Tag: space shuttle

NASA Signs Agreement with SpaceX for Use of Historic Launch Pad

Comments
Discovery_Launch_Pad_39A

Discovery on Pad 39A. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA Kennedy Space Center’s historic Launch Complex 39A, the site from which numerous Apollo and space shuttle missions began, is beginning a new mission as a commercial launch site.

NASA signed a property agreement with Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, Calif., on Monday for use and occupancy of the seaside complex along Florida’s central east coast. It will serve as a platform for SpaceX to support their commercial launch activities.

Continue reading ‘NASA Signs Agreement with SpaceX for Use of Historic Launch Pad’

SpaceX Signs 20-Year Lease for Pad 39A

Comments
Launch Pad 39A with the space shuttle Endeavour. (Credit: NASA)

Launch Pad 39A with the space shuttle Endeavour. (Credit: NASA)

SpaceX has signed a 20-year lease on Pad 39A, the former shuttle launch facility the company plans to use for its Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy boosters.

“I promise everybody, we’re going to make great use of this pad,” said Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX president and chief operating officer.

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden and KSC Director Bob Cabana joined Shotwell at the pad to announce the agreement moments after they signed it, beginning the pad’s “new mission as a commercial launch site,” Bolden said.

SpaceX hopes to launch its first heavy-lift Falcon rocket from KSC in the first quarter of next year, a mission previously expected to launch from California.

And if later this year SpaceX wins a NASA contract to launch astronauts to the International Space Station, those missions also would depart from KSC by 2017….

Shotwell said SpaceX would install new instrumentation and some new plumbing at 39A.

More details are to come, but the overhaul likely won’t be as significant as at pad 39B, where NASA dismantled the fixed and rotating shuttle service towers.

Read more here.

Fungi Research Conducted in Space

11 Comments
The study’s lead author Aurélie Crabbé (left), Cheryl Nickerson (Principal Investigator and senior author on the study) and co-author Jennifer Barrila (right) of Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology. (Credit: Arizona State University/Anais Bon)

The study’s lead author Aurélie Crabbé (left), Cheryl Nickerson (Principal Investigator and senior author on the study) and co-author Jennifer Barrila (right) of Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology. (Credit: Arizona State University/Anais Bon)

TEMPE, Ariz. (NASA PR) — You may not recognize it by name, but if you have ever had a child with a diaper rash, that child was likely a host to Candida albicans (C. albicans). This unwelcome “guest” can be hard to control, as it can potentially lead to serious illness in humans with weakened immune systems. During an investigation dubbed “Microbe,” using the unique microgravity environment aboard space shuttle Atlantis on an International Space Station mission, researchers at the Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe gained a better understanding of these prevalent fungi. Their tendency to become more aggressive in microgravity helps scientists see what mechanisms control the behavior of these types of organisms, with the potential to develop ways to influence their behavior both in space and on Earth.

Continue reading ‘Fungi Research Conducted in Space’

Last Shuttle Commander Virtually Flies Boeing CST-100 to Space Station

Comments

Chris Ferguson, Boeing's director of Crew and Mission Operations and commander of the final Space Shuttle flight, virtually returned to space recently in the Boeing [NYSE: BA] Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 simulator to satisfy a NASA testing requirement for the spacecraft. Pictured are Ferguson (center) and Boeing Commercial Crew Design Team lead Steve Everett. (Credit: Boeing)

Chris Ferguson, Boeing’s director of Crew and Mission Operations and commander of the final Space Shuttle flight, virtually returned to space recently in the Boeing [NYSE: BA] Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 simulator to satisfy a NASA testing requirement for the spacecraft. Pictured are Ferguson (center) and Boeing Commercial Crew Design Team lead Steve Everett. (Credit: Boeing)

HOUSTON, Feb. 27, 2014 — Chris Ferguson, Boeing’s director of Crew and Mission Operations and commander of the final Space Shuttle flight, virtually returned to space recently in the Boeing Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 simulator to satisfy testing requirements for the spacecraft.

Continue reading ‘Last Shuttle Commander Virtually Flies Boeing CST-100 to Space Station’

Mark Kelly to Give Keynote at Business Outlook Conference at Mojave Spaceport

Comments
mark_kelly

Mark Kelly

MOJAVE, Calif. (AVBOT PR) — Capt. Mark Kelly, record-setting American astronaut, retired US Navy combat pilot, and husband of former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords, is the keynote speaker for Southern California’s Antelope Valley Business Outlook Conference, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014.

Kelly, who commanded six NASA Space Shuttle missions, and is one of only two astronauts to have visited the International Space Station on four missions, will address an expected capacity audience attending the day-long business conference at Mojave Air & Space Port’s newly completed Stuart Witt Conference Center .

