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Keyword: spacetechnology

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  • Spacecraft stats and insights

    04/09/2010 8:22:04 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies · 463+ views
    The Space Review ^ | 4/5/2010 | by Claude Lafleur
    Piloted spaceships, planetary probes, and space telescopes fascinate people. That’s easy to understand since these spacecraft make the discoveries of our time. Nevertheless, this is only the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” since they account for less than 10% of all spacecraft ever launched. What are the other 90% for? Who launched them and for what purpose? It’s worth noting that it is impossible to establish a definitive number of spacecraft launched since it depends of how you count them. Answering these questions tells us a lot about what’s going on in space. For example, more than a quarter of...
  • NASA Plans To Refuel Mock Satellite at the Space Station

    04/07/2010 9:29:12 PM PDT · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 13 replies · 487+ views
    Space News ^ | 4/2/2101 | Debra Werner
    The technology and tools already exist to allow people and robots to repair and refuel satellites in orbit. What is lacking is the recognition of that capability by senior government officials and a business model to enable commercial companies to profit from the enterprise, according to government and industry officials attending a workshop March 24-26 sponsored by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and held at the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi, Md. “It’s pretty clear,” said Frank Cepollina, NASA deputy associate director in the space service capabilities office at NASA Goddard in Greenbelt, Md. “The time for...
  • ISS Partners Looking out to 2028

    03/11/2010 10:19:36 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies · 162+ views
    Space News ^ | 3/11/2010 | Peter B. de Selding
    The international space station (ISS) partners have begun reviewing their on-board hardware with the goal of certifying it for use until 2028 even as they seek ways to reduce the annual operating costs of the orbital complex, the partners said in a joint statement March 11. Meeting in Tokyo, the heads of space agencies from the United States, Russia, Europe, Japan and Canada expressed approval at the U.S. President Barack Obama’s proposal to continue NASA use of the station until 2020, and said operating beyond that date should also be considered. “[T]here are no identified technical constraints to continuing ISS...
  • SpaceX aborts rocket engine test

    03/10/2010 8:44:43 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 4 replies · 299+ views
    Reuters ^ | 3/10/2010 | Irene Klotz
    Space Exploration Technologies aborted a test firing of its Falcon 9 rocket on Tuesday, in what was to be a key milestone in its quest to fly cargo -- and eventually astronauts -- to the International Space Station. The test was aborted two seconds before engine ignition at the privately owned company's Cape Canaveral, Florida, launch site, where the Falcon 9 rocket is being prepared for a company-sponsored demonstration flight this spring. During the test, flames and small puffs of smoke could be seen around the base of the rocket via a NASA video camera. In a statement Tuesday night,...
  • China's first low-latitude space center by 2015

    03/10/2010 8:13:17 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies · 240+ views ^ | 3/10/2010 |
    “Wenchang” the fourth space center being built in China will not be ready for service earlier than 2014-2015, a media report said. The construction of the space center was previously expected to be completed by 2013. "The construction of the fourth space center, Wenchang, is ongoing. China's first low-latitude space center will be commissioned in 2014-2015," Ria Novosti quoted a local government official as saying to CCTV on Tuesday. Wenchang, located on the northeast coast of the Hainan tropical island, will be the country's first low-latitude space center. Its latitude of only 19 degrees north of the equator will contribute...
  • Fire in the sky: the Air Launched Sortie Vehicle of the early 1980s (part 2)

    03/08/2010 11:38:45 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 16 replies · 782+ views
    Space Review ^ | 3/8/2010 | Dwayne Day
    Many things remain murky about the Air Force Rocket Propulsion Laboratory’s sponsorship of an effort starting in 1980 to study the possibility of launching a spaceplane off the back of a 747. AFRPL was located at Edwards Air Force Base and in early December of that year, an AFRPL engineer named Don Hart produced a several page description of what such a vehicle might look like and might be capable of doing. (See: “Fire in the sky: the Air Launched Sortie Vehicle of the early 1980s (part 1)”, The Space Review, February 22, 2010) Very quickly at least one contractor...
  • New Rocket Engine Could Reach Mars in 40 Days.

