VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (NOAA PR) — Flight hardware for the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket slated to launch the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) has arrived in California. The rocket’s boattail and interstage adapter arrived at Vandenberg Space Force Base July 28 for processing ahead of launch. The payload fairings arrived Aug. 8.
WASHINGTON (NASA HQ PR) — NASA has selected four mission proposals submitted to the agency’s Explorers Program for further study. The proposals include missions that would study exploding stars, distant clusters of galaxies, and nearby galaxies and stars.
Two Astrophysics Medium Explorer missions and two Explorer Missions of Opportunity have been selected to conduct mission concept studies. After detailed evaluation of those studies, NASA plans to select one Mission of Opportunity and one Medium Explorer in 2024 to proceed with implementation. The selected missions will be targeted for launch in 2027 and 2028, respectively.
TUCSON, Ariz. (University of Arizona PR) — Asteroid Bennu, the target of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission, led by the University of Arizona, kept surprising the mission team while the spacecraft studied the asteroid from a distance. The biggest surprise, however, came when OSIRIS-REx swooped in to grab a sample of material from Bennu and encountered not a solid surface but one that gave way so easily the sampler arm sank 1 1/2 feet into it within seconds.
The vital, versatile EXPRESS Racks – properly known as “EXpedite the PRocessing of Experiments to the Space Station” multipurpose payload shelving units – logged 1 million hours of combined powered duty on station. That’s the equivalent of nearly 115 years’ worth of scientific research completed in just two decades.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — Engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, have built some of the largest rocket engines ever to light up the icy reaches of space. Now Marshall and its commercial partners have delivered one of the smallest propulsion systems in its history, designed to help propel an upcoming NASA mission to shed new light on the Moon’s South Pole – in search of a much more useful type of ice.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA has awarded the Facilities Engineering Design and Inspection Services (FEDIS) II contract to Vanguard Pacific LLC of Foley, Alabama, to provide architect and engineering design services at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract has a potential mission services value of $25.6 million and a maximum potential IDIQ value of $22.5 million, for a total value of $ 48.1 million. The contract begins on Aug. 1, 2022, with a one-year base period, followed by four one-year option periods that may be exercised at NASA’s discretion.
Under the scope of work specified in the contract, Vanguard Pacific will be responsible for design services in support of the Minor Construction Contract for projects of $1 million or less. The scope also includes master planning, surveillance, and inspection services.
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) are working together to advance space nuclear technologies. The agencies have selected three design concept proposals for a fission surface power system design that could be ready to launch by the end of the decade for a demonstration on the Moon. This technology would benefit future exploration under the Artemis umbrella.
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (NASA PR) — NASA launched the second phase of its Break the Ice Lunar Challenge to advance technology that is – quite literally – groundbreaking. The challenge invites the public to advance system technology for excavating and delivering lunar resources.
High on NASA’s list of innovation priorities are technologies that use the Moon’s resources to support sustainable surface operations while decreasing supply needs from Earth. This includes systems that could convert lunar ice into rocket fuel, drinkable water, or other vital resources.
WASHINGTON, (NASA PR) — NASA has recognized a new generation of potential space explorers who competed in the agency’s 28th annual Human Exploration Rover Challenge.
High school and college students from around the U.S. and world have spent the last eight months designing, building, and testing their rovers for the challenge – one of the original seven NASA Artemis Student Challenges. NASA announced the winners during a virtual awards ceremony April 29. The challenge involved 91 teams, including 58 colleges and 33 high schools.
The challenge tasked U.S. and international student teams with designing, engineering, and testing a human-powered rover on a course simulating terrain found on rocky bodies in the solar system. Teams also performed mission assignments while negotiating the course, including sample retrievals and spectrographic analysis.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., April 21, 2022 (Aeva PR) – Aeva® (NYSE: AEVA), a leader in next-generation sensing and perception systems, today announced that NASA’s Kinematic Navigation and Cartography Knapsack (KNaCK) Instrument project, a LiDAR-based mobile terrain-mapping and navigation system designed to support the next generation of lunar and planetary exploration, is using Aeva’s 4D LiDAR™ technology. Aeva’s technology, including the new Aeries™ II sensor, is expected to enable the KNaCK Instrument to create highly accurate maps of the lunar surface and provide precise navigation capabilities to overcome the lack of global positioning and navigation systems on the Moon. These capabilities are designed to support missions that are part of NASA’s Artemis program which aims to return humans to the Moon for the first time in more than 50 years.
KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, Fla. (NASA PR) — NASA will hold a media teleconference on Monday, March 14 to discuss the upcoming debut of the agency’s Mega Moon rocket and integrated spacecraft for the uncrewed Artemis I lunar mission.
Roll out of the integrated Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft to Launch Pad 39B at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida is slated for Thursday, March 17.
The media call will begin at 5:30 p.m. EDT after completion of a test readiness review, which will determine if the agency is ready to move forward with mission activities. The call will air live on the agency’s website.
Teleconference participants include:
Tom Whitmeyer, associate administrator for exploration systems development, NASA Headquarters in Washington
Mike Sarafin, Artemis mission manager, NASA Headquarters
Charlie Blackwell-Thompson, Artemis launch director, NASA Exploration Ground Systems program, Kennedy
John Honeycutt, manager, Space Launch System program, Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama
Howard Hu, manager, Orion program, Johnson Space Center in Houston
Live coverage for rollout begins at 5 p.m. EDT on Thursday, March 17 and will include live remarks from NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and other guests. Coverage will air on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.
At the pad, NASA will conduct a final prelaunch test known as wet dress rehearsal, which includes loading the SLS propellant tanks and conducting a launch countdown.
The rollout involves a 4-mile journey between the Vehicle Assembly Building and the launch pad, expected to take between six and 12 hours. Live, static camera views of the debut and arrival at the pad will be available starting at 4 p.m. EDT on the Kennedy Newsroom YouTube channel.
Credentialing deadlines for in-person activities have closed.
Through Artemis missions, NASA will land the first woman and the first person of color on the Moon, paving the way for a long-term lunar presence and serving as a steppingstone on the way to Mars.
For updates, follow along on NASA’s Artemis blog at:
WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program has awarded $15 million to U.S. small businesses and research institutions to continue developing technologies in areas ranging from aeronautics to science and space exploration.
DENVER, Feb. 15, 2022 (Lockheed Martin PR) – Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] was awarded three NASA contracts for key elements of the agency’s visionary Mars Sample Return program.
The first contract is for the cruise stage that will power and steer the Mars-bound journey of the lander that retrieves Martian rock and soil samples from the Perseverance Rover. For this $35 million award from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California (JPL), Lockheed Martin will produce the cruise stage and its comprehensive elements, including the solar arrays, structure, propulsion and thermal properties.
HAMPTON, Va. (NASA PR) — No, we’re not pumping up inner tubes for a pool party, but the successful inflation of this stack of test rings marks the final test of the inflation system for NASA’s LOFTID demonstration which will make a splash when it lands in the Pacific Ocean after launch.