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Topic: NASA’s Orion spacecraft

NASA’s Ames Research Center Contributions to SpaceX Commercial Crew Missions

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationMountain View, CA – A new era of human spaceflight is set to begin as American astronauts once again launch on an American rocket from American soil to the International Space Station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program – the first time since the retirement of the Space Shuttle Program in 2011.

Commercial crew partner SpaceX will carry humans to the space station, like a taxi or a rideshare service, shuttling people to their destination and home again.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company's Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard as it is rolled to the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-1 mission on Feb. 28, 2019 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with the company’s Crew Dragon spacecraft onboard as it is rolled to the launch pad at Launch Complex 39A for NASA’s SpaceX Demo-1 mission on Feb. 28, 2019 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (NASA/Joel Kowsky)

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NASA’s Landing, Recovery team tasked with Orion Spacecraft recovery

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationFlorida – For Artemis missions, NASA’s Orion spacecraft will be traveling at 25,000 mph as it reenters the Earth’s atmosphere, which will slow it down to 325 mph. Parachutes will then bring it down to about 20 mph.

During the parachute deploy sequence, hardware will be jettisoned and fall into the Pacific Ocean below while the recovery ship awaits near the landing site. Keeping the ship and recovery team safe is critical to mission success.

During Underway Recovery Test-8 in March, NASA's Landing and Recovery team from Exploration Ground Systems at Kennedy Space Center performs its first full mission profile test of the recovery procedures for Artemis I aboard the USS John P. Murtha in the Pacific Ocean. (NASA/Kenny Allen)

During Underway Recovery Test-8 in March, NASA’s Landing and Recovery team from Exploration Ground Systems at Kennedy Space Center performs its first full mission profile test of the recovery procedures for Artemis I aboard the USS John P. Murtha in the Pacific Ocean. (NASA/Kenny Allen)

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NASA orders more SLS Rocket Engines for Artemis Missions to the Moon

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has awarded a contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California, to manufacture 18 additional Space Launch System (SLS) RS-25 rocket engines to support Artemis missions to the Moon.

The follow-on contract to produce 18 engines is valued at $1.79 billion. This includes labor to build and test the engines, produce tooling and support SLS flights powered by the engines. This modifies the initial contract awarded in November 2015 to recertify and produce six new RS-25 engines and brings the total contract value to almost $3.5 billion with a period of performance through September 30th, 2029, and a total of 24 engines to support as many as six additional SLS flights.

NASA has awarded a contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California, to manufacture 18 additional Space Launch System (SLS) RS-25 rocket engines to support Artemis missions to the Moon. The four RS-25 engines, shown here, are attached to the SLS core stage that will send the Artemis I mission to the Moon. Currently, the stage is undergoing a series of Green Run tests in a test stand at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.  (NASA/Jude Guidry)

NASA has awarded a contract to Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, California, to manufacture 18 additional Space Launch System (SLS) RS-25 rocket engines to support Artemis missions to the Moon. The four RS-25 engines, shown here, are attached to the SLS core stage that will send the Artemis I mission to the Moon. Currently, the stage is undergoing a series of Green Run tests in a test stand at Stennis Space Center near Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. (NASA/Jude Guidry)

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NASA Test Directors Eagerly Await Orion Spacecraft Launch

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationFlorida – Before NASA’s mighty Space Launch System (SLS) rocket can blast off from the agency’s Kennedy Space Center to send the Orion spacecraft into lunar orbit, teams across the country conduct extensive testing on all parts of the system. Guiding that effort at the Florida spaceport are NASA test directors, or NTDs.

NTDs within the Exploration Ground Systems program are in charge of flight and ground hardware testing in Kennedy’s Launch Control Center firing rooms 1 and 2, where activities involved with preparing rockets, spacecraft and payloads for space can be controlled from computer terminals.

NASA Launch Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, above, confers with Senior NASA Test Director Jeff Spaulding, left, and Test, Launch and Recovery Operations Branch Chief Jeremy Graeber in Firing Room 1 at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Control Center during a countdown simulation. (NASA/Cory Huston)

NASA Launch Director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, above, confers with Senior NASA Test Director Jeff Spaulding, left, and Test, Launch and Recovery Operations Branch Chief Jeremy Graeber in Firing Room 1 at Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Control Center during a countdown simulation. (NASA/Cory Huston)

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NASA lays out concept for Lunar Surface Activities

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – When NASA sends astronauts to the surface of the Moon in 2024, it will be the first time outside of watching historical footage most people witness humans walking on another planetary body. Building on these footsteps, future robotic and human explorers will put in place infrastructure for a long-term sustainable presence on the Moon.

