by Staff Writers
Edwards AFB CA (SPX) Nov 26, 2015
An UP Aerospace SpaceLoft sounding rocket soared into the sky Nov. 6 from Spaceport America, New Mexico, carrying four technology experiments for NASA's Flight Opportunities Program that funded the launch of these technologies.
The commercial suborbital space rocket reached a maximum altitude of approximately 75 miles. The experiments were recovered intact 30 miles downrange on the U.S. Army White Sands Missile Range. UP has launched several times from Spaceport but this was the first launch where payloads were ejected separately requiring independent re-entry under individual parachutes into the atmosphere.
"We had a great launch, all the payloads were exposed to the relevant environments that the researchers were seeking," said Paul De Leon, NASA Flight Opportunities Program campaign manager. "The new payload deployment capability from UP Aerospace was successfully demonstrated, opening the opportunity for future entry, descent and landing technologies to be tested and matured under Flight Opportunities."
Purdue University tested a new, U.S.-made green propellant that is gaining interest from the rocket industry. The experiment called Zero-gravity Green Propellant Management Technology acquired video data of the new propellant interacting with traditional designs of surface tension propellant management devices in near-weightlessness.
Building on data from a previous launch, New Mexico State University performed another suborbital test of its Robotics-Base Method for In-Orbit Identification of Spacecraft inertia. The goal of the research is to experimentally test and verify a robotics-based method for on-orbit identification of satellite inactive properties in a microgravity environment.
NASA's Johnson Space Center, Houston, tested their entry, descent and landing technology for the Maraia Earth Return Capsule. The spacecraft is expected to become an inexpensive, autonomous International Space Station-based vehicle to provide on-demand return of small scientific and engineering payloads, or function as an ISS-deployed entry technology test bed.
NASA's Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, California, tested its Affordable Vehicle Avionics project, a suite of avionics that will provide early verification of new software and hardware for delivering an affordable and capable Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) system and telemetry avionics.
The avionics project will be applied to multiple nano-launch vehicles at one percent the cost of current state-of-the-art avionics. Using this new GNC system reduces the cost of launching small payloads into orbit as well as recurring costs of future launches.
The Flight Opportunities Program seeks to advance space technology to meet future mission needs through flight activities that foster the growth of the U.S. commercial spaceflight industry and workforce.
NASA will pay for the integration and flight costs for the selected payloads. Limited funds will be provided for other costs to facilitate the flight readiness of these payloads.
The Flight Opportunities Program, part of NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, is managed at NASA's Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards, California. Ames manages the solicitation and selection of technologies to be tested and demonstrated on commercial flight vehicles.
For more information on NASA's Flight Opportunities Program, visit here
Sounding Rockets at NASA
Launch Pad at Space-Travel.com
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|