CraigX Launch Scheduled for October 2019 on Cygnus Spacecraft

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Craig Technologies PR) -– Craig Technologies Aerospace Solutions (Craig) is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of CraigX, their on-orbit external experimental facility hosted on the NanoRacks International Space Station External Platform (NREP). The mission is scheduled to launch in October2019 on the Northrop Grumman Antares rocket mission NG-12 under the NASA Commercial Resupply Services (CRS2) contract.

The CraigX Flight Test Platform (FTP) is designed to mount externally to the International Space Station (ISS) and promote electronics testing to raise Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) at a low cost and a reduced time frame. The interchangeable panel design minimizes hardware changes between missions while maximizing flexibility to accommodate customer requirements. Additive manufactured hardware is used internally to reduce manufacturing cost and schedule.

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India Eyes Space Station in Earth Orbit

Dr. K Sivan (Credit: ISRO)

ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said this week the Indian space agency plans to develop a small space station that would give the nation’s Gaganyaan crewed spacecraft a facility to dock with in low Earth orbit.

Elucidating on the space station project, Mr Sivan said the mission will also be an extension of the Gaganyaan project. “We are planning to have a separate space station. We will not be a part of the ISS. Our space station is going to be very small. We will be launching a small module and that will be used for carrying out microgravity experiments,” he told the media.

“We have to sustain the Gaganyaan programme. So, subsequently, as a long-term plan, we are planning to have the space station in India. We are going to join the international community in manned missions to the moon, asteroids. We have a clear plan for the space programme,” the senior scientist said.

By planning a space station, Isro is “not thinking of space tourism”, he said. The Isro chairman said the proposal will be sent to the government for approval after the first Gaganyaan mission by 2022, and it is looking at a timeframe of five to seven years for the programme’s execution. He did not elaborate on the cost of the proposed Indian space station.

The timetable would have the 20 metric ton Indian space station in orbit between 2027 and 2029.

Video: Atlas V Starliner Emergency Detection System

Video Caption: Go Atlas! Go Starliner! Watch the latest episode when we learn about the Emergency Detection System – unique technology developed for the Atlas V Starliner designed to protect the crew and monitor the health of the rocket.

Space Tango Announces ISS Flow Chemistry Collaboration with Boston University Beeler Research Group

Joint Development of Automated, Modular Flow Chemistry Platform for Use On-Orbit

LEXINGTON, Ky., June 12, 2019 (Space Tango PR) — Space Tango announced today a collaboration with the Beeler Research Group from the Boston University Department of Chemistry to develop a fully-automated system to support chemical reactions on-orbit. The Beeler Research Group was selected by the International Space Station U.S. National Laboratory to develop reactor systems for flow chemistry in space earlier this year. This work expands on existing liquid-liquid separation capabilities demonstrated last year by Mass Challenge Winner Zaiput Flow Technologies and Space Tango, on the International Space Station.

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NASA’s Vision for Low-Earth Orbit Economy

Credit: NASA

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — A robust and competitive low-Earth orbit (LEO) economy is vital to continued progress in space. The United States is committed to encouraging and facilitating the growth of the U.S. commercial space sector that supports U.S. needs, is globally competitive, and advances U.S. leadership in the next generation of new markets and innovation-driven entrepreneurship.

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NASA’s Commercial and Marketing Pricing Policy for ISS

International Space Station (Credit: NASA)

NASA has reserved a set amount of resources intended to serve Commercial and Marketing Activities, as shown in Figure A.

Credit: NASA

The International Space Station resources identified in Figure B are:

  1. Available for purchase;
  2. Shall be provided only on a non-interference basis; and
  3. Subject to change if crew safety (including Private Astronauts), vehicle safety, and/or mission objectives are at risk.

All Commercial and Marketing Activities that use space station resources shall require a Reimbursable Space Act Agreement (RSAA) or another arrangement with NASA to recover costs to NASA. U.S Entities may not resell purchased resources under any circumstances.

NASA is restricted from competing with the U.S. private sector; therefore, if, at any point, a U.S. Entity is available to provide any of these resources, NASA shall, to the best of its ability, migrate the provision of such services to the non-U.S. government provider.

