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November 18, 2017

NASA Launches NOAA Weather Satellite Aboard United Launch Alliance Rocket to Improve Forecasts

NOAA Weather Satellite Aboard United Launch Alliance Rocket
At Vandenberg Air Force Base's Space Launch Complex 2, the Delta II rocket engines roar to life. The 1:47 a.m. PST (4:47 a.m. EST), liftoff begins the Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, mission. JPSS is the first in a series four next-generation environmental satellites in a collaborative program between NOAA and NASA.
Credits: NASA

NASA has successfully launched for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the first in a series of four highly advanced polar-orbiting satellites, equipped with next-generation technology and designed to improve the accuracy of U.S. weather forecasts out to seven days.

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) lifted off on a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, at 1:47 a.m. PST Saturday.

Approximately 63 minutes after launch the solar arrays on JPSS-1 deployed and the spacecraft was operating on its own power. JPSS-1 will be renamed NOAA-20 when it reaches its final orbit. Following a three-month checkout and validation of its five advanced instruments, the satellite will become operational.

"Launching JPSS-1 underscores NOAA's commitment to putting the best possible satellites into orbit, giving our forecasters -- and the public -- greater confidence in weather forecasts up to seven days in advance, including the potential for severe, or impactful weather," said Stephen Volz, director of NOAA's Satellite and Information Service.

JPSS-1 will join the joint NOAA/NASA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite in the same orbit and provide meteorologists with observations of atmospheric temperature and moisture, clouds, sea-surface temperature, ocean color, sea ice cover, volcanic ash, and fire detection. The data will improve weather forecasting, such as predicting a hurricane's track, and will help agencies involved with post-storm recovery by visualizing storm damage and the geographic extent of power outages.

"Emergency managers increasingly rely on our forecasts to make critical decisions and take appropriate action before a storm hits," said Louis W. Uccellini, director of NOAA's National Weather Service. "Polar satellite observations not only help us monitor and collect information about current weather systems, but they provide data to feed into our weather forecast models."

JPSS-1 has five instruments, each of which is significantly upgraded from the instruments on NOAA's previous polar-orbiting satellites. The more-detailed observations from JPSS will allow forecasters to make more accurate predictions. JPSS-1 data will also improve recognition of climate patterns that influence the weather, such as El Nino and La Nina.

The JPSS program is a partnership between NOAA and NASA through which they will oversee the development, launch, testing and operation all the satellites in the series. NOAA funds and manages the program, operations and data products. NASA develops and builds the instruments, spacecraft and ground system and launches the satellites for NOAA. JPSS-1 launch management was provided by NASA's Launch Services Program based at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. "Today's launch is the latest example of the strong relationship between NASA and NOAA, contributing to the advancement of scientific discovery and the improvement of the U.S. weather forecasting capability by leveraging the unique vantage point of space to benefit and protect humankind," said Sandra Smalley, director of NASA's Joint Agency Satellite Division.

Ball Aerospace designed and built the JPSS-1 satellite bus and Ozone Mapping and Profiler Suite instrument, integrated all five of the spacecraft's instruments and performed satellite-level testing and launch support. Raytheon Corporation built the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite and the Common Ground System. Harris Corporation built the Cross-track Infrared Sounder. Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems built the Advanced Technology Microwave Sounder and the Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System instrument.

To learn more about the JPSS-1 mission, visit: http://www.jpss.noaa.gov/ and https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/jpss-1


November 16, 2017

NASA Launch of NOAA Weather Satellite Rescheduled for Nov. 18

NOAA Weather Satellite on the Vandenberg AFB launch pad.
The launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta II carrying the NOAA Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, has been rescheduled for 1:47 a.m. PST (4:47 a.m. EST), Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, from Space Launch Complex-2 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
Credits: NASA/Glenn Benson

The launch of the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1) satellite, the first in a new series of four highly advanced National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) polar-orbiting satellites, now is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Launch coverage will be carried live on NASA Television and the agency's website.

Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex 2 is targeted for 4:47 a.m. EST (1:47 a.m. PST).

NASA TV launch coverage begins at 4:15 a.m. and will conclude after the deployment of four small satellite missions, called CubeSats, which will accompany JPSS-1 as payload on the Delta II rocket. There is no planned post-launch news conference. A post-launch news release will be issued as soon as the state-of-health of the spacecraft is verified.

JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advancements in observations used for severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring. JPSS is a collaborative effort between NOAA and NASA. The JPSS system will help increase weather forecast accuracy from three to seven days.

Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor's countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135.

Additional launch day coverage will be available on NASA.gov. Coverage will include live streaming and blog updates beginning at 4:15 a.m. as countdown milestones occur. You can follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at https://blogs.nasa.gov/jpss.

To learn more about the JPSS-1 mission, visit: https://www.jpss.noaa.gov and https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/jpss-1

Join the conversation and follow the JPSS-1 mission on social media by using Twitter and Facebook at: https://twitter.com/NOAASatellites and https://www.facebook.com/NOAANESDIS/


November 08, 2017

JPSS-1 Now Scheduled for Nov. 14

The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1), the first in a new series of four highly advanced National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) polar-orbiting satellites, is now scheduled to launch on Tuesday, Nov. 14, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex 2 is targeted for 1:47 a.m. PST (4:47 a.m. EST). Launch coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency's website at 1:15 a.m. PST.

JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advancements in observations used for severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring. JPSS is a collaborative effort between NOAA and NASA. The JPSS system will help increase weather forecast accuracy from three to seven days.

NOAA's National Weather Service uses JPSS data as critical input for numerical forecast models, providing the basis for mid-range forecasts. These forecasts enable emergency managers to make timely decisions to protect American lives and property, including early warnings and evacuations.

JPSS satellites circle the Earth from pole-to-pole and cross the equator 14 times daily--providing full global coverage twice a day. Polar satellites are considered the backbone of the global observing system.

For more information, please visit https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/jpss-1.

NASA TV Launch Coverage
NASA TV live coverage will begin at 1:15 a.m. PST. Coverage will conclude after CubeSat deployment. There is no planned post-launch news conference. A post-launch news release will be issued as soon as the state-of-health of the spacecraft can be verified. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor's countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135.

NASA Web Prelaunch and Launch Coverage Prelaunch and launch day coverage of the JPSS-1 flight will be available on http://www.nasa.gov. Coverage will include live streaming and blog updates beginning at 1:15 a.m. PST as the countdown milestones occur. You can follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at https://blogs.nasa.gov/jpss.

Learn more about the JPSS-1 mission by visiting:
www.jpss.noaa.gov
https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/jpss-1

Join the conversation and follow the JPSS-1 mission on social media by using Twitter and Facebook at:
https://twitter.com/NOAASatellites
https://www.facebook.com/NOAANESDIS/


November 01, 2017

NASA Coverage Set for Launch of NOAA Weather Satellite

NOAA Weather Satellite
This illustration depicts the Joint Polar Satellite System-1, or JPSS-1, spacecraft designed to provide forecasters with crucial environmental science data to provide a better understanding of changes in the Earth's weather, oceans and climate.
Credits: Ball Aerospace

Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA are preparing for the upcoming launch of the Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1), the first in a series of four highly advanced NOAA polar-orbiting satellites designed to improve the accuracy of weather forecasts out to seven days.

JPSS-1 is scheduled to launch at 4:47 a.m. EST (1:47 a.m. PST) Friday, Nov. 10, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. NASA Television and the agency's website will provide live coverage.

JPSS-1 will use the most-advanced technology NOAA has ever flown in a polar-orbiting satellite to capture more precise observations than ever of our atmosphere, land and waters. It will provide meteorologists and other scientists with a variety of observations, including atmospheric temperature and moisture, sea-surface temperature, ocean color, sea ice cover, volcanic ash and fire detection.

NASA TV Launch Coverage Nov. 10

NASA TV live coverage will begin at 4:15 a.m. Coverage will conclude after spacecraft separation. There is no planned post-launch news conference. A post-launch news release will be issued as soon as the state-of-health of the spacecraft can be verified.

Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor's countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135.

To learn more about the JPSS-1 mission, visit: http://www.jpss.noaa.gov/ and https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/jpss-1

Join the conversation and follow the JPSS-1 mission on social media by using Twitter and Facebook at: https://twitter.com/NOAASatellites
and https://www.facebook.com/NOAANESDIS/


October 26, 2017

NASA Upcoming Space Station Cargo Launch

Canadarm2 grapples SpaceX's Dragon
The Canadarm2 robotic arm grapples the SpaceX Dragon Commercial Resupply Services-6 cargo spacecraft before attaching it to the International Space Station. NASA is targeting no earlier than December for the company's 13th cargo mission to the space station, using the refurbished Dragon capsule from the CRS-6 mission.
Credits: NASA/Terry Virts

The uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft, which was flown on SpaceX's sixth commercial resupply mission to station for NASA, will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket. The launch will be the first this year from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.

This is the 13th SpaceX mission under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract. In addition to supplies and equipment, Dragon will deliver several science investigations to the space station, including a NASA instrument called Total and Spectral Solar Irradiance Sensor, or TSIS-1, which will measure the Sun's energy input to Earth, and a fiber optic payload. Also manifested on this flight is an investigation sponsored by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space known as Biorasis Glucose Biosensor, which seeks to improve the accuracy of a wireless medically implantable continuous glucose biosensor for day-to-day diabetes management.

The International Space Station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. The space station has been occupied continuously since November 2000. In that time, more than 200 people and a variety of international and commercial spacecraft have visited the orbiting laboratory. The space station remains the springboard to NASA's next great leap in exploration, including future missions to Mars.

