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Topic: NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

NASA’s twin E-TBEx CubeSats to study how signals get disrupted in Earth’s Ionosphere

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationGreenbelt, MD – In June 2019, the NASA twin E-TBEx CubeSats — short for Enhanced Tandem Beacon Experiment — are scheduled to launch aboard the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program-2 launch.

The launch includes a total of 24 satellites from government and research institutions.

They will launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This visualization shows the relative density of certain particles in Earth's ionosphere. The E-TBEx CubeSats will explore how signals from satellites to Earth can be disrupted as they pass through this region. (NASA)

This visualization shows the relative density of certain particles in Earth’s ionosphere. The E-TBEx CubeSats will explore how signals from satellites to Earth can be disrupted as they pass through this region. (NASA)

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NASA continues work on Mars 2020 Rover, Public invited to watch

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – As NASA’s Mars 2020 rover takes shape at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, a newly installed webcam will offer the public a live, bird’s-eye view of it. You can watch as JPL engineers and technicians assemble and test the rover before it embarks next year on one of the most technologically challenging interplanetary missions ever designed.

“There is so much happening and changing in the clean room, I come here every opportunity I get,” said Mars 2020 project manager John McNamee of JPL. “It is great that we can share this part of our journey to the Red Planet with the public anytime they want.”

The "Seeing 2020" live video feed allows the public to watch engineers and technicians assemble and test NASA's next Mars rover in a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-CalTech)

The “Seeing 2020” live video feed allows the public to watch engineers and technicians assemble and test NASA’s next Mars rover in a clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-CalTech)

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NASA’s Mars Helicopter completes key tests

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A number of key tests were passed by NASA’s Mars Helicopter flight demonstration project with flying colors. In 2021, the small, autonomous helicopter will be the first vehicle in history to attempt to establish the viability of heavier-than-air vehicles flying on another planet.

“Nobody’s built a Mars Helicopter before, so we are continuously entering new territory,” said MiMi Aung, project manager for the Mars Helicopter at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “Our flight model – the actual vehicle that will travel to Mars – has recently passed several important tests.”

This image of the flight model of NASA's Mars Helicopter was taken on Feb. 14, 2019, in a cleanroom at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The aluminum base plate, side posts, and crossbeam around the helicopter protect the helicopter's landing legs and the attachment points that will hold it to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This image of the flight model of NASA’s Mars Helicopter was taken on Feb. 14, 2019, in a cleanroom at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The aluminum base plate, side posts, and crossbeam around the helicopter protect the helicopter’s landing legs and the attachment points that will hold it to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA lists Five Facts about their Deep Space Atomic Clock

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – On June 22nd, 2019, NASA will be sending a new technology to space that will change the way we navigate our spacecraft – even how we send astronauts to Mars and beyond.

Built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the Deep Space Atomic Clock is a technology demonstration that will help spacecraft navigate autonomously through deep space. No larger than a toaster oven, the instrument will be tested in Earth orbit for one year, with the goal of being ready for future missions to other worlds.

Here are five key facts to know about NASA’s Deep Space Atomic Clock:

This image of the Deep Space Atomic Clock, a new technology being tested by NASA that will change the way humans navigate the solar system. The precise timekeeper is targeted to launch from Florida on June 22, 2019, aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This image of the Deep Space Atomic Clock, a new technology being tested by NASA that will change the way humans navigate the solar system. The precise timekeeper is targeted to launch from Florida on June 22, 2019, aboard a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Team works to get handle on Lunar Dust

 

Written by Jim Cawley 
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationFlorida – Dust can be a nuisance — on Earth and the Moon. Astronauts exploring the Moon’s South Pole will need a way to help keep pesky lunar dust out of hard to reach places.

A team at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida may have the solution. The technology launched to the International Space Station April 17th, 2019, from Wallops Flight Facility on the eastern shore of Virginia as part of the Materials International Space Station Experiment (MISSE)-11 mission.

“This is the first flight of the Electrodynamic Dust Shield (EDS) and the first exposure to the space environment,” said Kennedy scientist Dr. Carlos Calle. “It is a big deal, and we are very excited. We’ve been working on this for a long time.”