Continue reading ‘Mark Kelly to Give Keynote at Business Outlook Conference at Mojave Spaceport’

Kelly, Whitesides to Headline Business Conference at Mojave Spaceport

Comments

AV_BOT_2014_Conference_Poster
MOJAVE, Calif. (AVBOT PR)  – Senior executives of two companies partnered in pioneering civilian space travel and new commercial space business will be among the speakers for the Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 Antelope Valley Business Outlook Conference at Southern California’s Mojave Air and Space Port.

The Antelope Valley Board of Trade, organizer of the annual day-long event, announced that George T. Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, the spaceflight company founded by Sir Richard Branson, and  Kevin Mickey, President of  Scaled Composites, which won the X-Prize by being the first private company to carry passengers to space and back, have accepted invitations to appear on the program.

The two private sector aerospace leaders will address an audience of up to 800 at the conference, which also includes Astronaut Mark Kelly.  Email vicki@avbot.org for ticket reservations.

Continue reading ‘Kelly, Whitesides to Headline Business Conference at Mojave Spaceport’

From Orbit to Operating Rooms, Space Station Technology Translates to Tumor Treatment

Comment
The neuroArm merges machine technology derived from the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 with microsurgery. (Credit:  Project neuroArm, University of Calgary)

The neuroArm merges machine technology derived from the International Space Station’s Canadarm2 with microsurgery. (Credit:
Project neuroArm, University of Calgary)

CALGARY, Alberta (NASA PR) — People commonly use rocket science or brain surgery to refer to something incredibly complex and difficult. No wonder, then, that combining the two could result in something wonderful.

Powerful robotic arms developed by the Canadian Space Agency for the space shuttle and International Space Station – Canadarm and Canadarm2 – and a delicate surgical tool, dubbed neuroArm, are examples of the “wonderful things” that can happen when experts from different disciplines work together, says Garnette Sutherland, M.D.

Continue reading ‘From Orbit to Operating Rooms, Space Station Technology Translates to Tumor Treatment’

Columbia Memorial Space Center to Host Virgin Galactic Event

Comments

challenger_center_logoDowney, CA (Columbia Memorial PR):  On Tuesday, December 3rd, the Columbia Memorial Space Center will welcome both Virgin Galactic Future Astronauts and Virgin Galactic Representatives for a special, interactive event.

Challenger Center for Space Science Education (Challenger Center), in partnership with Galactic Unite and Virgin Galactic, will host a live Google Hangout (http://www.challenger.org/new-media/events/galactichangout/) at the Challenger Learning Center inside the City’s Columbia Memorial Space Center. The event will run from 9 to 10 a.m. PST.

Continue reading ‘Columbia Memorial Space Center to Host Virgin Galactic Event’

Happy 15th Birthday to ISS

Comments
Zarya, the first component of the International Space Station, launches flawlessly at 1:40 a.m. EST on November 20, 1998, from Kazahkstan (Credit: NASA)

Zarya, the first component of the International Space Station, launches flawlessly at 1:40 a.m. EST on November 20, 1998, from Kazahkstan (Credit: NASA)

Via NASA – Nov. 20, 1998, was a day to mark in history. The Russian Space Agency , now known as Roscosmos, launched a Proton rocket that lifted the pressurized module called Zarya, or “sunrise,” into orbit. This launch would truly be the dawn of the largest international cooperation effort in space to ever come to light.

Zarya was the first piece of the International Space Station. Also known as the Functional Cargo Block (FGB), it would provide a nucleus of orientation control, communications and electrical power while the station waited for its other elements, including the Zvezda service module and Unity.

Continue reading ‘Happy 15th Birthday to ISS’

XS-1: A Closer Look at the Government’s Latest — and Sanest? — Attempt to Reduce Launch Costs

18 Comments
Artist's conception of a nominal X-S1 vehicle. (Credit: DARPA)

Artist’s conception of a nominal X-S1 vehicle. (Credit: DARPA)

In the era of bell bottoms and Richard Nixon, there was the space shuttle.

When Ronald Reagan ruled the roost, all hope rested in the National Aerospace Plane.

During the Bill Clinton era, there were the X-33 and Venture Star.

In Barack Obama’s first term, the Air Force pursued its Reusable Booster System (RBS).

Five programs. One objective: to radically reduce the cost to orbit. More than $14 billion spent on development. And the result? A super expensive shuttle program. Four vehicles that never flew. And access to space just kept getting more expensive.

Undaunted by these previous failures, the brilliant engineers and scientists at DARPA are once again giving it  the old college try. And this time around, they believe the technology has finally caught up with the ambition of making flying into orbit a daily occurrence.

Continue reading ‘XS-1: A Closer Look at the Government’s Latest — and Sanest? — Attempt to Reduce Launch Costs’