For launch countdown coverage, NASA's launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex


October 19, 2017

NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Landsat 9 Mission

The NASA logo (meatball) NASA has selected United Launch Services LLC (ULS) of Centennial, Colorado, to provide launch services for the Landsat 9 mission. The mission is currently targeted for a contract launch date of June 2021, while protecting for the ability to launch as early as December 2020, on an Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 3E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The total cost for NASA to launch Landsat 9 is approximately $153.8 million, which includes the launch service and other mission-related costs.

Landsat 9 is a partnership between NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to continue the Landsat program's critical role in monitoring, understanding, and managing the land resources needed to sustain human life. Today's increased rates of global land cover and land use change have profound consequences for weather and climate change, ecosystem function and services, carbon cycling and sequestration, resource management, the national and global economy, and human health and society. Landsat is the only U.S. satellite system designed and operated to repeatedly make multi-spectral observations of the global land surface at a moderate scale that shows both natural and human-induced change.

NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida will manage the ULS launch service. The Landsat 9 Flight Project office is located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and manages spacecraft development for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in partnership with USGS in Washington.

For more information about NASA programs and missions, visit: http://www.nasa.gov


October 06, 2017

Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1)

Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1)
The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1), the first in a new series of four highly advanced NOAA polar-orbiting satellites that will help increase weather forecast accuracy from three to seven days out, is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Credits: NOAA
The Joint Polar Satellite System-1 (JPSS-1), the first in a new series of four highly advanced NOAA polar-orbiting satellites, which will help increase weather forecast accuracy from three to seven days out, is scheduled to launch on Friday, Nov. 10, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket from Space Launch Complex 2 is targeted for 1:47 a.m. PT (4:47 a.m. ET) at the opening of a 65-second launch window. Launch coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency's website at 1:15 a.m. PT.

JPSS represents significant technological and scientific advancements in observations used for severe weather prediction and environmental monitoring. JPSS is a collaborative effort between the NOAA and NASA.

NOAA's National Weather Service uses JPSS data as critical input for numerical forecast models, providing the basis for mid-range forecasts. These forecasts enable emergency managers to make timely decisions to protect American lives and property, including early warnings and evacuations.

JPSS satellites circle the Earth from pole-to-pole and cross the equator 14 times daily--providing full global coverage twice a day. Polar satellites are considered the backbone of the global observing system.

For more information, please visit https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/jpss-1.

NASA TV Launch Coverage

NASA TV live coverage will begin at 1:15 a.m. PT. Coverage will conclude after spacecraft separation. There is no planned post-launch news conference. A post-launch news release will be issued as soon as the state-of-health of the spacecraft can be verified. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor's countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135.

NASA Web Prelaunch and Launch Coverage
Prelaunch and launch day coverage of the JPSS-1 flight will be available on http://www.nasa.gov. Coverage will include live streaming and blog updates beginning at 1:15 a.m. PT as the countdown milestones occur. You can follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at https://blogs.nasa.gov/jpss.

Learn more about the JPSS-1 mission by visiting:
www.jpss.noaa.gov
https://www.nesdis.noaa.gov/jpss-1

Join the conversation and follow the JPSS-1 mission on social media by using Twitter and Facebook at:
https://twitter.com/NOAASatellites
https://www.facebook.com/NOAANESDIS/


September 29, 2017
CONTRACT RELEASE C17-035

NASA Awards Contract for Integration, Launch Services of U-Class Payloads

NASA Kennedy Space Center has selected Spaceflight Inc. to provide integration and launch services for U-Class payloads. This is a firm-fixed-price contract for base launch services in 2018 of 24 payloads, with options to provide launch services for up to 24 additional payloads in 2019 and 2020. The potential total contract value is $5,484,000.

U-Class payloads are miniature space research satellites that typically use commercial, off-the-shelf electronic components. The U-Class payloads flown by NASA primarily are developed by a variety of education and government organizations.

For more information about NASA's Launch Services Program, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/launchingrockets
For more information about NASA programs and missions, visit: https://www.nasa.gov


August 18, 2017

NASA Successfully Launches Latest Communications Satellite

NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M)
NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M), which is the third and final in a series of next generation communications satellites, has successfully been placed into orbit following separation from an United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.
Credits: NASA

NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M (TDRS-M), which is the third and final in a series of next generation communications satellites, has successfully been placed into orbit following separation from an United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. TDRS-M launched Friday at 8:29 a.m. EDT from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Ground controllers report the satellite is in good health at the start of a four-month checkout in space by its manufacturer, Boeing. NASA will conduct additional tests before putting TDRS-M into service early next year. When ready, TDRS-M will become part of NASA's Space Network providing navigation and high-data-rate communications to the International Space Station, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, rockets and a host of other spacecraft.

"The TDRS fleet is a critical connection delivering science and human spaceflight data to those who can use it here on Earth," said Dave Littmann, the TDRS project manager at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "TDRS-M will expand the capabilities and extend the lifespan of the Space Network, allowing us to continue receiving and transmitting mission data well into the next decade."

The mission of the TDRS project, established in 1973, is to develop, launch and deliver data communications relay spacecraft to support NASA's Space Network, which provides high-data-rate communications and accurate navigation. The TDRS-M spacecraft is effectively identical -- in both function and performance -- to the TDRS-K and -L spacecraft launched in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

The TDRS fleet began operating during the space shuttle era with the launch of TDRS-1 in 1983. Of the TDRS spacecraft launched to date, only two have been retired and five of the nine operational satellites have exceeded their design life and continue to provide essential communications and navigation services.

Boeing conducted spacecraft integration and testing earlier this year at its satellite factory in El Segundo, California. After testing and confirming the spacecraft was ready for shipment, launch processing began following TDRS-M's arrival in Florida June 23.

NASA's Space Communications and Navigation program, known as SCaN, is part of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at the agency's Headquarters in Washington, and is responsible for the Space Network. The TDRS project office at Goddard manages the TDRS development program. Management of the launch service for TDRS-M is the responsibility of NASA's Launch Services Program based at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. ULA provided the Atlas V rocket launch service.

For more information about TDRS, visit: http://nasa.gov/tdrs


August 17, 2017

Sonic Booms in Atmospheric Turbulence Demonstration

F-18: NASA's sonic boom research aircraft
NASA will fly an F-18 research aircraft, pictured here taxiing to the runway from NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., to produce sonic booms over Kennedy Space Center. The sonic booms will be recorded by equipment both in the air and on the ground, providing NASA researchers with data to help them better understand the impact of atmospheric turbulence on sonic booms. NASA's F-18 aircraft were obtained from the U.S. Navy, and are flown for research support and pilot proficiency.
Credits: NASA Photo / Ken Ulbrich

NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida is partnering with the agency's Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, Langley Research Center in Virginia, and Space Florida for the flight series. The research is under NASA's Commercial Supersonic Technology project. NASA's supersonic research, spanning decades, is leading toward quieting the sonic boom to more of a quiet "thump."

SonicBAT flights will begin Aug. 21 and extend over approximately two weeks. NASA F-18 aircraft will take off from the Shuttle Landing Facility and fly at supersonic speeds while agency researchers on the ground measure the effects of low-altitude turbulence on sonic booms.

The project aims to collect data in three different conditions, including low turbulence, medium turbulence and significant turbulence, to obtain a stronger understanding of how the variations impact sonic booms.

SonicBAT is a continuation of the 2016 successful supersonic research flights flown at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center, located in the dry atmosphere at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The project now looks to gather similar data in the humid atmosphere at Kennedy.

For more information about the mission, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/features/sonic_boom_tests_set_for_ksc.html


August 15, 2017

NASA Television to Air Launch of Next Communications Satellite

NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M
Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M is the latest spacecraft destined for the agency's constellation of communications satellites that allows nearly continuous contact with orbiting spacecraft ranging from the International Space Station and Hubble Space Telescope to the array of scientific observatories.
Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett

NASA is targeting 8:03 a.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 18, for the launch of its next Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) mission atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The launch, and related activities that begin Thursday, Aug. 17, will air live on NASA Television and the agency's website.

TDRS-M, built by Boeing, will provide NASA's Space Network the ability to support critical space communication into the mid-2020s, ensuring scientists, engineers and control room staff can readily access data for missions like the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station.

NASA TV Launch Coverage
NASA TV live coverage will begin at 7:30 a.m. Coverage will conclude after spacecraft separation. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor's countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135. Launch coverage also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz heard within Brevard County on the Space Coast.

NASA Web Prelaunch and Launch Coverage
Prelaunch and launch day coverage of the TDRS-M flight will be available on http://www.nasa.gov. Coverage will include live streaming and blog updates beginning at 7:30 a.m. as the countdown milestones occur. You can follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at: https://blogs.nasa.gov/tdrs/

Learn more about the TDRS-M mission by visiting:
http://www.nasa.gov/tdrs
Join the conversation and follow the TDRS-M mission on social media by using Twitter and Facebook at:
https://twitter.com/NASA_TDRS
https://www.facebook.com/NASA.TDRS/


August 15, 2017

NASA Awards Contract for Infrastructure, Applications, Communications

NASA has awarded the Kennedy Infrastructure, Applications and Communication (KIAC) contract to ASRC Federal Data Solutions, LLC of Beltsville, Maryland.

KIAC is a firm-fixed-price (FFP) contract with FFP and labor hour indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity components. The contract has a two-year base period followed by one two-year option and one one-year option. If all options are exercised, the maximum potential value for the contract is approximately $319 million.

The KIAC contract is the primary provider of infrastructure and application services, communication services, and multimedia support services for NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This contract delivers products and services to both NASA and the Department of Defense, and provides benefit to other government agencies, contractors, academia, news media organizations, and various space-related industry entities.

