Tag Archives | NASA

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Discovery on launch pad for final mission

Space Shuttle Discovery has safely reached the launch pad at Cape Canaveral in anticipation of its final launch before retirement. A Terminal Countdown Demonstration dress rehearsal is scheduled for 12-15 October, before mission STS-133 lifts off on 1 November. Continue reading… (Photo: NASA)

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Phantom Ray to get 747 piggyback ride to California

At the Farnborough Airshow Boeing announced its medium-altitude Phantom Ray unmanned air vehicle will get a piggyback ride on a 747 to NASA‘s Dryden Flight Research Center in California for testing.The 15.2m (50ft) wing on the aircraft are not removable, says Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Phantom Works, and working out how to move the […]

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NASA’s N2A Blended Wing Aircraft Compared to 1940s Design

As rising fuel costs and pressure to cut emissions drive most of the aviation industry to seek even small improvements in aircraft efficiency, NASA is pushing to mature technologies that may realise in the 2020s an aircraft concept that could slash fuel consumption by up to a third. The so-called flying wing, or blended wing […]

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Space station finally gets its window

The International Space Stationcrew now have a better view of the station’s exterior after theinstallation of the cupola window and the last major habitable modulefor the ISS US segment. Continue reading…Hyperbola Blog: NASA’s video of the window’s installation The ISS crew can now enjoy 360° view: (Photo: NASA)

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UK could use plutonium in space nuclear power demonstration

On Earth, nuclear power is controversial – but for deep spacemissions it is a necessity. However, the plutonium driving spacecraftpower systems is invaluable not only for its ability to keepelectricity flowing where solar cells cannot; Pu-238 is also in shortsupply. Nuclear power is critical to the 2018 ESA-NASA ExoMars Martian rovers mission and the UK’s […]

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NASA: all is well on Boeing 747SP open-door front

NASAreports positive results from initial open-door testing of itsStratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (Sofia), a researchplatform that includes a 19t telescope mounted on a Boeing 747SP (N747NA). A 4.6m (15ft)-high by 4.3m-wide door on the aft left side of theaircraft that opens in flight to expose the telescope a clear view ofthe sky between 23° […]

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Cygnus Cargo Capsule

One of the most logistically complex projects being undertaken inspaceflight is gaining momentum. Orbital Sciences is starting hardwaretesting for the Taurus II rocket it is developing as part of NASA‘s bid to draft private companies into its effort to replace the launch capacity that will be lost when the Space Shuttle fleet is retired in […]

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Will Constellation live on?

On 21 August NASA‘s Orion crew exploration vehicle’s (CEV) preliminary design review starts and four-days later the first test firing of a solid rocket booster for its launcher, the Ares I, occurs but this week US president Barack Obama’s administration will be presented with a set of choices that could see both cancelled. Continue reading…

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X-51A programme admits facing long odds

Boeing X-51A programme officials acknowledge that they face long odds for completing a successful flight-test programme for the hypersonic vehicle with only four experiments funded. Continue reading…

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NASA’s Orion heat shield decision expected this month

  One of the greatest engineering challenges in spaceflight is to protect a spacecraft from the searing heat of re-entry, as the fate of the Space Shuttle Columbia so tragically illustrated. So, one of the most intriguing technical twists in NASA’s planning for its return-to-the-Moon Constellation programme may come later this month when the US […]

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