The prices represented in Table B do not reflect full recovery of NASA’s costs and may be subject to adjustment. NASA shall reassess the value and amount of available resources approximately every six months and make adjustments as necessary. These prices are for the specific purposes noted in this policy. Alternate prices are utilized for activities outside of this policy.

Credit: NASA

The requirements in NPR 9090.1 with respect to an Agency CFO waiver are not required for the pricing offered under this NID. The JSC Center CFO is delegated latitude to design an appropriate EPR process to capture costs and waived amounts for subject activities; the requirements of NPR 9090 otherwise remain in full effect.

For questions on the pricing policy, visit the FAQs or contact HQ-LEO-Economy@mail.nasa.gov

NASA Opens Up International Space Station to Private Astronauts

Space tourist Guy Laliberte (front, far right) aboard the International Space Station.
Guy Laliberte (first row, far right) aboard the International Space Station.

WASHINGTON, DC (NASA PR) — As part of NASA’s mission to stimulate a low-Earth orbit (LEO) economy, NASA is enabling up to two short-duration private astronaut missions per year to the International Space Station beginning as early as 2020.

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Dragon Splashes Down with Scientific Research

After the Candadarm2 grappled the Dragon spacecraft and berthed it on the space station’s Harmony module, OCO-3 was extracted and installed on the exterior of the Japanese Experiment Module-Exposed Facility. (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft carrying 4,200 pounds of scientific experiments and other cargo back to Earth departed the International Space Station at 12:01 p.m. EDT Monday, and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 5:48 p.m. (2:48 p.m. PDT).

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NASA-Funded LEO Commercialization Studies Yield Diverse Results

Credit: Axiom Space

Last week, NASA released the results of low Earth orbit (LEO) commercialization studies the space agency commissioned 12 companies to conduct. The space agency is looking to become a tenant in LEO as it aims to return astronauts to the moon in 2024.

Credit: Blue Origin

The studies were conducted by a diverse group of companies ranging from big aerospace such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to up and comers like Blue Origin and NanoRacks to business consultants Deloitte and McKinsey&Company.
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Sierra Nevada to Provide Hardware for Japanese HTV-X ISS Missions

HTV-6 cargo ship approaches the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

SPARKS, Nev., May 31, 2019 (SNC PR) –Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), the global aerospace and national security contractor owned by SNC CEO Fatih Ozmen and Chairwoman and President Eren Ozmen, teamed with the Marubun Corporation of Tokyo, Japan and has been awarded a contract to supply critical hardware for Japan’s HTV-X cargo spacecraft.

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NASA to Announce Commercial Opportunities at International Space Station on Friday

International Space Station (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA will announce the agency’s plans to open the International Space Station to expanded commercial activities at 10 a.m. EDT Friday, June 7, at Nasdaq in New York City. The news conference will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency’s website.

Participants in the news briefing are:

  • Jeff DeWit, chief financial officer, NASA Headquarters
  • Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator, NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters
  • Robyn Gatens, deputy director, International Space Station, NASA Headquarters

The panelists will discuss NASA’s near-term, five-point plan to enable commercial and marketing activities aboard the International Space Station, with a long-term goal to achieve a robust economy in low-Earth orbit from which NASA can purchase services as one of many customers. The commercialization of low-Earth orbit will enable NASA to focus resources on landing the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024, as the first phase in creating a sustainable lunar presence to prepare for future missions to Mars.

Media who would like to participate in person or by phone must contact Stephanie Schierholz at stephanie.schierholz@nasa.gov or 202-358-4997 no later than noon, Thursday, June 6. Questions may be submitted on Twitter during the teleconference using the hashtag #askNASA.

NASA’s plan addresses both the supply-side and demand-side for a new economy, enabling use of government resources for commercial activities, creating the opportunity for private astronaut missions to the space station, enabling commercial destinations in low-Earth orbit, identifying and pursuing activities that foster new and emerging markets, and quantifying NASA’s long-term demand for activities in low-Earth orbit.

The plan is informed by recommendations 12 companies made in recent market studies to assess the potential growth of a low-Earth orbit economy and how to best stimulate private demand for commercial human spaceflight and other commercial and marketing activities in low-Earth orbit.