    03/07/2010 12:40:28 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 37 replies · 541+ views ^ | 3/6/2010 | Jeremy Hsu
    Future Mars outposts or colonies may seem more distant than ever with NASA's exploration plans in flux, but the rocket technology that could someday propel a human mission to the red planet in as little as 40 days may already exist. A company founded by former NASA astronaut Franklin Chang-Diaz has been developing a new rocket engine that draws upon electric power and magnetic fields to channel superheated plasma out the back. That stream of plasma generates steady, efficient thrust that uses low amounts of propellant and builds up speed over time. "People have known for a long time, even...
  • Commercial space takes center stage

    02/20/2010 9:48:01 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies · 273+ views
    The Space Review ^ | 2/15/2010 | by Jeff Foust
    It was the best of timing, it was the worst of timing. It was the best of timing for the FAA’s annual Commercial Space Transportation Conference, normally held in early February in Washington, DC. The schedule meant that the conference took place this year just over a week after the White House released its fiscal year 2011 budget proposal, one that emphasized more than ever before the development of capabilities by the commercial sector to transport cargo, and now crews, to low Earth orbit. It was also the worst of timing from a meteorological standpoint, coinciding with yet another major...
  • Obama’s Move To End Constellation Prompts Industrial Base Questions

    02/14/2010 12:43:48 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 16 replies · 655+ views
    Space News ^ | 2/12/2010 | Amy Klamper
    Industry advocates are voicing concern with U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to cancel NASA’s Moon-bound Constellation program and the threat it poses to America’s aerospace work force and U.S. strategic missile arsenals, but Defense Department officials said the two agencies are forging a plan to sustain the nation’s solid-rocket motor industrial base. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) is among those railing against Obama’s proposal to scrap NASA’s plan to replace its space shuttle fleet with new rockets and spacecraft in favor of relying on commercial crew taxis to get astronauts to the international space station and back. “This is not money-saving....
  • Falcon 9 Integration Under Way

    02/13/2010 12:37:58 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 1 replies · 201+ views
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 1/12/2012 | Guy Norris
    Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) is beginning integration of the first Falcon 9 at Cape Canaveral, Fla., and says it won’t be hurried to complete work despite continuing delays of the first launch. “Our primary objective is a successful first launch and we are taking whatever time necessary to work through the data to our satisfaction before moving forward,” says SpaceX director of Florida launch operations Brian Mosdell, who adds that the expected launch will take place “one to three months after completing full vehicle integration.” The final delivery to the SpaceX launch site, Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), included the...
  • Payton Slams Space Firms’ Quality

    02/05/2010 8:57:10 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 15 replies · 340+ views
    DoD Buzz ^ | 02/05/2010 | By Colin Clark
    The makers of America’s rockets and satellites “are still stumbling on fundamentals too often,” said Gary Payton, former astronaut and the top Air Force man on space acquisition. Payton’s comments seem to indicate a continuing trend of shoddy quality control among those whose toughest job is turning out top quality parts and software and making sure they work and fit well. The biggest problem lies with suppliers, who are selling equipment that is just not up to snuff, Payton said. However, the primes also must shoulder blame since they are not overseeing suppliers at the factory level as closely as...
  • How to build a Shuttle-derived heavy-lift program

    02/01/2010 11:29:48 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 16 replies · 527+ views
    The Space Review ^ | 2/01/2010 | Edward Ellegood
    Details are still sketchy and Congress must still weigh in, but it seems clear now that Ares 1 and Ares 5 are dead, the International Space Station will operate through 2020, and commercial rockets will be used to carry crew and cargo to the orbiting outpost. These outcomes are all within the Augustine Committee’s list of fixes for an exploration program that clearly was over budget, behind schedule, and demonstrably unsustainable. Without a Shuttle-class rocket, billions of dollars in taxpayer-funded infrastructure will go unused, and thousands of uniquely skilled workers will be forced to pursue other careers.
  • Power System: Laser-Based Safer Than Microwave

    01/26/2010 10:21:05 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 7 replies · 441+ views
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 1/24/2010 | By Michael A. Taverna
    EADS Astrium engineers are working on an orbital solar power concept that they think will be competitive with other technologies but safer to use. Solar power would be collected in space and beamed to Earth using high-power infrared lasers so the energy could be used in remote regions, areas hit by natural disasters and other places where terrestrial power is not readily available. Astrium Chief Technical Officer Robert Laine says the concept offers certain advantages compared to competing technologies such as microwaves—notably a much smaller health risk. The idea of using IR lasers for energy transmission has been around for...
  • Big Changes in Store for Missile Warning Tech Effort

