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Topic: International Space Station

NASA to use two CubeSats to test multiple Satellite Networking and Communications

 

Written by Julianna Fishman
NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s two Nodes small satellites hitched a ride to the International Space Station on the fourth Orbital ATK cargo mission, which launched on December 6th. Once aboard the station, the satellites will settle in for a two-to-three month stay until deployed into low-Earth orbit in early 2016.

The Nodes mission, which consists of two CubeSats weighing just 4.5 pounds each and measuring 4 inches by 4 inches by 6.5 inches, will test new network capabilities for operating swarms of spacecraft in the future.

NASA Small Satellites to Demonstrate Swarm Communications and Autonomy. (NASA)

NASA Small Satellites to Demonstrate Swarm Communications and Autonomy. (NASA)

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NASA reports Cygnus spacecraft launched on mission to supply International Space Station

 

Written by Steven Siceloff
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationFlorida – A burst of smoke and column of flame trailed a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket Sunday afternoon as it powered a cargo-laden Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft onto an orbital path to rendezvous with the International Space Station in three days.

The mission will deliver experiments, equipment and supplies to the orbiting laboratory and its six-person crew of astronauts and cosmonauts. The enhanced Cygnus is carrying more than 7,000 pounds of materials that will directly support dozens of research investigations taking place in the unique environment of the station along with equipment for spacewalks and air tanks for the station’s atmosphere.

Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo spacecraft launches aboard United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket on Sunday, Dec. 6, at 4:44:56 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. (NASA/Tony Gray & Tim Terry)

Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo spacecraft launches aboard United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket on Sunday, Dec. 6, at 4:44:56 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. (NASA/Tony Gray & Tim Terry)

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NASA’s Kennedy Space Center set to be Spaceport of the Future

 

Written by Bob Granath
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationFlorida – On Thursday, December 3rd, NASA at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida will team with industry partners to launch science and supplies to the International Space Station. The event is one more example of how the goal of establishing Kennedy as a 21st century, multi-user spaceport for both government and commercial customers has been achieved.

As part of NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services Program, the Orbital ATK Cygnus OA-4 spacecraft will launch atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.

On Dec. 5, 2014, a Delta IV Heavy rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying NASA's Orion spacecraft on an unpiloted flight test to Earth orbit. During the two-orbit, four-and-a-half hour mission, engineers evaluated the systems critical to crew safety, the launch abort system, the heat shield and the parachute system. (NASA/Sandy Joseph & Kevin O'Connell)

On Dec. 5, 2014, a Delta IV Heavy rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying NASA’s Orion spacecraft on an unpiloted flight test to Earth orbit. During the two-orbit, four-and-a-half hour mission, engineers evaluated the systems critical to crew safety, the launch abort system, the heat shield and the parachute system. (NASA/Sandy Joseph & Kevin O’Connell)

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NASA examines how gas and liquid flow in microgravity aboard International Space Station

 

Written by Mike Giannone
NASA’s Glenn Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationCleveland, OH – Think about underground water and gas as they filter through porous materials like soil and rock beds. On Earth, gravity forces water and gas to separate as they flow through the ground, cleaning the water and storing it in underground pools. Gravity’s role is significant in the process, both in nature with ground water and in chemical processes such as water reclamation reactors.

How this filtering works on Earth is well understood, even when the flow consists of different fluids. The process is still a mystery in microgravity.

The Packed Bed Reactor Experiment shown inside the Materials Science Glovebox work volume. (NASA)

The Packed Bed Reactor Experiment shown inside the Materials Science Glovebox work volume. (NASA)

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NASA research equipment to be delivered to International Space Station by Cygnus spacecraft

 

Written by Andrea Dunn
International Space Station Program Science Office
NASA’s Johnson Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – NASA’s commercial partner Orbital ATK plans to launch its Cygnus spacecraft into orbit December 3rd, atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket for its fourth contracted resupply mission.

The flight, known as CRS-4, will deliver samples and equipment to the International Space Station for research investigations that will occur during current and future expeditions in the many science disciplines aboard the orbiting multi-disciplinary laboratory.

This delivery will support significant research being conducted off the Earth to benefit the Earth, including investigations in advanced and automated data collection and in the behavior of gases, liquids and burning textiles in microgravity.

Close-up view of the approach to the International Space Station of the first Cygnus commercial cargo spacecraft built by Orbital ATK with the Earth in the background. (NASA)

Close-up view of the approach to the International Space Station of the first Cygnus commercial cargo spacecraft built by Orbital ATK with the Earth in the background. (NASA)

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NASA reports Cygnus spacecraft set to launch December 3rd

 

Written by Steven Siceloff
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationKennedy Space Center, FL – The first flight of Orbital ATK’s enhanced Cygnus spacecraft will carry more than 7,000 pounds of equipment and experiments to the International Space Station on a mission that marks the resumption of NASA’s commercial resupply efforts.

