Atlas V Launches U.S. Navy Satellite into Orbit

Atlas V liftoff (Credit: ULA)
Atlas V liftoff (Credit: ULA)

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., (June 24, 2016) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully launched the MUOS-5 satellite for the U.S. Navy. The rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 June 24 at 10:30 a.m. EDT.

MUOS-5 is the final satellite in the five-satellite constellation, which provides warfighters with significantly improved and assured communications worldwide.

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DARPA SBIR Awards for XS-1 & Rocket Technologies

XS-1 vehicle (Credit: Boeing)
XS-1 vehicle (Credit: Boeing)

I was conducting some research into Defense Department Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards to see what space and rocket projects it has been funding.  I found a group of SBIR Phase I contracts awarded by DARPA in 2015, most of them related to the XS-1 launcher program. I don’t think I’ve written about them previously.

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ULA Concludes Successful Year of Launches

Atlas V launches Cygnus to the International Space Station. (Credit: ULA)
Atlas V launches Cygnus to the International Space Station. (Credit: ULA)

CENTENNIAL, Colo., (ULA PR) – After another year with 100 percent mission success, the United Launch Alliance (ULA) team capped off the year with the launch of the OA-4 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on Dec. 6 and prepares for its 10th anniversary and highest operations Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) tempo to date in 2016.

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ULA Atlas V Launches Navy Mobile User Satellite

ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the MUOS-4 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41. (Credit: ULA)
ULA Atlas V rocket carrying the MUOS-4 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41. (Credit: ULA)

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., (Sept. 2, 2015) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the fourth Mobile User Objective System satellite for the U. S. Navy launched from Space Launch Complex-41 at 6:18 a.m. EDT today.

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NASA Learned Many Lessons From Orion Flight

Orion splashed down safely in the Pacific after its first test flight. (Credit: NASA)
Orion splashed down safely in the Pacific after its first test flight. (Credit: NASA)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Orion spacecraft continues on the agency’s journey to Mars as engineers analyze data from the spacecraft’s December flight test and make progress developing and building the spacecraft for its first mission atop NASA Space Launch System (SLS) heavy-lift rocket. On future missions, Orion will send astronauts to an asteroid and onward toward the Red Planet.

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ULA Awarded $383 Million for 3 Additional Launches

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WASHINGTON (DOD PR) — United Launch Services LLC, Littleton, Colorado has been awarded a $382,926,946 firm-fixed-price modification (P00061) to FA8811-13-C-0003 to order Launch Vehicle Production Services (LVPS) under the requirements contract terms of the basic contract.

This modification executes a requirement for fiscal 2015 LVPS in support of the launch vehicle configuration of one Air Force Delta IV (5,4), one Navy Atlas V 551, and one National Reconnaissance Office Atlas V 401.

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NASA Moves First Orion Spacecraft to Launch Pad

NASA's Orion spacecraft passes into Space Launch Complex-37 SLC-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to complete its move from the Launch Abort System Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. (Credit:  NASA/Kim Shiflett)
NASA’s Orion spacecraft passes into Space Launch Complex-37 SLC-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to complete its move from the Launch Abort System Facility at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. (Credit: NASA/Kim Shiflett)

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

NASA’s Orion spacecraft moved Nov. 11 from the Launch Abort System Facility (LASF) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, to Space Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in preparation for its upcoming flight test.

The assembled Orion crew module, service module, launch abort system and adapter that fits the service module to the rocket had remained inside the LASF since Sept. 28 until the scheduled move to the pad.

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LaserMotive Receives Navy SBIR Contract for Comm Relay System

LaserMotiveThe U.S. Navy awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract to LaserMotive of Kent, Wash., for work on an advanced communications system for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicles.

The Navy also awarded SBIR contracts for similar work to: Dragonfly Pictures, Inc., of Essington, Penn.; and Robotic Research, LLC of Gaithersburg, Mary. All three abstracts are reproduced below.

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Navy Looks to Extend Danger Zone at Pacific Missile Range on Kauai

SPARK_rocket_on_rail

Navy officials in Hawaii have begun preparations for the debut of a new small satellite launcher by requesting the expansion of a danger zone around the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, The Garden Island reports.

If approved, the danger zone fronting PMRF would roughly triple in size, encompass about 7 miles of coastline — from Barking Sands to Kokole Point — and extend between 2.96 and 4.19 nautical miles out to sea.

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ORS, University of Hawaii Team Up on New Small Satellite Launcher

SPARK_rocket_on_rail
The U.S. Air Force’s Office of Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) has teamed up with the University of Hawaii and Aerojet to develop a new small-sat launch vehicle that will make its maiden flight later this year from a missile range on Kauai.

The rail-launched Spaceborne Payload Assist Rocket Kauai (SPARK, a.k.a., Super Strypi) will be capable of launching small satellites and CubeSats into low Earth and sun synchronous orbits at a low cost. The objective is to place 250 kg. (551 lb.) payloads into a 400-km (249 mile) sun-synchronous orbit from Kauai.

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NASA, Navy Prepare for Orion Capsule and Crew Recovery

In this artist's concept, U.S. Navy boat teams have attached a line from inside the well deck of the landing platform-dock ship (LPD)to start pulling in the Orion crew module. Lines from small boats will also be attached to bring the capsule inside the stern of the LPD. (Credit: NASA)
In this artist’s concept, U.S. Navy boat teams have attached a line from inside the well deck of the landing platform-dock ship (LPD)to start pulling in the Orion crew module. Lines from small boats will also be attached to bring the capsule inside the stern of the LPD. (Credit: NASA)

By Bob Granath

NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center
At first glance, recovery operations of NASA’s Orion spacecraft look much like the efforts used to recover its Apollo predecessor. However, many design and technological upgrades have been added to the new spacecraft by teams at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida and Johnson Space Center in Houston. NASA also is partnering with the U.S. Navy to develop procedures to recover the Orion capsule and crew after splashdown.

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Navy to Refurbish Cape Canaveral Missile Test Complex, Boost Employment

Cape Canaveral, FL, August 2, 2012 (Space Florida PR) – The Navy Strategic Systems Program at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) will refurbish and update a 1950s-era submarine missile test complex. The new Strategic Weapons System Ashore (SWS Ashore) facility at CCAFS Complexes 25 and 29 will provide the U.S. Navy with a single, land-based facility for testing submarine missile systems.

CCAFS Launch Complexes 25 and 29 were originally constructed for the first Fleet Ballistic Missile test launches in the 1950s, and use of the locations was discontinued in the 1970s. When the new work is finished, the complexes will support testing systems found in the current Ohio-class submarine as well as systems under development for the Ohio replacement submarine.
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Company Gets $1.9 Million from NASA to Develop Debris Removal Spacecraft

ElectroDynamic Debris Eliminator (Credit: STAR, Inc.)

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

NASA has awarded a $1.9 million contract to a South Carolina company for the development of the ElectroDynamic Debris Eliminator (EDDE) vehicle, which is designed to clean up the growing debris problem in low Earth orbit.

Star Technology and Research (STAR) was awarded the contract under NASA’s Game Changing Technology program. STAR President Jerome Pearson is the project’s principal investigator.

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Video: Navy Railgun Sets New World Record

The Office of Naval Research Electromagnetic Railgun located at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, fired a world-record setting 33 megajoule shot, breaking the previous record established January, 31, 2008.

Railguns could be used to launch payloads off Earth, the moon and other celestial bodies. And they also can be used for killing people.