US Aerospace Programs

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by Sven, Oct 9, 2015.

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  1. Falcon

    Falcon Major Staff Member Social Media Team

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    The next couple of generations will probably be colonizing mars. Once scientists discover metals, gases, and other useful materials in large quantities on mars colonization will begin. I am not sure if people will actually end up living there for long periods of time and starting families but there will definitely be habitation centers for miners.


    Weyland-Yutani_Coporation_Logo.jpg
     
  2. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    Why Is NASA Building This Giant Soccer Ball?

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    Because it has a goal! But a different kind of goal to the ones found in soccer: instead, it’s one to put American astronauts on Mars.

    This bright white ball–a radome, at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida–is one of the numerous steps in the ground systems development crucial to achieving that aim. In the photo above you can see technicians building the orb, which is a weatherproof protective enclosure for a new S-band antenna (the thing on the left) which was designed to provide complex tracking capability following liftoff of the agency’s Space Launch System rocket. When it’s finished, it’ll combine voice, television, telemetry, command, tracking and ranging into a single system. Clever.

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    Photos: NASA/Kim Shiflett
     
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  3. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    For the First Time Ever, a Rover Has Ventured Onto a Martian Sand Dune

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    NASA’s Curiosity rover has boldly gone where no robotic probe has gone before: a Martian sand dune.

    NASA’s probe is currently exploring a section of the “Bagnold Dunes,” which is located along the northwestern flank of Mount Sharp. It’s the first time in history that a robotic probe has studied a Martian sand dune up close.

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    This remarkable image (above) shows a super close-up view of an undisturbed patch of Martian sand. These course grains remain on the surface as smaller particles get sifted downwards when the wind blows.

    ...

    Read the rest here.
     
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  4. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    Piece by Piece: NASA Team Moves Closer to Building a 3-D Printed Rocket Engine

    https://www.nasa.gov/centers/marsha...-to-building-a-3-d-printed-rocket-engine.html

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    A team at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama tested 3-D printed rocket engine parts connected together in the same fashion that they would work in a rocket engine. The parts performance rivaled that of traditionally manufactured engine parts. During six separate tests, the engine generated up to 20,000 pounds of thrust. Credits: NASA/MSFC



    A NASA team moved a step closer to building a completely 3-D printed, high-performance rocket engine by manufacturing complex engine parts and test firing them together with cryogenic liquid hydrogen and oxygen to produce 20,000 pounds of thrust.

    Additive manufacturing, or 3-D printing, is a key technology for enhancing space vehicle designs and manufacturing and enabling more affordable exploration missions. The technology has the potential to influence spacecraft built for leaving Earth and spaceships and landers for visiting other destinations. Future plans include performing engine tests with liquid oxygen and methane--key propellants for Martian landers since methane and oxygen production might be possible on the Red Planet.


    “We manufactured and then tested about 75 percent of the parts needed to build a 3-D printed rocket engine,” said Elizabeth Robertson, the project manager for the additively manufactured demonstrator engine at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. “By testing the turbopumps, injectors and valves together, we’ve shown that it would be possible to build a 3-D printed engine for multiple purposes such as landers, in-space propulsion or rocket engine upper stages.”

    Over the last three years, the Marshall team has been working with various vendors to make 3-D printed parts, such as turbopumps and injectors, and test them individually. To test them together, they connected the parts so that they work the same as they do in a real engine. Only they are not packaged together in a configuration that looks like the typical engine you see on a test stand.

    “In engineering lingo, this is called a breadboard engine,” explained Nick Case, the testing lead for the effort. “What matters is that the parts work the same way as they do in a conventional engine and perform under the extreme temperatures and pressures found inside a rocket engine. Theturbopump got its “heartbeat” racing at more than 90,000 revolutions per minute (rpm) and the end result is the flame you see coming out of the thrust chamber to produce over 20,000 pounds of thrust, and an engine like this could produce enough power for an upper stage of a rocket or a Mars lander.”

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    Engineers prepare a 3-D printed breadboard engine made up of 75 percent of the parts needed to build a rocket engine for a test at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.Credits: NASA/MSFC/Emmett Given

    Seven tests were performed with the longest tests lasting 10 seconds. During the tests, the 3-D printed demonstrator engine experienced all the extreme environments inside a flight rocket engine where fuel is burned at greater than 6,000 degrees Fahrenheit (3,315 degrees Celsius) to produce thrust. The turbopump delivers the fuel in the form of liquid hydrogen cooled below 400 degrees Fahrenheit (-240 degrees Celsius). These tests were performed with cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, propellants that are mainstays of spaceship propulsion systems. Even if methane and oxygen prove to be the Mars propellant of choice, the propellant combination of cryogenic liquid hydrogen and oxygen tests the limits of 3-D printed hardware because it produces the most extreme temperatures and exposes parts to cryogenic hydrogen, which can cause embrittlement. In addition to testing with methane, the team plans to add other key components to the demonstrator engine including a cooled combustion chamber and nozzle and a turbopump for liquid oxygen.

