Tag Archive: NASA

Jan 14 2016

Sierra Nevada gets a piece of the CRS-2 pie

NASA awards ISS cargo transport contracts. SpaceX, Sierra Nevada, and Orbital ATK all were winners, with 6 cargo flights to the ISS guaranteed for each. The agency applied knowledge gained from the first commercial resupply contracts with Orbital ATK and SpaceX and required a number of key enhancements for these contracts. This includes starting with …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2016/01/14/sierra-nevada-gets-a-piece-of-the-crs-2-pie/

Jan 12 2016

Latest from Pluto

When one has spent the last week and a half gallivanting about eating bon-bons and such, it always pays to swing by NASA’s New Horizons page because there is usually something cool there. I was not disappointed: ‘X’ Marks a Curious Corner on Pluto’s Icy Plains. They postulate that big chunks of liquid nitrogen slowly …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2016/01/12/latest-from-pluto/

Dec 28 2015

Probably a good thing wrapped in a bad thing

NASA got a huge bump in the recent Omnibus bill that was passed on the 18th: FY2016 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Clears Congress, Signed by President, which resulted in a gargantuan $1.3 billion increase over its 2015 budget. I was going to blog about days ago, but it was signed on the day after my boss …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/28/probably-a-good-thing-wrapped-in-a-bad-thing/

Dec 24 2015

You can’t spell Santa without NASA

An early Christmas present to space and astronomy geeks: NASA offers sneak peak at Christmas Eve asteroid. This is asteroid 2003 SD220: It’s about 3600 feet long and passed about 6.8 million miles (about 28 lunar distances) from Earth today this morning (about 5:08am this morning Pacific time). Plugging in amean diameter of 0.7 km, …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/24/you-cant-spell-santa-without-nasa/

Dec 23 2015

A heck of a commute, but look at the view!!

First High-Resolution Images Released of Ceres From Dawn’s New Lowest Orbit. Dawn is now in its final orbit at 240 miles above the surface of Ceres. Resolution is about at 120 feet / pixel.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/23/a-heck-of-a-commute-but-look-at-the-view/

Dec 20 2015

Still less than halfway done downloading data

NASA’s New Horizon page. New Findings from NASA’s New Horizons Shape Understanding of Pluto and its Moons. Key to understanding activity on Pluto is the role of the deep layer of solid nitrogen and other volatile ices that fill the left side of Pluto’s ‘heart’—a vast, 620-mile (1,000-kilometer) -wide basin, informally named Sputnik Planum. New …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/20/still-less-than-halfway-done-downloading-data/

Dec 19 2015

Congrats to Boeing

NASA orders second Boeing Crew Mission to ISS. Not unexpected (2 missions per contractor is guaranteed in the CCtCAP), but still a major milestone for both NASA and Boeing. Congrats to both!! This is the third in a series of four guaranteed orders NASA will make under the Commercial Crew Transportation Capability (CCtCap) contracts. Boeing …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/19/congrats-to-boeing/

Dec 09 2015

Latest Pluto Images

From NASA’s New Horizons mission page:

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/12/09/latest-pluto-images-2/

Nov 19 2015

Boeing on track for Apr 2017 Starliner launch

Boeing and NASA progress through critical CST-100 Starliner milestones. The first crewed launch will then follow in July 2017. The article goes into more details about the testing, integration and certifying that needs to be done. This is the first time, though, that I’ve seen months attached to the launch date forecasts…which likely means that …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/19/boeing-on-track-for-apr-2017-starliner-launch/

Nov 16 2015

Latest Pluto images

From NASA’s New Horizons’ page.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/16/latest-pluto-images/

Nov 11 2015

This is pretty significant

Senate Passes Compromise Commercial Space Bill. Here are the major provisions (quoted word-for-word from the article), and my impressions: Provision Analysis/Opinion Formally extends operation of the International Space Station from 2020 through 2024. President Obama announced last year that he was extending it until then, but this will make it law. Canada and Russia have …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/11/this-is-pretty-significant/

Nov 10 2015

Slides from New Horizons news conference available

Science Results from the New Horizons Encounter with Pluto. Pretty cool that they made this available. Some of the more interesting images: Pluto’s moons Pluto’s geology Cratering on Pluto Much more at the link — more than enough to satisfy your Pluto jones. Related: And here’s a video of the motion of Pluto’s moons:

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/10/slides-from-new-horizons-news-conference-available/

Nov 09 2015

Dawn begins decent to final orbit

NASA’s Dawn Spirals to Final Science Orbit, Poised to Return Up-Close Images. It has begun transitioning from its third orbit (High Altitude Mapping Orbit (HAMO)) to its final orbit (Low Altitude Mapping Orbit (LAMO)) It should reach LAMO in mid-December. They’re still not sure what exactly those bright spots are.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/09/dawn-begins-decent-to-final-orbit/

Nov 08 2015

New Horizons on course for 2014 MU69

New Horizons Completes Targeting Maneuvers. New Horizons completed the fourth of four maneuvers to set it on a course for 2014 MU69, and should intercept it on 1 January 2019. The maneuvers didn’t speed or slow the spacecraft as much as they “pushed” New Horizons sideways, giving it a 57 meter per second (128 mile …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/08/new-horizons-on-course-for-2014-mu69/

Nov 08 2015

Boeing out of the running for CRS2 contract

NASA drops Boeing from race for $3.5 billion cargo contract. I’m kinda surprised, though to be honest, I haven’t had a chance to dive into this like I did with the CCtCAP announcement. Highlights from the article: Boeing’s cargo version of their CST-100 Starliner is no longer in the running, based on a NASA letter …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/08/boeing-out-of-the-running-for-crs2-contract/

Nov 04 2015

NASA has Astronaut job vacancies

Be an Astronaut: NASA seeks explorers for future space missions. Awwwwww Yeahya!! They’ll start accepting applications on 14 Dec 2015, and will make announcements in mid-2017. The job applications will be posted here. Seems weird to apply as an Astronaut to NASA via the standard USAjobs.gov web site. I guess the keyword is “Astronaut”??? And …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/04/nasa-has-astronaut-job-vacancies/

Nov 03 2015

NASA concludes Cygnus launch failure investigation

AJ-26 from NASA report

NASA Concludes Antares Orb-3 Investigation as Cygnus Prepares for Return to Space Station on Atlas-V. The report itself is proprietary, but NASA published an executive summary. Note: This is a diagram published in the NASA Executive Summary. NASA was able to identify a single technical root cause, but did identify the following potential Technical Root …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/11/03/nasa-concludes-cygnus-launch-failure-investigation/

Oct 30 2015

Cassini’s close encounter with Enceladus

Here are some raw images from NASA’s Cassini page: ============== Sorry for the general lack of activity today. It was Senior night for my youngest daughter (Captain of the Cheer squad), so didn’t get much time today to blog.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/10/30/cassinis-close-encounter-with-enceladus/

Oct 29 2015

Animation of Cassini Enceladus Flyby

Freaky music! Cassini survived the pass through Enceladus’ plumes with no incident.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/10/29/animation-of-cassini-enceladus-flyby/

Oct 27 2015

New Horizons completes longest maneuver in its history

New Horizons Team Reports Success In Second Of Four Targeting Maneuvers. The maneuver lasted 25 minutes. The final two maneuvers will take place on 28 Oct and 4 Nov. The 2014 MU69 mission hasn’t been formally approved yet, but I can’t believe that it won’t be. Video comes complete with creepy robot voice just in …

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/10/27/new-horizons-completes-longest-maneuver-in-its-history/

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