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Topic: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

NASA launches Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) spacecraft

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – After a successful Thursday night, October 10th, 2019 launch, NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) spacecraft is in orbit for a first-of-its-kind mission to study a region of space where changes can disrupt communications and satellite orbits, and even increase radiation risks to astronauts.

A Northrop Grumman Stargazer L-1011 aircraft took off at 7:31pm CDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida carrying ICON, on a Northrop Grumman Pegasus XL rocket, to launch altitude of about 39,000 feet.

Northrop Grumman’s L-1011 aircraft, Stargazer, prepares for takeoff at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Skid Strip in Florida on Oct. 10, 2019. Attached beneath the aircraft is the company’s Pegasus XL rocket, carrying NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON). (NASA)

Northrop Grumman’s L-1011 aircraft, Stargazer, prepares for takeoff at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Skid Strip in Florida on Oct. 10, 2019. Attached beneath the aircraft is the company’s Pegasus XL rocket, carrying NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON). (NASA)

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NASA engineers test Mars 2020 Rover Descent Stage Separation

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – In this picture from September 28th, 2019, NASA engineers and technicians working on the assembly and testing of the Mars 2020 spacecraft look on as a crane lifts the rocket-powered descent stage away from the rover. They’ve just completed a successful separation test at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

“Firing the pyrotechnic devices that held the rover and descent stage together and then doing the post-test inspection of the two vehicles was an all-day affair,” said Ryan van Schilifgaarde, a support engineer for Mars 2020 assembly at JPL.

In this picture from September 2th8, 2019, engineers and technicians working on the Mars 2020 spacecraft at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, look on as a crane lifts the rocket-powered descent stage away from the rover after a test. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In this picture from September 2th8, 2019, engineers and technicians working on the Mars 2020 spacecraft at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, look on as a crane lifts the rocket-powered descent stage away from the rover after a test. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA Deadline for Names to Fly on NASA’s Next Mars Rover approaches

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – It’s the final boarding call for you to stow your name on NASA’s Mars 2020 rover before it launches to the Red Planet. The September 30th, 2019 deadline for NASA’s “Send Your Name to Mars” campaign gives the mission enough time to stencil the submitted names — over 9.4 million so far — on a chip that will be affixed to the Mars 2020 rover. 

This rover is scheduled to launch as early as July 2020 and expected to touch down on Mars in February 2021. The Mars 2020 rover represents the initial leg of humanity’s first planned round trip to another planet.

The actor Brad Pitt (right) shows off his "boarding pass" for Mars with Jennifer Trosper (left), the Mars 2020 project systems engineer, at JPL on Sept. 6, 2019. You can send your name to Mars aboard NASA's Mars 2020 rover at https://go.nasa.gov/mars2020pass until Sept. 30, 2019. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

The actor Brad Pitt (right) shows off his “boarding pass” for Mars with Jennifer Trosper (left), the Mars 2020 project systems engineer, at JPL on Sept. 6, 2019. You can send your name to Mars aboard NASA’s Mars 2020 rover at https://go.nasa.gov/mars2020pass until Sept. 30, 2019. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA establishes Mars 2020 Rover’s center of Gravity

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – On August 29th, 2019, engineers took NASA’s Mars 2020 for a spin. The 2,300-pound (1,040-kilogram) Martian vehicle was rotated clockwise and counterclockwise at about 1 revolution per minute on what is called a spin table in the clean room of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The engineers were looking for the rover’s center of gravity, or the point at which weight is evenly dispersed on all sides.

NASA's Mars 2020 rover was rotated on a spin table in the clean room of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Engineers were looking to establish the rover's center of gravity, or the point at which weight is evenly dispersed on all sides. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover was rotated on a spin table in the clean room of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. Engineers were looking to establish the rover’s center of gravity, or the point at which weight is evenly dispersed on all sides. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA attaches Mars Helicopter to Mars 2020 Rover

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA -NASA engineers have attached the Mars Helicopter to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover today in the High Bay 1 clean room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The Mars Helicopter will be the first aircraft to fly on another planet.

The twin-rotor, solar-powered helicopter was connected, along with the Mars Helicopter Delivery System, to a plate on the rover’s belly that includes a cover to shield the helicopter from debris during entry, descent and landing.

