NASA Empowers Workforce to Advance Deep Space Technologies

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has selected 10 proposals led by early-career employees across the agency for two-year projects that will support the development of new capabilities for deep space human exploration.

These proposals were selected under Project Polaris, a new initiative to support the NASA workforce in efforts to meet the challenges of sending humans to the Moon and Mars. Project Polaris seeks to fill high-priority capability gaps on deep space missions like those planned under Artemis and introduce new technologies into human exploration flight programs. The project also aims to create opportunities for early-career employees across NASA centers to gain experience building and testing flight hardware while developing technologies and reducing risk for future human exploration missions.

(more…)

Inspiration4 Mission Launches into Orbit

Falcon 9 launches the privately-funded Inspiration4 mission into orbit. (Credit: Inspiration4)

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL, September 15, 2021 (Inspiration4 PR) – On September 15 the crew of Inspiration4, the world’s first all-civilian human spaceflight mission to orbit, officially ushered in a new era of space exploration at 8:02:56 PM EDT as SpaceX’s Falcon 9 lifted off from historic Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. 

(more…)

NASA Enables Commercial Crew, Private Astronaut Missions

The SpaceX Crew Dragon is pictured after undocking from the forward port on the Harmony module beginning its short trip to the space-facing port. (Credit: NASA TV)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — When SpaceX launches its Inspiration4 mission with four crew members to space, it will be the company’s first fully private launch with astronauts to orbit. Although not a NASA mission, the flight embodies the agency’s vision and work to foster a strong space economy, with private companies providing commercial transportation to space for people and cargo as well as creating future commercial destinations in space.

(more…)

Weather Conditions 70% Favorable for Launch of Inspiration4 Launch Tonight

Inspiration4 crew members Chris Sembroski, Sian Proctor, Jared Isaacman and Hayley Arceneaux. (Credit: Inspiration4)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Inspiration4 PR) – Teams from SpaceX and Inspiration4 are now targeting a five-hour launch window for the Inspiration4 mission opening at 8:02 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 15. If needed for any reason, a backup window is available opening at 8:05 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 16. 

(more…)

Inspiration4 Crew Arrives in Florida, Targeting September 15 Launch

Inspiration4 crew members Chris Sembroski, Sian Proctor, Jared Isaacman and Hayley Arceneaux. (Credit: Inspiration4)

CAPE CANAVERAL, FL, September 10, 2021 (Inspiration4 PR) – After completing their final day of astronaut training at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California on Wednesday, September 8, the crew of Inspiration4 arrived in Florida on Thursday, September 9, landing at Space Florida’s Launch and Landing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center just before noon.

(more…)

NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for GOES-U Mission to SpaceX

A SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket carrying 24 satellites as part of the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program-2 (STP-2) mission launches from Launch Complex 39A, Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) of Hawthorne, California, to provide launch services for the Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-U (GOES-U) mission. GOES-U will provide advanced imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s weather, oceans, and environment, as well as real-time mapping of total lightning activity and improved monitoring of solar activity and space weather.

The total cost for NASA to launch GOES-U is approximately $152.5 million, which includes the launch service and other mission-related costs.

The GOES-U mission is targeted to launch in April 2024 on a Falcon Heavy rocket from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. GOES-U is the fourth and final spacecraft in the GOES-R Series of geostationary weather satellites operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The GOES-R Series is a joint effort between NASA and NOAA and includes GOES-R, GOES-S, GOES-T, and GOES-U.

NASA’s Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida is responsible for launch vehicle program management of the SpaceX launch service. NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the GOES-R Flight Projects office, which oversees the acquisition of the GOES-R series instruments and spacecraft. A collaborative NOAA and NASA team manages the GOES-R Program.

For more information about the GOES satellite network, visit:

www.nasa.gov/goes

NASA, SpaceX Continue Planning for Next Crew Rotation Missions to International Space Station

The SpaceX Crew Dragon is pictured after undocking from the forward port on the Harmony module beginning its short trip to the space-facing port. (Credit: NASA TV)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA and SpaceX are continuing plans to launch Crew-3 astronauts to the International Space Station as early as Sunday Oct. 31, and targeting the return home of Crew-2 astronauts in the early-to-mid November timeframe.

Crew-3 will be the third crew rotation mission with astronauts on an American rocket and spacecraft from the United States to the space station, and the fourth flight with astronauts, including the Demo-2 test flight in 2020, Crew-1 mission in 2020-21, and the ongoing Crew-2 flight as part of the Expedition 65 crew.

(more…)

Inspiration4 ‘Go’ for First All-Civilian Orbital Mission to Space

Inspiration4 crew in spacesuits. (Credit: Inspiration4)

HAWTHORNE, CA, September 3, 2021 – Teams from SpaceX and Inspiration4 met yesterday at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, California to evaluate the readiness of the Falcon 9 rocket, Dragon spacecraft, ground systems, recovery assets, crew training, and other key elements of SpaceX’s human spaceflight system for Inspiration4 – the historic first all-civilian human spaceflight mission to orbit. Upon conclusion of the Flight Readiness Review, teams are proceeding toward a targeted launch on Wednesday, September 15 UTC (September 14 EDT) from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A backup launch opportunity is available on Thursday, September 16 UTC (September 15 EDT). Both 24-hour launch windows start at 12:00 a.m. Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).

(more…)

Voyager Space Subsidiary, Altius Space Machines, Inc. Announces Support of Eta Space and NASA’s LOXSAT Cryogenic Fluid Management Mission

Voyager Logo

DENVER, Aug. 24, 2021 (Voyager Space PR) — Voyager Space (Voyager), a global leader in space exploration, today announced its subsidiary, Altius Space Machines, Inc. (Altius) was recently selected by Eta Space to provide a cryogenic coupler for liquid oxygen (LOX) transfer in support of its planned nine-month LOXSAT cryogenic fluid management mission.

