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 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>