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Topic: United Launch Alliance

NASA reports Cygnus spacecraft set to launch December 3rd

 

Written by Steven Siceloff
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationKennedy Space Center, FL – The first flight of Orbital ATK’s enhanced Cygnus spacecraft will carry more than 7,000 pounds of equipment and experiments to the International Space Station on a mission that marks the resumption of NASA’s commercial resupply efforts.

Standing inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the 20.5-foot-tall, cylindrical Cygnus has been loaded for flight and will soon be bolted inside a protective fairing for its targeted launch date of December 3rd.

“This is an exciting time; the Cygnus launch will resume regular U.S.-based cargo missions to the station,” said Randy Gordon, Launch Support Project manager for NASA.

Dan Tani, a former space station astronaut and now Orbital ATK's senior director of Mission and Cargo Operations, discusses the Cygnus mission to the station with news media before the spacecraft is enclosed in a protective fairing. (NASA/Dmitri Gerondidakis)

Dan Tani, a former space station astronaut and now Orbital ATK’s senior director of Mission and Cargo Operations, discusses the Cygnus mission to the station with news media before the spacecraft is enclosed in a protective fairing. (NASA/Dmitri Gerondidakis)

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NASA’s Orion Spacecraft launch moved to Friday, December 5th

 

NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Orion’s managers for NASA, Lockheed Martin and the United Launch Alliance said they will push on with planning to launch Orion on its flight test Friday morning at 7:05am EST. The launch window will be 2 hours, 39 minutes, the same time span as Thursday. “Our plan is to fly tomorrow,” said Mark Geyer, Orion program manager.

Fill-and-drain valves on the Delta IV Heavy will be tested throughout the day so the launch team can prevent a mechanical problem like one that came up Thursday. “We’re very confident we’re going to be able to exonerate the equipment,” said Dan Collins, chief operating officer of United Launch Alliance.

NASA's Orion Spacecraft ready for launch. (NASA/Kim Shiflett)

NASA’s Orion Spacecraft ready for launch. (NASA/Kim Shiflett)

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NASA’s Orion Spacecraft receives “Go” from Launch Readiness Review

 

NASA

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – Managers from United Launch Alliance (ULA) and Lockheed Martin gave a “go” to proceed toward launch pending completion of open work during the Launch Readiness Review for Orion’s flight test. The weather is forecast to be 60 percent “go” for a scheduled liftoff at 7:05am EST on Thursday, December 4th.

NASA TV will air an Orion Flight Test Status and Overview briefing at 1:00pm today. On December 3rd, a prelaunch status briefing will be held at 11:00am. A NASA overview event with participation from social media followers will air at 1:00pm.

An artist's impression of the first Orion spacecraft in orbit attached to a Delta IV Upper Stage during Exploration Flight Test-1. (NASA)

An artist’s impression of the first Orion spacecraft in orbit attached to a Delta IV Upper Stage during Exploration Flight Test-1. (NASA)

 

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NASA’s Orion Spacecraft’s First Test Flight will offer First Look at Launch System, Hardware Operation and Integration

 

Written by Jennifer Stanfield
NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHuntsville, AL – When NASA conducts its first test launch of the Orion spacecraft in 2014, the crew module’s designers will record invaluable data about its performance — from launch and flight, to re-entry and landing.

Orion will carry astronauts farther into space than ever before, sustaining the crew during space travel and providing emergency abort capability and safe re-entry from deep space. Orion will launch atop the Space Launch System (SLS), NASA’s next flagship rocket currently under design. The SLS will power the Orion spacecraft on deep space missions to asteroids, the moon, Mars and other destinations in our solar system. The first flight test of the full-scale SLS is planned for 2017.

Expanded view of an artist rendering of the 70 metric ton configuration of NASA's Space Launch System. (NASA/MSFC)

Expanded view of an artist rendering of the 70 metric ton configuration of NASA’s Space Launch System. (NASA/MSFC)

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NASA’s Orion Spacecraft Moves Closer to Next Giant Leap

 

In two years, human space exploration will make its biggest leap in more than four decades.

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationHouston, TX – Lockheed Martin Space Systems will conduct the Orion Exploration Flight Test-1, or EFT-1, in 2014 under contract to NASA. NASA is acquiring the EFT-1 test data for Orion design and development. Lockheed Martin is responsible for performing the flight test and supplying the test data to NASA.

The test will launch NASA’s Orion spacecraft, without a crew, to an altitude that has not been achieved by a craft intended for human flight since the Apollo lunar landing missions. The milestone test moved closer with the recent selection by Lockheed Martin of the Delta IV Heavy, operated by United Launch Alliance, to launch Orion on the flight.

Exploration Flight Test One Overview. (Credit: NASA)

Exploration Flight Test One Overview. (Credit: NASA)

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Homegrown designs sprout for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program

 

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationWashington, D.C. – The expression goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” And right now there is a need for NASA and the United States to have reliable access to low Earth orbit from homegrown sources. So, NASA’s Commercial Crew Program and a number of American-led private companies are working together on new and innovative plans to do just that.

For example, when NASA astronauts journey to the International Space Station again after being launched from Cape Canaveral, FL, they could do so atop the same vehicle that rocketed the agency’s Curiosity rover toward the surface of Mars on November 26th.

Media receive an update on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule, which are being matured for two NASA purposes: cargo and crew. (Photo credit: Jim Grossmann)

Media receive an update on SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule, which are being matured for two NASA purposes: cargo and crew. (Photo credit: Jim Grossmann)

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NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Launch Milestones

 

Written by Whitney Clavin
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space AdministrationPasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory is tucked inside its Atlas V rocket, ready for launch on Saturday, November 26th, 2011 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The November 26th launch window extends from 7:02am to 8:45am PST (10:02am to 11:45am EST). The launch period for the mission extends through December 18th.

The spacecraft, which will arrive at Mars in August 2012, is equipped with the most advanced rover ever to land on another planet. Named Curiosity, the rover will investigate whether the landing region has had environmental conditions favorable for supporting microbial life, and favorable for preserving clues about whether life existed.

This artist's concept depicts the rover Curiosity, of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, as it uses its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument to investigate the composition of a rock surface. ChemCam fires laser pulses at a target and views the resulting spark with a telescope and spectrometers to identify chemical elements. The laser is actually in an invisible infrared wavelength, but is shown here as visible red light for purposes of illustration. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

This artist's concept depicts the rover Curiosity, of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission, as it uses its Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument to investigate the composition of a rock surface. ChemCam fires laser pulses at a target and views the resulting spark with a telescope and spectrometers to identify chemical elements. The laser is actually in an invisible infrared wavelength, but is shown here as visible red light for purposes of illustration. (Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

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NASA to Invite Twitter Followers to Mars Mission Launch

 

150 Of NASA’s Twitter Followers Will Be Invited To attend Mars Rover Launch

NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration

An Atlas V Rocket launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida

An Atlas V Rocket launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida

Washington, DC – Curiosity’s arrival at the Red Planet is anticipated in August 2012 at Gale crater. During the two-year prime mission, the rover will investigate whether a selected area of Mars offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life and for preserving evidence about life if it existed.

Mars Science Laboratory is the fourth space mission launching this year managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. The first three are Aquarius, launched June 10th to study ocean salinity; Juno, launched August 5th to study the origins and interior of Jupiter; and the twin GRAIL orbiters, which departed for the moon on September 10th.

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