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Showing posts from July, 2019

NASA taps SpaceX, Blue Origin and 11 more companies for Moon and Mars space tech

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NASA  has selected 13 companies to partner with on 19 new specific technology projects it’s undertaking to help reach the Moon and Mars. These include SpaceX,  Blue Origin  and Lockheed Martin, among others, with projects ranging from improving spacecraft operation in high temperatures to landing rockets vertically on the Moon.

Jeff Bezos-backed Blue Origin  will work with NASA on developing a navigation system for “safe and precise landing at a range of locations on the Moon” in one undertaking, and also on readying a fuel cell-based power system for its Blue Moon lander, revealed earlier this year. The final design spec will provide a power source that can last through the lunar night, or up to two weeks without sunlight in some locations. It’ll also be working on further developing engine nozzles for rockets with liquid propellant that would be well-suited for lunar lander vehicles.

SpaceX will be working on technology that will help move rocket propellant around safely from vehic…

NASA’s Artemis capsule is complete, will carry the first woman to the moon

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The crew capsule which will carry American astronauts to the moon as part of the Artemis project has been completed. The completion of the Artemis 1 capsule was announced by Vice President Mike Pence during a speech at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the historic Apollo moon landing mission.

Fifty years after successfully landing a man on the moon, NASA is hoping to recreate this feat. But this time, at least one of the crew members will be a woman. NASA has announced that this capsule will carry the “first woman on the moon.”

“Similar to the 1960s, we too have an opportunity to take a giant leap forward for all of humanity,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement. “President Trump and Vice President Pence have given us a bold direction to return to the Moon by 2024 and then go forward to Mars. Their direction is not empty rhetoric. They have backed up their vision with the budget requests need to accomplish this objective…

NASA seeks ideas from US firms on future lunar lander

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US space agency NASA on Monday asked American aerospace companies to offer detailed ideas for vehicles that could bring two astronauts to the Moon by 2024, an American objective that was reconfirmed on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission.

NASA called the request for input a "major step" forward for its new Moon mission, dubbed Artemis—who in Greek mythology was Apollo's twin sister.

The space agency published documents explaining in detail what it is looking for in a lunar lander that will bring the two astronauts, one a woman, to the Moon's South Pole, where they will stay for six and a half days.

In May, 11 companies including sector mainstays Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman were picked to lead feasibility studies and develop prototypes by November. Also on the list were newcomers such as Elon Musk's SpaceX and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin.

That same month, Blue Origin unveiled its lander project, Blue Moon.

Now, NASA has provided dozens …

Boeing Starliner test flight in September, crewed flight by end of year

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Boeing's Chris Ferguson: Boeing in final push for September Starliner launch
COCOA BEACH, Fla. - The first test flight of Boeing's astronaut capsule CST-100 Starliner from Cape Canaveral will happen in September, Boeing test pilot and former shuttle astronaut Chris Ferguson told News 6.
Ferguson will pilot the first crewed flight of the Starliner, which he said could happen in the next several months, but first, Boeing and its partner United Launch Alliance must launch the spacecraft without crew in its first test flight to the International Space Station.
"We have an uncrewed test flight here in September. It's looking good. We were working late into the night last night doing test work, 24/7 operations," Ferguson said. "We are in the final push and I'm optimistic you are going to see humans return to space from the Space Coast within the next several months."
Boeing and NASA officials had previously said the uncrewed test launch was scheduled for…

Cruz calls for 'bold vision' for future space exploration at Senate hearing

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NASA is aiming to put the first woman on the moon by 2024 — and Amelia Gillespie already has plans to be the first woman on Mars.

“It’s not just men up there anymore. It’s women too,” the 9-year-old future astronaut said as she watched a congressional hearing on the future of NASA’s space exploration in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing this month.

Sporting a blue NASA flight suit from Space Camp, Amelia stood out in the halls of Congress, where she was the youngest spectator at the Senate aviation and space subcommittee hearing Tuesday.

Amelia and her mother, Kerry, had driven from Annapolis to meet and listen to the NASA engineers who testified before the panel, chaired by Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican.

Among the panel of witnesses: Gene Kranz, flight director of the Apollo 11 moon mission and author of “Failure Is Not an Option”; Homer Hickam, a retired NASA engineer and author of “Rocket Boys”; and Christine Darden, a former NASA data analyst and aerospace…

As acting Air Force secretary, Donovan takes lead role advocating for independent space force

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Acting Air Force Secretary Matt Donovan: “Let’s unleash the space professionals."
WASHINGTON — In the weeks since he became acting secretary of the Air Force, Matthew Donovan has used his bully pulpit to advocate for the establishment of a separate space service. With Congress just weeks away from taking decisive action on the issue, Donovan said he will continue to press the case on Capitol Hill.
“Let’s unleash the space professionals so they can grow and become the equivalent of the Air Force after separating from the Army,” Donovan said July 3 in an interview with SpaceNews.
Space forces today are at that point where the Air Force was in 1947 when it broke away from the Army, Donovan said. Just like military aviation back then, space is ready to carve out its own lane. “When the Air Force separated from the Army, we became a global power because we were unleashed from other ways of thinking,” said Donovan. “Space is in that same place now.”
Donovan’s views on a separate space…

Trump Lauds Apollo 11 Moon Landing, Promises American Flag on Mars

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The president cited Apollo 11 as an example of what the country is capable of.

President Trump just honored the United States' crowning spaceflight achievement and stressed that the nation will make an even bigger leap in the coming years.
During his Fourth of July speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., yesterday, the president cited the Apollo 11 moon landing as an example of American ingenuity, spirit, and potential.
"For Americans, nothing is impossible," Trump said. "Exactly 50 years ago this month, the world watched in awe as Apollo 11 astronauts launched into space with a wake of fire and nerves of steel, and planted our great American flag on the face of the moon."
He then addressed Apollo program flight director Gene Kranz, who was in attendance at yesterday's event. 
"Gene, I want you to know that we're going to be back on the moon very soon, and, someday soon, we will plant the American flag on Mars," the president said…