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NASA, Boeing finishes Starliner Parachute Test Series

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA and Boeing have completed Starliner’s last parachute balloon drop test ending a reliability campaign that will help strengthen the spacecraft’s landing system ahead of crewed flights to and from the International Space Station.

The campaign, developed by both Boeing and NASA, used six balloon drop tests of a Starliner test article to gather supplemental performance data on the spacecraft’s parachutes and landing system. Each drop test focused on a different set of adverse conditions and used pre-flown parachutes to evaluate reusability margins for future missions.

A reused drogue parachute deploys from Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner test article during the final balloon drop parachute test above White Sands, New Mexico, on Sept. 19, 2020. The test is part of a reliability campaign that will help strengthen the spacecraft’s landing system ahead of crewed flights to and from the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. (Boeing)

A reused drogue parachute deploys from Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner test article during the final balloon drop parachute test above White Sands, New Mexico, on Sept. 19, 2020. The test is part of a reliability campaign that will help strengthen the spacecraft’s landing system ahead of crewed flights to and from the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. (Boeing)

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NASA Building Core Stages for Second, Third Artemis Flights

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Technicians are simultaneously manufacturing NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) core stages for the Artemis II and Artemis III lunar missions at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans.

The core stage for the deep space rocket consists of two huge propellant tanks, four RS-25 engines, and miles of cabling for the avionics systems and flight computers.

All the main core stage structures for Artemis II, the first mission with astronauts, have been built and are being outfitted with electronics, feedlines, propulsion systems, and other components.

Intertank Assembly on Thursday, September 17, 2020. (NASA)

Intertank Assembly on Thursday, September 17, 2020. (NASA)

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NASA reports Boeing’s Starliner is making Progress Ahead of Flight Test with Astronauts

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA and Boeing continue to make progress toward the company’s second uncrewed flight test of the CST-100 Starliner spacecraft prior to flying astronauts to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

The Commercial Crew Program currently is targeting no earlier than December 2020 for launch of the uncrewed Orbital Flight Test-2 (OFT-2) pending hardware readiness, flight software qualification, and launch vehicle and space station manifest priorities.

The CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to be flown on Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test (OFT) is viewed Nov. 2, 2019, while undergoing launch preparations inside the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Boeing)

The CST-100 Starliner spacecraft to be flown on Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test (OFT) is viewed Nov. 2, 2019, while undergoing launch preparations inside the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Boeing)

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NASA to finish Structural Testing of Artemis SLS Rocket

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) Program is concluding its structural qualification test series with one upcoming final test that will push the design for the rocket’s liquid oxygen tank to its limits at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

In the name of science, engineers will try to break a structural test article of the tank–on purpose. The liquid oxygen tank’s structure is identical to the tank that is part of the SLS core stage, which will provide power to help launch the Artemis missions to the Moon. The tank is enclosed in a cage-like structure that is part of the test stand.

The liquid oxygen tank structural test article, shown here, for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s core stage was the last test article loaded into the test stand July 10, 2019. The liquid oxygen tank is one of two propellant tanks in the rocket’s massive core stage that will produce more than 2 million pounds of thrust to help launch Artemis I, the first flight of SLS and NASA’s Orion spacecraft to the Moon.(NASA/Tyler Martin)

The liquid oxygen tank structural test article, shown here, for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s core stage was the last test article loaded into the test stand July 10, 2019. The liquid oxygen tank is one of two propellant tanks in the rocket’s massive core stage that will produce more than 2 million pounds of thrust to help launch Artemis I, the first flight of SLS and NASA’s Orion spacecraft to the Moon.(NASA/Tyler Martin)

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NASA’s Langley Research Center receives visit from Vice President, Administrator for Artemis Program Update

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Vice President Mike Pence, chair of the National Space Council, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine got a glimpse Wednesday into how NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia is at the forefront of space exploration and has been vital to missions from Apollo to Artemis.

“It’s an honor to be among men and women who will play a decisive role when in four years’ time we return American astronauts to the Moon and make sure the first women and the next man on the moon will be Americans,” Pence told employees during his remarks.

