“CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., July 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Space shuttle Endeavour and its seven-member crew launched at 6:03 p.m. EDT Wednesday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission will deliver the final segment to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency‘s Kibo laboratory and a new crew member to the International Space Station.
“Endeavour’s 16-day mission includes five spacewalks and the installation of two platforms outside the Japanese module. One platform is permanent and will allow experiments to be directly exposed to space. The other is an experiment storage pallet that will be detached and returned with the shuttle. During the mission, Kibo’s robotic arm will transfer three experiments from the pallet to the exposed platform. Future experiments also can be moved to the platform from the inside of the station using the laboratory’s airlock.”
“SUNNYVALE, Calif., March 21 /PRNewswire/ — The fourth and final pair of massive solar arrays, built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) at its Space Systems facility in Sunnyvale, have been installed on the International Space Station by the crew of the space shuttle Discovery. The two new arrays have been deployed and are generating electricity.”
“MINNEAPOLIS, March 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Alliant Techsystems (NYSE: ATK) successfully conducted the first test firing of the igniter that will be used on NASA‘s Ares I first stage. Today’s test at ATK’s Promontory, Utah facility generated a flame almost 200 feet in length. When ignited inside the world’s largest solid rocket booster, this flame will trigger the liftoff of the rocket that will send future astronauts into orbit. Today’s test prepares the way for the first ground test of the fully-developed Ares I first stage, a five-segment derivative of the Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motor, scheduled for next fall.
The Ares I igniter is the same flight-proven design used on the Shuttle’s Solid Rocket Boosters (SRBs). This igniter, however, takes advantage of upgraded materials to provide higher performance in the liner and insulation. The new liner thermal properties are equivalent to those of the shuttle, but its stress/strain capability is 100 percent greater. The new insulation is also 20 percent lighter than the insulation currently on the Space Shuttle fleet, providing valuable weight savings and higher performance. Initial data showed the igniter performed as expected.”
“The Ares Roll Control System Advanced Development Program was awarded in the spring of 2007 for development based on Aerojet‘s heritage MR-80 600 lbf-class monopropellant rocket engine. The MR80 had previously flown on the NASA Viking missions to Mars, where it provided throttling of greater than 70:1 for a terminal descent and soft landing. The thruster was redesigned for pulsing application with the new valve and Aerojet also implemented a series of product improvements to reduce the recurring unit costs of the engines. The design improvements were obtained using the Design for Manufacturability and Assembly (DFMA) process which is part of Aerojet’s overall Operational Excellence initiative.”
“(…)Rocket hardware critical for the test, known as Ares I-X, was completed this week at NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va. The flight of Ares I-X will be an important step toward verifying analysis tools and techniques needed to develop Ares I, NASA’s next crew launch vehicle.” – Ron Bailey