    “These NASA tests drive down the costs and risks associated with using additive manufacturing, which is a relatively new process for making aerospace quality parts,” said Robertson. “Vendors who had never worked with NASA learned how to make parts robust enough for rocket engines. What we’ve learned through this project can now be shared with American companies and our partners.”

    To make each part, a design is entered into a 3-D printer's computer. The printer then builds each part by layering metal powder and fusing it together with a laser – a process known as selective laser melting. The 3-D printed turbopump, one of the more complex parts of the engine, had 45 percent fewer parts than similar pumps made with traditional welding and assembly techniques. The injector had over 200 fewer parts than traditionally manufactured injectors, and it incorporated features that have never been used before because they are only possible with additive manufacturing. Complex parts like valves that normally would take more than a year to manufacture were built by in a few months. This made it possible to get the parts built and assembled on the test stand much sooner than if they had been procured and made with traditional methods. Marshall engineers designed the fuel pump and its components and leveraged the expertise of five suppliers to build the parts using 3-D printing processes.

    “This new manufacturing process really opened the design space and allowed for part geometries that would be impossible with traditional machining or casting methods,” said David Eddleman, one Marshall’s propulsion designers. “For the valve designs on this engine, we used more efficient structures in the piece parts that resulted in optimized performance.”





    All data on materials characterization and performance for these parts will be available in NASA’s Materials and Processes Technical Information System, called MAPTIS, which is available to approved users. To learn more about MAPTIS or request access, visit: http://maptis.nasa.gov/
     
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  5. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    On Oct. 12-13, 2015, NASA astronaut Scott Kelly shared a series of seventeen photographs taken from the International Space Station during a flyover of Australia. This first photo of the series was shared on Twitter with the caption, "#EarthArt in one pass over the #Australian continent. Picture 1 of 17. #YearInSpace".
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  6. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    Next Gen Space Suit - NDX-1 being tested:

    University of North Dakota graduate researcher Travis Nelson, wearing an NDX-1 spacesuit, practices scooping up objects and placing them into containers inside the SwampWorks regolith bin at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The university team is analyzing the prototype suit’s ability to protect astronauts while allowing them the flexibility to dig samples and perform other tasks in regolith, a fine, powdery soil similar to that found on Mars.

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  7. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    SpaceX Finally Manages to Land an Orbital Rocket Back on Earth

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    Right on schedule, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster made a beautiful soft landing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station moments ago. It’s a huge moment in the history of spaceflight, marking the first time a rocket has ascended into orbit and landed back on Earth.

    The prospects for the reusable rocket system SpaceX has been chasing for over a year are that much better.

    At 8:29 pm ET, SpaceX launched its upgraded, Falcon 9 rocket carrying a payload of 11 Orbcomm communication satellites into low Earth orbit from Space Launch Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Minutes later, the second stage separated from the first and continued to propel its payload into higher orbit.

    Ten minutes after launch, the rocket’s first stage landed smoothly back at SpaceX’s new Landing Zone 1 complex, located several miles away from Launch Pad 40.

    A new deep cryo liquid oxygen fuel system featuring cooler, denser propellant, as well as several engine upgrades, translated into a 33% overall performance boost for the Falcon 9 that launched tonight. This was the also the very first SpaceX rocket that held enough fuel to attempt a controlled descent after a relatively high-altitude satellite launch mission.

    First stage boosters are currently discarded, but by saving and reusing them, SpaceX hopes to dramatically reduce the cost of launching payloads into orbit. Indeed, SpaceX founder Elon Musk sees reusable rocket technology as a cornerstone of any attempt to colonize Mars.

    But before we head to the Red Planet: tonight’s successful launch and landing positions SpaceX firmly back at the front of the commercial space race. The rocket company received its first commercial crew order from NASA earlier this fall, and there’s still one more order up for grabs between SpaceX and Boeing. Meanwhile, SpaceX has plenty of other customers in line who are waiting to send payloads up to orbit.

    Update 8:50 pm: All 11 Orbcomm satellites have successfully deployed. The mission was a resounding success!

