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Topic: NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft final assembly underway

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – A major component of NASA’s Psyche spacecraft has been delivered to the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, where the phase known as assembly, test, and launch operations is now underway.

Over the next year, the spacecraft will finish assembly and undergo rigorous checkout and testing before it’s shipped to Cape Canaveral, Florida, for an August 2022 launch to the main asteroid belt.

The Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) Chassis, crafted by Maxar Technologies’ team in Palo Alto, California, is the size of a van and represents more than 80% (by mass) of the hardware that will ultimately make up the Psyche spacecraft.

In late March of 2021, a main component of NASA’s Psyche spacecraft was delivered to JPL, where assembly, test, and launch operations are underway. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

In late March of 2021, a main component of NASA’s Psyche spacecraft was delivered to JPL, where assembly, test, and launch operations are underway. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA’s successfully tests RS-25 Rocket Engines

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The largest rocket element NASA has ever built, the core stage of NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, fired its four RS-25 engines for 8 minutes and 19 seconds Thursday at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

The successful test, known as a hot fire, is a critical milestone ahead of the agency’s Artemis I mission, which will send an uncrewed Orion spacecraft on a test flight around the Moon and back to Earth, paving the way for future Artemis missions with astronauts.

The core stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is seen in the B-2 Test Stand during a second hot fire test, Thursday, March 18, 2021, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The four RS-25 engines fired for the full-duration of 8 minutes during the test and generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust. (NASA/Robert Markowitz)

The core stage for the first flight of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket is seen in the B-2 Test Stand during a second hot fire test, Thursday, March 18, 2021, at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The four RS-25 engines fired for the full-duration of 8 minutes during the test and generated 1.6 million pounds of thrust. (NASA/Robert Markowitz)

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NASA set to launch SpaceX Crew-2 Mission to International Space Station

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA and SpaceX are continuing a regular cadence of missions with astronauts launching on an American rocket from American soil to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 is the second crew rotation mission with four astronauts flying on a commercial spacecraft, and the first with two international partner astronauts.

NASA, SpaceX to send astronauts (L to R) Megan McArthur, Thomas Pesquet, Akihiko Hoshide and Shane Kimbrough to the International Space Station aboard a Crew Dragon Spacecraft. (NASA)

NASA, SpaceX to send astronauts (L to R) Megan McArthur, Thomas Pesquet, Akihiko Hoshide and Shane Kimbrough to the International Space Station aboard a Crew Dragon Spacecraft. (NASA)

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NASA picks SpaceX to launch SPHEREx Mission

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services for the Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization, and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx) mission.

SPHEREx is a planned two-year astrophysics mission to survey the sky in the near-infrared light, which, though not visible to the human eye, serves as a powerful tool for answering cosmic questions involving the birth of the universe, and the subsequent development of galaxies.

This illustration shows the preliminary design for NASA’s Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx), which will map the entire sky in near-infrared light. The mission could launch as early as 2024. (Caltech )

This illustration shows the preliminary design for NASA’s Spectro-Photometer for the History of the Universe, Epoch of Reionization and Ices Explorer (SPHEREx), which will map the entire sky in near-infrared light. The mission could launch as early as 2024. (Caltech )

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NASA’s Psyche Spacecraft moves into final Phase of Operations

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Psyche mission has passed a critical milestone that moves it a step closer to launch. After an intense review of the mission’s progress in building its science instruments and engineering systems, Psyche won clearance to progress into what NASA calls Phase D of its life cycle – the final phase of operations prior to its scheduled launch in August 2022.

Until now, the mission has focused on planning, designing, and building the body of the spacecraft, its solar-electric propulsion system, the three science instruments, electronics, the power subsystem, and the like.

Technicians power on the main body of NASA's Psyche spacecraft, called the Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) Chassis, at Maxar Technologies in Palo Alto, California, in November 2020. (Maxar Technologies)

Technicians power on the main body of NASA’s Psyche spacecraft, called the Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) Chassis, at Maxar Technologies in Palo Alto, California, in November 2020. (Maxar Technologies)

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NASA to proceed with Green Run Hot Fire of Space Launch System Rocket

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – NASA is targeting the final test in the Green Run series, the hot fire, for as early as January 17th, 2021. The hot fire is the culmination of the Green Run test series, an eight-part test campaign that gradually brings the core stage of the Space Launch System (SLS) — the deep-space rocket that will power the agency’s next-generation human Moon missions — to life for the first time.