    01/22/2010 9:35:39 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 223+ views
    Space News ^ | 1/22/2010 | Space News Staff
    The U.S. Air Force in its 2011 budget request will announce significant changes to the Third Generation Infrared Surveillance (TGIRS) missile warning technology development program, a top service official said. TGIRS was originally conceived as a potential alternative to the long-troubled Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS), whose first dedicated satellite is almost a decade behind schedule. But as the Air Force became confident that SBIRS was finally on track, TGIRS became a technology demonstration effort that now has two main elements: an experimental sensor built by SAIC to be hosted aboard an SES Americom commercial communications satellite slated to launch...
  • Space systems and missile defense in 2010

    01/18/2010 9:33:22 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 2 replies · 478+ views
    The Space Review ^ | 1/18/2010 | Taylor Dinerman
    The recent Chinese missile defense test is just one of many signs that anti-ballistic missile systems are the “must have” military fashion accessory of 2010. For China the need for such weapons is obvious: the only neighbors they have who lack a real or potential short- to medium-range missile capability are Laos, Burma, and perhaps Mongolia. All of their other neighbors, especially Russia, North Korea. and India, have been building up their rocket forces at a rapid rate. For both Europe and China, any effective BMD requires space-based early warning sensors similar to the US Defense Support Program satellites based...
  • Ares I-X Data Continue To Match Models

    12/07/2009 12:47:09 AM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 11 replies · 700+ views
    Aviation Week and Space Technology ^ | 12/04/2009 | Frank Morring, Jr.
    After 30 days of data reduction, Ares I-X engineers continue to find fairly close correlation between their computer models and the flight performance of the test vehicle, which was the tallest rocket ever launched. Flight-control algorithms developed for the operational vehicle "worked extremely well," said NASA's Marshall Smith, systems engineering and integration (SE&I) manager for Ares I-X, and the flight data in general validated the computer models being used to design Ares I. "I, personally, from SE&I, am very, very pleased with the performance of our (guidance, navigation and control) system; the algorithms that we're testing for Ares I worked...
  • The USAF's Secret Spaceplane

    12/06/2009 4:42:05 PM PST · by ErnstStavroBlofeld · 35 replies · 3,011+ views ^ | 12/09/2009 | Michael Klesius
    It's been a long wait—in some ways, more than 50 years—but in April 2010, the U.S. Air Force is scheduled to launch an Atlas V booster from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying the newest U.S. spacecraft, the unmanned X-37, to orbit. The X-37 embodies the Air Force's desire for an operational spaceplane, a wish that dates to the 1950s, the era of the rocket-powered X-15 and X-20. In other ways, though, the X-37 will be picking up where another U.S. spaceplane, NASA's space shuttle, leaves off.
  • Norway expels Iranian student studying space technology

    10/31/2009 10:15:05 PM PDT · by myknowledge · 9 replies · 901+ views
    Jerusalem Post ^ | October 29, 2009 | Herb Keinon
    Norway expelled a 36-year-old Iranian student studying space technology earlier this month amid fears his studies may be used to contribute to the Iranian missile program, according to reports Tuesday in the Norwegian media. The student studied Norwegian language and culture last year and, according to the reports, was due to begin a master's program in space technology at Narvik University College in Narvik, a town some 1,400 km north of Oslo. Jorn Preserudstuen, police inspector for the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST), told the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation that history has shown a connection between a space program and missile...
  • NASA's Challenges Program Seeks Input For New Competitions

    03/02/2006 5:19:30 AM PST · by texson66 · 109+ views
    NASA HQ ^ | 2 March 06 | Dolores Beasley/Melissa Mathews
    NASA's Challenges Program Seeks Input For New Competitions NASA's Centennial Challenges Program has released draft rules for six new prize competitions. NASA is seeking external comments and collaborating organizations to help finalize criteria and to initiate these challenges. The program promotes technical innovation through novel prize competitions. The six prize competitions encompass a range of capabilities and technologies. NASA has released a Request for Comments asking potential competitors and interested parties for comments about the detailed rules and achievability of the competitions. The competitions are: Fuel Depot Demonstration Challenge; Human Lunar All-Terrain Vehicle Challenge; Low-Cost Space Pressure Suit Challenge; Lunar...