Space

January 24, 2014

ATK demonstrates high-power MegaFlex solar array for NASA

atk-solar-array
ATK demonstrated full deployment of a large MegaFlex solar array under a NASA contract to further the development of a high-power system to be used for future robotic and manned exploration missions.

ATK’s 32 feet diameter Solar Electric Propulsion MegaFlex solar array design is capable of generating approximately 40kW of power with two wings when fully populated with solar cells, and it has been considered for near-term mission concepts such as NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission.

The full deployment demonstration of MegaFlex was successfully conducted at ATK’s Goleta, Calf., facility Dec. 9. The system completed validation testing through December before being shipped to NASA’s Glenn Research Center Plum Brook Station for thermal vacuum deployment testing this month.

“NASA’s over-arching objective is to further the development of low mass solar arrays that can be stowed very compactly for high-power SEP systems to be used for future robotic and manned exploration missions,” said David Shanahan, vice president and general manager of ATK Aerospace Group’s Space Components division. “By building on our family of solar arrays, our team was able to develop this breakthrough with affordable innovation and in rapid fashion to support NASA’s far-reaching planning efforts.”

ATK received a $6.4 million contract for the MegaFlex development in October 2012. The phase 1 SEP MegaFlex solar array Tech Development program goal is to further the maturity of an extensible (>250kW total) solar array structure through design development and validation testing, resulting in a technical readiness level of 5+ maturity in preparation for a non-specified Technology Demonstration Mission.

ATK’s MegaFlex solar array is based on ATK’s spaceflight-proven UltraFlex solar array family of platforms that powered NASA’s Mars Phoenix Lander in 2008. The solar array is also in series production of 10 wings for Orbital Science’s Commercial Resupply Services spacecraft and is base-lined on NASA’s recently announced Insight Discovery Mission to Mars awarded to Lockheed Martin. The exceptional performance of smaller (6-foot diameter) solar arrays used to power the Phoenix Lander contributed to the Phoenix mission being extended three times.

The unique circular architecture of the UltraFlex and MegaFlex systems enables very low mass and small stowed volume for multiple space exploration missions.A follow-on Phase 2 Technology Development effort to further develop a flight-ready version of MegaFlex would support a future space flight demonstration to finalize an operational system.




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


 
 

 
lm-orion3

Orion spacecraft transfers To launch abort system facility

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j68mszdhTmY NASA and Lockheed Martin have finished fueling the Orion spacecraft with ammonia, hydrazine and high pressure helium at Kennedy Space Center’s Payload Hazardous Servicing Facili...
 
 

NASA telescopes find clear skies, water vapor on exoplanet

Astronomers using data from three of NASA’s space telescopes – Hubble, Spitzer and Kepler – have discovered clear skies and steamy water vapor on a gaseous planet outside our solar system. The planet is about the size of Neptune, making it the smallest planet from which molecules of any kind have been detected. “This discovery...
 
 
NASA photograph by Aubrey Gemignani

New crew launches to space station to continue scientific research

NASA photgoraph Three crew members are heading to the International Space Station after launching in a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:25 p.m., EDT, Sept. 25. Three crew members representing the...
 

 

NASA expands commercial space program, requests proposals for IS resupply

On the heels of awarding groundbreaking contracts to U.S. commercial space companies to ferry American astronauts to the International Space Station, NASA has released a request for proposals for the next round of contracts for private-sector companies to deliver experiments and supplies to the orbiting laboratory. Under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 RFP, NASA intends...
 
 

ATK offers solid solution to U.S. Air Force’s RD-180 replacement request

ATK has provided the U.S. Air Force an American-made commercial solid rocket solution as a replacement for the RD-180 Russian-made, first-stage engine of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V launch vehicle. “ATK’s solid rocket propulsion solution provides a cost-effective, reliable solution based on advanced technology,” said Blake Larson, president of ATK’s Aerospace ...
 
 

SpaceX breaks ground on Texas rocket launch site

BROWNSVILLE, Texas – The commercial rocket launches that could begin as early as 2016 in the southernmost tip of Texas will be a critical step toward one day establishing a human presence on Mars, SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk said Sept 22. With waves from the Gulf of Mexico crashing just over the dunes...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>