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Topic: CubeSat

Rocket Lab gets NASA Contract to Launch CubeSat to Moon from Virginia

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has selected Rocket Lab of Huntington Beach, California, to provide launch services for the Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) CubeSat.

Rocket Lab, a commercial launch provider licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration, will launch the 55-pound CubeSat aboard an Electron rocket from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. After launch, the company’s Photon platform will deliver CAPSTONE to a trans-lunar injection.

Part of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, Launch Complex 2 is Rocket Lab’s second launch site for the Electron rocket. Rocket Lab will launch NASA’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) CubeSat mission to the Moon from the Virginia launch site in early 2021. (Rocket Lab)

Part of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia, Launch Complex 2 is Rocket Lab’s second launch site for the Electron rocket. Rocket Lab will launch NASA’s Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) CubeSat mission to the Moon from the Virginia launch site in early 2021. (Rocket Lab)

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NASA’s small ASTERIA CubeSat goes silent

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – Mission operators at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have lost contact with the ASTERIA satellite, a briefcase-sized spacecraft designed to study planets outside our solar system.

The last successful communication with ASTERIA, short for Arcsecond Space Telescope Enabling Research in Astrophysics, was on December 5th; attempts to contact it are expected to continue into March 2020.

ASTERIA belongs to a category of satellites called CubeSats, which vary in size but are typically smaller than a suitcase.

Left to right: Electrical Test Engineer Esha Murty and Integration and Test Lead Cody Colley prepare the ASTERIA spacecraft for mass-properties measurements in April 2017 prior to spacecraft delivery ahead of launch. ASTERIA was deployed from the International Space Station in November 2017. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Left to right: Electrical Test Engineer Esha Murty and Integration and Test Lead Cody Colley prepare the ASTERIA spacecraft for mass-properties measurements in April 2017 prior to spacecraft delivery ahead of launch. ASTERIA was deployed from the International Space Station in November 2017. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s Artemis Lunar Program moves full speed ahead

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – In 2019, NASA celebrated the 50th anniversary of the agency’s Apollo 11 Moon landing, the most historic moment in space exploration, while also making significant progress toward putting the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 under the Artemis program.

Through America’s Moon to Mars exploration approach, Artemis gained bipartisan support this year among members of Congress, the U.S aerospace industry, as well as with international partners, including Canada, Australia, and Japan, and member states of the European Space Agency.

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NASA Pathfinder CubeSat to orbit Moon in same orbit projected for Gateway

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has awarded a $13.7 million contract to Advanced Space of Boulder, Colorado, to develop and operate a CubeSat mission to the same lunar orbit targeted for Gateway – an orbiting outpost astronauts will visit before descending to the surface of the Moon in a landing system as part of NASA’s Artemis program.

The Cislunar Autonomous Positioning System Technology Operations and Navigation Experiment (CAPSTONE) is expected to be the first spacecraft to operate in a near rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon.

Highly elliptical, a near rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon takes advantage of a precise balance point in the gravities of Earth and the Moon and creates a stability that is ideal for long-term missions like Gateway. (Advanced Space)

Highly elliptical, a near rectilinear halo orbit around the Moon takes advantage of a precise balance point in the gravities of Earth and the Moon and creates a stability that is ideal for long-term missions like Gateway. (Advanced Space)

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NASA’s TEMPEST-D satellite takes a look inside Hurricane Dorian

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A new view of Hurricane Dorian shows the layers of the storm, as seen by an experimental NASA weather satellite that’s the size of a cereal box. TEMPEST-D reveals rain bands in four layers of the storm as Hurricane Dorian approaches Florida on September 3rd, 2019.

The multiple vertical layers show where the strongest convective “storms” within the hurricane are pushing high into the atmosphere, with pink, red and yellow corresponding to the areas of heaviest rainfall.