The contractor will provide products and services including: application operations and software development; data center operations; voice, imaging and data communications; multimedia services support; documentation and reproduction; and research and library management.

Products and services will be provided to customers at Kennedy, NASA facilities at the adjacent Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and other locations.

For information about NASA and agency programs, visit: https://www.nasa.gov


August 14, 2017

NASA Cargo Launches to Space Station Aboard SpaceX Resupply Mission

SpaceX Dragon - CRS-12 launch
SpaceX launched its 12th resupply mission to the International Space Station from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 12:31 p.m. EDT on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017.
Credits: NASA Television

Experiments seeking a better understanding of Parkinson's disease and the origin of cosmic rays are on their way to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft following today's 12:31 p.m. EDT launch.

Carrying more than 6,400 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies, the spacecraft lifted off on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on the company's 12th commercial resupply mission. It will arrive at the space station Wednesday, Aug. 16, at which time astronauts Jack Fischer of NASA and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency) will use the space station's robotic arm to capture it.

NASA Television and the agency's website will provide live coverage of spacecraft rendezvous and capture beginning at 5:30 a.m., followed by installation coverage at 8:30 a.m.

Research materials flying inside the Dragon's pressurized area include an experiment to grow large crystals of leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2), a protein believed to be the greatest genetic contributor to Parkinson's disease. Gravity keeps Earth-grown versions of this protein too small and too compact to study. This experiment, developed by the Michael J. Fox Foundation, Anatrace and Com-Pac International, will exploit the benefits of microgravity to grow larger, more perfectly-shaped LRRK2 crystals for analysis on Earth. Results from this study could help scientists better understand Parkinson's and aid in the development of therapies.

The Kestrel Eye (NanoRacks-KE IIM) investigation is a microsatellite carrying an optical imaging payload, including a commercially available telescope. This investigation, sponsored by the U.S. National Laboratory, tests the concept of using microsatellites in low-Earth orbit to support critical operations, such as lowering the cost of Earth imagery in time-sensitive situations such as tracking severe weather and detecting natural disasters.

The Cosmic Ray Energetics and Mass instrument will be attached to the Japanese Experiment Module Exposed Facility on the space station, and measure the charges of cosmic rays. The data collected from its three-year mission will address fundamental questions about the origins and histories of cosmic rays, building a stronger understanding of the basic structure of the universe. Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station in mid-September, returning more than 3,300 pounds of science, hardware and crew supplies to Earth.

For more than 16 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth to enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A global endeavor, more than 200 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 1,900 research investigations from researchers in more than 95 countries.

Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram and Twitter at: http://instagram.com/iss
and
http://www.twitter.com/Space_Station


August 11, 2017

NASA Awards Contract for Modification of Mobile Launcher

NASA has awarded a contract to RS&H Inc. of Merritt Island, Florida, for architectural engineering and design services for the modification of the mobile launcher at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The value of this fixed price, indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract is not to exceed $30 million. The performance period is five years.

RS&H will provide architectural engineering and design services necessary to modify and develop structural, mechanical and electrical systems to renovate the mobile launcher. Modifications will include facility infrastructure, ground support systems and ground support equipment.

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit: https://www.nasa.gov


August 09, 2017

NASA Television to Air Launch of Next Space Station Resupply Mission

SpaceX's Falcon 9 launching
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifts off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kenney Space Center in Florida, the company's 11th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.
Credits: NASA
NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting its 12th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station for 12:31 p.m. EDT Monday, Aug. 14. Coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency's website Sunday, Aug. 13, with two briefings.

Loaded with more than 6,400 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket. The payloads include crucial materials to directly support several of the more than 250 science and research investigations to be conducted on the orbiting laboratory during Expeditions 52 and 53.

About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit and deploy its solar arrays. A carefully choreographed series of thruster firings are scheduled to allow the spacecraft to rendezvous with the space station. NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Paolo Nespoli will grapple Dragon using the space station's robotic arm. It then will be installed on the station's Harmony module.

Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture will begin at 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, on NASA TV, with installation coverage set to begin at 8:30 a.m.

The Dragon spacecraft will spend approximately one month attached to the space station. It will remain until mid-September when the spacecraft will return to Earth with results of earlier experiments, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.

Launch Equipment Test Facility The LETF tests all the launch umbilicals for the Mobile Launcher. This site is a versatile test and development area that supports the entire spectrum of operational programs. It has been upgraded and refurbished to support NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) program, and is used to test a wide variety of large-scale hardware and ground support equipment components. Equipment at the facility can recreate liftoff and operational conditions to test component performance, and can supply cryogenics, hydraulics, electrical, ECS and other commodities to enable "test-as-you-fly."

NASA TV Launch Coverage NASA TV live coverage will begin at noon. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.

Learn more about the SpaceX CRS-12 mission by going to the mission home page at: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex


August 01, 2017
CONTRACT RELEASE C17-023

NASA Awards Laboratory Support Services and Operations Contract at Kennedy

NASA has awarded the Laboratory Support Services and Operations (LASSO) contract at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida to URS Federal Services Inc., an AECOM company, of Germantown, Maryland.

LASSO is a cost plus fixed-fee contract that includes a two-month phase-in period, which begins Aug. 2, followed by a two-year base period and three one-year options. The total potential value of the contract is approximately $69.4 million. The LASSO contract also includes the option to add 'flex' hours to cover additional work.

The scope of this contract includes program management; laboratory maintenance and support; operational laboratory services; and professional and technical support for scientific research and engineering analysis, test and evaluation in laboratory environments.

LASSO supports: Center Management and Operations; Ground Systems Development and Operations; International Space Station; Launch Services; U.S. Air Force 45th Space Wing at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station; Advanced Exploration Systems; programs in NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate; other NASA centers; Kennedy Spaceport customers; commercial entities; and other government agencies.

For more information about NASA and agency programs, visit: http://www.nasa.gov


July 12, 2017

NASA Opens Media Accreditation for Upcoming Space Station Cargo Launch

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon spacecraft onboard.
On June 3, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with the Dragon spacecraft onboard, lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kenney Space Center in Florida, the company's 11th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.
Credits: NASA
This is SpaceX's twelfth mission under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract. In addition to supplies and equipment, Dragon will deliver several science investigations to the space station, including building on the success of the Cosmic Ray Energetics And Mass (CREAM) balloon flights. The instrument has been transformed for accommodation on the International Space Station. The goal is to extend the energy reach of direct measurements of cosmic rays to the highest energy possible to probe their origin, acceleration and propagation.

The International Space Station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. The space station has been occupied continuously since November 2000. In that time, more than 200 people and a variety of international and commercial spacecraft have visited the orbiting laboratory. The space station remains the springboard to NASA's next great leap in exploration, including future missions to Mars.

For launch countdown coverage, NASA's launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex


July 03, 2017

TDRS-M Spacecraft

TDRS-M Spacecraft offloading at the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida.
NASA's TDRS-M satellite arrives inside its shipping container at Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, aboard a U.S. Air Force transport aircraft. The spacecraft will be transported to the nearby Astrotech facility, also in Titusville, for preflight processing.
Credits: NASA/Kt

The addition of TDRS-M to the fleet will provide the Space Network (SN) the ability to support space communications to the mid-2020s. The network consists of TDRS satellites that transmit data to and from ground stations on Earth for NASA missions and expendable launch vehicles. Without the Space Network, scientists, engineers and control room staff would be unable to readily access data from missions like the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station.

Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems in El Segundo, California., built TDRS-M. NASA's Space Communications and Navigation Program, part of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, is responsible for the TDRS network. NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy is responsible for launch management. United Launch Alliance provides the Atlas V rocket and launch service.

For more information about TDRS-M, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/tdrs


July 06, 2017

Vice President Pence Visits NASA's Multi-User Spaceport – Kennedy Space Center

Vice President Mike Pence speaks at NASA's KSC.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks before an audience of NASA leaders, U.S. and Florida government officials, and employees inside the Vehicle Assembly Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Pence thanked employees for advancing American leadership in space. Behind the podium is the Orion spacecraft flown on Exploration Flight test-1 in 2014.
Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett

Vice President Mike Pence thanked employees at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida for their commitment to America's continued leadership in the space frontier during a visit to America's multi-user spaceport on Thursday.

Vice President Mike Pence at Lockheed Martin
Vice President Mike Pence speaks to Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO Marillyn Hewson during a tour of the Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where the Orion spacecraft is being readied for a trip beyond the moon on its first integrated flight with the Space Launch System rocket. Walking with them, from left to right, are U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (Florida), NASA Astronauts Reid Wiseman and Pat Forrester, and NASA Acting Administrator Robert Lightfoot.
Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett
"Let us do what our nation has always done since its very founding and beyond: We've pushed the boundaries on frontiers, not just of territory, but of knowledge. We've blazed new trails, and we've astonished the world as we've boldly grasped our future without fear," the Vice President told employees, government dignitaries and space industry leaders in remarks at the facility's iconic Vehicle Assembly Building, where the new Space Launch System (SLS) rocket and Orion spacecraft will be prepared ahead of launches to the moon, and eventually to Mars and beyond. "From this 'Bridge to Space,' our nation will return to the moon, and we will put American boots on the face of Mars."

Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot thanked Vice President Pence and the administration for their strong support, and pointed out the evidence of government and industry cooperation on display at Kennedy.

"Here, of all places, we can see we're not looking at an 'and/or proposition'," Lightfoot said. "We need government and commercial entities. We need large companies and small companies. We need international partners and our domestic suppliers. And we need academia to bring that innovation and excitement that they bring to the next workforce that we're going to use to actually keep going further into space than we ever have before."