Eta Space was selected by NASA to execute a flight demonstration of a complete cryogenic oxygen fluid management system. The system will fly as a dedicated payload on a Rocket Lab Electron launch vehicle and will collect critical cryogenic storage and transfer data in orbit for nine months. Eta Space will collaborate with NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, and NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

(more…)

Poor Weather Pushes Cargo Dragon Launch to Sunday, Aug. 29

Cargo Dragon CRS-23 atop a Falcon 9 booster. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Due to poor weather conditions in the area for today’s planned launch of SpaceX’s 23rd Commercial Resupply Services mission to the International Space Station, SpaceX and NASA are now targeting liftoff for 3:14 a.m. EDT Sunday, Aug. 29. Launch coverage will begin at 2:45 a.m. on NASA TV, the agency’s website, and the NASA app.

A launch Sunday would lead to docking Monday, Aug. 30, for the Dragon to deliver important research, crew supplies and hardware to the crew aboard the orbiting laboratory. Docking coverage will begin at 9:30 a.m. with the spacecraft planned to arrive at the space station around 11 a.m.

Follow launch activities at the mission blog and @NASAKennedy and learn more about space station activities by following @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

SpaceX Set to Launch Cargo Dragon Vehicle to ISS on Saturday Morning

Cargo Dragon CRS-23 atop a Falcon 9 booster. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (SpaceX PR) — SpaceX is targeting Saturday, August 28 for Dragon’s launch of its 23rd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-23) mission. Liftoff is targeted for 3:37 a.m. EDT, or 7:37 UTC, from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at Kennedy Space Center, Florida. A backup launch opportunity is available on Sunday, August 29 at 3:14 a.m. EDT, or 7:14 UTC.

Falcon 9’s first stage booster previously supported SpaceX’s Crew-1 and Crew-2 missions, which launched astronauts to the International Space Station, and launch of SXM-8. Following stage separation, SpaceX will land Falcon 9’s first stage on the “A Shortfall of Gravitas” droneship, which will be located in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Dragon spacecraft supporting this mission previously supported SpaceX’s 21st Commercial Resupply Services (CRS-21) mission. Dragon will separate from Falcon 9’s second stage about twelve minutes after liftoff and autonomously dock to the space station on Sunday, August 29 at approximately 11:00 a.m. EDT, 15:00 UTC.

You can watch the live launch webcast starting about 15 minutes before liftoff. 

SpaceX CRS-23 to Launch Multiple ISS National Lab-Sponsored Investigations Into Low Earth Orbit

The International Space Station, photographed by ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli following the undocking of his Soyuz-TMA on 23 May 2011. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER (FL), August 24, 2021 (CASIS PR) – In the early morning of Saturday, August 28, SpaceX intends to launch its 23rd Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to the International Space Station (ISS). The mission, launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center no earlier than 3:37 a.m. EDT, will send more than 4,800 pounds of critical supplies and research to the orbiting laboratory. Among the cargo flying on SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft are more than a dozen payloads sponsored by the ISS U.S. National Laboratory, including physical and life sciences investigations, technology demonstrations, and student-led experiments.

(more…)

NASA Technologies Slated for Testing on Blue Origin’s New Shepard

New Shepard launch (Credit: Blue Origin webcast)

By Elizabeth DiVito
NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program

VAN HORN, Texas — While there won’t be humans on Blue Origin’s 17th New Shepard mission, the fully reusable launch vehicle will carry technologies from NASA, industry, and academia aboard. The agency’s Flight Opportunities program supports six payload flight tests, which are slated for lift off no earlier than Aug. 26 from the company’s Launch Site One in West Texas.

For some innovations, this is just one of several tests supported by NASA on different flight vehicles. Iterative flight testing helps quickly ready technologies that could eventually support deep space exploration.

(more…)

Join the CRS-23 Virtual NASA Social to Experience the Next SpaceX Space Station Cargo Launch

The SpaceX Cargo Dragon vehicle is pictured docked to the Harmony module’s space-facing international docking adapter. (Credit: NASA TV)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Social media users are invited to register to take part in another global virtual NASA Social for the next SpaceX delivery of NASA science investigations, supplies, and equipment to the International Space Station. SpaceX’s 23rd Commercial Resupply Services mission is targeted to launch at 3:37 a.m. EDT on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

(more…)

Boeing’s Starliner Returns to Factory, Preparations Underway to Resolve Valve Issue

Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft returned Aug. 19, 2021, from the United Launch Alliance Vertical Integration Facility to the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where teams will work to diagnose and resolve a valve issue detected during the Aug. 3 launch attempt of NASA Boeing’s Orbital Flight Test-2. (Credit: Boeing)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Teams from Boeing and United Launch Alliance (ULA) safely returned the CST-100 Starliner to its production facility in Florida on Aug. 19 for continued work on the spacecraft’s service module propulsion system.

The Starliner Orbital Flight Test-2 spacecraft was removed from its Atlas V rocket inside the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex-41 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida and returned to the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility on NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.

The team now will perform propulsion system checkouts inside the factory’s hazardous processing area and determine the appropriate vehicle configuration for accessing and analyzing the system further. NASA and Boeing will recommend forward work as part of a formal process designed to aid in determining root cause and remediation steps.

In the weeks ahead, engineering teams from NASA and Boeing will work to diagnose and ultimately resolve a valve issue detected during the Aug. 3 countdown for NASA’s Boeing Orbital Flight Test-2, and resulted in the decision to postpone the launch destined for the International Space Station.

NASA, Boeing, and ULA will establish a new launch date once the issue is resolved.