NASA is “Go” to Launch Artemis I on Monday Morning

Artemis I rocket rolls out to the launch pad for a wet dress rehearsal on June 6, 2022. (Credit: NASA)

NASA Mission Update

The Flight Readiness Review for NASA’s Artemis I mission has concluded, and teams are proceeding toward a two-hour launch window that opens at 8:33 a.m. EDT Monday, August 29, from Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Pad 39B in Florida. 

Live coverage of events will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website, with prelaunch events starting Monday, Aug. 22. The launch countdown will begin Saturday, Aug. 27, at 10:23 a.m.

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NASA Sets Star-studded Launch Coverage for Artemis Mega Moon Rocket Launch to Moon

Artemis I Space Launch System and Orion capsule at Launch Complex 39B. (Credit: NASA)

Jack Black, Chris Evans, Yo-Yo Ma and more to headline launch day coverage

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA will provide coverage of prelaunch, launch, and postlaunch activities for Artemis I, the first integrated test of NASA’s Orion spacecraft, Space Launch System (SLS) rocket, and the ground systems at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This uncrewed flight test around the Moon will pave the way for a crewed flight test and future human lunar exploration as part of Artemis.

The SLS rocket is targeted to launch during a two-hour window that opens at 8:33 a.m. EDT Monday, Aug. 29, from Launch Pad 39B at Kennedy.

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Jacobs Awarded ATOM-5 Contract at NASA Ames Research Center

Agreement extends 23+ years supporting ATOM contract to further future space exploration

Project drives company strategy through innovative solutions and technologies

A flight-like ADEPT skirt being tested in an arc-jet flow. (Image Credit: NASA)

DALLAS (Jacobs PR) — Jacobs (NYSE:J) was awarded the Aerospace Testing and Facilities Operations and Maintenance (ATOM-5) contract at NASA Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California.

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Jacobs Awarded Commercial Space Headquarters Campus Contract

DALLAS (Jacobs PR) — Jacobs (NYSE:J) has been awarded the architecture and engineering phase one design contract by Axiom Space for the Assembly, Integration and Testing facility planned for the 400-acre Houston Spaceport in the heart of Space City at Ellington Airport. This new 100,000 sq ft facility will support Axiom Space’s mission to provide access to low Earth orbit and assemble the first commercial international space station.

Axiom Space’s vision is that commercial infrastructure and innovation in space can offer unique ways to improve life on Earth while advancing the human exploration of space. Once completed, the private space station will provide a central hub for research, to support microgravity experiments, manufacturing, and commerce in low Earth orbit missions.

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HawkEye 360 Raises $145 Million in Series D Round to Expand Dominance of the Commercial Radio Frequency GEOINT Market

HawkEye 360 RF geolocating microsatellite constellation. (Credit: SFL)

Herndon, Virginia, November 8, 2021 (HawkEye 360 PR) — HawkEye 360 Inc., the world’s leading commercial provider of space-based radio frequency (RF) data and analytics, today announced it has closed $145 million in new funding, priming the company to achieve transformational growth in its data and analytical services product line. This Series D round was led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners and Seraphim Space Investment Trust (LSE:SSIT), the world’s first listed space tech fund. Additional funding was provided by the Strategic Development Fund (SDF), the investment arm of UAE’s Tawazun Holding. And joining the round were new investors Jacobs, Gula Tech Adventures, 116 Street Ventures, and New North Ventures, as well as existing investors Advance, Razor’s Edge, NightDragon, SVB Capital, Shield Capital, Adage Capital, and others. This brings the total amount of capital raised to date to $302 million.

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Leaked Memo Confirms Obvious: Crew Dragon Capsule Blew Up

The Orlando Sentinel reports that a leaked memo from a NASA contractor confirms that a leaked video showing SpaceX’s Crew Dragon exploding on the test stand on April 20 is authentic.

Contractors employed under the Test and Operations Support Contract, which NASA awarded to aerospace company Jacobs for ground systems capabilities, flight hardware processing and launch operations, were notified Monday of the new rules in light of the SpaceX video.

“As most of you are aware, SpaceX conducted a test fire of their crew capsule abort engines at [Cape Canaveral Air Force Station], and they experienced an anomaly,” the email obtained by the Orlando Sentinel read. “Subsequently, video of the failed test — which was not released by SpaceX or NASA — appeared on the internet.”

[….]

TOSC employees were told in the email Monday that they were “prohibited from photographing or videotaping operational activities that take place on KSC CCAFS property unless officially authorized,” as well as releasing any imagery whatsoever regardless of its origin to the public.

“It is up to NASA and other companies onsite to make the determination about what information related to their activities is released to the public,” the email read. It also cited the human resources guidelines in the TOSC contract on confidential disclosure, noting that employees could be fired if they are caught sharing the images.

The story further reports that part of the crackdown is a result of complaints from professional photographers about employees who work at Cape Canaveral and NASA Kennedy Space Center publishing photographs of launches.

None of this is much of a revelation. SpaceX and NASA would have immediately denounced the video as fake if that had been the case. A reliable source told me the vehicle had exploded and been destroyed. Photos showing a toxic cloud of smoke risking from the test site surfaced.

A Crew Dragon exploded. But, everyone involved still insists on using the word anomaly (and, in Jacobs’ case, failed test). An anomaly occurred that caused the vehicle to explode.

It’s mystifying why no one involved will describe the event accurately. I fear the Trump Administration’s penchant for “alternative facts” is beginning to affect NASA. The fact that President Donald Trump has just surpassed 10,000 false or misleading statements since taking office is not a good sign.