NASA conducted the seventh test of the SLS core stage Green Run test series – the wet dress rehearsal – on December 20th at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, and marked the first time cryogenic, or super cold, liquid propellant was fully loaded into, and drained from, the SLS core stage’s two immense tanks.

Fully loading the propellant and detecting no leaks is a major milestone for the Green Run test series. A total of 114 tanker trucks delivered propellant to six propellant barges next to the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The barges deliver more than 733,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to the core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket as part of the seventh test in the Green Run test series. (NASA)

Fully loading the propellant and detecting no leaks is a major milestone for the Green Run test series. A total of 114 tanker trucks delivered propellant to six propellant barges next to the B-2 Test Stand at NASA’s Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. The barges deliver more than 733,000 gallons of liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to the core stage for NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket as part of the seventh test in the Green Run test series. (NASA)

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NASA reports SpaceX Dragon Capsule to make splash down on January 11th

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – By capsule, helicopter, boat, plane, and car, space station science experiments are about to make a first of a kind journey back to researchers on Earth.

On January 11th, 2021 the SpaceX cargo Dragon spacecraft carrying out the company’s 21st commercial resupply services (CRS-21) mission for NASA undocks from the International Space Station, heading for splashdown off the coast of Florida about 12 hours later.

The upgraded version of SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft, Dragon 2, is seen atop a Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 2, 2020, as they prepare to be rolled out to Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the company’s 21st Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-21) launch. (NASA)

The upgraded version of SpaceX’s Cargo Dragon spacecraft, Dragon 2, is seen atop a Falcon 9 rocket on Dec. 2, 2020, as they prepare to be rolled out to Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the company’s 21st Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-21) launch. (NASA)

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Commercial CubeRover Test Shows How NASA Investments Mature Space Tech

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationFlorida – Researchers at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida recently put a new, small robotic rover through its paces inside a 120-ton bin of regolith rock and dust that simulates the lunar surface.

The four-wheeled CubeRover rolled over dunes of abrasive dust, turned in place, and then trundled up and down steep trench walls within the Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations (GMRO) laboratory as it performed more than 150 mobility tests. The rover’s creators, from Astrobotic Technology of Pittsburgh, worked alongside Kennedy’s Swamp Works team, assessing the robot’s maneuverability and how its sensor, motor, and power systems operated in the dusty environment.

The Astrobotic CubeRover traverses the terrain in the Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations Laboratory regolith bin at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Dec. 10, 2020. The regolith bin simulates the mechanical properties of the Moon’s surface. NASA and Astrobotic employees put the CubeRover through a series of more than 150 mobility tests over several days to evaluate and improve wheel design. (NASA/Kim Shiflett)

The Astrobotic CubeRover traverses the terrain in the Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations Laboratory regolith bin at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Dec. 10, 2020. The regolith bin simulates the mechanical properties of the Moon’s surface. NASA and Astrobotic employees put the CubeRover through a series of more than 150 mobility tests over several days to evaluate and improve wheel design. (NASA/Kim Shiflett)

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NASA reports SpaceX Cargo Spacecraft headed to International Space Station with latest Science Investigations

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The latest SpaceX Dragon resupply spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station with more than 6,400 pounds of science investigations, a new airlock, and other cargo after launching at 10:17am CT Sunday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The spacecraft launched on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy and is scheduled to arrive at the space station around 12:30pm Monday, December 7th, performing the first autonomous docking for SpaceX and remaining at the station for about a month.

SpaceX launched its 21st commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station at 10:17am CT December 6th, 2020, from Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA Television)

SpaceX launched its 21st commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station at 10:17am CT December 6th, 2020, from Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA Television)

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NASA prepares Space Launch System rocket for Artemis I Launch

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationFlorida – NASA has stacked the first piece of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket on the mobile launcher in preparation for the Artemis I launch next year. At NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, engineers lowered the first of 10 segments into place November 21st, 2020 for the twin solid rocket boosters that will power the first flight of the agency’s new deep space rocket.

Artemis I will be an uncrewed flight to test the SLS rocket and Orion spacecraft as an integrated system ahead of crewed flights to the Moon with the Artemis program.

The solid rocket boosters are the first components of the SLS rocket to be stacked and will help support the remaining rocket pieces and the Orion spacecraft. (NASA/Kim Shiflett)

The solid rocket boosters are the first components of the SLS rocket to be stacked and will help support the remaining rocket pieces and the Orion spacecraft. (NASA/Kim Shiflett)

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