ZERO-G Research Flights Advance Technology for Future Deep-Space Missions


ORLANDO, Fla,
April 6, 2017 (Zero-G PR) – As part of NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program, Zero Gravity Corporation (ZERO-G®) recently worked with research groups from University of Florida, Carthage College and University of Maryland to validate technology designed to further humanity’s reach into space. A collection of flights on G-FORCE ONE, ZERO-G’s specially modified Boeing 727, gave researchers the chance to run experiments and test innovative systems in the only FAA-approved, manned microgravity lab on Earth.

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A New Market Emerges

SpaceX Crew Dragon Weldment Structure (Credit: SpaceX)

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

NASA recently marked a decade since it began a new era in commercial spaceflight development for low-Earth orbit transportation. The space agency inked agreements in 2006 to develop rockets and spacecraft capable of carrying cargo such as experiments and supplies to and from the International Space Station.

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Invention May Give Spacecraft Improved Damage Report

Prototypes of the damage detection system in development at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center shows the pieces designed to pinpoint impacts on spacecraft. (Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis)

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

There are few ways for astronauts to know exactly when the outside of their spacecraft has been damaged, but that may change in the future with an invention that acts like a sensory skin to pick up signs of damage in real-time. The invention uses a series of several technologies to create circuits printed on thin layers and that can be embedded in a spacecraft’s structure, scientists behind the invention said.

If successfully incorporated, the innovation could also be applied to a host of satellites, aircraft and even habitats on other worlds.

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OneWeb Breaks Ground on Satellite Factory at Kennedy

One Web Satellites Ground Breaking ceremony at Exploration Park. (Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — The portfolio of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center will soon include large-scale satellite manufacturing following Thursday’s groundbreaking for a 150,000-square foot spacecraft factory in the center’s Exploration Park.

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Kennedy’s Multi-User Spaceport Streamlines Commercial Launches

Credit: NASA

By Frank Ochoa-Gonzales
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

In the past, launch pads were used almost exclusively for government missions. To support a growing private sector space economy, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center has transformed to a multi-user spaceport capable of handling the needs of a variety of companies from launch processing through recovery. NASA, the FAA, and Air Force Space Command provide diverse launch operations, government and commercial, enabled by the Commercial Space Launch Act.  These agencies are working together to simplify the steps to certify commercial launches from Kennedy Space Center’s multi-user spaceport.

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SpaceX Mission Poised for Notable Achievements

Falcon 9 on Launch Pad 39A. (Credit: NASA)

By Steven Siceloff,
NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, Florida

NASA’s first cargo resupply mission of 2017 is poised to lift off from Kennedy Space Center in Florida loaded with almost 5,500 pounds of science experiments, research equipment and supplies bound for the International Space Station and its resident astronauts.

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SpaceX Set to Launch Dragon Supply Ship on Saturday

Falcon 9 on Launch Pad 39A. (Credit: SpaceX)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA provider SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft are vertical at Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Liftoff of SpaceX’s tenth Commercial Resupply Services cargo mission to the International Space Station is scheduled for 10:01 a.m. EST on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. The mission will set a milestone as the first launch from Launch Complex 39A since the space shuttle fleet retired in 2011. It will mark a turning point for Kennedy’s transition to a multi-user spaceport geared to support public and private missions, as well as those conducted in partnership with NASA.

Dragon will carry science research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory in support of the Expedition 50 and 51 crew members. Research highlights aboard Dragon include the Lightning Imaging Sensor (LIS), a space-based instrument measuring the amount, rate and energy of lightning as it strikes around the world; the Raven investigation studying a real-time spacecraft navigation system; and the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) III instrument measuring stratospheric ozone, aerosols, and other trace gases by locking onto the sun or moon and scanning a thin profile of Earth’s atmosphere.