Vice President Mike Pence speaks to employees during his visit to NASA's Langley Research Center Wednesday. (NASA/David C. Bowman)

Vice President Mike Pence speaks to employees during his visit to NASA’s Langley Research Center Wednesday. (NASA/David C. Bowman)

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NASA has big plans for 2020

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – In 2020, NASA will be taking long strides toward returning astronauts to the Moon, continuing the exploration of Mars and developing new technology to make supersonic aircraft fly more quietly.

Artemis: Returning astronauts to the Moon

Under Artemis, NASA will send new science instruments and technology demonstrations to study the Moon, accelerate plans to send astronauts to the Moon by 2024, and establish sustainable lunar exploration by 2028.

Launching Americans from U.S. soil, sending a new rover to Mars and continuing to prepare for human missions to the Moon are just a few of the things NASA has planned for 2020. (NASA TV/Lacey Young)

Launching Americans from U.S. soil, sending a new rover to Mars and continuing to prepare for human missions to the Moon are just a few of the things NASA has planned for 2020. (NASA TV/Lacey Young)

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NASA reports Successful Landing of Boeing’s Starliner Flight Test

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA says Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft completed the first land touchdown of a human-rated capsule in U.S. history Sunday at White Sands Space Harbor in New Mexico, wrapping up the company’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

Starliner settled gently onto its airbags at 6:58am CST (5:58am MST) in a pre-dawn landing that helps set the stage for future crewed landings at the same site. The landing followed a deorbit burn at 6:23am, separation of the spacecraft’s service module, and successful deployment of its three main parachutes and six airbags.

The Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is seen after it landed in White Sands, New Mexico, Sunday, December 22nd, 2019. The landing completes an abbreviated Orbital Flight Test for the company that still meets several mission objectives for NASA’s Commercial Crew program. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

The Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is seen after it landed in White Sands, New Mexico, Sunday, December 22nd, 2019. The landing completes an abbreviated Orbital Flight Test for the company that still meets several mission objectives for NASA’s Commercial Crew program. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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NASA says Boeing Flight Test for Commercial Crew Program Will Pave the Way for Future Science

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – NASA says Boeing’s uncrewed Orbital Flight Test (OFT) will be the second uncrewed test flight of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program, a partnership with the aerospace industry to launch astronauts on U.S. rockets and spacecraft from U.S. soil for the first time since 2011.

When Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft lifts off on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket December 20th from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida, scientists who research how things behave in space will be amongst the eager spectators watching with bated breath.

The crew module of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is lifted onto its service module on Oct. 16 inside the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility (C3PF) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of the company’s Orbital Flight Test to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. (Boeing)

The crew module of Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft is lifted onto its service module on Oct. 16 inside the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility (C3PF) at Kennedy Space Center in Florida ahead of the company’s Orbital Flight Test to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. (Boeing)

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NASA, Boeing Orbital Flight Test a Major Step Forward

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationCape Canaveral, FL – NASA says when Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test (OFT) launches on December 20th, 2019, it will be a major step toward returning human spaceflight capability to the U.S. 

The uncrewed mission for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program will rendezvous and dock Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner spacecraft with the International Space Station and return to Earth on December 28th. Starliner will launch atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, topped by the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, stands on Space Launch Complex 41 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Dec. 4, 2019. Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test will launch on Dec. 20th, 2019. (Boeing)

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket, topped by the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, stands on Space Launch Complex 41 at Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Dec. 4, 2019. Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test will launch on Dec. 20th, 2019. (Boeing)

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NASA to test World’s Largest Rocket Fuel Tank

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – Engineers are preparing to push a test article identical to the world’s largest rocket fuel tank beyond its design limits and find its breaking point during upcoming tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Earlier this year, a NASA and Boeing test team subjected a test version of the Space Launch System (SLS) liquid hydrogen tank to a series of 37 tests that simulate liftoff and flight stresses by using large hydraulic pistons to push and pull on the test tank with millions of pounds of force.  

Engineers are preparing to push a test article identical to the world’s largest rocket fuel tank beyond its design limits and find its breaking point during upcoming tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This will be the largest-ever controlled test-to-failure of a NASA rocket stage fuel tank. (NASA/MSFC)

Engineers are preparing to push a test article identical to the world’s largest rocket fuel tank beyond its design limits and find its breaking point during upcoming tests at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. This will be the largest-ever controlled test-to-failure of a NASA rocket stage fuel tank. (NASA/MSFC)

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