Sierra Space and Blue Origin Successfully Complete Orbital Reef System Definition Review(more…)
ARLINGTON, Va. (DARPA PR) — DARPA has selected 11 teams for Phase 1 of the Space-Based Adaptive Communications Node program, known as Space-BACN. Space-BACN aims to create a low-cost, reconfigurable optical communications terminal that adapts to most optical intersatellite link standards, translating between diverse satellite constellations. Space-BACN would create an “internet” of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, enabling seamless communication between military/government and commercial/civil satellite constellations that currently are unable to talk with each other.
The agency selected teams from academia and large and small commercial companies, including multiple performers awarded first-time contracts with the Department of Defense.(more…)
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CASIS PR) – A wide variety of research and technology development payloads sponsored by the International Space Station (ISS) National Laboratory will soon launch to the orbiting laboratory. These payloads are among the more than 4,700 pounds of cargo onboard SpaceX’s 25th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission (contracted by NASA), launching no earlier than 8:44 p.m. EDT on Thursday, July 14, from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.(more…)
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (CASIS PR) – From salad dressing to foam body wash, many everyday products could get an eco-friendly upgrade thanks to microgravity research. The City College of New York (CCNY) is launching an investigation to the International Space Station (ISS) on SpaceX’s 25th Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) mission to test more eco-friendly ways to create foam products (which consist of gas bubbles dispersed in liquids or solids) and products made through emulsion (when tiny droplets of one liquid are dispersed in another fluid).
However, this is not the only investigation on SpaceX CRS-25 aiming to improve products used by millions of people worldwide. Researchers from Arizona State University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) are leveraging the ISS National Laboratory to improve the mass production of pharmaceuticals like vaccines. These investigations are funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and seek to use the unique space environment to help answer scientific questions that have been challenging to address on the ground.(more…)
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA announced Friday the Psyche asteroid mission, the agency’s first mission designed to study a metal-rich asteroid, will not make its planned 2022 launch attempt.
Due to the late delivery of the spacecraft’s flight software and testing equipment, NASA does not have sufficient time to complete the testing needed ahead of its remaining launch period this year, which ends on Oct. 11. The mission team needs more time to ensure that the software will function properly in flight.(more…)
WASHINGTON (National Academies PR) — A new decadal survey from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine identifies scientific priorities and opportunities and makes funding recommendations to maximize the advancement of planetary science, astrobiology, and planetary defense in the next 10 years.
The recommendations by the steering committee for the decadal survey draw on input from the scientific community through the advice of six panels, hundreds of white papers, invited speakers, outreach to advisory groups and professional society conferences, and work with mission-design teams.(more…)
DUBAI, April 12, 2022 (UAE Government Media Office) — The Emirates Mars Mission, the first interplanetary exploration undertaken by an Arab nation, has finalised a science data analysis collaboration initiative with NASA’s MAVEN Mars Mission, which will pave the way towards greater scientific collaboration and data exchange between the two missions.(more…)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Space Foundation PR) — Space Foundation, a nonprofit advocate organization founded in 1983, today announced a new partnership between its Space Commerce Institute and the MILO Space Science Institute led by Arizona State University to offer Space Studio Accelerator a 12-week program designed to increase participation in space exploration and commerce. The program prepares teams for space missions and commercialization efforts, teaching participants how to become a successful part of the new space economy.
Space Studio participants from universities, startups, and public-private partnerships engage with space industry to create new collaborations, ventures and acquisitions. The program’s goal is to train teams to better understand the lifecycle of the global space industry, to advance the supply chain, and to focus on problem solving and project management. Teams will learn how to develop innovative solutions that create sustainable pathways to contribute to their regional space ecosystems.(more…)
by Douglas Messier
NASA is funding research into a system capable of generating oxygen on Mars far more efficiently than the one the space agency tested aboard the Curiosity rover.(more…)
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — An astronaut steps into a body scanner and, hours later, walks on Mars in a custom-made spacesuit, breathing oxygen that was extracted from Mars’ carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere. On Venus, an inflatable bird-like drone swoops through the sky, studying the planet’s atmosphere and weather patterns. Ideas like these are currently science fiction, but they could one day become reality, thanks to a new round of grants awarded by NASA.(more…)
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded nearly $1.2 million to seven university teams through the 2022 Breakthrough, Innovative and Game-changing (BIG) Idea Challenge to design, develop, and demonstrate innovative and cost-effective robotic systems that go beyond traditional wheeled rovers and move in different ways – including rovers that hop, slither, and roll.
As NASA expands its space exploration to more extreme terrain on the Moon, solutions to moving in harsh environments are integral. The BIG Idea Challenge spurs development of innovative technologies to meet the agency’s Artemis program goals to explore more of the lunar surface than ever before and use what we learn on the Moon to send humans to Mars.
The ability to move in different ways, or adaptive locomotive modality, is vital to enabling extreme terrain exploration. The capability to explore areas that are currently inaccessible will open new opportunities for science and in-situ resource utilization operations. The selected teams will develop integrated robotic solutions, with prototypes incorporating a minimal level of sensing, autonomy, and other necessary elements needed for a relevant test.(more…)
NASA has released the selection statement that lays out the space agency’s reasoning for awarding Nanoracks, Blue Origin and Northrop Grumman a total of $415.6 million to develop plans for private space stations under the Commercial LEO Destinations (CLD) program. The facilities are designed to maintain a permanent U.S. presence in Earth orbit when the International Space Station (ISS) is retired in 2030.
In this story, we’ll look at the Blue Origin’s Orbital Reef station. The project summary is drawn from publicly available information. Excerpts from the selection statement follow. Long paragraphs in the latter have been broken up to improve readability. Acronyms have been spelled out for the sake of clarity.(more…)
Louisville, Colo., December 2, 2021 (Sierra Space PR) — Orbital Reef, led by partners Blue Origin and Sierra Space, was selected today by NASA for a funded Space Act Agreement for collaboration to design a commercially owned and operated space station in low Earth orbit (LEO). NASA’s Commercial LEO Development program aims to shift NASA’s research and exploration activities in LEO to commercial space stations, helping stimulate a growing space economy before the International Space Station is retired. The Orbital Reef team includes Boeing, Redwire Space, Genesis Engineering Solutions, and Arizona State University.(more…)
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has signed agreements with three U.S. companies to develop designs of space stations and other commercial destinations in space. The agreements are part of the agency’s efforts to enable a robust, American-led commercial economy in low-Earth orbit.(more…)
By Hillary Smith
NASA’s Langley Research Center
HAMPTON, Va. — In late 2022, NASA will send an ice-mining experiment attached to a robotic lander to the lunar South Pole on a ridge not far from Shackleton crater – a location engineers and scientists have assessed for months. NASA and Intuitive Machines, an agency partner for commercial Moon deliveries, announced the location selection Nov. 3.(more…)