SLS/Orion

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Brains of the SLS – Flight Computer enters build phase


One of the key technologies on NASA’s new monster rocket, a small box of tricks known as the Flight Computer, is making good process during its developmental phase….

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EM-1: NASA managers request ambitious changes to debut SLS/Orion mission


Just months after changing Exploration Mission -2 (EM-2) into an asteroid rendezvous mission, NASA managers have issued a Change Request to alter the debut flight of the Space…

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Pad 39B: In the trenches with SLS launch pad modifications


Major pad modification work is continuing to take place at Pad 39B, ahead of hosting the Space Launch System (SLS) for its debut launch in 2017. With the…

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SLS: MAF receiving extraordinary machinery for the exploration rocket


An array of huge machinery is being installed at the Michoud Assembly Facility (MAF), as the famous New Orleans plant prepares to begin construction of the Space Launch…

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NASA Authorization Act pushes for Moon and Mars priority


The House Science space subcommittee’s 2013 Authorization Act intends to refocus NASA’s exploration path towards prioritizing the goal of landing humans on both the Moon and Mars, according…

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EFT-1 Orion team enter final leg of preparations and testing


With the Exploration Flight Test -1 (EFT-1) mission now at the T-15 months stage, Orion teams on land and at sea are deep into preparations for the key…

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The engines that refused to retire – RS-25s prepare for SLS testing


Following a 30 year career with the Space Shuttle Program, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne’s RS-25 engines are now preparing for their next role, with the Space Launch System…

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NASA looks to Kourou for SLS ground ops streamlining ideas


As development of the Space Launch System (SLS) rocket continues, NASA is looking to its international partners for inspiration and lessons learned. Specifically, the agency sent a team…

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SLS prepares for PDR – Evolution eyes Dual-Use Upper Stage


NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) is deep into preparations for the key milestone of the Preliminary Design Review (PDR), which “kicks off” in June. Meanwhile, an interesting glimpse…

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From Space Station to Moon Base – Bigelow expands on inflatable ambitions


Two months after signing a non-funded Space Act Agreement (SAA) with NASA, Bigelow Aerospace has made great progress toward identifying new ideas for private-public partnerships for human space…

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EFT-1: Delta IV-H set for shipping to Florida next March


The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Heavy – that is set to launch the Exploration Flight Test -1 (EFT-1) Orion into space next year – has passed…

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A return to the Moon would send NASA back to square one – Bolden


NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden has strongly ruled out missions to land on the Moon as part of NASA’s exploration roadmap, claiming any future political re-direction to return humans…

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Full steam ahead for ATK’s SLS booster drive


ATK are making good progress on both the initial five segment boosters, set to launch with the opening launches of the Space Launch System (SLS), and the Advanced…

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Europe’s ATV-4 prepares for launch amid contributions to future exploration


Europe’s latest space freighter, the Automated Transfer Vehicle-4 (ATV-4), is currently undergoing preparations for a realigned launch date following the replacement of a faulty unit inside the spacecraft….

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Gerstenmaier expands on recently announced asteroid mission


In a recent presentation to the human exploration and operations committee of the NASA Advisory Counsel (NAC), William Gerstenmaier, Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate,…

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SLS SMAT: The Mini-Me version of the monster rocket


The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is constructing a scaled version of the Space Launch System (SLS), ahead of test firing it later this year. Known as the…

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Captured Asteroid mission – Redefining EM-2 for the bold challenge


NASA administrator Charlie Bolden has officially announced an ambitious mission to send a crew to a captured asteroid as early as 2021. Mission planning is scheduled to begin…

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EFT-1 Orion has its secondary structures installed


The first Orion set to launch into space is now looking more like an actual spaceship, as engineers installed the secondary structures around the capsule. The Exploration Flight…

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Pad 39B transition making good progress ahead of SLS debut


Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39B is fast returning to the status of an active launch pad, with new elevator towers now visible on the surface of the former…

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Two mid-span supports required to avoid booster sag for QM-1


ATK will use two “mid-span” supports on their upcoming static test of their five segment Solid Rocket Booster (SRB). The large pieces of hardware will help mitigate “sagging”…