Vice President Pence also got a first-hand look at the public-private partnerships at Kennedy during a tour that showcased both NASA and commercial work that will soon lead to U.S.-based astronaut launches and eventual missions into deep space. The Vice President started his visit with a concrete example of public-private development, as Air Force Two touched down on the Shuttle Landing Facility, the former space shuttle landing strip now leased and operated by Space Florida. After his remarks in the Vehicle Assembly Building, the Vice President shook hands with employees before departing on a tour, accompanied by Lightfoot, Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana, and NASA astronauts Pat Forrester and Reid Wiseman.

The Vice President visited the center's Neil Armstrong Operations and Checkout Building, where the Orion spacecraft is being prepped for its first integrated flight with SLS in 2019. Orion has elements made in America by workers at more than 1,500 companies in 48 states, and some of that work, including components of Orion's protective heat shield, were on display during the tour.

A driving tour showcased the mobile launch platform being readied for SLS flights as well as two commercial space facilities: Launch Complex 39A, the historic Apollo and shuttle pad now leased by SpaceX and used for commercial launches, and Boeing's facility, where engineers are prepping the company's Starliner capsule for crew flights to the space station in the same facility once used to do the same thing for space shuttles.

"We are in a great position here at Kennedy, we made our vision a reality; it couldn't have been done without the passion and energy of our workforce," said Kennedy Space Center Director Cabana. "Kennedy is fully established as a multi-user spaceport supporting both government and commercial partners in the space industry. As America's premier multi-user spaceport, Kennedy continues to make history as it evolves, launching to low-Earth orbit and beyond."

The Vice President also discussed President Trump's executive order signed on June 30, re-establishing the National Space Council to coordinate all aspects of the nation's space power. The Vice President said the Council will bring a renewed sense of purpose to America's space policy by strengthening our economy and unlocking new opportunities, inspiring our children, enhancing our common defense and advancing the security of the American people.

For more information about NASA's missions and activities, including video and images of Vice President Pence's tour of the Kennedy Space Center, visit: https://www.nasa.gov


July 05, 2017

NASA Provides Coverage of Vice President Pence's Visit to Kennedy Space Center

NASA will provide television, still image and social media coverage of Vice President Mike Pence's visit to the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday, July 6.

NASA TV and the agency's website will air live coverage for parts of the visit starting at noon EDT with Air Force Two's arrival at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility runway, followed by a special address to the center's workforce in the iconic Vehicle Assembly Building at 1 p.m.

The vice president will tour Kennedy and learn more about the center's work as a multi-user spaceport for commercial and government clients, as well as see the agency's progress toward launching from U.S. soil on spacecraft built by American companies, and traveling past the moon, and eventually on to Mars and beyond with the help of NASA's new Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket.

For images of the vice president's tour, visit NASA's homepage and the agency's headquarters Flickr account.

Coverage on NASA's social media accounts will include Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.


June 30, 2017

Vice President Pence to Visit NASA's Kennedy Space Center

Vice President Mike Pence will visit NASA KSC.
During his visit to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Vice President Mike Pence will tour the Vehicle Assembly Building, an enormous structure originally built for assembly of Apollo/Saturn vehicles, later modified to support Space Shuttle operations, and currently under modification to support Orion and Space Launch System operations.
Credits: NASA
Vice President Mike Pence will visit NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday, July 6.

NASA Television and the agency's website will provide live coverage for parts of the visit starting at noon EDT with Air Force Two's arrival at Kennedy's Shuttle Landing Facility runway, as well as a special address to the center's workforce at 12:50 p.m.

The Vice President will tour Kennedy and learn more about the center's work as a multi-user spaceport for commercial and government clients, as well as see the agency's progress toward launching from U.S. soil on spacecraft built by American companies, and traveling past the moon, and eventually on to Mars and beyond with the help of NASA's new Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket.

For more information about NASA's Kennedy Space Center, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/kennedy


June 23, 2017

NASA Awards Contract for Institutional Support Services

NASA has awarded the Kennedy Space Center Institutional Support Services IV (KISS IV) contract to Apache-Logical Joint Venture of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

KISS IV begins Aug. 1 with a 14-month base period, followed by three one-year options and a five-month option. If all options are exercised, the maximum potential value for the indefinite quantity, indefinite delivery contract is $65 million.

Apache-Logical will provide services at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida in areas such as clerical support, financial management support, personnel program activity, employee benefits, personnel action processing, procurement acquisition, administration and analysis, business systems, records and property management.

For information about NASA and other agency programs, visit: https://www.nasa.gov


June 23, 2017

Launch of NASA's Newest Communications Satellite

Launch of NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-M will be on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida is targeted for 9:02 a.m. EDT Aug. 3, at the opening of a 40-minute launch window.

NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-M
NASA is preparing to launch the next satellite in the agency's space network fleet – the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-M. TDRS-M is targeted to liftoff on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 9:02 a.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 3.
Credits: NASA
The addition of TDRS-M to the fleet will provide NASA's Space Network the ability to support space communication for an additional 15 years. The network consists of TDRS satellites that transmit data to and from ground stations on Earth for NASA missions and expendable launch vehicles. The Space Network allows scientists, engineers and control room staff to readily access data from missions like the Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station.

Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems of El Segundo, California, built TDRS-M. NASA's Space Communications and Navigation Program, a part of the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, is responsible for the TDRS network. Launch management of the Atlas V launch service for TDRS-M is the responsibility of the mission directorate's Launch Services Program at Kennedy.

For more information about the mission, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/tdrs


June 03, 2017

New NASA Experiments, Research Headed to International Space Station

New NASA Experiments, Research Headed to the ISS.
The SpaceX Dragon cargo craft lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 5:07 p.m. June 3. About 6,000 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies are packed into the cargo craft that is now in Earth orbit and headed to the International Space Station.
Credits: NASA TV

Major experiments that will look into the human body and out into the galaxy are on their way to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft following its 5:07 p.m. EDT launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket.

The Dragon lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. About 6,000 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies are packed into the cargo craft that is now in Earth orbit and headed to the station.

NASA Television and the agency's website will provide live coverage of the rendezvous and capture beginning at 8:30 a.m. Monday, June 5. NASA astronauts Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson will use the space station's robotic arm to capture SpaceX's Dragon when it arrives at the station.

Research materials flying inside the Dragon's pressurized area include an experiment studying fruit flies to better understand the effects on the heart of prolonged exposure to microgravity. Because they're small, age rapidly, and have a well-known genetic make-up, they are good models for heart function studies. This experiment could significantly advance understanding of how spaceflight affects the cardiovascular system and could aid in the development of countermeasures to help astronauts.

The Systemic Therapy of NELL-1 for osteoporosis investigation tests a new drug that can rebuild bone and block further bone loss, improving crew health. When people and animals spend extended periods of time in space, they experience bone density loss, or osteoporosis. In-flight countermeasures, such as exercise, prevent it from getting worse, but there isn't a therapy on Earth or in space that can restore bone. The results from this ISS National Laboratory-sponsored investigation build on previous research also supported by the National Institutes for Health and could lead to new drugs for treating bone density loss in millions of people on Earth.

Three payloads inside Dragon's unpressurized area will demonstrate new solar panel technologies, study the physics of neutron stars, and host an array of Earth-viewing instruments.

This mission is SpaceX's eleventh cargo flight to the station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract. Dragon's cargo will support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations during the station's Expeditions 52 and 53.

The Dragon spacecraft is scheduled to depart the space station in early July, returning with more than 3,400 pounds of science, hardware and crew supplies.

For more than 16 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A global endeavor, more than 200 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 1,900 research investigations from researchers in more than 95 countries.

Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crews, at: http://www.nasa.gov/station
Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram and Twitter at: http://instagram.com/iss and http://www.twitter.com/Space_Station
Learn more about SpaceX's resupply mission at: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex


May 25, 2017

SpaceX CRS-11

SpaceX CRS-11
A Falcon 9 rocket stands ready for liftoff at the Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A for the SpaceX CRS-10 mission.
Credits: NASA/Glenn Benson

NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is targeting its eleventh commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station for 5:55 p.m. EDT Thursday, June 1. Launch coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency's website at 5:15 p.m.

The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will liftoff on the company's Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying almost 6,000 pounds of science research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory in support of the Expedition 52 and 53 crew members. The unpressurized trunk of the spacecraft also will transport solar panels, tools for Earth-observation and equipment to study neutron stars.

About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit. It then will deploy its solar arrays and begin a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings to reach the space station. When it arrives to the space station, Expedition 52 Flight Engineers Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson of NASA will grapple Dragon.

Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture will begin at 8:30 a.m. Sunday, June 4, on NASA TV, with installation coverage set to begin at 11:30 a.m. If the launch does not occur on June 1, the next launch opportunity is 5:07 p.m. Saturday, June 3, with NASA TV coverage starting at 4:30 p.m.

The Dragon spacecraft will remain at the space station until approximately July 2, when it will return to Earth with research and return cargo in a splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Baja California.

This will be the 100th launch, and sixth SpaceX launch, from this pad. Previous launches include 11 Apollo flights, the launch of the unmanned Skylab in 1973, 82 shuttle flights and five SpaceX launches.

NASA TV Launch Coverage
NASA TV live coverage will begin at 5:15 p.m. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor's countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135. Launch also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz heard within Brevard County on the Space Coast.

