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Keyword: spacetechnology

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  • AF's X-37B Historical Landing Advances Space Vehicle Technologies

    12/08/2010 9:06:47 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 7 replies
    ASDN News ^ | 12/8/2010 | ASDN News
    After 244 days in space since its launch April 22 from Cape Canaveral, Fla., the X-37B orbital test vehicle landing marks the Air Force's latest step in experimental test missions to improve the service's space capabilities, officials said here Dec. 6. The 11,000-pound OTV made an autonomous landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., Dec. 3 at 1:16 a.m., allowing the Air Force to begin evaluation of its functions as a satellite communications, weather and material technology asset, said Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force for Space Programs Richard McKinney. "We're in a very serious and important business of...
  • China's Space Program Launches Lunar Probe

    10/03/2010 11:41:18 PM PDT · by Cindy · 18 replies
    (AP) via ^ | Posted October 1, 2010 | n/a
    SNIPPET: "The probe plans to test technology in preparation for an unmanned moon landing in 2012, with a possible manned lunar mission to follow in 2017. China’s other space plans include the launch of the first module of a future space station next year followed by the dispatch of manned spacecraft to dock with it."
  • China way behind advanced nations in space tech: Expert

    07/13/2010 10:40:30 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 11 replies ^ | 7/13/2010 |
    The carrying capacity of Chinese rockets and their reliability remain low and there is still a wide gap between China and nations with advanced technologies, a noted Chinese expert has said as India’s PSLV programme put into orbit five satellites on Monday. “Although China's carrier rocket has made great achievements in the past 40 years, it is difficult to meet the demands of future development under the existing technology and there is still a wide gap between China and countries with advanced technologies,” Long Lehao from the Chinese Academy of Engineering who specialised in rocket technology said. He said compared...
  • Congressional Support Grows For Heavy-Lift

    07/02/2010 9:06:07 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 6/30/2010 | By Frank Morring, Jr., Irene Klotz
    A small groundswell is rising in Congress for a faster start on the heavy-lift launch vehicle President Barack Obama says he wants, but it may be swamped by the backwash from growing irritation over NASA’s sluggish production of justification for its “game-changing” new approach. A bipartisan gang of 62 House members wants Obama to initiate “the immediate development and production of a heavy-lift launch vehicle that, in conjunction with the Orion crew exploration vehicle, may be used for either lunar or deep-space exploration.” Their June 22 letter to Obama, circulated by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), follows word from Sen. Bill...
  • NASA Looking To Reschedule Shuttle Finale

    06/22/2010 10:55:17 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 9 replies
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 6/22/2010 | Irene Klotz
    NASA managers this week plan to request new launch dates for the final two shuttle flights to accommodate preparations on space station equipment slated to fly on the STS-133 mission, originally targeted for September. If approved, NASA would postpone until Oct. 29 the launch of shuttle Discovery on STS-133, which includes installation of the modified Multi-Purpose Logistics Module Leonardo cargo carrier for long-duration flight on the station and delivery of spare parts for several key station systems. Previously scheduled missions by international partners and Sun angle heating issues would in turn bump shuttle Endeavour’s launch with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer,...
  • US Air Force scramjet test sees Spaceships in future

    06/18/2010 9:25:10 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 20 replies · 710+ views
    Christian Science Monitor ^ | 6/17/2010 | Jeremy Hsu
    A recent United States Air Force scramjet test has hinted at a future where hypersonic vehicles streak through the sky at many times the speed of sound around the world, and perhaps even open up access to space. The experimental X-51A Waverider used a rocket booster and an air-breathing scramjet to reach a speed of Mach 5 and achieve the longest hypersonic flight ever powered by such an engine on May 26. That technology might not only deliver cargo quickly to different parts of the globe, but could also transform the space industry and spawn true space planes that take...
  • High-Tech Space Planes Taking Shape in Italy, Russia

    06/05/2010 11:36:21 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 13 replies · 576+ views via ^ | 6/3/2010 | Jeremy Hsu
    The U.S. Air Force's secretive X-37B space plane may eventually get some company in low-Earth orbit as other countries such as Italy and Russia push forward with plans for their own reusable winged spaceships. Italy's prototype space plane, named Pollux, successfully carried out high-speed maneuvers that slowed it down from a falling speed of Mach 1.2 during a test flight in April. More recently, Russia has begun considering whether to revive a Cold War era, air-launched mini-shuttle in response to the U.S. X-37B space plane debut. Such efforts may not immediately lead to full-fledged operational flights. But in the case...
  • Chandler Predicts Stronger Ties Between Air Force And NASA

