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_Frank Morring Jr

_Frank Morring Jr
NASA Orders Work Stoppage on Boeing, SpaceX Commercial Crew Contracts

TORONTO -- NASA has issued stop-work orders to Boeing and SpaceX pending a resolution of Sierra Nevada’s legal challenge to the agency’s contract awards to the two companies in its Commercial Crew Transportation Capaiblity (CCtCap) competition.

Solar-Powered Europa Clipper Could Fly Safety Through Plumes 
Engineers helping NASA develop a solar-powered mission to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa have concluded the proposed spacecraft, with a solar array/magnetometer boom combination 22 meters wide, could pass through the plumes of water ice that may be erupting from cracks in the frozen surface and stay on course.
Iridium Sees Market For Its ‘Commodity’ Satellite Bus 
Iridium says it has received a positive response to its "Iridium Prime" concept to make entire satellite buses available to plug customer payloads into its network.
NASA, ISRO Agree to Mars Collaboration, Joint SAR-Satellite Mission
The agencies signed agreements Tuesday to explore deeper cooperation in Mars exploration and initiating joint development of a radar satellite designed to measure minute changes in the surface of Earth.
Sierra Nevada Turns To International Market For Dream Chaser 
Sierra Nevada Corp. is taking advantage of the 65th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) here to push its Dream Chaser lifting-body spaceplane to offshore customers, now that NASA has rejected its bid to fly crews to the International Space Station.
Sierra Nevada Protests NASA Commercial Crew Loss 

RUSSIAN HELICOPTERS and KRET (both part of State Corporation Rostec) began testing Mi-171A2 advanced medium multirole helicopter with KBO-17 avionics suite; two aircraft (one flight/one ground) are now being tested with a third currently in assembly.

GENERAL DYNAMICS ELECTRIC BOAT has $311m U.S. Navy contract for planning yard work, engineering and technical support for nuclear submarines; contract has total potential value of $1.5 billion over five years if all options are exercised.


Solar Impulse plans to start and finish its 2015 solar-powered round-the-world flights in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Testing and training is to begin in Abu Dhabi in January.  The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft, which made its first flight from Payerne, Switzerland, in June, is scheduled to be shipped by cargo aircraft to Abu Dhabi by the end of the year. Local renewable energy company Masdar will be the host partner. The round-the-world flights are planned to take place over five months from the beginning of March to the end of July 2015.

Sierra Nevada Protests NASA Commercial Crew Loss 7
Sierra Nevada Corp. has filed a formal protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office over NASA's commercial crew awards to rivals Boeing and SpaceX.
ATK Proposes Solid-Fuel Replacement For RD-180 
In lieu of the Atlas V first stage, which carries a single RD-180 generating 860,000 lb. thrust and the necessary tankage to carry its kerosene fuel and liquid oxygen oxidizer, ATK would use two solid-fuel stages, one twice as long as the other, plus as many as five strap-on solid-fuel boosters.
Overhead Sensors Aid Earthquake Response 
Last month’s earthquake in California’s Napa Valley provided an opportunity for NASA to demonstrate one highly sophisticated but often overlooked benefit of remote sensing from space – terrain deformation mapping.
ULA Buying RD-180 Replacement From Blue Origin 12
United Launch Alliance (ULA) has picked Blue Origin, the secretive Seattle-based space-vehicle company founded and funded by Amazon.com chief Jeff Bezos, to complete development of a 550,000-lb. thrust rocket engine that could replace the Russian-built RD-180 at the Atlas V power plant in the coming decade.
Curiosity Rover Team Driving Up Mount Sharp 
The mission’s chief scientist and his scientific overseer at NASA headquarters discounted charges from an outside review panel that the plan for an extended rover mission will be "a poor science return for such a large investment."
NASA Taking SpaceX Landing Data for Future Mars Applications 

Engineers in NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) are using data on supersonic retro-propulsion generated by SpaceX in its Falcon 9 flyback first-stage testing as a substitute for government-funded flight tests aimed at landing large payloads on the surface of Mars.

With space-technology budgets tight, the STMD is using partnerships wherever possible to save money on its extensive basket of exploration-enabling technology-development efforts, and SpaceX fit the bill, according to Michael Gazarik, associate administrator for space technology.

NASA Taking SpaceX Landing Data for Future Mars Apps 
With space-technology budgets tight, NASA is using partnerships wherever possible to save money on its extensive basket of exploration-enabling technology-development efforts, and SpaceX's Falcon 9 flyback testing fits the bill.
Flight Test Planning Underway As Commercial Crew Downselect Nears 

As NASA prepares to announce the company or companies that will take crews to the International Space Station in the next round of its commercial crew vehicle development effort, planning is well underway for the flight tests that will certify the commercial vehicles for operational missions.

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