NASA Web Prelaunch and Launch Coverage
Prelaunch and launch day coverage of the SpaceX CRS-11 flight will be available on the NASA website. Coverage will include live streaming and blog updates beginning at 5:15 p.m. as the countdown milestones occur. On-demand streaming video, podcast and photos of the launch will be available shortly after liftoff. You can follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at: http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacex

Learn more about the SpaceX CRS-11 mission by going to the mission home page at: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex


May 15, 2017

NASA Astronauts Inducted into Hall of Fame, Live May 19 on NASA Television

Ellen Ochoa
Ellen Ochoa, astronaut and director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston
Credits: NASA
Michael Foale
NASA astronaut Michael Foale
Credits: NASA

Two NASA astronauts, both with one-of-a-kind career credits, will be honored Friday, May 19, when they are inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame. The ceremony will air live on NASA Television and the agency's website at 1 p.m. EDT.

Bob Cabana, 2008 hall of famer and current director of NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, will speak at the induction ceremony about the distinguished careers of honorees Ellen Ochoa, the first Hispanic woman to go into space and current director of NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, and former astronaut Michael Foale, the only U.S. astronaut to serve on both the International Space Station and Russian space station Mir.

The ceremony will be held at the Space Shuttle Atlantis attraction at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. Media interested in covering the event should contact Rebecca Shireman at 321-449-4273.

Ochoa was selected as a NASA astronaut in January 1990. A veteran of four flights, Ochoa logged more than 978 hours in space, serving as mission specialist on space shuttle mission STS-56, payload commander on STS-66, and both flight engineer and mission specialist on STS-96 and STS-110. She has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, NASA's highest award.

Foale was selected as an astronaut candidate in June 1987. A veteran of six missions, he logged more than 374 days in space and four spacewalks totaling almost 23 hours, including a spacewalk to perform repairs and upgrades to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. He also is the only American citizen to have served on both Mir and the International Space Station. Foale retired from NASA in 2013.

For NASA TV schedules and links to streaming video, visit: https://www.nasa.gov/nasatv


May 12, 2017

NASA Invites Media to Robotics Mining Competition at KSC Visitor Complex

Robotics Mining Competition at KSC Visitor Complex
Team members from the University of Alabama prepare their robot for the mining portion of NASA's 2014 Robotics Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida.
Credits: NASA/Frankie Martin

Teams of undergraduate and graduate students from throughout the nation will demonstrate their excavator robots May 22-26 at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex near NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

More than 45 teams have designed and built remote-controlled excavator robots to traverse the simulated Martian terrain and excavate simulated Martian dirt. During the competition, the teams' robots will go head-to-head to determine which machine can collect and move the most regolith within a specified amount of time.

The competition is a NASA Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate project designed to engage and retain students in science, technology, engineering and math or STEM fields by expanding opportunities for student research and design. The project provides a competitive environment to foster innovative ideas and solutions that could potentially be used on NASA's journey to Mars.

NASA's Women in STEM mentoring event will facilitate discussions between more than 40 female NASA engineers and scientists and several hundred RMC student participants about career paths in science, technology, engineering and math.

Although the competition is for college students, the event offers many opportunities for students of all ages. NASA is hosting a college recruitment fair for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors, showcasing STEM education opportunities available at top colleges and universities across the nation. The event also will offer additional STEM activities for students of all ages.

For more information on the competition, associated activities and social media links to participate virtually, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/nasarmc

Video highlights of the practice and competition will air on the NASA Television Video File. For downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

To view the competition live, visit: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nasa-dlinfo

For information about the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, visit: http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com


May 04, 2017

Next SpaceX Space Station Cargo Launch

SpaceX commercial cargo
Media accreditation now is open for launch of the next SpaceX commercial cargo resupply services mission to the International Space Station, currently targeted for Thursday, June 1. Credits: NASA

Launch of the next SpaceX commercial cargo resupply services mission to the International Space Station, is currently targeted for Thursday, June 1.

The uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

This is the eleventh mission by SpaceX under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract. In addition to supplies and equipment, Dragon will deliver several science investigations to the space station, including:

  • the Neutron star Interior Composition Explorer (NICER) instrument will measure neutron stars and test, for the first time in space, technology that uses pulsars as navigation beacons;
  • the Roll-Out Solar Array, or ROSA, will test deployment and retraction of a new type of solar panel that rolls open in space like a party favor and is more compact than current rigid panel designs; and
  • an Earth-viewing imaging platform created by Teledyne Brown called MUSES, which stands for Multiple User System for Earth Sensing, that will house high-resolution digital cameras and hyperspectral imagers.
The International Space Station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. The space station has been occupied continuously since November 2000. In that time, more than 200 people and a variety of international and commercial spacecraft have visited the orbiting laboratory. The space station remains the springboard to NASA's next great leap in exploration, including future missions to Mars.

For NASA TV schedule and video streaming information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv
For launch countdown coverage, NASA's launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex


April 18, 2017

NASA Space Station Cargo Launches aboard Orbital ATK Resupply Mission

Launch of Orbital ATK
Orbital ATK's seventh cargo delivery flight to the International Space Station launched at 11:11 a.m. EDT April 18, 2017, on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Credits: NASA TV
The International Space Station will be capable of dozens of new scientific investigations from NASA and around the world when Orbital ATK's Cygnus spacecraft delivers more than 7,600 pounds of cargo Saturday, April 22.

Orbital ATK's seventh cargo delivery flight to the station launched at 11:11 a.m. EDT Tuesday on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Expedition 51 astronauts Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) and Peggy Whitson of NASA will use the space station's robotic arm to grapple Cygnus, about 6:05 a.m. Saturday. The spacecraft will remain at the space station until July before its destructive reentry into Earth's atmosphere, disposing of several thousand pounds of trash.

This is the fourth flight of an enhanced Cygnus spacecraft, and the third using the Atlas V launch system. The spacecraft for this mission is named in honor of John Glenn, the first American to orbit Earth. Glenn, who died in December at age 95, was one of NASA's original seven astronauts and a retired U.S. Senator from Ohio. The mission, which is under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract, will support dozens of new and existing investigations as Expeditions 51 and 52 contribute to approximately 250 science and research studies.

Highlights from the new experiments will include studies on cancer-fighting drugs, crystal growth and atmospheric reentry.

In microgravity, cancer cells grow in 3-D, spheroid structures that closely resemble their form in the human body, enabling better tests for drug the efficacy. The ADCs in Microgravity investigation tests drugs designed as targeted cancer therapies called antibody-drug conjugates, developed by Oncolinx. These conjugates combine an immune-activating drug with antibodies and target only cancer cells, which could potentially increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy and reduce side-effects. Results from this investigation could help inform treatments for cancer patients and provide insight into how microgravity affects a drug's performance.

The Solidification Using a Baffle in Sealed Ampoules (SUBSA) investigation originally was operated successfully aboard the station in 2002. Updated software, data acquisition, high definition video and communication interfaces will help advance understanding of the processes involved in semiconductor crystal growth. Investigations such as the CLYC Crystal Growth experiment will be conducted in the SUBSA Furnace and inserts. High-quality crystals are essential to a variety of applications, and a microgravity environment can produce better quality crystals. CLYC crystals grown aboard station can help researchers understand the exact conditions needed to produce the highest-quality, defect-free crystals.

The Thermal Protection Material Flight Test and Reentry Data Collection (RED-Data2) investigation studies a new type of recording device that rides alongside a spacecraft as it reenters Earth's atmosphere, recording data about the extreme conditions it encounters. Scientists, so far, have been unable to monitor those conditions on a large scale, and a better understanding could lead to more accurate spacecraft breakup predictions, better spacecraft designs, and materials capable of better resisting the extreme heat and pressure during the return to Earth.

For more than 16 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A global endeavor, more than 200 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 1,900 research investigations from researchers in more than 95 countries.

Learn more about Orbital ATK's mission at: https://www.nasa.gov/orbitalatk

Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crews, at: https://www.nasa.gov/station

Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram and Twitter: http://instagram.com/iss and http://www.twitter.com/Space_Station


April 11, 2017

Orbital ATK CRS-7 Briefings and Events

Orbital ATK CRS-7
NASA commercial cargo provider Orbital ATK is targeting its seventh commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station for 11:11 a.m., EDT Tuesday, April 18.
Credits: NASA/Tony Gray & Kevin O'Connell

NASA commercial cargo provider Orbital ATK is targeting its seventh commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station for 11:11 a.m. EDT Tuesday, April 18, the start of a 30-minute launch window.

Orbital ATK has contracted with ULA for its Atlas V rocket for the launch service, which will lift off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Under NASA's first Commercial Resupply Services contract, Cygnus will carry more than 7,600 pounds of science research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory in support of the crew members.

NASA Television launch coverage will begin at 10 a.m. EDT. Coverage will resume for solar array deployment at about 12:40 p.m. The post-launch news conference will occur at 2 p.m.

If the launch does not occur on April 18, the next launch opportunity is 10:48 a.m. Wednesday, April 19, with NASA TV coverage starting at 9:45 a.m.

The new experiments will include magnetized tools to make it easier to reproduce experiments on Earth, an antibody investigation that could increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment, and an advanced plant habitat for studying plant physiology and growing fresh food in space. Cygnus also is carrying 38 CubeSats, including many built by university students from around the world as part of the QB50 program, which are scheduled to deploy from either the spacecraft or space station in the coming months.

Cygnus will remain on the station until mid-July when it will depart with several tons of trash for a fiery re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. Prior to re-entry, a third experiment will be conducted to study how fire burns in space.

Prelaunch News Conference on NASA TV
A prelaunch status briefing will be held at Kennedy's Press Site at 10:30 a.m. NASA TV will provide live coverage.
Participants will be:

  • Joel Montalbano, deputy manager, NASA International Space Station Program
  • Frank Culbertson, Space Systems Group president, Orbital ATK
  • Vern Thorp, program manager for commercial missions, United Launch Alliance
  • David Craft, weather officer, 45th Weather Squadron

NASA TV Launch Coverage
NASA TV live coverage will begin at 10 a.m. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor's countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135 starting at 8:15 a.m. Launch also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz heard within Brevard County on the Space Coast.

Follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at: http://blogs.nasa.gov/orbital

Learn more about the Orbital ATK CRS-7 mission by going to the mission home page at: http://www.nasa.gov/orbitalatk


March 31, 2017

NASA's Kennedy Space Center Announces 2017 'Chroniclers'

KSC Chroniclers Wall of Fame
The Chroniclers wall of fame in the newsroom at the Press Site at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
Credits: NASA

"The Chroniclers," a program at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Florida, recognizing those who helped spread news of American space exploration, will soon have six new names on its wall of fame.

Five of the 2017 "Chroniclers" are retired, and one is deceased. They represent TV and print journalism, as well as NASA's public affairs office.

A selection committee chose the six on March 22 from among broadcasters, journalists, authors, contractor public relations representatives and NASA public affairs officers who, while still working, excelled at sharing news from Kennedy with the world.

This year's honorees are, in alphabetical order:

Bruce Hall, a veteran CBS News and NBC News correspondent and producer who covered space for more than 20 years, starting with the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project in 1975 and continuing through the early years of the shuttle program, the Challenger accident and NASA's recovery, and the launch of the Hubble Space Telescope.

Scott Harris, Orlando TV reporter and anchor for more than 40 years, and widely regarded for his live coverage of space shuttle launches from Kennedy. Harris worked both the first shuttle launch in April 1981 and the liftoff of the final shuttle mission in July 2011, one month before his passing at age 64.

Bill Johnson, NASA Public Affairs professional whose career at Kennedy spanned more than 45 years. Longtime chief of Media Services, responsible for dissemination of NASA news from and operation of the Kennedy Space Center newsroom and Press Site, Johnson was an awardee of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

Warren Leary, science writer and correspondent for the Associated Press and The New York Times for more than 35 years. An award-winning journalist, Leary covered spaceflight, technology, engineering, aeronautics, and medical science, as well as the investigation into the cause of the 2003 Columbia accident.

Robert B. (Bob) Murray, NASA's first videographer to provide live, airborne TV coverage of space shuttle launches and landings. For more than 23 years, Murray's primary aerial imagery was seen on television networks and stations, as well as in publications worldwide.

Phil Sandlin, a photographer for UPI and then AP, covered the U.S. space program beginning with the Apollo moon shots and continuing with the shuttle program until his retirement in 2011. Sandlin was winner of the National Press Photographers Association's prestigious Joseph Costa Award in 2016.

The six honorees, each of whom covered the U.S. space program at Kennedy for ten years or more and are no longer working full time in the media, were selected by a committee of working broadcasters, journalists, public relations professionals, and present and former representatives of NASA Kennedy's Office of Communication. The committee considered a total of 20 nominees for this year's awards.

Past honorees include Walter Cronkite of CBS News, Jules Bergman of ABC News and two-time Pulitzer winner John Noble Wilford of The New York Times.

Brass strips engraved with each awardee's name will be added to "The Chroniclers" wall in the Kennedy Space Center newsroom at the Press Site during a ceremony at 10 a.m. on Friday, May 5, 2017, the 56th anniversary of Alan Shepard's historic flight as America's first human in space. Coincidentally, it was Shepard from whom the first Chronicler honorees received their award certificates in 1995.


March 28, 2017

NASA Unveils New Searchable Video, Audio and Imagery Library for the Public

NASA opens audio & images library
NASA officially has launched a new resource to help the public search and download out-of-this-world images, videos and audio files.

NASA officially has launched a new resource to help the public search and download out-of-this-world images, videos and audio files by keyword and metadata searches from NASA.gov. The NASA Image and Video Library website consolidates imagery spread across more than 60 collections into one searchable location.

https://images.nasa.gov

Screenshot of NASA's audio & images library
NASA Image and Video Library allows users to search, discover and download a treasure trove of more than 140,000 NASA images, videos and audio files.

NASA Image and Video Library allows users to search, discover and download a treasure trove of more than 140,000 NASA images, videos and audio files from across the agency's many missions in aeronautics, astrophysics, Earth science, human spaceflight, and more. Users now can embed content in their own sites and choose from multiple resolutions to download. The website also displays the metadata associated with images.

Users can browse the agency's most recently uploaded files, as well as discover historic and the most popularly searched images, audio files and videos. Other features include:

  • Automatically scales the interface for mobile phones and tablets
  • Displays the EXIF/camera data that includes exposure, lens used, and other information, when available from the original image
  • Allows for easy public access to high resolution files
  • All video includes a downloadable caption file
NASA Image and Video Library's Application Programmers Interface (API) allows automation of imagery uploads for NASA, and gives members of the public the ability to embed content in their own sites and applications. This public site runs on NASA's cloud native "infrastructure-as-a-code" technology enabling on-demand use in the cloud.

The library is not comprehensive, but rather provides the best of what NASA makes publicly available from a single point of presence on the web. Additionally, it is a living website, where new and archival images, video and audio files continually will be added.

For more information about NASA's activities, visit: http://www.nasa.gov


March 17, 2017

Orbital ATK CRS-7

Orbital ATK CRS-7
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on March 22, 2016, carrying an Orbital ATK Cygnus resupply spacecraft on a commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station.
Credits: NASA/Tony Gray & Kevin O'Connell

NASA commercial cargo provider Orbital ATK is targeting its seventh commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station for 9 p.m. EDT Friday, March 24, at the start of a 30-minute launch window. An option exists to move the launch earlier to March 23 if the Eastern Range becomes available.

Orbital ATK has contracted with ULA for its Atlas V rocket for the launch service, which will lift off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Under NASA's first Commercial Resupply Services contract, Cygnus will carry more than 7,600 pounds of science research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory in support of the Expedition 50 and 51 crew members.

If launch remains on March 24, NASA Television coverage will begin at 8 p.m. EDT. Coverage will resume for solar array deployment at about 10:30 p.m. and will include post-launch interviews with mission managers.

If the launch does not occur on or before March 24, the next launch opportunity is 8:37 p.m. Saturday, March 25, with NASA TV coverage starting at 7:30 p.m.

The new experiments will include magnetized tools to make it easier to reproduce experiments on Earth, an antibody investigation that could increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs for cancer treatment, and an advanced plant habitat for studying plan physiology and growing fresh food in space. Cygnus also is carrying 38 CubeSats, including many built by university students from around the world as part of the QB50 program, which are scheduled to deploy from either the spacecraft or space station in the coming months.

When Cygnus arrives to the space station, Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Flight Engineer Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will use the space station's robotic arm, Canadarm2, to take hold of the spacecraft. After Canadarm2 captures Cygnus, ground commands will be sent for the station's arm to rotate and install it on the bottom of the station's Unity module.

Cygnus will remain on the station until June, when it will depart with several tons of trash for a fiery re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. Prior to re-entry, a third experiment will be conducted to study how fire burns in space.

NASA's Space Launch System Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage
The Interim Cryogenic Propulsion Stage is the in-space propulsion planned for the first launch of the Space Launch System rocket and Orion spacecraft. The ICPS is part of the overall "payload" on the top of the rocket between the core stage and Orion. It is a liquid oxygen/liquid hydrogen-based system, and will provide the thrust needed to send the spacecraft and 13 secondary payloads beyond the moon before Orion returns to Earth. The flight hardware completed manufacturing in Alabama and has shipped to a ULA Facility on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for final testing before shipping to Kennedy Space Center for integration with the rocket.

NASA TV Launch Coverage
NASA TV live coverage will begin at 8 p.m. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
      Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor's countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135 starting at 8:15 p.m. Launch also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz heard within Brevard County on the Space Coast.

Follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at: http://blogs.nasa.gov/orbital

Learn more about the Orbital ATK CRS-7 mission by going to the mission home page at: http://www.nasa.gov/orbitalatk


March 03, 2017

NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for Joint Polar Satellite System-2 Mission

NASA has selected United Launch Services LLC (ULS) of Centennial, Colorado, to provide launch services for the Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) mission for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Launch is currently targeted for 2021 on an Atlas V 401 rocket from Space Launch Complex 3E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The total cost for NASA to launch JPSS-2 is approximately $170.6 million, which includes the launch service and other mission-related costs.

JPSS is a collaborative program between NOAA and NASA. This interagency effort is the latest generation of NOAA polar-orbiting environmental weather satellites. JPSS-2 is one of five satellites that will comprise the JPSS constellation. These spacecraft gather global measurements of atmospheric, terrestrial and oceanic conditions, including sea and land surface temperatures, vegetation, clouds, rainfall, snow and ice cover, fire locations and smoke plumes, atmospheric temperature, water vapor and ozone. JPSS delivers key environmental observations that provide support for the nation's essential products and services. This includes forecasting severe weather such as hurricanes and tornadoes, predicting blizzards days in advance, and assessing other environmental hazards such as droughts, forest fires, poor air quality and harmful ocean conditions, particularly along the coasts. Further, JPSS will provide continuity of critical, global Earth observations — including our atmosphere, oceans and land.

NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida will manage the ULS launch service. The JPSS Flight Project office is located at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, and manages spacecraft development for the agency's Science Mission Directorate in partnership with NOAA in Washington, D.C.

