Space

June 25, 2014

ATK awarded contract to provide UltraFlex solar arrays for upcoming Mars InSight mission

This artist’s concept depicts the InSight Mars lander at work studying the interior of Mars, powered by ATK’s UltraFlex arrays.

ATK has received a contract from Lockheed Martin Space Systems to provide the UltraFlex solar arrays for NASA’s InSight Lander mission, which will place a lander on Mars in 2016 to study the red planet’s deep interior. The mission will give us a better understanding of the processes that shaped the rocky planets of the inner solar system, including Earth, more than four billion years ago.

UltraFlex is known for the unique round fan-fold design that enables much higher performance than typical spacecraft solar arrays, said David Shanahan, vice president and general manager of ATK’s Space Components division. With spacecraft facing increasingly ambitious low-mass and constrained packaging requirements, ATK’s arrays deliver all the power our customers need with this enabling technology.

The UltraFlex design successfully passed critical design review in February 2014. ATK is now fabricating the InSight arrays for testing later this year and delivery in 2015.

The design is based on the array that powered the successful Mars Phoenix Lander in 2008. Similar versions of the UltraFlex design are being used for Orbital Science’s Commercial Resupply System (CRS) spacecraft; the first of many CRS UltraFlex arrays are planned to be flown later this year on CRS.

A larger, higher-power evolution of UltraFlex, called MegaFlex, has recently completed development testing at NASA’s Plum Brook Station. MegaFlex was designed for high-power spacecraft such as those using future solar electric propulsion systems being developed by NASA for deep space exploration missions, including the Asteroid Redirect Mission.

InSight, an abbreviation for Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport, will use sophisticated geophysical instruments to delve deep beneath the surface of Mars, detecting the fingerprints of the processes of terrestrial planet formation, as well as measuring the planet’s vital signs its pulse (seismology), temperature (heat flow probe) and reflexes (precision tracking).

InSight is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. Lockheed Martin will build and operate the spacecraft.




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


 
 

 

Headlines April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




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>