An engineer works on attaching NASA's Mars Helicopter to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover - which has been flipped over for that purpose - on Aug. 27, 2019, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An engineer works on attaching NASA’s Mars Helicopter to the belly of the Mars 2020 rover – which has been flipped over for that purpose – on Aug. 27, 2019, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA tests Mars 2020 rover arm, turret

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadenca, CA – NASA’s Mars 2020 rover’s robotic arm is able to curl heavy weights. On July 18th, 2019, the time-lapse video below was, taken in the clean room of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the rover’s 7-foot-long (2.1-meter-long) arm handily maneuvers 88 pounds’ (40 kilograms’) worth of sensor-laden turret as it moves from a deployed to a stowed configuration.

The rover’s arm includes five electrical motors and five joints (known as the shoulder azimuth joint, shoulder elevation joint, elbow joint, wrist joint and turret joint).

In this image, taken July 19, 2019, in the clean room of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at JPL, the rover's 7-foot-long (2.1-meter-long) arm maneuvers its 88-pound (40-kilogram) sensor-laden turret as it moves from a deployed to a stowed configuration. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In this image, taken July 19, 2019, in the clean room of the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at JPL, the rover’s 7-foot-long (2.1-meter-long) arm maneuvers its 88-pound (40-kilogram) sensor-laden turret as it moves from a deployed to a stowed configuration. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover set to launch in One Year

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – One year from today, the NASA’s Mars 2020 rover launch period begins July 17th, 2020, and extends through August 5th, 2020. The mission will launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and land at Mars’ Jezero Crater on February 18th, 2021.

“Back when we started this project in 2013, we came up with a timeline to chart mission progress,” said John McNamee, Mars 2020 project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Engineers at JPL install a sensor-filled turret on the end of the rover's seven-foot-long (2.1-meter-long) robotic arm. The image was taken on July 11, 2019. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Engineers at JPL install a sensor-filled turret on the end of the rover’s seven-foot-long (2.1-meter-long) robotic arm. The image was taken on July 11, 2019. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA successfully tests Orion Spacecraft’s Launch Abort System

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – On Tuesday, July 2nd, 2019, NASA had a successful demonstration of how the Orion spacecraft’s launch abort system can outrun a speeding rocket and pull astronauts to safety during an emergency during launch. The test is another milestone in the agency’s preparation for Artemis missions to the Moon that will lead to astronaut missions to Mars.

During the approximately three-minute test, called Ascent Abort-2, a test version of the Orion crew module launched at 6:00am CDT from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on a modified Peacekeeper missile procured through the U.S. Air Force and built by Northrop Grumman.

Ascent Abort-2 successfully launched at 6:00am CDT from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. (NASA)

Ascent Abort-2 successfully launched at 6:00am CDT from Space Launch Complex 46 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. (NASA)

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NASA Engineers install SuperCam Mast Unit on Mars 2020 Rover

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Engineers have installed the SuperCam Mast Unit onto the Mars 2020 rover at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The instrument’s camera, laser and spectrometers can identify the chemical and mineral makeup of targets as small as a pencil point from a distance of more than 20 feet (6 meters).

SuperCam is a next-generation version of the ChemCam instrument operating on NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover. It has been developed jointly in the U.S., France and Spain.

In this image taken June 25th, 2019, engineers install the SuperCam instrument on Mars 2020's rover. This image was taken in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In this image taken June 25th, 2019, engineers install the SuperCam instrument on Mars 2020’s rover. This image was taken in the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA installs Long Robotic Arm on Mars 2020 Rover

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA engineers install the main robotic arm on the Mars 2020 rover on June 21st, 2019, (A smaller arm to handle Mars samples will be installed inside the rover as well) at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The main arm includes five electrical motors and five joints (known as the shoulder azimuth joint, shoulder elevation joint, elbow joint, wrist joint and turret joint). Measuring 7 feet (2.1 meters) long, the arm will allow the rover to work as a human geologist would: by holding and using science tools with its turret, which is essentially its “hand.”

On June 21st, 2019, engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory install the main robotic arm on the Mars 2020 rover. Measuring 7 feet (2.1 meters) long, the arm will allow the rover to work as a human geologist would: by holding and using science tools with its turret. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

On June 21st, 2019, engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory install the main robotic arm on the Mars 2020 rover. Measuring 7 feet (2.1 meters) long, the arm will allow the rover to work as a human geologist would: by holding and using science tools with its turret. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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