Space

August 16, 2013

NASA selects innovative technology proposals for suborbital flights

NASA has selected for possible flight demonstration 10 proposals from six U.S. states for reusable, suborbital technology payloads and vehicle capability enhancements with the potential to revolutionize future space missions.

After the concepts are developed, NASA may choose to fly the technologies to the edge of space and back on U.S. commercial suborbital vehicles and platforms. These types of flights provide opportunities for testing in microgravity before the vehicles are sent into the harsh environment of space.

“As we prepare to venture forth in future science and exploration missions, one of our greatest challenges in advancing cutting-edge technologies is bridging the gap between testing a component or prototype in a laboratory or ground facility and demonstrating that technology or capability in a mission-relevant operational environment,” said Michael Gazarik, NASA’s associate administrator for space technology in Washington. “Microgravity suborbital flights provide relevant environment testing at a small fraction of the costs required for orbital flights, while advancing technologies that benefit American businesses and our economy.”

The proposals selected for technology payloads include:

  • “Technology Demonstration of Graphene Ion Membranes for Earth and Space Applications,” Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
  • “Spacecraft Disturbance Isolation and Rejection Platform,” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
  • “Focal Plane Actuation to Achieve Ultra-High Resolution on Suborbital Balloon Payloads,” Arizona State University, Tempe
  • “Rocket Flight of a Delta-Doped CCD Focal Plane Array to Prove Flight Rating,” Arizona State University
  • “EDL Technology Development for the Maraia Earth Return Capsule,” NASA’s Johnson Space Center, Houston

 

The solicitation also included a topic on small spacecraft propulsion technologies sponsored by the agency’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program, which develops and demonstrates new capabilities employing the unique features of small spacecraft for science, exploration and space operations. Five awards were made under this category:

  • “Operational Demonstration of the MPS-120 CubeSat High-impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System,” Aerojet General Corp., Redmond, Wash.
  • “Iodine RF Ion Thruster Development,” Busek Company Inc., Natick, Mass.
  • “1U CubeSat Green Propulsion System with Post-Launch Pressurization,” Busek Company Inc.
  • “Advanced Hybrid Rocket Motor Propulsion Unit for CubeSats (PUC),” Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, Calif.
  • “Inductively Coupled Electromagnetic (ICE) Thruster System Development for Small Spacecraft Propulsion,” by MSNW LLC, Redmond, Wash.

Proposals in response to this solicitation came from NASA centers, federally funded research and development centers, universities and industry. Following final contract negotiations, awards are expected to be worth as much as $250,000 for one year, with NASA’s investment totaling approximately $2 million for all awards.

NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program sponsored the solicitation through the agency’s Game Changing Development Program. Flight demonstrations will be funded separately and based on the availability of appropriated funds.

The Game Changing Development, Flight Opportunities and Small Spacecraft Technology Programs are all part of NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate, which is innovating, developing, testing and flying hardware for use in the agency’s future missions.

 




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


 
 

 

Headlines August 28, 2015

Business: Rafale, Mistral on agenda for Le Drian in Malaysia, India¬†– French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is due to visit Malaysia Aug. 30, with talks expected to cover the Rafale fighter jet and Mistral helicopter carrier, website La Tribune reported. U.S. Army to choose new landing craft next year¬†– In line with the Pentagon’s...
 
 

News Briefs August 28, 2015

Boeing plans to lay off some Southern California workers Boeing has announced that it plans to lay off employees at its Southern California-based satellite division. The Los Angeles Times reports that the aerospace giant said Aug. 25 that it will lay off as many as several hundred employees at the El Segundo factory. Boeing says...
 
 

Special tactics Airmen killed in hostile incident

Two special tactics airmen, who were deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel, were killed near Camp Antonik, Afghanistan, Aug. 26. Capt. Matthew D. Roland, 27, and SSgt. Forrest B. Sibley, 31, were at a vehicle checkpoint when two individuals wearing Afghan National Defense and Security Forces uniforms opened fire on them. NATO service members...
 

 

Hurricane Hunters to fly Tropical Storm Erika

The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters are operating out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., flying their state-of-the-art WC-130J Super Hercules into Tropical Storm Erika in support of the National Hurricane Center in Miami. The 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron flew four missions into the tropical storm from their deployed location at St. Croix in the...
 
 
LM-MUOS

U.S. Navy, Lockheed Martin ready to launch MUOS-4 Aug. 31

The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are ready to launch the fourth Mobile User Objective System secure communications satellite, MUOS-4, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Aug. 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V...
 
 

Pentagon probing alleged distorting of war intelligence

The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating an allegation that the military command overseeing the anti-Islamic State campaign distorted or altered intelligence assessments to exaggerate progress against the militant group, a defense official said Aug. 26. The official was not authorized to discuss the probe publicly and so spoke on condition of anonymity. The investigation was...
 




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>