    ...

    No attempted landing on a floating barge, but still impressive.
     
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  8. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    45th SW launches ORBCOMM, lands first stage booster

    CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (AFNS) --
    The 45th Space Wing successfully supported the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket during its mission to put ORBCOMM's OG2 communications satellites into orbit Dec. 21.

    Nine minutes following the launch was the first-ever successful landing of the Falcon 9's first stage booster at Landing Zone 1, formerly Complex 13, at on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

    "Today clearly placed the exclamation mark on 2015, by closing out another successful year for the Eastern Range in historic fashion," said Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, the 45th SW commander and launch decision authority. "This launch and flyback speaks volumes to the hard work this team puts in every single day driving innovation and success. This was a first for us at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and I can't even begin to describe the excitement the team feels right now having been a part of this historic first-stage rocket landing."

    The Falcon 9 launch was the second and final launch of ORBCOMM OG2 from Cape Canaveral AFS. The OG2 is a commercial satellite network that uses low-Earth orbit satellites to provide reliable and cost-effective machine-to-machine communications to and from in the most remote areas of the world.

    Before any spacecraft can launch from Cape Canaveral AFS, a combined team of military, government civilians and contractors from across the 45th SW provide the mission assurance to ensure a safe and successful liftoff for their range customers.

    Eastern Range instrumentation provides radar tracking, telemetry, communications, command/control sites, camera and optical sites, and other support capabilities such as meteorology. Instrumentation is necessary to safely and successfully conduct civil, commercial, and national security spacelift operations and ballistic missile tests and evaluation. Eastern Range assets are based on dependable designs and technology and are arrayed in a highly efficient architecture designed to ensure safety of the launch environment and the public at large.

    http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDispl...unches-orbcomm-lands-first-stage-booster.aspx
     
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  9. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    But that's not a space craft or part of a space program:confused:??? I know, but I didn't know that NASA flew F-15s. Deal with it:cool:

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    Armstrong Flight Research Center’s F-15D Eagle Follows OLYMPEX Science Mission

    NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center’s F-15D Eagle #897, flown by pilot Troy Asher with videographer Lori Losey in the back seat, serves as a chase vehicle for NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory on the Olympic Mountain Experiment (OLYMPEX) science mission, Nov. 10, 2015.

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    Here, so you'll stop complaining about the previous pic, is one from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter:

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    Starburst Spider

    Mars' seasonal cap of carbon dioxide ice has eroded many beautiful terrains as it sublimates (goes directly from ice to vapor) every spring. In the region where the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter took this image on Feb. 4, 2009, we see troughs that form a starburst pattern.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
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  10. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    ATK Launch Systems Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Orbital ATK Inc., Magna, Utah, has been awarded a $46,968,005 other transaction agreement for the development of three rocket propulsion system prototypes for the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. This agreement implements Section 1604 of the Fiscal Year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which requires the development of a next-generation rocket propulsion system that will transition away from the use of the Russian-supplied RD-180 engine to a domestic alternative for National Security Space launches. An other transaction agreement was used in lieu of a standard procurement contract in order to leverage on-going investment by industry in rocket propulsion systems. This other transaction agreement requires shared cost investment with ATK Launch Systems Inc. for the development of prototypes of the GEM 63XL strap-on solid rocket motor, the Common Booster Segment (CBS) solid rocket motor, and an Extendable Nozzle for Blue Origin’s BE-3U upper stage engine. These rocket propulsion systems are intended for use on an Orbital ATK next generation launch vehicle. The GEM 63XL strap-on solid rocket motor is also intended for use on United Launch Alliance’s Vulcan launch vehicle. The locations of performance are Magna, Utah; Iuka, Mississippi; Chandler, Arizona; and Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. The work is expected to be completed no later than Dec. 30, 2019. Air Force fiscal 2015 research, development, test and evaluation funds in the amount of $46,968,005 are being obligated at the time of award. ATK Launch Systems Inc. is contributing $31,130,360 at the time of award. The total potential government investment, including all options, is $180,238,059. The total potential investment by ATK Launch Systems Inc., including all options, is $124,830,693. This award is the result of a competitive acquisition with multiple offers received. The Launch Systems Enterprise Directorate, Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, California is the contracting activity (FA8811-16-9-0002)

    http://www.defense.gov/News/Contracts/Contract-View/Article/642983

    @Technofox I think we could move this thread to another section as it doesn't solely contain pictures and videos. We have alot of information in here. I think you could make it a sticky thread too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
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