For more information about NASA programs and missions, visit: http://www.nasa.gov


March 01, 2017

Cygnus at Kennedy for Upcoming Cargo Delivery Mission

Cygnus spacecraft's pressurized cargo module.
In the Space Station Processing Facility at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, preparations are underway to close the hatch of the Cygnus spacecraft's pressurized cargo module (PCM) for the Orbital ATK CRS-7 mission to the International Space Station. Scheduled to launch on March 19, 2017, the commercial resupply services mission will lift off atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Credits: NASA/Bill White

The seventh commercial resupply services mission for Orbital ATK, CRS-7, is targeted for liftoff atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida March 19 at 10:56 p.m. EDT, which is at the opening of a 30-minute launch window.

Orbital ATK uses the Cygnus to perform space station resupply flights under the Commercial Resupply Services contract. Cygnus consists of a pressurized cargo module for crew supplies, scientific experiments and equipment, together with an associated service module providing solar power and propulsion. This mission will be the fourth flight of the extended variant of Orbital ATK's Cygnus pressurized cargo module, which increases the spacecraft's interior volume capacity by 25 percent, enabling more cargo to be delivered with each mission. The CRS-7 freighter will be delivering more than 7,500 pounds of cargo and science experiments to the station, including an advanced plant habitat system and other experiments to be conducted in the U.S. National Lab ranging from targeted cancer cell therapies to growing crystals. Cygnus will also carry dozens of small satellites including 28 from universities around the world in coordination with NanoRacks and the Von Karman Institute's QB50 CubeSats program.

For more information about the Orbital ATK resupply mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/orbital
For more information about the International Space Station, its crew and research, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station


February 19, 2017

NASA Cargo Headed to Space Station Includes Important Experiments, Equipment

Major experiments that will look into a range of scientific disciplines from human health to atmospheric conditions on Earth are on their way to the International Space Station following liftoff at 9:39 a.m. EST aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. About 5,500 pounds of research equipment, cargo and supplies are packed into the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft that is now in Earth orbit and headed to the station on the CRS-10 mission.

SpaceX's Dragon cargo craft launched from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This was the first commercial launch from Kennedy's historic pad.

Astronauts Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) and Shane Kimbrough of NASA will use the space station's robotic arm to capture Dragon when it arrives at the station. Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture will begin at 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22 on NASA TV and the agency's website, with installation coverage set to begin at 8:30 a.m.

Research materials flying inside the Dragon's pressurized area include a crystal growth experiment that will crystallize a monoclonal antibody that is undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of immunological diseases. Growing the crystal in space will allow it develop more than it could on Earth where gravity causes crystals to collapse on themselves. Preserving these antibodies in crystals allows researchers a glimpse into how the biological molecules are arranged, which can provide new information about how they work in the body. So far, Earth-grown crystalline suspensions of monoclonal antibodies have proven to be too low-quality to fully model.

Better defining how some bacteria become drug-resistant is the focus of another experiment that aims to develop medicines that counter the resistance. Stem cells like those used to treat strokes and other occurrences also will be studied using experiment supplies brought up on this flight.

The equipment aboard the Dragon includes a major instrument that will survey Earth's upper atmosphere in a continuation of one of NASA's longest-running Earth-observing programs. Called SAGE III for Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment, the instrument examines the levels of ozone, aerosols, nitrogen dioxide and water vapor in the stratosphere and troposphere high above Earth. It is the latest version of an experiment that began in 1979 and has created a multi-decade record of measurements. The 2,200-pound instrument will be connected to the outside of the station to make daily observations for several years.

The mission is the company's tenth cargo flight to the station under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract. Dragon's cargo will support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations during the station's Expeditions 50 and 51.

Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station in late March, returning nearly 5,000 pounds of science, hardware and crew supplies.

For more than 16 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A global endeavor, more than 200 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 1,900 research investigations from researchers in more than 95 countries.

Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crews, at: http://www.nasa.gov/station

Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram and Twitter at: http://instagram.com/iss
and http://www.twitter.com/Space_Station

Learn more about SpaceX's resupply mission at: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex


February 15, 2017

SpaceX CRS-10 Briefings and Events

SpaceX CRS-10
Expedition 34 crew members aboard the International Space Station use a robotic arm to capture a SpaceX Dragon capsule delivering supplies on March 3, 2013. NASA's commercial space program has enabled a partnership with American companies to resupply the station through the Commercial Resupply Services program.
Credits: NASA
NASA provider SpaceX is scheduled to launch its tenth Commercial Resupply Services mission to the International Space Station no earlier than Saturday, Feb. 18. NASA Television coverage of the launch begins at 8:30 a.m. EST.

The SpaceX Dragon spacecraft is targeting liftoff on the company's Falcon 9 rocket at 10:01 a.m. from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying science research, crew supplies and hardware to the orbiting laboratory in support of the Expedition 50 and 51 crew members.

About 10 minutes after launch, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit, deploy its solar arrays and begin a carefully choreographed series of thruster firings to reach the space station. SpaceX also is planning to attempt to land its Falcon 9 first stage on land.

After a two-day trip, Shane Kimbrough of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of ESA (European Space Agency) will use the station's robotic arm to capture Dragon when it arrives on station. The spacecraft will be berthed to the Earth-facing port on the Harmony module. By the next day, the crew will pressurize the vestibule between the station and Dragon, and then open the hatch that leads to the forward bulkhead of Dragon.

Live coverage of the rendezvous and capture Monday, Feb. 20, will begin at 7:30 a.m. on NASA TV, with installation set to begin at 11:30 a.m.

For about a month, crew members will unload the spacecraft and reload it with cargo to return to Earth. About five-and-a-half hours after it departs the station March 21, it will splash down in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja California.

Media at the agency's Kennedy Space Center in Florida will have the opportunity to participate in special tours and briefings Feb. 16 and 17, as well as view the launch. The deadline for media to apply for accreditation for this launch has passed. For more information about media accreditation, contact Jennifer Horner at 321-867-6598 or jennifer.p.horner@nasa.gov.

If the launch does not occur Saturday, Feb. 18, the next launch opportunity is 9:38 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 19, with NASA TV coverage starting at 8 a.m.

"WHAT'S ON BOARD" SCIENCE BRIEFING ON NASA TV
Friday, Feb. 17 (L-1 day): A science, research and technology briefing will air live at 8:30 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency's website, at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv. This briefing is for NASA Social participants.

PRELAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE ON NASA TV
Friday, Feb. 17 (L-1 day): A prelaunch status briefing will be held at Kennedy's Press Site TV Auditorium at 11:30 a.m. and air live on NASA Television and the agency's website.
Participants will be:

  • Dan Hartman, deputy manager, International Space Station Program, Johnson Space Center
  • Tara Ruttley, associate scientist, International Space Station Program, Johnson
  • Mike McAleenan, launch weather officer, U.S. Air Force 45th Weather Squadron
  • Jessica Jensen, director, Dragon mission management, SpaceX

LAUNCH COMPLEX 39A BRIEFING
NASA and SpaceX will host a briefing, followed by a question-and-answer period, in front of SpaceX's Launch Complex 39A. The event at 3 p.m. will air live on NASA Television and the agency's website.
Participants will be:

  • Robert Cabana, director, NASA's Kennedy Space Center
  • Gwynne Shotwell, president and COO, SpaceX

POST-LAUNCH NEWS CONFERENCE ON NASA TV
Saturday, Feb. 18: A post-launch news conference will occur at about noon in Kennedy's Press Site TV Auditorium and air live on NASA Television and the agency's website.
Participants will be:

  • Dan Hartman, deputy manager, International Space Station Program, Johnson Space Center
  • Jessica Jensen, director, Dragon mission management, SpaceX

NASA TV LAUNCH COVERAGE
Saturday, Feb. 18 (L-0 Day): NASA TV live coverage will begin at 8:30 a.m. For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv
Audio only of the news conferences and launch coverage will be carried on the NASA "V" circuits, which may be accessed by dialing 321-867-1220, -1240, -1260 or -7135. On launch day, "mission audio," the launch conductor's countdown activities without NASA TV launch commentary, will be carried on 321-867-7135 starting at 8:15 a.m. Launch also will be available on local amateur VHF radio frequency 146.940 MHz heard within Brevard County on the Space Coast.

NASA WEB PRELAUNCH AND LAUNCH COVERAGE
Prelaunch and launch day coverage of the SpaceX CRS-10 flight will be available on the NASA website. Coverage will include live streaming and blog updates beginning at 8:30 a.m. as the countdown milestones occur. On-demand streaming video, podcast and photos of the launch will be available shortly after liftoff. For questions about countdown coverage, contact the newsroom at 321-867-2468.
You can follow countdown coverage on our launch blog at: http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacex
Learn more about the SpaceX CRS-10 mission by going to the mission home page at: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex

TWITTER
The Kennedy Twitter feed will be updated throughout the launch countdown. To access the feed, visit: http://www.twitter.com/NASAKennedy FACEBOOK
The Kennedy Facebook feed will be updated throughout the launch countdown. To access the feed, visit: http://www.facebook.com/NASAKennedy

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
For video b-roll and other International Space Station media resources, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/stationnews
For more information about the International Space Station, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station


January 25, 2017

New Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Tribute

The prime crew of the Apollo 1 mission.
The prime crew of the Apollo 1 mission are pictured during training in Florida. Left to right are astronauts Virgil I. Grissom, Edward H. White II, and Roger B. Chaffee.
Credits: NASA
NASA will hold a ceremony for the opening of a new tribute to the pioneering crew of Apollo 1 entitled "Ad Astra Per Aspera. A Rough Road Leads to the Stars" at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex's Apollo/Saturn V Center in Florida on Friday, Jan. 27, 2017.

