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NASA-supported Tech aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Successful space and suborbital technology developments require ingenuity, understanding of mission and science needs, and testing. For many technologies matured with support from NASA’s Flight Opportunities program, the ability to undergo testing multiple times – and often on different types of commercial flight vehicles – adds the necessary rigor and refinement to advance these innovations.

Evolved versions of two NASA-supported technologies that have flown previously through Flight Opportunities will be put to the test on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo.

Virgin Galactic Makes Space for Second Time in Ten Weeks with Three on Board

Virgin Galactic Makes Space for Second Time in Ten Weeks with Three on Board

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NASA works to control Rocket Fuel movement in Spacecrafts

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationEdwards, CA – Rocket off course? NASA says it could be a slosh problem.

Propellant slosh, to be exact. The motion of propellant inside a rocket-based launch vehicle or spacecraft tank is an ever-present, vexing problem for spaceflight. Not only can it make gauging the amount of available propellant difficult, but the volatile waves of liquid can literally throw a rocket off its trajectory.

“To understand why it’s such a critical issue, it’s important to realize that for most launch vehicles, liquid propellant initially makes up nearly 90% of the vehicle mass,” explained Kevin Crosby of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

With support from NASA’s Flight Opportunities program, Carthage College and its partner Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University are testing a new method of suppressing propellant slosh by using magnetic forces. Students Taylor Peterson (left) and Celestine Ananda are shown here with the flight experiment on a parabolic flight with ZERO-G in November 2019. (Carthage College)

With support from NASA’s Flight Opportunities program, Carthage College and its partner Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University are testing a new method of suppressing propellant slosh by using magnetic forces. Students Taylor Peterson (left) and Celestine Ananda are shown here with the flight experiment on a parabolic flight with ZERO-G in November 2019. (Carthage College)

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NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology Aircraft is making good progress

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationEdwards, CA – Assembly of NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology aircraft is continuing during 2020 and making good progress, despite challenges such as those imposed by the unexpected global pandemic.

NASA plans as early as 2024 to fly the X-59 over select communities on missions to gather information about how the public will react to the level of quiet supersonic flight noise the aircraft is designed to produce – if they hear anything at all.

NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology X-plane, or QueSST, is designed to fly faster than the speed of sound, without producing a loud, disruptive sonic boom, which is typically heard on the ground below aircraft flying at such speeds. Instead, with the X-59, people on the ground will hear nothing more than a quiet sonic thump – if they hear anything at all. (Lockheed Martin)

NASA’s X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology X-plane, or QueSST, is designed to fly faster than the speed of sound, without producing a loud, disruptive sonic boom, which is typically heard on the ground below aircraft flying at such speeds. Instead, with the X-59, people on the ground will hear nothing more than a quiet sonic thump – if they hear anything at all. (Lockheed Martin)

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NASA’s Doug Wheelock gets Astronauts ready for Moon Landing

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationEdwards, CA – Astronaut  Doug “Wheels” Wheelock spent his NASA career expanding knowledge of living and working in space. His new mission is working to determine the best way to train astronauts to return to the surface of the Moon.

Wheelock is a veteran test pilot and retired U.S. Army colonel who has accumulated 178 days in space and was a guest speaker at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California during a recent virtual Safety Day.

Astronaut Scott Parazynski, while anchored to a foot restraint, assessed his repair work as the solar array was fully deployed while Space Suttle Discovery was docked with the International Space Station. Astronaut Doug Wheelock (out of frame) assisted from the truss by keeping an eye on the distance between Parazynski and the array. (Doug “Wheels” Wheelock)

Astronaut Scott Parazynski, while anchored to a foot restraint, assessed his repair work as the solar array was fully deployed while Space Suttle Discovery was docked with the International Space Station. Astronaut Doug Wheelock (out of frame) assisted from the truss by keeping an eye on the distance between Parazynski and the array. (Doug “Wheels” Wheelock)

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NASA makes progress on Cruise Motors, Future Wing Sets Stage for All-Electric X-57 Ground Tests

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration Edwards, CA – Significant progress is being made in preparation for NASA’s first all-electric X-plane, the X-57 Maxwell.

As NASA completes tasks for X-57’s functional ground testing at its Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, working toward taxi testing and first flight, assembly and qualification tests are underway on two critical components of the X-57 vehicle at NASA’s prime contractor for the project, Empirical Systems Aerospace, or ESAero, of San Luis Obispo, California.

As part of the verification and validation process, the all-electric cruise motors to be used on NASA’s X-57 Maxwell began several rounds of tests, high power, and endurance testing at Empirical Systems Aerospace, or ESAero, of San Luis Obispo, California. (Empirical Systems Aerospace)

As part of the verification and validation process, the all-electric cruise motors to be used on NASA’s X-57 Maxwell began several rounds of tests, high power, and endurance testing at Empirical Systems Aerospace, or ESAero, of San Luis Obispo, California. (Empirical Systems Aerospace)

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NASA works to make the Skies Safe for Unmanned Aircraft, Other Aircraft

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationEdwards, CA – NASA and its partners are taking flying unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) closer to operating in harmony with other aircraft in the National Airspace System (NAS).

