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NASA awards Loral contract for laser comm payload flight

Posted April 19, 2012 by

NASA’s Space Technology Program has awarded Space System/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., a $3 million contract to initiate the process of hosting a space laser communications relay demonstration terminal payload aboard a Loral commercial satellite, which launches in 2016. The agreement marks the first time NASA has contracted to fly a payload on an American-manufactured…

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NASA awards aircraft maintenance, operations support contract

Posted April 19, 2012 by

NASA has selected DynCorp International LLC of Fort Worth, Texas, to provide aircraft maintenance and operational support services under a contract potentially worth $176.9 million. DynCorp will perform the work at Ellington Field at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston; NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va.; NASA facilities in El Paso, Texas, and Edwards…

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Air Force photograph by Val Gempis
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Discovery flies for last time, ends chapter in aerospace history

Posted April 18, 2012 by by A1C Alexander W. Riedel

After almost 27 years and 39 flights in Earth’s orbit, the space shuttle Discovery arrived at Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C., April 17 on its...

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NASA continues Orion parachute testing for future test flight

Posted April 18, 2012 by

NASA April 17 successfully conducted a drop test of the Orion crew vehicle’s entry, descent and landing parachutes high above the Arizona desert in preparation for the vehicle’s orbital flight test, Exploration Flight Test -1, in 2014. Orion will carry astronauts deeper into space than ever before, provide emergency abort capability, sustain the crew during…

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Northrop Grumman’s key spacecraft structure for Webb telescope passes design review

Posted April 18, 2012 by

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope continues to move ahead rapidly, with Northrop Grumman completing engineering design of the structure that supports the sunshield and keeps it aligned. The sunshield support structure has passed its Critical Design Review and is now ready to be manufactured. The structure will hold the sunshield in…

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Aerojet delivers 50th flight-ready solid rocket booster to ULA

Posted April 18, 2012 by

Aerojet has delivered the 50th Solid Rocket Booster to United Launch Alliance in support of the Atlas V launch vehicle. Aerojet is a GenCorp company. The 50th-delivered SRB, along with two additional boosters, is scheduled to help launch a future mission in 2013. Aerojet won the Atlas V SRB contract…

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NASA/SpaceX launch, mission to space station slated

Posted April 17, 2012 by

Following the completion of NASA’s flight readiness review, the second SpaceX demonstration launch for NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program is scheduled for April 30. A Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule will liftoff from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. There is a single instantaneous launch…

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Hubble’s 22nd anniversary image shows turbulent star-making region

Posted April 17, 2012 by

Several million young stars are vying for attention in a new NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of a raucous stellar breeding ground in 30 Doradus, a star-forming complex located in the heart of the Tarantula...

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NASA, Library of Congress select first astrobiology chair

Posted April 17, 2012 by

NASA and the Library of Congress have announced the selection of David H. Grinspoon to be the first Baruch S. Blumberg NASA-Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology. The chair, selected through an international competition, is named for the late Nobel Laureate and founding director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, Baruch “Barry” Blumberg. Applications are solicited…

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Propellant tank installed

Posted April 17, 2012 by

This photo taken March 3 shows the large hydrazine propellant tank prior to integration with the core structure of the MAVEN spacecraft at a Lockheed Martin clean room near Denver, Colo. The tank will hold 450 gallons of hydrazine propellant and is 6 feet 2 inches tall. The tank was built by ATK Aerospace…

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