Standing inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the 20.5-foot-tall, cylindrical Cygnus has been loaded for flight and will soon be bolted inside a protective fairing for its targeted launch date of December 3rd.

“This is an exciting time; the Cygnus launch will resume regular U.S.-based cargo missions to the station,” said Randy Gordon, Launch Support Project manager for NASA.

Dan Tani, a former space station astronaut and now Orbital ATK's senior director of Mission and Cargo Operations, discusses the Cygnus mission to the station with news media before the spacecraft is enclosed in a protective fairing. (NASA/Dmitri Gerondidakis)

Dan Tani, a former space station astronaut and now Orbital ATK’s senior director of Mission and Cargo Operations, discusses the Cygnus mission to the station with news media before the spacecraft is enclosed in a protective fairing. (NASA/Dmitri Gerondidakis)

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NASA contracts SpaceX to fly Astronauts to International Space Station

 

Written by Tabatha Thompson
NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA took a significant step Friday toward expanding research opportunities aboard the International Space Station with its first mission order from Hawthorne, California based-company SpaceX to launch astronauts from U.S. soil.

This is the second in a series of four guaranteed orders NASA will make under the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts. The Boeing Company of Houston received its first crew mission order in May.

Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida undergoes modifications by SpaceX to adapt it to the needs of the company's Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, which are slated to lift off from the historic pad in the near future. A horizontal integration facility has been constructed near the perimeter of the pad where rockets will be processed for launch prior of rolling out to the top of the pad structure for liftoff. SpaceX anticipates using the launch pad for its Crew Dragon spacecraft for missions to the International Space Station in partnership with NASA's Commercial Crew Program. (SpaceX)

Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida undergoes modifications by SpaceX to adapt it to the needs of the company’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, which are slated to lift off from the historic pad in the near future. A horizontal integration facility has been constructed near the perimeter of the pad where rockets will be processed for launch prior of rolling out to the top of the pad structure for liftoff. SpaceX anticipates using the launch pad for its Crew Dragon spacecraft for missions to the International Space Station in partnership with NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. (SpaceX)

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NASA examines Carbon emissions across the Earth to better understand our warming climate

 

Written by Kate Ramsayer, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
and Carol Rasmussen, NASA’s Earth Science News Team

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Earth’s oceans and land cover are doing us a favor. As people burn fossil fuels and clear forests, only half of the carbon dioxide released stays in the atmosphere, warming and altering Earth’s climate. The other half is removed from the air by the planet’s vegetation ecosystems and oceans.

As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue their rapid, human-made rise past levels not seen for hundreds of thousands of years, NASA scientists and others are confronted with an important question for the future of our planet: How long can this balancing act continue? And if forests, other vegetation and the ocean cannot continue to absorb as much or more of our carbon emissions, what does that mean for the pace of climate change in the coming century?

NASA is advancing new tools like the supercomputer model that created this simulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to better understand what will happen to Earth's climate if the land and ocean can no longer absorb nearly half of all climate-warming CO2 emissions. (NASA/GSFC)

NASA is advancing new tools like the supercomputer model that created this simulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to better understand what will happen to Earth’s climate if the land and ocean can no longer absorb nearly half of all climate-warming CO2 emissions. (NASA/GSFC)

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NASA’s ISS-RapidScat instrument completes one year of service

 

Written by Elizabeth Landau
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Where do predictions for regional weather patterns come from? For one source, look to the ocean. About 70 percent of Earth’s surface is covered in oceans, and changes in ocean winds are good predictors of many weather phenomena on small and large scales.

NASA’s ISS-RapidScat instrument, which last month celebrated its one-year anniversary, helps make these ocean wind measurements to enhance weather forecasting and understanding of climate. The instrument was first activated on the International Space Station on October 1st, 2014.

RapidScat's antenna, lower right, was pointed at Hurricane Patricia as the powerful storm approached Mexico on Oct. 23, 2015. (NASA)

RapidScat’s antenna, lower right, was pointed at Hurricane Patricia as the powerful storm approached Mexico on Oct. 23, 2015. (NASA)

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NASA’s Mars Mission Spinoffs Part 3: Harnessing Power

 

Written by Joshua Buck
Public Affairs Officer, NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – It will be the most powerful rocket ever built. More powerful than the mighty Saturn V that took humans to the moon, the Space Launch System (SLS), NASA’s newest rocket currently under development, will have the capability to send astronauts deeper into space than ever before.

With SLS and the Orion capsule, humans will no longer have to dream of walking on Mars: They finally will do it.

While the Dawn spacecraft is visiting the asteroids Vesta and Ceres, NASA's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, has been developing the next generation of ion thrusters for future missions. NASA's Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) Project has developed a 7-kilowatt ion thruster that can provide the capabilities needed in the future. (NASA)

While the Dawn spacecraft is visiting the asteroids Vesta and Ceres, NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, has been developing the next generation of ion thrusters for future missions. NASA’s Evolutionary Xenon Thruster (NEXT) Project has developed a 7-kilowatt ion thruster that can provide the capabilities needed in the future. (NASA)

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