Testing

VIRGIN ORBIT COMPLETES SUCCESSFUL CAPTIVE CARRY TEST FLIGHT WITH “FLYING LAUNCHPAD”

A new sight appeared in the baby-blue skies over Southern California: A specially modified 747-400 carrying a 70-foot-long rocket under its wing soared through the air as part of a successful test flight for Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne. Sir Richard Branson’s small satellite launch company completed a flawless test flight, proving that its carbon-fiber two-stage rocket […]

B-2 TEST STAND ON SCHEDULE FOR TESTING SPACE LAUNCH SYSTEM CORE

A visit to the B-2 Test Stand at Stennis Space Center leaves no doubt – NASA’s return to deep-space missions is drawing closer by the day. And the days until the flight stage that will launch the return is tested at the site are fewer than one may realize. Before launching the new Space Launch […]

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 […]

THE PRESSURE IS ON FOR SLS HARDWARE IN UPCOMING TEST

Engineers are getting ready to put the pressure on hardware for the world’s most powerful rocket, NASA’s Space Launch System, as part of a rigorous test series to ensure each structure can withstand the incredible stresses of launch. “Not only is this series more cost effective by testing several qualification articles together, but it also […]

SUMMER OF TESTING CONCLUDES FOR NASA’S JOURNEY TO MARS

NASA and the agency’s industry team for the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and the Orion spacecraft are concluding a successful summer of testing in preparation for the first integrated flight. The uncrewed, three-week mission, currently designated Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1), is scheduled for late 2018. During the mission, SLS will send Orion about 40,000 miles […]

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 […]

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 […]

SPACEPORT AMERICA WELCOMES WHITEKNIGHT TWO

Virgin Galactic and Spaceport America Operations teams welcomed WhiteKnightTwo back to the clear blue skies of New Mexico on Monday, April 18. “Preparing the commercial operations crew and WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve at Spaceport America is an important milestone on the road to commercial human spaceflight service. It was helpful to work alongside local air traffic […]

ORION SPACESUITS TESTED IN REDUCED GRAVITY ENVIRONMENT

NASA is testing the spacesuits being developed for Orion on the agency’s C9 aircraft, which can fly a series of parabolas to simulate a weightless environment for brief periods. Engineers are using a mockup of Orion’s cabin in the aircraft to evaluate how astronauts can get into their seats during various operational scenarios, perform tasks […]

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