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.


 
 

 

President proclaims Memorial Day as ‘Day of Prayer’

President Barack Obama May 22 saluted the service and sacrifices of America’s military members–past and present–and proclaimed Memorial Day, May 25, 2015, “as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11 a.m. of that day as a time during which people may unite in prayer....
 
 

Air Force leaders’ Memorial Day message

Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III send the following Memorial Day message to the Airmen of the Air Force and their families: To the Airmen of the United States Air Force and their Families: On Memorial Day, Americans pause in solemn remembrance...
 
 

Headlines May 22, 2015

News: Second Marine killed in Hawaii Osprey crash identified - Marine Corps officials have identified the second Marine to die as a result of the May 17 MV-22B Osprey crash as Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan of Maricopa, Ariz.   Business: Israel defense exports plunge to seven-year low - Israeli defense sales last year plunged to their...
 

 

News Briefs May 22, 2015

Ukrainian officer hit with third charge in Russia A third charge has been filed against a Ukrainian military officer who has been behind bars in Moscow for nearly a year over the deaths of two Russian journalists in Ukraine. Nadezhda Savchenko, who worked as a spotter for Ukrainian troops fighting separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine,...
 
 
Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez

Smart-mortar will help Soldiers more effectively hit targets

Army photograph by C. Todd Lopez Nick Baldwin and Evan Young, researchers with the Armament Research Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, discuss the 120mm Guided Enhanced Fragmentation Mortar ...
 
 

Air Force assigns new chief scientist

The Air Force announced the service’s new chief scientist to serve as a science and technology adviser to the secretary of the Air Force and the chief of staff of the Air Force, May 21. Dr. Greg Zacharias will be the 35th chief scientist and is ready to “dive in” to his new role. “I...
 




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>