Dr. Carlos Calle has worked on the Electrostatic Dust Shield (EDS) for 15 years. He leads a team of about eight researchers striving to perfect the technology that uses dynamic electric fields to remove dust from surfaces. Calle is hopeful that the EDS will play a major role in NASA’s plans to send humans back to the Moon and on to Mars. (NASA)

Dr. Carlos Calle has worked on the Electrostatic Dust Shield (EDS) for 15 years. He leads a team of about eight researchers striving to perfect the technology that uses dynamic electric fields to remove dust from surfaces. Calle is hopeful that the EDS will play a major role in NASA’s plans to send humans back to the Moon and on to Mars. (NASA)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 Spacecraft undergoing detailed Vehicle Stacking

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – For the past few months, the clean room floor in High Bay 1 at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, has been covered in parts, components and test equipment for the Mars 2020 spacecraft, scheduled for launch toward the Red Planet in July of 2020.

But over the past few weeks, some of these components – the spacecraft-rocket-laden landing system and even the stand-in for the rover (christened “surrogate-rover”) – have seemingly disappeared.

In the center of this image is the Mars 2020 spacecraft stack attached to the Spacecraft Assembly Rotation Fixture (SCARF) in the High Bay 1 clean room in JPL's Spacecraft Assembly Facility. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In the center of this image is the Mars 2020 spacecraft stack attached to the Spacecraft Assembly Rotation Fixture (SCARF) in the High Bay 1 clean room in JPL’s Spacecraft Assembly Facility. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA moves closer to launching new Technology aboard SpaceX Falcon Heavy Rocket

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – A new kind of atomic clock, non-toxic propellant system and missions to characterize how space weather interferes with satellites and communication transmissions are one step closer to liftoff. With the second-ever SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch complete, these NASA technologies await the powerful rocket’s next flight.

“We are pleased with the success of yesterday’s Falcon Heavy launch and first-stage landings,” said Acting Associate Administrator for NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate Jim Reuter. “We have important technologies that are ready to fly, and this success helps put us on that path.”

On Thursday, April 11th, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launched the Arabsat-6A satellite from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (SpaceX)

On Thursday, April 11th, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket launched the Arabsat-6A satellite from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (SpaceX)

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NASA announces Boeing Starliner Crew Flight Test to International Space Station to have time extended

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA and Boeing have agreed to extend the duration of the company’s first crewed flight test to the International Space Station after completing an in-depth technical assessment of the CST-100 Starliner systems. NASA found the long-duration flight to be technically feasible and in the best interest of the agency’s needs to ensure continued access and better utilization of the orbiting laboratory.

The extended duration test flight offers NASA the opportunity to complete additional microgravity research, maintenance, and other activities while the company’s Starliner is docked to station. The mission duration will be determined at a later date.

Boeing's Starliner prepares for acoustic testing at Boeing's spacecraft test facilities in El Segundo, California. This vehicle, known as Spacecraft 2, will fly Starliner's Crew Flight Test after it returns to Florida from environmental testing. (Boeing)

Boeing’s Starliner prepares for acoustic testing at Boeing’s spacecraft test facilities in El Segundo, California. This vehicle, known as Spacecraft 2, will fly Starliner’s Crew Flight Test after it returns to Florida from environmental testing. (Boeing)

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NASA’s Mars Helicopter Completes Flight Tests

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Since the Wright brothers first took to the skies of Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, December 17th, 1903, first flights have been important milestones in the life of any vehicle designed for air travel. After all, it’s one thing to design an aircraft and make it fly on paper – or computer. It is quite another to put all the pieces together and watch them get off the ground.

In late January 2019, all the pieces making up the flight model (actual vehicle going to the Red Planet) of NASA’s Mars Helicopter were put to the test.

Members of the NASA Mars Helicopter team attach a thermal film to the exterior of the flight model of the Mars Helicopter. The image was taken on February 1st, 2019 inside the Space Simulator, a 25-foot-wide (7.62-meter-wide) vacuum chamber at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Members of the NASA Mars Helicopter team attach a thermal film to the exterior of the flight model of the Mars Helicopter. The image was taken on February 1st, 2019 inside the Space Simulator, a 25-foot-wide (7.62-meter-wide) vacuum chamber at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA takes Mars 2020 Rover out for a Test Drive

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – In a little more than seven minutes in the early afternoon of February 18th, 2021, NASA’s Mars 2020 rover will execute about 27,000 actions and calculations as it speeds through the hazardous transition from the edge of space to Mars’ Jezero Crater.

While that will be the first time the wheels of the 2,314-pound (1,050-kilogram) rover touch the Red Planet, the vehicle’s network of processors, sensors and transmitters will, by then, have successfully simulated touchdown at Jezero many times before.

Technicians working Mars 2020's System's Test 1 approach their workstation in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Technicians working Mars 2020’s System’s Test 1 approach their workstation in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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