Space

May 21, 2014

Three Northrop Grumman-built spacecraft mark on orbit anniversaries in 2014

Engineers at Northrop Grumman integrate Chandra while building it for NASA.

 
Two scientific spacecraft and a military communications payload produced by Northrop Grumman are observing major on orbit anniversaries this year as they continue to perform for many additional years beyond their design lives.

* Chandra X-ray Observatory: This space telescope recently spotted the longest object ever seen in the Milky Way Galaxy – a jet of high-energy particles 37 light years in length spewing from a runaway pulsar. A spinning neutron star, the pulsar itself was moving as fast as 5 million mph.

On July 23, Chandra is expected to reach 15 years on orbit, or three times its five-year design life. NASA calls Chandra one of its “Great Observatories.”

* Earth Observing System (EOS) Aura: Through the help of Aura’s satellite observations, NASA last year released its first study to examine how much more air pollution people living in large cities are exposed to compared to those living in less populous areas.

The study, which may be used to formulate air pollution control policies, revealed how pollution-population relationships vary based on what region of the world the city is located. NASA says Aura is a powerful tool in its “A Train” convoy of environmental monitoring satellites.

* Milstar-1 Payload: The U.S. Air Force’s venerable Milstar-1 satellite, carrying a protected communications payload from Northrop Grumman, marked 20 years on orbit Feb. 7, which is twice its 10-year design life.

Northrop Grumman engineers work on NASA’s EOS Aura climate monitoring satellite during integration and testing prior to launch in 2004.

In the payload’s lifetime, it has provided more than 166,000 hours of service with more than 99 percent availability. The Air Force says Milstar is known as “the FedEx of communications systems – when it absolutely, positively has to be there, Milstar is the system.”

“Make no mistake about the value of longevity on orbit or the significance of these achievements,” said Jeff Grant, vice president and general manager, space systems division, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “They have a combined 25 additional years of on orbit performance. Chandra, Aura and the Milstar-1 payload are a great value to taxpayers and valuable resources to our military services and to science.”

About Chandra, EOS Aura and Milstar-1

The Chandra X-ray Observatory, launched July 23, 1999, collects data about the life cycle of stars and the role of supermassive black holes in the formation of galaxies. One of NASA’s Great Observatories, Chandra is managed by NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center for the Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Northrop Grumman led an industry team as the telescope’s prime contractor.

Aura is Latin for breeze and was launched July 15, 2004. It carries four instruments that monitor global climate change, most notably the Earth’s ozone layer and the life-sustaining atmosphere’s chemistry and dynamics. Aura is the second Northrop Grumman-built Earth Observing System satellite built for NASA to study the environment and climate change; it is the third in NASA’s EOS series.

The first Milstar protected communications satellite, launched Feb. 7. 1994, gave U.S. national and military leaders a new capability: assured communications day or night, without detection or interception under any level of military conflict. Northrop Grumman provided Milstar payloads to Lockheed Martin, system prime contractor.
 

Engineers integrate and test a Milstar assured communications payload.




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


 
 

 

Headlines November 26, 2014

News: When Hagel leaves, new SecDef faces big questions about the military’s future - President Obama’s new pick to run the Pentagon will face a dizzying set of challenges affecting the Defense Department’s mission, budget and culture. Who will be the next Secretary of Defense?- Following the Nov. 24 surprise announcement from the White House, the...
 
 

News Briefs November 26, 2014

Navy to decommission two more ships in Puget Sound The Navy recently decommissioned the guided missile frigate USS Ingraham at Everett, Wash. It will be towed to Bremerton and scrapped. The Daily Herald reports the Navy also plans to decommission another ship at the Everett homeport and also one stationed in Bremerton. Naval Station Everett...
 
 

NASA airborne campaigns tackle climate questions from Africa to Arctic

NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into how different aspects of the interconnected Earth system influence climate change. NASA photograph The DC-8 airborne laboratory is one of several NASA aircraft that will fly in support of five new investigations into...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend

16T Pitch Boom reactivated to support wind tunnel tests

Air Force photograph by Rick Goodfriend The Pitch Boom at the AEDC 16-foot transonic wind tunnel (16T) was recently reactivated. This model support system is used in conjunction with a roll mechanism to provide a combined pitch...
 
 

Northrop Grumman supports U.S. Air Force Minuteman missile test launch

Northrop Grumman recently supported the successful flight testing of the U.S. Air Force’s Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile weapon system. The operational flight test was conducted as part of the Air Force Global Strike Command’s Force Development Evaluation Program. This program demonstrates and supports assessment of the accuracy, availability and reliability of the...
 
 
army-detector

Scientists turn handheld JCAD into a dual-use chemical, explosives detector

Scientists at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., proved it is possible to teach an old dog new tricks by adding the ability to detect explosive materials to the Joint Chemical Age...
 




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>