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Sierra Nevada Corporation announces new space plans for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center

Posted January 24, 2014 by

In the latest example of NASA Kennedy Space Center’s transformation into a multi-user spaceport, Sierra Nevada Corporation of Louisville, Colo., announced Jan. 23 steps it will take to prepare for a November 2016 orbital flight of its Dream Chaser spacecraft from Florida’s Space Coast. The announcement included the purchase of an Atlas V rocket from…

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ATK demonstrates high-power MegaFlex solar array for NASA

Posted January 24, 2014 by

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…

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NASA’s Opportunity Rover yields more data on changes to Mars’ environment

Posted January 24, 2014 by

New findings from rock samples collected and examined by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity have confirmed an ancient wet environment that was milder and older than the acidic and oxidizing conditions told by rocks the rover examined previously.

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NASA offers space tech grants to early career university faculty

Posted January 24, 2014 by

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate is seeking proposals from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of outstanding early career faculty members who are beginning their independent careers. The grants will sponsor research in specific, high priority areas of interest to America’s space program. Aligned with NASA’s Space Technology Roadmaps and priorities identified by the National Research…

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NASA launches third generation communications satellite

Posted January 24, 2014 by

NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite L (TDRS-L), the 12th spacecraft in the agency’s TDRS Project, is safely in orbit after launching at 9:33 p.m., EST, Jan. 23 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Ground controllers report the satellite – part of a network providing…

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NASA set for big year in Earth science with five new missions

Posted January 22, 2014 by

For the first time in more than a decade, five NASA Earth science missions will be launched into space in the same year, opening new and improved remote eyes to monitor our changing planet.

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NASA receives Mars 2020 rover instrument proposals for evaluation

Posted January 22, 2014 by

NASA has received 58 proposals for science and exploration technology instruments to fly aboard the agency’s next Mars rover in 2020, twice the usual number submitted for instrument competitions in the recent past, and an indicator of the extraordinary interest in exploration of the Red Planet. The agency is beginning a thorough review to determine…

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NASA Commercial Crew Partner SpaceX tests Dragon parachute system

Posted January 22, 2014 by

Engineers and safety specialists from NASA and Space Exploration Technologies gathered in Morro Bay, Calif., in late December to demonstrate how the company’s Dragon spacecraft’s parachute system would function in the event of an emergency on the launch pad or during ascent. The test was part of an optional milestone under NASA’s Commercial Crew Integrated…

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NASA announces partnership opportunities for U.S. commercial lunar lander capabilities

Posted January 17, 2014 by

Building on the progress of NASA’s partnerships with the U.S. commercial space industry to develop new spacecraft and rockets capable of delivering cargo, and soon, astronauts to low Earth orbit, the agency is now looking for opportunities to spur commercial cargo transportation capabilities to the surface of the moon. NASA has released an announcement seeking…

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NASA tests Orion spacecraft parachute jettison over Arizona

Posted January 17, 2014 by

Engineers testing the parachute system for NASA’s Orion spacecraft increased the complexity of their tests Jan. 16, adding the jettison of hardware designed to keep the capsule safe during flight. The test was the first to give engineers in-air data on the performance of the system that jettisons Orion’s forward bay cover. The cover is…

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