The ceremony at 11 a.m. EST will be hosted by Kennedy Space Center Director Robert Cabana and air live on NASA Television. The ceremony and visit the new tribute, will be open to the public at 11:30 a.m. EST. For information about Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, visit: http://www.kennedyspacecenter.com


February 03, 2017

NASA's Next Orbital ATK Cargo Resupply Mission

Atlas V liftoff
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on March 22, 2016, carrying an Orbital ATK Cygnus resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station. Orbital ATK's seventh contracted commercial resupply mission to the station is targeted to launch on an Atlas V rocket no earlier than March 19, bringing research, supplies and vehicle hardware to the crew members. Credits: NASA/Tony Gray & Kevin O'Connell
The next Orbital ATK launch of Cygnus spacecraft commercial resupply mission to the International Space Station is targeted to launch March 19, during a 30-minute window that opens at approximately 10:56 p.m. EDT.

Cygnus will launch on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida. The spacecraft will carry crew supplies and vehicle hardware to the orbital laboratory to support the Expedition 50 and 51 crews.

Investigations scheduled on this launch include an Advanced Plant Habitat, which will integrate new technology to increase overall efficiency, reliability, and robustness of plants grown on station. This experiment will build on the success of NASA's Veggie, the first fresh food growth system on station, and will provide ongoing research for the development of food production systems for long-duration exploration missions.

Manipulating cell cultures in space is challenging as the cells can spontaneously grow in 3-D. Another new investigation bound for the U.S. National Laboratory will look at using magnetized cells and tools to make it easier to handle cells and cultures, and improve the reproducibility of experiments. The Slosh Coating experiment will investigate a special type of coating that can repel liquids when applied to container walls. If effective, the liquid repellent could be used to design more efficient storage tanks for propellant and other fluids used in space exploration.

There also will be a number of CubeSats onboard Cygnus that will be deployed from the NanoRacks CubeSat Deployment on the space station, including a NASA science payload known as IceCube, which will provide data to scientists' understanding of ice clouds and their role in climate change.

The International Space Station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. The space station has been occupied continuously since November 2000. In that time, more than 200 people and a variety of international and commercial spacecraft have visited the orbiting laboratory. The space station remains the springboard to NASA's next great leap in exploration, including future missions to an asteroid and Mars.

The NASA TV schedule and video streaming information is available online. Visit the agency's website for more information about the mission including launch countdown coverage and NASA's launch blog.


January 27, 2017

NASA Unveils Tribute to Crew of Apollo 1

NASA Tribute to Crew of Apollo 1
The entrance to the tribute to Apollo 1 at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center shows the three astronauts who perished in a fire at the launch pad on Jan. 27, 1967, during training for the mission. The astronauts are, from left, Gus Grissom, Ed White II and Roger Chaffee. The tribute opened Jan. 27, 2017, 50 years after the crew was lost. It features numerous items recalling the lives of the three astronauts. It also includes the three-part hatch to the spacecraft itself, the first time any part of the Apollo 1 spacecraft has been displayed publicly.
Credits: NASA/Kim Shiflett

A new tribute opened Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, at the Apollo/Saturn V Center at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, dedicated to the lives, accomplishments and memories of the three astronauts who perished 50 years ago in a launch pad fire while training for the flight of Apollo 1. The tribute exhibit stands only a few miles from the long-abandoned Launch Complex 34, the launch pad where the fire took place. The pad was dismantled in 1968 after the launch of Apollo 7.

Called "Ad Astra Per Aspera - A Rough Road Leads to the Stars," the permanent exhibition carries the blessings of the families of Apollo 1 astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White II and Roger Chaffee. It showcases clothing, tools and models that define the men as their parents, wives and children saw them as much as how the nation viewed them.

The tribute also displays for the first time the three-section hatch from the Apollo 1 capsule that caught fire at Launch Complex 34 on Jan. 27, 1967. The astronauts were not able to escape the smoke and blaze inside the spacecraft before they asphyxiated despite their own efforts and those of numerous pad crew members who braved thick fumes and scorching temperatures to try to get the men out.

"Although the fire took place across the river on Launch Pad 34, their story didn't end there and their legacy lives on today," said Sheryl Chaffee, daughter of Roger Chaffee.

The new tribute features displays that tell the full story of the lives of the astronauts, the fire and the work the NASA team put in to rebound from the devastating loss.

"Ultimately, this is a story of hope, because these astronauts were dreaming of the future that is unfolding today," said former astronaut Bob Cabana, center director at Kennedy. "Generations of people around the world will learn who these brave astronauts were and how their legacies live on through the Apollo successes and beyond."

The main focus was to show the astronauts to generations who never met them and may not know much about them or the early space program.

"This lets you now meet Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger Chaffee as members of special families and also as members of our own family," said NASA's Luis Berrios, who co-led the tribute design that would eventually involve more than 100 planners and workers to realize. "You get to know some of the things that they liked to do and were inspired by. You look at the things they did and if anyone does just one of those things, it's a lifetime accomplishment and they did all of it and more."

For Grissom, one of NASA's Original Seven astronauts who flew the second Mercury mission, a hunting jacket and a pair of ski boots are on display, along with a small model of the Mercury spacecraft and a model of an F-86 Sabre jet like the one he flew in the Korean War. There is also a slide rule and engineering drafts that typify his dedication to detail.

The small handheld maneuvering thruster that Ed White II used to steer himself outside his Gemini capsule during the first American spacewalk features prominently in a display case of the West Point graduate whose athletic prowess nearly equaled his flying acumen. An electric drill stands alongside the "zip gun," as he called the thruster.

"It was great to juxtaposition it with a drill which was also a tool that Ed loved to use," Berrios said. "He had a tremendous passion for making things for his family."

Roger Chaffee, for whom Apollo 1 would have been his first mission into space, was an esteemed Naval aviator who became a test pilot in his drive to qualify as an astronaut later. Displayed are board games like those he played with his wife and kids on rare evenings free of training.

The three men had worked an earlier mission together as astronauts, but not as crewmates. During Gemini 4, the mission in which Ed White made his landmark spacewalk, Grissom and Chaffee served as CAPCOMs, talking to White and mission commander James McDivitt.

After the fire, NASA set out on an exhaustive examination of every element of the spacecraft and launch systems.

Beside the failed hatch is one element of the improvements, a redesigned hatch that would fly on all subsequent Apollo missions. Full of modifications that let the hatch open in five seconds in an emergency, the redesigned hatch is displayed as a symbol of all the improvements made throughout the Apollo spacecraft and NASA itself that would set the agency on a successful course to land 12 men on the moon.

"That part of the exhibit is a story of determination and resolve and also something as elemental as a hatch the complexities of just one component in a vehicle that has over 2 million parts," Berrios said. "After the loss of the crew in that tragic event, NASA learned how to really look at every piece of a rocket and imagine what could happen and it made the spacecraft safer and allowed us to get to the moon, land on it and even with Apollo 13, to recover that crew safely."

After seeing the hatches, visitors will walk through a gateway and down the same metal walkway astronauts used later to get to the Apollo spacecraft as it stood on a Saturn V rocket poised for the moon.

"Grissom, White, Chaffee, President Kennedy - I think these names are appropriately mentioned together," said Michael Collins, the command module pilot for Apollo 11. "Apollo 1 tragically cost three lives, but I think it saved more than three lives later. Without it, very likely we would've not landed on the moon by the end of the decade."


January 19, 2017

Information for the Next SpaceX Space Station Cargo Launch

The launch of the next SpaceX commercial cargo resupply services mission to the International Space Station is currently targeted for no earlier than February.

The uncrewed Dragon cargo spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The exact launch date and time still are under review.

This is the tenth mission by SpaceX under NASA's Commercial Resupply Services contract. In addition to supplies and equipment, Dragon will deliver several science investigations to the space station, including:

  • an experiment that will use the microgravity environment to grow stem cells that are of sufficient quality and quantity to use in the treatment of patients with stroke;
  • a Merck Research Labs investigation that tests growth in microgravity of antibodies important for fighting a wide range of human diseases, including cancer; and
  • two Earth science payloads, NASA's Stratospheric Aerosol Gas Experiment III mission and Lightning Imaging Sensor, which will provide continuity for key climate observations and data records.
The International Space Station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. The space station has been occupied continuously since November 2000. In that time, more than 200 people and a variety of international and commercial spacecraft have visited the orbiting laboratory. The space station remains the springboard to NASA's next great leap in exploration, including future missions to an asteroid and Mars.

For NASA TV schedule and video streaming information, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/nasatv

For launch countdown coverage, NASA's launch blog, and more information about the mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex


January 18, 2017

Kennedy Space Center Observes NASA Day of Remembrance Jan. 26

NASA's Astronaut Memorial

NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida will pay tribute to the crews of Apollo 1 and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, as well as other NASA astronauts who lost their lives while furthering the cause of exploration and discovery, during the agency's Day of Remembrance, Jan. 26.
Credits: NASA/Jim Grossmann

NASA Kennedy Space Center will pay tribute to the crews of Apollo 1 and space shuttles Challenger and Columbia, as well as other NASA colleagues, during the agency's Day of Remembrance on Thursday, Jan. 26.

The ceremony also will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 1 tragedy and will be held at 10 a.m. EST at the Astronauts Memorial Foundation Hall in the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The ceremony will be carried live on NASA Television.

A wreath laying will follow the ceremony onsite, at the Space Mirror Memorial. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will provide flowers for visitors to place at the memorial.

NASA's Day of Remembrance honors members of the NASA family who lost their lives while furthering the cause of exploration and discovery.

The Astronauts Memorial Foundation is a private, not-for-profit organization that built and maintains the Space Mirror Memorial. The mirror was dedicated in 1991 to honor all astronauts who lost their lives on missions or during training. It has been designated a National Memorial by Congress.

For more information about Kennedy, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/kennedy





 


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