    05/31/2010 4:00:56 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 34 replies · 394+ views
    Inside Defense ^ | 4/30/2010 | Titus Ledbetter III
    The proposed cancellation of NASA’s Constellation manned spacecraft program could foster a stronger bond between the civilian space agency and the Air Force, a senior service official said this week. “This is going to drive us to work together,” Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Howie Chandler at an April 28 Air Force Association breakfast in Arlington, VA, when asked if cancellation of Constellation could impact the Air Force. “I think you’ll see us start to do that even more than we have in the past.” To that end, the Air Force is participating in a forum to discuss...
  • DoD: U.S. Space Industry May Lose Edge

    05/26/2010 8:53:20 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 18 replies · 297+ views
    MDAA ^ | 5/26/2010 | MDAA
    The dominance of the U.S. space industry is threatened by European and Asian firms, the Pentagon’s industrial policy chief said May 25. “We’re at a tipping point with our space industry,” Brett Lambert said at a forum on the strength of the space industrial base hosted by the George C. Marshall Institute think tank. “We have for so long been the dominant player and the most technologically advanced player.” European and Asian countries have developed their space industrial bases “not because they wanted to make those investments [but] because they didn’t have access to our technology,” he said. “As they...
  • Secret X-37B Space Plane Spotted by Amateur Skywatchers

    05/25/2010 9:51:49 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 16 replies · 1,122+ views ^ | 5/22/2010 | Leonard David
    While the U.S. Air Force is mum about the orbital whereabouts of its X-37B mini-space plane, a dedicated band of amateur skywatchers has got its cross-hairs on the spacecraft. The unpiloted X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle 1 was lofted on April 22 atop an Atlas launcher. It is being flown under the auspices of the U.S. Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. In U.S. military tracking parlance, when the space plane reached orbit it became identified as Catalog Number 36514, 2010-015A, OTV-1 (USA 212). From there it entered a cone of silence regarding any on-orbit duties. But thanks to a worldwide eyes-on-the-sky...
  • Improving Data Download From Outer Space

    05/21/2010 12:40:35 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies · 247+ views
    SPX via Space Daily ^ | 5/21/2010 | SPX via Space Daily
    Satellite systems in space keyed to detect nuclear events and environmental gasses currently face a kind of data logjam because their increasingly powerful sensors produce more information than their available bandwidth can easily transmit. Experiments conducted by Sandia National Laboratories at the International Space Station preliminarily indicate that the problem could be remedied by orbiting more complex computer chips to pre-reduce the large data stream. While increased satellite on-board computing capabilities ideally would mean that only the most useful information would be transmitted to Earth, an unresolved question had been how well the latest in computing electronics would fare in...
  • DLR Tests New Sharp-Edged Spacecraft

    05/13/2010 5:23:52 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 10 replies · 581+ views
    SPX via Space Daily ^ | 5/13/2010 | SPX via Space Daily
    Re-entry into Earth's atmosphere is considered one of the most critical moments in spaceflight. To make the journey into space and back to Earth safer, cheaper and more flexible, the German Aerospace Center has designed an experimental spacecraft. The Shefex II project uses advanced technologies such as a sharp, angular design and active cooling of the heat shield. For the first time, scientists have tested a model of the spacecraft in a wind tunnel at Gottingen. In early 2011, Shefex II (SHarp Edge Flight EXperiment) is scheduled to lift off from the Australian testing ground at Woomera. This is in...
  • U.S. Officer: Secrecy Among Coalition Forces Hinders Use of Space Assets in Afghanistan

    05/10/2010 11:13:53 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 3 replies · 217+ views
    The 40-plus nations taking part in NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan are often in the dark about what space assets are available to them and are too often denied access to space-derived intelligence, according to the former chief of ISAF space operations. U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Single, who this year returned from five months in Kabul trying to raise ISAF troops’ awareness of what satellites can bring to the war effort in Afghanistan, said secrecy often keeps coalition team members from speaking about space-related topics with each other. Just as striking, he said, is the...
  • James Cameron Sending 3-D Cameras to Mars with Next NASA Rover

    05/03/2010 6:26:01 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 18 replies · 501+ views
    Popular Science ^ | 5/02/2010 | Jeremy Hsu
    James Cameron's love of science and high-tech cameras has previously shone through with his undersea documentaries -- not to mention Titanic or even Avatar. Now the film director is playing "public engagement co-investigator" on NASA's upcoming SUV-sized rover mission, which will carry full-color digital cameras and zoom lenses -- but it's a race to complete the lenses in time for the mission's 2011 launch. Cameron approached NASA administrator Charles Bolden about including the 3-D camera in January, according to the AP. NASA had originally cut the 3-D camera and zoom lens options back in 2007, for budgetary reasons. But Cameron's...
  • New Weaponry Era Dawns with Unmanned Space Vehicles

