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NASA’s initial tests of Morphing Wing Technology a Success

 

Written by J.D. Harrington
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA researchers, working in concert with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and FlexSys Inc., of Ann Arbor, Michigan, successfully completed initial flight tests of a new morphing wing technology that has the potential to save millions of dollars annually in fuel costs, reduce airframe weight and decrease aircraft noise during takeoffs and landings.

The test team at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, flew 22 research flights during the past six months with experimental Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge (ACTE) flight control surfaces that offer significant improvements over conventional flaps used on existing aircraft.

NASA successfully completed flight tests of a morphing wing technology. Flap angles were adjusted from -2 degrees up to 30 degrees during the six months of testing. (NASA)

NASA successfully completed flight tests of a morphing wing technology. Flap angles were adjusted from -2 degrees up to 30 degrees during the six months of testing. (NASA)

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NASA’s Orion spacecraft test flight data used to prepare for future missions

 

NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Orion spacecraft continues on the agency’s journey to Mars as engineers analyze data from the spacecraft’s December flight test and make progress developing and building the spacecraft for its first mission atop NASA Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket. On future missions, Orion will send astronauts to an asteroid and onward toward the Red Planet.

At machine houses across the country, elements of the primary structure for the next Orion to fly in space are coming together. Avionics components are being built and simulators for the ESA (European Space Agency)-built service module that will house the spacecraft’s propulsion and solar arrays are being delivered.

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with NASA’s Orion spacecraft mounted atop, lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 37 at at 7:05am EST, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Florida. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with NASA’s Orion spacecraft mounted atop, lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 37 at at 7:05am EST, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Florida. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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NASA takes a look back at 2014

 

Written by David Weaver
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – In 2014, NASA took significant steps on the agency’s journey to Mars — testing cutting-edge technologies and making scientific discoveries while studying our changing Earth and the infinite universe as the agency made progress on the next generation of air travel.

“We continued to make great progress on our journey to Mars this year, awarding contracts to American companies who will return human space flight launches to U.S. soil, advancing space technology development; and successfully completing the first flight of Orion, the next deep space spacecraft in which our astronauts will travel,” said NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. “We moved forward on our work to create quieter, greener airplanes and develop technologies to make air travel more efficient; and we advanced our study of our changing home planet, Earth, while increasing our understanding of others in our solar system and beyond.”

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NASA developing ECOSTRESS instrument to analyze plant reactions to heat and water stress

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new space-based instrument to study how effectively plants use water is being developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. The instrument, called the ECOsystem Spaceborne Thermal Radiometer Experiment on Space Station (ECOSTRESS), will monitor one of the most basic processes in living plants: the loss of water through the tiny pores in leaves.

When people lose water through their pores, the process is called sweating. The related process in plants is known as transpiration. Because water that evaporates from soil around plants also affects the amount of water that plants can use, ECOSTRESS will measure combined evaporation and transpiration, known as evapotranspiration.

NASA's ECOSTRESS will monitor how plants react to heat and water stress. (Wikimedia Commons)

NASA’s ECOSTRESS will monitor how plants react to heat and water stress. (Wikimedia Commons)

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NASA’s Global Hawk research aircraft finishes Climate Change study

 

Written by Rachel Hoover
NASA Ames Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – NASA’s Global Hawk research aircraft returned to its base at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, early Friday morning March 14th, marking the completion of flights in support of this year’s Airborne Tropical Tropopause Experiment (ATTREX), a multi-year NASA airborne science campaign.

On February 13th, the autonomously operated aircraft began conducting science flights from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam in the western Pacific region on a mission to track changes in the upper atmosphere and help researchers understand how these changes affect Earth’s climate.

NASA's Global Hawk No. 872 flares for landing at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam to begin the 2014 ATTREX climate-change mission Jan. 17th. The two-month-long airborne science flight campaign wrapped up with the aircraft's return to NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center March 14th. (U.S. Air Force)

NASA’s Global Hawk No. 872 flares for landing at Andersen Air Force Base on Guam to begin the 2014 ATTREX climate-change mission Jan. 17th. The two-month-long airborne science flight campaign wrapped up with the aircraft’s return to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center March 14th. (U.S. Air Force)

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NASA’s Langley Research Center to Crash Test Helicopter for Safety Study

 

Written by Kathy Barnstorff
NASA Langley Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHampton, VA – Anybody who says NASA researchers don’t know how to have a smashing good time has not met a team at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, VA.

