Space

June 3, 2013

Boeing completes two test milestones for NASA Commercial Crew Program

By successfully completing two significant tests of the integrated Commercial Crew Transportation System, Boeing and United Launch Alliance have moved the United States closer to regaining its capability to return humans to space.

The team recently completed the first wind tunnel test for connected scale models of the Crew Space Transportation-100 (CST-100) capsule, launch vehicle adaptor and Atlas V rocket, as well as a thrust test of the Centaur rocket stage.

The wind tunnel test, at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California, allowed for evaluation of the proposed launch configuration.

“The CST-100 and Atlas V, connected with the launch vehicle adaptor, performed exactly as expected and confirmed our expectations of how they will perform together in flight,” said John Muholland, Boeing vice president and program manager for Commercial Programs.

The CST-100 will be able to transport up to seven people, or a mix of people and cargo, to low Earth orbit destinations such as the International Space Station and Bigelow Aerospace’s planned space station.

The wind tunnel tests were followed by testing of how the Centaur rocket stage would create thrust by moving liquid oxygen from the oxygen tank to the two Centaur engines, where the oxygen will be mixed with liquid hydrogen.

The Centaur stage will propel the spacecraft to its intended orbit after the first stage of the Atlas V lifts the entire rocket stack into space. Centaur has flown more than 140 times since the 1960s, although the Commercial Crew Program (CCP) would be its first use for a manned spacecraft.

“The Centaur has a long and storied past of launching the agency’s most successful spacecraft to other worlds,” said Ed Mango, NASA’s CCP manager at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. “Because it has never been used for human spaceflight before, these tests are critical to ensuring a smooth and safe performance for the crew members who will be riding atop the human-rated Atlas V.”

These recent test milestones were the seventh and eighth of 19 in NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) initiative. Boeing engineers in Houston are configuring the interior of the CST-100, which is scheduled to be completed in late June.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Fourth Lockheed Martin-built MUOS secure comm satellite shipped

Lockheed Martin photograph On June 28, MUOS-4, the next satellite scheduled to join the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System secure communications network, shipped to Cape Canaveral from Lockheed Martin’s satellite manu...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA/CXC/U. Wisconsin/S. Heinz

NASA’s Chandra captures x-ray echoes pinpointing distant neutron star

Photograph courtesy of NASA/CXC/U. Wisconsin/S. Heinz A light echo in X-rays detected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has provided a rare opportunity to precisely measure the distance to an object on the other side of the...
 
 

Veteran NASA spacecraft nears 60,000th lap around Mars

NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft will reach a major milestone June 23, when it completes its 60,000th orbit since arriving at the Red Planet in 2001. Named after the bestselling novel “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke, Odyssey began orbiting Mars almost 14 years ago, on Oct. 23, 2001. On Dec. 15, 2010, it...
 

 
nasa-study

NASA selects six wild ideas in aviation for further study

NASA has selected six proposals to study transformative ideas that might expand what’s possible in aviation, shifting the boundary between fantastic and futuristic. During a day-long meeting in April, 17 teams pitched the...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA signs agreement with Space Florida to operate historic landing facility

NASA photograph This aerial photo of the runway at the KSC Shuttle Landing Facility looks north. Longer and wider than most commercial runways, it is 15,000 feet long, with 1,000-foot paved overruns on each end, and 300 feet wi...
 
 

All systems go for NASA’s mission to Jupiter moon Europa

Beyond Earth, Jupiter’s moon Europa is considered one of the most promising places in the solar system to search for signs of present-day life, and a new NASA mission to explore this potential is moving forward from concept review to development. NASA’s mission concept — to conduct a detailed survey of Europa and investigate its...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>