Keep up with the latest news about the International Space Station and its research and crew at:

https://www.nasa.gov/station

Boeing Progresses Toward First Flight Test of Starliner Crew Vehicle


On Tuesday, Program Manager Kathy Lueders gave an update on the status of the Commercial Crew Program to the Human Exploration and Operations Committee of the NASA Advisory Council.

Boeing and SpaceX have continued to make major progress. SpaceX flew an uncrewed flight test to the International Space Station (ISS) in March.

The company’s plan to fly astronauts on a second Crew Dragon flight test this summer has been scrambled by the explosion of a capsule on the test stand in April. Lueders said Elon Musk’s company is aiming to fly the mission by the end of the year. That schedule is dependent upon finding the cause of the explosion.


Boeing continues to target August for an uncrewed flight test of its Starliner spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). A test flight with crew would follow at the end of the year. Between the two flights, the company will conduct a test of the emergency abort system.

Boeing is continuing with parachute tests, which are near completion. The company also announced this week that it had successfully conducted a service module hot fire test.

Boeing has made progress in assembling the Orbital Flight Test (OFT) spacecraft.

The company also completed environmental qualification tests on its second spacecraft.

Processing of the Crew Flight Test vehicle is progressing.

Work on United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V booster and Centaur upper stage is also progressing.

Operations activities are also ongoing.

Lueders: SpaceX Aiming for Dragon Crewed Flight Test by End of Year

On Tuesday, Program Manager Kathy Lueders gave an update on the status of the Commercial Crew Program to the Human Exploration and Operations Committee of the NASA Advisory Council.

She said that SpaceX is working to launch the Crew Dragon spacecraft with astronauts aboard to the International Space Station (ISS) by the end of the year.

This would be the second flight test of the vehicle following a successful flight test to the station without a crew in March.

Lueders cautioned the schedule is dependent upon SpaceX and NASA closing out an investigation into the April 20 explosion of the Crew Dragon that visited the station.

That capsule exploded as it was being prepared for a test of the crew escape system.

In addition to understanding why the explosion took place, SpaceX must complete an in-flight abort flight and parachute tests. Both are crucial to the safety of the Crew Dragon vehicle.

SpaceX is making progress on its operations status in preparation for crewed flights to the station.

Atlas V to Lift Starliner with Astronauts Departs Factory for Launch Site

From the manufacturing facility in Decatur, Alabama, the Atlas V booster stage and Dual Engine Centaur upper stage were rolled into a giant cargo ship for transport to Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Credit: NASA/Emmett Given)

DECATUR, Ala. (NASA PR) — The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket that will launch Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner on the Crew Flight Test (CFT) mission to the International Space Station for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program emerged on Thursday from the production factory in Decatur, Alabama for transport in a giant cargo ship to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

The rocket, known as AV-082, will launch Starliner and its crew of NASA astronauts Mike Fincke and Nicole Mann, and Boeing astronaut Chris Ferguson to the station following the spacecraft’s maiden voyage, the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test targeted for August.

From the manufacturing facility in Decatur, Alabama, the Atlas V booster stage and Dual Engine Centaur upper stage were moved down the road for loading into the Mariner vessel docked nearby. The 312-foot-long ship is purpose-built to navigate both shallow waters of rivers and ocean travel to reach ULA’s launch sites. It has been making the trek from Decatur to Cape Canaveral since 2001.

Once at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will begin integrated operations and processing for the Crew Flight Test mission. (Credit: NASA/Emmett Given)

Once at Cape Canaveral, the Atlas V will begin integrated operations and processing for the CFT launch.

NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX to transport crew to the space station from the United States, returning the nation’s human spaceflight launch capability. These integrated spacecraft, rockets and associated systems will carry up to four astronauts on NASA missions.

Regular commercial transportation using Boeing’s Starliner and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft to and from the station will enable expanded station use and additional research time aboard the orbiting laboratory. Research on the space station helps address the challenges of moving humanity forward to the Moon and Mars as we learn how to keep astronauts healthy during long-duration space travel and demonstrate technologies for human and robotic exploration beyond low-Earth orbit.