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Topic: NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

NASA’s First Commercial Crew Flight Test of SpaceX Crew Dragon Splashes Down

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA passed a major milestone Friday in its goal to restore America’s human spaceflight capability when SpaceX’s Crew Dragon returned to Earth after a five-day mission docked to the International Space Station.

About 6 hours after departing the space station, Crew Dragon splashed down at 7:45am CT approximately 230 miles off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida. SpaceX retrieved the spacecraft from the Atlantic Ocean and is transporting it back to port on the company’s recovery ship.

Completing an end-to-end uncrewed flight test, Demo-1, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon departed the International Space Station at 1:32am CT Friday, March 8th, 2019, and splashed down at 7:45am in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 nautical miles off the Florida coast. (NASA Television)

Completing an end-to-end uncrewed flight test, Demo-1, SpaceX’s Crew Dragon departed the International Space Station at 1:32am CT Friday, March 8th, 2019, and splashed down at 7:45am in the Atlantic Ocean about 200 nautical miles off the Florida coast. (NASA Television)

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NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Launches, on it’s way to Mars

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission is on its way to the Red Planet to search for signs of ancient life and collect samples to send back to Earth.

Humanity’s most sophisticated rover launched with the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at 6:50am CT (4:50am PDT) Thursday on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover lifts off from Cape Canaveral on July 30, 2020. Also on the rocket provided by United Launch Alliance is the technology experiment Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. (NASA/KSC)

NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover lifts off from Cape Canaveral on July 30, 2020. Also on the rocket provided by United Launch Alliance is the technology experiment Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. (NASA/KSC)

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NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover clears Flight Readiness Review

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission cleared its Flight Readiness Review Wednesday, an important milestone on its way to the launch pad.

The meeting was an opportunity for the Mars 2020 team and launch vehicle provider United Launch Alliance to report on the readiness of the spacecraft, along with the Atlas V rocket, flight and ground hardware, software, personnel, and procedures. The daily launch window on Thursday July 30th, 2020 opens at 6:50am CT.

The nose cone containing NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover is maneuvered into place atop its Atlas V rocket. The image was taken at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 7, 2020. (NASA/KSC)

The nose cone containing NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover is maneuvered into place atop its Atlas V rocket. The image was taken at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on July 7, 2020. (NASA/KSC)

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NASA works on plan for Suborbital Space Transportation System for Personnel

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – For the first time in the agency’s history, NASA has initiated a new effort to enable NASA personnel to fly on future commercial suborbital spaceflights. NASA’s Flight Opportunities program has successfully worked with emerging commercial suborbital transportation systems to fly research payloads to space for short periods of microgravity time.

In addition, the Flight Opportunities program recently released a call that allows those non-NASA researchers to propose accompanying their payloads in suborbital space.

NASA to develop plan for Flying Personnel on Suborbital Spacecraft. (NASA)

NASA to develop plan for Flying Personnel on Suborbital Spacecraft. (NASA)

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NASA to build additional Space Launch System Rocket Boosters for Artemis Moon Missions

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – NASA has taken the next steps toward building Space Launch System (SLS) solid rocket boosters to support as many as six additional flights, for a total of up to nine Artemis missions.

The agency is continuing to work with Northrop Grumman of Brigham City, Utah, the current lead contractor for the solid rocket boosters that will launch the first three Artemis missions, including the mission that will land the first woman and next man on the Moon in 2024.

Exploration Ground System teams are processing the Artemis I booster segments and preparing to stack them with forward and aft assemblies at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket booster segments arrived on June 15th by trains traveling from Utah near Northrop Grumman’s facility where they were manufactured. (NASA)

Exploration Ground System teams are processing the Artemis I booster segments and preparing to stack them with forward and aft assemblies at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The Space Launch System (SLS) rocket booster segments arrived on June 15th by trains traveling from Utah near Northrop Grumman’s facility where they were manufactured. (NASA)

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NASA Completes Structural Testing of Artemis Space Launch System

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – On Wednesday, June 24th, 2020, engineers completed the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket’s structural testing campaign for the Artemis lunar missions by testing the liquid oxygen structural test article to find its point of failure.

“The Space Launch System and Marshall test team have done a tremendous job of accomplishing this test program, marking a major milestone not only for the SLS Program but also for the Artemis program,” said John Honeycutt, the SLS Program Manager. “From building the test stands, support equipment and test articles to conducting the tests and analyzing the data, it is remarkable work that will help send astronauts to the Moon.”

Engineers completed almost 200 tests on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket by breaking the liquid oxygen tank test article. This test was the last in a 3-year structural campaign to ensure the rocket’s structure was designed to endure the rigors of spacefllight. (NASA/David Olive)

Engineers completed almost 200 tests on the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket by breaking the liquid oxygen tank test article. This test was the last in a 3-year structural campaign to ensure the rocket’s structure was designed to endure the rigors of spacefllight. (NASA/David Olive)

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NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover is set to launch soon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover is just over a month from its July 20th, 2020 targeted launch date. The rover’s astrobiology mission will seek signs of past microscopic life on Mars, explore the geology of the Jezero Crater landing site, and demonstrate key technologies to help prepare for future robotic and human exploration.

And the rover will do all that while collecting the first samples of Martian rock and regolith (broken rock and dust) for return to Earth by a set of future missions.

In a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, engineers observed the first driving test for NASA's Mars 2020 rover on Dec. 17, 2019. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In a clean room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, engineers observed the first driving test for NASA’s Mars 2020 rover on Dec. 17, 2019. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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Astrobotic picked to send NASA’s VIPER rover to Moon’s South Pole

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has awarded Astrobotic of Pittsburgh $199.5 million to deliver NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) to the Moon’s South Pole in late 2023.

The water-seeking mobile VIPER robot will help pave the way for astronaut missions to the lunar surface beginning in 2024 and will bring NASA a step closer to developing a sustainable, long-term presence on the Moon as part of the agency’s Artemis program.

Illustration of NASA's Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) on the surface of the Moon. (NASA Ames/Daniel Rutter)

Illustration of NASA’s Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) on the surface of the Moon. (NASA Ames/Daniel Rutter)

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NASA’s OSCAR Project looks to convert Space Waste into useful Resources

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationEdwards Air Force Base, CA – When you think about what astronauts do in space, you probably don’t picture them taking out the trash.

As NASA prepares to return astronauts to the Moon and then venture to Mars, a lot of planning goes into how to keep crews safe and healthy and enable them to do as much science as possible. One of the challenges is how to handle trash. The Orbital Syngas/Commodity Augmentation Reactor (OSCAR) project, is an avenue to evolve new and innovative technology for dealing with garbage in space.

NASA's Orbital Syngas/Commodity Augmentation Reactor (OSCAR) project. (NASA)

NASA’s Orbital Syngas/Commodity Augmentation Reactor (OSCAR) project. (NASA)

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NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover’s unique Sample Gathering System

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – The samples Apollo 11 brought back to Earth from the Moon were humanity’s first from another celestial body. NASA’s upcoming Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission will collect the first samples from another planet (the red one) for return to Earth by subsequent missions.

In place of astronauts, the Perseverance rover will rely on the most complex, capable and cleanest mechanism ever to be sent into space, the Sample Caching System.

JPL engineers monitor testing of the Perseverance rover's Sample Caching System. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

JPL engineers monitor testing of the Perseverance rover’s Sample Caching System. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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