Stage at Cape

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Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

Falcon 9 launches the Dragon CRS-9 mission to the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (NASA PR) — Instruments to perform the first-ever DNA sequencing in space, and the first international docking adapter for commercial spacecraft, are among the cargo scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station after Monday’s launch of the SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services-9 (CRS-9) mission.

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NASA Releases Economic Development of Low Earth Orbit Document

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economic_development_leo_coverEdited by Patrick Besha and Alexander MacDonald

This collection of papers identifies a number of important policy questions that will be of rising importance as NASA transitions human spaceflight in LEO to the private sector, as well as a number of economic analysis methods for addressing those questions. Life off of the Earth is a new field of social and economic organization that will have vast implications for our evolution and our future. Economic development in orbit is necessary for that future growth. It is our hope that this volume may serve to guide decisions and spark the intellectual curiosity of space policy makers, NASA program managers, economic researchers, and all others interested in the continued economic development of human spaceflight.

› Kindle readers: MOBI [2.5 MB]

› All other eBook readers: EPUB [1.7 MB]

› Fixed layout: PDF [2.9 MB]

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NASA RFI Could Lead to Private Modules on Space Station

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Robert Bigelow describes his company's space station module. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Robert Bigelow describes his company’s space station module. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

NASA has released a request for information (RFI) seeking ideas from industry about how to maximize commercial use of the International Space Station (ISS) that could lead to privately-built space modules being attached to the orbiting laboratory.

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NASA Awards SBIR Phase III Contract Terminal Velocity for Reentry System

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High-altitude balloon lifts space reentry capsule for flight test. (Credit: Near Space Corporation)

High-altitude balloon lifts space reentry capsule for flight test. (Credit: Near Space Corporation)

ATLANTA, July 15, 2016 (TVA PR) — Terminal Velocity Aerospace (TVA) was awarded a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract from NASA entitled, “Low-Cost Small Reentry Devices to Enhance Space Commerce and ISS Utilization.”

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NanoRacks Advancing Space Station Utilization

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nano_racks_logoCape Canaveral, Florida, 15 July 2016 (NanoRacks PR)– NanoRacks is proudly advancing International Space Station (ISS) utilization across a wide range of users – from education to international organizations to professional researchers – both inside and outside of Station – all on one mission. On SpaceX’s Commercial Resupply Mission-9 (SpaceX-9), scheduled for the early hours of Monday July 18, are over 25 payloads that will utilize NanoRacks commercial research facilities both in the U.S. National Lab and external to Station.

“NanoRacks is more than just a satellite deployment company,” says NanoRacks CEO Jeffrey Manber. “We offer a full scope of in-space opportunities, and we are watching the customer base grow larger and broader. NanoRacks will continue to offer the best research accommodations both inside and outside of the International Space Station, and beyond.”

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Next Antares Flight to ISS Now NET Aug. 22

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The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket launches from Pad-0A with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, Sunday, July 13, 2014, at NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The Cygnus spacecraft is filled with over 3,000 pounds of supplies for the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket launches from Pad-0A with the Cygnus spacecraft onboard, Sunday, July 13, 2014, at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. The Cygnus spacecraft is filled with over 3,000 pounds of supplies for the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Media accreditation now is open for the launch of the next Orbital ATK Commercial Resupply Services mission to the International Space Station from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Orbital ATK is targeting no earlier than Aug. 22 for the lift off of its Cygnus spacecraft on an Antares rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport’s Pad-0A at Wallops. The spacecraft will carry crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbiting laboratory to support the Expedition 48 and 49 crews.

This will be the sixth cargo resupply mission by Orbital ATK under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services contract. Cargo resupply by U.S. companies ensures a national capability to deliver critical science research to the space station, significantly increasing NASA’s ability to conduct new science investigations using the only microgravity laboratory.

Get more information about Orbital ATK, its Antares rocket and the Cygnus cargo carrier at:

http://www.nasa.gov/orbitalatk

Get more information about the International Space Station at:

http://www.nasa.gov/station

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