They are test engineers whose job it is to make aircraft safer by crashing them.

In late August those engineers plan to drop a 45-foot long helicopter fuselage from about 30 feet to test improved seat belts and seats and to collect crash worthiness data.

NASA's Langley Research Center engineers are scheduled to crash test a former Marine helicopter at the historic Landing and Impact Research facility. The fuselage is painted in black polka dots as part of a high speed photographic technique. (Image Credit: NASA Langley / David C. Bowman)

NASA’s Langley Research Center engineers are scheduled to crash test a former Marine helicopter at the historic Landing and Impact Research facility. The fuselage is painted in black polka dots as part of a high speed photographic technique. (Image Credit: NASA Langley / David C. Bowman)

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NASA finishes testing Cryogenic Propellant Tank to be used for future Space Exploration

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA recently completed a major space technology development milestone by successfully testing a pressurized, large cryogenic propellant tank made of composite materials. The composite tank will enable the next generation of rockets and spacecraft needed for space exploration.

Cryogenic propellants are gasses chilled to subfreezing temperatures and condensed to form highly combustible liquids, providing high-energy propulsion solutions critical to future, long-term human exploration missions beyond low-Earth orbit.

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NASA’s Cassini spacecraft spots huge Hurricane at Saturn’s North Pole

 

Written by Dr. Tony Phillips
Science at NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has provided scientists the first close-up, visible-light views of a behemoth hurricane swirling around Saturn’s north pole.

In high-resolution pictures and video, scientists see the hurricane’s eye is about 1,250 miles (2,000 kilometers) wide, 20 times larger than the average hurricane eye on Earth. Thin, bright clouds at the outer edge of the hurricane are traveling 330 mph(150 meters per second). The hurricane swirls inside a large, mysterious, six-sided weather pattern known as the hexagon.

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Fort Campbell’s 1st Brigade Combat Team Soldiers teach local afghan children

 

Written by Sgt. Jon Heinrich
1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AA) Public Affairs

BastogneFort Campbell KY, 101st Airborne Division

Forward Operating Base Fenty, Afghanistan – U.S. Army soldiers from Provincial Reconstruction Team Nangarhar, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division at Forward Operating Base Finley-Shields, Afghanistan, volunteer their time and services to help local children learn English.

The civil affairs soldiers volunteer to be teachers, on their own time, while still managing their normal work schedules for PRT Nangarhar.

Local Afghan girls play a game of alphabet bingo to help learn English letters Feb. 15, 2013, during Girl’s English Class at Forward Operating Base Finley-Shields, Afghanistan. The children are part of a volunteer-run program to help teach local children language skills. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jon Heinrich, Task Force 1-101 PAO)

Local Afghan girls play a game of alphabet bingo to help learn English letters Feb. 15, 2013, during Girl’s English Class at Forward Operating Base Finley-Shields, Afghanistan. The children are part of a volunteer-run program to help teach local children language skills. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Jon Heinrich, Task Force 1-101 PAO)

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NASA study shows Climate change likely hotter than current Projections

 

Written by Alan Buis
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new NASA-funded study by the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, finds climate model projections that show a greater rise in global temperature are likely to prove more accurate than those showing a lesser rise.

The findings, published today in the journal Science, could provide a breakthrough in the longstanding quest to narrow the range of global warming expected in coming decades and beyond.

Scientists used observations from two NASA satellite instruments, including relative humidity data similar to these, from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA's Aqua spacecraft, to analyze how well leading global climate models reproduce observed relative humidity in Earth's tropics and subtropics. The AIRS surface relative humidity data shown here are representative only and are not from the study. Areas shown in reds and yellows are the driest; blue areas the moistest. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Scientists used observations from two NASA satellite instruments, including relative humidity data similar to these, from the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) instrument on NASA’s Aqua spacecraft, to analyze how well leading global climate models reproduce observed relative humidity in Earth’s tropics and subtropics. The AIRS surface relative humidity data shown here are representative only and are not from the study. Areas shown in reds and yellows are the driest; blue areas the moistest. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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