Next Generation Batteries Could Provide Power to Microsatellites, CubeSats

Daniel Perez, Ph.D., a graduate student from the University of Miami, displays a piece of the prototype structure for a new solid-state battery in the Prototype Laboratory at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The size of the battery is so small that it could be a prime candidate for use in microsatellites, including CubeSats. Researchers at Kennedy are collaborating with experts at the University of Miami. The university partnership is funded through the Small Spacecraft Technology Program, in NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate. (Credit: NASA/Dimitri Gerondidakis)

By Linda Herridge
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

Sometimes good things come in very small packages. Just ask Dr. Luke Roberson, senior principal investigator for Flight Research within the Exploration Research and Technology Directorate at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

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Falcon 9 Rolled Out to Pad 39A

SpaceX has rolled out the Falcon 9 booster to Launch Complex 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. The booster will undergo a test of its first stage engines in preparation for a scheduled Feb. 18 launch. The rocket will carry a Dragon resupply ship bound for the International Space Station.

It will be the first launch from Pad 39A since the final space shuttle flight in 2011. SpaceX has leased the complex from NASA under a 20-year agreement.

Karlie Kloss: Supermodel, Hacker and Space Tourist?

Karlie Kloss on the runway in 2014. (Credit: Christopher Macsurak)

Supermodel Karlie Kloss has traveled the world, but there’s one place she really to visit.

“I’d love to go to space someday!” she told Marie Claire in an interview.

Kloss has done a photo shoot at SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif.

Last year, the American model visited Kennedy Space Center with her family.

the only other thing on this runway is rocket ships 😜

A video posted by Karlie Kloss (@karliekloss) on

NASA Looks Ahead to Major Milestones for Orion Program

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — From the beginning of assembly work on the Orion crew module at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to testing a range of the spacecraft systems, engineers made headway in 2016 in advance of the spacecraft’s 2018 mission beyond the moon. A look at the important milestones that lie ahead in the next year give a glimpse into how NASA is pressing ahead to develop, build, test and fly the spacecraft that will enable human missions far into deep space.
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Ultra-Cold Storage – Liquid Hydrogen May be Fuel of the Future

Technicians with Praxair pressurize the hydrogen trailer before offloading liquid hydrogen during a test of the Ground Operations Demo Unit for liquid hydrogen at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)
Technicians with Praxair pressurize the hydrogen trailer before offloading liquid hydrogen during a test of the Ground Operations Demo Unit for liquid hydrogen at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)

By Amanda Griffin and Linda Herridge
NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center

When NASA saved a shuttle-era storage facility at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida from demolition five years ago, engineers already had future in mind for what to do with the building. Some three years later, NASA transformed the hangar and installed test equipment at an adjacent field for testing a new ground operations demo unit for liquid hydrogen. The testing has come to a successful conclusion after 1.5 years.

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I Will Launch America: Juan Calero

Credit; NASA
Credit; NASA

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — Juan Calero had great interest in aerospace from an early age. That interest was initially sparked by his father, who worked in the airline industry, and the many flights his father took him on all over the world.

“I loved the trips, but really didn’t care about where we went,” said Calero. “I was more interested in the different planes and analyzing them.”

It’s that level of enthusiasm that drives Calero in his current role as integration lead for NASA’s Integrated Performance Office at Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

His early passion was to become a pilot, but Calero took on electrical engineering instead. While he remembers visiting Kennedy as a kid, he never envisioned working for the space agency. That all changed when NASA held open interviews at his alma mater, the University of Miami in Coral Gables, in 1990.

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Kennedy Space Center Remains Closed After Hurricane

A support building is seen during an aerial survey of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday. (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)
A support building is seen during an aerial survey of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday. (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — After the initial inspection flight Saturday morning, it was determined that the center received some isolated roof damage, damaged support buildings, a few downed power lines, and limited water intrusion.

The Beach House is seen during an aerial survey of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday. (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)
The Beach House is seen during an aerial survey of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday. (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)

Since safety is our utmost concern, teams of inspectors are going from building-to-building assessing damage.

The NASA News Center is seen during an aerial survey of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday.  (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)
The NASA News Center is seen during an aerial survey of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Saturday. (Credit: NASA/Cory Huston)

Due to the complexity of this effort, teams need time to thoroughly inspect all buildings and roads prior to opening the Kennedy Space Center for regular business operations.

Not until after a full inspection of the center will a list of damaged buildings and equipment be available. The next update will be available no earlier than Sunday afternoon.

For photos from today’s aerial survey, go to Kennedy’s Flickr page at flickr.com/nasakennedy