NASA recently proposed a plan to go from limited, short-term Apollo-era exploration of the 1960s, to a 21st Century plan in a report to the National Space Council. With the Artemis program, we will explore more of the Moon than ever before to make the next giant leap – sending astronauts to Mars.

Infographic showing the evolution of lunar activities on the surface and in orbit. (NASA)

Infographic showing the evolution of lunar activities on the surface and in orbit. (NASA)

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NASA selects SpaceX for Gateway Logistics Services Artemis Contract

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – NASA has selected SpaceX of Hawthorne, California, as the first U.S. commercial provider under the Gateway Logistics Services contract to deliver cargo, experiments and other supplies to the agency’s Gateway in lunar orbit. The award is a significant step forward for NASA’s Artemis program that will land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 and build a sustainable human lunar presence.

At the Moon, NASA and its partners will gain the experience necessary to mount a historic human mission to Mars.

Illustration of the SpaceX Dragon XL as it is deployed from the Falcon Heavy's second stage in high Earth orbit on its way to the Gateway in lunar orbit. (SpaceX)

Illustration of the SpaceX Dragon XL as it is deployed from the Falcon Heavy’s second stage in high Earth orbit on its way to the Gateway in lunar orbit. (SpaceX)

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NASA’s Langley Research Center receives visit from Vice President, Administrator for Artemis Program Update

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Vice President Mike Pence, chair of the National Space Council, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine got a glimpse Wednesday into how NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia is at the forefront of space exploration and has been vital to missions from Apollo to Artemis.

“It’s an honor to be among men and women who will play a decisive role when in four years’ time we return American astronauts to the Moon and make sure the first women and the next man on the moon will be Americans,” Pence told employees during his remarks.

Vice President Mike Pence speaks to employees during his visit to NASA's Langley Research Center Wednesday. (NASA/David C. Bowman)

Vice President Mike Pence speaks to employees during his visit to NASA’s Langley Research Center Wednesday. (NASA/David C. Bowman)

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NASA Statement on Moon to Mars Initiative, President Donald Trump’s FY 2021 Budget

 

Jim Bridenstine addresses NASA’s ambitious plans for the coming years, including Mars Sample Return.

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – “President Donald Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget for NASA is worthy of 21st century exploration and discovery. The President’s budget invests more than $25 billion in NASA to fortify our innovative human space exploration program while maintaining strong support for our agency’s full suite of science, aeronautics and technology work.

“The budget proposed represents a 12% increase and makes this one of the strongest budgets in NASA history. The reinforced support from the President comes at a critical time as we lay the foundations for landing the first woman and the next man on the South Pole of the Moon by 2024. This budget keeps us firmly on that path.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine delivers the State of NASA address from NASA's Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on Feb. 10, 2020. (NASA)

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine delivers the State of NASA address from NASA’s Stennis Space Center in Mississippi on Feb. 10, 2020. (NASA)

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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’s SLS Test Feul Tank pushed past it’s limits during Test

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – Engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, on Thursday, December 5th, 2019 deliberately pushed the world’s largest rocket fuel tank beyond its design limits to really understand its breaking point.

The test version of the Space Launch System rocket’s liquid hydrogen tank withstood more than 260% of expected flight loads over five hours before engineers detected a buckling point, which then ruptured. Engineers concluded the test at approximately 11:00pm. 

The December 5th test pushed the tank to its limits to see how much force it would take to cause the tank’s structure to fail. This image shows the resulted buckling of the structure when the tank failed after exposure to more than 260% of expected flight loads over 5 hours. (NASA/Dennis Olive)

The December 5th test pushed the tank to its limits to see how much force it would take to cause the tank’s structure to fail. This image shows the resulted buckling of the structure when the tank failed after exposure to more than 260% of expected flight loads over 5 hours. (NASA/Dennis Olive)

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