    05/01/2010 8:10:33 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 5 replies · 580+ views
    Wharton Aerospace ^ | 4/30/2010 | Wharton Aerospace
    The Pentagon shot two unmanned space vehicles into Earth's orbit in April, underscoring its efforts to develop a super fast, high-altitude weapon system that could dominate from above even the highest-flying jet fighters. The Washington Times reported that the U. S. Air Force, which has jurisdiction in space, launched the troubled X-37B space plane for the first time. The unmanned plane piggybacked on an Atlas rocket into orbit. Once in orbit, it behaves much like the Space Shuttle, descending into Earth's atmosphere and then landing like a plane. The vehicle has been in development for more than 10 years and...
  • Polyus-Russian ASAT Weapon

    05/01/2010 12:13:43 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies · 348+ views
    Astronautix ^ | unknown | Ed Grondine
    The Polyus military testbed was put together on a crash basis as an answer to America's Star Wars program. It was built around a surplus TKS manned spacecraft and was meant to test prototype ASAT and Star Wars defense systems. It failed to reach orbit, but it had succeeded, it would have been the core module of a new Mir-2 space station. Its mere presence could have decisively changed the shape of the Cold War in its final months. In 1985, it became clear that the Energia launch vehicle would be ready for launch before the Buran space shuttle that...
  • U.S. Spy Satellite Program Could Be Undermined By Flagging Demand For Rocket Motors

    04/28/2010 9:22:38 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 6 replies · 365+ views
    Lexington Institute ^ | 4/22/2010 | Loren B. Thompson, Ph.D
    Butler of Aviation Week & Space Technology reported last week that the super-secret National Reconnaissance Office will be launching new spy satellites over the next two years at the highest rate since the Reagan era. Butler quotes NRO director Bruce Carlson as stating that several "very large, very critical" spacecraft will be sent into orbit by his agency -- presumably systems that collect imagery of surface targets or eavesdrop on the radio-frequency transmissions of potential adversaries. Combined with impending launches of new military-communications and missile-warning satellites, news of the spy-satellite payloads will come as welcome news to the nation's endangered...
  • New unmanned spacecraft set to launch

    04/19/2010 10:24:55 AM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 31 replies · 661+ views
    Defense Professionals ^ | 4/192010 | Staff Sgt. Vanessa Young
    Air Force officials are scheduled to launch the U.S.'s newest and most advanced unmanned re-entry spacecraft April 21 at Cape Canaveral Air Station, Fla. The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle will provide a flexible space test platform to conduct various experiments and allow satellite sensors, subsystems, components and associated technology to be efficiently transported to and from the space environment where it will need to function. The X-37B will also prove new technology and components before they are committed to operational satellites. The OTV is the first vehicle since NASA's shuttle orbiter that has the ability to return experiments to Earth...
  • Air Force space officials prepare to launch first Minotaur IV

    04/17/2010 10:48:30 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 3 replies · 426+ views
    USAF Press Release ^ | 4/16/2010 | USAF Press Release
    The first launch of the Minotaur IV Space Launch Vehicle is scheduled to occur April 20 at noon PDT from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The Minotaur IV is the newest variant in the Minotaur family of rockets built by Orbital Sciences Corporation. It is a four-stage solid rocket vehicle consisting of three decommissioned Peacekeeper missile stages and a fourth commercially built stage developed by OSC. For this maiden lift-off, the rocket will be in a "lite" configuration consisting of only the first three stages and no fourth stage due to mission requirements. The payload for this first launch is...
  • U.S.A.F Plans Reusable Booster Demonstrators

    04/10/2010 10:22:35 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies · 328+ views
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 4/10/2010 | By Graham Warwick
    series of demonstrators is being planned by the U.S. Air Force to mature technology for the Reusable Booster System (RBS), its chosen replacement for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) family beyond 2025. The first of the demonstrators, the Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) RBS Pathfinder, is planned to fly in 2013 to evaluate the “rocket-back” maneuver that would enable the unmanned first-stage booster to return to a runway landing at the launch site. An RBS architecture combining a reusable first stage and expendable upper-stage stack is defined in the new spacelift development plan now in the final stages of...