A new video from NASA Aeronautics provides a behind-the-scenes look into the technology and testing used during a nearly decade-long effort by its UAS Integration in the NAS project, along with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), in creating rules that certify unmanned aircraft to safely coexist with other air traffic.

NASA’s UAS Integration in the NAS project, used the Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation’s unmanned TigerShark aircraft for its Flight Test Series Six project. The TigerShark performed a systems checkout flight at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in July 2019. (NASA Photo / Jim Ross)

NASA’s UAS Integration in the NAS project, used the Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation’s unmanned TigerShark aircraft for its Flight Test Series Six project. The TigerShark performed a systems checkout flight at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in July 2019. (NASA Photo / Jim Ross)

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NASA receives X-57 Maxwell, All-Electric Experimental Aircraft

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The first all-electric configuration of NASA’s X-57 Maxwell now is at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California.

The X-57, NASA’s first all-electric experimental aircraft, or X-plane – and the first crewed X-plane in two decades – was delivered by Empirical Systems Aerospace (ESAero) of San Luis Obispo, California on Wednesday, October 2nd, in the first of three configurations as an all-electric aircraft, known as Modification II, or Mod II.

NASA’s X-57 Maxwell, the agency’s first all-electric X-plane and first crewed X-planed in two decades, is delivered to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, in its Mod II configuration. The first of three primary modifications for the project, Mod II involves testing of the aircraft’s cruise electric propulsion system. (NASA)

NASA’s X-57 Maxwell, the agency’s first all-electric X-plane and first crewed X-planed in two decades, is delivered to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, in its Mod II configuration. The first of three primary modifications for the project, Mod II involves testing of the aircraft’s cruise electric propulsion system. (NASA)

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NASA announces Successful Test of Sample Return Technology

 

Written by Leslie Williams
NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationEdwards, CA – Just a sample will do.

Honeybee Robotics in Pasadena, California, flight tested its pneumatic sampler collection system, PlanetVac, on Masten Space Systems’ Xodiac rocket on May 24th, launching from Mojave, California, and landing to collect a sample of more than 320 grams of top soil from the surface of the desert floor.

“The opportunity to test a technology on Earth before it is destined for another planet allows researchers and mission planners to have confidence that once the technology arrives to its space destination it will work,” said Ryan Dibley, NASA Flight Opportunities program campaign manager. Flight Opportunities program funded the test flight.

Masten Space Systems’ Xodiac rocket flight tests Honeybee Robotics pneumatic sampler collection system, PlanetVac, in Mojave Desert. (NASA Photo / Lauren Hughes)

Masten Space Systems’ Xodiac rocket flight tests Honeybee Robotics pneumatic sampler collection system, PlanetVac, in Mojave Desert. (NASA Photo / Lauren Hughes)

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NASA Flies Large Unmanned Aircraft in Public Airspace Without Chase Plane for First Time

 

NASA Headquarters

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s remotely-piloted Ikhana aircraft, based at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, successfully flew its first mission in the National Airspace System without a safety chase aircraft on Tuesday. This historic flight moves the United States one step closer to normalizing unmanned aircraft operations in the airspace used by commercial and private pilots.

Flying these large remotely-piloted aircraft over the United States opens the doors to all types of services, from monitoring and fighting forest fires, to providing new emergency search and rescue operations. The technology in this aircraft could, at some point, be scaled down for use in other general aviation aircraft.

NASA’s remotely-piloted Ikhana aircraft, based at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, is flown in preparation for its first mission in public airspace without a safety chase aircraft. (NASA/Carla Thomas)

NASA’s remotely-piloted Ikhana aircraft, based at the agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center, is flown in preparation for its first mission in public airspace without a safety chase aircraft. (NASA/Carla Thomas)

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NASA looks to make Traveling by Personal Air Vehicle a Reality

 

NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationEdwards, CA –  There was a time when people and goods were moved through the crowded city on the ground, restricted to the busy street surfaces by necessity and gravity.

So, inspired visionaries considered new ways to get about town and dreamt of innovative flying machines that could safely transport passengers and ship cargo within the urban jungle by rising above the congestion below.

No, we’re not talking about the Wright Brothers in 1903.

This is the new era in air transportation that NASA and a community of government, industry and academic partners are working together on, right now.

An artist’s conception of an urban air mobility environment, where air vehicles with a variety of missions and with or without pilots, are able to interact safely and efficiently. (NASA / Lillian Gipson)

An artist’s conception of an urban air mobility environment, where air vehicles with a variety of missions and with or without pilots, are able to interact safely and efficiently. (NASA / Lillian Gipson)

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