Spacecraft

FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT NASA’S DEEP SPACE ATOMIC CLOCK

NASA is sending a new technology to space in late June that will change the way we navigate our spacecraft – even how we send astronauts to Mars and beyond. Built by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the Deep Space Atomic Clock is a technology demonstration that will help spacecraft navigate autonomously through […]

DEVELOPING A FLIGHT STRATEGY TO LAND HEAVIER VEHICLES ON MARS

The heaviest vehicle to successfully land on Mars is the Curiosity Rover at 1 metric ton, about 2,200 pounds. Sending more ambitious robotic missions to the surface of Mars, and eventually humans, will require landed payload masses in the 5- to 20-ton range. To do that, we need to figure out how to land more […]

MATTEL INC. RELEASES SNC DREAM CHASER SPACECRAFT MATCHBOX TOY

America’s next generation spaceplane will soon be available in stores. Toy maker Mattel, Inc. is releasing a Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Dream Chaser spacecraft Matchbox® toy, which will be sold in stores starting in September. “We are thrilled that Dream Chaser will be inspiring kids everywhere and up close,” said Eren Ozmen, SNC owner, chairwoman […]

RELATIVISTIC ELECTRONS UNCOVERED WITH NASA’S VAN ALLEN PROBES

Earth’s radiation belts, two doughnut-shaped regions of charged particles encircling our planet, were discovered more than 50 years ago, but their behavior is still not completely understood. Now, new observations from NASA’s Van Allen Probes mission show that the fastest, most energetic electrons in the inner radiation belt are not present as much of the […]

NASA SHAKES UP ORION TEST ARTICLE FOR THE JOURNEY TO MARS

Engineers at NASA Glenn’s Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio recently finished a series of tests on a full-size test version of Orion’s service module to verify that it can withstand the vibrations it will experience when it launches and travels into space atop the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The 13-ton service module is […]

NASA BEGINS TESTS TO QUALIFY ORION PARACHUTES FOR MISSION WITH CREW

NASA successfully kicked off a series of tests September 30 to qualify Orion’s parachute system for flights with astronauts, a milestone that will help the agency safely return crew to Earth from deep-space missions. In the skies above the Arizona desert, a C-17 aircraft dropped a dart-shaped test article out of its cargo bay from […]

SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS EVALUATE ORION RADIATION PROTECTION PLAN

When astronauts in Orion venture far beyond Earth into deep space, they will expand humanity’s frontier and push the boundaries of exploration. While the spacecraft is designed with systems and materials to keep the crew safe during their journey, leaving the protection of Earth’s magnetosphere exposes astronauts to a radiation environment in space that scientists […]

A MIXED-REALITY TRIP TO MARS

It’ll be years before the first astronauts leave the launch pad on Earth to journey to Mars. But starting September 19, visitors to the Kennedy Space Center visitor complex in Florida will get a taste of what those astronauts will see when they touch down on the Red Planet. “Destination: Mars,” a mixed-reality experience designed […]

ORION JETTISON MOTOR FIRES TO ENSURE CREW SAFETY FOR THE JOURNEY TO MARS

Aerojet Rocketdyne, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc., successfully tested its third development jettison motor for NASA’s Orion spacecraft at its facility in Rancho Cordova, California. Orion is being built to take humans farther into space than ever before, and the jettison motor is a critical element for ensuring astronaut safety. Leaders from NASA […]

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