Hurricane Dorian off the coast of Florida, as seen by the small satellite TEMPEST-D at 2 a.m. EDT on Sep. 3, 2019 (11 p.m PDT on Sept. 2, 2019). The layers in the animation reveal slices of the hurricane from four depths, taken at different radio wavelengths. The vertical view of Dorian highlights where the storm is strongest in the atmosphere. The colors in the animation show the heavy rainfall and moisture inside the storm. The least-intense areas of rainfall are shown in green, while the most intense are yellow, red and pink. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Hurricane Dorian off the coast of Florida, as seen by the small satellite TEMPEST-D at 2 a.m. EDT on Sep. 3, 2019 (11 p.m PDT on Sept. 2, 2019). The layers in the animation reveal slices of the hurricane from four depths, taken at different radio wavelengths. The vertical view of Dorian highlights where the storm is strongest in the atmosphere. The colors in the animation show the heavy rainfall and moisture inside the storm. The least-intense areas of rainfall are shown in green, while the most intense are yellow, red and pink. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA has several Instruments, Spacecraft observing Hurricane Dorian

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory has several instruments and spacecraft with eyes on Hurricane Dorian, capturing different types of data from the storm.

NASA’s Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), aboard the Aqua satellite, senses emitted infrared and microwave radiation from Earth. The information is used to map such atmospheric phenomena as temperature, humidity, and cloud amounts and heights.

Three images of Hurricane Dorian, as seen by a trio of NASA's Earth-observing satellites Aug. 27-29, 2019. The data sent by the spacecraft revealed in-depth views of the storm, including detailed heavy rain, cloud height and wind. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Three images of Hurricane Dorian, as seen by a trio of NASA’s Earth-observing satellites Aug. 27-29, 2019. The data sent by the spacecraft revealed in-depth views of the storm, including detailed heavy rain, cloud height and wind. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA launches Student-built CubeSat Into Space with SlingShot

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA reports that the student-built CubeSat—Radio Frequency Tag Satellite (RFTSat)— was deployed in space on August 7th, 2019 using a one of a kind deployment dispenser called SlingShot.  This image shows the Cygnus cargo spacecraft departing the space station with SlingShot payloads in preparation for deployment activities.

RFTSat was designed by students and faculty at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, and was selected through NASA’s CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) to fly as an auxiliary payload on SpaceX’s 18th commercial cargo resupply services mission to the International Space Station—which launched July 25th, 2019 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

NASA use SlingShot deployer on Internatonal Space Station to send student made CubeSat into Space. (NASA)

NASA use SlingShot deployer on Internatonal Space Station to send student made CubeSat into Space. (NASA)

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NASA to test Planetary Defense Technology against Asteroid in 2022

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s first mission to demonstrate a planetary defense technique, the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART), will get one chance to hit its target, the small moonlet in the binary asteroid system Didymos.

The asteroid poses no threat to Earth and is an ideal test target: measuring the change in how the smaller asteroid orbits about the larger asteroid in a binary system is much easier than observing the change in a single asteroid’s orbit around the Sun.

NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). (Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory)

NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART). (Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory)

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NASA establishes groundwork for exploration of the Moon, Mars in 2018

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA welcomed a new administrator, Jim Bridenstine, deputy administrator, Jim Morhard, and chief financial officer, Jeff DeWit, in 2018. Their focus is on firmly establishing the groundwork to send Americans back to the Moon sustainably, with plans to use the agency’s lunar experience to prepare to send astronauts to Mars. 

“Our agency’s accomplishments in 2018 are breathtaking. We’ve inspired the world and created incredible new capabilities for our nation,” Bridenstine said. “This year, we landed on Mars for the seventh time, and America remains the only country to have landed on Mars successfully.”

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, left, and Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen, right, join with representatives of nine U.S. companies that are eligible to bid on NASA delivery services to the lunar surface through Commercial Lunar Payload Services contracts Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, at NASA Headquarters in Washington. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, left, and Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen, right, join with representatives of nine U.S. companies that are eligible to bid on NASA delivery services to the lunar surface through Commercial Lunar Payload Services contracts Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, at NASA Headquarters in Washington. (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

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NASA Insight Lander set for Landing on Mars

 

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) spacecraft is on track for a soft touchdown on the surface of the Red Planet on November 26th, 2018 the Monday after Thanksgiving.

But it’s not going to be a relaxing weekend of turkey leftovers, football and shopping for the InSight mission team. Engineers will be keeping a close eye on the stream of data indicating InSight’s health and trajectory, and monitoring Martian weather reports to figure out if the team needs to make any final adjustments in preparation for landing, only five days away.

An artist's impression of NASA InSight's entry, descent and landing at Mars, scheduled for November 26th, 2018. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

An artist’s impression of NASA InSight’s entry, descent and landing at Mars, scheduled for November 26th, 2018. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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